inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #51 of 146: Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Tue 30 Jul 02 10:22
    
Yes, definitely.  The media plays up the celeb angle, not the artist
angle. They play up the glamour, not the heart.  I keep waiting for
someone to start a magazine that isn't about putting a celebrity on the
cover.  Years ago, no decades ago, Esquire had some great writers and
editors.  But of course that was back when intelligence was considered
sexy.  I'd love to see that come back. 
I'm on  a mission to make the idea the star, not the person. 

I think Tina Brown's celebrity journalism was the worst thing to
happen to pop culture.
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #52 of 146: Berliner (captward) Tue 30 Jul 02 10:42
    
I'm right there with ya, sister, but don't hold your breath unless you
look good in purple. 
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #53 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 11:17
    

> I keep waiting for someone to start a magazine that isn't about putting a
> celebrity on the cover.  Years ago, no decades ago, Esquire had some great
> writers and editors.  But of course that was back when intelligence was
> considered sexy.  I'd love to see that come back.

I hear ya!  But I join Ed in not holding my breath.  I spent ten years in the
magazine business, and what the publishing people said to the editorial
people about what was gonna sell (e.g. whether it was possible for us to put
Stevie Wonder on the cover) was chilling.
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #54 of 146: Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Tue 30 Jul 02 14:42
    
This is what I think. I think all these CEOs who have stolen billions,
should give back to the culture by financing a magazine that doesn't
have to turn a profit.   
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #55 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 14:49
    

Aiyee!  What a California liberal wacko thing to say!

Maybe we can have a COMMITTEE that decides what to feature and what goes on
the cover!   Hee-hee...


Are you working on any screenplays now?

Has "The cigarette Girl" been sold to Hollywood?
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #56 of 146: excessively heterosexual (saiyuk) Tue 30 Jul 02 15:27
    

> So you're saying it's possible to do good work in Hollywood, maybe even 
earn
>  a decent living, and have the respect of your peers -- without having 
to
>  dress just exactly so before you leave the house, be seen in only this 
or
>  that important place, and choose your sex partners on the basis of what 
they
>  can do for you professionally?

Actually, david, I *think* that would describe our own <rodman> -- WHO
SHOULD IN THIS CONVERSATION.
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #57 of 146: Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:25
    
David,  do I sound like a liberal wacko?  Maybe on that particular
issue I am a little crazy.  

As for Cigarette Girl being made into a movie - there's a slight
chance.  Stephen Hopkins wants to direct it but William Morris (who
represents both of us) has yet to find the money to finance a
screenplay.

Last week, I turned in a screenplay  that Luis Mandoki is attatched to
and I'm currently in negotiations to adapt a book for a French
production company.  
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #58 of 146: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:37
    
Carol, you're actually IN a magazine that doesn't turn a profit, since the 
WELL is part of Salon!  I hesitate to say 'doesn't HAVE to turn a profit,' 
but think of Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly... the culture mags that are 
never profitable but have angels (real angels, the kind with money) 
hovering 'round...

Regarding that 'secret celebrity' concept, I've noticed that many actors 
sort of disappear after doing well for a while. I assume they make enough 
money to keep the bulldog fed, and stop looking for work, at least visible 
work. Does Richard Gault fit that model? Are there as many of those around 
as I suspect?
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #59 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:43
    

> Actually, david, I *think* that would describe our own <rodman> -- WHO
> SHOULD IN THIS CONVERSATION.

So get him over here!
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #60 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:44
    

> David,  do I sound like a liberal wacko?  Maybe on that particular issue I
> am a little crazy.

Oh, I sympathize 100%.  I just know it ain't gonna happen.
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #61 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:45
    

> As for Cigarette Girl being made into a movie - there's a slight chance.
> Stephen Hopkins wants to direct it but William Morris (who represents both
> of us) has yet to find the money to finance a screenplay.

Don't you know a very good screenwriter?
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #62 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:48
    

> Regarding that 'secret celebrity' concept, I've noticed that many actors
> sort of disappear after doing well for a while. I assume they make enough
> money to keep the bulldog fed, and stop looking for work, at least visible
> work.

I have to believe there are lots of people who decide it's more trouble than
it's worth, if they have other possibilities -- or if, ass you suggest here,
Jon, they make enough money to have Other Options.

I'm a middle-aged musician who has returned to that business after earning a
good living doing other creative things for 25 years.  It's a shitload of
work, all those airports and  Interstate highways and grubby band rooms --
but I'm enjoying the hell out of it, and I'm gonna keep doinbg it as long as
I can afford to.  But it would also be nice to come out the other end of that
process with the satisfaction of having done it AND a decent income...
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #63 of 146: Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Tue 30 Jul 02 17:27
    
First of all, I think the fact that Salon/The Well exists is very,
very reassuring and I'm (lately) always blabbing about it to my
friends. 

David, are you suggesting that I do the screenplay for Cigarette Girl?
 I'd love to but I can't do it on spec and the development business
isn't what it used to be.  I think the book will get made one of these
days but it'll take a particular kind of person to make that happen. 

As for actors "disappearing", I think most actors like to keep working
for a variety of reasons. Some because they love the work, some
because the love the attention, some because they love the money - or
some combination of the above.  Richard Gault's exit from Hollywood was
more about getting off the wheel.  You know that line" the wheel may
be turning but the hampster's dead? Gault didn't want to be a dead
hampster. 
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #64 of 146: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 30 Jul 02 18:28
    

I am always amazed when I encounter some actor who hasn't been heard of in 
ages who still acts as if he (or she) were a star - the way they enter the 
room, and regard themselves as sort of separate from and more special than 
those around them...I guess it's the sense of great entitlement that they 
project.

And then there was the day I ran into Troy Donahue at a gallery in Laguna
Beach, surrounded by little old ladies, who were eager to buy his
watercolors.  He looked sort of like this, only with a sweater tied
casually around his shoulders, and seemed like a really nice guy:

http://www.cnn.com/2001/SHOWBIZ/News/09/02/troy.donahue/
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #65 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 18:44
    

> David, are you suggesting that I do the screenplay for Cigarette Girl?

Not seriously.  Just asking a provocative question.  I was kinda wondering
what the advantages and disadvantages might be in adapting your own book for
the screen.
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #66 of 146: Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 00:11
    
Linda, my experience is that once a person has achieved any kind of
star status they never let that go. I've been around people who were
famous twenty years ago who still act like they've got photographers
stalking them. 

By the way, David , keep on asking the provocative questions. 
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #67 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 09:22
    

Okay, but not til you answer that one:

> I was kinda wondering what the advantages and disadvantages might be in
> adapting your own book for the screen.
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #68 of 146: Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 09:52
    
The main advantage is that you understand the characters and themes
better than anyone else. The disadvantage is loss of objectivity.   
Usually producers hate when a novelist wants to adapt their own book
because screenwriting is a completely different kind of writing.
Different rules, different skills required. 
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #69 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 09:59
    
But you are experienced (and successful) in both forms, right?
So, uh, wouldn't that be good?
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #70 of 146: Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 10:27
    
Yes, I know how to write for the screen.  And I wouldn't sell or
option any of my books  unless I was also hired to do the screenplay -
but that doesn't mean that the producers wouldn't (down the line) hire
someone else to re-write me. 

In the screen trade, re-writing is the norm.   Even the most
successful screenwriters get rewritten.  Robert Towne, for example.  
Maybe David Mamet doesn't . I'm not sure.  His style is so specific -
maybe only David can re-write David. 
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #71 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 10:28
    
That's interesting!  Are there other writers whose style is so particular
that you can't imagine who could rewrite them?
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #72 of 146: Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 12:58
    
Maybe Quentin Tarantino.     But he's a writer-director which is a
different  deal.  Often writers become directors to protect their
material. I think Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, The Big Chill, ) is also
in that  category.
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #73 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 13:33
    
Interesting.

This is how "SECRET CELEBRITY" begins:



I'm sorry.  I hate lists.  You probably do, too.  But sometimes there's no
other way to put it.  So here it is -- my "Are you having an interesting
life?" checklist for people who live in L.A. and work in Hollywood.  Or, with
slight adjustments, for anyone else.

1.  Secret passionate fling with a notorious lover.  (No points for a public
fling.)

2.  A feast-famine-feast existence.  (No points for all feast, no points for
all famine.)

3.  Time spent with one of your heroes (a director?) who proves to be boring.

4.  A fascinating conversation with somone (FedEx guy?) you previously dis-
regarded.

5.  Access to a philosopher king who is not the leader of any cult . . . or
agency.

6.  At least one, but not more than three, formidable enemies.

7.  At least one special project that's as compelling as a passionate fling
with a notorious lover.

8.  An ongoing friendly dialogue with your dark side . . . or Jim Morrison's
ghost.

9.  One friend who can unfailingly make you laugh even when that special
project gets put into turnaround.

10. Enough temptation to keep things interesting . . . but not as much as can
be found on location.



(Checking against my own life in the music biz, I see that I am indeed having
an Interesting Life.)

There is wisdom in there, and wit.  A great opening!

So, uh... can you tell  us (explicitly if at all possible!) of a hero who
proved to be boring?  And any other tales you'd care to share that caused you
to arrive at this excellent checklist?
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #74 of 146: Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 15:01
    
Without naming names,  I've definitely been in situations where I
failed to separate the message (heroic) from the messenger  (who was
far from heroic). But I take the blame for that.  All the information
was there from the start, I just didn't pay enough attention. 

I came up with the list more as a guide, a blueprint for myself, so I
wouldn't fall into the trap of chasing security at the expense of
spirit.  I know that sounds a little pretentious. But since my writing
style has been described, by one critic, as a cross between Mickey
Spillane and Jackie Collins , I guess I can afford the occasional
pretentious thought.
  
inkwell.vue.155 : Carol Wolper: Secret Celebrity
permalink #75 of 146: David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 15:40
    

> All the information was there from the start, I just didn't pay enough at-
> tention.

Ah, retrospect.

I haven't read enough Spillane nor Collins to know whether you shoulda taken
offense at that!
  

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