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Screenshot of Veronica Lake from the trailer f...

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Who are the people in family photos used in movies?

Let’s say you are watching some Tom Cruise movie and he’s lost his family in some tragic fashion and he stares at their photos endlessly. Who are those people? Are they actors? Are they friends of Tom’s? I can’t watch a movie and see photos in the set decoration and not wonder who the hell those people are. If your friend is a director does he ask you if he can use your face? Do you get paid? Isn’t it kinda bad juju pretending to be a dead person…in a photo? I’m not a very superstitious person but it seems to me that it might be tempting fate a bit. It bothers me.

Commercials bother me too for that matter. Every commercial today seems to have some hipster music to it. Nobody writes “jingles” anymore, they just go and find some unknown inde band and use their music for Tide. Everything is so cute it is irritating. Okay maybe that’s the Benadryl talking.

I can’t watch commercials without thinking “thats an actor”. Of course everyone on television is an actor…with the exception of my hero’s on the Science Channel.

I used to want to be an actor way back in junior high and high school. I loved Shakespeare so much I wanted to go to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. After experiencing an overdose of that profession I decided I could keep what little dignity I had left by becoming an artist. The horror of what my actor friends have been through is wildly unneccessary in my opinion but everyone has their calling. It’s just that I feel so sorry for all those people in all those ads.

Sure right now the Progressive Insurance chick is having a blast making cash acting dorky but is this what she wanted for her career? I’ve always said how much I’ve admired soap opera actors because it is an honest living and one that lasts unless you get killed off. But even then we all know that you can come back from the dead at any time having had amnesia, or being a twin, or someone who had plastic surgery to look like the character that died, or you could have been abducted by aliens, etc. (I am of the opinion that le networks are going to lose a lot of viewers canceling All My Children and One Life To Live.)

If I had continued on my path into theater or movies I probably would look a lot different today. I can only hope that I wouldn’t have fallen prey to the insecurities that plague actors and the need to go under the knife but what are the odds? I could have a huge rack by now, a frozen forehead and enormous lips. Thank heaven I still look like me, wrinkles and all.

So I became an artist. I think I was a decent actress and can still throw a show for friends, dress up and look like another human being entirely. I just feel bad for actors I guess. It should be a noble profession and one where we don’t need to feed off of their misfortunes but it has become a monster I don’t wish to tango with. I don’t even go to the movies anymore. There are a lot of very talented people out there but now that I know who they are and how they behave in their personal lives I find it hard to believe in the characters they play.

All one has to do is look up Veronica Lake’s story and that will tell you the more common outcome from a life in that profession. I know I’ve said this before but at one time Jan Michael Vincent was as hot and sought after as Brad Pitt. Go take a look at poor Jan now.