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BlazeVOX [books]
Cleaning the Mirror
by Joel Chace
(BlazeVOX , 2008)



1. Television gives new life to actors in the waste of their middle lives.  Young actors are often typecast into corners where they can’t grow.  They break down, usually publicly, and are not seen in serious roles again.  That is, unless a midlife television career can save them.

2. Moving down the rungs, miniature stars can redeem themselves; redemption is, after all, what they wanted, not stardom, per se.  But redemption is a personal matter.  Therefore, it will just have to occur on the small screen.  From the silver to the small.  One thing that has not been investigated is how the same words take on different meanings if said in the context of (a) a movie or (b) a television show.  These meanings converge in the DVD as outer light and inner light meet within the eye.

3. Of course, the money of television is never refused.  Our lives (especially if we are actors) are too touched with debt for the money not to matter, but cash is often wrongly emphasized over the psychological in Hollywood stories if only because money is what we all have touched and have all been forced to part with.  

Who’s to say about luxury?
Mine versus yours.  But I
Know I’m giving in the grace of.

If you made it I wouldn’t
Want to restrict your drinking
Or how big your television gets

With its speakers in the living room
Sucking up the church’s generosity
But opulence isn’t for everyone

Is what I’m forced to say, strangely
Against my intuitions, when are we
Wealthy enough to consume, that is

To decide?  Cannot be made of generosity
To eat what is there, when do you have the right
Not to be pitied because you don’t save

For the future too will pass
Out the light of my bad decisions’ weight has been
Decreased due to my starting position.

4. It’s better for child actors now, as roles are less prescribed.  Transitions are finally allowed to be represented.  As Jacklyn Moore reports in the American Chronicle, “Although some child actors fail to grow into prominent actors, or later choose to follow a different path (as did Shirley Temple who became a successful public figure and diplomat), many of them flourish into movie stars and/or singing celebrities.”  One way that child actors can fully transition into adulthood is through the small screen.  Such a move allows them to fully become characters in a way that they never fully became people.  That is, through fully representing a television character actors can potentially fully become themselves.

5. Because of its episodic nature, television demonstrates an actor’s capabilities to skeptics in a way that a single appearance in a movie usually cannot.  That is, if you want to be treated like an adult you have to act like an adult.  What hasn’t been investigated fully (or even really investigated at all) is how actors attach meaning to their lines.  Adults feel the meaning of those lines, whereas child actors just repeat their lines like parrots, and not even smart parrots.

6. The bet of television is thinly stretched out over an entire season.  The gamble can always be forfeited (and everybody knows this).  However, in show business, always beware of succumbing to the gambler’s fallacy, the false belief that the likelihood of a random event can be predicted from other independent events.  The randomness of stardom is only predicated on the randomness of the human condition (a person can always lie and thus, fool the predictor).

7. A failed actor can always bet on himself.  If it comes to this it is always best to employ the betting strategy known as the “Martingale,” which entails doubling each bet after a loss until a win is achieved (or fails when the amount of the bet becomes excessive and the actor finally overdoses). 

8. It’s the motion of taking a chance, of being picked up for a full season.

Within the turning of guises lay the motion of love,
Regenerating that same motion
Like a pump touched once and kept flowering.
            Ah!  Love and knowledge do not follow
            The laws of scarcity as materials do.
            An idea given is returned seven-fold.
My love is not scarce nor do I hope to make it so.

9. Case studies (factual information courtesy of Wikipedia):



Early Career

TV Comeback

Weird Fact

Patrick Dempsey

January 13th, 1966

“Dempsey's first major feature film role was at age 21 in the teen comedy Can't Buy Me Love in 1987 with actress Amanda Peterson. In 1989, he had the lead role in the film Loverboy with actress Kirstie Alley and Happy Together with actress Helen Slater. Although the teen comedy and romance roles led to Dempsey being somewhat typecast for a time, he was able to avoid playing the same character as his career progressed.”

“Dempsey has received significant public attention for his role as Dr. Derek Shepherd in the drama Grey's Anatomy. Initially debutig as a midseason replacement in 2005, the show has become a highly rated program.”

“From 1987 to 1994, he was married to actress Rocky Parker. When the couple married, much was made in the media of the age difference between the two (and its parallels to Dempsey's film "Loverboy"); at the time, Dempsey was 21 years old, while Parker was 48. Because of the age difference in his first marriage, his stepson Corey Parker was actually one year his senior.”

Jason Bateman

January 14th, 1969

“Jason Bateman began his career in 1981 with the role of James Cooper Ingalls in the television drama, Little House on the Prairie. He earned the status of teen idol in the mid-'80s in shows such as Silver Spoons, It's Your Move and The Hogan Family (he became the DGA's youngest-ever director when he directed three episodes of "The Hogan Family" when he was 18), but after the latter ended its run, his career slowed down for nearly a decade.”   

“In 2003 his career made a major comeback with the role of Michael Bluth on the FOX television comedy Arrested Development.”

“Jason’s older sister is Family Ties star Justine Bateman.” 

10. In conclusion, television really can save lives.




how television saves lives


francis raven