Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Avatar, Grammys, and the Entertainment Industry

People are unemployed. Natural disasters are tearing countries apart. There is political disappointment, social instability, and international unrest in every sector of humanity. It's nearly impossible to find silver linings when turning on the daily news leaves you feeling hopeless and discouraged by the reported events.

Reality is draining, to say the least.

However, in the midst of the confusion and chaos, the disgrace and disgust, the sadness and sorrow...there is a multi-million dollar industry that continues to thrive. There are actors and athletes and other creatives minds working hard to ensure that we are entertained/distracted from this reality.

I'd like to dismiss the activities and events that appear to be superficial when there are "important" things happening in the world...but as an artist myself, I can't help but appreciate the efforts and the incredible work that these individuals put into their craft.

I am impressed by the products, I am inspired by the music, and I am almost dependent on the energy that their works provide.

After weeks of hearing praise and commentary about James Cameron's latest project, I was finally able to see the movie Avatar in 3D. I'm not a fan of the science fiction or fantasy genres, but like millions of others, I was completely sucked into the beautiful world of Pandora and the technologies that made it so tangible.

It took me a good half hour to start to believe in the movie and care about the characters, but even after the hours passed, I found myself so engrossed in the fictional land that I was almost sad to take off the glasses and continue on in the less-colourful real world.

I was in awe at how colour, texture, light, and really just a basic storyline, could inspire so many powerful and positive feelings. I will most definitely go and see this movie again to fill in the blanks that I missed during my first viewing.

And while my heart was breaking for the people of Haiti, I was so touched by the musical performances during the Help for Haiti telethon on Friday, January 22. John Legend, Alicia Keys, and Stevie Wonder at the piano...music and talent at its purest form. I love the passion that these artists have maintained for years, and how dedicated they are to improving their craft.

Again, some view the entertainment industry as not important, but I do believe that sometimes all it takes is the right song, the perfect lyric, or an insipring performance to ignite hope and even spiritual awareness in many.

That being said, the Grammy awards this year was also pretty great. I was so impressed with how female performers have stepped up their game. Woman can no longer lip-sync, dance around scantily clad and hope that it makes for a thrilling display. When Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Pink stepped out on that Grammy stage they were determined to prove just exactly why they are at the top of their game.

When you love what you do, and you're good at what you do, you can only hope that just by simply...doing it, that others can appreciate and value it. Those performances, and others that night (like Drake, Wayne and Eminem) forced me to recognize that once upon a time these were all simple, every day people with a dream that probably seemed out of this world, that they were determined to pursue by any means necessary. And they chased these dreams with a spirit that wouldn't quit until they stepped on the floor of the Grammy stage. And even when they make it to that stage, they still insist on fighting to maintain their status.

This is why I love the entertainment industry.

And I can't forget the athletes. God bless them. Again, in the same fashion as filmmakers and performing artists, they had a dream, they had a talent, and they had a desire to work for a living doing nothing less than what they believed to be destined to do.

These are the people that provide my daily inspiration. Yes, there are politicians, and researchers, medical experts, scholars, spiritual leaders, activists, and other writers who also influence my actions...but the entertainers are the ones that have the immediate effect.

It only takes minutes to find that perfect song, put in a favourite old movie, or take in another form of art. Instantaneously, the transfer of creative energy has power.

So today I am grateful. For life, for health, for contributors to society, great and less visible...but I just wanted to send a virtual shout-out to the entertainers, from Avatar to the Grammys, from the Raptors to the writers...for giving me the necessary inspiration and powerful energy that I need to continue my own work.

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