Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #141: What Makes Someone A Star?

Nikki Finke posted this little piece of trivia about Gossip Girl media-heartthrob Chace Crawford shopping for a new agent even though he's already repped by mega-agency ICM and it looks like other agencies are interested in poaching him now that he's won the "Breakthrough Star" award at the Publicist Teen Choice Awards.

Now I'm not going to talk agency politics and which agency is better at what, I'm as out of the loop as Robert Shaye right now, and that doesn't really interest me.

What interests me is
why this actor is getting all this attention in Hollywood, and is being courted by agents as the second coming of Tyrone Power.

You see, the show this Crawford fellow
stars in Gossip Girl is tied in the ratings with reruns of the PBS series Fertilizer: Our Silent Friend In The Garden, but if you go by the hype the media regularly ladles onto the show you'd think it was bigger than anything in the history of television.

And that's
why he's got agents coming out of the woodwork looking to rep him, even though average folks, even those in Gossip Girl's target demographics would respond to his name with: "Who's he?"

You see Hollywood folks literally live in a world of their own. They honestly believe that Beverly Hills and Malibu are the real world, and all the non-celebrity people they meet are either applicants, trying to get into the game, or supplicants begging to get in. And neither applicants or supplicants are willing to tell them that the hype machine has about as much connection to the world outside the Axis of Ego as the Man in the Moon.

Hollywood hype used to promote actors, shows, and movies to the general public. Now it's all about selling these actors, shows and movies to the other media outlets, especially the multi-billion dollar tabloid media bottomless chum bucket. This is why actors who couldn't sell tickets to lifeboats on a sinking ship are getting multi-million dollar contracts, why movies that no one wants to see get made and released, and why agents are all fighting like dogs over a piece meat about an actor who stars in a show no one actually watches.

My advice: I think the media should stop looking inward, and actually spend some time among real average people. Start by having a vacation in a place that isn't populated by other rich Hollywood folks, maybe rough it in a three star hotel, and pay attention to what they like and don't like. Or at least pay attention to such things as ratings, and box office revenue, they may not be pleasant, but they are necessary.

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