Crazy Heart Hits Home

Tuesday March 9th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

I needed to escape today so I went to see the movie ‘Crazy Heart’. I hadn’t seen a movie in a long time and that’s one I’ve been hearing about since my friend Darryl Rhoades told me he was filming it over a year ago. Darryl is out of Atlanta and we’ve been friends for a lot of years. He started out as a musician and morphed into comedy and he’s a super guy.

Darryl had a non speaking role as a drummer in one of the bands and he had quite a nice chunk of screen time. Nobody else would probably notice, but he’s my friend and told me he was in it so I picked him out right away. It was fun to see him but the movie was pretty dark as a whole and a few times it really made me flinch. Show business can be a downer.

Jeff Bridges’ character plays an aging country singer who still has to piece together life on the road long after his prime. He’s a fabulous actor and really made it convincing. I see why he won the Oscar, but it sure was dark and gloomy. It reminded me in many ways of ‘The Wrestler’ with Mickey Rourke, and worse yet – quite a few comedians that I know.

The entertainment business is very cold and only a selected few ever really hit it big and make it last for a lifetime. Public tastes are fickle, unsophisticated and usually shallow for the most part, so often times people with true talent and vision have to struggle to survive while the lesser talents with the superficial looks or business savvy take all the attention.

This happens in every field in life from music to acting to wrestling to sports to comedy too. The dream window is only open for so long, then it’s a matter of survival. The exit of entertainers usually isn’t pretty, and both The Wrestler and Crazy Heart drove that home.

As good of a movie as it was, it kind of depressed me a little. Even though it had a kind of happy ending, it was still a little shallow for me. The guy didn’t get the girl, the young pretty boy punk got all the glory, and all he got in the end was to continue making a living doing what he always did. I guess that’s not bad, but it seemed like he still got screwed.

The inner fear all of us have as entertainers is that will be us someday. Soon. The guy in the movie was supposed to be 57 years old. I’ll be 47 on Saturday, and I could relate to all the business situations he was facing. I’ve worked for slimy agents too and in some of the same towns in the movie. Clovis, NM? Grand Junction, CO? Been there. Once is plenty.

I talked to my friend Dwight York today also. He’s a wonderful guy and one of the best comedians I’ve ever worked with, but he can’t seem to catch a break either. His act is one of the darkest, most twisted I think I’ve ever seen and that’s a sincere compliment. He’s a master joke writer in my opinion, and I can’t believe he’s not an international superstar.

But he’s not. Not even close. He’s slugging it out like me, trying to pay his rent. Dwight and I can relate on a lot of levels, but neither one of us give up. Life is what it is, and I’ve given up trying to figure it out. I needed a break today, but I wish I wouldn’t have chosen to see ‘Crazy Heart’. I needed something a little more upbeat to help me forget my pain.


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