Posts Tagged ‘dented can’

Michael Jackson’s Birthday

August 30, 2013

Thursday August 29th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   Today would have been Michael Jackson’s 55th birthday. What a fascinating character study he was on so many levels. Only a handful of people who ever lived have had a worldwide influence like he did during his run. Like Elvis, he was the right person in the right place at the right time.

   Did he have talent? He was loaded with it, but that doesn’t always guarantee success. There are many things that have to come together for massive success, and both Elvis and Michael Jackson were the proverbial ‘one in a million’. They were one in hundreds of millions, but that in no way insured their lives would be Shangri-La. Their problems were larger than life just like they were.

   From all I’ve read I don’t think Elvis was a dented can but Michael surely was. I don’t think he and his father got along well to say the least, and that’s usually where it starts. Unfortunately, we as children of relationships like that often tend to think fame and fortune will heal those wounds, but it never does. Sooner or later that fact becomes apparent, and it’s a stunning disappointment.

   I can’t comment on Michael Jackson’s personal life, as I wasn’t there. Whether he did what he was accused of or not I don’t feel qualified to talk about. It’s absolutely none of my business and nobody else’s but his and his accusers. Unfortunately, on that level one’s personal life becomes a wide open book to be rummaged through by the public on a whim. That’s the downside of fame.

   I’m just focusing on his career. The success he had with The Jackson Five alone would be a big deal, but that was only the beginning. His star steadily rose, and he took entertainment to heights that had never been seen on a worldwide level ever – including Elvis. He set the world standard.

   He rode the global wave of MTV, and pioneered the way music videos were done. Every other act to come along after Michael Jackson basically used his template of a lead dancer in front with a flock of dancers behind, but few came close to doing it as well as he did. He was the innovator.

   Elvis had his own greatness for his time, but he wasn’t a dancer or writer of songs. He was one of the most charismatic stage performers in history, and that alone is impressive. Michael took it to a whole other level at a different time, and his influence is still being felt today. What a talent.

   I’ve always been especially impressed with the ‘Thriller’ album. That came out the year after I graduated high school, so it’s been a part of my life for decades. I heard the songs played on the radio, and they were a part of my entire life experience just as the Beatles were for a generation before. I hear Beatles songs being played today, but I was never part of that intense culture blast.

   I watched Michael Jackson’s career soar, and it was quite impressive. During the ‘80s it wasn’t easy to turn on a TV or radio without seeing or hearing something about Michael Jackson. It was a true cultural phenomenon, and part of the fabric of life. How many ever reach that level? Him.

   I’m sorry his and Elvis’s lives ended so sadly and quickly. No mortal can sustain that lifestyle for long, but the question is if one could choose would it be the short fast life of a superstar or an ordinary one filled with mediocrity that lasted into old age? That’s a decision most never face.  

Every entertainer would LOVE to have a project like this on the resume - an all time classic.

Every entertainer would LOVE to have a project like this on the resume – an all time classic.


The Emotional Toilet

July 21, 2013

Friday July 19th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   An especially unpleasant part of being both a dented can and creative artist type is often a total lack of self esteem. People have told us for so long that we’re not worthy or up to snuff and it’s a constant struggle to keep fighting that rejection. Some days it feels like the bastards were correct.

   I’m feeling that way right about now, and it’s not fun. Looking over my entire life, it sure feels like I’ve wasted it and I wish I could either start over or move on. Where I am just isn’t cutting it as far as satisfaction goes, and I feel like I have completely missed the mark in life. I’ve blown it.

   There are some days when I feel like a bullet proof warrior, plowing through the battlefield that most people never put even the tip of one toe on. I’ve made it through countless battles and been able to miraculously survive to fight another day. I can’t think of anybody who has gone through all the front line blood soaked life combat I have on so many levels and hung in there like I have.

   I’m not patting myself on the back as much as admitting I’ve just been too stupid to quit. I’m at a point in my life now where I don’t feel any closer to my goals than when I started, and that’s an unmerciful kick in the gonads of my self esteem. What the hell have I done with all these years?

   I’ve tried to make something good happen, but a combination of bad breaks and poor decisions have taken me so far off any course I thought I was on I don’t know what to do. I sure could use a break right now, but I don’t see one on the horizon. It feels like I’ve just been fooling myself.

   There’s a person I know that has some power in the business and with one phone call could put me in front of some important people that could really change my life. For whatever reason, he is not doing it and it’s been a crushing blow. Very rarely do I ask for favors, but in this case I made an exception. It wouldn’t be anything other than a phone call or two, but it’s not happening at all.

   This makes no sense to me, but what in this insane jungle of a business ever does? I’ve had this particular person tell me I was “the best standup comedian I’ve ever seen”, yet there isn’t a bit of effort to put in a word with someone when I really need it. I can’t figure it out, and it really hurts.

   I do like this person personally, but on a business level I feel completely ignored. This is how it works in the entertainment business, and one of the reasons why I never should have entered into it. If I wanted ‘normal’ – and I did – this is the last place to ever find it. I feel emotionally raped.

   I think the majority of entertainers stumble into the business because they are severely lacking in an emotional area of their lives and hope to make up for it by becoming successful. It’s often the lack of approval or encouragement from a parental unit, and that story has been played out as long as entertainment has existed. The whole business is a giant game of kids needing attention.

   I’m not going to lie and say that’s not a major reason of why I got into it. I wanted to prove that all those incredibly cruel things my father said were wrong, but some days I still hear them and it completely erases anything positive I may have done. I’m sorry, but I’m human and I feel pain.

   Nobody cares about anyone else’s pain, as they are trying to numb their own. Comedy is often a welcome diversion to both those watching and those performing, but if the pain isn’t dealt with on a deeper level it never really goes totally away. Once in a while the emotional toilet clogs and it all backs up to create an ugly mess. What I could use is a plunger, but I don’t see one around.