What I learned from Bea Arthur…

I was literally shocked when I learned about Bea Arthur’s death.  I’ve watched “The Golden Girls” so much that I had forgotten that she had actually gotten much older than what I was use to seeing on t.v. “The Golden Girls” has always and will always be my favorite show for so many reasons.  I loved that show so much that I wrote a paper on its cultural impact in college.  My best friend, Mel and I, would have contest to see who knew the most episodes (we always tied).

I think what inspired me about “The Golden Girls” is that the show showed how much fun life could when wisdom catches up with you.  In this society, especially in entertainment, 30 is considered middle aged.  So much so, that parents often start grooming their children for Hollywood shortly after they give birth to them.  And if you are singer, you had better realize that’s what you want to do by the time you are 10, because you will spend at least 10 years trying to break into the industry.  I always find it funny when I read about a new artist, that’s like 19 years old, and they say that they have been in the “industry” for a decade by that point.  Don’t get me wrong, I admire and honor people who realize their dreams early (as did I) and go after them 150%.

What I don’t admire however, are those people who realize their dreams a little later in life (whatever that means) because they actually had a chance to live, but get the doors slammed in their face because they are considered too “old.”  For actors that’s about 35, for singers, probably 26 on average.  It’s a sad song.  Because many of the riches stories and songs come from artist who have actually lived and experienced life.

My father made a good point the other night, he said that entertainment is based on “new.”  Something “new” has to keep coming out because America has Attention Deficit Disorder.  New musicians don’t have the time to really nurture their craft and find their voice because if they sign a major record deal, they have the pressure of having to go gold or platinum. And if they don’t, well, we don’t hear about them again because they are now old and unproven.

There are exceptions, many actually that I have seen.  “The Golden Girls” being one of them.  Who would have thought that a show about women in their fifties and sixties would be a hit? And their was never a dull moment amongst those women because they LIVED and that may their characters so much more interesting.  And the real women behind the characters were even more fascinating because they all had been in the business so long that they had comedic & dramatic timing, improvisation, beats and everything else specific to a performer down to perfection.  Those characters were convincing because the women had experience in life and plenty of context to pull from.  How nice it would be if Hollywood could get that wine truly gets better with age.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Article Dispatch added an interesting post on What I learned from Bea Arthur…Here’s a small excerpt30 is considered middle aged.  So much so, that parents often start grooming their children for Hollywood shortly after they give birth to… […]

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