Rewarding bad behaviour

Teaching the wrong life lessons

This is going to sound like a stab at Lindsay, and it’s not meant to be, because I really still hope the girl can turn her life around. However, I just don’t see how that’s going to happen when people keep rewarding her for bad behaviour.

Fresh off her court appearance, and being sentenced to 90 days of “locked-in” rehab, there’s news she’s flying out to Brazil to earn 6 figures for a few appearances. There’s also speculation she’s going to Australia for a similar sum of cash. Now – power to the girl that she can still make money, and hopefully she’s actually using some of it to pay her bills. We keep hearing there’s a lot of them.

However, at the same time, I think we’re just teaching Lindsay that the more she fucks up, the more money she can make. They’re keeping her in the headlines, and keeping her front page news. She’s never going to start looking after herself if she can still make money, jail time and all.

It’s not just Lindsay either. The US has a bad habit of rewarding bad behaviour. Look at Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian. Both made sex tapes and were rewarded with reality shows. People on shows like Celebrity Apprentice know that bad behaviour equals better ratings. There’s shows like Celebrity Rehab and The Surreal Life for stars that have gone bad.

Even worse though, is that if a celebrity tries to do good, they’re banished. Corey Feldman tried to speak out about the abuse he and Haim suffered, and he was immediately tossed into the oblivion bin. Turn to God and you’re put in the crazy basket. Decide to actually stop drinking, and you’re declared boring and you’ll die a slow “whatever happened to that person” death….

It’s OK to donate money to charity, or do a couple of events, as long as it’s all red carpet glamour. But if you actually decide to get serious and devote a good chunk of your life to a cause, prepare yourself to be thrown out of the working circle. There’s no faster kiss of death than being considered an activist.

I wish we would reward people for thinking about something other than themselves. Those who donate time and money, or who put their personal reputations on the line for a cause shouldn’t become Persona Non Grata. Instead, those who continually flout laws, hurt others, or who act as if no matter what they do, they’ll still have money to pay their bills, (but don’t) should stop being rewarded.

I’m worried about what we’re teaching the next generation.

Make yourself famous at any cost. Stay famous, no matter what it takes. Don’t worry about breaking laws – you’ll never actually do time, and you’ll still be raking in the big bucks.

Take a personal stand, try to do right by some other people, and be told you’ll never work in the industry again….


Crazy kids….

Beliebers and Directioners, what’s wrong with them?

Male singers and boy bands have always had legions of screaming fans. New Kids on the Block, Westlife, Boys to Men, even way back in the age of The Beatles and Elvis, girls were crying hysterically and fainting at the sight of their chosen singing Idol. Girls packed airports, hoping to catch a glimpse of their crush as they landed for a tour. They saved for weeks to buy tickets to see them in concert. Groupies devised ways to get a little closer to their chosen tasty treat. There’s all kinds of movies depicting what went on behind the scenes of bands that catered to the  18-30 crowd.

But I wonder if women were always this psycho and bitchy about bands, or if we’re only just now seeing it because of social media. Did our mothers threaten to kill another girl because Elvis smiled at her. Did we tell a girl to kill herself because Marky Mark said hi to her at a party?

It seems like every week there’s an article about Beliebers or Directions mass hounding someone because they went on a date, said hi to, or unbelievably, because they were retweeted… Yes, Beliebers are threatening death because a girl got retweeted and she wasn’t a previous fan.

Seriously girls, get a grip. I hate to break it to you, but no matter how much you think you’re in love with a singer, he’s probably never, ever going to go out with you. Even if you were to meet, the first time they see you flip out and go all cavewoman on another chick he’s talking to, he’s not going to just ditch you, there’s going to be some serious restraining orders against you.

Now, in some cases, singers do go out with regular girls. The Hanson brothers all married groupies, I mean, girls they met at concerts. Maybe boys these days are better, but it wasn’t long ago that singers would be married, but still be tapping everything they could on the road. Do you really want to be with a guy who isn’t faithful? I don’t care how famous someone is, if they’re not keeping it in their pants, it ain’t worth it. There’s way too many gross things out there that don’t wash off…

Then there’s the question of how are these kids on social media and issuing death threats without getting a serious whipping from their parents? Shouldn’t parents be monitoring their social media use? How are girls on Facebook and Twitter and just going all kinds of crazy? Parents need to be monitoring their children’s social media use. They need to explain to their daughters that it’s not OK to tell another girl to kill herself, or threaten to kill her because she was seen with a singer.

Parents should also be monitoring their kids social media for other reasons. There are just as many psycho cyber stalkers targeting these young girls as there are young girls targeting other young girls. While the girls are going crazy, there are devious men out there who will use social media to try to groom girls online. There are people who will hound a celebrity, hoping to get a message back, then make it look like they know a celebrity. The young girls will be naive enough to talk to the pervert, thinking there’s some connection there. In some cases, girls are kidnapped because they believe the creep and will agree to meet somewhere, thinking it will lead to meeting the celebrity.

Girls, if you have been contacted online by some perv pretending to be friends with a celebrity, it’s not real. Tell your parents. Tell the police. Remember you’re not the only one being targeted. The pedo is going to be trying to contact lots of girls, hoping one will fall for his bullshit. I hear of girls who don’t want to tell their parents when they’ve been contacted by someone online who turns out to be scamming them, because they’re worried about losing rights to social media. But I need you to tell people if this happens to you. You need to know you’re not the only one targeted, and someone else may not be as smart as you and find out before they get hurt. I know you’re fighting over trying to get to the boy, but you will feel terrible if another girl really is raped and killed because she believed a boy online could get her to a celebrity. Never believe someone who contacts you online pretending to be able to hook you up. If someone online engages in inappropriate conversation with you, take a screenshot of it, and show it to your parents. Parents, observe your kids online behaviour and make sure they’re not being targeted by internet predators.

Be nice to each other, and be safe online.


Can bad celebs be good again?

Can Lindsay ever be A list again?

Remember when Lindsay Lohan was the IT girl? Everyone thought she was the next big thing? She would have a long career, win awards and just have an all around awesome life?

Then, like most former child stars, she had a meltdown, and everyone turned on her. It’s not just Lindsay. Britney Spears, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Christina Aguilera, Drew Barrymore, Danny Bonaduce, Brad Renfro, Macauley Culkin, anyone from Diff’rent Strokes…. They all got built up, and then went through what all teenagers go through. They get rebellious. They experiment. They break the rules. But unlike normal teenagers, they’ve got a pack of paparazzi following them, documenting all of it. Which really, would only serve to make them even crazier.

Some of the lucky ones, like Drew Barrymore, made it out the other side. But that was before social media. People like Britney had her meltdown shown in real time, all over the world. No matter where someone goes now, there’s someone who can upload whatever they’re doing instantly, it can go viral within 24 hours, and even people in deepest darkest Africa can know what celeb just hit up a Starbucks on Hollywood Blvd.

With social media, blogging, FB, Twitter, the world has also gotten a lot more viscous. People are downright mean. A lot of people also seem like they’re hoping to see the stars fall.  Everybody fucks up. If someone was following you around constantly, documenting everything you said or did, we’d see that even you fuck up occasionally. I’m not perfect. I’ve said stupid things. I’ve done dumb things. I’ve said mean things about other people. But, I’m trying really hard to be a better person and be more empathetic. I’m trying to put myself in another persons shoes before I judge them.

I can’t imagine being Lindsay. Or any Hollywood celebrity these days. How does one try to fix it when they’ve got a bunch of people just waiting for them to fall again? How do you seek help, when you’ve got a problem, but you don’t want it splashed everywhere? How do you improve yourself, without looking like a tool? If someone enters rehab to take some me time, get it together, they’re blasted by the media as having a problem. How do you go to a retreat, heal yourself, without worrying that someone else there isn’t going to blab to TMZ about what you were doing there.

Right now, Lindsay is in so much debt, she’s got so many legal problems, it’s hard for her to work. But she HAS to work to pay off that debt. So her idiot parents make money off her any way they can, even if it means making her look bad. She doesn’t want to do reality TV, because she wants to be a respected actress. Nobody respects her as an actress anymore, because she is so stressed out that when she does work, she’s not great.

How can she take time off and heal herself, without people forgetting about her altogether. Hollywood is a fickle place. Disappear for too long, and people forget about you. People want to hire those that are in the media. If being followed by the paparazzi keeps you in the media, then some celebs are willing to make sure they’re getting their pic taken. It’s such a double edged sword.

You’ve got the problem with most kid actors that acting is all they know. They’ve lived a life of privilege. They go out and people know who they are. They’re used to having money. People say they should just disappear for a while. But where are they supposed to go? What are they supposed to do? They’ve got bills to pay like the rest of us. They can’t just sit at home and watch TV all day. They can’t just go get a job somewhere. Can you imagine if Lindsay decided to get a real job? What would she do? Party planner? Real Estate agent? Flipping burgers? So, she takes jobs where she can. Like Charlie is going to give her an episode on Anger Management. Of course, that episode will time nicely with Scary Movie 5. So it’s good for both of them. She can go on trips to Australia, and get paid to make appearances. – I wish I could get that gig! She gets offers to do shows like Dancing with the Stars, but turns it down. I really wish she would accept one of these offers. Sure, turn down reality stuff like Celebrity Rehab. However, DWTS could be good for someone like Lindsay. She’d get work. She could pay her bills. We’d get to see a different side of her. We’d get to see her doing something that doesn’t involve a court appearance. We’d get to know a little bit more of Lindsay each week. She’d get back into shape and could do more of her magazine shoots, paying more bills. Celebreality doesn’t always mean you’re washed up. Lots of people have used it to re-ignite a career after taking a break. Celebrities need sabbaticals too. At least singers can get a gig as a judge on one of the multitude of singing shows. They get paid huge amounts of money, it re-ignites their careers, helps sell albums, plus, we get to know them a little more. Britney stint as a judge helped her tremendously. Unfortunately, actors don’t get the same kind of opportunities to play judge, or even host.

I’ll be super interested to see how Lilo’s Aussie trip goes. I wish I was there so I could meet her. I’d take her to lunch, sit her down, and tell her that it’s all going to be OK. Even with all the shit going on, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is a way for her to come out of this on top.

There’s a lot of child stars who went off the rails for a while, and made it out. Not all of them are famous anymore. Just because they’re not acting anymore doesn’t mean they’re losers either. Many have chosen to live regular lives, and are much happier for it. Then there’s Drew Barrymore. She went through hell, and now she’s a successful actress, producer, has a cosmetics line and is happily married with a kid.

I just hope that the public, and Hollywood is willing to help Lindsay become the next Barrymore.

And Lindsay, if you ever do need a break for a week or two from the craziness, I’ve got a ranch in Texas with a bunch of POSTED signs on it. You’re welcome to come anytime.


Star Privilege

The rise and fall of “Star Power”

With all that’s been happening in the last couple of months in Australia, it’s been hard hiding my past from people, and it’s kinda funny when people I’ve known for a while find out I used to be an actress. I explain I was a kid on a TV show, and they’re like, ok, and think it was a bit part or something. Then a couple days later, I can tell they’ve done a little Googling… The reaction I get so often is, “but you’re so normal”. It’s kinda sad that people just expect all former child stars to be either in rehab or total prima donnas.

For all the bad shit that happened, I’m still pretty happy for the way I was raised. I’m not on probation like Lindsay Lohan, making porn like Judy Winslow or dead like Dana Plato.

I never really did all the things famous kids do now. It wasn’t a non stop party of red carpets and after parties. I didn’t jet off to other countries for festivals. I wasn’t photographed a million times looking super glamorous. A quick google images search actually shows very little. Most images of me are unflattering screen grabs from my ACA interview, or cast photos. As much fun as it would have been, I never did any glamorous cover shoots for a glossy mag. I think I dreamt of doing a Dolly cover, but it never happened. I only attended 2 Logies awards. I remember being so jealous of the Neighbours kids because they lived in Melbourne and they got to go. I needed a chaperone & they didn’t want to pay for a second ticket. The last 2 years I went, I took our publicist one year & our make-up artist the last year. I took Megan our MUA because I loved her, (and she was willing to go) but then everyone just expected my room to become their private make up room and thought she was there for them, which sucked for her. I didn’t take her so she’d have to work.

There was some important lessons I learnt back then, hanging out with the crew. They’d talk about “soapie syndrome” which is when some new starlet gets a job on something like H&A and because they’re young and pretty, and they get famous quick, they become total divas. They think they’re going to be famous forever. Then, they’d leave, looking for bigger and better things, and when they didn’t get anything, they’d be crushed. Their world came crashing down. It was pretty sad to witness. Some picked themselves up and learnt an important lesson in humility, others, not so much.

There was a sign in the wardrobe room with a picture of a bucket. Underneath it said, Put your arm in a bucket of water, then pull it out. Watch how quickly the hole is filled. That’s how quickly you can be replaced.

Such a harsh statement, but also so true in the land of TV. Fuck up, and there’s another pretty young thing just waiting to take your place. There are days when I wish I had done some beautiful photo shoots, or been to more glamorous red carpets, but I was so young, I really wouldn’t have appreciated them for what they were. Or they’d be so normal that nothing civilian could ever satisfy me. I’m actually pretty glad I was raised to be just one of the production crew. It made transitioning into regular jobs so much easier.

Here’s the other thing people just don’t get. I don’t want to be an actor anymore. I have no desire to play make believe for a living. Just because I was an actor as a kid, doesn’t mean I want to be one when I grow up. Read any article from me as a kid, I always wanted to be something else when I grew up. Being a child actor was something that was chosen for me. I was too young to make that decision, like many other child stars. However, most people stay in acting because they don’t know how to do anything else. They were so busy working, they didn’t finish school. Or, they tried civilian life, and it was either too dull after the glamour of TV, or they had people who weren’t accepting of them. It’s hard to transition to regular life. I loved working in restaurants. I didn’t do it because that’s what every out of work actor does. I really enjoyed working with food. But you’d always get people making comments. I’ll never forget the bitch, who trying to impress her date, said “don’t most people go from waiting tables to acting, and you’ve gone the other way”…. Yes, I realize I’m not living up to your expectations, I was however being a good citizen and paying my bills.

Just like your parents may have put you into ballet lessons or football, it doesn’t mean that’s what you want to do forever. Just cause you worked at Maccas when you were 14, doesn’t mean you want to climb that ladder and be CEO of the chain. Just because I did some modeling and acting as a kid doesn’t mean I dream of winning an Oscar when I grow up.

Like most of those soapy stars who have been humbled by hitting the bottom, I would do things differently if I was given a second dose of celebrity. I’d use it for good, not evil. Have you noticed the ones who appreciate what they have are always trying to use it for other things, like charity? I was doing some promo modeling over here, and one of my products to flog was the Justin Beiber perfume. While its seems derigeur now to have a fragrance if you’re a celeb, I loved that unlike the others adding to their vast empire, all the proceeds from Someday were going to be given to charity. I love it when actors use their voice to be Ambassadors for a good cause. Look at Angelina Jolie or George Clooney. Yes, their lives are fabulous, but at least they’re trying to give back. When was the last time you saw Jennifer Aniston do anything for someone?

I’d love to create my own perfume, and give the money to a good cause. I’m not famous anymore, but I’m glad I can still use what I did in the past to try to do good now. I’d love to be one of those people who used to be famous but is now an activist or professional philanthropist. Don’t make fun of people doing charity shows like Celebrity Apprentice. It’s not always about a career bump. Some people really see it as a great way to promote their charity, and help do their bit to raise some money and awareness. If all they wanted was another 15 minute extension, they’d do celebrity rehab or have a public meltdown.

One day I’d still like to make Going Down. Yes, it’s TV related, but I don’t want to be on screen. Im just too cheap to hire someone for in front of the camera for now. I’d like to produce a scuba series that could focus on the world around us and the water that covers 70% of our planet. There’s so many awesome scuba charities, like the Wounded Warriors. People save what they love. If you can introduce the oceans wonders to people, maybe they too will learn to love it and try to save it. I still believe some programs are great for TV and for humanity. And seriously, who wouldn’t want to make a living getting to travel and meet awesome people? Samantha Brown & Anthony Bourdain have the second best jobs in the world. Their producers have better ones. Same travel, same people, but when they feel like going stealth, they can go out and eat dinner and nobody bothers them. They also don’t have to worry about what they look like in a swimsuit…

Of course, when all this is over, I’m going to see if I can do some glamorous victorious magazine cover. Every girl dreams of getting to dress up in haute couture and being fussed over by stylists and then being photoshopped to perfection. I’m no different. I’m just glad it’s a dream of the future and not a memory of the past.


Celeb for a Day – WTF???

Are you kidding me?

After yesterday’s post on Mary Kate talking about her childhood and seeing all the comments from people dissing celebs who don’t always appreciate the attention, I was amazed to find how many photographers are now latching on to the fake paparazzi thing. Take for example, Celeb 4 a Day. This is an entire agency devoted to making ordinary people feel like celebrities for a day, by stalking them with paparazzi for an hour. Seriously. For $250, they’ll stalk you for 30 minutes, snapping pics and asking you about yourself. If you want to feel like a mega star, you can spend $1500 and have your own bodyguard and publicist and 6 paparazzi who’ll follow you for 2 hours.

For $1500, Matt and I could spend a week in Mexico in a beautiful resort. Airfare included. Seriously, what kind of attention starved individual would pay $1500 for 2 hours to feel like a celeb? What’s worse, is that for 2 hours, it might be a lot of fun. Then said individual will try to work out how to be in the spotlight more. (Yes, I’m talking about you Kim Kardashian) Then, years later, when they are an actual celeb, they’ll start to hate the same paparazzi, the ones who they no longer have pay for, but who continue to stalk them.

A quick Google search shows that even regular photo studios are offering paparazzi packages. You just give them your regular schedule, and they’ll be hiding behind tress, waiting to take real life shots of you. Now, I’m a fan of candid shots, I like real life action shots much better than posed photos. However, calling it a paparazzi package and catering to people’s need to be famous just seems kinda sick.

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. Those who live as ordinary citizens wish for the perceived glamour and lifestyle that stars get. Celebs wish they could just blend in and go get some Starbucks without being stalked. I guess since I grew up on TV, cameras were just part of growing up. I always longed to be an ordinary person. I’d hate to be a celebrity these days. Maybe the 2 hour package is long enough for people to realize it’s not that great. My Woman’s Day photo shoot was fun at first. It had been a while since I got to play dress up, and it’s always nice to have someone else do your hair and make-up. Matt didn’t realize just how long a photo shoot lasts and holding a smile for more than an hour is tiring! We both went home exhausted. I was very happy to go back to being a nobody again after that day. Well, until I had to fly to Oz and then hide out while there… After that, Matt said he had never seen me so happy to get back to San Antonio.

It’s a pity the Celeb 4 a day people aren’t in San Antonio. I’m a good photographer and it could be fun to be on the other side of the camera for a change….