Friday, January 29, 2010

Film Flash Friday: Extras Series Finale

I absolutely love the idea of Extras. A satire on so many fronts: the film industry, actors, fame...the list could go on and on. I laugh, which is somewhat ironic, because often I find myself laughing at myself. In the Extras Series Finale, I found myself not laughing at all. I cried or frowned because I actually found there to be more truth than bitting humor. And it is much easier for me to laugh at hints of truth than at bare faced truths. Almost anything can be funny, but when the laughter fades and you find yourself living the reality laughter takes a while to build up to.

The Extras Series Finale did something I believe is the mark of a truly great made me reevaluate myself and the industry which can be more than just cold, it can be downright devastating. Acting is a careers in which you are selling more than just talent, or ability. You are selling yourself. Your teeth, your skin, your hair, your lips, your body are all on the market. Which can be why each rejection can resonate even deeper than "you're just not right for the part." It can often be hard to decipher which part of you was wrong for the part. My talent, my ability (things that we, arguably, have more of an opportunity to improve upon) or my look (a thing much harder to "improve upon").

Acting is a super competitive job, and some argue that it just comes with the territory. Every time I hear that I think of the Lily Tomlin quote, "The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."

The ending of Extras was somewhat hopeful. The rat decides to exit the race. But it seemed to beg the question, is it possible to change the game without the game changing you? Is it possible to stay true to your values and be successful? Does adhearing to your own compass of right and wrong mean having to create a your own path, or are there already pathways already there for you to follow? Is it possible to make a living doing what you love? And if what you love begins to morph, to shape shift into something unrecognizable should you still try and hold onto it?

I really enjoyed the Extras series finale, and I am extremely happy that such a statement exists. It encourages me to reflect, reanalyze, and most importantly to question (even if I don't have any of the answers).

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