Since I came to Champs Charter High School I’ve met artists, actors and entrepreneurs of all things Hollywood and Hollywood-like, if I dare use that as an adjective to describe the Sundance Festival feel of my dear friend, Champs. Why do these 21st century kids have these disillusions of grandeur that fame and fortune is the light that guides the tunnel? The pop culture of today’s society begs us to march off into the sunset where we too can find our pot of gold waiting for us at the end of the rainbow. They fill our heads with the constitution of stardom, never settling for a life of normality because everyone is unique. Everyone is special in his or her own special way.
What happened to the white picket fence? What happened to the wife and kids? What happened to my ordinary but sometimes obnoxious next-door neighbors? Did it all fly out the window when Madonna kissed Britney at the VMAs? Did regularity cease to exist when Charlie Sheen and his Goddesses ripped through 4 kilos in 2 days? Did my house on the prairie burn down when MJ, Winehouse and Cory Monteith all left us to early do to the same struggle that seems to hit every Hollywood hick?
Art schools across America are taking the Public Education System by storm. But what does it mean to be a triple threat or to pose any threat for that matter. Does it mean throwing up in a back alley trashcan before a big Acapella performance?
Or starving yourself on water and salad so that you can fit into that size 0 dress so that you can strut on Project Runaway next to Tyra Banks.
We put this celebrity lifestyle up on a pedestal but what’s really waiting for us around the dark alley corners of our Beverly Hills mansions and our Malibu Beach Houses. It’s an atmosphere of narcotics, narcissism and an assassination of moral character. But if we just put things in perspective, maybe the aspiring youth of today can survive the concrete jungle of LA’s elite.
In a recent poll taken by the Champion Publication 80% of Champs students said desire to be famous some day. Is this a phenomenon that only exists within Art Schools or can we chalk this up to childhood dreams.
Before I came to Champs I went to another school for my freshmen and sophomore years. At my old school Grant, students had similar aspirations of fame and fortune. But rather than envisioning themselves walking the red carpet, their future goals of celebrity status involved touch downs and singing deals with Rock-A-Fella Records.
At a school like Champs it’s rare that you’re to find any young Slim Shady or Michael Jordan prodigies walking around. To put it truthfully if you’re
An athlete you’ve probably come to the wrong place. The same way aspiring lawyers flock to Yale schools like Yale and Stanford, aspiring actors come to schools like LACHSA and Champs. It’s the way of the future. High Schools are becoming more like Universities. High Schools have become a place where you can perfect your craft and study your major.
In the age of information the world doesn’t seem like such a small place anymore. You have hundreds of options available to you. So do your homework. Read up on what career paths your interested in and then spend the next 4 years of your High School career honing in on your talents. In another Champs poll students overwhelmingly voted no a proposition to eliminate the core classes.
The current curriculum mandates certain courses such as English, Math, Science and History. But shockingly enough, when given the choice to eliminate these classes from their schedule so that they could focus primarily on their artistic major, the vote came in at 70-30. With 70% voting to keep the core curriculum classes and 30% voting to eliminate them.
I see this as proof that in the technology era where parents tell us were living in the Me Me Me Generation; it’s simply not true. Students want to be well rounded and no matter how much their love for their artistic passion drives them to persevere, they still feel the need to keep their options open for other fields of occupation if the art doesn’t come to fruition. They wouldn’t simply sacrifice the other knowledge, even if they don’t think it’s the knowledge that they’ll be using in their future career.
I began this article by questioning why anyone would want to follow in the footsteps of any of the coked out rock stars and psychologically damaged child stars that came before us. But maybe were not like our predecessors. Maybe the over obsessed teen lusting for their own entourage doesn’t actually exist.
Not every Miley Cyrus tweak and Lindsey Lohan DUI has to necessarily represent our entire generation. Maybe all this hyped up fame-crazed narcissism is all just some perpetuated stereotype created by our elder predecessors.
I mean its true just look back into a little bit of American History. The World War 2 Generation probably thought their Hippy kids were self-preserving narcissists as well and those hipsters didn’t have Instagram to capture Woodstock on their Iphone5S.
I’m not here to tell you that all roads of your Hollywood dreams lead down a path of corruption. We all sell out at some point or another. Moral ambiguity is our constant struggle and truthfully we all lose that battle eventually. But never forget where you came from. I can’t tell you its always going to be about the art because regretfully, it’s called the entertainment industry for a reason. Don’t let it be all about the fame and fortune. But if that future is waiting for you out there then hell yeah, seize the day, Carpe Diem.
Walk the path of entertainment and let art take a back seat for a while. But when you’re next To the next Tom Hanks making money like Oprah, do an independent film every once in awhile. Leave the big screen for a lot do a bit to do a play. Find a script you can freely fall in love with and don’t always let it be about the box office sales because box office sales don’t make you happy.