Sunday, June 6, 2010

Made Me Want To Poke The Other Eye Out...

I missed most of the Bafta award ceremony tonight. I'm glad to hear that Rebecca Front and Peter Capaldi won for their parts in The Thick Of It, along with the series itself as "Best Situation Comedy"; disappointed to hear that Britain's Got Talent won over Newswipe with Charlie Brooker though. And I'd have liked to see Steward Lee's Comedy Vehicle win the "Best Comedy Programme" category.

However, I tuned in just in time to hear Shiela Hancock say that "..the budgets are getting lower and lower and people are having to work harder. But somehow everbody always delivers. As an example of that, let's have a look at the nominees for best actor".

I wouldn't have a problem if that last sentence ended "..let's have a look at the nominees for best cameraman" or " runner". I'm sure people in those roles are working harder than ever, much like many others in this recession hit country. But actors??? Are they really working that much harder than they ever had too? Especially the ones that appeared in the nominations list - established actors who can, no doubt, pick and choose what work they undertake. I doubt it.

Even if they did have to work more to earn the same kind of money, it's hardly a situation of having to make ends meet. The truth is that many actors, comedians, singers, artists etc. live in a different world to the vast majority of people. A world that knows nothing of the stresses and strains that an understaffed office or building site worker has to deal with, or a small businessman facing bankruptcy unless he can do more for less feels. 

Then there's the idea that smaller budgets might affect the quality of an actors performance. What possible difference could being paid less to act out a role have on your "delivery" anyway? If John Hurt was only paid 75% of his normal fee for acting in An Englishman In New York, would it result in him "delivering" 25% less campness in his portrayal of Quentin Crisp, thus rendering it unconvincing to the viewing public? Probably not.

I've no gripe with Sheila Hancock personally, I'm sure she's a wonderful person. But, this comment does illustrate, for me, the kind of out of touch view of the world that many in the entertainment industry have. And as a user of Twitter and follower of a few "celeb" types, it is this kind of Celeb world view that leads me to become irritated when I hear them spout off about politics. The issue for me is that these people are often in a position of being able to influence many fans, while at the same time being utterly unqualified to comment on issues affecting their fans lives, as they reside outside the rarefied world of luvvies, comedy clubs, groupies, art houses or television studios.

You may be thinking that celebrities have a right to their opinion the same as anyone else. Of course they do, and I'm not suggestion they should be censored from expressing them. Not all Celebs are ignorant of real life politics and it would be wrong to dismiss them all out of hand. But, I do wish we'd all take a little less notice of what celebrities think and a little more notice of what our paid politicians are saying and, more importantly, doing. Perhaps, if that had been the case over the past 13 years, we woudn't be in the mess we are now.

1 comment:

  1. The budgets are getting "lower".. I'd like to see the stat.s on that one! Perhaps she's trying to express an affinity to us mortals?!