Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sad Times

When I was in high school, I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to star in children's films. Now this was when I was a size 6 - so already I was too big for the silver screen. Plus- I was not really photogenic.But I remember everyone always saying that stars have it easy - shopping, big bucks for role-playing, and parties. I'm not much of a shopper. Never understood spending $100 on a tshirt and I'm not a party person in the Hollywood sense.

In college I studied children's theatre and every once in awhile we were called on to do weird things. Once I was an accident victim in a plane crash for the Airport Fire Department to practice their techniques. I didn't want to eat donuts or chicken wings for a long time after that -and I won't bore you with the details right now. Another time, 1994, Mali Finn needed several of us to help with auditions for a movie. We didn't qualify - I was the wrong age and the wrong sex. They were looking for a boy. None of the boys from our area were picked, but we heard the incredible story of how a DARE Police Officer accidentally helped Mali discover this boy who had had a real hard life. I think at age 10 he had already had some struggles with the influences around him. I remember talking about how this kid is getting a big break and maybe a chance to make it in the world.

I'm sad to hear that it was not true, and maybe I am glad that I never was the right person for Hollywood. The kid's name was Brad Renfroe, and today I learned he died at the tender age of 25. He had problems with drugs, alcohol and wasted the opportunity he was given. It's a shame because this kid had the opportunity to star with people like Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones, won 4 awards with only 4 nominations and yet trouble followed him around no matter what.

When students research a career and think that acting is the way to go and escape reality- they need to look at how it did not really change the life of this young man. They need to pick a career to study because they want to do the real work and not just reap the benefits.

Brad, I hope you finally find peace.

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