I once “friend” a movie star who lived in Toronto. I sent her a message that I was coming to see Toronto and she posted on Facebook that she would like to show me the city and go together. I told her my dates but when I was ready to go and emailed her she never responded and was nowhere to be found.
Prior a “movie star” who I had many connections with gave me her personal email and said she wanted to keep in touch. I never asked her for it. But when I emailed her she never responded. Months later when she came back after reading how she was planning to have a baby with her boyfriend … she claimed “she missed me” . Two weeks later she was off Facebook again.
For awhile when someone would ask to be my friend on Facebook I would always say yes. I would say to myself that this is harmless and what’s the worse that could happen. Then one day “ Marcus Shelby’screenwriter “ and bodyguard of movie star 5 wanted to be friends and I said “yes”. At the time I had numerous “Hollywood “ Facebook friends. Then a woman who was also friends with Marcus “friend” me.
I watched with detached amusement that month as the saga unfolded. Marcus and this woman got involved and then engaged. But something seemed to be amiss. All these( six female) movie stars seemed to be speaking the praises of this “Marcus Shelby” and all these movie stars wanted to be friends with his “fiancé”. One star # 6 threatened to kill herself over their engagement because she couldn’t have him and another was willing to give up her career.
Then I noticed a conversation that was going on Facebook with a movie star # 5 and his fiancé. What made it curious was that the “movie star” was being interviewed live on Tv at the same time. Fearing that I was watching a Lifetime movie. I contacted his fiancé and told her of my hunch. I contacted him. Like a house of cards the foundation all came tumbling down. Not only was Marcus Shelby not his name but he didn’t have any movie coming out. He was a pizza delivery man who pretended to be the “6” movie stars that I was “friends with”. Within a day, like a bad Broadway play, the doors were locked, and they were all gone
Then a new year came and the curtain came up again and the play continued
This time it was the “B” Saga. Here was the story a 21 yr old who was married and had 2 kids who had a major accident last sept and almost died. He had all these “ movie stars “ by his bedside and was given last rites as he was taken off life support.
Then he wakes up and then goes through rehab and surgery for a torn ACL. But in that time (5 months) he gets a scholarship to Ohio State to play quarterback although he hasn’t played football in 3 yrs.
He carries in an affair with a movie star “1 “ all over Facebook and then leaves his wife and this “star” for a TV commercial star 2.
Then he announces On facebook may 11th that he is going to Kill himself….and presto the next day, he is gone and there is a RIP notice .
His Uncle the supposed screen writer who is now called “ mike ” also drops off and then comes back a week later as being engaged to a movie star 3 who had a baby prior with a NFL quarterback. After only knowing her for 1 week , he now lives with her . A week later they she announces she is no longer engaged to her “mans man”.
Movie star 1 announces 2 weeks later she’s seeing someone else and now likes women.
Tv commercial star 2 announces she is a lesbian
Meanwhile movie star 3 is distraught because they believe they said something which caused “B” to kill himself.
Movie star 4 is calling on the ghost of “B “ to help the Celtics defeat the Heat.
Movie star 5 is a now a fall down drunk in the morning who is now single and leaving her 3 kids although she has been married for quite awhile.
Movie star 6 awaits arrival of ‘mike” in London because he is finally available.
“B” sister dropped out of school to be a “underwear model . All this was played out on Facebook and multiple people invested ,days , weeks and empathy.
Then “mike” appears with a new best friend … world famous female Director 1. Like before she is to direct his new role and his “ex” may have a part. Famous director 1 has a famous daddy who is also a director. Lets call him director 2 who loves ‘MIKE”.
Now keep this in mind “Mike” hasn’t had a movie come out to market at all but he’s involved in directing casting and site selection. Everyone it appears wants to “be like mike “ or have mikes baby. All this was being played out on Facebook.
Meanwhile “Mike” continued to keep the lifetime movie alive with his ex as he keeps tabs on her pretending to be another. Promising like before to put her in a movie project.
In this age of omniconnectedness, words like “network,” “community” and even “friends” no longer mean what they used to. Networks don’t exist on LinkedIn. A community is not something that happens on a blog or on Twitter. And a friend is more than someone whose online status you check. A friend is an emotional bond, just like friendship is a human experience. What I’ve learned is that I’ve too often confused the weak bonds I have with people I know with the strong bonds I have with friends. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is.
A friend is someone with whom we share deep trust. The strong bond we have with a friend means that person will be there for us no matter what. The reason I made it through a few years ago was because someone was there for me at a time when I could offer nothing in return. The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when.
There is a difference between vulnerability and telling people everything about yourself. Vulnerability is a feeling. Telling everyone about yourself is just facts and details. The problem is the more we share about ourselves on Facebook, for example, the more we confuse all that information with having others “get to know us.”
Someone can look through our pictures, read our comments and opinions and start to think they know who we are, but they don’t. They only know what they see and read. Worse, the feeling they may have toward us is one-sided.
This phenomenon is called a parasocial relationship — a relationship in which one person knows much more about the other. This is what happens with celebrities. Because we can read about their public lives in the tabloids and hear about what they are doing on TMZ, we think we know them. But we don’t know anything about who they are. Everyone see’s what they appear to be but few feel what they are
In our modern world, however, we are all celebrities and we all live semipublic lives. Others can read about what we’re doing and who we know and what we like. They can start to form bonds with us, but those bonds are one-sided and they are not the basis for real, close friendship. The reality is those people are acquaintances — a term we rarely hear anymore.
But if you do climb that ladder in Hollywood, It wont take long to understand that a new kind of reality will be interested in you, even if you are with someone. Its the sort of reality who in the past had stirred insecurity. If you get to that world, it will be like a kid finding Batman’s belt in the lost and found. No point in giving it back until you’ve tried all your new powers. But you can forgot to ask, will you be able to stop once you’ve tasted these powers?
Superficially, the bar is set, based on the physical: some sort of exterior beauty, along with fame, sophistication, wild-child possibility, flirtation with the dark side.
As you climb the ladder, your social confidence explodes. You receive the sort of attention you never did when you were younger. It is addictive, and when you are in it, there seems to be no end in sight. The attention increases tenfold when you are dating a Hollywood Star or know one personally or pretend to be one . You become a star also.
But that life isn’t rooted in good practices; it’s more like, “flash your badge and they will come.” Your confidence is based on a pack mentality, strong in numbers. (5000 FB FANS) You can push aside the inconvenience of having to start a conversation — just by being in the V.I.P. section , the conversation is started for you. If you have a well-connected friend or an entourage to find you a companion, you might not need conversation at all.
Reducing a relationship to time, money and X is usually a bad way to start. Relationships can get crafted around their whims. The spiritual significance of an enduring commitment falls by the wayside, giving way to limits and rules defined by the ego.
Although it doesn’t have to be this way, relationships can become part of the world of ego and illusions.
I was reminded of this when I ran into an old Hollywood girlfriend in Calif
At the time she was the most beautiful woman I had ever see. A Hollywood actress who was constantly at the Playboy mansion. It was like Jessica Rabbit had come to life. I was determined to make her mine. She had told me she had “dated’ George Clooney and Bruce Willis but I was what she wanted and I showered her with gifts and trips. But nothing about her was real as I was to find out including her name. Years later she was still looking for ‘Mr GoodBar” …still looking for a man who would treat her like a princess and no longer a choice for movies roles.
When I asked her of all the men who had come into her life wasn’t there one?. She said she had been engaged 3 times but changed her mind. Now she sits in a bar in LA paying for yesterday, on Match.com with pictures from 10-15 yrs ago.
The thought now is if you were a up-and-coming actor or screenwriter, you would try to hook up only with A-List female celebrities. It’s like buying $50 million of free advertising.
There are lots of people who tell me they are my friend. They seem to act like friends, but they aren’t really friends. I don’t, and probably won’t ever, share that kind of deep, strong relationship with them.
I have one business relationship who, when he introduces me to people, introduces me as “my close friend, Every time he does so, it makes me uneasy, because we’re not close friends. I’m not sure we’re even friends. Another professional relationship, almost from the day we met, would tell me, “this is the start of a long and close friendship.” He acted like a friend too. He would send me e-mails to say hi, call to chat, and he’d want to hang out when we were in the same city. But when we couldn’t agree on the terms of a formal business relationship, all of a sudden my “new close friend” stopped calling, stopped e-mailing and no longer wanted to spend time with me.
As my life becomes even more public, I meet lots of people and I form genuine friendships with some, but most are just acquaintances or professional relationships. The problem is that there are lots of people who think they know me. They think they are my friends. Yet friendship is too quixotic to be formed by a decision. It’s a feeling more like love. You can’t decide to be friends with someone. You can’t request it. It just happens.
Facebook is good at connecting people with common interests. We can easily form weak bonds with people online. And those relationships are good and have real value, but strong bonds, trust and deep friendships require physical interaction — and lots of it. I no more believed Rachel McAdams or Anne Hathaway were my friends than I believe I am going to be POPE. I have never met them nor do I expect I will. But unfortunately a lot of people do and that’s what can be painful for a-lot who do live their lives through Hollywood.
But the lesson I learned this week is more of a reminder. I have too often confused the weak bonds I have with people. I know with the strong bonds I have with people who are my friends. When I run the names of the people I call “good friends” through this new filter, I realize that I don’t have as many good friends as I thought. And that’s not a bad thing, because the ones I do have I value even more.
My family member who is a casting agent for the past 30 yrs told me something that still resonates today.
” Everyone wants to ride the limo with you when times are good. But what you want is the friend who will hop on the bus with you and drive when the bus breaks down. Then you will know who your real friends are.” In Hollywood she said ‘Until that happens you will never know who is your real friend or who is real. That’s why I don’t envy those who have 1000 friends . I envy those those who have 1-3 good friends because that’s what everyone in this town really wants”
That applies everywhere so “Get busy living or get busy dying”