It's bizarre to realize that I'm a serious person.
Sorry that isn't especially sexy. But the other day I saw a casting call for hosts for a webseries that said the person they're looking for has to be "fun/dumb/charismatic/etc enough for them to want to follow" and it upset me. I'm horrified by how anti-intellectual that is, that you have to be dumb for someone to follow you.
And the thing is, I know we're better than that as a society. There is so much smart media out there (The Golden Age of Television! We're in it! There's SO MUCH smart TV out there today!) that OF COURSE we like smart people and intellectual things!
But for whatever reason, especially at the most entry levels of careers in the entertainment industry, there seems to be a prevailing idea that we have to appeal to the lowest common denominators. I've written about actors on social media and how we seem to make a lot of the same posts as each other because we don't know what else to do, but I've realized that the other thing I don't like about it is how we all revert easily back to the phrase "I had so much fun on set." As if having had fun is the most noteworthy part of our experience? I so rarely see actors talk about how the work they put into the story they're telling, the connections they made with their castmates and how that influenced their craft, or what they're trying to say about the human condition. It's always just about how much fun they had on set next to a selfie of them.
Don't get me wrong, selfies are great, and I would never say that we shouldn't have fun on set. Selfies are the single best way to take control of your image and how you present yourself, and if you're not having fun, you can't feel safe enough to be emotionally vulnerable on camera or on stage. This is not me being all
Really. I promise. You know me. I'm all about dick jokes and bad puns.
But can't there be some middle ground in between having fun and having something serious to say about the world?
Because I really don't like this revelation that, since I am not and will not be dumb, I'm not a person "they" want to follow. I don't like being a serious person. I just like to think about serious things sometimes, and I don't think those have to be mutually inclusive concepts.