Feb.28 / 2014

Matt ponders public life and the pressure of fame

Last week I took a moment to posit on the idea of the downside to a hit song (I recently saw the word posit in the sides for an audition and am now trying to own in). This week the overwhelming vibe of our talk time on M3 Countdown is the downside to public life, anchored by Serena Ryder and Alec Baldwin. While I admit to be smirking at the irony of his announcement to leave public life by way of a 5,000-word cover article in New York Magazine, I totally connect with the sentiment of what he is saying, and I quote: “I haven’t changed, public life has.”

People make their own beds. Alec Baldwin is a grown-ass man and if he has used homophobic slurs, which he says he hasn’t, then he has to live with the ignorance and shame of that sort of blindness. That aside; let’s get back to the idea that public life has changed. I don’t buy the “if you’re famous you sign up for everything that comes with it”, and I say that as someone who is not remotely famous. I get recognized from time to time but that’s it, I have never dealt with the loss of anonymity. I say this as someone who doesn’t agree with that statement. I believe if you make bad choices you have to deal with that, in the public eye or not. Things like Twitter and TMZ style reporting, and how popular WE HAVE MADE THEM, is the issue. We chase this garbage. People make good money to piss Alec Baldwin off and then capture it on camera. People make good money to sell gossip. I’ll l take it one step further and say it has KILLED the long format interview because everyone is afraid of a hatchet job with their words being turned into an out of context headline that trends worldwide. Alex Baldwin is right when he says public life has changed. Tabloid media, our foolish quest for gossip and this pedestal that WE have put so called ‘celebrities’ on has gotten WAY out of control. The way it has informed how we think we are supposed to look and act makes me sad. What side of the red carpet you stand on shouldn’t really matter but for some reason in pop culture it’s all that seems to matter. I hate that divide. I daydream about the script I’m writing getting bought at Sundance and then in turns into a nightmare of me being asked to promote it on a red carpet. WHAT DO I DO?!!! Alec Baldwin, if he can make this stick, is the winner. He’s got me all fired up and I discuss this in “News of the Week.”

My favorite part of interviewing people is exploring this other side to pop culture; the other side to what we have been made to think is awesome in famous land; the struggle between art for the sake of art and then what happens when it turns into show business. Serena Ryder struggled with that and she tells me how it contributed to her battle with depression, but while we don’t know how things will play out for Alec Baldwin, Serena Ryder found the light through the darkness and fought her way out with music. It’s a really great conversation only slightly bettered by her two acoustic performances. She really does have the best voice.


Tune in to M3 Countdown this Saturday, March 1 at 6E/3P right here on M3.

Watch Serena Ryder’s Stompa here and be sure to watch her appear on M3 Countdown this Saturday!


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