Editor’s Note: There are so many misconceptions about making it big in Hollywood. Admittedly, most creative writers who choose to write about it do seem to recognize that it’s not all glitz and glam. Even so, the misconceptions are so widespread that it only seems right to address them.
That’s why this “5 Myths About Making It Big in Hollywood” blog post exists – to keep creative writers from perpetuating harmful notions that being famous is fulfilling. It’s not. And too many lives have been destroyed so far believing differently.
Written by Anonymous to protect the innocent and not-so innocent, here are the facts in full spotlight... but free from all the tinsel this town has to offer.
Myth #1 About Making It Big in Hollywood – Your self-esteem automatically shoots up.
Imagine that you’re in the spotlight 24-7. Everyone knows your name. Everyone wants to know everything about you.
If that sounds great, think again. Being a household name means constantly being judged, whether positively or negatively. Sometimes you’re praised as being the most beautiful, intelligent, poised, funny, handsome, charitable, well-dressed person ever. But sometimes you’re not.
And you’re always aware of that latter possibility, which is a great way to drive self-esteem down and paranoia levels way, way up.
Myth #2 About Making It Big in Hollywood – You’re instantly surrounded by the nicest, coolest, most open-minded people.
Hollywood is filled with every kind of bigotry possible, which is the very opposite of nice and cool. There’s sexism against women (Harvey Weinstein, etc., anyone?), racism against ethnic minorities (seriously… how many film stars can you name who aren’t white?), ageism against women (once you’re 30, good luck getting anything but a mom movie role), etc., etc.
This group loves to promote itself as being the epitome of compassion and caring. Don’t buy it for a second though.
Myth #3 About Making It Big in Hollywood – You can hire people to guard you and keep you safe.
You can, but sometimes those very guards are going to turn around and abuse you. It’s happened before, particularly with children stars. Besides, one or even two bodyguards isn’t much protection against a whole mob of paparazzi chasing you down to snap thousand-dollar photos.
You’re meat, and they’re very determined predators.
Besides, even if that wasn’t true, there are plenty of other ways to stalk a person into levels of utter paranoia without ever getting close.
Myth #4 About Making It Big in Hollywood – You’re automatically set for life.
Hollywood encourages a whole lot of really dangerous habits. Forget the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll scene, though that definitely happens too. To keep it totally PG, just consider their lavish lifestyles.
Living in Hollywood-appropriate areas is expensive. The housing. The insurance. The taxes… Then add in the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality, which has people dropping a couple hundred thousand on a car, $580 on a wallet, $575 on a single pair of shoes and $975 on a pair of jeans.
That kind of excessive splurging in the present typically isn’t the best way to plan for a comfy future.
Myth #5 About Making It Big in Hollywood – It’s worth it.
It’s not. There’s a reason why so many stars and starlets spend the money they do on the unhealthy lifestyles they do. It’s because they’re not fulfilled and they’re desperate to be fulfilled.
There’s also a reason why so many of them contemplate self-harm… or follow through on those tragic thoughts. It’s because they’ve given up on trying to be fulfilled and it hurts too much to be that hopeless.
Hollywood, I’m sure, can be navigated safely somehow, someway. But if so, that set of directions is either extremely difficult or not very well-known. Or both.
Either way, making it big in Hollywood is a great way to ruin your life. Sadly, that’s no myth. It's just the sad, cold truth.