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Get back in that box, you!

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Get back in that box, you!

Postby mockingbird » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:04 am

This probably doesn't merit its very own thread but I didn't know where to put it, so here we are. That's actually kind of fitting, given the subject matter, which you will find out about soon if I ever get on with it.

Anyway! A while ago I asked a really kind of silly question, about whether other countries are less preoccupied with defining people according to their jobs or their roles in society. NZ just seems to me to have a much more open attitude towards creative expression, and they are less concerned with defining people as "actors" or "musicians" or "artists" or whatever. There seems to be a fluidity to the arts scene, with everyone dabbling in each other's projects and crossing over from one medium to another without anyone batting an eye. Here in the US, it seems to me that it's an exception when that happens, that people seem almost suspicious of someone who is creatively well rounded. People seem to want to be able to categorize their artists and they don't appreciate it when you make that difficult for them, lol. I wonder if that carries over into society at large, if maybe Americans (I'm picking on us because it's what I know, lol) are just more prone to an urge to pigeonhole people than maybe other countries are.

So, the reason I bring all this up again is because today I was in the library reading Rolling Stone and I came across an interview with Brandon Flowers from The Killers. The interviewer asked him if he has been offered any movie roles. He says:

I have to say, I get annoyed with people that leapfrog around like that. It's like taking advantage of a situation that you've been given. If I were an actor, I'd be peed if I saw a musician trying to act. And if you're an actor, you have no business making an album, no matter how good you sound when you sing in the shower.


I guess it's safe to say Brandon Flowers is not a fan of FOTC, lol. Crazy, huh? Like, why in the world shouldn't you make an album, if you're musically talented and you want to? Just because you acted in a film? That's it, you're done, this is your only creative outlet FOREVER, you're doomed! :lol: It's just such a weird outlook but I feel validated in a way because I think deep down a lot of people feel this way. Is it because people are jealous of the opportunities successful artists have? Does it seem self-indulgent? I'm sure in some cases it is, but it doesn't HAVE to be and I'd even say, often it isn't. And why would someone be peed because a creative person decided to explore another medium?

Sorry to go on and on but this is a really interesting phenomenon to me. I guess the only thing we can really take from all this is that Brandon Flowers has some issues, lol.
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby vmh » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:35 am

Obviously, Brandon Flowers has never listened to Eddie Murphy's Boogie In Your Butt. It's a classic. I think if he listened to it, he would think differently. Definitely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxh4YvV2MCM
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby mockingbird » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:54 am

Oh good lord, vmh, HOW could I EVER have forgotten about that song? :rolls: I think I just laughed harder at it now than I did when I was 11, lol.

See, Brandon Flowers? If everyone ascribed to your one-dimensional definition of creativity, the world would not have songs such as "Boogie In Your Butt". So there. Put that interview, in your butt. :lol:
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby VaiVedrai » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:21 am

I've heard the "boxes" a lot, too. I want to study theatre as well as music and some other related fields, but I often hear from people to "choose just one thing and stick with it". My only issue with field-hopping is whether or not the people are good at the other things as well. If they're honestly lousy, then I'd be a bit irked, but it's their choice after all, and I can choose not to see/hear what else they're doing.

And on a related note, the blogger Doe Deere wrote an article here on the two career concepts offered to people: "Linear" or "Mosaic".
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby Bad Atom » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:17 am

I wonder what people would think of me then... let's see, I'm a cartoonist, writer, director, filmmaker and musician. I won a state acting award for a play that I also composed the music for. I wrote two movie scripts just for the hell of it. I wrote and performed a rap song. I designed and programmed two friggin' video games pretty much on a whim. Oh, and that's when I'm not working my full-time job. Sorry, I don't fit in a box.

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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby Maze » Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:37 pm

:nice: I love all thought-provoking questions & happy to comply with some thoughts!

mockingbird wrote: NZ just seems to me to have a much more open attitude towards creative expression, and they are less concerned with defining people as "actors" or "musicians" or "artists" or whatever. There seems to be a fluidity to the arts scene, with everyone dabbling in each other's projects and crossing over from one medium to another without anyone batting an eye. Here in the US, it seems to me that it's an exception when that happens, that people seem almost suspicious of someone who is creatively well rounded. People seem to want to be able to categorize their artists and they don't appreciate it when you make that difficult for them, lol. I wonder if that carries over into society at large, if maybe Americans (I'm picking on us because it's what I know, lol) are just more prone to an urge to pigeonhole people than maybe other countries are.


I'm thinking it's not so much an American affliction but a universal one to want to pigeonhole. Look at the whole Susan Boyle phenomenon. Recall how the judges' jaws dropped upon hearing her angelic voice after having instantly written her off in their heads as some dowdy matron. (Though I wonder how genuine the judges' responses were...don't they get a preview before competitors take to the stage?) First impressions often stick - if you don't give folks the benefit of a second look or listen.

One of today's saddest "you must fit in this box or else" stories is the whole Semanya affair. No doubt she's been exploited by the handlers but come on, she was born that way. I hope she gets the support that she needs, and not just by folks looking out for her financial future and theirs. There's no easy answers to that one...

Ultimately, I think the need to stereotype, the desire to oppress others has a bit to do with ignorance, insecurity, jealousy, and laziness. Laziness because it's easier to maintain the status quo, then to challenge popular thinking, or our own biases or feelings of inadequacy. Nobody's exempt from such human feeling, I think, but self-awareness and learning to live & let live is a start.

When you look at the backgrounds of comedians, if we are to focus soley on them for a minute, there are a range of backgrounds - law students, actors, doctors, mathematicians, etc...People are way too complex to be told that once you've found your vocation, stick to it & only to it. The days of company men/women are long gone...most folks change careers & jobs a handful of times in their lifetime. Not sure what the big deal or shock is to someone like Brandon Flowers.

Sad that artists are sometimes their own worst enemy. But people change and they grow up, so I wouldn't be shocked to hear him accepting an offer for Glitter 2 one of these days. He needs to get over himself already. :lol:

That's my 2 cents for now. Let's keep the thoughts coming, folks!
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby SheWolf » Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm

mockingbird wrote:why in the world shouldn't you make an album, if you're musically talented and you want to? Just because you acted in a film?
No idea. Brandon's quote is bizarre. Sounds like he's got a chip on his shoulder.

I don't think that pigenoholing is uniquely American.

As for the NZ scene I think we are mostly dealing with a Wellington scene no? A smallish place with an incestuous creative scene. It reminds me of the early 90s when I spent a great deal of time in the UK with musicians, artists & the like and the whole scene was very DIY. It was a smallish indie scene of creative people doing whatever creative job struck their fancy. A somewhat similar thing existed in NYC. It was kind of a more innocent time.

As for Jemaine being so multi tasking in the past I believe he said that there simply wasn't enough work in any one field to sustain yourself so you took what came your way. It seems very casual and kind of explains why FOTC just kind of went along for the ride for awhile, availing themselves of whatever opportunity arose just to see where it went.
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby songbird » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:25 pm

SheWolf wrote:
As for Jemaine being so multi tasking in the past I believe he said that there simply wasn't enough work in any one field to sustain yourself so you took what came your way. It seems very casual and kind of explains why FOTC just kind of went along for the ride for awhile, availing themselves of whatever opportunity arose just to see where it went.


I've read that before somewhere as well. Quite frankly, getting angry about field hopping is a waste of energy. If people happen to have talent in more than one area, why shouldn't they be able to use that to their advantage? It would be silly to have to repress one talent just because you'll be judged if you have talent in more than one field. And another point: I'm a singer and a dancer, and there is a field that accomodates both those two things plus acting: musical theatre! So if people can't combine areas of talent because it'll annoy people like Brandon Flowers, then why the heck isn't musical theatre such a controversial thing?! Oh, I know...maybe because Brandon Flowers is talking NONSENSE.

Sorry, I appear to have gone off on a tangent... :worry:
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby SheWolf » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:39 pm

songbird wrote:
SheWolf wrote:Oh, I know...maybe because Brandon Flowers is talking NONSENSE.
It wouldn't be the first time. I don't think he's worth getting riled up about.
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby mockingbird » Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:41 am

ii
SheWolf wrote:
songbird wrote:Oh, I know...maybe because Brandon Flowers is talking NONSENSE.
It wouldn't be the first time. I don't think he's worth getting riled up about.

It's true. I was just surprised to hear him say it out loud, lol.

Linear and mosaic are good ways of putting it, Vai. This made me giggle though:
Doe Deere wrote:As I go along exploring fashion, beauty, blogging and many things in between, I seek to create a bulletproof resume of kaleidoscopic intensity.


Hee hee! I wonder what exactly is in between fashion, beauty, and blogging. :hrm:

The weird thing is that it seems like if you become TOO successful, people get angry at you. Like you're suddenly taking more than your fair share of something - money, maybe, or attention? So it seems to be part of the same thing - if you express multiple talents, you're showing off, I guess.
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby mockingbird » Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:49 am

So I meant to add, in light of the above, Bad Atom, you need to cool it over there with all your multi-talented nonsense. :stick: :chick:
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby Bad Atom » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:17 am

mockingbird wrote:So I meant to add, in light of the above, Bad Atom, you need to cool it over there with all your multi-talented nonsense. :stick: :chick:


Either that or move to Wellington. :)
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby Peaches » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:42 am

mockingbird wrote:The weird thing is that it seems like if you become TOO successful, people get angry at you. Like you're suddenly taking more than your fair share of something - money, maybe, or attention? So it seems to be part of the same thing - if you express multiple talents, you're showing off, I guess.


That's a very Australian thing to say :) Tall poppy syndrome methinks.

I just think people get annoyed when actors or models try to sing etc, simply because they have the money to do so. (Paris Hilton, Scarlett Johansson et al).
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby LauraK » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:03 pm

mock, when I heard that title I thought "How'd I miss that song??" Until I clicked the link, lol! OMG, how did I ever forget that?! "Put a little tiny man...in your butt...put an old tin can...in your butt." :lol:

How about this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDbpzjbX ... re=related
That was pretty catchy and we liked it..... :oops: :lol:

We do seem to be more accepting of comedians in the US branching out rather than an actor/actress who also decides to record some music. It's looked at disdainfully it seems if they try it and yet when a comedian makes the cross-over from standup to actor and/or musician, it's looked at like "Wow, look how talented _______ is!" Like maybe Will Ferrell.....or Justin Timberlake to name just a couple.
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Re: Get back in that box, you!

Postby SheWolf » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:05 pm

Zoe Dechanel's music career seems to be accepted too.

I like to be surprised by seeing people do different things. I was so happy to see Jon Hamm being hilarious on SNL. Who'd have thought that Don Draper had an ounce of funny in him? But see, I was confusing the character with the actor.
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