I love all thought-provoking questions & happy to comply with some thoughts!
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.
That's my 2 cents for now. Let's keep the thoughts coming, folks!