Service of Celebrity
May 23rd, 2011
Categories: Awards, Celebrations, Celebrity, Charity, Consistency, Manners
I don’t rub shoulders with celebrities very often but you’d have to be living on a different planet if you didn’t read or hear of shenanigans and bad behavior from that quarter. Some believe their press and think that they are above others and act like spoiled brats. It doesn’t matter that they play, direct or write about humanitarians or that they publicly espouse charitable causes or support and speak out compassionately to save the less fortunate. I never met Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward or Alan Alda but get the feeling that they were/are exceptions.
I met two other exceptions last week at The Christophers’ 62nd Awards ceremony. The King’s Speech was a winner in the feature film category and just happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time.
Academy Award winners Tom Hooper, the director, and David Seidler, the writer, accepted the award. Neither was surrounded by battalions of handlers. I didn’t see any. Seidler was there toward the beginning of the cocktail reception prior to the ceremony and although deep in conversation with another guest, he happily and cheerfully joined several group photos when we asked him to.
And both men stayed for the entire ceremony. I have attended and produced countless events where the “very important” dash out the second their bit is over. With some exceptions [such as when a Mayor must attend a funeral or other unexpected emergency], this conduct for an event they’ve known about usually for months reminds me of the restaurant scenes in vintage films where a businessman or celebrity wannabe tips the maitre d’ to bring the telephone over to their table in the middle of a meal to show how in demand they are.
In fact, none of the 2011 Christophers winners slipped out. Hooper and Seidler were only two of the many writers, producers, directors and illustrators in the publishing, film, TV and cable industries whose work The Christophers recognized this–and every-year. The winners are selected because what they create “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” I think that the film works as well as it does because the writer and director are talented, sensitive and genuinely good souls. Incidentally, The Christophers’ programs are guided by the ancient Chinese proverb, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
Do you know of or have you observed celebrities, the real or the hopeful, who act in ways that enhance their images rather than detract from them?