Actually I am so surprised. And very disappointed.
When I hear all these horror stories about how this performer has changed so completely by exhibiting megalomaniac behavior on the movie set, I ask myself if this were possible at all.
You only hear stories like these about actors who you know from the very start are half-wits. And that is only because there is not much brain inside their skulls that air can easily seep in ... either through the nostrils or even the ears. Plagued by apparent lack of intelligence, it somewhat follows that actors or actresses of the sort tend to see themselves as semi-deities sent here on earth to bless mere mortals with their awesome beauty and even their not-so-apparent talent.
But not this performer. Not someone who you know is smart enough to discern what is right from what is wrong.
Not the intelligent and educated. Not those who you have appreciated not only because of their talent but also their professionalism. And what you thought was passion. More so, the ability to be reasonable and to reason out things in a crazy world like entertainment.
You are somewhat rattled, baffled and even floored when you hear stories about how egomaniac actors treat people on the set.
You shudder when you find out what they demand from the production --- or even the shabby way they treat the minions who scamper around the air-conditioned tents where they stand by during shootings or tapings making sure all their needs are identified and addressed immediately.
You freak out when someone gives you an account of how they demand their own tents, not wanting to share this with other performers. Your eyes pop out when you hear how they want people cordoned off their periphery because they suddenly "want to be left alone", demand their own portable toilets which they refuse to share with others --- including fellow actors.
Or the way they move around the set with their noses pointed to the constellations Castor and Pollux ---either because they are suffering from stiff neck or due to an usual pull of gravity on the back of their heads.
You would think that they would have at least the heart and the conscience to realize that a production assistant doesn't even earn as much as the withholding tax taken out from a leading performer's talent fee. You would think that since they also came from the ranks that they would understand and care, that they know how it feels to work one's way to the top.
Apparently not. Success can be intoxicating. And who was that who said that success does not change an individual: it shows the real person.
Perhaps even more disheartening is the realization that you never knew these people at all. The years you have supposedly known each other suddenly seem so meaningless because what you hear from others. they seem to be talking about a total and complete stranger.
How could this be the same person you have sat across tables discussing, laughing or even sharing insights into life that go beyond discussions of issues of the business or even the twists and turns of careers?
You mean all this time, this artist was capable of such exhibitions of not only vanity but of downright inhumanity tempered only the fact that the performer was not yet empowered with what turned out to be a sense of entitlement to make these impossible demands from others?
Oh, come on. Give me a break.
Well, people change.
That is inevitable. People change because they must change. Those who refuse to change become extinct. Change is for survival ... inasmuch as change becomes inevitable. But what pathway of change one takes is a matter of one's choice.
That also involves far more than intelligence or talent: change requires a lot of maturity. This is most especially true if and when fame and fortune are concerned for these are such dangerous monsters.
Success in the form of fame and fortune can be dangerous to a person with inferior intelligence. It is worse when accompanied by determined immaturity. But it is worst when the megalomaniac is really smart --- and is aware of that he or she can get away with being an asshole because the others around him or her have no choice but to comply.
Success is the best weapon for the vengeful. This is the stuff telenovelas are often made of --- and this is the life script of some movie and television actors and actresses who overestimate their value in their present human existence. They turn into shit bags.
Weather-weather lang, they say.
Yes, fame and fortune are not only sought after but there are many who would sell their bodies and soul to have a taste of fame and to be known for their fortune. In the local entertainment industry, stories about wannabes trying all too desperately to be "some bodies" yield heartbreaking stories.
That is only because success in the entertainment industry is so overrated and that media perpetuates itself through delusional myths and legends. Media has brainwashed young people that the only way to salvation, the quickest route to Nirvana is to make it big as a star. And you thrive to be a star at all costs. And when you get to the top, you can be anyone you want to be ... and people have no choice but to take you for who you are.
Star ka, di ba?
The climb is easy for some ... but a tedious process for others.
There are those who achieve their much-desired fame and fortune because they are made to believe that the angels in the heavens above have connived with God to bless them with sheer luck. But easy come, easy go. The millions that flow into the wallets, pouches and bank accounts also flow out as fast especially if the performers are not wise enough to realize something that their producers will never tell them to their faces: It isn't going to last forever.
No producer will ever tell their stars that one day they will all wake up and all this will be gone. All this will be over.
There is always someone newer, fresher and cheaper waiting in line for a star's expiration date to finally come.
And considering that we are now living in a world where stars are not naturally discovered, developed and adored, the age of pre-fabricated stardom yields such short-term success --- lasting about three years. If someone is lucky, they can hit five. Maybe ten. Anything beyond that, prepare yourself for father/mother roles. Brace yourself for the even longer and more painful trip downhill.
So in the meantime, while basking on the pinnacle of success, the divas make you feel every millisecond, every available erg of what constitutes as their clout. Maybe it is payback time: maybe it is all about the years of struggling to get to the top that pushes these actors to finally flex their muscles, pose impossible demands and act like they own the world --- just to show everyone that they now occupy center stage, own the spotlight and couldn't give a hoot about anybody else sharing their oxygen.
The irony is that the real big stars never behaved that way. Certainly not the Vilma Santoses or the Sharon Cunetas or the Maricel Sorianos. If ever they want something, they make sure they bring it with them together with their entourage who answers their needs. They pose no unnecessary or unreasonable demands to the production. And, yes, these ladies treat their co-workers well which is why regardless of the the passage of years, they are respected and loved.
There are real stars --- and there are passing trends.
Not these flash-in-the pan divas. The peak of their popularity usually have the life span of a mayfly. And they don't even know it because they are so preoccupied counting their blessings thinking that the Universe owes it to them.
Enjoy the moment. It won't last long. That much we are assured.