How to Be Famous in Your Own Mind

As usual, we look at change past and present. Here’s a current change you may have missed:

Ann Rutherford: ‘Gone with the Wind’ actress dies at 94

“Who?” you say?

Ann Rutherford, one of the last surviving cast members of “Gone with the Wind,” died (June 11) at her Beverly Hills home, reports the Los Angeles Times.

“Now which one was she?” you still ask.

Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister, Carreen, in the 1939 film. MGM head Louis B. Mayer called it “a nothing part” and intended to say no to the role, according to the La Times. But then Rutherford asked him to reconsider, bursting into tears, and Mayer relented. “I just wanted to watch the book come to life,” she had said later.

Don’t you imagine all of her life she was identified as “being in ‘Gone with the Wind?”

  • “This is my granny, she was in the movies.”
  • One grocery stock-boy elbows another and whispers, “She used to be a big deal. Knows Clark Kent. Whoever he is.”
  • “I’m Ms. Rutherford’s hair stylist. She was Scarlett’s little sister.”

As a writer, I get to read/critique others’ memoirs and, without fail, I find that everyone thinks their own life is wildly exciting. Others read it and think…Not so much.

I think this is a good thing…to be entertained by your own life. So it began a discussion among friends. What piece of your life could be made into a movie?

Mine would be a canoe trip down a wild river, floating past gun-toting canoes. (Sorry, no details…wait for the movie.) That would be the movie, but the scenes I’d like to watch over and over again are family shorts: my child’s birth, my last day with my mom, the marital tornado of setting up a tent in a rainstorm-(a comedy of epic proportions).

Funny how it’s those Not So Much moments that create most of our memories.

Change?  Well this discussion has inspired me to keep my cell phone charged in case I actually have any exciting moments. Then I can record them and prove it.  Or as Ann Rutherford would probably tell me:  “Fame is fleeting. Live for today because Scarlett gets everything!”

Got any events in your life that would make a movie?

Advertisements

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Humor, Life, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to How to Be Famous in Your Own Mind

  1. JSD says:

    Unfortunately, I think my life would make a very boring movie…but that’s okay with me. However, boring as it would be, it has taken a wonderful turn towards the end: I’ve reconnected with the love of my life. Woo-hoo!

    Like

  2. I love movies, Barb. So your idea really appeals to me. It would have to be the slice of life – where you edit out the boring parts (as Roxie noted about Alfred Hitchcock, one of my favorite movie directors). My choice: In each phase, something wonderful, touching – and, sometimes, heartbreaking – has happened. My preference would be one with my girls growing up. Many laugh out loud moments.

    Like

  3. xtremeenglish says:

    Good ideal! (that’s how we used to say it in Fargo)….Actually, I wrote a memoir for my masters thesis. Gave it a snappy title, and bob’s your uncle! I dedicated it to the faculty who worked with me on it, and they’re all too embarrassed to say anything now.

    Like

  4. Arindam says:

    I always believe my life could be a movie. But to make it worth watching, I have to direct that movie, Because how could someone else realize why those moments of my life are important to me and visualize in his mind to make it look same on screen as reality. 🙂

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Some directors have the same challenge. I’ve come out of a movie scratching my head and wondering what I’d just seen. I’d say you’ve got a pretty tall goal. Good luck.

      Like

  5. mj monaghan says:

    Barb, that is a great question. My life has been pretty un-exciting. I’ve had a lot of great sports moments. Married for 25+ years. But you’re right, it’s really in the little moments, for sure.

    Like

  6. ansuyo says:

    I Have a few, but they would be comedies and tragedies, nothing exciting. It’s so true that the things we remember are not the stuff of memories, but the stuff of love and life. Great post! Angie

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Surely there’re a few movie short about embarassing moments. We’ve all had those. Oh! Maybe that’s the comedies. Hopefully, there are more of those than the dramas. It good to see you, again.

      Like

  7. Nisha says:

    Great post Barb!
    Yes, I think my movie moments would be when I lived in Scotland and joined a ghost-hunting group. We never caught anything exciting on film but it was still funtimes visiting haunted castles and ruins. Maybe the movie version will throw in some crazy mystery a la Scooby Doo-style. You know, for ‘dramatic effect’…:)

    Like

  8. Red says:

    Could I make the shorter list of what would not be screen play worthy? I am afraid my life would be the soap opera to outlive ATW. I will say, tho, I have no interest in writing memoirs.
    Red.
    xxx

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Heavens to Mergatroid. Do you dress like they do in As The World Turns? Isn’t that the one where everyone looks like they’ve just come from Nordstrom’s in order to mop the floor?

      Like

      • Red says:

        When I get up in the morning, I dress and put on heels and makeup…does that count?
        Red.
        Oh, and the shortest pair of heels I own is 4.5 inches, but the ones I adore are over 6. *grins*

        Like

  9. Silva Gang says:

    I believe there are already movies made about parts of my life, particularly from my twenties. You may have heard of them: they are called “Dumb and Dumber” and “Clueless.” 😉

    Like

  10. I saw George Jefferson (from The Jeffersons) died today. My friend’s son was like: “Who was that?” We’ll, maybe he finally moved on up and got his piece of the pie. As far as my life goes, I have to tell you. I’ve had some adventures. One magical summer when I lived in an apricot tent with a man I loved. I could watch that movie over and over again. But it doesn’t end well. Great question! So nice to meet you and see some familiar names here! Thanks for visiting my place today! 😉

    Like

  11. Depends what kind of movie, Barb! One of those gentle merchant ivory numbers, maybe…you made me think of Diary Of A Nobody: a whole book of little import which would never make a Hollywood film. But it is a classic, and I would hate to have missed reading it.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I think a lot of the good stuff in life wouldn’t make it into any movies. I’ll have to check out Diary of a Nobody. I call mine: Diary of the Weird.

      Like

  12. pegoleg says:

    At least Scarlett didn’t steal her future-husband like she did Suellen’s.

    My life would be the short before the movie with the animated hot dog hopping into a bun.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I about spit out my lemondade at the thought of that hotdog. What a hoot. Our theaters here have gone all techy on us. Now we’re on a giant roller coaster ride with explosive popcorn sound waves knocking us out of our seats.

      Like

  13. Rose L says:

    Any events in my life that would make a movie???? Well…it depends on the kind of movie. The last several years could be a tragedy. But end has yet to be written. My youth up to age 16 could be a memoir of a family with comedy and touching moments. My first dating moments…well, that is a comedy! Those who have read about it in older blog post would definitely agree. The first 11 years of my marriage was a romantic comedy, wonderfully funny and touching. Then the years when my son was young and before he turned 15 were such a loving story. His teen years-lots of melodrama and tears. I think most everyone has many “types” of movies in their lives.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Yes, Rose, and that’s why it’s so interesting to look back from where we came to where we are. It may be a journey that everyone has to make, but the roads we travel are our journeys. We all have voyeur in us, I think. We like to peek into others’ lives…how else can we explain soap operas?

      Like

  14. I think we all have lives filled with memorable moments, but it’s up to us to recognize and appreciate them. Now, whether OTHER people find those same moments movie or memoir-worthy is another story. But if ya think about it, we’re each the star of our own lives, and we have control over the script and how we play our role. As for my own life, it’s been pretty doggone entertaining. (But I’m easily amused.)

    Like

    • Barb says:

      This would make a great title for a book: Doggone Entertaining, But Easily Amused.
      We could write this by Frankensteining the most interesting part of blogger’s lives. People aren’t shy about publishing the most embarassing events. Or better yet, we could pick up some really juicy fodder over on Facebook.

      Like

  15. I agree with “it’s all in the editing” My entire life could be several movies.

    By the way, Carol’s comment–I live in Lisbon. Stephen King went to Lisbon High. His latest book is based on this town. How’s that for movie excitement?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      And just how do you know that, honey bunny? Are you a spy on Carol or Stephen King? Is the spy-thing part of your movie life? And now that I’ve revealed it to my 4 readers, you’ll have to kill me? I’ve seen you with your killer baton.

      Like

  16. Ever since my alien abduction my memoirs have taken on a new vibrancy. I think the part where I meet Elvis would make a good movie.

    Like

  17. dorannrule says:

    I think my life has been very exciting, but did you say everybody thinks that? What part could be in a movie? Why am I drawing a blank? Maybe a silent movie with fast action like the Keystone Cops. Fascinating post Barb…. thought provoking.

    Like

  18. Al says:

    Nothing has ever happened to me that anyone would pay money to see.

    Will we get a blog on the tent in the storm someday?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Well, Al. I hadn’t thought about that. You must enjoy marital harmony where two bonded partners stand in the rain, hurling insults at each other, but can’t really hear the insults because the thunder and lightning is ruckusing them out. Yeah, you’re right, that would make a memorable movie and good blog post.

      Like

  19. Pat Lichen says:

    I’ve got a few dramatic scenes from my work with Greenpeace years ago. But I remain convinced the only person who’d actually read my memoir would be my mother (and she’d probably skim!). Good point, Barb, it is those family shorts that mean everything to us, although to the rest of the world? Meh, not so much.

    Like

  20. momaescriva says:

    Alfred Hitchcock was right as Roxie pointed out. The day I was one hand close to shaking Bobby Kennedy’s hand at a rally. Littlle did I know that I’d regret jutting out my paw a little farther to greet him.

    Like

  21. Alice Lynn says:

    That’s a tall order when you’ve lived as long as I have. (Today I feel like Methuselah’s wife coming out of a deep sleep.) I’ve often thought that I’ve lived a series of lives over this time span, encountering karmic debts and rewards from a deep past. Some lovely, some heartbreaking. No movies for me.

    Like

  22. In “right brain mode” each and every adventure could be a movie. Most recently, my visit last weekend to the Moxie Festival in Lisbon Falls, Maine with links to Lisbon High Schools most famous alumni (you’ll have to see the movie)!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Tell me it was a high school reunion. Those are so memorable. Of course we remember them a lot more fondly than we lived them. We’ll be looking for you streaking through the reunion on the You Tube videos. You go, girl.

      Like

  23. El Guapo says:

    There are parts of all our lives that would be wonderful movies.
    We often don’t realize it, because movies strip out all the details of everyday life – daily commute, bathroom breaks, mundane periods…

    gun toting canoes???
    And great to see you again!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks for dropping by Guapsterola. Yes, I watched Bruce Willis save the whole country and kill a helicopter and never once did he have to take a leak. Man! That guy IS tough.

      Like

  24. Elyse says:

    My life is more situation comedy than feature film. But this story about trying to train my dog while living in Franco-phone Switzerland would make a terrific Monty Python skit or movie: http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2011/10/25/merde-101/

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Hilarious story. Thanks for sharing. Isn’t it interesting how easy it is to learn the curse words in another language. It’s way easier than learning to ask for the toilet or “where does this train go?” (which leads to the movie moments of our lives.)

      Like

      • Elyse says:

        Since I have GI troubles, learning “toilet” is always a priority. For everything else I point and grunt. And it works quite well.

        Like

        • Barb says:

          Pointing and grunting would work for toilet, too, I’d think. Knees knocked together, pained expression is kind of an international symbol…I hope.

          Like

  25. Roxie Matthews says:

    As Alfred Hitchcock said, “It’s all in the editing.” A trip to the grocery store could be terrifying, hilarious, heartbreaking or life enhancing, depending on the details you focus on. Embrace your details, and life will never be boring.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      What do you think I’m doing when I drive to the store, Roxie? I AM focusing on details. Tailgating the woman who’s driving at a snail’s pace in front of me, I have to concentrate not marrying her bumper and of course, I’m wordsmithing some very interesting dialogue.

      Like

  26. You made me think,Barb. I know some other lives that would make good movies. I’m still working on mine.

    Like

Tell Me All About It.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s