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The Art of War for Hollywood

Dishonor Killing

 

By Bruce Edwin

In Hollywood, there is generally always someone out there trying to destroy you. Whether it is an actor that tries to ruin your chance of getting the part you both want, an agent or director that ripped you off, or simply the raging lunatic– the anonymous stalker online, slandering and lying about you. In Hollywood, if you expect to survive and thrive for any length of time, you can be sure that eventually, you will most likely encounter an enemy.

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While most people out there in the world ‘are’ basically good, in Hollywood, it may be fair to say that the ‘most’ in that statement is at least a little bit ‘less’ by some percent. Like America, Hollywood is a melting pot of the world, where reportedly a hundred thousand or more people from all over the world travel to each year to try make it in, whatever they think that ‘it’ is.


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For most, that ‘it’ is the ever elusive ‘FAME AND FORTUNE.’ Most of them fail, running back home with their “tail between their legs” (as my acting coach friend likes to say), having failed miserably, and then the next wave gets off the bus. Fresh meat–as Hollywood calls them. After a few years, if the ‘fresh meat’ lasted that long, they have generally suffered a few battle scars, and are a little more wiser– if not totally jaded.

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So what do you do when you–that nice kid from Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, or wherever, gets your first taste of Tinseltown’s ugly side, and you get screwed over in one way or another? What do you do? Do you fight back? Go ballistic online? Sue? Knock their lights out? Or do you try to let it ride, try forgive, forget, and move on?

Turn the Other Cheek or Destroy?

This question is essentially a moral dilemma of sorts. Because if you are a good, happy, honest person that just so happened to be the victim of an evil jerk, you may feel your spirit polluted to some degree if you get down in the trenches and confront them. Do you fight back? Walk away and be quiet? Or what?

How we respond to bad treatment from people should depend on various things;

1, Did the person deliberately hurt you?
2, Have they done this to other people or to you before?
3, Do you think they will do it again?
4, Did they apologize?
5, Do you consider they are basically good or bad?

Avi Roth

6, Are they willing to communicate with you about it or are they hiding from you and
thus avoiding responsibility?
7, To what degree have they hurt you?
8, How quickly did you or can you recover from the hurt?
9, Is your philosophy one of forgiveness, or of revenge?
10, If you choose revenge, or what some prefer to consider ‘retribution’,
how, when, and where will the fighting stop? Or will it stop?!

These are some of the many serious questions we should ask ourselves if, or when someone does us wrong. It is one thing to get accidentally screwed over, but it is quite another to have someone do it on purpose. And, how we interpret and respond to the act of perceived wrongdoing can effect us for better or worse, for the rest of our lives.

As a result, it is imperative;

1, Do not overreact to perceived insults or even provably known actual insults or injuries.

2, Put things into perspective. Give your words and actions a self-imposed delay switch of at least 24 to 48 hours before you make a serious decision as to attack back. I will tell you from experience– while not the easiest in the short-term, forgiveness is usually the best option. If you go around trying to get ‘even’ with ‘every’ person you think did you wrong, you will most likely spend your whole life trying to get even, never catch up, and never have time for anything else–including any happiness in life. It is no fun being angry all the time and having many enemies. It may be fun and entertaining for a while, but it gets old–fast. And, for every action, there is a reaction. If you try to fight back against someone you think did you wrong, then you run the risk of them once again committing another abusive act against you, which could be worse than the first. It is no fun having to watch your back or be paranoid. Mainstream media attempts to induce this fear enough already.

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3, If you do have to fight back to defend yourself in some way, don’t let the fight consume you. Don’t become obsessed with your ‘enemy.’ In fact, don’t even give them the power of being ‘your’ enemy. Don’t honor them with such a lofty title. Many of our so-called enemies actually ‘seek’ to be our enemy, and are proud and most happy when they are. Sometimes, one of the most radical acts we can do is to forgive our enemies!

Sometimes, an enemy hits us so hard that it really hurts, and they will keep on doing damage if we don’t fight back. This is similar to the thug on the street that attacks someone and starts beating them up. One should run away fast–yes, but if they have the person in a choke-hold and are trying to choke them to death for example, then they better take some action to fight back, and fast–if they don’t want to end up badly hurt, or worse–dead. Sometimes, we need to fight back–and hard. This is never pleasant, but in Hollywood, where the competition is fierce, and psychotic jerks abound that will sometimes crawl out of the gutter and attack, sometimes it is necessary.

When you decide that you have fight back– if it is not a physical attack, try to set aside one hour or so on one specific day per week to handle it, until it is dealt with. The rest of the time during your life, give it no attention, and give them no thought. Do not allow an enemy to infect your mind and ruin your peace within your soul or your happiness. This is exactly what the spiritual or human enemy wants–they want to steal your peace and your happiness. Do not let them.

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Great men have fallen by small attacks from weak enemies, simply because they gave them too much power over their emotions. They let the enemy steal their peace, their joy, and thus, their success in life. Many great men have allowed the infection of hatred to poison their body to the point where their health suffers to such a degree, they end up dead. It is true, that stress, and anger can kill. It is a brutal, yet silent and covert enemy actually covered up within an enemies own attack! But like a silent bomb, stress and hate concerning an enemy can covertly kill if one lets it. Do NOT give an enemy that power over you! This is exactly what they want!

The enemy wants you stressed, upset, angry, and sick! Instead, rule your own mind, your heart, and your soul. Let your spirit be filled with love and happiness. Forgive as much as you can, give amnesty to all you can reason to, and put yourself in your enemy’s position. Be a man or woman of logic, of grace, and of peace.

If you believe in ‘God,’ you surely want God to be forgiving toward you. We are certainly not perfect human beings. If you don’t believe in God, or care about God’s forgiveness, then you at least want your friends and loved ones to forgive you when you accidentally do wrong. Right? Wouldn’t it be terrible if–every time we made a mistake or did wrong, everyone shunned us, and left us forever, or attacked us back and then left? That would be awful! And so, what harm is it to try to forgive a stranger, when we would at least try to extend the same courtesy to a loved one in order to keep them in our life, and we would like them to forgive us?

When we treat a stranger as an enemy by not forgiving them, we can not expect a stranger to forgive us the next time we harm them. Life is–whether you realize it or not, like a wheel of karma. When we treat someone wrong, they will want to treat us wrong. Or if they don’t, then someone else will–sooner or later. The golden rule of “Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated” is of vital importance. It is not only a wise moral decision, it is in fact, a key to success in life, and yes–to Hollywood.

The Art of War for Hollywood

The Art of War for Hollywood then, is not so much a war with others, but rather, it is a war within yourself. That is, it is a battle within your own mind and soul to rise above your ego, to your higher self. To forgive others as you yourself would like to be forgiven by God–if you will, or by your loved ones, or by strangers yourself when you harm another. War is never good, it is never a solution to strive for. An eye for an eye, as the saying goes, leaves everyone blind. Granted, sometimes we must strike back, to stop an abuser and preserve our life or the life of our loved ones or our business. But if and when you can, forgive. Or if you can not forgive, then at least grant amnesty, grant them grace, grace to go on in peace, hoping they learned. Grant yourself the grace to live in peace, and hold love above all, as your highest virtue. Hatred literally leads to death, and love is life. Give love, and spread the word. This is the Art of War for Hollywood. Peace. –Bruce Edwin

The Hollywood Sentinel makes no claims regarding any product or service herewith, and assumes no liability thereof. This content and title are copyright (c). 2016, Bruce Edwin, all rights reserved.

Remembering Humanity

jack reacher--hollywood sentinelJack Reacher Debuts in Theaters on October 21st, 2016

I’ve been watching a lot of older, great films lately. One thing that I am reminded about, when viewing motion picture, is something that I learned in one of my screenwriting classes, and that is that every well developed character in a film needs a backstory. What that means is this…take Will Smith’s character in “The Pursuit of Happyness” for example; We see that he is trying to get a good paying job, and make good money. But why? We quickly learn it is to take care of his young boy. But so what? Why is that? We learn it is because his characters father was not around for him, and he promises himself that he will never do that to his child. He will be there for ‘his’ boy. Now ‘that’ is a compelling motivation. His motivation for success runs deep–beyond the ordinary man. He ‘must’ succeed in order to not only care for himself, but to care for his boy, and to help break the cycle of abuse and abandonment that his spirit carries.

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The Backstory of a Character

When a film has no backstory, that is, when the character’s motivation is not clearly established, we generally feel nothing for them. Why do they do what they do? What are they running from or towards? Are they compelled by love, fear, jealousy, hate, or what? In order to have a powerful character in a film we care about, we generally need to see or understand some of the inner compulsion of the character. Without backstory, without the reason ‘why’ they are doing what they do, we generally have no emotional development, and thus–no care for the character.

The greatest films, fueled by the greatest screenplays, have greatly developed characters that we ‘feel’ for. That we either greatly hate, or most often generally love, or can relate to. Without knowing something deep and personal about the character, we typically feel that the character is empty, shallow, and void of depth or meaning. We don’t care about them, and therefore, do not relate strongly to the film. A great character of depth helps create in cinema what we call the ‘suspension of disbelief,’ whereby our conscious mind momentarily forgets the outside world, and relates wholly to the character on screen, considering their pain–our pain, their truth–our truth, and their victory–our victory.

The Force Within Us

When Luke Skywalker conquers the evil Darth Vadar, it is not just Luke we are cheering for, it is for the universal good in us all. “Star Wars” creator George Lucas tapped in to what Joseph Campbell referred to in his book and video “The Power of Myth,” as the classical archetype, which extends across all time, space, lands, and generations. It is the inborn spirit in humanity that years for truth, for love, and for the greater good. Without archetype, without ‘reason’ in our characters, our stories are often flawed, and our sense of wonderment, awe, and compassion is either lost, or worse still–never there to begin with.

Life Imitates Art

I want to ask you to think for some time about your life as a movie script. How many strangers do you see each day that are not developed in your mind? In other words, how many people out there do you encounter that you know nothing about? That you have no backstory for? The reality is, we ‘all’ have a story. We all have a backstory–a reason for why we do what we do–right or wrong. We all have something we are running from, or towards. We all have hopes, dreams, fears, weaknesses, hates, loves, motivations, and things that inspire and compel us. Yet how can we ‘feel’ any care, compassion, or sympathy, let alone any empathy, for those characters in our lives–those ‘strangers,’ when we have no emotional bond compelling us to see them as anything more than just a blip on the screen of our life? What concern will we feel when that stranger is just as another flat, boring, irrelevant character on the screen, that we know nothing about?

Avi Roth

I want to remind you that ‘you’ are an undeveloped character to someone, to a stranger–just as I am to many. Those that become ‘famous’ have a two dimensional view of them ‘known’ by many, but even this is not ‘knowing.’ How can you know a person? Just as we know a character. We know where they came from, we know where they are going, we know a bit of their soul and what drives them; their passions, their weaknesses, their loves, their fears, their hopes, and their obsessions.

Strangers–The Undeveloped Characters of Our Life

Unlike the movies, the undeveloped characters–those ‘strangers’ in our life really are developed, they really are deep–we just haven’t heard, seen, or read their stories. And yet how many times do we pass by a stranger, giving not a thought nor care to their life, to their feelings, to their humanity? How many hundreds of thousands of homeless on the streets in Los Angeles and every major city throughout the world have a story–a purpose they are not fulfilling, a dream they yearn to see come true?

We are all human, we all have a spirit, a purpose– a soul. I want to remind you as I also remind myself, that while we can shut off the characters on T.V, or in the movies who we don’t feel anything for, we should think twice before shutting off our feelings, compassion, or interest for those we know nothing about in the real world. Everyone has feelings. People matter, whether you know them well or not, they were once an innocent, helpless child, they were once full of life and hope–they had dreams, and yes, somewhere deep inside, beyond all the unknowing, beyond all the fear, regret, pain, remorse, or hate, beyond all their goals not yet achieved–they still may dream of something magical and magnificent. We all have feelings–we all have a passion, a purpose, yearning to break free.

I dare you today, to go out into the world during your day, and help someone in need. Help someone get their hope back that may have lost it, or their faith in the decency of humanity. It is good to get what we want, to have our goals, and achieve them; there is nothing wrong with that, that is healthy, and necessary. But as we do better and better each day, it is also our responsibility to remember others–to help when we can, to do more. Let’s build better characters not only on the big screen, but in our own lives.  And together, we can all watch a life–our life as it unfolds–that we are proud of.

–Bruce Edwin

Copyright, 2016, Bruce Edwin, The Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved.

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns with his particular brand of justice in the highly anticipated sequel JACK REACHER:  NEVER GO BACK.  Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is the Army Major who heads Reacher’s old investigative unit. She is arrested for Treason and knowing that she is innocent, Reacher must break her out of prison and uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear their names and save their lives.  On the run as fugitives from the law, Jack Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.  Based upon JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK, author Lee Child’s 18th novel in the best-selling Jack Reacher series, that has seen 100 million books sold worldwide.
Jack Reacher text, and image are used with permission with courtesy of Paramount Pictures, copyright 2016, Paramount Pictures, all rights reserved. The Hollywood Sentinel, 2016.

The Age of Fear?

Christina Grimmie–A Star Remembered

The end of spring 2016 in the U.S. has been challenging for some to say the least, particularly for some in Florida. For even those who attempt to ignore the media, it is difficult to avoid the reality of the recent terrible events that occurred in Orlando; first with the singer from the Voice, and then with the victims in the nightclub.  I recently traveled earlier this year to Daytona and Orlando, and the cities are both wide open, bright, prosperous, and clean.

The sick and evil persons who committed both of these atrocities are also gone.  Politicians have used these evil events to try push their agenda of gun control or immigration control. Both sides blame the other, as each stirs up animosities among each sides supporters.

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While most of the millions of Muslims in the world are good, peaceful people, the tiny percent of those that call themselves such, follow the extreme, literal,  interpretation of the religions text, and are committing barbaric, evil acts.  Some argue that this rise in extremism is  fueled, if not at least partly, by the West’s gradual invasion and war against their people over the past nearly 20 years.  An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. Evil has no justification, and killing the innocent, whether they be Muslim’s, Palestinian’s, Jews, Christians, Pagans, atheists, or anyone is always wrong.

Karma is real, and if reincarnation or an eternal life of the spirit is real, then those who commit unfathomable, evil acts out of hatred, and of a warped ideology, will surely find not the salvation they cling to, but a hell of the lowest order.

Christina Grimmie Remembered

Christina Grimmie was a young, beautiful, incredibly talented and kind woman, whose stellar voice was a gift to the world.  Her loss of life is a tragedy that is angering and sad. She will be deeply missed.

Nightclub Victims Remembered

The 49 club goers in Florida will also be greatly missed.  Nothing will replace their lives. Their spirit should serve as a reminder that who one chooses to love or be with is a human right, whether one agrees with it or not.  Most of these people–we imagine, were good, kind, loving,  people.

Most People are Basically Good

The thing that we must also remember in all of this is that most people are basically good.  Most people try to do better.  Most people want to stop evil, and want to be kind. Good is more powerful than evil. Love is stronger than hate. There are more people on the planet that want peace, than there are those who want to kill. There are more acts of kindness and good news every single day around the world, than there are acts of violence, or bad news. We simply are only exposed to a warped majority of bad news, because the majority of the media and most politicians often operate and try to rule from a paradigm based on fear and hate, rather than on hope and love.

We need not have fear.  This is a benevolent universe.  We are spiritual beings, having a human experience, and we are here to learn and grow.  One of the purposes of life is to bring love and happiness to ourselves, and to others. It is not wrong to do things that make us happy, so long as we do not violate the rights of others. We should also seek to make happy those around us, and do things that lift up, and enlighten and benefit the world.

An Age of Hope

We need not deny reality, or the problems that we as a nation and world face. Yet we also need not succumb to the daily bombardment of fear, pain, death, disaster and hate that is constantly programmed to us through the mass media.  There is a very small group of people on the planet that are very evil, that wants war, that wants to create evil, panic, fear, and dread, in order to kill and control. We do not need to give them any more power.  We were made from the same source of a loving power. We deserve to be happy, and we deserve a life unencumbered from the evil that a small percent of people from any ethnicity or religious ideology do.  Do yourself a favor, at least for a few days, and ignore the drumbeat of death and fear in the media. Focus on the life around you, and make it better. Go out today and tomorrow with your full life force, with a bravery that knows no bounds, to do good, be happy, help others along the way, and follow your passion. Be bold, and thankful for this gift of life we have all been given.  Focus on the good–it is not difficult to find. We are all very blessed, if we simply choose to be.  We CAN be heroes. Be brave, and be a hero to the world–now is your time.

This content is copyright, 2016, Bruce Edwin, The Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.