Star power…

Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to interview some fairly large personalities – people well-known for their craft.  Household names in the entertainment world.  I had that opportunity years ago as well while on commercial radio in Milwaukee and Tampa.  It’s one of the cool things about media production.  And almost to a person, except for a couple along the way, the bigger they were the more cordial they were.  I found – and still find – it both interesting and satisfying to note that people with amazing skills to entertain were also well-schooled in the art of congeniality and cooperation.  I wonder whether that’s the case with many of today’s young entertainers.  If they’re anything like many of the professional athletes we see and hear every week, I think things may have changed.

Remember when 15 minutes of fame was a joke…a cliché…and it didn’t happen to very many folks?  How crazy is it then that, today, people can submit a video – or a recording of almost anything – and it can make it ‘on the air’ and many times world-wide!  Destinations like YouTube have provided a foundation for a concern about how we entertain ourselves and what we find entertaining.   Years ago, something could be deemed entertaining simply for having the ingredient of ‘once-in-a-while’.  It was noticeable and appreciated simply because it only happened occasionally.  It seemed as if real entertainers – movie stars, singers, bands, authors, etc. – were few and far between – and that, too, is what made them….special.

Today, it’s all around…yelling at us, trying to get our attention.

Let’s see…’entertainment’, in an old dictionary of mine, is defined as: ‘Diversion or amusement afforded by something entertaining’.  That does nothing to help my cause.  All that does is whittle it down to: entertainment is in the eye/ear of the beholder – and that’s the way it’s always been. 

But, because all this stuff is aired on computer monitors, television screens and audio devices – they are perceived as real entertainment – competing with the kind many of us are accustomed to:  theater, movies, music, books  – produced by professionals. 

Maybe that’s the difference….amateurs are doing most of the entertaining today.  Pros are still doing it, too…but, in their case, it costs more for them to do it and for us to see/hear it.  I wonder if ‘you get what you pay for’ still has meaning in today’s entertainment world?

I guess I don’t what I’m driving at.  I’m rambling again…yet, blogging is about rambling.  My thoughts flow through the keyboard and appear here as they appear in my head. 

All I know about the topic-at-hand is that the world around me is chock FULL of people trying to entertain me and get my attention – some in traditional, and others in radical, ways. 

It’s a crowded playing field – and I don’t recognize a vast majority of the names or the faces.  And I wonder how cordial and humble they would be during an interview…like the big folks.

 Keep in touch,

Al Ross

 PS: Goodbye, Mrs. Cleaver….and Mr. Cunningham.

One Response to Star power…

  1. Tammy says:

    Al Ross is the host of the Wisconsin Public Radio program Spectrum West, which airs Fridays in western Wisconsin. If you’re outside his listening area, you can find audio streams of Al’s interviews at http://www.wpr.org/regions/eau/spw_archives.cfm. Folk legend Arlo Guthrie is slated for tomorrow, Oct. 22!

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