Lost Soul Companion

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Perceptions and Movie Grass

If being merely remarkable just won't do for you, consider this: Things really aren't always what they seem to be. "Fame" and "Success" are mostly illusions mixed with lots of attitude I think...

But first, the movie grass.

My folks both worked as extras in the movie "Madison." (In case you haven't seen it, it's about hydroplane racing in Indiana and was mostly shot on location there.) Mom and Dad were like two teenagers, getting in at all hours of the night and snickering about Crazy Bob running out of duct tape on the set.

Apparently they were to be in a funeral scene at a little country church on the outskirts of the city of Madison. It was fall and the grass around there was stiff and much too brown for the shot. A prop man came and spray-painted the grass bright green using a long wand with a rubber house attached to a tank full of movie grass paint like it was just no big deal.

I think we'd find movie grass everywhere if we'd be willing to start looking for it. But maybe then we'd be disappointed without all of our illusions?

Most of the time things aren't really the way we perceive them to be. The glamorous girl on this Kenra box looks like she lives in New York City and drinks only tall, chilled glasses of Perrier, but, actually, that's my friend Melinda and she hasn't showered in two days.

"It was the middle of July, and I was moving into a new apartment and it was really, really hot...," she recalled. "[The photographer] called me up and asked me if I wanted to come up and have some pictures taken, and I told him that I needed to take a shower and that I was really gross and had dandruff.

He said, 'No, I won't be able to do it unless you come up right now.'

I said, "I'll come up right now, but I'm telling you I'm dirty, and he was like, 'No, just come on up.'

And so I went up there, and I was just gross, and he said, 'Man, you do have dandruff!'

And so he just put lipstick on me. He didn't put anything in my hair. He just took a picture of me exactly the way I came in there... that was the cover of the mousse box."

Melinda is not even a professional model. Her hairstylist happened to ask her if she'd like to do some modeling once, and that's how she originally met the photographer who shot the dirty Melinda pictures. Some of her pictures have even ended up in national hairstyle books!

While she enjoyed the opportunity, modeling just isn't what Melinda lives to do. She admitted, "I had one of my friends get really angry with me for not deciding to go to New York or to LA and try my way with things... I'm not going to put time into putting shit together and trying to sell my face. That just doesn't sound cool to me." Since she is a greasy-haired model who isn't really a model, I consider Melinda to be accidental movie grass.

Some people try to turn themselves into movie grass on purpose. They want to be perceived as "famous" or "successful" and so they act that way long before they have fully become either one. I heard that David Bowie stopped opening doors for himself fairly early in his career. He wanted to be treated like a rock star so he began acting like a rock star—and this meant making sure someone else was always around to get the door for him. It must've worked.

Just starting out, the actor George Hamilton rented a Rolls Royce to drive around in to help his image. Upon seeing the lifestyle to which he was supposedly accustomed, one movie's producers decided they certainly couldn't pay him scale so they gave him a raise.

Do I condone the fake-out? Nope. I'm not telling you about the on-purpose movie grass so that you, too, can milk other people's faulty perceptions of you for all they're worth. No. I just want to point out that our collective sense of reality is often being manipulated—and sometimes we are unwitting accomplices to our own deception!

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