Today I read an article that resonated with me.
If you've spent more than 30 seconds stuck on one of those vicious clickbait "You'll Never Believe #4!" articles, you may have seen one of dozens of "Why you don't see Brendan Fraser anymore" supplemental clickbait articles. Well, I saw one in my news feed today, and seeing as how it was an actual news feed put together by Google and not something sponsored on Facebook, I clicked on it.
It's an interesting interview with the actual Brendon Fraser, with topics ranging from his autistic son, his horse in upstate New York, where his amazing movie career disappeared to, being molested by someone within the Hollywood elite, and much more. At the end, the author of the GQ article, Zach Baron, explains a story Fraser had told him during one of their conversations, and while other parts of the article interested me, this was the part that resonated with me.
In the story, Fraser is trying to explain to Baron why he did a movie called Looney Tunes: Back in Action, as his career started to spin out beyond his control. In his explation, the character he plays is interesting because he is a stunt double for Brendon Fraser. There was something surreal about the actor playing someone who plays himself. But the part that he enjoyed most was being able to punch himself out at the end of the film.
I had never seen the movie, in all honesty. I did find a clip of it on YouTube.
In the years since doing that film, Fraser now views the moment with some introspective clarity. It was around that time that a new Superman movie was floating around Hollywood. There are many stories about that movie script, which eventually became the forgettable Superman movie between the 80s Reeve versions and the Cavil version we have now. Apparently, Fraser was one of a handful of leading actors who were being considered for the reboot. In the end, no one was really chosen (the movie was rewritten and everything about it changed). Fraser, who has been excited for the opportunity, was disappointed that he hadn't been chosen. It happened at a time in his life when he was no longer in control of his life and his career. That same year, he claims to have been publicly molested by a Hollywood big wig, which had caused him to spiral even further into darkness. In the middle of all this going on in his life, he had the opportunity to make fun of himself.
But now, he sees it as an opportunity to express his anger with himself. It was a moment to look at the bad versions of his life and assault it. He could take the person he had become, and take himself down.
He had physically deteriorated, the demanding movies he starred in had taken their toll. He found himself displeased with his work. He had surgeries to try and fix his ailing body. His marriage fell apart. His life had spiraled out of control.
And in that moment of being able to punch himself, as he acted in a role which made fun of himself, he saw that he had become unworth of playing Brendon Fraser in real life as well as in movies.
Reading that part, I understood what he meant.
While I may not have experienced all of the same things, I've definitely felt the tug of aging, and I know what it's like to be unhappy with your work. I also know what it's like to have your life sit just beyond your control.
I know what it's like to feel unworthy of playing yourself in real life. Problem is, I didn't realize that it was effecting me so much.
I talk all the time about that feeling I get where I need to write, and the disappointment of when I can't deliver. I've suffered myself for rare moments of writing clarity surrounded by days and months of pure static. Somewhere along the line, I made myself unworthy of being a writer. My problem may be less a creative lull and more a sense that I have no control over my life. In some way, I'm not worthy of being me.
But I am. I am worthy of being me. I'm not perfect, by any means. But I am blessed to be a father and husband. I am blessed to have a home, and a job (regardless of how much it takes from me). I'm blessed to have people who love me, who I love as well.
And I am blessed to have the ability to write, to express myself, to create and share something of my life.
All I need is the power within myself to stand up and walk forward.