Parts of this essay were written anonymously on behalf of friends “behind the gates.”

Photo by Luis La on

Whether you’re an athlete, an actor, actress, politician, or doctor, you’re conditioned to love and believe in the power and beauty, the splendor of Hollywood. Everyone wants to go there, many people do, and just as many jump off cliffs, end up in garbage cans, or die, metaphorically speaking, a spiritual death, trying to obtain “stardom.”

In a place where you are told to believe everything is beautiful, it’s hard to imagine that there can be sadness, pain, and joyless rides with the most beautiful people in your inner circle, right? Whelp, the sad truth is that a lot of the reason that so many celebrities are coming out with their stories of trauma is that we the audience, are the reason they are traumatized.

As a writer, it’s really hard for me to convey to you, those of you who want to be writers but are not yet, what it feels like to be told over and over again that people are waiting for your work to come out in book form, only to look at the report and realize you haven’t sold a single copy of your newest book. I’m not complaining I’m making a point.

I didn’t expect the book to do well. I’m not very well known yet, and I don’t have a huge audience with a lot of money to spend on yet another mental health self-help book, BUT I thought I’d sell at least one copy given the number of people asking for it.

Now multiply that by world fame and the idea that if you don’t succeed you may never work again. I’ll be okay for now, I’m on disability, I have family helping me, but not everyone has that, and so when you demand from the people who are providing education or entertainment, that they provide you with these things and then you don’t pay for them, you’re sticking us in a place where we spent an entire year working on something, only to have literally 0 rewards.

I’ve sold zero copies, but I’m ride or die with this bitch, I’m going to keep plugging it because I KNOW It can and will change lives. – Devon J Hall

Most celebrities are going to be okay, but one of the things that stuck in Anna Kendrick’s book was the part where she talked about how everyone thought she was living this fabulous life during the days of Twilight. In reality, she was borrowing clothes, not making much money, and didn’t really even have a place to call home because she was traveling all the time, sure on the studios’ dime, but still, without money to spend, traveling anywhere is never fun no matter who you are.

In Kevin Smith’s book, he talked about the crippling disappointment of meeting Bruce Willis because allegedly Willis was such a jerk, turns out he was sick, and as we recently found out he’s only getting sicker. We expect big things from the people that provide us with entertainment and education, but we don’t give much back.

Another story came out about a celebrity recently being abusive, and I know for a fact that it’s a lie, but who the fuck. amI?! We spend all our time either worshipping or judging celebrities, and when they fall we let them know in everything that we have, that the way they fell was their fault and only their fault, and we never stop to consider the battles they are fighting from behind enemy lines are the same ones that we’re fighting on this side of the Hollywood gatekeepers fence.

You can draw a direct line between every film in Hollywood, and an activist somewhere in the world with a story to tell, there’s a film for every human that ever lived and all the ones yet to come, and yet we can’t take these films at face value anymore, because of the more that we do the more that we lose the message behind them.

In Forgetting Sarah Marshall we see Jason Alexander’s character whining about this girl he loved, but we also see him understanding that the perception he had when they were together, was completely different when he looked at their relationship through the lens of someone who needed to understand so he could move on. Most people see a comedy about a dorky guy that ends up with yet another hot chick.

These kinds of films tug at our hearts because they don’t expect or ask us to dig deeper than what we see on screen, but when we do, we find actors, directors, and crew folk, all telling the world “we hear you, we understand you, we believe you, we recognize you,” and then we demand more and complain when they didn’t get it 100% right.

It doesn’t ever seem to matter when people try, it’s always NOT ENOUGH for someone in the world, and we need to stop expecting that anyone OTHER THAN OUR OWN PERSONAL INDIVIDUAL SELVES, can do anything the way that we would do it.

Instead of “well that’s not how I’d do it” ask yourself how YOU would do it and then stop judging us for doing it our way because we did the best we could, we fucking tried. Don’t tell me that content creators don’t matter, or that our work isn’t important, it absolutely is, but if you want us to KEEP providing you with content, you have to remember…we’re tired too.

It doesn’t matter how much money you have or don’t have, everyone struggles with something, so instead of judging someone because you wouldn’t do it their way, take a moment, take a breath, and remind them that they did a good job, that they tried, and that you appreciate the effort. If you can’t buy into their content, then at the very least, thank them for offering you the opportunity to know it existed at all.

So many of the audience expect the celebrities, content creators, teachers, doctors, activists, and politicians to go to war, while the rest of the world stands back and laughs and judges and you don’t even see that while we’re rebelling for YOU, you’re watching us be sacrificed.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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