“There’s always sadness in our lives. It’s that sad feeling that keeps us going.”

— Tsukino Usagi

 つづく

Don't Hate. Congratulate

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

 

Mentioning The Twilight Saga can spark a shower hot with moans, groans, grimaces and winces. But the saga wouldn't have been as successful as it was had it not clicked with someone deep down. The story resonated with people, and also with the right people. The book became a movie, it thrust actress Kristen Stewart into the spotlight, and the rest? Well, history is still writing the story of the young star.

Scrutinize her performance all you want: she was the highest paid actress in 2010.

 

Money doesn't define talent or success. Yes, it's a great supplement to the definition. But let's leave how much out of the conversation. Let's discuss something else about Kristen Stewart.

 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stewart said "I've never, ever been like, 'One day, I'm gonna win an Oscar." She went further, recounting some disdain about the overwhelmingly consuming state of the film industry: "...there are so many people who are full of it."

 

Her parents work in film as well. This likely guided her some wiggle room in getting her breakthrough. That's an advantage. And that makes many people upset.

 

Why the hard feelings against someone who has an advantage? Is it because we feel that we are lacking something? Is there deep-rooted envy and jealousy that renders us to make malicious assertions towards public figures like Stewart? She didn't do anything to hurt us, did she? Her life must be so easy with that money, right?

 

 

Maybe so. But more money creates more problems. Imagine having all of your privacy dissolving while you're still in 5th grade. You know those times you want to go to the park, lay out a blanket and read a book for an hour on a beautiful day? Well, you can't do that anymore.

 

Every lifestyle has its pros and cons. It's not always perfectly balanced. Nonetheless, it's not about money. And it's not about having the luck of being born to parents who are already in a stingy industry. It's a self-inflicted curse to take the opportunity that might ruin your sanity, rob you of your private life, and forever keep you from having any sort of normalcy, despite rewarding you handsomely should you be one of the small percentage that gains success.

 

Every decision, and its result, has both positive and negative consequences. 

 

Still, she had an chance. She took it with courage. Good for her. In lieu of that, she sees her career as more than being an actress. Her work is not about the fleeting accolades of awards and the prestige that comes with it. It's not all about cash. She speaks highly of the French film community, saying "they make movies because they have a compulsion to tell certain stories, they don't make movies to become rich and famous, and that is a huge, massive divide between European and American cinema. The people who I'd like to work with in the States share that — but you have to find them."

 

 

 

We shouldn't be wasting our time trying to weigh other people's differences and advantages and comparing them to our own. Nor should we be haplessly try to quantify luck or chance. We should be out there knocking on doors and making something out of ourselves, becoming the selves we want to be.

 

Opportunity doesn't knock on doors on the side of town that I hailed from. Instead, you have to dress up as opportunity yourself and knock on other people's doors and hope for the best. It doesn't matter how talented you are. That alone does not define how good you are. It's also about networking, and working efficiently, and most importantly, believing in yourself. It's about failing, picking yourself up, and becoming stronger and better and wiser as a result. It's about growth.

 

Just like how money does not define success, being good at something is not the mere element of talent. It all goes together in one big pot and stews until it coalesces into one coherent thing: the whole definition of you.

 

Look outside the level of financial success. Or the fame (or lack there of). Look inside of you. Are you happy with you?

 

If not, take matters into your own hands. Figure it out. You'll become a more rounded individual because of it.

 

 

 

 

Kristen Stewart could have been maligned as the girl who was in Twilight. Instead, she took all the elements of her and thought about what was most important to Kristen. She executed through carefully considered steps, delivering critically acclaimed performances in Still Alice, Camp X-Ray, and The Runaways. She became the first American actress to win a Cesar Award, earning the nod for her Supporting Role in the 2014 French drama Clouds of Sils Maria.

 

She's doing something right. And instead of hating on her success, perhaps it's best to study her and learn from what she's done to grow as an actress, as an artist, as a woman, and as a human being. She has a love for learning, and hating on someone who is in love with what they do is severely unfair to the person being hated on.

 

I used to dislike Kristen Stewart. I was blind then. Now I consider her to be one of my favorite actresses because I like what she stands for.

 

What performing artists do you like? Did you used to dislike them? Do you defend them now whenever they come up in conversation? Drop a line about it in the comments below!

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Kyle V. Hiller is a freelance editor, published author. To inquire about his editing services, visit the services page. To read his work, check out The Recital and Project Anjou If you're just hanging out, subscribe to his newsletter below, where you'll get posts like this delivered straight to your inbox! Stalk Kyle on Twitter and Instagram, too.

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