When Make-Believe Gets Very Real

The public has been reminded just how make-believe can get very real.  Angelina Jolie’s surprising announcement about her decision for radical surgery to reduce her chances of getting cancer and the Cleveland, Ohio hostage horror case both offer sobering examples of the intersection between art and reality.

Angelina Jolie is better known as a stunning woman who makes her living acting out characters in movies. She has been at the top of her game. Yet aspects of her real life were lurking out of range and finally came into focus.  With the genetic connection of cancer in her family, Angelina has experienced firsthand the deadly impact of the disease.

The Brangelina fairy tale is no more. This feels like reality TV. We can’t help but think about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as real people with real problems. Now no matter what make believe roles they play in the future, the very real side of their life has changed our perspective forever.

The incredible decade long torture chamber in Cleveland run by accused Ariel Castro reminds movie buffs of the 1997 film, “Kiss the Girls,” that starred Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman.  I felt the urge to watch the film again.  But the movie version pales in comparison to what we are learning about this real case.  Even if the  scriptwriter wrote a more graphic script, would the director and producer have allowed such a brutal rendering? Unfortunately, we can’t close our eyes to the real case or just wait for the movie to end so we can turn it off. Dare I ask the unthinkable?  Did Ariel Castro see this movie back in 1997 and get inspired?

There are those of us who spend considerable time working in the world of make-believe.  Involved in the profession as writers, actors, singers, directors and all the various supportive roles in entertainment.  But as part of the human family and despite the illusion and imagery we engage in, there are always times when reality shoves aside the make-believe and it gets very real.

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