Everybody Wants to Be Audrey

I have never been a very good fan of anything. When I say I use to live in my own world I am not lying. It happened a bunch of times that one of my favorite music bands or film directors has released something new and I did not notice after months later. Sometimes even years. I am not kidding. I am very bad on this.

In another hand, you can imagine, if I am so bad following things which I love; how bad I can be following fashion trends. I like: movies, music, art… These are the things I love but following clothes and fashion… A market which moves extremely fast. I am awful on this.

However, it has been quite shocking the strange behavior some folks have around me even when I am not aware of the last trend but, I am going to let this to one side for a moment and tell you something about Audrey. Yes, Hepburn.

It is curious how many people use her as an ideal. It is quite shocking actually because I did not know there are so many people out there who want to be like her. Well, what they do not know is they do not really want to be like her. They want to be like the myth created around her. Let’s concrete about this.

Ms Hepburn grew up in not ideal conditions. In fact, she suffered malnutrition when she was a kid. That, affected her all her life do not let her have a right development. For that, the “perfect” slender figure that everybody envied. She had to live the effects of the World War II and she sacrificed her feeding to try to save money to fight against her step-father who was a Nazi. She was obliged to study certain things, like ballet e.g., because her mother was from the low “aristocracy” and this kind of people expected their children would act in certain ways and manners. Thanks to that, Audrey knew several languages and she had this way of moving which everybody wanted. That, without mention the manners and how she talked.

Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

After she had a job position in Hollywood industry and she felt economically safe. She did not start to have extravagant whims like, for example, Elisabeth Taylor had. She focused in to try to help all the ones who most needed and it is well-known she expended her last days in Africa trying to help people there.

Despite all her goodwill and behavior, it is quite shocking that Audrey Hepburn is only remembered as an “icon” or a fashion trend to follow. Which means, everybody wants to copy her styles and appearance but nobody wants to help the one who most needs help.

“She was an angel,” they said. In fact, that was the last role she played before she passed away. Although, probably, just a few can know that Audrey was beloved, or hated, for everybody. Owing to that, she needed to pass a lot of time alone by herself in her own apartment. I understand her, but I am afraid all the ones who want to “copy” her and to be like her do not.

People are exhausting, in special, the ones who are always trying to steal a piece of you. I imagine how many people probably wanted to steal a piece of Audrey and I know it is not an easy step to overcome at all. You need to be extremely tough and strong to keep going with that curse.

It is a curse, and a gift, all at the same time. As Shakespeare said: “You can love me or hate me. In any case, I will be always in your mind.” I think Shakespeare suffered from something similar too and whatever you can think about this, I tell you: it is a very bad digestion process. Not a light meal at all.

In my personal case, I have never wanted to be like Audrey, neither to copy her style. To me, women like: Katherine Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Estée Lauder, Cate Blanchett or the Queen Elisabeth Tudor are more appealing. I like the strength that her figures evoke. Although, I have been extremely shocked all these years, since I started college to be specific, of how many people want to be like Audrey. Just, they are not like her at all. And, for let it clear, they will never be like her. Because even if reincarnation really exist and the soul of Audrey will reborn. She will not have to suffer again the consequences of the WWII and, believe it or not, that is an experience which changes people a lot. If you have never talked with somebody who lived those times it is going to be very difficult for you to understand it but, they were very dark times for everybody around the globe.

Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

However, the scariest revelation it is the number of individuals whom I have met on my path and who said that they were like Audrey or they like “Audrey style”. It is really frightening because you notice that when you talk with these people they have not worried to know about the biography of the person whom they want to be at all. Until the point that they are “really, really”, like her and when they see a homeless person they do not give to them a coin. They look to him/her with superiority like if they are some kind of queen.

I am focusing right now only on female experiences because, until now, I have never met a male who wants to be like Audrey, but I know men have also their masculine figures to “copy”.

Let me tell you one thing about to “copy” other folks. I remember once a coffee conversation I had with an old pal. We had finished our degree and this… “global crises” just started. The excuse was: the economy was in recession and it was impossible to hire anybody. Owing to that fact I still asking myself why some countries still without create employment when their politicians are selling that, the economy of the country, is growing but that is an economic issue which people do not really like to hear.

Well, we were talking. I do not remember which movie we were going to watch because it was like a routine. When we met it was because we wanted to watch a film so we tended to meet a bit earlier and we enjoyed some coffee or tea. I remember she was quite upset and desperate because, obviously, there were no jobs and you needed to live… Anyway, she started to blame the degree we studied saying all kind of incoherences, to my point of view. She said what we had studied it was useless, five years dumped in something which would not help us, “that” subject was a waste of time, we would never get a job, all what they sold us in our college about: “we only accept the best and when you’ll finish you’ll get a job” was a huge lie… I think I could write 500 words with all the things she said.

I am not really a person who likes to talk. I have days in which I am more talkative than others but, usually, I let people talk. I have been in certain conversations with some folks. They have been talking for three hours and I have barely said a phrase on the whole conversation. I even know how to handle insults. Sometimes, I do not even waste my saliva answering them back. What I am going to do? Speak makes me feel thirsty. I need to save resources for important words or… situations.

Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

She finished all the complaints about our studies, degree, and college. Then, I asked her: “But what do you want to be?” I suppose I am quite master Yoda, always speaking in riddles. She was shocked by the question. Then she told me she wanted to be like Steven Spielberg. I said: “Film director?” “No, no, no. I want to b a film producer and to make blockbusters.” Then I answered: “Okay… And what do you think Spielberg does to make films with great success?” “Well, I read once he used to make ‘orgy film parties’ when he was young.” Obviously, I needed she explained to me the concept because it was not clear, even in my own mother language. Wait, emoticon moment (O_o), (゜.゜), (..), (??), (@_@)… Yes, all that sensations and more passed for my head in a minute or less.

To her, the answer of how to be Spielberg was clear because it seemed it was the same method Tarantino used to get success. As she explained to me, the secret is in to watch films. A lot of them but not porn ones. The ‘orgy’ term it seemed to only wanted to express the concept of wild party, watching a film after other and enjoying them with love. Do you see why I have studied communications and I am very pedant in the use of certain words? Yes, “pedant” people have used that word against me as an insult for so… long. Anyway, folks, now you know the secret of success in filmmaking. Watch a lot of films and you will succeed. People like Me is absolutely doing nothing. For this reason, we are crazy and we do not succeed. Now you have your answers.

Honestly, I was going to reveal the real method of success but after the recent events, I have just confirmed nobody wants to hear the truth. So, simply keep watching films, folks, it is the best you can do.

In another hand, I know what some of you are going to say/think: “If she wanted to be like Spielberg and you like Lucas you were the perfect couple.” Well, actually, we were not. Because I know what most of the people think about George Lucas. I read the internet too. It seems the global opinion is that he is a greedy guy, rotted with money who is only planning to make more sequels of the same to get more money. Furthermore, I have also read that Jedis are the real enemy and we are the true evil against the galaxy. It sounds like bad conspiracy war propaganda. Be more creative folks.

Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

I am not going to explain to you how is Mr Lucas, after all, I do not know him, but I know a bunch of you have understood nothing at all. Do you really think Star Wars or Star Trek are about shoot fire blasters on space? No, they are about the same as Indiana Jones: “Preserve the nature, history, traditions, culture…” They are all about the eternal fight between good and evil in the quest to try to save what it really matters. However, I let you keep thinking they are about lightsaber combats and space travel without so much sense.

However, let me show you my narcissist crazy side because as a bunch of folks does not stop to remember me it is Me who has the real problem and not them. You can also take this as some kind of advice to all of you who want to be “rockstars” or simply “stars”.

People like Me does not really do so much. It does not matter if we are using a 36 or a 46 size, there is always going to be somebody who would like to wear the same clothes as us. NOTE: I have used the 46 size. I have not been skinny my whole life.

People are always going to find a flaw. When it is not in your body, it is in your face, how you draw, write, you don’t have idea of how to talk, you read wrong, you are retarded, nobody is going to love you, you are a bitch, you talk weird, you do not have talent, you are insane… There is a moment in your life in which you really start to doubt about yourself because there are so many people around you telling you bad vibes, which it does not matter in which format they are presented because bad vibes are always bad, that almost you believe all that stuff.

Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

I was obligated to assist to a music school, which I hated it, for ten years of my life. On there you play, at least, nine shows at a year in front of 200 people, each show, even if you do not like. I lost my “rockstar” virginity at 11 years old playing in front of the whole football stadium with a capacity of 55.000 seats. Do you know what I learned? It does not matter how bad you can do it because people do not understand. The only thing which is important it was to complain and to mock about the socks I wore that day. By the way, they were white and they had written in colors: Peace and Love.

If that was not enough reason to feel bad. I mean to have to play in front of an audience when you hate it. Imagine if we add to the equation that everybody wants to have the “solo” and to be the most admired one except me. I was, for years, declining to have the leading role even if they proposed to me but I still waiting for somebody says: “thank you” for it.

At 14 years old I traveled to DisneyWorld, Orlando. I saw the magic and I fell in love with it. When I came back to my country nobody believed it that I had traveled to the USA. That same year I directed and edited my first “horror film movie trailer” with a Hi8. I used a simple VHS recorder with the camera directly connected to it and to the tv to put the shots in order on a tape. It was the most linear edition that I have experimented in my life but it was fun. The moment to share it with the classmates… Not very funny.

Meanwhile those years and the college ones everything was quite rough. Everybody on school or music school had an addiction of certain kind: cocaine, hash, self-harm (in very artistic ways). They were two folks pretty older than me. They were just the ones who helped me quite a bit in those times. One of them really copied the hippie long hair look of John Lennon. He was fun. I learned then the madness that talented people as The Beatles awoke. Until the point, some of their fans tried to copy the looks of the wives of The Beatles to try to confuse them. Seriously, if there is anything you must learn about “fan tricks”, “bullying” and “hate” ask Paul McCarney. I think he can write a book about it. It can be called: “How to Be a Beatle and Do Not Let Nobody Steps on You”.

In those years, I got a strong obsession. I had to go to Los Angeles to study at UCLA. I do not know why but I had it. Unfortunately, my parents thought I was insane and they did not let me go but I could convince them to do not study medicine, laws for to be a judge or something like that. So, I started Audiovisual Communications.

Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Do not worry, I am not going to tell you my five years one by one. I do not want to kill you by boredom. Let’s just say that I do not understand why the folk, with which I had the coffee conversation mentioned before, blamed so much our degree because we learned almost to do it all. Not kidding. Two shows at week, each week you had two different roles. For example, if this week you were camera man in one show. Next show you were producer or director… Problem? The same than Music School: everybody wanted to have the “important” roles. Honestly, live broadcasting a talk-show on multi-camera it is, in most cases, for grannies. It is just: one, two, one, three, make a close-up one it comes drama, one, three, two, music in… Where are the explosions and the fun? Nobody wants to break anything they only want to be the anchor!

As everybody hated the sound and I was difficult to please because we cannot even do Alfred Hitchcock series on set. Nobody died and the closest to a decent chroma that we made was to send a folk back to the future: first to Gladiator times and after to the Eliot Ness times… Anyway, like nobody else volunteers, I had to do the dirty work: sound.

Interlude: Do you know those films in which you are listening to the music and the special effects and everything sound so loud and after, it becomes the dialog and it is impossible to hear what they are saying? I hate it.

In the meanwhile of all this teaching/working madness, it became the time of the Production subject. Each week, we had to make a break down of a sequence from a film. When I say “to make a break down” I do not mean only itemize. It was: make the calling orders, the budget… The whole pack… My professor was proud of me. He had a creepy way to touch me on the back side of my neck but he liked to tell the rest of the folks, using me as an example: “This is the way it must be done.” Which it is not good because it makes people envy and that leads to the dark side of the Force.

However, if you do not have to fight for to get the budget. Production is also for grannies. It is common sense. Even when, if later, in the production company when I worked as internship they told me it is the hardest job in the world but, what can you expect of a person who scheduled the edition of the show before it was filmed? If you think about it. That’s great: “To edit before to film.” See? She was a genius after all. She resolved all the filmmaking problems with a snap of her fingers.

However, let me tell you why production it is also for grannies: “because the only that you need is experience and common sense.” Qualities, which grannies really have. For example: If you are filming and the scene is happening under the rain. In any moment, the screenplay will say you need towels or hot coffee, tea or chocolate but, obviously, you need them because people are going to work in extreme conditions and when they will finish they would like to feel cared and loved. Like if granny is always caring for them. Have you got it now?

Some years after, when I went to the NYFA and I directed my final short film. I had to BLOW SHOOTS UP of the final cut. I am going to keep that phrase. You can tell me I am crazy or my English is not good.

However, I had to eliminate scenes not because they were not good. It was because we were limited on time, up to 7 minutes to be exact. So, I edited 7 exactly minutes with the best that I could and with 11 sound tracks on sound mix edition. Which if you stop to think about it: it is a bunch of tracks. On this moment, I would like to thank Howard Shore. Sorry, I used your soundtrack and I have not paid you rights. I thought you were the best for that job but, you know… student’s life, we do not have a dime… I have not sold the film to nobody so do not worry because legally talking, I did not get any profit with it. Thanks anyway.

Although, like I love to do nothing let me confess you one thing. When I was at college and everybody wanted to have the main role and later they did the things they did I felt like hitting my head against a wall. So, I used that fabulous thing called the internet and I sent my CV for an internship on LucasFilms, Skywalker Sound, DreamWorks Studios, Pixar… Also to Scott Free and a bunch of other folks. I am sorry, I know my English was pathetic in those times. I have done the best for to try to improve it.

In those times, when I was just a Padawan I did understand why did people from LucasFilms live in a special community. Quite cool, they have their houses, their jobs, supermarkets… Anything that they need and furthermore they are gifted with a free turkey each Thanksgiving. I thought it was lovely but I had lived almost all my life with a lot of barriers. In that young times in which you are looking for adventure it is hard to understand why do these people live this way but now I understand.

Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Audrey Hepburn on Funny Face. Picture courtesy Paramount Pictures.

It does not matter if you simply write, have the ideas or you make special effects. The magic some kind of people create is so powerful that others cannot understand. The first thing somebody does when they cannot comprehend is to feel envy and to attack others in very cruel ways. None of them have the capacity to stop to think for a second that we are not like them. Meanwhile, they are trying to sneak or to get a job, or a lover… People as me live to create that employment positions, to make magic and to make people enjoy it. The bad consequence of that attacking attitudes it is they cannot think that a simple person like Me can be her future employer.

People like Me are insane because, while some folks are in raves trying to find a lover, we are in our houses writing and playing with toys, creating films. Imagine how insane I am that I created a television series and I sent the pilot to several production companies.  If anybody read it probably he/she was thinking: “Where is this kid going?” I can tell you if the budget of the pilot of LOST was from another planet. Mine would be from another dimension and yes, I do not have an idea of how to create all the creatures but I know they are expensive.

The most shocking of everything is how many people who read your CV who do not worry even in to make you an interview. I have sent sound mixed stories to folks who needed help. Long ago… Storm times, and after, I sent to them cupcakes. And it is impossible, that I had letters from members of the Jedi Council, and not from these kinds of folks. When, after all, each one of us it is fighting for our projects alone. Please, do not confuse the things. If you think that for to be… I do not know. J.J. Abrams, maybe? You have to fight less to get your crazy thoughts filmed on a reel you are completely wrong because it is exactly the same for each one of us. If you are an actor or actress too, darling, do not think you are excluded.

Everybody wants to be like Audrey but nobody moves an inch to try to save Africa or the kids in need. So, now, it is your turn. Do you really want to be like Audrey and to work to make the world a better place for future generations? Or do you simply want to dress like a queen in Givenchy? It has arrived the time that you REALLY decide what you want.