An Open Letter To Oprah and J.K. Rowling
cc: Gayle King
My Dear Ladies,
You have a problem, and I can solve it for you. You must constantly get cornered at cocktail parties, by people wanting a leg-up in show business. Because you are both successful, they imagine you can give them (or a loved one) an entire career in show business. They think you could supply that one break their son or niece needs, which will lead to instant fame, and eventually have a perfume or sandwich named for them.
They feel (as do lots of people) that a person can bypass the usual artistic process of hard work-experiment-fail-regroup-retry, the whole paying your dues thing, if they can just get the attention of someone already famous, who will magically wave a wand and make them famous too. We know that this is not the way it works. The life of an artist is full of sacrifice and hard work, you miss important family events, you fail to live up to the expectations of others, who might define themselves by what they’re wearing, as opposed to what they’re thinking. You struggle, you sometimes succeed, and each failure informs your work. That’s the reality.
You both have this problem (people wanting a fame hand out) and you both need a way to deflect well-meaning but misguided people (and possibly relatives of yours?), looking for a quick route to fame and fortune. You’d like some way to help them, but only if they were prepared to work hard too. My solution?
Take a tiny fraction of your wealth and buy a building in Edinburgh (site of the largest arts festival in the world in August). I will help you manage that venue (we’ll negotiate the details once we establish that this would be a good fit for us all). This will enable you to hand these people my business card (which I will supply) letting them know that with a little hard work, they could produce their own show at the Edinburgh Fringe.
They will still have to create something, and work hard to market that something here at the Fringe, but it would be a brilliant way to separate the artists from the dilettante’s.
People that want you to do all the work for them and they’ll just show up to reap the rewards, will soon drop out. It would kind of be like a scholarship, but a conditional one.
We could design the coolest of online courses, taking them through the process of creating something new. It would be so much fun to work with you both on curriculum. Once these people have completed their course work, they would have an artistic license to produce a show at your venue. . . gratis.
They would get the venue without charge, (for a set amount of time) but they would still need to supply their own lodgings and food. So it wouldn’t be a hand out at all, but a step up on their ladder of success.
Here’s my plan. Come to my show, Macaroni on a Hotdog, next week, I’m at Venue 53 theSpace at Surgeon’s Hall, at 11:35 A.M. See my show, so you can see where my artistic sensibilities lie, and we’ll have lunch afterwards, (my treat). We’ll have the curry from across the street, and to avoid stares we’ll eat in the limo. You guys can decide who wants to drive. Does your limousine have little TV trays so we can eat comfortably? Tell you what. . . I can also supply the TV trays. I’ll google where to get them, and at the very least, whoever drives gets some free limo TV trays. So this is a win-win-win situation.
I have several buildings in mind that would be perfect, but am certainly open to your suggestions, and I love real estate shopping. Once we find a place, let’s talk to Nate Berkus about decorating, he seems like a fun guy to work with.
I’ll cc Gayle King in on this because she’s fun too.
This idea has been percolating for quite some time, and you have no idea how fun it could be. If you’re not interested please put me in the path of your other billionaire friends who like the arts. Yours Truly, Sandy Thomas
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