Saturday, January 9, 2021

Book Nook: Blind Pony - As True a Story As I Can Tell

 Have you ever wondered, what’s life really like in hollywood? Common portrays show either the glitz and glamour, or the seedy underbelly and struggle to rise to the top, but rarely anywhere in between. So what’s it really like?

Samantha Hart is an award-winning Creative Director who has worked with top artists including Cher, Aerosmith, Nirvana and Guns 'N Roses, to name just a few. Her creative campaigns have brought cult status to films including “Four Weddings and A Funeral,”  “Priscilla Queen of the Desert," and “Dazed and Confused”, and have led to academy awards in “Fargo,” “Dead Man Walking,” and “Boys Don't Cry.”

Her new memoir, Blind Pony: As True A Story As I Can Tell, is an inspiring tale of what it’s like to live life on your own terms, while navigating the Hollywood scene. 

I had a chance to interview her to learn more.

Can you share a little bit about your profession and what you do?

What is it like to work with big-name celebrities?
What might people be surprised to learn about life in Hollywood?
Why do stories about the glamour or struggles get more attention?

Why is it important to hear about life in the creative industry from people with a wide variety of experiences?
The funny thing about working with celebrities is that they are just like us. That may sound a bit cliché, but it’s true. Living for as long as I have in Los Angeles and working with as many celebrities as I have, I suppose I’ve become somewhat jaded by celebrity culture. In my book, I detail the experience when I was first starting out, and I worked with Rock Hudson, a heartthrob from the Golden Age of Hollywood. I was a prop stylist at the time, and when he stepped out of his trailer in his sequined cowboy outfit, I nearly fainted. He seemed larger than life. I was heartbroken in 1985 when he lost his life to AIDS-related illness. It underscored regardless of who we are, we all share the same kinds of sadness, as well as happiness. Whether it’s the birth of a child or a loss of some sort, we all process the same emotions. That’s not to say I wasn’t a bit star-struck when told I had to fly to England on a moment’s notice to do a photoshoot with Hugh Grant for Four Wedding And A Funeral. I had a massive crush on Hugh. While running around trying to pack, I pulled a suitcase down, forgetting I stuffed it with my daughter’s old Barbie dolls. I lost control of it, and it whacked me in the face. I don’t think Hugh Grant noticed me much sporting two black eyes. 
I pretty much grew up in Hollywood. Living here has allowed me the opportunity to have a career I wouldn’t have had anywhere else. It’s an industry town, and everyone you meet seems to be connected by six degrees of separation. That’s true for me; moving between the record business, film business, and advertising business, the breadth of people I’ve come in contact with is quite varied. 
I lived in Chicago for several years to start a company in the advertising business. Not to say I didn’t love Chicago, but I missed LA to the extent I found myself watching the Kardashians simply to get my dose of palm trees, glamor, and glitz. Los Angeles is a place where you can go from hero to zero and back again in the blink of an eye. People here admire you when you are on top, and those same people don’t care about you when you fall. Unless, of course, you rise again. Then they love you because everyone loves a good Hollywood come-back story. 
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in a creative industry alongside so many incredibly talented people. Be it directors, actors, actresses, musicians, or crew members; each encounter has contributed to the sum total of who I am. Everyone in the creative industry is here to work together to tell stories. These stories become part of the fabric of our shared history and a way to develop meaning from contemporary society. Without the storytellers documenting life as we live it, these stories would be lost to future generations. I wrote Blind Pony As True A Story As I Can Tell because I knew it was time to tell my story.

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