The days of the controlling studio system are gone in a new Hollywood culture that tolerates all behaviors. The old system was more protective of its young stars’ public images, even if it meant hiding the problems, says Hollywood historian Laurie Jacobson, author of Dishing Hollywood. “The studios used to guide parents, but now they’re left on their own, and they’re dazzled by the big bucks.”
Eventually, it will take executive-level intervention and industry self-policing to curb the problem, says Waismann. Forget the “little people” around train-wreck stars. “They can just fire them. It will take one powerful studio saying, ‘One year sober, and then we’ll work with them.’ Others will follow.” I think what we’re seeing with the Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons are people who have never been taught that there are consequences for their actions.”
ACT II – THREE WOMEN, THREE EXPERIENCES:
Three young women became celebrities together, at the age of 12. They all starred in a hit TV series that ran for 6 seasons. They became close friends within this time, however each managed their budding careers and increasing stardom in different ways:
1. THE COACHING EXPERIENCE FROM BEGINNING OF CAREER
Jordan got a coach as soon as she found out she was to star in the series. Her agent had recently discovered the power of coaching through her own experience and really wanted it to be available to her clients, so she made the suggestion. Her parents liked the idea, as they were worried about the pressure of the industry and wanted to know she had someone to talk to (if not them). Jordan had a conversation with a potential coach and really enjoyed it. She felt relieved to talk to someone who really listened, and who understood what she was going through since the coach, herself, had been a young celebrity. Jordan agreed to be coached and over the years she and her coach developed a wonderful connection. Her sessions were a place to share her successes, her fears, her confusions…anything she needed to talk about. She learned about herself and developed a sense of awareness about her industry and the people around her. The sessions allowed her discover her own style for dealing with the ups and downs of stardom. Her confidence and maturity landed her future roles because she was comfortable showing her true personality to directors, which also demonstrated her ability to manage herself. Today, she produces her own show and has a loving, stable relationship with a fellow actor.
2. THE COACHING EXPERIENCE MID-CAREER
Sasha declined coaching when it was offered to her. She was so excited about her new adventure and believed she could handle anything since she made it this far without one. Within the first few years she became more exposed as a celebrity and began to experience the stardom. People followed her everywhere and random strangers acted like her best friend. Her agent got her to sign on to do roles in summer flics that she didn’t really feel comfortable with, and her manager told her how to dress and what to say during interviews. By the end of the third year Sasha freaked out on set and ran off. She was living a life led by other people and didn’t even know if she really wanted to do or say half of the things she was being told to. She felt like a puppet and finally realized that what was happening wasn’t working for her. Her parents saw her spiraling downwards and made the decision for her to take some time off to rest and recover. During that period Jordan told her about her coaching experience and how much it had been helping her manage all the stuff that comes with being in the spotlight. Sasha wanted to continue with her career but knew it had to change so she agreed to take on a coach to help figure out how to make that change. Her coach worked alongside her in making baby steps towards creating a long-lasting change within herself. Her coach supported her as she became clearer in how she wanted to present herself through her style and through her interviews. As she became stronger, Sasha decided to build her own team of people to work with her, people who knew that her personal self-development was the starting point for paving the way to long-term success. She works with her coach once per week, but her coach is also available for last minute laser sessions because Sasha’s life is ever-changing and she really appreciates the support as she develops her own clothing line and continues to star in blockbuster movies.
3. NO COACHING
Andrea had a similar experience to that of Sasha’s, except that the downward spiral continued. She refused to accept help from anyone, even her friends who were very concerned, so coaching was not even an option. Instead she turned to drugs and alcohol. A variety of substances were readily available by other so-called friends in the industry, and her manager even gave her some pills to help calm her so that she could continue to work. The partying became a coping mechanism for her ‘life as a celebrity’, which quickly became a problem she could not control. An overdose soon followed, and Andrea is now in re-hab. She is getting clean, but in the meantime she lost some pretty big contracts, her manager, and is working to regain the ability to trust family and friends who genuinely have her best interest in mind. Most importantly she lost her sense of ‘self’, and will have to make a personal commitment to work hard at discovering who she really is. Both Jordan and Sasha are encouraging her to hire a coach to help her with the process.
The key to not falling these days, according to Amanda Bynes You have to have strong people around you.
A personalized support system, starting with a coach, can help to create a sustainable and viable environment where young celebrity women can excel and grow. Life in the spotlight is a strange culture filled with both external and internal pressures, obligations, and of course people. Working with a coach means working with someone who truly wants to understand the specific needs and challenges of the client, someone who has no hidden agenda. Together they share the same goal, where the client is supported in developing her sense of awareness regardless of the actual topic of discussion, so she can discover for herself how to lead her own way of living life in the spotlight.