I’m An Actress: The Road To Stardom Is Paved With Homelessness

Can we get real for a minute, AllHipHop?

It’s a fact that no one ever notices a star (the ones in the

sky) until it’s shining above our heads at night. We don’t get to witness the

time period where it exists as nothing more than a shapeless cloud of celestial

matter, often, for gazillions of years.

We’re never privy to the cataclysmic process of imploding

gases and violent collisions that go into making that brilliance that lights up

our nights - that grinding struggle that determines whether or not that cloud

of gas will eventually glow with the intensity of the star that led some of my

ancestors to freedom, or if it will simply fall into the background, flickering

with unimpressive dullness to us here on earth.

And the same goes for film and television stars, or really,

anyone in the creative arts or entertainment industries. The process of

becoming luminous, if you will, is not at all as glamorous as the life the

public is exposed to once the hardest struggle is over.

Just like the gases in our atmosphere that get kicked around

until they eventually have the breakthrough that jumpstarts the process of

stardom (their “big break”), the majority of the big names we see on our

screens everyday have been through the gamut of hunger, evictions,

homelessness, no transportation, no clothes, mental breakdowns when continual efforts

equate to doors being slammed in your face, physical illnesses or injuries without

the luxury of health insurance, and the list goes on.

And many times, we “starving artists” are just not able to,

or just don’t feel that we can, ask

for the help we need when times get rough for us, because most of our support

system of family and friends think we’re completely nuts anyway for taking the risks and paths we’ve chosen, when in

their eyes we could simply just end all the suffering and “get a real job.”

But what many don’t understand is that what most may view as

an option for us is really a life-sustaining necessity. If you took our ability

to pursue our creative passions away from us, in exchange for a pedestrian desk

job until we could retire quietly with a gold watch, then we’d literally waste

away and die inside - one of those slow and painful mental deaths of coulda, woulda, shoulda’s, and what-ifs.

I know all of my entrepreneurs and creative people out there

feel me on this one.

Like I mentioned before, even after all of the demons we

battle to gain recognition and appreciation for whatever it is that we do, some

of us still remain in the background of the “North Stars,” barely visible in

the dark skies. In reality, there’s only but so much room for single billing in

a film, only one number one at the

top of the charts … but make no mistake, that doesn’t make their struggle any

less relevant or any less noble than those who no longer have to fight that

particular fight.

It makes their accomplishments no less grand, which is

exactly why I give much respect due to those in the background with the tiny

roles, the one-liners, the DJ peddling his mix-tapes (when I’m not broke I’ll

always buy one from you!), the Hip-Hopper whose performance everyone yaps

through as they wait impatiently for the main event, the artist painting on the

street corner, the designer asking you to take a look at his t-shirts.

Yes, this article is for you. Keep grinding, keep pushing,

keep doing what you do. Many have no idea what it takes to just get to the

point of even being able to exist,

and create.

Before we even knew who Halle Barry was, she lived in a

homeless shelter. Tyler Perry, Charlie Chaplin, Ella Fitzgerald, Kelsey

Grammer, singer Jewel, Eartha Kitt, David Letterman, Joan Rivers, Tupac,

Colonel Sanders… all of them, once homeless.

Imagine if all these folks had given up living in their cars,

in bus terminals, and in shelters, and had gone back to civilization with

everybody else… now imagine the opposite for yourself.

Love, Hip-Hop, and Creative Struggle,

Noree Victoria

You can find Noree anytime

at myspace.com/noreevictoria