I saw the new knockout film by Bradley Cooper starring himself and Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born, the other day and I am completely touched by it. Or, shook, as the youngun’s these days call it.
I want to preface this by saying that there were so many important topics discussed and shown in the film, specifically on mental illness and suicide prevention, and I am not going to go into those as that is a huge topic in itself and one that deserves to be spoken about sensitively and informatively, and today I just want to talk about one of the morals/meanings the story shares.
The moment that stuck a chord with me was when Jackson, Bradley Cooper, tells Ally, Lady Gaga, that being in the public eye and sharing yourself creatively on such a large platform is all about what you are trying to say and how you are trying to say it. If you’ve got a clear idea of what your message is for the world, then let it shine and don’t let someone else sway you from it.
“Talent comes everywhere. But having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out there and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. If there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear it. So you gotta grab it. And you don’t apologize, or worry about why they’re listening or how long they’re gonna be listening for. You just tell them what you want to say.” -Jackson Mayne, A Star Is Born
I love that idea and that moment because it hit me right in the gut. It was like the nectar of my deepest self as he reminded me that we all are trying to find our voice, discover who we are, and it’s our message we share with the world that defines us. I think that goes back to this idea of finding ourselves first, and then we can be super clear about how we want to leave our mark and tell our story.
I was super driven as a kid. Like, painfully driven to the point is caused me so much angst and stress. I was determined to be an actress or musician but would become my own biggest road block. My mom used to always calm me down by saying…
“you can get what you want. But you don’t want the world to give it to you before you’re ready. So spend every second of every day preparing yourself for that moment that will get you where you always wanted to be. And then when you’re there, you’ll know exactly how to be there.”
There’s so much truth to that. And I think it connects perfectly with what the story of A Star Is Born is all about.
If you have a dream, or have a place you want to get to in life, use every moment leading there as a time to prepare and find yourself so that you know exactly what you want to say. We see celebrity after celebrity crash and burn, or wind up in the hospital or even worse, because they weren’t ready for what became of their career, and therefore themselves. Even on a personal level, we all know someone who struggles with mental illness or getting in their own way, and becoming something they are not or being in a position they are not ready for (or maybe even want).
It is my hope that my life will lead me down a mountain I can gradually climb, and when I get to the top, I hope that I’ll know exactly what I want to say.
But, maybe too, it’s also about learning along the way. Making those mistakes.
Saying the wrong thing to get to the right thing.
Maybe it’s that journey of despair or self doubt or cynicism that allows you to shape your story to be what it needs to be.
I know I for one hope my story can do that, and can allow others to see themselves and embrace who they truly are better than before. I’m still crafting what I want to say, but I hope along the way what I do say can be the right thing as well. And maybe that’s the real lesson. That’s what the nectar of it, the sweet spot, has been all along. Finding that what you do say is just as important as what you say when all eyes are turned to you. Maybe what you say now is what makes others listen to what you’re ready to say when people want to hear it.