Seeing “Rush” Made Me Think
Contrary to those cynics who think the former kid actor’s society is all about excuses, whining, and ancient laments, allow me to share with you the pride I felt in seeing the work of Ron Howard and his brilliant new movie, “Rush” just the day after the gathering of “formers” at Erin’s ranch north of Los Angeles. The pictures that have been posted don’t begin to tell the tale.
I felt the same sense of pride for my fellows on Saturday as I did watching Ron’s technically superb film, knowing as I do the effort of accomplishment when so many factors can derail a person’s life when they are young and successful in an Industry they can barely apprehend. Although I was surely the oldest person at the party with my peers there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference among us in our respect for each other and the awareness of the quirky elements of our lives. We all learned the lines, hit the marks, signed the autographs and dealt with fame, families and friends along the way. You get points for endurance in our group; points for holding onto sanity, and credit for applauding without envy the success of a classmate.
I caught my breath a dozen times during the party as I watched the interactions of these younger versions of me, and several times my eyes got hot as the most personal of stories came to my ears…stories that can only be understood by someone who has ‘been there.’ This sense of “the ties that bind” is not new to me for I have felt this way toward former kid stars for decades, just as my predecessors Mickey Rooney and Diana Serra-Cary predicted during decades-old meetings of this survivors network. But on this particular weekend, when an organic and sincere gathering of ‘formers’ took place well outside my influence that I was privileged to attend, and capped by a birthday gift from my friend Don Blanton who took me to the iPic in Pasadena to see Ron Howard’s “Rush,” I was deeply moved by the spectrum of our shared experience…this close-knit band of X-child actors.
Of this I am certain; when birds of a feather make an effort to establish and maintain contact with each other many of Life’s lethal tribulations can be avoided, from addiction to inexpressible loneliness. Beyond the deeper meanings I can share this with you. My pals are great to look at, fun to be around, and even better to listen to. A Minor Consideration will be in good hands well into the future. It’s not my group, it’s ours.