not sure if it's still true, but when my generation was coming up everyone knew
the meaning of "being discovered." Lana Turner became a star after the right Hollywood
agent "discovered" her sipping a soda in Schwab's drugstore*. Big stars of the
'fifties like Milton Berle and Arthur Godfrey introduced many new talents on their
shows and were regarded as having launched the younger performers by "discovering"
them. Johnny Carson, we read in the memoirs about him on his recent passing, would
go to comedy clubs to "discover" new comics he could introduce on his shows, which
usually meant giving their struggling careers such a boost that they then migrated
from day- and night-job wannabes to big-name "headliners." We're all familiar
with the power of "From the Tonight Show" on a marquee on the Vegas strip, even
if, like me, we never visit Las Vegas. The Tonight Show is also famous for sending
out talent scouts to comedy clubs across the country when they get wind of a new
rising talent, much like college and professional athletic teams send scouts to
find new players in high schools and amateur leagues.
not sure there's a direct connection between such show-biz and athletic discoveries
and an almost fatalistic attitude I've carried most of my life. Right now, for
example, I'm producing two websites that remain mostly "undiscovered." By which
I mean, I must confess, I think both Nanty Glo dot com and Xnmp dot com deserve
more attention than they get. In the former instance, Nanty Glo has been discovered
by the people who matter the most, the loyal followers who visit regularly and
join our forums, and also by the local press, especially the Tribune-Democrat,
which has featured us several times, even once on the front page. But we haven't
broken through anyone's consciousness, it seems, to the recognition that this
is more than just a "local small town" website. For I think it is more than that,
just as the Nanty Glo Journal has long been regarded as more than a local
small town weekly paper, and more of a prototype of the genre.
not up to par, with this introduction I hope to continue this topic tomorrow.
As always, feedback and input are welcome.)
to the "official" Lana Turner website,
the drugstore part of the myth is not factual, though it has been repeated since
the 1930's. And the word "agent" is being used very loosely in this sentence.
complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005
'no good deed goes unpunished'
man writing at the post office desk was approached by an older fellow with a post
card in his hand. The old man said, "Sir, I'm sorry to bother you but could you
address this post card for me? My arthritis is acting up and I can't even hold
sir," said the younger man. He wrote out the address and also agreed to write
a short message and sign the card for the man. Finally, the younger man asked,
"Now, is there anything else I can do for you?"
old fellow glanced at the card a moment and said, "Yes, at the end could you just
add, 'PS: Please excuse the sloppy hand-writing?'"