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Volume # 2 - 2, February 2006                                                                 


Who Is Brad Pitt?

    Larry Thompson


It's the awards season in Hollywood and I am reminded of the following series of quotes that depict the five stages of an actor's career.


"Who is Brad Pitt?

Get me Brad Pitt!

Get me someone like Brad PItt!

Get me a young Brad Pitt!

Who is Brad Pitt?"

"Who is Brad PItt?" represents the period when you are starting out in your career and no one knows who you are.  "Get me Brad PItt" is when you are hot and in demand.  "Get me someone like Brad Pitt" is when they want a knockoff of you because you've gotten so big they can't afford you.  "Get me a young Brad Pitt" is when you are getting old and they want a younger version of you, and "Who is Brad Pitt?" comes full circle to the start, when they didn't know you, and now they have just plain forgotten you.


One minute an actor is the hottest thing going.  The next, he's forgotten.  It can happen that fast.  Fame and success are fleeting, which is why they should not be your only goals in life.


On your road to fame and fortune you will realize that success isn't such a rare commodity.  Its visible symbols are as close and tangible as the nearest Mercedes, two-story beach house, Oscar, or People magazine cover.  What is rare are those people who manage to achieve success with their pride and integrity intact.


In a celebrity-oriented place like Hollywood, where what you're doing and how well you're doing it can be a matter of intense public scrutiny, there's a crushing pressure to succeed at any price.  That's what causes people to sell out.  They trade their souls for another day in the spotlight, another dollar in hand.  The two-bit compromise, the quick and sleazy solution beckons like a Sunset Boulevard prostitute.


The newspapers and television reports are full of examples of people who traded their integrity for status and wealth. Get me Martha Stewart!  Corporate fraud and corruption are at epidemic levels as represented in the fallen empires at Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Rite Aid, Adelphia Cable, Tyco International, ImClone Systems, and others.


John Galt is the protagonist in Ayn Randís famous novel Atlas Shrugged, and he is a character with principles, a man of Olympian stature. In the book, Galt achieves greatness through intelligence, ability, and hard work, while retaining his integrity.  And in the world today, thatís enough to make anyone a hero.  It takes guts and determination to do whatís right.  Iíve always found the story of John Galt to be helpful, even inspirational in this regard.  Galtís spirit lives on, and lights the road to real success for those who wish to follow it.


We all have our own challenges.  Fortunately, we donít have to be heroes in novels to succeed.  In real life, the heroes are simply ordinary men and women who are challenged by extraordinary situations and meet the challenges with honesty to others and themselves. 


If we meet our challenges and preserve our integrity while swimming in successís transparent fishbowl, weíll have really become accomplished and acclaimed. Itís still possible Ė though not easy Ė to succeed, and to do so in a way that makes us happy and proud.  And thatís the only true success.  Anything else is fading tinsel.


See you on Life's Red Carpet!


Larry Thompson
Global Motivator and Author of SHINE




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About Project Rise and Shine, Inc.: Project Rise and Shine, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based media company bringing together the collective wisdom of acclaimed Hollywood film producer, personal manager, author, and motivational speaker, Larry A. Thompson, with other eminent teachers, celebrities, writers, athletes, business leaders, and motivational speakers who have devoted their careers to helping people invigorate and enhance their personal and professional lives. Project Rise and Shine, Inc., delivers life improvement content via multiple distribution channels including online, books, television, print media, retail products, telecourses and live events. For more information, visit