Magdalene Ayuk
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The 21st Century’s Shakespearian Question: To Act Or Not To Act?

Should they really be acting?

Should they really be acting?

As having internet access just so happens to be our common denominator, I’m pretty sure that all of you have seen pictures depicting a gaunt Curtis Jackson a.k.a 50 cent circling about the net. His vacant stare was just as troubling as his pointy head, and I figured that something had gone seriously wrong with his health. But, as I was trained to do in newspaper writing 101, I read the subhead of the news piece [although of the gossip sort], and found out that he indeed lost over 54 pounds for his upcoming movie Things fall apart.

The aficionado of African literature in me first thought that they were adapting Chinua Achebe’s novel to film. My slight disappointment was appeased once I discovered that the movie’s main theme surrounded cancer since, with all the junk we take into our bodies each day, it is very apropos. In fact, the movie tells of a football player who is stricken with cancer at the height of his career. Inspired by his friend’s fight with this disease, Mr. Jackson co-wrote this film, which is touching and commendable as he is exploring a topic that affects us  all one way or another. His weight loss, evidently to embody the signs of chemotherapy and/or illness, spells out determination to the project. He went on an all-liquid diet for 9 weeks as well as walking on a treadmill 3 hours a day.

I must admit that when I first caught wind of  the extent of his commitment towards his role, as in jeapordizing his health like the big shots, I thought to myself: “Leave it for Denzel”. I mean, if you don’t have raw acting talent why go through all of this? To be fair, it’s not only the end result that matters, but also the heart you put into the journey. Although I predict that Things Fall Apart will be a hit at the box office, I’m not entirely convinced that 50 is a good actor. As I write this, I wonder how a post first meant to question an ill-calculated leap into acting turned into a celebration of  the strength and perseverance of the human spirit and the likes. He’s even removing a bunch of his tattoos since they require too much valuable time to cover up in the dressing room.

The fact remains that potential actors should spend more time honing their craft off-screen as opposed to on-screen. Sure, actors evolve as they take on new roles, but I think they should make their debut  already at a decent level. Why the rush, guys? I can’t really say who should and who shouldn’t be acting; I’m giving it a go myself in a student film this summer with absolutely zero experience under my belt. But, my lil’ acting gig is part of my learning experience; I think all should have a good amount before hitting the big screen… which brings me to young Jaden Smith. I think Will and Jada should let him be a child. Why thrust the poor [although quite wealthy given who his moms and pops are] boy into the spotlight to be mocked as a product of nepotism? If he were interested in acting, why couldn’t his parents put him in a school for performing arts or let him do community theatre or something? Or maybe they did, as I’m not a member of their household I wouldn’t know. Then again, maybe the articles I read on him being a bad actor are just spreading unnecessary hate and he’s really a child prodigy in acting. I guess I’ll have to see the Karate Kid and see for myself.
All this to say that I wish Curtis Jackson and Jaden Smith the best of luck. It’s all about the journey afterall.

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