Celebrities in Disgrace, the Blog
Welcome to Celebrities in Disgrace: where your feelings/thoughts/theories– and your own writings– about all things celebrity-related are welcome too. I’m Elizabeth Searle and I wrote a novella called Celebrities in Disgrace and co-wrote the screenplay for a short film of Celebrities (produced by Bravo Sierra, the great group that is also behind this blog).
The blog is a work-in-progress. Mostly My Guest Posters and I blog about our collective celebrity obsessions, the scandals and sagas that grip us in our Celebrity Nation. I devote one page of the blog to ‘writings inspired by celebrities’– short poems, stories, personal essays, excerpts. (see StarLit.).
When my own celebrity-inspired Celebrities in Disgrace book came out, we decked our book party cake with cut-outs of ‘disgraced celebs’. Everyone ate a lot and talked a lot– with great glee but also great intensity– about celebrity obsessions.
For the past several years, ever since I wrote an opera and then rock opera based on Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, I’ve become an accidental expert on ‘celebrities in disgrace.’
I’m a celebrity-addict from way-back and I’m fascinated by the hold that these distant glittery beings have on us, the amount of space they take up in our minds and more. I’ve come to feel celebrity stories are our modern folk tales, our ‘shared narratives,’ the stories almost everyone knows and follows in this fractured isolated society. Besides which, I can’t help myself. I just plain like talking and thinking about celebrities and scandals, don’t you?
So have a piece of celeb-decked cake and let’s dish.
About Elizabeth (and Tonya & Nancy too)
Greetings; I am new to blogging and I am perhaps the only literary fiction writer who has ever appeared on ESPN HOLLYWOOD. I’m the author of four books of fiction, including Celebrities in Disgrace (adapted as a short film from Bravo Sierra Motion Pictures)– plus my most recent novel, GIRL HELD IN HOME. I have a new novel coming out in 2016. I also wrote the librettos for an opera and Rock Opera about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, the scandal skaters Our show played a sold-out run in NYC in the summer of 2015, drawing national and international media. Future productions are in the works!
Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera premiered in 2008 (music by Michael Teoli) to incredible media attention. including Good Morning America, CNN, CBS, FOX and more; the half-hour chamber opera in 2006 (music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross) also drew huge media, including NPR, MSNBC, USA TODAY, the worldwide AP and mention on The Daily Show. The chamber opera was most recently performed in Minneapolis and St. Paul in 2014, with previews on ice. A new production of the Rock Opera played at the American Repertory Theater’s Oberon Theater; the rock opera played sold-out club dates in Hollywood in 2014 and premiered in NYC in 2015. Future full productions are in the works.
People love to talk to me about Tonya and Nancy, those ‘scandal skaters’ who still hold great fascination 15 years after their 15 minutes. Tonya Harding herself came to our rock opera premiere and proved to be (whatever her dark past) a good sport with a great sense of humor.The book and film Celebrities in Disgrace also involve Tonya and Nancy– not to mention such hot-button topics as teacher/student sex and shame/fame.
I’m a lifelong addict of celebrity gossip. In days of old, folks gossiped about their small towns. If you’re like me, you’ve moved an awful lot. I attended four different high schools. I grew up on movie stars and TV– did you? I’m convinced, after my Tonya & Nancy experience, that there is a hunger to talk about celebrity obsessions at a deeper-than-tabloid level. In both the operas and the film involving Tonya and Nancy, I try as a writer to ‘get at’ the deeper themes of that sublimely absurd scandal, which always struck me as both comic and poignant.
One trigger to me writing about Tonya and Nancy was conservative columnist George Wills saying on TV during the scandal: ‘This is a ridiculous story that has absolutely nothing to do with life in America today.’ I thought: a ridiculous story, yes, of course– but it has EVERYTHING to do with life in America today. That’s what I think about celebrity obsessions in general: while admittedly ridiculous, they are a part of our lives in America today. They hit all kinds of nerves and emotions inside us. I enjoy exploring all that in my books, my rock opera and now on this blog, with you.
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