Now that we are in the age of lying freely, let’s address Hollywood lying. There are two kinds of lying: below-the-line lying and above-the-line lying. Below-the-line lying is “I got mugged” instead of I partied too hard and overslept. #guilty Above-the-line lying is more of what you think about when you hear about not being able to trust people in Hollywood. A producer with “several projects in various stages of development” is lying unless they really do have something in production. Mostly, people who are trying to get something to happen but have no real value are the liars you’ll first run into in Hollywood, aka name-droppers.
Many people are starry eyed searching for a dream in Hollywood. For these people, a few well-placed words, promises, and smoke and mirrors can be enough to convince. This is the shady realm in which these liars can thrive. Social media makes this form of deception even easier. Everyone knows that not everything you see online is necessarily true, but it doesn’t keep the lies from being enticing. Instagram, Snapchat, and even Facebook are perfect examples of opportunities for individuals and companies to pull people in with provocative pictures, slick marketing, and assurances of success. When it boils down to it, we like what is flashy and fun. Most of us would rather believe in the easy, get-rich-quick scheme than in the idea that hard work is going to be required.
The entertainment industry is ripe for dreamers. It is a world that isn’t like the one in which most people live and breathe. There are larger-than-life, dramatic elements that are characteristic of working and living in that world. To some extent, you expect the people in it to be story spinners and to keep things colorful. This is another reason why people can be easily duped. The seekers of adventure who have made their way to Hollywood are not deterred by above-the-line lying because what sounds and feels good vs what is good is essentially what they want. While the thrills don’t last, one thrill can lead to another, which is almost the same thing (almost).
Success is possible, however. We all know the stars that have been able to shine and reach new zeniths after navigating Hollywood. The liars who muddle the path are not the focus. Staying vigilant is necessary no matter what industry. I think we can agree that this is all the more important in Hollywood. Accept it. There are swindlers that make their money from presenting a show to those who are willing to watch. Get it and get to working on sharpening the focus needed to see through the veneer and reach what is real. Just like you have to kiss a few frogs to get to a prince, sometimes you have to meet a few shysters to find a genuine opportunity. Above all, you can’t be afraid to try and put yourself out there. Taking risks will take you a lot of places: both pretty and not-so-pretty. Of all the dark and dangerous places to be, Hollywood is likely one of the most fascinating.