A Mouseketeer to Successful Performer without Outrageous Stunts: Ryan Gosling
A former child actors’ (terrible) attempt at trying to increase their popularity or change their image (accomplished) recently has sparked some heavy media coverage. However, this is not the first time something like this has happened. Stunts like this are becoming frequent and cliched, sadly.
See if this sounds familiar: They’ve reached that pinnacle age where one either fades into obscurity or jump starts a new career path as they reach adulthood. Which direction one takes is a precarious step. Many tabloid darlings of old try to gain popularity again with ludicrous, pre-planned marketing stunts. These acts of desparation usually shock enough to get the media frothing at the mouth and talking ad nauseum about said celebrity. Some achieve the goal of receiving a second chance while others do not with unfortunate consequences.
But with such a disrespectful performance (by both male and female performer) recently and now (warranted) backlash, there comes a need to reach out and find some decent celebrities. Ones who were once themselves a child actor, but who have used their talents in positive methods as they leap and thrive in adulthood. Let’s focus on that for a moment, shall we?
One such actor is Ryan Gosling. Most know him from Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook or, the recent indie film, The Place Beyond the Pines. However, he came from a similar beginning as the aforementioned performer. Starting at the age of 12, Gosling starred in Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Club from 1993-1995. For several years after the show, he continued to work as a child actor and then ventured out to independent films, honing his skill as an actor.
My first glimpse of Gosling was in Murder by Numbers (2002) where he played a conniving yet charming murder suspect and high school student. His performance stood out, and from there he continued on in the independent scene until The Notebook (2004), which earned him global status as a romantic leading man. Over the next decade, Gosling continued to work in independent and more mainstream Hollywood roles (The Ides of March, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Blue Valentine and Gangster Squad.)
During all this, he and his friend, Zach Shields, formed the band, Dead Man’s Bones. The duo recorded the album with the Silverlake Conservatory‘s Children’s Choir and decided to tour the album with 13 dates in 2009. They hired children’s choirs to perform with them on-stage.
Here is a short documentary film about the tour (above).
Once a child actor himself, Gosling perhaps has a different feeling in how he should use his talents and celebrity status, especially around younger folks. Before each show, Dean Man’s Bones has a local talent show as their warm-up acts. A bizarre, eclectic group show up, but still clean enough for the younger attendees and performers. And Gosling makes sure of that. Just watch how he reacts to a female violinist and her chosen wardrobe and to a female who sings “poop opera”. Yep, you read that right.
The documentary is only 18 minutes long. Dead Man’s Bones performed a few of their songs, a “spooky doo wop” vibe, according the lead singer, Gosling, but what goes on behind the scenes during once concert is worth the watch.
So, the recent outlandish performance-turned-Monday-morning-water-cooler gossip will just end up piled on top of all the other washed-up and forgotten. As it should. Be remembered for something other than a cliche, people!
As for all future child actors and to other kids who admire celebrities out there today, pay attention to Gosling and the other child stars turned adult actors whom did not go down the shock-value road in order to achieve ratings or their staying power. These are the people to look up to in Hollywood and the music industry.