- June 6, 2007
Has anyone read Martha Madison's latest blog entry?|
There's nothing too earth-shattering in it but I thought the bolded parts below were pretty interesting.
When I was working on the soap, I got criticism from every corner, every day, everywhere. With the combination of message boards, critical bosses and of course, the actual TV screen itself, I heard all about the issues I was having with my fluctuating weight, my “incredibly large forehead”, the fact that I looked waaaay too old to play the character I was hired to play, etc etc etc. I have to admit that these were all pretty difficult pills to swallow at first. However, after hearing this kind of criticism, I realized that I wasn’t being hard enough on myself. Of course I have always known that the weight thing was an issue. Throughout my life, like many young female overachievers, I have struggled with my weight and eating disorders. I’ve been 100 pounds, and I’ve been 140 pounds. Neither weight (or method of becoming that weight) was healthy, nor did it make me happy. A couple of years into my tenure on the show, I was spoken to about my increasing size. In a word, I felt humiliated. I felt like “Carrie” (at the end of the movie where Sissy Spacek was standing on stage in a happy, contented moment and then, in both shock and horror, was washed over with warm, bubbling pig blood). Unlike “Carrie,” I wasn’t driven to kill all the spectators with my telekinetic powers. However painful, I did recognize that it must’ve been incredibly uncomfortable for my boss to have to sit across from me and deliver that kind of critique. In his defense, it was his job to be hard on HIMself and the show and do whatever it took to get it looking the way they all wanted it to. It was a necessary conversation on his part, and I fully understood it and respected it. Without getting too much into it, that moment taught me, on a professional level, that maintaining a “Hollywood healthy” weight would be both incredibly difficult and absolutely necessary. I have learned that this is an area that I HAVE to be VERY hard on myself without becoming compulsive or neurotic about it. I’ve reached a point in my life where I know that I have to work out every day and make healthy choices about what I eat every time I decide to have a meal. With that, I’ve chosen to be happy with whatever the results of that are. Am I the hottest hottie in Hollywood???? Hell no. Am I happy with how I look? Not always. Am I healthy? Hallelujah, yes, I am!!
Now, the forehead thing is simply genetic, however my hairstyle is always a choice. I’ve had extensions, chopped it all off, had bangs, no bangs, highlights, lowlights…..you name it, I’ve tried it. Why? Because I’m hard on myself. I want to have good hair and a nicely shaped cut. I understand that if you have a face shaped and proportioned like mine, you have to work on making it as “watchable” as possible. I remember once on the show that I decided I had had extensions long enough. I wanted them OUT and I wanted a cute short/chopped cut. I came in to shoot the next day and received rave reviews from the hairdressers there. However, after I finished my scenes, I got called up to the boss’s office and was told that I needed to put the extensions back in. I was mortified and embarrassed. Had I really made such a horrible mistake by cutting my long locks? Apparently. Of course, I did what I was told and went straight to the hairdresser after work. Why? Because they were hard on me, therefore I was hard on myself. I wanted to please whoever I was supposed to please in order to maintain goodwill in a job that I coveted. If that meant putting 100 little daggers in my scull to lengthen my hair, then I was certainly eager to oblige. It was all part of the unspoken agreement you make with the universe (and the network) when you decide you want to be a TV actress.
Lastly, the age thing was tricky. First off, just let me say that I was 27 when I was hired for that job. TWENTY SEVEN IS NOT OLD, PEOPLE!! I can’t change the year I was born, nor would I want to. That would mean that I would’ve missed the colorful carnival ride that was the 80’s. I would’ve missed out on the youthful crush I had on CeCe from Poison!! I would’ve missed out on MC Hammer pants at the eighth grade dance. For God’s sake, I would’ve missed out on Fraggle Rock, people! These were all incredibly formative influences in my life, so NO! I will not participate in being hard on myself there.
Now... I’m an actress who owns a restaurant……..in Los Angeles…….down the street from my old acting job…….constantly surrounded by well known actors..…..while I’m covered in either ketchup or burger grease, depending on the day. To my working actor buddies, can you feel me here? Yes, I’ve built my own business, and yes, I’ve fought many good fights to make it a thriving one. However, I can’t help but feel that I’ve slipped in the ranks a bit. Perhaps that’s my own neurosis or perhaps it’s the realistic consequence of choosing a semblance of stability over “the dream.