I watched a documentary on Amazon Prime the other day about the actor Val Kilmer. It was created using lots of random footage actually filmed by the actor over his life. First with film cameras and later with video, many from the sets of movies he was starring in.
So why would I watch a documentary about Val Kilmer? We kind of have some things in common. He is about the same age as me. We were both raised Christian Scientists. We both have one son and a daughter. We were both wildly successful in our careers and became quite famous....well, he did. I really thought he played an amazing Jim Morrison in the Doors movie and I will never forget his Doc Holiday in Tombstone.
Oh, and my wife took my children to see his one man performance of Mark Twain several years back.
What struck me most about the documentary of Val Kilmer was how he no longer resembles the Val Kilmer I remember from all of his films. He has had throat cancer and had his trachea removed. He no longer acts. He attends comic conventions and signs autographs. He does art.
He doesn't look happy.
I was also amazed that he was able to capture so much of his own life on film. I have absolutely no film or video of my life prior to my late 20s and then very little. You would be hard pressed to make a documentary about my life. But that is also what struck me so hard. There would be nothing to make a documentary of my life about. I've never been famous. No one would care.
That in itself is depressing. But I try and comfort myself with the knowledge that, although I didn't achieve fame in my life, I also didn't lose it. No one watches movies I've made and then gasps at what I look like now in my 60s. I've also had a relatively healthy life.
But still, I never starred in a movie. I never published a book. No one recognizes me on the street. No one even really sees me. And when I die, very few people will remember me or for very long.
Now granted, I could live another 20-30 years. I could still write a book. But writing a book isn't what it used to be. Pretty much anyone can these days.
I used to naively believe my blog was my road to fame. I thought I'd be discovered and my genius recognized. But a couple of decades go by and you realize that isn't going to happen.
Part of it is age. It isn't a world for old people. No one wants to hear our stories. They aren't relevant anymore. Layer COVID over everything and my opportunities for being famous are pretty much nil.
Oh well. It's time to blow out the candles on this pity party's cake and get on with life. At least I still have a sense of humor.