Artist Ann Rea
Going to Hollywood
hollywoodsign We all know it.  There are a whole lot of artist wanna-bes. This month I was in Beverly Hills for a number of evening events with famed chef  Thomas Keller at Bouchon.  I was having lunch one day and I couldn’t help but to overhear a group of men talking about actors.  One remarked that Hollywood, as the hub of the film, TV, and the music industry, must have the highest number of broken dreams per capita. He went on to say that he has met so many who announce themselves as actors but they really haven’t, and don’t, do much.  They exert a minimal amount of effort, taking occasional acting lessons, and inconsistently going on auditions, to maintain a thin veneer of identity as an actor.  And it’s really the identity that they’re invested in, not the diligence required to be an actor. Then he said there are a few actors who are relentlessly pursuing their career.  Doing whatever it takes, without complaint, because they are committed, they will not be dissuaded, and they are talented.  They accept rejection as par for the course. It sounded all too familiar. During my events in Beverly Hills an actor was hired to assist me. He shared his experience as an actor in Hollywood.  We mused about whether it was more difficult to achieve success as an actor or as a painter.  I maintained that he had a tougher road because his industry was even more scarcity and permission based. Without having your Actor’s Guild card, the number of auditions you can go to is limited.  And without the right part, fulfilling specific criteria, you can’t get your card.  A vicious circle. The next day I met a patron, who is also a friend, for lunch at the famed Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel and we sat among they Hollywood glittered and saw a number of recognizable faces.  I thought of my actor assistant and I was struck by the limits of his opportunities.  But when I decided to become a painter, the limits of the art world did not daunt me. I thought only of how I could create more value to set myself apart.
When was the last time that you painted?
Recreating Gauguin photo127 This is what I asked when each brave guest took their turn and stepped up to the canvas last night to help create a collaborative painting, with my guidance. In celebration of the Post Impressionist Exhibition at the de Young Art Museum of the masterpieces on loan from the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, First Republic hosted a spectacular and inspired celebration filled with a full range of fantastic hors d'oeuvres, French champagne, and roaming musicians. What you don’t see in this video clip is a trio of professional ballerinas performing just to the left.  Their tutus, hair bows, and performance were taken right out of the previous exhibition of Edgar Degas, “The Dancing Lesson.” My role was to invite guests into the creative process of recreated Gauguin’s “Arearea” that is currently on display.  I just noticed that the name contains my first initial and last name twice. Ha! Another synchronistic moment last night was when I noticed the spot light shining down on a beautiful cobalt blue and black ceramic vessel in the adjacent gallery.  It was “Jazz Bowel” created by my direct mentor Viktor Schreckengost, the "American da Vinci", for Eleanor Roosevelt. For three years Viktor Schreckengost inspired me.  And it was a pleasure and a privilege to inspire others last night; including, bankers, brokers, and investors.  Each guest took a moment from the frenzy of the festivities and reconnected with their creative selves. When was the last time you painted, sang, danced, or played an instrument? Next stop, next week:  Bouchon of Beverly Hills to paint with Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry.