Bruce Edwin: So like many artists, you seem
kind of just like a sponge for what’s around you...
Michael Levine: Right. You have to train your eyes to be very observant, very kind of curious. I've said to actors a million times, I meet actors you know, all the bloody time, they want to know what acting class they should take, and what they should do, and I tell them, listen, if you want to be a better actor, don't take any more acting classes, just agree to go, in the next 30 days, either to A, an emergency room, B, an A.A. meeting, or C, a strip club, in the next 30 days, just for one hour, do one of those three things. And in the next 30 days if you do one of those three things, you'll become a better actor, because each of those things are environments where people are very real, and it’s an interesting emotional transportation device.
Bruce Edwin: That’s profound. Looking at some of the women that you have represented, particularly Cameron Diaz and Demi Moore, most men I would say, and probably even some women too, would just have a huge crush on these amazingly beautiful and talented women in Hollywood, my question is, how do you separate in terms of your work, your personal respect or love or allurement of their beauty? In what way do you keep that separate, and have you developed a crush on any of them?!
Michael Levine: Oh, I'm sure if I thought about it from time to time, that it's very normal, and reasonable and understandable that people, they work closely together, they have momentary, temporary fascinations or crushes with people they work with, it’s very common, and any one reading this will have the same experience, I do think it’s important also to have a sense of detachment as well, both I think are good and valuable.
Bruce Edwin: That makes sense. You’ve been doing this for a long time, I had the pleasure to speak with you and work with you for years through the music industry, how would you say you have become a better publicist, and how to do want to be better, and I want to extend that question to a personal level as well, how you think you have become better as a person, and how do you want to be better?
Michael Levine: I think at the core of betterment is through curiosity and the capacity to look at the world through eyes that are curious. I am very concerned about our civilization currently, in large part because of distraction, there are too many people walking around the planet that are perfectly pleasant people, but they are distracted to the point of even an inability to function in any meaningful way, and this is very worrisome. You know, why if civilizations wisdom or brilliance is born of contemplation, and contemplation is born of time, and we don't have any time, then we're a pretty stupid bunch, and I think we have been functioning in pretty stupid, very frequently distracted ways, that are not good for reflection or growth.
Bruce Edwin: Yes...
Michael Levine: The other thing is of these devices, technology devices, most of them, many of the ones we carry around, give us human beings permission to hide, and since most human beings don't like difficult conversations, and they now have a tool that will give them permission to hide, they avoid difficult conversations. Well that's pretty cool, except these difficult conversations are the gasoline that drive the engine of growth, of understanding, of learning, and of teaching moments, so if we avoid all difficult conversations, which is what we're certainly trying to do by facebooking every body, we are going to end up with a very inconvenient truth. And the inconvenient truth is, you aren't going to learn a damn thing, except masturbate much of your life away, on facebook and twitter!
Bruce Edwin: (laughs)
Michael Levine: Now if that's what you want to do, you're free to do it of course, there's no American law that prohibits it, but you will be one sorry human being as the journey goes along, so yeah there you are... I hope this is of some help. I would love to hear from your readers. They can send me an E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also want to issue an open call, we have an absolutely fantastic, I think even life changing intern program, if you have the people reading this that want to learn more about the entertainment industry and media and how it all works, and how they can get it to work for them, we'd love to hear from them about the intern program.
Bruce Edwin: Thank you.
Those interested in the intern program may contact: Tel:
310-300-0950 x 230
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