The photo above is of Tina Fey, one of the most successful Saturday Night Live alumni ever, and the first woman to rise to the position of head writer for that show. Below is the text that accompanies the photo, now circulating on Facebook:
Below is Tina’s page as produced by Geni.Com:
In other words, I am calling bullshit. I have never thought that Ms. Fey possessed an inordinate amount of talent. I thought her good looks, maybe there in youthful flower, were later a stagecraft illusion. I never for a second considered that she conceived of 30 Rock, a very funny TV series that also included Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrower and Jane Krakowski, among others. That show had very good comedic writers, and was filmed in single camera mode. That fast-pace technique allowed each actor to do the best comedic take for any situation, offering multiple opportunities to get it right. It is a good tool for sitcoms.
Notice that Tina’s genealogy is scrubbed, and managed by the gatekeeper Erica Howton, whose own genes carry back centuries. Is Erica the one that the MM people refer to as the “dominatrix?” Did I get that right? Otherwise set me straight, as I am too lazy to go searching.
I suggest that Tina came from wealth and privilege. Doors open before such people at every turn in their careers. Check out this post about Carol Burnett, and marvel with me at the anonymous benefactors that paved her way. She and Tina would be supported by truly talented (but nameless and faceless) people in writing, wardrobe, lighting, casting, and all other production matters.
The Facebook entry wants us to believe that all the people listed above, including Ophra, Tina, Martha Stewart, Harrison Ford and the rest are rags-to-riches, Lana Turner discovered-at-a-soda-fountain-type stories. I do not believe a word of it, nor do I believe that they survive on talent alone. Bloodlines matter most.
Here’s a comment from TimR that puts it better than I have managed, my underline added:
“All that lazy acting goes to the MM idea that these glamorous jobs are handed out to cousins with pretty faces. The lighting, cinematography, set design, etc… These are filled by hardworking craftspeople who can make almost any actor passably good enough. One director I saw called them “the aristocracy of the proletariat,” these hardworking artisans. But with the actors all being in the family, it seems Hollywood is really just highly polished home movies, a sort of photo album shared with the rest of us. And if they accidentally produce a decent one among all the duds, they fire up the PR machine to shout its brilliance to the hills.“