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Monday, November 07, 2011

AN OPEN LETTER TO LINDSAY LOHAN - RESENT


I wrote this blog some sixteen months ago.  In light of her continuous spiral downward, I thought I'd post it again.  To no end, I'm sure.  Maybe it's just to relieve my guilt for not being more proactive in my own recovery.  Mostly it's my innate sense that very soon, Lindsay Lohan will be dead.  And that makes me sad.


Dear Lindsay,

I do not know you.  I could never imagine what it's like being in your shoes.  Your childhood, your career, your relationships, your alleged dysfunction -- I do not know the truth.  All I have is the information reported to me by the media.  The bulk of that media are despicable whores who prey on the indiscretions and weaknesses of celebrity vulnerability.  If I could slice their fucking heads off and not be incarcerated, I'd be sharpening the blade right now.  I have immense compassion for your plight.  The scrutiny, the unrelenting exposé that has become your life is inconceivable.  The readers of those rags have no idea who you are and the depth of your struggle.  They soak up the hype, the sound bites and the titillating j-pegs like fat junkie cows.  As Louis C.K. says in one of his routines -- I have to stop doing everything because I need my whole fucking body to hate them.  

Slicing through the media fiction, I try to find the truth behind the noise.  This is what I see -- a young woman who has perhaps lost sight of her gift and it's purpose.  You are a very talented girl.  As a child, you revealed a skill that few achieve at any age.  It's no wonder that all those around you exploited that opportunity.  You shined, you were/are a star.  I'm not sure what happened.  Maybe you never got an opportunity to be a child.  The Hollywood landscape is littered with ex-child stars who have crashed and burned.  I know that's why Katey and I have a very firm rule: None of our kids can work professionally until AFTER they finish college.  Children need the real world to create real perspective.  You need life to develop life skills.

If you are reading this, perhaps this is where you'll stop, because now I speak to your part in all of this.  The truth is, it doesn't matter what happened in the past.  Today, you are an adult.  With that comes the responsibility of not only your personal life but of your career as well.  Talent is a rare commodity.  We are paid a lot of money to share that gift.  Sometimes we lose perspective, I know I do.  I become covetous of my gift, it spins me inward and I feel like everyone is trying to rip it out of my hands.  I grow angry and discontent.  I want them to just leave me the fuck alone.  That usually means I need sleep and to share the noise in my head with like-minded folks.  Ultimately, when my head clears, I am brought to a place of gratitude.  I think it was Warren Beatty who said that success is when you get paid lots of money for something you would gladly do for free.  That's how I feel.  I'm guessing, there is a part of you that feels the same way.  That in the moment, when you are connected in a scene with another actor, there is an indescribable joy that happens.  It's called being an artist and with it comes responsibility. 

It may not feel like it now, but the jail time you are about to serve is a blessing.  It's concrete proof that you are a member of a real community, of something bigger than the insular fucked-up Hollywood bubble you've been living in.  You have a chance to use this time for reflection and growth.  When I see that you or members of your "team" are selling TV rights to your pre and post jail time, I fear that you have lost sight of the opportunity that lies before you.  

If you do indeed have a compulsive relationship with drugs and alcohol, this is time to address it.  This is the time to look at the potential of the wonderful life that lies ahead.  There is only one thing I know for sure.  I promise you that this is the truth -- if you stay on the path you are now, if you don't experience some kind of psychic shift, if you don't dig deep and tap into some humility, you will die.  Very soon.  That may sound dramatic and like a bad PSA, but sadly, it's the truth, darling.  You will be dead before you turn 30.  And it will be ugly and sordid and it will line the pockets of the sycophants that plague you.

I look at Robert Downey, whom many thought would never pull himself out of the bottomless crack he fell into.  His incarceration became the event that allowed him to find his humility.  Like you, his talent was immense and when he showed up to play, clean, sober, grateful, he was embraced and gladly given another chance.  His star has been on an upward trajectory ever since.

I realize this post has turned into a bit of lecture and I apologize for that.  I'm sure I'll get bitch-slapped by the blogosphere for my arrogance.  But Lindsay, just know that I speak from experience.  I'm very candid about my own sobriety.  Not using drugs and alcohol a day at a time is the only fucking perfect thing I've done in the last 18 years.  Every good thing in my life -- let me say that again -- every good thing in my life -- is a result of working a program of recovery. 

I wish you well.  I wish you life.

Sincerely,

Kurt Sutter