Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

finding Brando

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Weekly Guest Spotlight starring Laura M. Kolar, author of the upcoming YA novel, Captive Art.

Thank you, Erica, for inviting me to guest blog tonight, though I’m not even close to your caliber of funny.

A few weeks ago, Erica and I were discussing whether or not young people (as in teenagers who YA books are geared for) will know, or recognize, names of actors and actresses from what is typically referred to as the Golden Age of Hollywood, the thirty years of film making from 1930 to 1959. She said yes, of course they will, how could they not? I, on the other hand, was skeptical at best.

After our initial conversation on the subject, I set out to determine which of us was correct, in other words, to prove that I was right. Much to my dismay, I was right. Why do I say it that way? Because it was extremely discouraging when I asked several people if they knew who Clark Gable was and they all gave me a blank stare, a bunch of them didn’t even recognize the name of his most famous movie. (Ten points if you know who he is and what movie I’m talking about. Ten more points if you can quote his famous line from that movie.)

At the time, I thought, “Ok, maybe he’s not a good example,” and I asked around if they knew who Cary Grant was. One of the responses I got was, “Who’s she?” Yes, I almost cried when I heard that. But then I remembered that I was asking about actors who were popular fifty to eighty years ago and even if the people I asked did watch A&E or TNT, they may not necessarily know the names of the actors and actresses in those classic movies. For that matter, will people fifty years from now remember that Brad Pitt played Rusty Ryan in the Ocean’s movies or Tom Cruise played Lt. Daniel Kaffee in A Few Good Men, probably not, though I do hope they remember that Christopher Mintz-Plasse played McLovin in Superbad. (Mmmhmmm...we do.)

So where does that leave me, well, a little sad and disappointed, but hopeful in that my current manuscript references some of these iconic Hollywood names and maybe some of the young adults who read my story will want to know more and take the time to look them up and watch the classic films that made these actors and actresses famous.

Just for fun, here’s a picture of my favorite Golden Age actor. Can you guess who it is? I’ll give you a hint…“Stella!”

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Thanks again to Erica for letting me stop by!

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