Once Upon A Time A Genius Comes Along…

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood Carmen Gloria

When a creative genius comes around and shares his or her art, people notice, and they either love it or hate it. 

I watched “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” on Sunday and I have been thinking about the film all week. I am not only re-in-love with Quentin Tarantino, I keep trying to figure out what is it about his storytelling that gets to me, and it is his ART. He took a bit of history using real characters such as Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate and Charles Manson, and then created a story about a the (fictitious) life of Polanski’s neighbor, an actor named Rick Dalton, struggling with coming to an age where he realizes he might not be working as much anymore, played beautifully by Leonardo DiCaprio, and his best friend, Dalton’s stunt double also wonderfully played by Brad Pitt. 

I related to this film so much. As an actress near the age of forty, even having worked as much as I have with over sixty credits, I still feel I haven’t succeeded the way I always dreamed of, and I’m not the only one who feels this way. I just talked to one of my friends in Hollywood who’s working in the film/TV business, and he said that I left Hollywood right before it became a place full of opportunities for minorities and women (me). I moved to Norway and literally a few months later, I could have had more chances to work, after #MeToo happened.

Watching “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” took me back to all of those places I loved going to, my local restaurant Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks, where I used to live; Musso & Frank’s, one of my favorite lunch spots in Hollywood; Hollywood Boulevard, the palm trees, the weather… Everything about the movie made me reminisce and emotional. 

The way I stay connected to Hollywood and the film business is by watching almost every film and TV show I have access to that are being raved about. I try to use it as inspiration for creating my art, which is currently writing and illustrating my third children’s book. Why did I get into children’s books? Mainly because I always wanted to, but also there not as many acting opportunities for me here in Norway (or Europe apparently). I miss acting, but when my friend told me I left at the wrong time, it almost makes me sick. I have already been feeling homesick, and when I mean homesick, I mean California, not Puerto Rico. California is the longest place I’ve lived in my entire life. My inspiration, which had been suffering the past weeks, is still frozen and I’m nervous if my next book will be as good as the first two, or if I still even “have it” as an artist and actor, just like DiCaprio’s character did in “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.” Yes, I’m on a Norwegian TV series, but of course, I want more.

I really felt Dalton’s character when he was feeling down and insecure because he couldn’t remember his dialogue in a scene. Then he went back to his trailer and pretty much beat himself up to get his act together. In his next scene, he then acted out what could’ve been his best acting scene ever. That is me and almost every other actor and artist out there who put our work out there to the world, and it is not always ‘accepted’ or great. We all have our good days and our bad days, and sometimes we have to beat ourselves up to get back “in the zone.”

Not only was this movie a “love letter to the 60’s”, it is a love letter to Hollywood and the art of making movies. Some people have been critical over several aspects of the story, including Bruce Lee’s character and him losing a fight, and Sharon Tate not having enough screen time, etc. Great thing for Quentin Tarantino is that he has created another controversial movie! I believe people that have a hard time understanding these parts of the story do not understand art. This movie is an engaging and ravishing piece of art, created by the genius Tarantino. Storytelling and filmmaking are his art forms and he is BRILLIANT at it. I can’t wait to experience his next film and I hope it brings inspiration back to me.

Thank you Mr. Tarantino.

Here’s the trailer 🙂 https://youtu.be/Scf8nIJCvs4

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CARMEN GLORIA was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, now a veteran, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Politics from George Mason University. She is a member of SCBWI, SAG/AFTRA & The American Legion, and is a writer, artist, award-winning actress, short film producer/writer/director, and even co-wrote 2 songs in the Billboard Dance and UK Pop charts. After moving to Norway in 2017, she has been writing and published her children's book Kid Astronomy series with Uncommon Grammar. Carmen is also recurring as Sofia in the Norwegian TV series "Det Kunne Vært Verre" via TV Norge, currently on its second season.
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