In 1954 Marlon Brando won the Oscar, the Golden Globe, and four other major awards for his role in “On the Waterfront.”
Later that week a reporter asked Brando, “What’s it like being on top?” He replied, “There’s nothing up here.”
In the new Netflix documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” you’ll see for yourself. There’s nothing at the top.
The film is well crafted, and the star lets you see her both emotionally and physically naked. It’s at times a painful thing to watch. The trappings of fame can give you all the worldly materials a human could want while sucking away at your soul.
In almost ever scene Gaga is surrounded by helpers; hair stylist, make up, chef, driver, trainer, producer, manger and on and on it goes. And where it goes is to a place where Gaga becomes so involved in the self, that it becomes the downfall of her soul.
In one telling scene Gaga gets a call from a close friend who is in the hospital because her brain tumor has returned. Gaga is upset and concerned for a friend she clearly loves.
When she puts the phone down the first thing she says to her handlers, with tears in her eyes, is “Everyone leaves me.”
What stuck out the most about watching this dysfunction was when Gaga performed for the DNC. These are the people telling us how to vote, what to eat, what healthcare we should have and when we should (or shouldn’t) use our air conditioners.
And yet with all the chaos swirling around Gaga, you see why she has great fame. She is a brilliant performer.
FAST FACT: Lady Gaga got accepted to New York’s Juilliard School at the age of 11 but attended a private Catholic school instead.
One sequence captured before she takes the stage reveals the singer engulfed in tears from emotional and physical pain. Yet she’s able to put it all aside and give an amazing rendition of her song “Bad Romance” while seated at a piano for Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday party in front of a room full of A-list stars.
The film follows Gaga’s life over an eight-month period and shows her with friends and family. We even see her at a baptism for a relative in a Church she attended at a child.
The film works its way through the release of Gaga’s album “Joanne” an honest set of songs inspired by the death of her aunt, Joanne Stefani Germanotta.
“Five Foot Two” culminates with Gaga putting together her 2017 Super Bowl half-time performance where she appears like some sort of deus ex machina coming from the sky to fix all her humanly ills.
When fame grabs hold it’s very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven when they feel they are the God of the sky. Fame not grounded in the spirit of faith is death. I know this because I have lost a handful of friends to fame.
Some of them are still alive.
I have always been honest about my physical and mental health struggles. Searching for years to get to the bottom of them. It is complicated and difficult to explain, and we are trying to figure it out. As I get stronger and when I feel ready, I will tell my story in more depth, and plan to take this on strongly so I can not only raise awareness, but expand research for others who suffer as I do, so I can help make a difference. I use the word “suffer” not for pity, or attention, and have been disappointed to see people online suggest that I’m being dramatic, making this up, or playing the victim to get out of touring. If you knew me, you would know this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m a fighter. I use the word suffer not only because trauma and chronic pain have changed my life, but because they are keeping me from living a normal life. They are also keeping me from what I love the most in the world: performing for my fans. I am looking forward to touring again soon, but I have to be with my doctors right now so I can be strong and perform for you all for the next 60 years or more. I love you so much.
Earlier this month Lady Gaga postponed her world tour due to sickness. She announced the news on Instagram with a picture featuring her hands in prayer position, clutching the Rosary.
In recent weeks she’s shared news of her faith journey on social media. Last April, she shared the following:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
As Gaga wrote, this is a quote from John 13:34.
If she is reaching out to her faith for answers it could be life saving. I’d hate to see her find out the hard way that there’s nothing at the top.