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ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  Media & Appearance Archive  |  Writer's Corner - Fan Essays  |  6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
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Author Topic: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies  (Read 3023 times)

Marilyn

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6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« on: April 28, 2010, 11:49:46 PM »
Pamela
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Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies. . . .
« on: June 04, 2004, 11:29:22 PM »   

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If Clay Made it In The Movies - Possible Re-Makes With an Aiken Slant
By Dianne Austin

Now that 19 Entertainment will soon become a thing of the past for him, Clay Aiken can look forward to a healthy, multi-dimensional career that could encompass many different areas of entertainment.  Of course, this is what he wants, although I’m sure that his intention is to very gradually enter the realm of T.V. and film acting with a cautious and humble attitude.  He probably expects that it will take some time and education, but like all undertakings, he’ll dedicate himself, jump in and apply.  And if you like him, you will want to see this happen for the kid from North Carolina.  I’m sure that he’ll consider it to be a turning point, and although it must be exciting and somewhat scary, it’s got to be fun too.  As well as fun for us to imagine what he would choose to star in, if given the opportunity to make some movies, somewhere down the line.

If you haven’t seen the movie “Big Fish”, which recently showed up in theaters several months ago, then go rent it on DVD.  I watched it last night and was mightily impressed.  Didn’t think I’d like it all that much; it’s a fantasy, and fantasies can be really strange and really bad if not written with imagination and a link to the everyday human condition.  They have to be acted well, and done with just the right amount of special-effect wizardry.  But, ooh ahh!, this one was!

So, we have a fantastic premise, that of a southern gentlemen that relates every big event in his life to that ‘bigger than anybody’s reeled in fish”, and an examination of how this man is going to handle that time in his life where he finds himself dieing.  We are privy to the man on his death bed, with his family by his side, going back in time, and re-living various stories that he has been known to recount to everyone he has ever met, which includes his only-son, all along the way.  Trouble is, the only-son never believed him.  Oh, he loved his father, you can be sure, but he just couldn’t believe his tall tales, especially when the doubting boy reaches a certain age; somewhere around ten.

Ewan McGregor is the star.  This man is divine.  He has a wonderful look to his face; that serene and ethereal aura that can lift you up and sweep you away.  He has that air about him, an ability, almost magical, that can take us to some really crazy place that we know doesn’t exist but becomes nevertheless, our reality for a period of ninety minutes. He did it for us in Moulin Rouge, and now he does it again.  In this movie, he plays the father, Edward Bloom, when he was a young man, who steals us back in time.  Yes, an Englishman!  But he handles the challenge of creating this southern, sensitive, and love-struck man with aplomb.

Uh huh, Ewan McGregor.  I only know of one other man with those same qualities that could possibly reproduce a similar effect.  We’ve seen it before - beautiful yet strange, engaging and very fair, with classic Anglo-Saxon features.  A man that has a lot in his heart and wears it on his face.  Ewan McGregor is such a man, and so is Clay Aiken.

The movie is brand new. If a remake is ever made, it will not be for many years.  Not a possibility, really for Clay.  But if you just watch it, somehow you can see Mr. Aiken as the young Edward, who views his whole life as a fairy tale, and won’t give up on it until, and all the way through, the day he dies.

Clay has the same disarming way; that smile. It can make us believe that he visited a town called Spectre, and even though it seemed to be heaven on earth, knew that he wasn’t meant to stay there. He becomes the only person that has the guts and determination to leave and make a good life for himself out in the real world of lions and lambs.  Just as Mr. McGregor handles it, we can see Clay in a role depicting a man that holds on to his principles laden with integrity and perhaps, a little naiveté. He does this
even when surrounded by the harsh black and white of the world around him.  Clay is such a man; maybe he can be such an actor.

And he doesn’t even have to work on the southern accent!

But what about a romantic role?  Could that be in the stars for Clay?

I recently watched an older film that was always a favorite of mine, and damn if I didn’t see Clayton Aiken in the lead part!  But, hold on, we would have to update it.  He couldn’t possibly play it as a man from that era.  It just wouldn’t work; he would be too new for that. Right now we think of him in too much of a contemporary light.  One has to work towards doing period pieces.  But being an essayist, I have the ability to envision a re-write for this romantic story that originally was about a young college woman, who takes the problems of the world to heart, and feels the need to cure its ills single handedly.

And, yes you guessed it.  The movie I’m recalling is “The Way We Were”, with Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.  Its one of those classically fabulous cinematic treatments that fill up your heart and take you away.  If you haven’t seen it, you should find it and give it your full attention.  Otherwise, get a recap somewhere, and read on.

And this is how it would go. It would definitely take place in the present.  Instead of having it focus on a young college girl, we could do it so it features a young man, making his way in the music biz.  He might be one member of a boy-band that’s on the up-and-coming, or a single pop-rock performer that hits it big, just like what’s actually happening for Clay.  And yes, a lot of the elements for the story could be drawn from reality and Clay’s own life.  We would see the small town boy, finding himself on a dizzying upward spiral that lands him in a big, sophisticated city where he must establish a whole new life for himself. And along the way, he must make sure that the man that he is, does not become the man that he used to be.

The girl that pops up and grabs his interest could be any one of a myriad of types, styles, and professional backgrounds, but she would have to be very different from him in a lot of ways.  She could be Italian, black, Jewish, Persian or Hispanic, but she should be one of those.  She could be extremely wealthy or very poor.  The thing that matters most is that they look at life differently, and no matter how much they feel the attraction, no matter how much they hunger for one another emotionally, none of that matters, because they come from two different worlds with different values and a different take on life.  And with all that goin’ on, I’m afraid it just ain’t gonna work.

I can see Clay Aiken in such a scenario.  I can see it happening to him maybe, not just in the movies.

O.K., now a switch to a different genre.  And this one may be the best yet; comedy.  If you haven’t noticed, Clay is definitely a ham.  Yes, I stick by that word; ham.  He’s a goofball; he likes to “yuk” it up.  Judging from some of the high school pics I’ve seen, and the comments offered by past acquaintances, I think he’s always liked the big joke.  I’ve seen him take advantage of many a comedic moment.  And lately, his sense of what’s funny has definitely become more sophisticated.  Take a look at his quick and clever repartee with Leno, Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel.  He is better with the fast and really funny retort than a lot of established mega-stars.  Some of them just can’t measure up.  I saw Clay in person on Leno when he appeared for the second time, and the audience laughed more at Clay’s responses to Jay, than to Leno himself.

Yikes, maybe that means he’s meant for hosting a late-night talk show, and we should forget the movies!

No, that isn’t any fun.  We have to see him in the movies first.  We want to see some close-ups.

O.K., so comedy.  Here’s a fabulous idea that came from my 80-year-old mother.  Don’t ever disparage the words of the elders, for they have the wisdom!  She says the best movie re-make for Clay would be the old Jerry Lewis film, “The Nutty Professor”!  And you know what?  I think she’s right! Just think of it!  The entire screenplay is perfect for Clay Aiken!  The lead guy starts out as the geekiest, dorkiest, most doesn’t-have-a-clue for today, brainy professor.  He discovers, in his chem-lab class after hours, a formula that will reverse this personality of his, and induce effects that change him into someone completely opposite.  He drinks the potion, and out comes the most beautiful, cool, savvy, GQ guy you’ve ever seen.  The only difference in this particular “Nutty Professor”, the one we’d have Clay star in, is that the innocence, depth and integrity we see in the geek, is still evident in the hunk.  We can still see it’s the same person.  That’s what I would change over from the first film. I always thought the first guy in Lewis’s treatment was sweet, and the second one was somewhat of an ass.

I don’t know if OMC could EVER be an ass!  But wait, maybe if he turns out to be a really good actor . . .?

Oh, I know, Eddie Murphy already did the re-make of this movie.  I’m sorry, that doesn’t count.  It was funny, but he wasn’t believable as the geek.  You must get someone that is totally believable as both.  Jerry Lewis sort of made that transition in his real life, and then in the movie.  And in real life, well would you look at that, so did Clay Aiken!

I just want you to picture it.  Clayton Aiken, as he was when he walked out for that first taped AI audition in front of the three judges.  But now, just give him about 10-20 more shots of dork accoutrements and voila, you’ve got the professor!  Of course, that means messing up the teeth, doing something really bad with the hair, and finding the best geek clothes you can to transform him.

But I can honestly see him doing a scene in the movie where he falls off a platform or a ladder or something.  He’s got the flailing-arm thing down perfectly already, as when we caught a glimpse of him during one of his tour concerts.  Have you seen that 20-30 second film of him when he really did fall off the stage?   Not that I should make light of what could have been a potentially dangerous situation for him, but gosh Clay, you really were hilarious when you were taking the fall!  The sight of the skinny body with the arms flying up and back is a vision I will not soon forget.  I have a good laugh over it each time I see it.

Sorry, don’t be angry with me.  Hope you didn’t get any bruises or boo boos (she says with a sheepish look on her face).

All of that aside, this is where the acting comes in.  It would have to be good, because all the right costuming effects in the world could still not solely create the dorky guy we’re looking for. What, you say?  Does she actually think that Clay is not really a geek down there in the deepest part of his soul?  And I’d have to tell you “no”.  Right from the very start, I never thought he was a dorky guy.  Sure he looked the part at that time.  But dorks don’t usually have a lot of self-esteem, which comes through as confidence.  Dorks don’t remain unruffled under pressure; they don’t stand up straight and tall, they don’t usually verbalize or express themselves well.  No, to me, Clayton Aiken was never really a dork, even though the outward appearance at the time seemed to be begging for a makeover.

Therefore, he’s gonna have to be good in the ol’ acting department.  But you must remember, he’s had some experience on the stage. Apparently, when he was in high school and college he did numerous musical plays, and this can count big-time in the experience department, because musical theater is definitely a huge starting point for the would-be serious actor.

Can he do it?  What do you think?  “I say yes. You have a great voice and you can work on your style.” Wait.  That’s not right.  Where did we hear that before??  I’m sorry; those familiar phrases still keep popping into my head. We all just have to remember; he’s done with AI.  It’s time to move on.

And when we do, we can have some fun.   There are lots of old movies to be remade with Clayton in the lead.   Let’s see.  “To Kill a Mockingbird” - no, he’s too young for that yet . . . Um, how about “Field of Dreams”? Yes, a good one for him! Then there’s those old Jimmy Stewart films like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Harvey”- Clay would be great for those!

But I know!  This is the best one; the one to really consider. Did you know that “Phantom of the Opera” was a movie way back when? It was kind of scary and weird.  But recently there was some talk about making the movie again, only this time, it would be the movie-musical, with the same score from the stage version used in the film.  Now, that’s an exciting prospect!  Yes, I definitely think we’ve got our “Phantom”.  Do you agree?

Only trouble with that one is they’ll have to cover up his face with makeup and a mask! Forget it. Can’t cover the face.

But he’s got to sing those songs!  I’ve just GOT to hear him sing “Music of the Night”.

Wait a minute; maybe we ought to take a look at the possibility of an upcoming professional stage career!  There are so many plays and musical theater productions that are perfect for him.  Clay will definitely want to consider doing the one that  . . . . . . .

O.K., Dianne.  Just hush.
_____________________________________________________________
Dianne Austin is a homemaker, writer, dancer, former teacher and social worker.  She lives in southern California with her husband, two children and two dogs.  A favorite pastime is watching all kinds of movies and then critiquing them.  Some day, she hopes to see Clay Aiken star in his first film, whereupon she would be one of the chosen critics to write the review. E-mail Dianne at ddaustin@hotmail.com

Copyright 2004 Dianne Austin. Printed with the permission of the writer.
 
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Marilyn

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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2010, 11:55:04 PM »
phantomgirl110
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  DIANNE AUSTIN: IF CLAY MADE IT IN THE MOVIES . . .
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2004, 10:54:52 AM »   

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Quote
But I know! This is the best one; the one to really consider. Did you know that “Phantom of the Opera” was a movie way back when? It was kind of scary and weird. But recently there was some talk about making the movie again, only this time, it would be the movie-musical, with the same score from the stage version used in the film. Now, that’s an exciting prospect! Yes, I definitely think we’ve got our “Phantom”. Do you agree?


Firstly, let me say that I love all your ideas!

Unfortunately though, the Phantom one will never happen. I have two obsessions in my life: Clay and The Phantom of the Opera. I think Clay could do it wonderfully, but the film is already happening. In fact, it's already been filmed and it will be coming to theatres in December of this year. Personally I am very angry about that, because they are taking liberties with the script and story that I dont care for, but I am also very unhappy with their choice to play the Phantom. He has no experience at all! While my choice to play the Phantom in the movie would have been Michael Crawford, the original Broadway Phantom, Clay would have been wonderful in the part. Not only could he have carried the songs absolutely perfectly, but the part would give him a chance to show off his acting abilities, which I somehow have a great deal of confidence in, despite only having seen him in an episode of Ed and a high-school production of Oklahoma!

I sincerely believe that Clay would have made the Phantom movie a much more pleasant experience that I have a feeling it will be, and that Andrew Lloyd Webber made a great mistake in casting the man he did and not considering Clay.

Oh, and by the way...The Phantom of the Opera has been made into lots and lots of movies...the one you're probably thinking of is the original 1920's silent film starring Lon Chaney Sr. Just FYI :D
 
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 11:56:21 PM »
wordsmith1223
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  DIANNE AUSTIN: IF CLAY MADE IT IN THE MOVIES . . .
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2004, 03:30:10 PM »   

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I think Clay should play himself in a biopic. I mean, who else could play him to our satisfaction? Howard Stern pulled it off in "Private Parts" and some other people have throughout the years.

As for roles, Clay will have to take it slow and not take on a big role that already has an indelible image (i.e. Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life," although I can see him playing Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper-type of roles in the future.

Light comedy, no mysteries or super heroes. He could play lots of best friends and wacky sidekicks instead of carrying the whole pix.

No cops, a la David Cassidy, or bad rock star shows, like Rick Springfield's "Hard to Hold." And absolutely no Beach Party-type movies! He has the "From Justin to Kelly" debacle imprinted on his brain.

He is too old to be cast as a high school teenager. He would look as ridiculous as those Dawson Creek and Beverly Hills 90210 cast members did at the end of their run.

I still say he should host a variety show. He'd be great at it. We grew up on Andy Williams, Perry Como, Sonny and Cher, Glen Campbell hosting those --  I think he'd be a natural. He can do the musical numbers and comedy sketches with great ease.

Lynn
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2010, 11:56:41 PM »
wordsmith1223
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  DIANNE AUSTIN: IF CLAY MADE IT IN THE MOVIES . . .
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2004, 03:39:00 PM »   

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P.S. I really loved the way you presented your ideas, Dianne. Hey, nothing is too far-fetched for our Clay. "When Doves Cry?"
And "The Way We Were" is in my top 10 of all-time favorite movies. But I would have a hard time picturing anyone other than Robert Redford as Hubbel, but I share your belief that Clay could carry off a similar type role.
Thanks for your thoughts!
Lynn
 
 
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 11:57:08 PM »
ACcountryFan
DIANNE AUSTIN: IF CLAY MADE IT IN THE MOVIES . . .
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2004, 04:41:03 PM »   

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 from: wordsmith1223
Quote
I still say he should host a variety show. He'd be great at it. We grew up on Andy Williams, Perry Como, Sonny and Cher, Glen Campbell hosting those --I think he'd be a natural. He can do the musical numbers and comedy sketches with great ease


===================
in my mind they'd be like Glen Campbell's show or the annual shows Bob Hope used to do. i don't know if i'd want Clay to do a monologue. He could simply open the show singing whatever and then talk about who'd be on the show. it should be 60 minutes...it should also be shown in Canada too. a show like that is a lot of hard work, but it's not like a TV comedy, drama, or a movie! the show could be Clay's "escape" from the day-to-day touring and this way he'd be settled in one place during the late fall/winter months when acts traditionally don't tour. so, in other words, the fans would have Clay in-person if they go to a concert and then they'd have him on TV during the late fall/winter months. i don't think he could handle a TV program during the summer because that's when the tour business is hectic and he'd have to be devoted to one or the other because it takes 5 to 6 days of rehearsal for a weekly show.

but, i'd be happy if he'd do sporadic TV specials at first and depending on the reaction, make more as time goes on...
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 11:58:26 PM »
singerdancer
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  Clay in the movies
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2004, 12:51:15 AM »   

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I was always a big fan of Fred Astaire movies.  I know Clay claims that he's not a dancer, but, really, he's got the moves!  With a little training, I think he could pull off a movie about the life of Fred Astaire.  He's already got the body, although I don't think Fred was very tall, but he could make it work.  I'd love to see that!  We'd also get to hear him sing all those wonderful old songs!  What do you think?   :
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 11:59:03 PM »
ACcountryFan
 DIANNE AUSTIN: IF CLAY MADE IT IN THE MOVIES . . .
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2004, 03:14:36 AM »   

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how about the other dancer, Gene Kelly?

but if he ever did a movie about Astaire, who'd play Ginger Rogers?
 
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2010, 11:59:21 PM »
wordsmith1223
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  DIANNE AUSTIN: IF CLAY MADE IT IN THE MOVIES . . .
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2004, 06:16:35 PM »   

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I got it!
Clay as the Scarecrow in the remake of The Wizard of Oz!
Lynn
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2010, 11:59:37 PM »
kendall
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2004, 12:15:43 AM »   

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Clay did such a good job with the Holiday Special last year that it occurs to me he could do more hosting, as a start to branching out. Maybe two specials a year and work up to being a sub for one of the late night talk shows. I love the idea of a weekly musical variety show. I'm thinking of the Glen Campbell and Dean Martin shows. Only he'd be a sober Dean!!  They had a lot of good music and good humor. Dean was very relaxed and sometimes sang with pretty girls around him. I could see Clay doing that. He's used to TV and I think the transition would be fairly easy. They make some good made-for-TV movies, too. I see him starting with light romantic films (a younger Hugh Grant - sorry, Hugh). I also see him doing a Spencer Tracy part in a Tracy-Hepburn-type film. What I ultimately see him doing is a Broadway musical. But he would eventually have to take it on the road and come to Northeast Florida or I'd never see him. (I'm still waiting for a concert here!!) I'm sure he'll be on the big screen when the time is right. If I wanted to be a serious actor, I'd study every episode of INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO.
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 12:00:10 AM »
ACcountryFan
 DIANNE AUSTIN: IF CLAY MADE IT IN THE MOVIES . . .
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2004, 08:13:13 AM »   

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WOW! i've never thought of a musical!! Clay could play in a traveling musical...a long time ago Vincent Price balanced his film career with stage work...from 1941-1944 i think{?} Vincent traveled all over the country in the "Angel Street" play. from 1977-1981 Vincent played Oscar Wilde in the one-man show "Diversions and Delights"...but Clay's biggest draw is the traditional "concert" goers. Aside from musical theatre-lovers, who would show up if Clay and company toured with a musical somewhere down the road???

two roles that Clay should tackle someday are Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn.
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2010, 12:00:34 AM »
kendall
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  DIANNE AUSTIN: IF CLAY MADE IT IN THE MOVIES . . .
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2004, 12:49:24 PM »   

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Hi AC,  I hope every Clay fan would show up to see OMC perform. What I had in mind are dinner theaters. The ones I've been to are fairly intimate settings - you're right there, not far from the performers. There is one a couple miles from me, so I could really go for that - LOL. Yeah, dream on, right? I really need to find a way to get to one of his concerts.
Later,  Kendall
 
 
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2010, 12:01:07 AM »
Prissy
Clay in the Movies
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2004, 11:44:07 PM »   

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Again, a very interesting, well written article!  I have been thinking about what Clay's next "moves" should be.  (As if I know better than the experts!! :roll: )  I think because he is perceived in  different ways  by different people, and some negatively, he must be extremely careful in the choices he makes.  There are so many naysayers out there that are just waiting anxiously for him to falter or fail at something!

I have a vivid imagination, yet I cannot visualize him as a character in a movie at this time. Some of the movies mentioned in the article----I just don't see for Clay, and I don't see them advancing his career.  I do picture him moving cautiously into TV as himself, perhaps the variety type program which has been discussed.  I can visualize him hosting such a program.  He was so fantastic on the AI Christmas Special!  :D

Clay is unique and his coreer choices  are going to have to keep that in mind.

Just my opinion,
Prissy
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2010, 12:02:17 AM »
kendall
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  DIANNE AUSTIN ARTICLE
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2004, 11:56:51 PM »   

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Prissy, I agree with you 100%. Clay needs to be very wise about his choices - in ALL areas - and not rush into anything.
Kendall
 
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Re: 6/4/04 Dianne Austin: If Clay Made it in the Movies
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2010, 12:02:35 AM »
Claymate98
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  DIANNE AUSTIN: IF CLAY MADE IT IN THE MOVIES . . .
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2004, 08:44:34 PM »   

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I think he should be a hero. He is to me!!!!!  And he would be good at doing the scarecrow in thw wizard of oz!
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