11 Blocks…

We’re all on our own journeys. But sometimes when your mind won’t stop, you just need to take a minute and listen to someone else’s story…

11 blocks from my door to your doorstep

Three years later and it feels too close

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An Open Letter to Jared Leto

Dear Jared Leto,

I thought you would like to know that I have recently had an epiphany of epic proportions.

Last weekend as I was being sucked into the black hole that is the internet, specifically scrolling through my twitter feed that turned into falling into the vortex of YouTube, I discovered something.

I have gained a whole new respect for Jared Leto.

Over the years, I’ve found myself saying three things about Jared Leto and three things only:

  1. “Oh Jared Leto. The lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars. I like that one song Kings and Queens”.
  2. “Oh Jared Leto. What are you doing in a movie?”
  3. “Jared Leto looks like societies depiction of Jesus”

But as of last Saturday night, I became transfixed by the same three things. But it was as if I were hearing them for the first time.

“Jared Leto is the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars. He sings. He’s a singer. He friggin sings!” Once this thought exploded in my mind I fell into blackness. I spent the rest of the night watching Thirty Seconds to images-2Mars music videos and fell in love with “Closer to the Edge”. Something happened inside me as I watched a pink mohawked man sing into a microphone with the voice of a tiny angel, who I’m sure also had a pink mohawk. I sat there awestruck by what I was witnessing. It was one of those moments of such gut wrenching and soul rendering intensity that can only be achieved through music. I emerged from that night a whole new woman and with a whole new understanding of what it means to believe in music. Like the girl in the video says, “Some people believe in God. I believe in music”.

This musical epiphany lead me to my next epiphany: “Jared Leto is an actor. He’s an actor. Of course, he’s in movies! He’s Jared Leto“. During the countless times I’ve watched the movie Fight Club, my most used comment is “what is Jared Leto doing in this movie and why is he so blonde?”. Unfortunately, this epiphany has only lead to answering one of those questions. Jared Leto is in that movie because he’s Jared Leto. And believe it or not this did not come from the knowledge that Jared Leto is, in fact, an Academy Award winning actor. Actor. It came from the sudden realizaimagestion that maybe, just maybe, a singer can also be an actor. I had never before believed this to be true. Growing up as a Disney kid where a world existed in which every actor on that channel also had to have a singing career put me into a false reality. Having the idea that if you want to be an actor on this channel, you also have to be a singer, shoved down my throat so many times, placed a veil of misunderstanding and annoyance over my eyes that was so heavy, I didn’t think it could ever be lifted. That being said, I developed the very unjustified attitude of not being able to take Jared Leto seriously as an actor. Just like I could not take actors on the Disney Channel seriously as singers. These were beliefs that I have held strongly to for a long time. But another thing happened to me as the thoughts swirled through my mind and suddenly rearranged themselves in one of complete clarity. This isn’t the Disney Channel. This is real life. A life in which Jared Leto is an actor, who also happens to sing.

My third and last epiphany, Jared, isn’t really an epiphany at all. It’s a simple fact. You look like Jesus. Now, I’m not a particularly religious person but I do believe in God, just like I believe in music. Maybe the fact that Jared Leto looks like Jesus is supposed to tell us something. Maybe it’s supposed to tell us that although there could be a higherimages-3 power, one that is looking down on us and guiding us down our paths, this power could also be right here on earth. I’m not saying Jared Leto is our savior or that I don’t believe in him like people believe in Jesus, but what I’m saying is that some people do. Whether it’s through his music, his acting repertoire, or him as a person, Jared Leto is a figure of belief. A belief that what he does will have an impact on those who may be lost. On those that are still finding their way. Or on those who are exactly where they want to be.

I suppose, if I really think about it,  my true epiphany isn’t even about Jared Leto. But is, instead, about art.

Art isn’t just one thing and neither is an artist. Art is there to change us and rearrange us. Music is meant to make us angry. It’s meant to make us think. It’s meant to make us fall in love and it’s meant to evoke some brand of catharsis from us. It’s meant to give us recognition when we feel most alone. The cinema and television is meant to do the same thing. Art is there for our consumption and as consumers we are supposed to question what we are, in fact, consuming. I feel a multitude ofUnknown things when it comes to the arts and my range of emotions is a colorful one. I believe in the telling of a story. Whether that be through music or on screen. I believe art comes from somewhere deep within and expressing it can sometimes be hard. But even if we struggle to express ourselves, I find comfort in knowing that there are artists out there who can do it for us. There are people out there that have gone through similar plights and struggles and have learned how to make something beautiful out of that.

Art can be a powerful creation and I am proud to call Jared Leto an artist.