(Originally published in The California Aggie)
My name is Robin Migdol, and I’m an arts –and-entertainment addict.
Whew. It feels good to come clean.
But wait, you say. Being obsessed with pop culture or the entertainment industry isn’t a real condition. You probably pick up Us Weekly every once in a while, or indulge in tickets to the midnight showing of the newest Harry Potter movie, but don’t we all? Merely being in tune to the latest in the art world doesn’t make you any more of an addict than any other warm-blooded American.
But, oh, how wrong you would be.
You see, my condition is much more severe than a couple of back issues of Us Weekly piled up in a bookcase or participation in Harry Potter mania. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by television, movies, theater, those kids whose abstract finger paintings sell for thousands of dollars, you name it.
Looking back, I was always destined to be an arts and entertainment addict. March 26, 1990, was the day of the 62nd Annual Academy Awards, and I, sensibly, allowed my parents to watch the broadcast before being born the next day (probably miffed that Driving Miss Daisy had beaten Dead Poets Society for Best Picture, but I digress).
The first movie I ever saw in the theater was Pinocchio, and I was so small that my twin sister Erin and I had to share the same seat to hold it down. And I never had to be carried, screaming or crying, out of the theater. I seemed to have been born with an innate grasp of proper movie theater etiquette.
When I was old enough to watch TV, I skipped cartoons and went straight to “Seinfeld” and “Friends.” Following a brief detour into the obligatory girl-and-her-horse phase, I returned to my roots and vowed to never miss an episode of “Survivor.”
While most teenagers were asking their parents for cars for their sixteenth birthdays, I was thrilled to receive tickets to the touring production of “Chicago.” After seeing Pirates of the Caribbean for the first time, I began my quest to watch every Johnny Depp movie ever made – a task whose completion still eludes me, though the journey has only made my schoolgirl crush on the guy stronger over the years.
Now, as a college student, my obsession has become my life. As a Film studies/English double major, I’ve finally figured out a way to watch movies, and read books and imagine what they would be like as movies, all day long for the sake of my education. While my roommates study their chemistry and biology textbooks, I read my Entertainment Weekly and People magazines in front of Showbiz Tonight.
As arts editor of the Aggie, I feel it’s my duty to share my obsession with the student body of UC Davis. Sure, we may not be Hollywood here, but our little town is chock-full of artists waiting to have their stories told. The Mondavi Center isn’t exactly Radio City Music Hall, but this year it will host some seriously cool acts, like Steve Martin on his banjo and the San Francisco Symphony. And you ought to know that the Louvre isn’t the only place to see great works of art – the artwork of the next Andy Warhol or Georgia O’Keefe could be hanging in a downtown Davis gallery as we speak.
So not to worry. You’re in good hands. For the next nine months, see the world as I do, through a camera lens, magazine page or picture frame. Never miss the opening of a good movie or great student production, and never, ever, complain that “There’s nothing to do in Davis!” For you and I both know, that just ain’t true.
This year, Muse, and this column, will be your one-stop shop for everything you ever wanted to know about pop culture, art and entertainment in Davis and beyond. With the kid for whom the highlight of her freshman year was seeing the Theatre/Dance and Drama Departments’ production of “Oklahoma!” at the helm, rest assured that if there’s something newsworthy in the arts going on, you’ll see it covered on these pages.
It sure won’t help cure my addiction, but then again, maybe having a textbook knowledge of the history of Broadway isn’t such a bad thing after all.