I have had numerous approaches to this blog. Since creative writing is my expertize, I figured I would express the reasons why each of these names made my top ten influential artists. As my artistic creations spill into the world, I cannot help but wonder about the pros and cons of the success that may or may not come. Regardless, it is easier to keep being true to myself with the leadership of my elders and fellow artists, who have reach unlimited success, while being true without allowing the fame they have encountered change their beings. This list is not chosen from talent alone. Before I stick to my interests of performers, so to speak, I like to try and get a sense of character from the artist, by their words in the interviews, actions that portray their credibility, and how they give back to the community and/or their fans in general. The ‘hear say’ from the paparazzi and other fans tend to go in one ear and out the other. I also try to find a deeper significance beyond the image portrayed in photos and/or on the screen. Let’s be honest, just because you are talented, doesn’t mean you are a solid individual. My top ten have proven in the years of on and off the screen of their individualism. These following ten have their own individualism to themselves and not with society.
10. Joe Lando
Even though my Dr. Quinn days are long over and I have grown up fully, my childhood hero will always have a special place in my heart. That is why he is chosen at #10. Joe can be caught on screen in numerous guest appearance from various shows in today’s day and age, but the factor of his priority being his family speaks volumes, as similar as, his 90s character, Byron Sully. He protects his family by keeping them out of the spotlight, yet, has the ability to continue his working abilities as an actor. Also, the idea of acting as work is rare, but he only sees this profession as a job, nothing more, nothing less. This I applaud him, since no one sees this in Hollywood too often anymore. He is no Tom Cruise.
P!nk is one of the most refreshing faces in the music/acting business, as she has the ability to be true to herself, keep her own style, and still provide beautiful music every time she releases and album or appears on a soundtrack. Her music’s messages are powerful and positive for the mainstream radio, which is rare nowadays. P!nk’s combination of priorities with family and a strong activist for the LGBT community brings hope to the equal rights of our brothers and sisters who have fought long enough as a minority.
Another activist/warrior for the LGBT community, Macklemore promotes change in his strong song lyrics; however, Macklemore doesn’t just focus on just one community for equality, he also portrays concerns of the civil rights for today’s African Americans and other racism issues. Aside from the powerful music movement with his lyrics, Macklemore also achieved greater success, that no other independent artist has, in the history of album sales and singles on the Billboard Charts and mainstream. He has provided hope in other indie artists to keep striving for their goals, without the corporation world attached. His messages in his lyrics influenced the change in my poetry theme the last couple of years.
7. Andrew Zimmern
I have many favorites in the Culinary profession from Guy Fieri to Bobby Flay, but no one tops them than the traveling, bizarre grubbing Minnesotan. It seems that Andrew has no limits when it comes to trying everything once, either it applies in food or lifestyle. I give Andrew props for opening the world up (aside from Ru-Paul) to the drag world in one of his Bizarre Foods segments when he was in Florida. Not only did he provide his support to the drag community, but he is openly Jewish for the religious preference. That originality opens many doors to other cultures as well, as one can hope for.
One of the most dominating feminist groups of my time, another influence from my childhood that will always be sitting in my top ten at all time. The powerful words in their songs, “Waterfalls” & “Unpretty” are just a few of the songs that have influenced fans in general for a better living regardless of their own personal struggles that they battled during the times of their explosive success in the 90s. TLC made growing up in the 90s, an era of massive change, a bit easier to digest.
5. Jared Leto
From music to acting, Jared portrays his individualism in both categories. Jared expresses full passion in both his careers, whether he is Jared or provides a character in his film projects. He is one of the few actors/actresses that is willing to go the distance and go where the meat is, so to speak, in the script and story. Jared doesn’t worry about labels and the critics that hold them when he chooses a project or looks at a project. His openness provides unlimited opportunities for his success. That openness portrays his confidence in himself and his skill sets in the entertainment business, whether he is singing or acting.
4. Kristin Bauer Van Straten
My fellow Wisconsinite provides society our true nature of our personalities, the bi-polar of Pam on True Blood. We just have a way of saying truth in a more humble sense. The first time I watched True Blood, I am honest, I was not a fan of Eric or Pam, seemingly conniving at first. The characters also sparked my curiosity beyond True Blood and the famous characters. Kristin provides hope in her activism in her documentary, Out For Africa, which her and her husband bring light in the awareness of poaching against elephants and rhinos in Africa. I had the honor and ability to donate towards the project through Kickstarter and got the insiders ‘goods’ to the project. Her ability to fight for the endangered animals brought warmth in my heart for Pam’s willingness for survival. Kristin is also known to be an out-spoken supporter in the LGBT community as well.
3. Johnny Depp
Johnny is a chameleon for movie/TV roles. From portraying a Native American, a pirate, an author, a murderous barber, Leo Dicaprio’s older brother, to a psychotic astronaut, I think Johnny has reached beyond the limits of an actor’s credibility to adapt. For majority of my adulthood, Johnny has become a favorite eye candy of my own personal choosing. Johnny’s sense of keeping the lucrative rock image in a humble matter and not become the Ken Barbie image like majority of Hollywood’s leading males is a huge turn on in my view. At 51 years old, we can safely agree, he doesn’t look a day older than 39.
2. Alexander Skarsgard
Eric Northman. Need we say more? Fortunate or unfortunate, I tend to draw towards military personnel. Upon the discovery of Alex’s past with the Swedish Marines, I’ve become more drawn to him. Another attraction factor is how he handles his fame and his career, as he keeps true to his nature and doesn’t give up on his roots in Sweden, his little getaway from the Hollywood life anytime he wishes to take a break. He reminds me of my #1 on my influential list in a sense. So, don’t let his appearance fool you, because he provides beauty from within, as much as he does on the surface. Through his work and his activism events, he continues to support the soldiers and veterans. My admiration of Alex is fresh, as I stated before, I started out not being a fan of Eric Northman, but I was a sucker for the vulnerable Eric, as many women were.
1. Roy Dupuis
My hero/idol in my adulthood. I could write a book about it, but I won’t. Not now anyways. If you are wondering where Roy has been since the cancellation of the show, La Femme Nikita, all you have to do his follow his heart back to Quebec, Canada, where he has done over 30 film/television projects since the end of his run as Michael Samuelle in one of the most profound series in television history. Roy is one of the most iconic actors in Quebec, if not Canada, politics aside. In his projects he has brought a brighter light in the Rwanda Genocide ’94 portraying General Romeo Dallaire in Shaking Hands With The Devil and brought light to the story of the iconic hockey player and activist, Maurice Richard in The Rocket. Along with his spectacular choices of character roles, he keeps busy in numerous activism/humanitarian projects back home, including his organization of founding Fondation Rivières in 2001. He proved his individualism when Jon Cassar believed Roy had no choice, but to move to Hollywood. Instead, Roy followed his heart back to his roots of Quebec and have had, if not more, success and happiness in his lively hood and career.