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Tags: taylor swift | success | movie | hollywood
OPINION

Swift Undeniably Gifted, but Fame Carries Responsibility

taylor swift in beaded and sequin outfit with fishnet stockiong
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

James Hirsen By Wednesday, 25 October 2023 12:56 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Taylor Swift has an unusual entertainment tale to tell.

It's a pretty sure bet there are plenty more chapters to her Hollywood story.

She's already recognized the world over for her performance skills, songwriting ability, and business sense.

It is factors such as these that have procured her millions of devoted fans, the likes of which few celebrities have enjoyed.

The seasoned star has now added another notch to her celebrity belt.

She has taken a concert performance and plastered it on the big screen, where it has been met with blockbuster success.

Shortly after wrapping up a record-breaking concert tour, a film version of her live performance, titled "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour," made its debut in theaters.

Unlike most past and present Hollywood films, Swift made the decision to bypass the studios and instead deal directly with movie theaters. The results have been remarkable.

The film has already grossed $140 million worldwide and $110 million domestically, making it the highest-grossing concert movie of all time. And it only cost $15 million to make.

Here's some background on the celebrity herself.

Swift spent her early years on a Christmas tree farm that her stockbroker father had purchased from one of his clients.

She attended pre-school and kindergarten at a Montessori school, which was run by the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters.

As she grew, so did her music aspirations. Influenced by a documentary she had seen on Faith Hill, she felt drawn to Nashville, Tennessee.

The opportunity to visit Music City arrived at age 11. Accompanied by her mother, Andrea, demo tapes were pitched to various record labels, but the efforts were unsuccessful.

In order to help his daughter's dreams materialize, Swift's father, Scott, sought a job transfer to an office located in Nashville. Fourteen year-old Taylor and family packed up their bags and moved to Tennessee, and the rest is music history.

Swift's recent movie success has a lot to do with the unique manner in which she has structured her career.

She seems to have understood at a very young age that art has an intrinsic "mission." It's not enough to merely be created. It must be shared.

It is in the sharing that a relationship is formed. And it is in the relationship that mutual appreciation and admiration blossom.

Consistent with the artist's mission, Swift dutifully placed her audience first. As a result, she acquired a highly dedicated fan base, many of whom continue to endure.

"Swifties," as her devotees are called, feel a profound sense of connection with her, as she seemingly does with them.

The film provides a way for fans to come together in a communal interactive experience. Viewers sing, dance, and connect with the onscreen presence as well as with one another.

The movie features performances of songs from all of Swift's "Eras," taking viewers on a trip through her life from her country music beginnings to her current creations.

In addition to the varying musical and stylistic periods of her career, each era is represented by a distinct visual aesthetic, costume design, and set list.

Here's an "Eras" sampling:

— The Country Era features Swift's early hits about first love ("Tim McGraw," "Our Song," and "Love Story").

— The Fearless Era focuses on love found and love lost ("You Belong with Me" and "White Horse").

— The 1989 Era appears to be a significant turning point as Swift enters the world of pop and rap, and optimism turns to cynicism ("Shake It Off," "Blank Space," and "Bad Blood").

- The Reputation Era moves significantly to the dark side both musically and lyrically ("Ready for It?" "Look What You Made Me Do," and "Delicate").

To me, Swift's life story so far appears to be part fairy tale and part misfortune.

The lyrics to her songs across the eras give the impression that they emanate from personal understanding.

Her trademark first person perspective makes the listening experience highly relatable for audiences, meaning her story is our story.

Young Taylor initially wrote and performed songs that primarily focused on the search for the one with whom she could find true love.

As time passed, the music and lyrics changed, possibly a reflection of transitions occurring within her own life.

In any event, darkness, cynicism, and coldness, which are reflected in the melodies, lyrics, and video imagery of later eras, reveal a hardened heart.

Whether or not this is the case in Swift's personal circumstance, it is important to keep in mind that along with fame comes responsibility.

This is because fans put the recipient of their admiration on a pedestal and are influenced by things said and done.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is hoping for a Swift return to her songwriting roots.

And a resurrection of the artistic mission she was graced with at the start.

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read James Hirsen's Reports — More Here.

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JamesHirsen
Swift's recent movie success has a lot to do with the unique manner in which she has structured her career.
taylor swift, success, movie, hollywood
831
2023-56-25
Wednesday, 25 October 2023 12:56 PM
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