There seems to be quite a bit of press as to whether Jack Nicholson is retiring from acting due to memory loss issues, and the RadarOnline site has indicated that he has quietly quit acting “without fanfare.” Maybe he has and maybe he hasn't. Is his not having made a movie since How Do You Know in 2010 really an indication of quitting? Many actors see time lapses between movies.
Twitter, the bellwether of world concerns, saw expressions of gloom at losing him and also of appreciation for what he has given the world, and http://www.itv.com is apparently debunking the whole question. Whether Jack Nicholson is losing his memory or not, there is an issue here that comes to mind. Will Jack Nicholson see all the love and appreciation you have poured out onto Twitter? Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. But there is something he will see, will know it is from you and will probably keep so that future generations will find them. Enter the fan letter as a love letter. Those he will see.
By the way, just to digress from Jack Nicholson for a moment, some of the most beautiful love letters are those written to people on the verge of losing memory forever. One of our letter writers sent a love letter to his mother who was starting a descent into Alzheimer’s syndrome, and he said, quite simply, “I want her to know how I feel about her before the fog takes over completely.” Even when someone is beyond being able to read a letter, these love letters are comfort and joy to the rest of the family and probably just the thing to read to someone suffering from lack of recall. It is certainly possible that the voice of someone reading these letters out-loud will reach the heart even if it bypasses the mind. How perfect.
To tell people how much they mean to you and in exactly what way is an exceptional offering. To do it in your own handwriting is value added and a gift that will last for generations, a legacy worth handing down.
At their best, actors want to please us, and judging from the height of the pedestals on which we place them, please us they do. They transport us to worlds we never imagined, or maybe imagined and could not reach ourselves, they show us our own potential, let us identify with heroes, allow us to step our of our own sometimes troubled domain and focus on hope, and they let us lose ourselves in a good cry or laugh (known, you remember, as the best medicine). Don’t they deserve something special from us as a kind of ongoing applause? Emotional royalties, you could say; something they can take out and read and re-read for all their lives while we are watching their movies for all of ours.
No one is immune to the joy of receiving appreciation. Whether or not Jack Nicholson is losing his abilities, it is a nice thing to send an envelope full of affection to any celebrity who has devoted his or her life to making yours better. I know the love you send will land right on the mark, the heart of the person in whose hands your letter lands.
Gratitude is a wonderful thing to feel. It is a better thing to share. Maybe it is time to send Jack Nicholson a letter just because. He has, after all, through the roles he has played, given us the pluck to buck the system and has buoyed our spirits for years with his overstated grin and endless audacity. Don't forget to be specific, write right out-loud the things you love, the memories you have and how he has made your life better.
An agent is always a good person to field a fan letter as love letter. Try Sandy Bresler, 11500 West Olympic Boulevard – suite 352, Los Angeles, CA 90064. From me to you with love in the air, Janet
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