This is a class blog run by Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and her students in the course "Telenovelas, Culture and Society" at the University of Georgia during Spring 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

How could I sum it up?

I don't have the answer to this question. I guess the larger question should be what haven't I learned in this class? But if I had to sum it all up in one word I have seen passion. Passion flowing from the people involved in the process of making the telenovelas and passion from the audience.

The amount of love the writers and actors have in order to put in the ridiculously long and crazy hours to produce these shows blows my mind. Writers get up at the crack of dawn to begin the crazy process of writing the days script all within a few hours, everyday, even if they have writers block. As Padron said in our class the other day their passion also includes discipline so that if need be they can "put the gun to the muse" and force something out. I doubt that even literary writers have to have as much discipline. Then you have the actors, who can't schedule anything while working on a telenovela because they never know how long filming will take that day but many of them also perform in plays too! How do they have the time?!

The fact that audience members spend hours EVERY NIGHT dedicated to watching their novela also fascinates me. We have discussed many times that the audience watches the show from the heart, not from the head. I don't know if it was my lack of tv watching as a kid or what but I rarely get that into a tv show. But the audience members are unbelievable faithful to their shows. I just go back to the story dr A. told us about when Chavez interrupted one telenovela for one of his speeches and from her house she thought she heard all of Caracas yelling and banging pots at him.

Dr. A also told us last night that in a recent poll of countries Venezuela was 4th in happiness. Even though there is lots of political turmoil, much poverty in parts of the country, it is still the 4th happiest group of people in the world and I think it has something to do with this passion. These people are giving their all into whatever they do or care about and although life might disappoint you sometimes, if you are investing that much passion into what you enjoy, the positives will far outweigh any disappointments.

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