Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Passing of the Ballerina

Around eight days ago....there was this side note in most German newspapers of Silvia Seidel passing.  If you went talking to any German under thirty....they really knew little to nothing about her.  If you talked to people who were in the teens around 1987.....they remember everything.  

There around Christmas of 1987....the German state channel....ZDF....produced this mini-series called Anna.  There were six episodes to it....each around fifty minutes.  For some reason, everyone got hooked on the series and Silvia....the kid working herself up to the local ballet attracted national attention.  You might call the series geared toward teens and grandmothers, but it worked.  It was a major success on German TV.

The series won awards, and was the major talk in January of 1988.

Silvia Seidel ended up trying to launch herself into the US in 1989.  Nothing much happened.  Whether it was bad luck, limited help by the agent, or just no real vehicle to fit for her style.....that 1989 trip was mostly a failure.

So Silvia came back to Germany.  Over the next two decades, she found a short acting spot in various German TV series and hooked up with a number of theater roles.  None were connected to long-term stability or economic success.  They simply paid the bills for that year.  She had to keep launching herself at new small roles to ensure some stability in life.

The awards and dynamic future?  Well....they all kinda ended by 1989.  For someone reaching a dramatic success by her late teens....there was probably this great lofty goal established, but nothing really shown for all the work.

So each year passed, and Silvia just never got back her luck or major presence.

Down at a local pub in Munich around the first week of August....the locals noted that she wasn't showing up for her customary drinks.  Cops were called, and busted down her apartment door.  She was dead, from a suicide (the note kinda laid out the issues confronting her).  She just wasn't going to get ahead in life off the minor work she was doing, and she had figured that out. There wasn't a plan "B" or way to get stability.

You can write a thousand lines over this story.  Young girl discovers fame and fortune, then falls into a valley of sorrows and woes.  The problem with the German entertainment industry.....they only have X number of channels and X amount of money to toss around.  If you can hook up....even as the number six player on some five-year contract for a TV detective pays a regular check and you can keep your face in public view.  After five years.....maybe another five-year TV show contract will pop up and keep you with a regular check.  After's not much to brag about.

So, you are left with this great fantastic story that started around December of 1987, and you end up with this sad ending in 2012.  There should have been something better to end on.....but this is the way of life.

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