Ronald Reagan did it — so did Arnold Schwartzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Sonny Bono, and Shirley Temple Black. They were actors who became politicians.
And now Val Kilmer may want a piece of the action.
Speaking of action, we are talking about the same Val Kilmer who played Batman, Iceman (Top Gun) and Doc Holiday (Tombstone) on the big screen — three of his most memorable roles. And now he is sending out feelers about the possible role of governor of New Mexico in 2010.
Some may chuckle at the thought; but there are some pretty compelling reasons why a successful acting career might lend itself to politics. Here are seven of them:
- Actors already have a connection with the public. Their movies reach millions of people; and many of us feel that we know something about them. So they have a head start in politics.
- Actors know how to sell themselves. They are charming salespeople with a knack for manipulating the media and the public. They sell their movies on talk shows, on billboards and in print ads. Then we, their targeted buyers, reward them by showing up at movie theaters in droves.
- Actors are excellent communicators. They are accustomed to studying and memorizing scripts, then projecting their voices while filming in front of an entire cast and crew. Giving speeches during a campaign is a piece of cake.
- Actors look great. Their appearance is money in the bank for them in the movie business; and successful actors take great care of their bodies. Voters love a politician with substance and good looks — we call it the “whole package”. And some studies show that many employers tend to favor attractive job applicants.
- Actors exude confidence, which gives John Q. Public confidence in them as well. Whatever they say, we want to believe them. After all, would Batman lie to us?
- Actors have rich and powerful friends and acquaintances. And these friends help fund their campaigns, speak on their behalf, and get out the vote.
- Actors are no stranger to patience, perseverance and hard work. After all, who can make it in the movie business without all of those qualities?
But what does all of this have to do with distance education or online schools?
To be honest, actors-turned-politicians are similar to adult learners who decide to enroll in school and begin a journey toward an online degree or professional certificate. Both are willing to choose a new path, take a risk, and learn new skills in an honorable pursuit.
It takes courage for the actor; and it takes courage for the adult e-learner.
Just one question: In the future, will it be President Val Kilmer? Who knows? But for now, let’s just take one step at a time.
val kilmer, online schools, distance education, online degrees, elearning, actor, politician, new mexico, arnold, top gun, eastwood, hollywood, movie, careers, adult learners
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