The Why Behind the unseen stars

I got the idea for the unseen stars a few years back while watching Inside the Actors Studio hosted by James Lipton. The special guest was Tom Hanks, who happens to be a top five on my list of favorite actors. I listened as Tom described what it was like filming certain movies and how they affected him personally; particularly the film Philadelphia. Tom became emotional as he shared a story about a man he encountered during the production of that film, who in real life was a homosexual and happened to contract the aids virus; and that he had worked in a noodle factory making noodles. I thought it was cool for someone like Tom Hanks to honor this man on television and pay tribute to his simple life of making noodles. I also remember thinking how unfortunate it is that many of us believe we are just too simple or insignificant, or our stories won’t be as impacting unless we are the ones on stage telling it.

Then I wondered what I would talk about if I were the one being interviewed on a show like Inside the Actors Studio or late night TV. I wondered how I would come across and if I would have anything of substance to offer those listening. So I did what anyone else would do and started interviewing myself in the car on the way to work. I did. I would ask myself questions and answer each one as if I were actually being interviewed. I would be funny and tell jokes, I’d be serious and sometimes, I’d even argue with myself just to get my point across. Yep, I was the guy in the car next to you. You’re welcome.
That got old and kind of weird after awhile, and then the thought of asking other people questions became more interesting. So I started thinking about who would be a good interview and what questions I would ask them. As I thought about people I personally knew, the idea of the unseen stars began to take shape.

At the time however, I was working forty hours a week and going to school part time and my wife was going to school full time; all while raising four kids. Needless to say, in-between all that, everyday responsibilities, and trying to maintain my sanity, the unseen stars was just an idea; and stayed that way for a while. It wasn’t until a few years later when I was at the book store and picked up Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please that the idea for the unseen stars came back around.

The book was fascinating to me; it was interesting to hear Amy describe what went on behind the scenes of SNL, and how they came up with the skits for Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin; which, in my opinion, are some of SNL’s classics. I appreciated how she brought fame and stardom down to our level and I found the book to be relate-able in a sense. Then it occurred to me that all celebrities, and politicians, and news anchors and leaders are just like the rest of us. So the question I asked myself is, why do we hear about them and from them so often? And why does it seem like we should value their opinions more than the people we encounter every day? And why do we care so much about who wore what to the Grammys?

That same night my wife recommended I watch a YouTube video of a Christian fellow by the name of Bob Goff giving a lecture during his book tour. Donald Miller wrote about this guy in one of his books, and his description of Bob was spot on. This Bob Goff guy is insanely joyful and has the energy of a three year old in a candy store. You got to check him out, he’s crazy… in a good way. Anyway, he was talking about his book Love Does, I won’t get into every detail but what he was saying and the way he was talking got me thinking again about how everyone, even You, are important and valuable. Whether we are on the red carpet or work in a noodle factory. We all have something to contribute and something to share.

And that’s the purpose of the unseen stars. To give “every day” “normal” people a platform to share their opinions, life perspectives, beliefs, ideas and to join the conversations taking place in our country that we don’t seem to be a part of.

I hope you enjoy the unseen stars.

-Joe Moran, Founder

The Why Behind the unseen stars

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