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Friday, May 24, 2013

Amanda Bynes- Life Imitates Art

Way back in 2007 when I wrote the screenplay All About Marilyn, I based the character of Tabatha Strong on former actress Amanda Bynes. In the story, Tabatha Strong was a young child star who guest starred on Marilyn’s sitcom, All About Nikki.

12 years later, Marilyn is a broke washed up actress while Tabatha grows up to become a popular star with an addiction to crystal meth. On reading about Amanda Bynes’ story it saddened me to see how life imitated art.

Amanda Bynes has gone from a child star with a lot of potential to a deeply troubled young woman.

I always thought Amanda Bynes had a lot of promise. Her acting was always strong and she had a great screen presence. She seemed like a natural performer with great comic timing. I thought she would be well on her way to the next level as one of the top comedy actresses by now.

But after a series of bizarre tweets (I used to follow her old twitter account), confessing to liking “chocolate”, and hooking up with a rapper she got weird. All of a sudden she announced her retirement and got in a series of car accidents.

Then she moved to New York City. And her behavior got stranger and stranger.

Unlike Marilyn who came to New York and made efforts to change her life for the better in my story, Amanda seemed to continue following down Tabatha’s path and got worse after she moved into the city. If I wrote a script for an All About Tabatha book it’d probably play out like Amanda’s life right now.

And the story would end with her tragic death from a drug overdose.

Amanda’s behavior got weirder and weirder after she came to NYC. She’s walked around naked in a spray tan salon, gotten cheek piercings, dyed her hair pink, threatened to sue every tabloid in the world, posted something online about losing weight to become 110 lbs, and written about hip hop star Drake murdering her vagina.

And in between these disturbing episodes she’s been evicted from several apartments for marijuana use and kicked out of gyms for marijuana use. People have allegedly smelled marijuana smoke from Bynes’ apartment and witnesses allege that they’ve seen her rolling joints and smoking them.

All of her behaviors fit the pattern of a schizophrenic.

And marijuana is known for triggering psychotic episodes in people with families with histories of mental illness. I’m not making excuses for her, but Amanda’s schizophrenia could have been triggered by her marijuana use. Many schizophrenics have their first episode after smoking marijuana.

Marijuana use is what schizophrenics use to medicate their symptoms. Before moving onto harder drugs like PCP and Crystal Meth.

Clearly, there’s something wrong with Amanda Bynes. Recently, she threw a bong out of a window and reports were she seen was acting in a disturbed manner before police arrested her and took her in for a psychiatric evaluation.

I don’t know if she’s got schizophrenia, but her behavior over the past two years clearly shows symptoms of some sort of mental illness. Her behavior seems to become more and more erratic with each passing day. If anything, her behavior parallels the behavior of another former child actress Maia Campbell.

Campbell’s life spiraled downward when her mother author Bebe Campbell Moore passed away and she couldn’t care for her anymore. Without her mother to watch out for her, Maia started using drugs and when her money ran out, was prostituting herself and starring in pornographic movies. A YouTube Video posted several years ago clearly shows how mentally unstable she is during one of her schizophrenic epsiodes.

However, while many laughed at Maia Campbell’s schizophrenic episodes many more are sympathetic to Amanda’s mental illness.

Sadly, that’s Hollywood in Black and White.

I feel bad for both girls. I hope they both get the help that they need from mental health professionals.

A long time ago I thought I’d be reading about Amanda’s Oscar win. Now I have the sad feeling that I’ll be reading her obituary. Amanda Bynes is clearly on the road to self-destruction that took the lives of many a child star grown up like Corey Haim and Dana Plato. If God doesn’t intervene in her life, she may be the next former child star to die in a tragic fashion. I really wish life didn’t imitate art.

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