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Lady GaGa: When The Style Jumps Over The Moon (Part ONE of THREE)

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When
rock
stars
fake
it

By Ann Powers


____July 12th, 2009


_Los Angeles Times





Part ONE of THREE


Lady Gaga wants you
to know she is not a
Method actor.
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The 23-year-old ingenue
behind hits like “Poker Face”
and “Paparazzi” does believe
in cultivating what thespians
call “theatrical truth.”
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Lady_GaGa_812848j
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But while devotees use
the exercises developed by
the late Lee Strasberg and
others to go deep into
character and pull
themselves out again,
Gaga has made artifice
her permanent home.

“Hated Lee Strasberg,”
Gaga says in a behind-the-
scenes video on her website,
reminiscing about her youthful
studies at New York University’s
Tisch School of the Arts.
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“You create sensory
scenarios for yourself,”
she explains.

“Like,
I’m gonna feel a
coffee cup right now,
or feel the rain,
and when I feel rain,
I feel this way.

Then you go into that state,
and you stay there.

And then you have to learn
in the classes how to get
out of that state.”

“But that’s what I don’t do,”
she concludes.
“I’m in a permanent
state of Gaga.”
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3291485600_9608a52627-1
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The former Stefani Germanotta,
who tells every journalist she
encounters that Lady Gaga is
“not a character” and who
gets offended when someone
calls her by her given name,
is only the most insistent in
a wave of pop artists actively
questioning the value of an
old and often-debated
artistic standard:
authenticity.
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Lady+Gaga+Performs+Wiltern+PmB_0bvawdHl
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The balance between “real”

and “fake” in pop has run
in cycles.
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lady-gaga-butt_375x960
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Rawness and spontaneity
come into fashion,
then formalism and glitz.
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gaga3_gallery__588x400
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In fact,
both extremes
are always present,
with some artists aiming
to express unfiltered emotions
in unstudied ways,
others adopting a
deliberately mannered,
costumed,
referential style,
and most combining
elements of both approaches.
.
.
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Since the dawn of the
popular music age,
the nature of authenticity
has been debated by artists,
who’ve battled in rhyme
and punched each other
backstage over the matter;
fans,
who tend to think whatever
their community does is the
most real;
and critics and theorists,
who’ve written enough on
the topic to sag several
bookshelves.
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_______
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Lately, though,
the split between “real” and
“fake” seems to have closed.

It sometimes seems that
all of pop is in a permanent
state of Gaga.
.
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This isn’t because the quest
for authenticity has been
abandoned.
.
.
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It’s because,
for artists like Gaga,
fake has become what
feels most real.
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Artificial conventions

Across nearly every
genre in pop, artifice,
theatricality and synthesized
sound rule the day.
.
.
.
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The biggest group in the
nation is the Black Eyed Peas,
hip hop’s answer to both
the Monkees and
Cirque du Soleil.

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3749810277_660c521e35

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Lady Gaga performs on stage at the Vector Arena on May 16, 2009 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lady Gaga

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