I don’t particularly get all the fuss being made about Howard Stern’s recent comments about actress Gabourey Sidibe, but people are still making fuss even if I don’t get it, so I will address it now because I am having trouble with Garage Band at the moment and need to step away from that application before I have a stroke. Anyway, a couple of days ago Howard Stern offered his opinion that a black actress of her considerable size has no chance of making it long-term in Hollywood. People are saying that’s mean. Howard Stern has been on air for millions of years and has made millions of dollars by speaking bluntly. Hello, hello.

Sidibe earned a Best Actress award nomination at this year’s Oscars with essentially no acting experience behind her – only a couple of college productions. “Precious,” based on the novel “Push,” was universally acclaimed, and no one refutes Sidibe’s considerable skills. It’s always exciting to discover a new talent, because so many of the old talents become over-hyped, over-used, pimped into bad projects, or ruined by any number of temptations. It isn’t easy to pick creative projects wisely, or for that matter, get good steady acting work at all. And herein really is the point: even the most-glamorous, the most-gifted, the most-connected, the most-beloved, and the most-honored Hollywood actresses struggle to work. Ask any one of them, if you can get past security and her alarmed stare as you are addressing her as she slowly backs up. There’s a bell curve for acting work for women, which I will attempt to illustrate here:

Hollywood, and the viewing public it makes content for, is hardly color- or weight-blind, and that is not going to change drastically anytime soon. Sidibe’s appearance will fit into very, very, very few available film jobs. Unless something is written specifically for her, or she can get a good quality recurring role on a television series, she will not be working or not working anywhere as often as she would like. She seems to have already have snared a role on a Showtime series and another film quite different from “Precious,” so that is good. Now what she is going to have to do is absolutely blow everyone away again. And again. And again. She is going to have to be just that good, every single time.

I am guessing that Gabourey Sidibe already knows that, and is excited for the challenge. I am also guessing she is not at all fazed by Howard Stern’s comments, as she likely hears far, far worse directed her way just walking down the street every single day. Maybe that will give her the armor she will need to make her way through Hollywood and media commentary, and she will be able to have the kind of career an Oscar-nominated actress would hope for. I wish her well.

Back to the impudent Garage Band for me, and a low-fi musical recording any rain-besieged Seattle-ish mom would hope for.