Students reflect on legacies left by recently deceased celebrities



In the past month, the world lost singer and actor David Bowie along with actor Alan Rickman. These two deaths happened within four days of each other. Both were 69 years old. Around the world, fans came together to mourn, decorating Bowie’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and creating a memorial for Rickman in King’s Cross’ Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Among those mourning was Beatrice Feay, Bowie fan and sophomore.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.01.22 AM“(When I found out about Bowie’s death) I felt empty, almost, because I first heard him when I was in fifth grade, and he basically opened me up to the world of music and art and that’s what I wanted to do. I was like, ‘Whoa, look at this amazing thing that can change people; that’s what I want to do,’ and since fifth grade, I wanted to meet David Bowie and tell him how I feel. It was sort of like an elementary dream crushed,” Feay said.

Feay said she was drawn to Bowie immediately when she heard his music.

“I don’t want to say everything (drew me to him), but it did. It’s just a lot of his music is like nothing you’ve ever heard before. I mean some of it is kind of poppy, which is like, ‘Oh, I’ve heard something similar to this before,’ but then you listen to his deeper, more emotional songs, and it just hits you, and you’re all, ‘Wow, that’s something I’ve never heard before, and it’s gonna stick with me because it’s kind of scary.’ There are days where all I do is listen to him, or all I watch are movies that he’s in or that his music is in.”

However, Feay is not the only one coping with the loss of an inspirational figure. Sophomore Clara Martiny said she has also had to come to terms with the death of Rickman, an actor she said she admired ever since she first saw his work.

“(The first film I saw him in) was before the ‘Harry Potter’ movies. It was a movie called ‘Perfume.’ It wasn’t a horror movie, but it was a thriller. And I remember his acting was life-changing. He did really well in that movie and I remember seeing him and I thought he was a really powerful actor,” Martiny said. “The thing I really like about Alan Rickman is his voice and his presence on the screen. Whenever he’s on the screen, I feel like you’re automatically drawn to him because he creates a character that is so believable to the audience that it makes you want more.”

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Martiny said she found out about Rickman’s death the day it happened on Jan. 14.

“First, I found out from my mom, who texted me, and I couldn’t believe it at first. I thought it was a joke that she had seen somewhere and sent it to me. I searched it up to confirm it, and I just couldn’t believe it because there’s certain people you see and you think they’re immortal and they’re gonna live forever, and obviously no one lives forever, but you get this vision of them and you’re like, ‘Oh, they’re never gonna die, they’re still young,’ and it was just a huge shock,” Martiny said. “It was devastating because it’s almost as if you knew him personally because he played the parts so well.”

Local Indianapolis actress Taylor Poore said deaths of celebrities, particularly actors, can be truly horrible for their fans, because of how fans see celebrities on stage or on screen.

“I’ve had people talk to me after performances and tell me, like, ‘Oh, I really liked how you did this’ or even tell me that something about the show moved them,” Poore said. “It’s really crazy; you don’t think you make that much of an impact, but the thing is, you’re delivering these stories and messages to people, and so people start associating you with the themes and ideas of the show, and you start to mean something to them.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.01.31 AMAccording to Poore, many people say fans shouldn’t be upset at the death of a celebrity they haven’t met face-to-face or really known. However, Martiny said she disagrees with this.

“I think that every person, whether you’ve met them or not, has the ability to change your life or to change your perspective, and if that person had done so, then it does affect you; and therefore when they do pass away, you’re obviously going to grieve, it’s not something you can just brush off if they’ve had such an emotional connection to you,” Martiny said.

Feay also said it is OK for fans to be upset at a celebrity’s death, but they should keep in mind that they don’t know the celebrity personally enough to really grieve.

“I wouldn’t go overboard, if you’ve never had that face to face connection. I can’t say that I would go overboard saying, ‘Oh my God, I’m gonna kill myself because David Bowie died.’ But I think it’s okay (to be upset), especially in music. That’s something you take with you literally everywhere you go and for the rest of your life, and that means something to you. So if a musician dies, that’s kind of like, ‘Oh, that meant something to me in a time of my life when I needed to hear what they were saying,’ so it’s alright to be sad,” Feay said.

Dead or alive, Poore said these celebrities will live on in the hearts of their fans forever.

“I was actually a huge fan of Alan Rickman and David Bowie,” Poore said. “They both inspired me. What I loved about David Bowie was how he did his own thing. He was one of the first musicians I really began to use to define myself and who I wanted to be. As for Alan Rickman, I fell in love with him with ‘Harry Potter.’ Even though they’re both gone now, I’m never going to forget what they’ve done for me and for my life. It’s one of those things where they’re gone, but never forgotten.”