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Shakira: Woman Child in the Promised Land
Colombian superstar recounts her rise to the top of pop.
She’s hot, she’s talented, and she’s one of the few people ever to use the word ‘laundry’ in an album title. But what�s it really like being Shakira? As VH1′s Being prepared to take a unique look at the Colombian crossover queen, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll sat down to talk fame, family, and the process of learning English. As the chat demonstrates, there’s much more to this young songwriter than meets the eye.
So what’s it really like being Shakira?
Shakira: Sometimes I feel that Shakira is an old woman trapped in the body of a 24-year-old girl. Sometimes I feel that there’s a baby inside me that hasn�t grown up yet. So Shakira can be a very confusing character!
Why do you think you’re like an old woman inside a young woman’s body?
Shakira: Sometimes I feel full of theories. I don’t necessarily go through the experience of something, because I’ve already decided what the results are going to be. I don’t go out too much at night. I don’t visit too many clubs. I like to go out sometimes and just observe how people behave. When I was 15 years old I preferred dancing to watching. Now I’m on the other side.
So where do you get inspiration for your songs? By watching people?
Shakira: I’ve always been curious about the way humans react and live and behave. That’s why I like to observe others. It inspires me and [fuels] my songs. Imagination also plays an important role. All writers have a little bit of a liar or exaggerator in them. All women exaggerate, and I’m no exception. So when I write, I exaggerate a bit.
The idea for the Ponderosa Ranch theme park came about in 1965. Bill and Joyce Anderson owned a small horse ranch, which is located in about the same area as the fictional Ponderosa on the burning map. According to the Andersons, tourists would regularly show up at their gates asking where the Ponderosa was. Smelling opportunity, the Andersons contacted NBC and Bonanza creator-producer David Dortort. They proposed turning their small ranch into a theme park. NBC, Dortort, and the cast saw the tie-in as a bonanza for everyone. All parties being in one accord, the cast agreed to promos being shot at the ranch site and the Virginia City set – including the nearby Silver Dollar Saloon – for financial consideration. The ads greatly stimulated revenue for the park.
The park opened to the public in 1967, complete with a scale replica of the Cartwright ranch house and barn similar to the ones seen on television. A replica of Virginia City was later added. The original plan was to open the set to tourists once filming had wrapped. However, shuttling cast and crew up to Incline Village on a weekly basis became cost-prohibitive. Thus, only 15 episodes of Bonanza were shot there. A majority of ranch-specific scenes were shot on a sound stage at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Outdoor scenes were filmed on location at nearby Big Bear Lake, Red Rock Canyon, Mojave or eastern Kern County, California. However, Michael Landon, Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker and David Canary often made appearances at the ranch in costume to mingle with fans and sign autographs.
Blocker died in 1972, and NBC canceled the series the following year. Canary, dressed in character as Candy, made his last visit there in 2002 for a PAX-TV special. Mitch Vogel (Jamie Cartwright) appeared at the ranch for the Travel Channel’s “TV Road Trip” in 2002, in which he pitched a behind-the-scenes look at the Ponderosa Ranch and Incline Village. Copies of the “Ponderosa Map”, autographed by three of the Cartwrights, became souvenirs at the ranch for decades afterward, along with tin cups bearing their likenesses. Episodes that were filmed entirely or in part at the ranch bear a title plate at the end of the credits. These episodes are from the tenth season on (1968–73).