How would YOU handle fame?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Not because I have any chance of becoming famous. I’m just thinking that it must really be hell on earth to be extremely famous! On the one hand I’d appreciate it at times, but on the other hand I don’t think I’d like it most of the time. And forget the paparazzi.

I think fame could work well for you if you aren’t the urban dweller type. If you spend time at home, secluded from most then you probably stand a better chance. But I don’t know. I was talking to a friend of mine, and she said that one time she was out at a restaurant when she saw Richard Hatch of Survivor. She didn’t say anything, but her friend yelled out “Richard Hatch!” How could you react in a dignified manner? You can’t that’s all. I bet he goes through this all the time.

What is the motivation of people wanting to see famous people. Imagine you’re walking down the street. You see someone. Let’s not even say it’s someone you particularly have strong feeling for. Let’s say its a character actor you recognize and probably know their name. Let’s say you meet Stephen Tobolowski in a bar one day. How do you react? I know my normal reaction is to talk to them. I once saw Lewis Black on a streetcorner here in New York. I walked past him, and did a double take. I decided not to confront him. Anyway, I feel the urge to talk to them. It’s kind of crazy, but why do I feel like that? I guess it’s a selfish need to feel like I’m a part of their success.

Well, how would you react? I imagine that all of us could handle it on good days. But what would it be like on the day when you’re feeling bad, walking to the street to simply just buy some groceries? I know I feel bad when I meet people I know in such situations. How would you feel if you were ALWAYS running into such people?

Now I’ll go over various levels and types of fame and try to figure out where I’d fit in.

Author. Even J.K. Rowling or John Grisham probably live an okay life. They are extremely famous authors too. Of course there are very few authors who live an opulent lifestyle.

Character Actor: This is the, “Where do I KNOW you from?” category. It’s probably the worst category. You go out and people stare at you and confront you. However nobody really knows what you did, so they have no respect for your work.

Paris Hilton: Sure, her life is problematic because of paparazzi but on the other hand that’s the only way she maintains her fame and livelyhood. It’s part and parcel of her fame. These people sort of live and feed off of this stuff.

Nicholson/Deniro/Hackman/Pacino etc… These people must avoid being in public with disguises. But on the other hand, people probably do appreciate their work. They probably don’t get shouts across the street of their character’s names because their persona rises above them.

Seth McFarlane. He’s recognizable for hardcore Family Guy fans. If I saw him, I think I’d approach him. He probably gets recognized very rarely.

Star Trek. Not Shatner, Nimoy, or Patrick Stewart. I mean Johnathan Frakes, Levar Burton, Walter Koenig etc. You only get recognized by super devoted fans…
There are many more levels of fame, obviously…

But the final question I have is this. Is there any way to approach such celebrities of these various calibers in a way that doesn’t annoy them? I generally feel that there isn’t. I’d love to pay my respects to the actors that I see, but on the other hand, I don’t really know of a way to do it. I think a lot of it depends on the situation in which you encounter them. In an officially sanctioned event I agree that it’s okay.

I just hear loads of stories of celebs being complete assholes, and I can’t always agree that it’s a bad thing? I’d love to hear anecdotes or whatever else you can think of.

I plan on becoming a recluse. :smiley:

I was very vaguely recognized a few times a few years back. Sometimes it was great, sometimes it was downright scary. Depends on the person. One guy just started talking to me as though we’d been friends for years, he knew my name and began asking all sorts of personal questions (“how many people in your flat, now?”). It took a while before I got up the nerve to admit I couldn’t place his face.
He said; “Oh, we’ve never met.”

I wouldn’t give a damn about what people thought of my behavior. I’ve always wondered about this. Let’s say I’m an established actor, been in a dozen films, but not a “superstar.” If I have enough money in the bank to keep me afloat for life, why in the holy HELL would I change my behavior? Obviously, I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but once I had that first 3 or 4 million in the bank, I’m doing what I want. Nothing crazy, mind you, just not compromising myself.

If I’m having a bad day, I’ll respond politely to fans at first, then gruffly if they persist, then rudely if they do not leave me alone. Oh, I lost your box office dollars because I told you to hit the bricks? Oh, well, at least I don’t NEED your 7 bucks. I TRIED to be polite, but I’m really depressed today, my dog died, but you wouldn’t leave me alone. Just blow off, OK?


Nah, if your’re famous, you can live your life out of the limelight. Take everyone’s favorite punching bag, Lindsay Lohan. She was everywhere, pictures every day, all that crap. Her publicist told her she had to disappear for a week and she did. Nobody had a clue where she was. They couldn’t find her to photograph her or anything. With that much money, you can go somewhere and not be seen. A lot of these people WANT to be seen and CHOOSE huge, glitzy homes in Hollywood.

I can see how you could disappear into normal America, but thwn suffer from “big fish in small pond” syndrome and start to stick out. It’s all in how you handle it.

There are a surprising amount of high profile stars that people know very little about. They know how to keep their personal lives private, stay out of scandalous trouble, and keep their lives at a reasonably realistic level.

If I ever got famous, I’d try to live like them.

I think the problem is the trappings of fame. Temptation is placed in their way at every turn, and if they get enough fawning attention they run the risk of believing the hype. If you can shield yourself from those kinds of situations, you should have a reasonable time of keeping things in order.

It’s certainly possible to not live a life out of your control.

Reobert Duval lives (at least part time) in a very small town here in Virginia. He also owns a restaurant in town. I was there once when he came in and he was completely ignored. He’s such a fixture that he doesn’t warrant much notice.

That would ideal. Fame, glory, fawning people when you wanted a little taste, but then retreat home where people say, “Excuse me, but would you pass me the ketchup,” or “Hey, Bob, did you get your truck tire fixed? I saw it was flat.”

A lot of famous people do not look like themselves in person and furthermore learn how to act inconspicuous. I’ve lived in the NYC area for decades, and the only two famous people I recognized on the street were Paul Simon (who is very short) and Woody Allen (who actually glanced at me and then stared). I cannot stand Woody, it was during the whole Mia/Soon-Yi mess, and I showed amazing restraint by not knocking him upside the head.

If I became famous, I wouldn’t stay famous for long. It would be hell on earth, and I would be that strange reclusive lady who won’t go on Letterman. I really cannot think of anything more horrible than people with cameras chasing me wherever I go. Hell, sometimes I don’t even like to leave the house on the off chance that someone might notice I exist.

There are degrees of fame I would enjoy, such as being a famous author or researcher. People wouldn’t know my face, but might strike up a conversation if they recognized my name. If they did, it would probably mean they were interesting to talk to. ‘‘Say, you’re not the latest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, are you? That Olives?’’

grinds toe of shoe into floor bashfully "Well yes. Yes, I am…’’

I disagree with Frakes and Burton. Mr. Frakes is married to Genie Francis of General Hospital fame, so if they’re in public together, it’s a safe bet that one or the other would be recognized. Mr. Burton has two other monster successes under his belt, namely Roots and Reading Rainbow in addition to ST:TNG, so he’d likely be recognized regardless.


Me too. Oh, wait, I already am. So…continue being so.

I would hate to be “movie-star” famous. Having people taking photos of my cottage cheese thighs while I’m trying to relax on vacation, and then having the photos on the cover of a magazine? No thanks! Not to mention the stalkers, “fake friends”, people prying into every aspect of your personal life, being a little bloated and having people speculate on your “baby bump”, whether you had a boob job, lip injections, botox, etc. Criticizing your wardrobe choices even when all you did was make a run to the drugstore to buy toilet paper. Fuck that.

However, I wouldn’t mind being, say, “Carl Sagan” famous. I think I could handle that.

Me: Aren’t you the woman who was recently given a Fulbright?
olivesmarch4th: Don’t I know you from the cinematographer’s party?
Me: Who am I to blow against the wind?

Anyway…if I ever did anything deserving of fame and requiring me to make personal appearances, I’d try to stick to radio and print interviews. That way I could enjoy my fame with minimal harrassment, I think.

A few years ago I hosted a radio show in a small town, so occasionally I had the pleasure of seeing a listener’s face light up when introduced to me at a party. That was an ego trip, but easily handled, and far better than being recognized while walking down the street.

That’s probably the secret, finding a small town and being boring. The members of REM still live in Athens, GA but it’s considered “uncool” to bug them so they can still hang out without getting hassled.

I’d be polite and remove myself from situations with obnoxious fans. And I already do most of my shopping online, I’d hire an assistant for grocery store runs.

Don’t forget that people who are famous in the entertainment field want to be recognizable. They PAY people (agents, publicists) to get their faces out there. They get paid based on how recognizable they are because people want them in their movies/shows/commercials.

If you are the type of person who wants to be in entertainment, then you are the sort of person who likes having their face known. Now, to what DEGREE you get known can get blown out of proportion. Some stars probably hate seeing their faces on magazines all the time by now, but I’m sure when it started it wasn’t so bad. Dealing with that sort of fame seems to me like a “you made your bed…” type of deal.

Now, if you were INFAMOUS…say, someone video tapes you without your knowledge and you become a YouTube legend overnight, that’s a different sort of fame to have to deal with. A reluctant one. Dealing with that would be hard.

There’s plenty of famous people you wouldn’t recognize. Would everyone recognize Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? Heck, I would not recognize Lindsay Lohan, myself. But Bill Gates and Steve Jobs don’t get famous so much for their face but for their resumes.

The Larry David show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is kind of interesting to watch, as is “Entourage.” It shows famous people doing mundane things (“CYE” more than “Entourage”). Larry David himself wasn’t really recognizable, I don’t think, until he did his show and put himself in front of the camera. Before that, he was just a name.

I think the only way we could measure fame from the standpoint of regular folks would be:

  1. Would you want to be a famous entertainer? (in this case, you want to be recognized)
  2. How would you handle unwanted recognition? (in this case, you are recognized despite your efforts)
  3. Would you want to be famous in name only? (in this case, you want to be well known but not easily recognized)

I would make heated political announcements on awards shows (whether I won or not- it’s all in who gets to the microphone first) and ultimately demand the release of “Charles Manson, who obviously was a patsy for the Jews, Freemasons, and their lackeys the abortionists”. I’d speak out against health issues that are important to me like virgin birth and unneutered cats, and I’d surround myself with people who exchanged sex and constant confirmation for whatever tidbits of fame and fortune I threw them. And I’d engage in a high profile catfight with Anderson Cooper where we wound up in each other’s arms and retired to a small island in a lake in Indiana where I gave daily press conferences asking to be left alone.

Cite: The Assorted Prophecies of Sgt. Major Muhammad T. Stoudemire, Late of the South Carolina Militia[soon to be a major gospel] and its sequel Revelations and Roulades: Cooking With the Assorted Prophecies of Sgt. Major Muhammad T. Stoudemire, Late of the South Carolina Militia

Other than snorting lines of coke the size of anacondas and receiving near constant fellatio from attractive female admirers, I don’t think I’d change a bit… :smiley: …and when that gets old, well, who cares? I, for one, would love to know what it feels like to become tired of receiving near constant fellatio from attractive female admirers.

I don’t see how that could ever get old.

I’m very private, hate anyone coming up to me, even sales clerks at Home Depot. I feign deafness.

So if I became famous by accident, like being on trial for something, I’d take a poke at every paparazzi and doke with a microphone.

Yup. Even typing that made me stutter like The Fonz trying to admit he was wrong.



Like Garbo, he was last quoted as saying “I vant to be alone.”