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.