Suppose you became famous overnight for a *good *reason - suddenly making it onto the roster of a pro sports team as an undrafted guy and becoming a most unexpected superstar, or being a national hero for foiling a terrorist attack, or going from an anonymous nobody to Academy-Award winning actor in a very short time. (Cook up your own scenario.) Whatever it is, you’re now a household name and people recognize you.
Now, how long would it take for you to tire of the fame and wish it would go away?
Immediately? (if you don’t like attention)
I can imagine enjoying my 15 minutes, which I think would equate to perhaps a week in real time. Enough to make the rounds on the talk shows for whatever ridiculous thing I’ve done. After that, no thanks.
The closest thing I have experienced to fame was within a special interest group I belong to. I found myself immediately backing away from the group and isolating more. I started downplaying my knowledge on certain topics and worked hard at normalizing my standing again.
It was funny because a few power happy jerks thought they saw some vulnerability and tried to take me apart. It was fun dismantling them.
I’ve never been famous, but just the other day I had an experience that gave me an idea of what it must be like, and it would drive me batshit in no time flat.
This past Saturday, I gave the eulogy at my father’s memorial service, and I was pretty happy with how I’d done, but at the reception afterwards, I couldn’t move 10 feet without being stopped again by someone telling me how much they’d been moved by my words. After 20 minutes of this, I just wanted to say, “I’m glad you liked it, now shaddup and let me get to the food table, OK?”
I managed to smile and be patient under this avalanche of praise, but it wasn’t easy. It’s the only time in my life that I’ve had an experience like this, and I hope it stays that way. So I’m pretty sure I’d tire of celebrity immediately. I’d probably punch a photographer before I’d been famous for a week.
I was famous for almost exactly 3 weeks, for a good thing not a bad thing. I was afraid of becoming famous, but in my 3 weeks I did not get tired of it. Still, I’m guessing I would have been tired inside a year.
You know, on more than one occasion, I’ve thanked my lucky stars I wasn’t born a woman. NOT because I hate women (I love women) but because I wouldn’t want the attention that comes along with being a woman. So celebrity-dom would be an absolute bummer for me.
I don’t see myself ever getting sick of the wealth though. (Obviously)
I’m so sorry about your dad. I’m going through similar issues with my husband who just passed away on Friday and the amount of dealing with extraneous shit is enormous. For purposes of this thread, what celebrities must go through to deal with social media would have me running for the hills in days. Just since the weekend, I’ve been updating all the various online places that people were staying in touch, texting, calling, more Facebooking, here, etc., etc. And I wanted to do all that.
Now, imagine when it’s to promote your next project, do general interviews, enthrall your twitter followers five times a day, shoot down tumors that you’re doing something bad, play up mentions that you’re doing something good, post a stream of pictures on Instagram, update your Facebook on all your comings and goings, do a fashion shoot or three, be on Ellen, be seen at various hotspots, put out a tumblr blog entry and help someone with something nice so the PR keeps turning to the positive. And that’s all probably just before lunch.
I’d never ever be famous for anything ever, but I’d rather be shot. Sounds horrific, except for the money and the novelty factor. Give me less than half a year.
I hope for a low attendance at my funeral outside of family and a couple friends; that most people will a year or two later just say “Hey - what ever happened to that funny looking guy who used to —”. So fame? Just not my thing.
I got a taste of what being famous would be like while living upcountry in the North in the 1980s. People I’d never met before would tell me what they saw me doing weeks earlier. What I had for lunch on a particular day. Etc. I stuck out and so was an object of curiosity and much discussion.