There was once upon a time when I looked at celebrities as larger than life. They have the adoration of the fans, they rake in money selling their talent to various audiences, and they tend to eat at far better places than the local ptomaine alley faire. They worked hard at their craft – cultivating it, perfecting it, and making it their own style – unique and wonderful, which they then launched out into the world – hoping for a positive response, and often times, getting one.
I can imagine being famous is not easy in the slightest. You have to come up with something that is uniquely yours, mold it to an audience, listen to their feedback, and then do your best to continue feeding them what they want. Some people have their own style, and they don’t bend to anyone. I have to give them huge credit, because they don’t “sell out” and just do what the crowd wants – they stay true to themselves. For some, it works out wonderfully – cultivating a following that admires them for who they are. For others, it doesn’t work out well, and they end up bottoming out trying to keep the flow going.
Trying to make a living at being famous – that’s an uphill battle I doubt Sisyphus would ever want to attempt. If you can make enough doing what you do to support yourself without the need for a regular job, then my hat is off to you already. Many creative people though have to have a secondary means of support or they often find themselves out on the streets.
Once you make it big though – this is where you truly have my sympathies. You have broken through the glass ceiling and made it big – you are a star! Congrats! The world is no longer yours. Your LIFE is no longer yours. You are at the mercy of your adoring public, and they will scrutinize everything you do under a microscope because they want to know everything about you, but knowing how the media is, you put up a series of barriers – barricades to keep people from getting too close because you want some semblance of a normal life – even if for a short time each day. Some people are so famous that they can’t even step one foot out the door without someone snapping a picture of it and posting it somewhere. Oh….and if you do any social faux pas, be prepared for the lambasting of your life. Your image of your wrongdoing will be smeared all over every tabloid and web blog across the planet. While you may get preferred service at a great restaurant, people will be watching over from every table – unless you get a private table in a separate room or something. Nope….no going down to the local diner for a quick bite without an armed security fleet going with you.
I suppose there are those in the middle throes of fame who don’t have quite as many struggles, but they still have to deal with the occasional whack-job who wants to be their best friend or confidante, but sometimes they find a rare person that they can be friends with who doesn’t want to be around them because they’re famous – they want to be around them for the real person they are. Sadly, those are far and few between. They are out there though.
Could I ever see myself having coffee with David Bowie gabbing about the latest movies out – or having a quiet dinner conversation with Kate Mulgrew over what good books she’s read lately to see about something new for myself? Probably not. I respect them for their privacy and their fame, but they are in a different circle that revolves nowhere near my own, and the more famous someone is, the glitzier those circles get, and the farther removed they are from the rest of us.
Sometimes……….I bet it can be a lonely existence.