I have worked with a wide range of celebrities, from A to Z list-ers and always find it especially fascinating each different person’s reaction to that of fame. How the most respected stars can be so humble and walk into a room to acknowledge everyone, to those who couldn’t give a rats ass who is there or who’s time they could be using up limitlessly. And there is no clear rhyme or reason, no proven trajectory when it comes to increase in fame and decrease in social awareness, aptitude or sympathy.
Let us get one thing clear, what I do in my job is the opposite or as far from famous you can get as a performer. As a dancer I am window furnishing, glorified lighting to highlight the artist. My most recent brush with fame was at an awards show where somehow I ended up in a leopard print nurses’ leotard, dancing around for one of this worlds best female rap artists. I must admit it is always a little intoxicating getting to work for these high profile celebrities, until you actually do it and the incredible and yet un-necessitated stress of the situation makes you a little critical of the ridiculousness of fame in the first place.
I love working for artists who have striven and fought to produce art that is admirable and revolutionary. But a steady stream of jobs for those in the absolute spotlight of popular culture, as well as the ego’s of everyone involved gives me cause for ponder every now and again. Which is then all the more magnified in our era of social media where access to fame and attention is easier, often highly superficial, and rewarded instantaneously.
Nowadays, studies and polls show that more young people prefer to be famous than rich. Fame is the new currency of success- if you have enough followers, if you are getting papped, if people know your name and stalk you in your daily Starbucks coffee run, than congrats mate- you’ve pretty much made it.
It is a curious phenomenon however, why we are drawn to the spotlight, that constant need on one level of another for attention, our own elusive 15 seconds of fame? Or how in reverse, we create chasms between us as admirers, and that of those famous stars another planet away.
Fame nowadays is a crown that is placed on a select and constantly changing plethora of mere mortals. It is there sometimes for talent, for performance, for achievement, for looks, and sometimes, just for a brief second, for putting on a Star Wars Chewbacca mask. However, there is that constant tension that exists in our culture between the often God-like reverence of celebrities and the reality, the mortality, and the ideals of democracy and egalitarianism in which we operate as a society.
Despite the fact that these people also wake up every morning and take a dump just like everyone else doesn’t alter this weird phenomenon where they act like self-important Gods and where people flock and pander to their fame like moths to a flame. And yet despite my woke-ness, or probably more accurately, somewhat negative view on the nature of fame, I too find myself drawn to those who the world has bestowed fame upon.
And by this I mean, whilst waiting in a corridor for the same international awards show, a famous long-standing singer, who I won’t name here but starts with St and rhymes with bing passed me. He gave me some solid eye contact, looked at me in my dancer, scantily clad outfit, smiled and then kept walking. My day was absolutely made. Sting looked at me, Sting checked me out and then smiled at me, Sting totally checked me out, that means I am fuckable by Sting. I’m going to now change my instagram to @fuckablebysting.
Wow! see how quickly that escalated?
Obviously fame makes no sense. Why our primordial brains are asphyxiated to fame like a carnal instinct that will somehow protect us from Lions? And also why our enlightened 21stcentury ones all too quickly and easily bail when probably most necessitated is another of the typical human quandaries and contradictions that will not be solved (well not here in this article at least).
The least we can do is be inspired and glean off the people we look up to in hopes that in some way, we too can be inspired and changed by the very uplifting things that drew us to these people in the first place