In anticipation of next month's theatrical release of Fame (2009) [starring Management 101 client Asher Book], I thought I would blog about the concept of fame and celebrity. As you know, fame is a by-product of the entertainment biz...but it should never be your main purpose for pursuing a show business career. Whenever I meet an actor I try to determine why they want to pursue this vocation. If they've got talent and a true passion for acting, that's fantastic. But if they don't want to do the work and they just want the perks, I don't think they've got much of a chance at making it.
Let's be honest. There are much easier ways to become famous. Entertainers don't blow up over night. They work hard and struggle for years before they "make it." While many find success along the way, those successes don't always, and certainly not immediately, translate into fame. How many actors do I know who have starred in a movie and then went right back to waiting tables? That's just reality.
Sure, who doesn't want to be famous? But be very careful what you ask for. Leonardo DiCaprio once said, “There is no handbook that you can buy on what it’s like to become famous and what you do to survive it. I can’t just go to Barnes & Noble and get it. I had to endure it on my own and make my own mistakes and realize that things are going to happen that are inevitable. It’s a monster that you have no control over and no matter what you do, things are going to get mutated in the press. That’s the learning process I had, and I didn’t want to turn into a hermit. I wanted to live my own life and do whatever the hell I wanted to do, so I wanted to defy it in some ways. There are pros and cons to everything and you adapt. I’ve adapted to this life I have now.”
Doesn't sound like the perfect dream life, does it? But then again, a mega-star like DiCaprio may be an exception to the rule. Many of my young clients enjoy getting recognized by fans after their show airs on television. Others are happy to sign autographs for anyone who will ask. But at what point does the line get crossed and public recognition becomes personally intrusive?
Below is a radio interview I recently participated in where we discussed the various aspects and fascination with celebrity. Have a listen and let me know what you think. In the meantime, if you're willing to work hard and perfect your craft, you might just have a future in the entertainment business. If you're simply seeking the glory, why not audition for the next new reality show. If you get selected, you'll have your fifteen minutes. But you'll never be the next DiCaprio.
Click here for radio interview
For more on the concept of fame, check out my book 15 MINUTES OF FAME: BECOMING A STAR IN THE YOUTUBE REVOLUTION