Short cuts to Fame
When I was a kid, I always thought I might be special. Not “special” (helmet ‘special’) but you know.. I might be someone later in life. Do something that would make people aware of my name. Like being a novelist or a tennis player or a sailor .. just someone who people ‘know’. I’m not sure why this was alluring but in 1978, living in a village of 3,500, it seemed like a possibility. After all most people knew who I was, or who my sister was at least. Surely world fame wasn’t that far away (arrogance is cute in a 7 yr old).
I think every kid has that fantasy (and god bless them), but it seems that today, the adults still seem to be nursing that pipe dream right up to menopause. Which frankly bewilders the crap out of me. Why would you want fame and name recognition? (unless it comes with Edward Norton) And as a life goal in itself – without any accomplishments or rationale? Huh.
Now of course fame used to come through doing something really really well. Inventing something, singing like a goddess or just being really really good at your job. But frankly that sounds like a lot of work and who has the time? So for louche fame-whores amongst us…here’s some short cuts.
Make a Sex Tape
Paris Hilton, Ass Kardashian, Pamela and Tommy.. fame started or escalated with visual access to their gentiles. I’m not sure why or how one gets your homemade sex tape to stand out, but I’m sure there’s a way. If ‘Two Girls One Cup’ can make it onto almost everyone’s screen for a few seconds, and Hulk Hogan can get publicity from one (the thought of that is horrifying).. you probably can too. Ingredients seem to include a vague connection to fame (just add a celebrity last name to your own a la ‘Perez Hilton’), grainy night shots and questionable enthusiasm. And look at the camera a lot. A lot.
To make sure you stand out you’ll probably need a quirk or a perversion. Maybe you shout ‘Dr.Who’ while orgasming? Or the whole thing is conducted in Klingon? Its a lame way to be known (and I’m not sure where you go from there), but if its just name recognition.. this seems to be the easiest way to go. Have at it and hope your mother never learns about YouTube.
Well this one tends to be a naturally occurring type of fame, but those who pursue it can also become famous, especially if they fail. Most people have heard of Giselle, Naomi, Kate, Cindy and even Tyson. But you’ve probably also heard of ‘Cat Woman‘ and Amanda Lepore. Women who are famous for trying to be beautiful and … well… falling short. . Yes, you can be born beautiful and spend your life modeling on beaches and have your face in every magazine but that’s not very American is it?
We’re a nation of achievers and everyone can be beautiful if they really want to. So, if you really just want fame, get out your checkbook and get ready for some big ass lips. Eyes that won’t close. Maybe a chin that can cut bread. It won’t be pretty, but you’ll definitely be memorable
Go off the rails
A well grooved track for child stars who we mostly should have forgotten about once their freckles faded and their lisp disappeared, this path involves getting drunk, getting high and getting arrested. Its worked to resurrect fame for many, if not most, child stars and random people who become famous for being ‘off the rails’ (Tila Tequila and Peaches Geldof anyone?). From Danny Bonaduce to Lindsay Lohan, Edward Furlong and of course the most famous Jackson.. the weirder and wilder your behavior, the more print you’ll drive. Of course your untimely death is the biggest fame event you can drive, but you unfortunately won’t be around to enjoy it. Bummer.
Be Very Fat (and Get Thin)
Jared anyone? A career and fame built on his ability to be fat, eat sandwiches and then get thin. Nothing else. I have no idea what his skills are, what he’s done in life other than eat sandwiches.. but he’s built an entire career and name recognition on just being fat one day, and then being thin all by eating Subway sandwiches. I guess it could work in reverse but I don’t know any careers based on someone getting to the size of a house.. then again they’re trying in the UK.
Of course this means having something to say and being willing and able to say it publicly, often and with complete conviction. No matter how much of a looney you seem. Start a religion, a political party, a movement, make a controversial movie or write a book that gets people talking. You can even make a speech at your Alma Mata and wind up front page news if what you’re saying raises ire. Putting controversial words and images out into public seems to be a path to notoriety. Not sure its ‘fame’ of the flavor that most people want, but if its name recognition you want…the media laps this shit up. And if you need some death threats to make life interesting.. this might be the path for you. Unfortunately a lot of controversial people seem to meet an untimely end, so don’t say you weren’t warned.
Do something really stupid
Well Jackass kind of has this covered, but it doesn’t stop people from intentionally or unintentionally being stupid. And if it happens to be caught on email, video camera or cellphone.. your infamy is guaranteed.. well for 24 hours at least. Want to jump off the roof into your pool and miss? Decide to jump over a car and fail? Of course noone will know your name and you’ll probably be forever unemployable as a result, but hey.. if its fame you’re after. Have. At. It.
Be a Redneck
Apparently the flavor of the 2000’s is speaking with a slow southern drawl and being willing to showcase your lifestyle, Cheez Whiz and all. If you make duck decoys for hunting, buy locked storage facilities, make ‘Sketti’, fish with your hands or are willing to fist fight your boyfriends tranny girlfriend .. your TV series and instant fame is yours for the taking. You’ll need to be crass, display ‘a heart of gold’ at all times, and demonstrate your utter lack of taste and decency at least once an episode.. but everyone will know your name. Not a path for those with a brain, those with aspiring business careers or anyone who pronounces the letter ‘t’.
Nothing appeal to you and still hankering for fame? You can always short cut all of the above and go the Angelyne route. Put your face on a billboard and wait. Angelyne is an LA icon, has good name recognition and literally hasn’t done anything outside of her billboard for 30 years.
So aim low kids… 15 minutes is for everyone.