Thursday, June 4, 2009

On Fame

Coming home from the gym, we heard a brief report on Scottish singing star Susan Boyle. It seems that she has been invited to sing for President Obama during the 4th of July events in Washington.

I haven't followed her story closely other than the headlines - Wins! Loses! Tantrums! "Rest Cure" so most of America knows a great deal more than I do. The announcer speculated that perhaps "it" was all too much for her. Which got me to thinking about fame.

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow morning to national and international acclaim?

If it was for something you'd worked hard on for years, you'd probably be pleased. "Ah, recognition! At last!" and then ... "How can I cash in on this?" (It would be un-American not to try to make a buck.)

Since it's extremely unlikely that this could happen to me (can't sing, can't dance; more than a few would add, "Can't write") I let my mind explore the possibilities and finally decided that there would be two of me. Public and Private. Public would be meticulous about being on time for appearances ("Hi, Oprah") and gracious to the public. "I'd be happy to sign your menu/piece of paper" "Of course, you can have your picture taken with me!" I would be well-groomed and appropriately dressed for the occasion, too.

Those are a celebrity's jobs. Too few of them seem to know that.

"Private" me would be exactly what I am today (and was yesterday and will be tomorrow.) In a word: plain.

But it is a fine amusement to picture myself (preferably in a gigantic, complicated hat) being gracious. To imagine murmuring swells of hushed, "Look! It's Her!" Nodding, smiling -- waving a hand to the adoring throngs...

But best of all would be knowing I can go right back to "plain" where none of my friends or family think I'm special. Fame -- it's just another job.

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