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Saturday, December 12, 2009

15 Minutes of Fame

Recently a family went to great lengths to bring themselves their fifteen minutes of fame. They made it appear that a small child was in danger, life-threatening danger, when in fact he was safe and sound. It took some time but in the end the truth was discovered, that it was all a hoax, a planned publicity stunt so the parents (mostly the father) would be considered for a reality show. WHAT? Sounds crazy? Well, it’s true and unfortunately becoming more and more common.
How many people send in their “audition” tapes to be on reality shows? How many people wave behind a news camera during a tragedy? Who are these people? Are they all of us? Do we all seek this glory we call “fame?” I hope not.
A recent pop song’s lyrics include,” When I grow up I want to be famous.” They also say they want to be a star and be in movies. Yet when you look closely at these “famous” people they go to great lengths to protect their privacy. They are constantly being quoted or misquoted. The most heinous or hideous the news the more scandal sheets have the ugliest picture they can find splashed across the front. That sounds appealing? Um. I’m thinking Not so much.
However, even I am not immune to the appeal of mass media attention. While listening to the radio one morning I heard Ryan Seacrest give advice to a woman and I disagreed. It wasn’t that I disagreed completely with his advice, but I did disagree with his reasoning and with his theory. So I made a phone call. Well, truth be told, I made several phone calls. Then after speaking to someone I sat on hold for a while. Eventually though I was transferred to Ryan and his co-host Ellen and the first thing I said was, “I love you Ryan, but…” Then we had a short but succinct conversation regarding this woman and her situation when Ryan commented, “I’m glad you don’t have your own radio show dispensing your bad advice!” Everyone laughed but me (I laughed later).
The funniest thing about this entire situation was that (my BFF/PLLATSABIDSA) Lori and I have for years thought of having our own radio show to dispense advice. She called me after hearing it laughing her head off (it was recorded as a message so I still have –and listen to—this delightful little tidbit!) over Ryan’s comment. She told me that I should have mentioned it but I’m so glad I didn’t. Oh, the ridicule! I was, however, quite giddy over having spoken with The Ryan Seacrest. I have commented several times to many different people that I got to tell him that I loved him (and I’m not so sure he even heard that part!).
Getting to hear yourself on the radio can be a little disconcerting, however I found it fun and invigorating. I was surprised at how good I sounded and that I matched Ryan’s articulation and word skill. I could be on the radio, not sure I want to though. After a few phone calls from friends that actually heard me (all laughing, I might add) I thought about this idea of fame and whether it was something I actually wanted. Nope. Not really. I certainly wouldn’t mind the paycheck that might come with it but the ultimate responsibility and lack of privacy would make me crazy. I relish in the ability to people-watch and blend with a crowd. I don’t think I could handle the criticism and lies that would inevitably follow from infamy. That does not sound appealing in the least!
So for my fifteen minutes of fame I got to speak with a well-known, well-loved celebrity who does not seem to make the headlines too often. I was heard by enough people to make me happy and know that my experience actually happened and wasn’t some obscure fantasy, or even a dream that seemed real but wasn’t. Unfortunately I was not able to re-access the experience on the internet or I would post it here for you all to hear but know it happened and it was fun!
If you are seeking some fifteen minutes beware lest it be in some negative way. The idea of being publicly ridiculed or chastised does not appeal to me in any way and if you are simply seeking fame then be careful of what you wish for!

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