When Diana married Prince Charles, I was a junior in high school. All the girls around me were starry eyed and envious of her. Not me. I couldn’t imagine a worse fate than being thrust headlong into the public eye with no respite for the rest of your life. No privacy. No quiet. No way to know who your friends really are. Constant commitment and obligation and expectations and criticism. Continually being told how you must behave. This, to me, is not a happily ever after scenario. It’s more like the definition of hell. I don’t care how gilded your cage is, it’s still a cage.
I wouldn’t want to be famous. I often wonder what I would do if I found myself in that situation, though. I think I’d make a lot of effort to have some type of anonymity.
I’d spend a lot of time in the virtual world of Second Life. No one can know who you are there, unless you tell them. I’ve made a lot of really good friends there, but in truth I have no idea who they are in the real world. Sometimes I’ll sit at a party, talking to people that have been friends for years who I’ve gotten to know based purely on their character, without judging them based on their appearance or skin color or notoriety or possessions, and I’ll think, “One of these people could be Paul McCartney.” If so, then good for him. For a brief shining moment he gets to be treated like everyone else. That must be a huge relief.
I’d also probably start an anonymous blog so that I could express my opinions and get honest feedback from people. For all you know, I am Paul McCartney.
I suppose there are people out there who thrive on fame, but I can’t imagine how. Nothing and no one around you is real. Everyone wants a piece of you. Everyone wants to be seen with you. Not because you’re you, but because you’re the brand that you’ve become.
I think the reason child actors so often self-destruct is that they’ve never ever had a taste of reality. It’s hard enough going through puberty and trying to figure out who you are and what you should do with your life without being surrounded by a bunch of plastic yes-men who are willing to tell you absolutely anything in order to keep the money rolling in. At a time in your life when you need all the good advice you can get, it must be terrifying to know that you are completely on your own.
So even though I know I’m irresistible, I’ll have to ask you to try to control yourself. I can do without your adulation. Thanks anyway.