How Do You Know You're Famous?

In my line of work and in my choice of hobbies, I meet a lot of famous people. Even out here in a prairie oasis. It got me thinking about what famous means. How do you know you're famous?

Is it publicity? Nah, I do plenty of interviews, and trust me, I'm not famous, just annoyingly opinionated.

Is it about the money? I doubt it. Some famous people have chosen to hide out in our little piece of heaven, and trust me, they were broke, yet they had fans-- screaming, overexcited, in your face fans. Sure, some of them make more money in an hour than I do in a week, but really, I know what it takes to be good at anything. And they did/do a lot of  excruciating, painful, impossibly hard work for free too.

Is it the fans? I have fans and they blow cool air on me in the heat of summer, but that's about all they're good for. In fact, in the winter, they just take up space, and I keep bumping my toes against them.

Is it the stalkers? Yikes, I have those too, who doesn't, eh?  Yeah, you know who you are. Think a little, gee, I get enough spam, don't need it from you.

Is it that you're recognized when you go out in public? See around here, everyone not only knows you, they know your entire history, what you drive, and when the last time you bought birth control was. Saskatchewan is huge, but the faces are familiar. It's rare to go someplace and not meet three or four people I know. Doesn't mean they're famous, just friendly, family, same passions as me, curious, stalkers, whatever.

Is it that you can humbly sign an autograph and not ask why for the love of all things written someone wants your john doe on a napkin? I've seen gracious musicians smile politely and sign away. But! I've seen some look around, expecting a bit more screaming and clearly disappointed when all we did was stare back slightly curious if they'd remember us if we ran into them at Walmart in a year, because that would be cool. Both were famous.

Maybe it's being recognized for something important? Even among the famous we have different levels of stardom. The president is famous, but so is Stephen King. And the reason I think they are, might be for very different reasons than you do. Some are famous worldwide,  and some among a much smaller pocket of people. Still, fame is fame. What is that deciding factor that makes you cross that line from me, to famous me? And can you ever go back to being not-famous, does it just grow until you explode or standstill until you forget you're famous?

Gee, do they even know they're famous? I've gotten Xmas cards from people who I think are famous. Think about that. Really think about that.

What makes a person famous?


Regina said...

I wouldn't know where to begin to judge fame. It is something that is so up and down. In a heartbeat things can change what position you hold on the totem pole. There are people who are probable famous to me that wouldn't think they are too.

Lisa said...

To me being truly famous is to love what you do for the good of people. I want to be recognized as someone who helped another by my work.

Lately, I'm really wondering if my work is even good enough to be recognized! : (

J.L. Campbell said...

Fame is definitely relative. There are so many artistes I'm told are famous, but that I've never heard of. For me, famous would be to have book geeks on my island at least know my name as a writer of note and read even one of my works. That'll be good enough for me in this writing business.

Krista V. said...

Ditto Regina. I think fame is in the eye of the beholder.

Thanks for checking out my blog, Tanya! Sounds like you have a cool job.