“I did what I could to inflate the rumor I was on my way to stardom. What I was on my way to, by any mathematical standards known to man, was oblivion, by way of obscurity.” -Tallulah Bankhead
It’s understandable why people like Tallulah Bankhead did whatever they could to become famous for being witty and a talented performer. To be admired and respected for something for which I have a particular talent, or to be recognized for years of dedicated work is definitely a fantastic thing. Such acknowledgement could be considered a price above rubies, if it is sincerely offered.
But, I have no interest in fame. Compliments and acknowledgement, absolutely. But not fame. At least, not as we typically think of it, even on the local level. You know, the “big fish, little pond,” kind of fame. The adulation of fame of any sort I can do without. I mean, I’ve had my “15 minutes of fame,” and it felt genuinely fantastic to be praised and applauded by a large community of people. But, as a way of life? No way.
Ultimately, famous folks tend to live sheltered lives; a highly scrutinized, tightly managed and somewhat cloistered personal existence. Who wouldn’t prefer a sheltered life, when you realize you can rarely, if ever, let your guard down in public. Imagine always having to be at your best: Your best behavior, your most gracious demeanor, your happiest state of mind, your most easy-going temperament, always at your most brilliant acumen, as well as in your very top physical shape, etc., etc., never permitted to fall short in any way.
I wouldn’t want to be that closely observed by throngs of people, day in and day out. I have no interest in learning how to disguise my appearance in order to keep from being accosted in the grocery store (can you guess who is the incognito celebrity in the picture above?) , or be accountable on a finite a level to anyone who doesn’t know me personally. I don’t want to avoid being out in the wide and wonderful world because I want to avoid having impertinent personal questions put to me by total strangers. Lastly, I wouldn’t want to have to perpetually second guess another’s intention. Imagine always having to assess whether someone likes me, or famous-me. Imagine always having to first figure out their angle.
Being on the outside of the world looking in, alone and staring back at thousands of eyes intently focused on you is a lousy bargain for the price of fame. Who wants their face on the cover of “Look Who’s Screwing Up Now”? I’d much rather be a part of the world, and be comforted in the knowledge that the world is oblivious to my joys, passions, sorrows, successes, trials and tribulations. Being unknown means I am free to experience life and express myself without the fear of backlash from an entire society of people, massive criticism and complete misunderstanding of my intentions by thousands. It’s comforting to know that absolutely no one in the mass media, Twitter-sphere or social media cares a wit about me and what I do, or think.