A pencil and a dream can take you anywhere

Monday, 3 May 2010

The Fame Game

Matt and Luke Goss once pondered of themselves… when will I, will I be famous? Well Matt and Luke, I can’t answer that, I can’t answer that.

As I watch ‘Pineapple Dance Studios’ I am forced to question the fame game. We live in a time when most young people want to be famous, for something or other (I opine, for all the wrong reasons) We have all seen our fair share of people star in ‘So you strictly think the next Big Britain’s got your Brother’s X factor?’ that merry-go-round of fame hungry try-hards. I wonder if we will see a huge gap in the work market when this generation actually leave school, as I get the impression that most are trying their hand at seducing that fickle mistress- fame.

I myself have my own claims to fame; I once starred in an episode of the hugely popular (in our boarding house TV room) itv teenage drama ‘Wilderness edge’ at the tender age of 13. When I was enlisted for the starring role of 'silent dancer at teenage disco', you can only imagine my euphoria. I returned from school ready to relax and my housemistress asked if I was interested in being in a television programme. What immediately ran through my mind was ‘discovery of teenage prodigy’ as a front page exclusive, amongst other narcissistic thoughts. But there were important decisions to make, like what would I wear? (I chose, you’ll be pleased to hear, a fuschia pink Benetton t-shirt, belonging to my friend Harvest, and a pair of Jeans) This foray into the TV world meant I danced to no music with some friends from my boarding house and sat around A LOT. I must say it really isn’t as glamorous an industry as Brad and Angie would have us believe. You will have to search for the sole wilderness edge clip on youtube to see yourself, firsthand, the top quality acting exhibited in this knockout television programm which, I forgot to mention, starred the ginger guy from Sharpe as the DJ at the disco.
I am sure you have your own claim to fame so, please, I beg you, don’t compare yourself to me, no one person can be as lucky as I.

The other day I went to see a movie called ‘Remember Me’ and Robert Patterson’s character, Tyler, quoted Gandhi who said
“Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it, 'cause nobody else will.” And Tyler himself added, "our fingerprints don't fade from the lives we touch.” Wise words, RPatz, wise words.

This made me think of being remembered… this is beginning to sound a little morbid but I think we all want to have left some mark on the world. Jennifer Aniston has ‘Friends’ and ‘Picture perfect’, of course, Ghandi had his peaceful protests, John Cleese had funny walking, Luke and Matt Goss had their lucrative Bros back catalogue, Tiger woods has his infamous infidelities, Ringo Starr has that video he made "Don't send me anything else, peace and love, peace and love" and I, well I (lest you forget) have ‘wilderness edge’. This must lead the rest of you to contemplate: what mark will I leave on the world?

Some want to leave their mark on the world for shouting ‘who is she? Who is she? Who is she?’ (in a shrill pre-pubescent boy voice in the big brother diary room) just like Nicki someone or other. The same Nicki who thinks that particular BB stint qualifies her to inflict on us all her pretty narrow minded, immature, child-like rants and poorly researched opinions many years after she was in the BB compound for a few weeks.

I wish these teenagers or kidults that long to be on reality TV and have their 15 minutes of fame ("it's like my right") wished to be famous for something like getting a Nobel Prize, becoming the poet laureate, writing a book (anything but chick lit or those books Katie Price writes) or indeed for their invaluable contributions to Rocket Science. Instead they long to take their tops off and be plastered on a billboard or to be in ‘The Sun’ newspaper on page 3, or to caterwaul in front of Simon Cowell or perhaps lie their way into the Big Brother house with their somewhat lurid promises of sex, bitching, fights while actually being as dull as ditch water... drying on a wall... on a cold day... in Greenland. What some seem to want is the quick fix because a Nobel prize would mean endurance, intelligence and that taskmaster-hard work. I suspect these teens long for something that would be instantaneous with the least amount of work as, to them, fame equals notoriety and money. Failing that, they could hang around clubs in the vain hope of peaking the interest of a premier league footballer and become a WAG (or, indeed, the latest mistress). People have witnessed the dizzy heights somebody from a not so wealthy background can be elevated to, take Cheryl Cole for example, and long to go down the same route.

I think it far better to be remembered by those closest to you, who know you best. I still think of my Auntie Shelley, who died young from cancer, who always packed a bag for holiday and then took countless plastic bags on board a plane (these were the days before the hand luggage SS ruled the airways with a rod of iron and a beepy stick) and I always remember my Grandad with the pearls of wisdom he oft quoted like “if at first you don’t succeed, why the heck did you start it in the first place?”. I'd like to add they made more of an impression on me than this, this isn't their only legacy.

I am not bothered if my only foray into the acting world is my scene stealing ‘big box, little box, robot’ dance on 'wilderness edge' or whether I provided a few breaths for Diana Krueger on the blockbuster ‘Troy’ (my only true link to Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom) but I would care if when I was gone my friends and family no longer remembered me. I have compiled a few steps that ensure you will never be forgotten:

1) Always forget your purse when you go out, you will be remembered for being like royalty and not carrying money (that or a sponge)

2) Always act like a drama queen so you will be remembered for your flair of the dramatics

3) Smile in every photo, so you will be remembered as happy

4) Get yourself some freckles so in the summer everyone will be reminded of you. If you aren’t so Anglo-Saxon in skin tone, brown kohl works a treat (I am told)

5) When you meet someone new, subtly repeat your name 3 times (remember to annunciate, I was once called Lucy for six months as I was too polite to correct someone) and be sure to talk about yourself in the third person throughout your conversation: “my mum is always saying Oh Louise, you are silly” (or something a little more flattering)

And finally

6) Make sure, if given an opportunity, fill in for an actor or actress’s breathing on a large-scale Hollywood blockbuster, like, I don't know, let's say 'Troy', so that when your friends are watching said movie, they will quieten their friends so they can hear the breathing (Just so you know it was a fight scene and I worked for the sound company that was doing the post-production) and thanks Rob Vince for being the latest to keep this legacy alive.

Failing compliance with the above advice you may value this instead, I saw this as the signature at the end of an email from my good friend Jenny and thought it fit this blog perfectly.

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-