It’s the one-year anniversary of one of my all-time most popular blogs – You Don’t Want To Be Famous:
You don’t want to be famous. You really don’t. Sure, it makes you rich (usually). But it also makes you paranoid, insecure and self-obsessed. And, if you’re really unlucky, dead. Like poor Whitney Houston, with ”recreated” photos of your corpse on the cover of The National Enquirer. The Aussie weekly magazines pay tribute to Whitney today. One is even on the stands three days early. Death sells. Well it did with Steve Irwin and Belinda Emmett, so they keep hoping to strike gold again. I don’t know how I feel about mourning Whitney’s death. I’m more inclined to mourn her life – she had the most amazing voice, beauty (before the drugs), an adoring daughter, was beloved by millions, yet it wasn’t enough. And that’s the other big problem with fame. It makes you numb. You can have anything you want, but nothing really satisfies. The “normal” thrills become boring, you’re desperate to “feel” something, so you explore stuff the Average Joe wouldn’t. You constantly wonder if people like you for yourself or your fame. You’re surrounded by “yes” people who tell you what you want to hear because you’re paying them. Many years ago I worked for Cosmopolitan magazine, interviewing celebrities. I spent hours with them at photo shoots. Sometimes we had dinner afterwards. OK, once. Watching the machine around them and their flimsy grasp on reality turned me right off being a celebrity. I used to be desperate for a piece of the fame game. Lacking musical or theatrical ability (aside from the week before my period), I decided my ticket to the Golden Globes was to date a star. I set my sights on David Duchovny. My obsession with David became legendary. The editor of Woman’s Day even called me once to check if I was the infamous Aussie fan sending him erotic jigsaw puzzles (no). I wanted to walk the red carpet, visit the gifting suites, be photographed at the cool restaurants. These days, not so much (well, maybe the gifting suites, just a bit). Nine years in the weekly magazine market finished me off. I learned a little too much about the tawdry realities of the fame game. None of which I could publish, because truth isn’t a defense in court. The longer I worked in that world, the less inclined I became to walk red carpets. These days I feel pity for people who measure their worth by their column inches or TV appearances. That’s not where happiness lies. Happiness – for me, at least – is about love, family, friendship. It’s going to parent information night and seeing a poem about “Mum” by Sprog 1, where I’m described as warm, cuddly like a jiggly jumper, and funny as Mr Bean. A friend sent me a blog last month, by musician Kristin Hirsch. It’s about walking away from fame and embracing life – http://www.kristinhersh.com/eden/. Check it out – she’s a smart woman.
I followed it up a few days later with another blog hit – Hello Sickos:
I got my highest-ever hits on the blog yesterday. I should be stoked, on top of the world. But I just feel slightly sick and lip-curly about it. Because 232 of the hits were from people searching “Whitney Houston corpse”, “Whitney Houston in casket”, “Whitney Houston walking skeleton” (?), “Whitney Houston sink”, and one sad bugger searching “Whitney Houston really dead”. It really put me off checking my stats every five minutes – like I usually do, the one-hit-an-hour days are particularly soul-destroying – because it felt so meaningless and sad. Somehow 232 people got directed to my blog, realised there were no gloulish thrills and surfed off again. What is wrong with humanity? If all those people randomly Googled gross Whitney stuff and arrived at housegoeshome.com, how many other morbid weirdos are out there searching for icky pics of dead celebs? Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad. I’m expecting even more empty hits now that I’ve included their favourite Whitney search terms. (And I will profit from it … the more things change, the more they stay the same.) At least this time I might provoke a few hate comments. Or explanations. So hit me with it, you Whitney sickos – I want to know WHY?
And yet, a year later, I am blogging Hollywood gossip every day. So who am I to talk? But it’s rare that I feel much envy for them, other than when I create galleries of the interiors of their homes, like I did last week with Stickybeak inside Elton John’s mansion … and 8 other celebrity homes over at iVillage.
The idea of being a personality, even a minor one, doesn’t fiddle my knobs. Even taping a few seconds of blather for The Project last night gave me heart palpitations. I was expressing my views on kids having access to internet porn. I said um and stumbled over my words a lot. All that media training during my Woman’s Day years … wasted. Hopefully it’s like riding a bike and I’ll get my groove back.
But it will never be my favourite thing. Give me a little Sprog wrapping her arms around my neck and telling me she loves me over fame any day.
How about you – ever wanted to be famous?