What’s the Price of Celebrity?
Surprisingly, the answer is big! Even if your claim to fame is being Snooki on the reality show Jersey Shore, your private life is up for grabs by celebrity websites and tabloid media. There’s also the danger of becoming “too familiar” with tweets and personal blogs that tend to minimize the impact of your art. Finally, research has documented the “VIP syndrome,” where celebrities get less than optimal treatment by health care professionals who vie to be your personal doctor because you’re famous. What can a celebrity do?
When in doubt, play it safe. With the internet and media, “transparency” is the name of the game in the 21st century. Yet you actually don’t need to stay current by revealing minutiae from your private life 24/7. In fact, the more distance you create between your personal and onstage self, the greater the allure. Greta Garbo understood the power of mystery; so does Julia Roberts who has kept a seductive distance between her private life and onscreen persona. So can you. After all, you don’t want to be yesterday’s flavor as the media looks for a new crop of attractive characters. Protecting your personal life and children is also a way to preserve your sanity. So by all means, hype your new movie, album, or role but leave your audience asking for more. In the end, the art form is far more pertinent than the person behind the persona.
The VIP syndrome, on the other hand, is a lot more scary. While I have great respect for health care practitioners as a group, please do your homework before taking on anyone as your guardian angel. This means checking out a doctor’s credentials and always feeling free to get a second opinion. For example, if you have a problem, such as bunions, find out who has the best reputation and does the most surgery on this problem—not who has the biggest publicity agent. It could mean the difference between a happy outcome or sore feet infinitum.
Last but not least, remember that you are a person first, then a celebrity. You deserve the same care and personal privacy as any other person. Your talent is the keystone to success. Don’t settle for anything less.