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Fame Is NOT Contagious May 28, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.

220px-TennieldumdeeWhen we lived in South Carolina, people loved to say ~ “It’s not who you are, it’s who you know.”

I found that perspective bemusing.

Much like Alice found Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Are we somebody because we know somebody who is somebody?

Or because we know somebody who met somebody.  Once.  Upon a time.

Are we so preoccupied with fame that we’ve convinced ourselves that a quick brush with “greatness” is all that it takes?

As if fame was somehow contagious.

Hmm . . .

* I met Andy Warhol at Tavern on the Green in NYC ~ will that make me a better pop artist or photographer?

* Orson Bean sent me an air mail letter from Australia because he knew my dad when they were kids ~ will that letter get me a semi-permanent hosting gig on a daytime game show?

* I watched Bruce Hornsby give an impromptu concert outside Wait Chapel at Wake Forest ~ will that improve my skills as a musician?

* I grew up in Bruce Springstein’s backyard, next door to his hometown of Freehold; he later moved to my hometown ~ does that mean he’ll feature me in his next music video or invite me to his 4th of July Picnic?

Cheshire_Cat_Tenniel* Charles Bronson purchased land in Vermont from my grandfather ~ will that give me an in as an actor (or a bobblehead)?

Answers:  No, not likely, nope, not a chance, and no!

Fame is NOT contagious!

A happy fact for Cheshire Cats, like me, who are pleased with our anonymity.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you had any brushes with greatness?

Did they have staying power?  You know, like one of Elvis’s famous peanut butter, banana, and mayo sandwiches . . . with bacon!

Related post:  Elvis Kissed Me (Andra Watkins Blog)





1. Jill Weatherholt - May 28, 2014

I grabbed Jimmy Buffet’s hand at a concert once; I still can’t carry a tune. I did get some looks from his bodyguard. 😦

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Bwahaha! “Step away from the merchandise!” 😎

Jill Weatherholt - May 28, 2014

Really…it wasn’t like I pinched his backside or anything… 🙂

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

They might have been OK with that . . . since he didn’t play the guitar with his backside. :mrgreen:

2. http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com - May 28, 2014

That saying used to be a popular one in show business for years,meaning that your contacts were vital to your career. I grew up in the entertainment industry, worked in it for years, knew a lot of celebrities, but it never made me a star. It did allow me to know some wonderful people( who I have written about in my blog) who also
contributed to my life.

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

I expect that’s why so many people in show business are able to keep getting gigs long after the point they should have retired ~ they have the right contacts.

And why it’s so hard for new talent to break into the business with “has beens” crowding the stage refusing to relinquish their time in the spotlight. It’s sad when tired old actors give tired trite performances because they no longer have to bring their “A game” in order to get work.

http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com - May 28, 2014

Yes, that’s part of the problem for new talent. A lot of success in the business is,not only knowing the right people, but timing.. So few can make a living out of acting. My uncle was one of the fortunate ones, being a character actor and a comedian, but he spent a lot of years on stage before breaking into films and television. Actors need jobs to survive, but there are many more hopefuls than roles.

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

And it’s not just acting . . . it’s also true in the publishing world. Published authors can crank out subpar books at the speed of light and they’re purchased sight unseen, while unpublished authors, even those with stellar novels, struggle to be seen.

3. katecrimmins - May 28, 2014

I would work on that daytime game show gig if I were you. That sounds like fun. Knowing people never helped me. I always did it the old fashioned way — hard work!

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Me too! That’s the first thing that struck me about “the south” when I moved to SC for law school ~ how many people got into law school because “daddy” pulled some strings.

Of course, daddy wasn’t able to help some of them pass the bar on the first (or third) try. Some things ya have to do for yerself.

Val Boyko - May 28, 2014

What a great idea Kate. Nancy on a game show 🙂

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

I loved watching “To Tell The Truth” with Orson Bean, Kitty Carlisle, and two other panelists.

4. nancytex2013 - May 28, 2014

Usher, along with his entourage, ate at the table next to mine at Sushi Roku at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas last year. And…I just got signed to a recording contract!

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Haha! “I want an entourage like that!”

Keep your eyes open to and from the bottom of the Grand Canyon, NT. Contacts made there could literally save your life!

nancytex2013 - May 28, 2014

Amen to that.

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

I’ll breathe a sigh of relief when I hear that you’ve climbed back over the rim.

5. ericjbaker - May 28, 2014

Be the main character in your own life!

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Exactly! If I am not myself . . . who else would want the part? 😎

6. Don - May 28, 2014

I once met the world Yo Yo champion. That’s true. Not sure what that would make me. 🙂

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Now, see, that would be a FUN meet up . . . as long as they had a Yo Yo and would share a few tricks!

Don - May 28, 2014

He did. Quite amazing. 🙂

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Playing with yo yo’s is mesmerizing ~> the slow and steady up and down is hypnotic.

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Bwahaha . . . just got your funny punny, Don. Rest assured, I’ve met some real Yo Yo’s in my day, and YOU are NO Yo Yo!

Don - May 28, 2014

I must say Nancy there have been moments when I’ve felt like a YO YO especially when I’ve put my foot in it. 🙂

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

It’s a good thing the occasional faux pas does not a Yo Yo make . . . or we would all be classified as Yo Yo’s and the label would lose its luster. 😎

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Here’s an amazing little guy:

7. Val Boyko - May 28, 2014

I was in a W H Smith in London and Lady Diana – as she was then – was shopping for a card.
No I didn’t hang around to see what she chose!….
Let them have their life and I’ll live mine 🙂

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Good for you, Val. Living life in a fish bowl would take some getting used to ~ it’s nice to be able to run errands without being followed by paparazzi.

8. Grannymar - May 28, 2014

Nancy this post reminds me of the song by Herbert Farjeon.

“I’ve danced with a man, who’s danced with a girl, who’s danced with the Prince of Wales!”

nrhatch - May 28, 2014

Yes! That’s exactly right! We’re all just a few dance steps away from greatness. Thanks, GM.

9. Eric Tonningsen - May 28, 2014

I thought about actually answering your question, Nancy. Then I realized how superficial it’d be. As one of my teen-aged nephews is fond of saying, “Whatever.” Who would care if I don’t? 🙂 (And immediately to mind then comes a visual of people who buy/read Tabloids.) I suppose they would.

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

I share your nephew’s view of the glitterati . . . “whatever!” 😎

10. In the Stillness of Willow Hill - May 28, 2014

No brushes with people in the spotlight. No desire to meet them. Nor to be in the spotlight. Certain people crave center stage….others hide from it. Neither one is right or wrong. You have to examine your own heart. (I hate the spotlight!…My heart knows why. I dread other people’s judgment. A throwback to childhood comparisons to 5 Super-Siblings.)

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

Always remember that you don’t have to be what they want you to be. ~ Mohammad Ali

11. Behind the Story - May 29, 2014

It took me a while to think of someone. Then I remembered Imelda Marcos. Along with some other ladies from the Asian Development Bank, I had tea with her one afternoon at Malacanang Palace. Not a particularly memorable event. I suspect that famous people have to sit through too many boring ceremonies.

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

OMG! You met Imelda Marcos! Which shoes from her warehouse sized collection was she wearing? 😎

I would enjoy having tea at the Malacanang Palace ~ there are so many lovely things to look at in a palace.

Tea + Palace = Perfect Together!

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

And yes! Sitting through BORING ceremonies and meetings is what heads of state do best! I expect that many have mastered the art of appearing to pay attention while being “lost in space.”

12. Three Well Beings - May 29, 2014

Growing up in Los Angeles I have connection after connection with people with different levels of celebrity. I have met many people and it’s not unusual for me to get off an elevator or leave a store and have a friend ask me, “did you just see who that was?” The answer is usually, “No, I didn’t pay any attention.” I have met many celebrities and two of my favorites included brief conversations with Elizabeth Edwards and President Carter. But they represent interesting facets of history or a place in time that connects to me, and that’s about it! I can do a lot of name dropping, but just meeting someone doesn’t imply I gained anything meaningful that I can claim for myself. I am definitely not star struck!

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

When I was younger, the idea of brushing elbows in the elevator with the rich and famous held a degree of appeal. And then I opened my eyes to the reality. The older I get, the more disenchanted I grow with celebrities ~> especially those who have an overrated sense of their own importance.

Narcissism is a character trait easily absorbed when everyone is fawning over you, attending to your every whim.

There are political figures (both historic and contemporary) that I would enjoy meeting ~ like the Dalai Lama. But I don’t want to just brush elbows with him. I want to sit down for a chat.

13. William D'Andrea - May 29, 2014

I don’t know any famous people personally, but my sister does. As a matter of fact, she has a friend who works as on the staff of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. My sister and brother-in-law actually attended her swearing in. My sister refers to her as “Sonia”. I figure if that if you’re gonna be a name dropper, you might as well drop the biggest one you’ve got!

I haven’t met the woman myself, but since my sister knows her, there is a possibility that I might. If I do, what would I say to a Supreme Court Justice? I’m sure it would be a very interesting conversation. Unlike all those ego displays that you see and hear too much of on TV, I’m sure we’d act like civilized adults, and actually listen to each other, and learn from one another.

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

I expect you’re right, William. I met Sandra Day O’Conner when she spoke at USC Law School for Law Day one year. She was bright, personable, and interesting.

14. jannatwrites - May 29, 2014

My brushes with greatness: my grandparents – they were big on the little things that made big differences in life; my parents who showed me that even when doing the right thing feels like a setback, it’s still the right thing to do; my junior high band teacher who had confidence in me when I had none…

Oh, wait. You mean ‘famous’ people that you would know? Nah, haven’t met any of those 🙂

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

Yes! I love this comment, Janna. True greatness, like beauty, is often found in our own backyard . . . no celebrity sightings required.

15. diannegray - May 29, 2014

My daughter bumped into (physically) Arnold Schwarzenegger in a shop in Vegas a few years back and then had her picture taken with Stevie Wonder. I love living vicariously through her – it makes me famous 😀

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

Bwahaha! When people ask me who I know . . . I say Dianne Gray!!! She rocks!

diannegray - May 29, 2014

LOL! 😉

16. Intrepid Explorer - May 29, 2014

Six degrees of separation. My daughter owns a mini-cooper that was once owned by the former drummer with U2. Does that count? 🙂

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

Of course! She’s got the best seat in the house!

17. Pix Under the Oaks - May 30, 2014

I am always trying to fly under the radar! CH had a few brushes with greatness when he worked at the Pentagon. We stayed on the same floor at the hotel in Nashville as Smokey Robinson when we went to his concert a couple of years ago and saw him multiple times.. loved it!

nrhatch - May 30, 2014

I’m going to start flying under the radar too! Less turbulence that way. 😎

These days, I bet rock stars rent out entire floors for their entourage to avoid hobnobbing with fans in the hallways.

18. I am J - May 31, 2014

I’m so out of the loop that I hardly even know who’s famous anymore. Quite a few years ago when Wayne Newton was the hottest show on the Las Vegas Strip, I went into the gift shop at the Denver Airport after dropping my boss off for his flight to a conference. I’m short (5’1″) and often need help getting things down from top shelves. I was trying to reach a stuffed CU Buffalo (football mascot) when a tall man walked up behind me and got it for me.

He said, “Here you go, Miss. Are you a Buffs fan?” We then proceeded to talk for nearly 30 minutes about college football and Colorado. He talked – a lot – about how much he loved Colorado and how friendly everyone was.

I asked him where he was headed and he said, “Las Vegas.” I got all excited and wished him “Good fortune and may you hit the BIG one.”

He left. I paid for the Buffalo. The clerk behind the counter and other customers were laughing their heads off. The clerk said, “Do you know who you were talking to?”

“Uh, no…”

“That was Wayne Newton – and he’s already hit the big one.”

Clearly, me “catching” fame probably won’t be a problem ever!

nrhatch - June 1, 2014

That is a great story, J! I wonder how many times we have rubbed elbows with the rich and famous ~> unawares.

I bet talking with you was a breath of fresh air for Wayne.

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