The making of a Celebrity: Not everyone’s Cup of Tea17 December 2018
Popularity, fame and having your name sought after is a euphoric experience. No doubt being acelebrity opens a lot of doors, smoothens lots of paths that are otherwise treacherous for an ordinary man. However being famous comes with a fair share of challenges. For starters you can kiss any sort of privacy in the public space good bye. After a while, the attention they get in the form of praises, scrutiny and everything else in between often dislodges them from reality where they are unable to see beyond the flash of the cameras. Actors like Johnny Depp acknowledge the fact that they actually despise being in the spotlight and often compares it to feeling like afugitive where they are ‘ushered’ from one hotel to the next, from one set to the other.
Think about it, you are scrutinized at all times. What you wear, what you are doing, where you go, who you socialize with, what you say and so on and so forth. And as a result of this, it is an acknowledged fact that not everyone can handle stardom. People like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Priyanka Chopra have embraced it even though they come from a family which was not in the public domain. The other challenge is of such success stories suffering early burnout as they are unable to sustain the pressure of stardom and fame.
Therefore mastering the art of popular public life is a skill that one must learn quickly if you are to sustain. While ‘playing to the gallery’ is the mantra, it is how you do it successfully that matters.
The Art of Portrayal
Handling media, fans, and haters, who now have more than one medium at their disposal, is nothing short of a workout. A celebrity’s movements, clothes, actions, speeches, and even food is monitored by their brand managers for fear of being ridiculed in the public eye. These are crushing times when celebrities can either make or break their image amongst the rather relentless sight of the onlookers. They can either go down in the books for being insolent or end up the darling of the paparazzi.
Several celebrities have turned the tables around and excel in expertly communicating with the shutterbugs and media without ruffling any feathers. Rahul Dravid, one of the most respected cricket players of all time is an epitome of the excellent media relationship. Though quiet, Rahul has always managed to balance the lines of professionalism an intrusion neatly and has emerged as media’s blue-eyed boy. It turns out, he is Mr. Dependable after all! Sachin Tendulkar has also maintained a private life away from the media eye but was always there whenever the occasion called for. Years into the careers and retirement too, Rahul and Sachin seemed to be in the positive light for several people and can be a great inspiration to be calm and collected during those tense moments.
As Spiderman says, ‘With Great Strength, Comes Great Responsibility’, celebrities, thanks to recognition, have the power to influence a great number of people and be their role model. The audience of today is smart and no more impressed by a mere show of a good cause. Priyanka Chopra for example, is a global star, one of the most powerful women in the world and a UNICEF global ambassador. Leveraging their power to reach out to the masses is what is counted as giving back, enriching the concept of a role model. Youtube too has its fair share of celebrities making an impact on a global scenario- one of them being Lily Singh akaSuperwoman who, through her #GirlLove program propagates education for girls and women safety in conflict-struck regions and developing countries.
But not all Celebrities Succeed and Sustain to become role models
While we are attuned with the bright side, there is a flip side to stardom as well, some of them being fatal for those who were unable to cope with the constant flashes and invasiveness that crept in their lives. Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has a notorious reputation of haggling with media where both parties never see eye to eye. In this ruthless word, Sanjay has been the target of much negative portrayal which was open for people to see in his biopic Sanju. This is yet another example of the inability to cope. Comedy star Kapil Sharma is yet another example who shot to fame with his hit show on Colors – Comedy Nights with Kapil. There are now media stories that he trying to fight alcohol addiction and has completely disappeared from the media domain for many months on end.
Pressure and expectations have always ended careers and lives for people who were unable to take in the pressure that fame demanded. Legends like Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Heath Ledger, Amy Wine house and many others too found themselves buried under the weight of the bright lights to a point where they saw no hope in rising. These mega stars passed away too young and this was because maybe, fame was never their cup of tea. The words “Fame a fickle food on shifting plate” by Emily Dickson, resonates with their lives, implying that this statement is not a conjecture after all.
Well if you are thinking if you are celebrity material, here are a few tips to check if you qualify☺
Confident: When amidst a crowd, creating a confident persona helps build a rapport with the media as well as the fans.
Tactful: People tend to push a celebrity into a corner. The trick lies in being tactful and engaging at the same time.
Articulate: One word is enough to rain down torrential backlash. Celebrities need to be articulate while conversing with anyone out of their personal circle.
Inspirational: People of all age groups keenly watch the actions of a celebrity. With their presence, they have the chance to be inspirational and give back to the society.
Dedication: Good celebrities build up goodwill through their discipline and commitment to their art and dedication. They value other people’s time and respect their work as much as their own.