This past weekend I attended a “wrap party” for a local film festival where a smattering of celebrities graced the event and gained local entourage and special treatment. It must be life as normal for the celebrities who hailed from Hollywood, New York and elsewhere, but for local Florida residents, it was a chance to rub shoulders with some more rich and famous.
I came to be at this event by assisting with coordination and on site logistics and I greeted guests as they arrived at the event. I am not one to fawn over celebrities (or even recognize less famous ones) so it was interesting to watch others who did. I believe that everyone, no matter their rank or whether they are peers, strangers, or celebrities, deserve the same level of respect and courtesy (unless they violate that right). But, this is not a universal stance.
I found it interesting to watch as various actors arrived with large entourage (who walked dutifully behind them) and who expected (and received) special treatment. It seemed a bit excessive to see “herds” of ten or more being led into the event. (Sheep came to mind…)
At one point, a group of four drunken baseball fans showed up without passes and expected to waltz off the street and be admitted as if the party was theirs. Without credentials or passes, they grudgingly left. Two returned later after befriending an actor smoking on the sidewalk, and felt justified in waltzing in as his new best friends.
Who (and what) makes a Celebrity?
In the field of acting or sports – normal human beings are raised to icon-status with outrageous salaries and fame. From relative obscurity they are catapulted into fame and fortune – with often more luck than stellar ability, and their meteoric rise often falls equally fast. Yet, their claim to fame (for however long) lies with what our society values and holds in high esteem entertainment as a chosen career, over and above professions or occupations that make a difference to others. We seldom see doctors, health care workers or teachers (whose impact can be far greater than entertainment value) elevated to any sort of “special” status.
If one stopped to view life as a series of adventures and survival experiences, more of us and the people in our lives would become celebrities, and that might be good. In my books, everyone who succeeds through life (through the good, the bad, and the ugly) deserves the same respect, honorable treatment, courtesy, love, and decency that award to celebrity. We ought to be celebrating (and “celebritizing”) everyone when they succeed in life.
Celebrities are all around us – take a look at all the parents, caregivers, workers, friends and colleagues who choose to make a difference, yet whose lives are normal, everyday, and without fanfare. Would it not make sense to spread the celebrity status around (and maybe gratitude?)
What do you think? Can you think of someone you know who might deserve a bit of celebrity status today?
Have a good week.