Would you like to be famous?

Hi I’m Janet in Oregon (I listen on OPB) and I want to talk about fame. Do you want it and how would you react if you got it? And have you ever given someone famous your attention – asked for an autograph or taken a photo? Did you think about how they feel when you did it?

I think our current celebrity culture is a travesty. People get media attention for everything from their athletic prowess to their willingness to eat spiders on a reality TV show. And the more outrageous they act the more attention they receive.

While the free designer clothes, goodie bags worth thousands, preferential treatment and of course, scads of money all sound wonderful and glamorous; would you be OK with everything you do, eat or say being scrutinized, photographed and written about?

Would you want your dinner interrupted by autograph seekers-how would you deal with constant paparazzi?

Would you be OK with the occasional stalker who thinks they live with you? Would the media pointing out how offbeat you are (Michael Jackson, Britney Spears) make you even more offbeat?

How would you know who to trust?

And as a side note:

Have you ever contributed to a media moment? Laid a wreath at a dead actor’s apartment, asked a basketball star for an autograph while he tours the aquarium with his family, taken a candid photograph during a filming in your city? Did you think about the person or do you think that the actor/singer/writer/politician/athlete somehow owes all comers for seeking fame in the first place?

27 Responses to “Would you like to be famous?”

  1. 1 Kirk Wentzel
    April 3, 2008 at 12:51

    I’ve never bothered a famous person or celebrity. I don’t take pictures or ask for autographs. I’ve always assumed that they would not always like that and therefore it would be rude.

    If I were at an event and they were on the red carpet I would take pictures then but to bother someone while they are in their ‘private life role’ seems intrusive.

  2. 2 samrat bikram pande
    April 3, 2008 at 13:10

    it wuld be great to be famous. its human nature to be famous, there are billions of us and we all want to be special and have some recognition.at a peak of all this famous situation some celebs overreact when charged by autograph seekers. for the paparazzis i d give them a huge million dollar smile. u cant defeat them u might as well join them, they boost ur career and thats a good thing. make a deal with them, dont throw stones on a puddle of mud, u will only be successful to get ur selves dirty. stalkers is a sensetive issue u must tackle with extreme caution.if i were a celeb, i would not buy a gun, but i would try to find these people and listen to them, they want attention from u and my mom always says ignoring people who want to talk to u is rude. talks can end wars this is just a small case compared to wars.
    media tries to put dirt on u coz it pleases the mass they want more scoop. dont assault the reporter, make a press confrence, be friendly, keep ur cool and give them a clear picture, if u have done something wrong, admit it, apologize like governer arnold scwarzneger.but in the end, prevention is better than cure.
    in this world u cant trust anyone, but u must learn to trust people at a certain level and for a certain time.
    i have never asked for an autograph to any celeb, its just a signature on a paper. no sensible, responsible person would intrude in one’s privacy or when one doesnot want to be disturbed in their private, family time. yes, when ppl see all the autograph and attention that the celebs get, everyone will want to be a celeb.

  3. 3 smithcopper
    April 3, 2008 at 13:36

    yeah it would be great to have all that money pay what i owe off and advance further but as for being chased around by maniacs and being around people who have the self-important disease..dunno may not be so fun as it looks..may have to take lots of drugs to harmonize the imbalances of that existence… it’s a vanity fair…what is beautiful? what is happiness? just remember, this is not my saying, “everyone used to live in somebody’s balls,” that’s from my ex and is pretty funny to think about …have a great day everyone

  4. April 3, 2008 at 13:38


    Ha!i very much want to be famous though iam not obsessed about it.I would want to be famous in a good way for example working really hard and change things in my country and give to charity in a big way.At the moment,what stands out as my claim to fame is being able to contribute ideas to a drama that was broadcast on the BBC world service on the 7th of february.For me that was and still is huge because the BBC has a very wide listenership around the wold.Before my family and friends?iam very famous because my name was mentioned in the drama and i was credited on the bbc world service website.How about that?

  5. April 3, 2008 at 13:55

    Boy, I sure would love to be famous but I have just one great fear. I am very much afraid that I will not be able to handle this stardom especially when pride and arrogance takes the better of me. My God, who doesn’t want to be famous? Imagine me entering a room and all the beautiful ladies are screaming hysterically; ‘I-s-r-a-e-l w-e l-o-v-e y-o-u…’ Or walking along the street and people are all queued up for my autograph! It’s sure very nice and pleasant experience but for the fear of losing this simple personality of mine, I better not be.

  6. 6 steve
    April 3, 2008 at 13:59

    Google “narcissistic personality disorder” and that describes people who want fame.

  7. 7 Ros Atkins
    April 3, 2008 at 14:38

    from GREG:

    I am famous in my own mind. For instance, did you know that I knew this war was nonsense before it even started and I didn’t even have access to any of the “intelligence”? How is that possible? But I knew it. I guess I am part of a small handful of people that saw this for what it was so that makes me famous.

  8. 8 selena
    April 3, 2008 at 16:55

    To Greg:

    I, too, am famous in my own mind. Let’s start a club! Wait a minute! No, scrap then idea. It’s too normal!

    Yes, there are a few of us who wrote about the craziness of going to war and were told we were outside the pale. (You are either for us or against us!) Where are all those people? They don’t seem to be around any more.

    Personally I have never bought into the idea that other humans are any more famous than I am. That applies to Jesus, Mohammed, Elvis, the Beatles or anyone else one cares to mention.

    It seems demeaning to worship another human.

  9. 9 Will Rhodes
    April 3, 2008 at 17:09

    I would like to be famous for writing damn good books!

    An excerpt can be found here:

    A little writing – not formatted for blog.

    And here:

    Tramp – blatant advertising for my writing.

    I have no idea how others read it, but I do hope you enjoy, if you read them.

  10. 10 Ana Milena, Colombia
    April 3, 2008 at 18:37

    I guess we’d all like to have our talent or work acknowledged, so… Yes, I think most of us would like to be famous and be loved by lots of people.

    Still, one thing is to be famous because of your skills and achievements and the other is to be popular because of scandals and a messy life. That would be too sad, but nowadays it’s the most common definition of the word “famous”. 😦

  11. 11 George USA
    April 3, 2008 at 19:07

    The two fames:

    1. fame of achievement, courage, and the highest values of men.

    2. fame of a celebrity industry cranking out plastic pop out “famous” who have done nothing worthy of admiration or fame.

    Sure I would like to bat 400, write the great American novel, discover a breakthrough, or win a Medal of Honor to be famous with 1. type fame.

    Number 2. fame looks pretty rotten: that is nothing I want.

  12. April 4, 2008 at 15:33

    @ George

    Prehaps a 3rd Fame

    Fame from birth… for example the british royal family will allways be famous regardless of whether or not they achieve something, or whether prince harry suddenly starts dating Paris Hilton

  13. 13 George USA
    April 4, 2008 at 19:50


    You may have a point

    But I like prince harry- he stepped up to the plate

    and did not have to do it because of the #3 you mention.

  14. 14 Tatyana
    April 14, 2008 at 11:57

    I want to be famous
    But there’s no good
    It’s difficult rather
    As I’ve understood.
    The people just follow you
    Or even pursue
    If they want autograph
    They line up in queue
    You are in full view
    Of admirers of yours
    They know about you many details of course
    There are too much gossip
    You are tired of it
    And those paparazzi are cheeky a bit.
    You are always looked at
    And much spoken about
    It so difficult is
    To be famous-no doubt.

  15. May 25, 2008 at 01:22

    i want to be famous bad because i can sing and act really good but life isnt always fair.

  16. 16 Golda
    July 26, 2008 at 02:36

    im a good actress like i can act i just dont kno how i can make myself famouse. like i need some famouse actress to see me n maby ill be in a movie but i just dont kno how to do it so plz help me

  17. August 22, 2008 at 15:18

    i want to be famous with ma photos

  18. 18 DALIJA
    December 1, 2008 at 22:01

    ja nebi htjela biti poznata osoba na svijetu!!…..I dont have a be famous person in the world..its badddd!!……………….bye from Croatia

  19. 19 DALIJA
    December 1, 2008 at 22:02

    IM SOO FAMOUS PERSON!!!!!!…dalija is the best!!!!!!!

  20. 20 Jennifer
    December 2, 2008 at 00:20

    Oh yes, I am VERY famous! I would have it no other way! haha 😀 I love stalkers and they love me! 😉

    Now to be serious:

    No, I would not like to be famous. However, if I were, I would want it to be for a talent not a reality show or something like that. I would not have much patience with the paparazzi interfering with my private goings on and making stuff out of nothing but that comes with the territory so when I go to Denny’s for pancakes at 3 am I would be sure to look presentable! 😉 I would enjoy speaking with my fans despite my shyness because without them, how would someone become/stay famous? I wouldn’t mind having my dinner interrupted for autographs. The best part about being famous would be the ability to use a name and lots of $ to really have a positive impact on a cause/causes you believe in.

    It seems to me though that alot of the time, celebrities have a hard time keeping a level head when they have fame and they get out of control.

  21. 21 Rebekah
    December 4, 2008 at 20:25

    I am in high school and i want to be actress and go brits and be in top movies can you help me or give me advise because that all that i want to do in my life is act and be on t.v

  22. December 12, 2008 at 18:43

    i realy want to a model and you can make that happen

  23. February 3, 2009 at 01:06

    we all like to be famous but we must understand that it takes action instead off jst sting home watching tv and having a cup of beers ive watched how a world change many stupid peaple just like to laugh all the time but we must understand that if you make a lot off money there must be a reason why u always get that kind of money ive seen peaple who want to be reach and drive feraris
    yes we all want to be reach but some times it hates being reach peaple always say be carefull what you wish for
    i remember back in africa i ddnt know anyithing about britain pcs and i barery speaked english but my beliefs made me to be the person am today i remember sting ona mountain saying to god if you make me know about the world i will do something for other peaple to make there dream come true then i had a dream
    someone saying its called exchange i give you this and you loose something
    oneyear after me mom came to britain and guess what happened in front of my TWO EYE i witnessed my mom and dad divorsing in front of me the same day we was coming to britain
    since that day my life changed

  24. April 3, 2009 at 18:19

    Im 15 and im a singer. its not even fame that i want. More so, me doing what i love. Knowing that it is singing, i would love for the mass to hear me. But if they don’t thats fine.

    Creating music, being able to download it and listen to your own voice. Being able to say “hey i did this”. Expressing myself through what i love most. Song,

    Im not looking for fame. Just basically my own thing. Something that i own, No one else, just me.

    And i think many of the famous people you see, have the same motives. But sometimes with doing what you love, there are some not-so-good decisions made. From that they attract media attention. That is when it gets ugly. That is the part i dont think anyone wants.

  25. 25 kara webster
    June 25, 2009 at 17:15

    I’ve always dreamed of being famous!I’m only 11 years old. I write songs and get praised for it by a lot of people. I love interacting with people so I would be great with a crowd. I personaly wouldn’t mind the paparazzi or the crazy fans,actualy,I would love it!! I wrote a song recently and I’ve gotten the most comments on this one. Its called “Breathe”. Everyone seems to like the main chorus the most so I’ill write down for all of you to see.

    Take a breath and go,
    Let it out and let you know (you were impossible to find)
    Hold my breath and take a step,
    Towards you
    Take your hand and won’t let it go
    Ill let you know
    Take a step back,
    Let go of your hand and feel you staring back at me
    Take a breath and let it go

    How was that? If you want to see more of my songs,check out my youtube account. I have two,one is officialcamigates(that’s my online name,I use it for protection cause you never know what can happen)and my other one is falloutboyluver24. I have a friend named johnny and he’s very talented. He rocks at guitar and drums,and he has good vocal chords also. I’m trying to convince him to start a band with me,if we do,our band name would be 8th Stand (that’s my band name on youtube). Please reply to me and tell me what you think of my lyrics.

  26. 26 Morgan Higgs
    June 30, 2009 at 21:47

    I just turned 12 and I love to write songs, act, sing, and dance. I’ve been acting singing and dancing since I was very little. I love doing it and I’m very passionate about it. My friends and family are always supporting me and telling me how good I am at it. I started writing poetry when I was little also and my friend once told me I should maybe start writing songs and I did. I love performing. Even though at first I am nervous I think that is just normal and everyone is even professionals. Once I get on stage though I love how everyone has their eyes on me and I get this rush of excitement and I am very proud of myself/ happy when they all applaud. Today I started writing a new song. This is only the beginning of it:

    When we first met I felt that electric shock and knew you were the one for me
    It nearly knocked me off my feet
    and I wondered if I was the only one who felt the heat
    between you and me
    But then you took my hand
    and I knew you felt it too
    I started to wonder what I would ever do without you
    and then you took me in your arms and said
    baby I just met you but I think I’m in love and I said
    don’t ever leave me cuz I’ve never felt this way
    and you said I never will from this day to eternity
    That was the day you stole my heart
    but now you took it and ripped it apart
    But I’m still in love with you
    and I’m wondering if you still love me too

    So yeah that’s just the beginning but if you liked it you can go on http://www.quizilla.com/ my scrn name is Mo626 and you can find more of my songs on there or you can email me at morganrules16@yahoo.com

  27. 27 Kiera
    March 13, 2010 at 02:12

    Sorry, no thanks for me on the fame. I have a famous family member, a friend whose sister is famous, and an ex boyfriend, whom I’m still friends with, whose about to become famous. I already have seen what it’s like on the other side and it seems like it’s all beautiful and glamorous, but once you get on the inside it can be hell like you wouldn’t believe. Famous people are told to act all happy because that’s what the media wants, to get money and have people pay thousands to look like them. It’s one big conspiracy, it’s sad that most people don’t see that. It’s not about having your dreams come true; it’s about making money for the money hungry grubs.

    I’m sorry if I disapoint anyone but if you like to do what you like to do, DO IT FOR THAT! Don’t do it just to become famous. TRUST ME!

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