Tuesday, December 16, 2008

fantastical fame

i thought for a very long time, was absolutely sure of the fact that i was destined to be famous. there was no doubt in my mind, this was what was going to happen to me. it wasn't even something that i was going to set out looking for. it was just going to fall in my lap. i wasn't really sure what exactly it was going to be for, either. i just knew that all the time i spent alone in my room pretending i was something i wasn't was going to add up. one day people wouldn't notice that i had no matrices of what could be considered 'constant intelligence"; rather, hiccups of good decisions that allowed me to live from one day to the next virtually unharmed. well, in one piece. i haven't made a stupid enough decision yet to die or even get an amputation, so i figure my chances get better every day i'm alive.

and, i realized at a young age that my lack of natural intelligence and book smarts was going to hurt my chances of becoming someone of elevated status (=elevated schooling=more years of being forced to do things i thought were useless=no), so i knew for me to get rich it would have to be through me getting famous for something i could do more naturally. like being a dancer. or a singer, like tiffany or milli vanilli. or a model like linda evangelista. and while my parents encouraged me with an apathetic "sure you will, honey." i thought about what it was i wanted to be put on the map for.

i secretly wished it would be singing but i dared not tell anyone that for fear that they would tell me exactly what i didn't want to hear; that i sucked. and i thought it may be for acting, until i realized that acting in your bathroom mirror is not and actual skill; it's just a great game of pretend. it didn't really mean you are an 'actor', it just meant that you are a child. of course, i would be famous for ballet, and i was pretty confident in that one. but so far i have danced for twenty-two years and my biggest credit in dance is unfortunately Larry the Cable Guy's Christmas Extravaganza. not quite the recognition i desired for my artistry when my eleven year old students are asking their mothers (who then tell me, which doesn't make me feel guilty at all about cursing in front of their children or wearing low cut shirts to their performances) if miss kathryne is a stripper for extra money.

twenty-two years of classical ballet and an ungodly devotion to the contortion of my body and i amount inevitably to a stripper. my parents are even more proud than when i corrected their habitual referral to my career as my "hobby".

i digress. i was happy enough daydreaming about being published in magazines and being interviewed by letterman and having rave reviews written about my amazing portrayal of blanch du bois as a tortured yet subtly coquettish soul on broadway's production of a streetcar named desire. this sort of life made sense to me, and i expected the fame as well as the paycheck to have been coming at any point in my adolescence.

at any point. annnny day now. it. will. be. soon...

as you can see, the four of you who are reading this blog (i'm feeling overzealous today) i haven't exactly gotten the recognition i felt i deserved all these years. instead, i'm sitting in a coffee shop, in atlanta, waiting for tomorrow to come. it turned out that i am as bad at planning as i am at singing, and as far as i'm concerned, the days that my superficial beauty can carry me on to the next project of my life are not only few and far between, but they are also waning. the curse of a career in the entertainment industry: age.

not too long ago i was dancing at opera on a 'celebrity appearance' night. Chris Brown and Rhianna were to be showing up and also doing an 'impromtu' performance.
*note: i can't wait until i can get to a point in my life where an 'impromtu' performance will let me walk away with 30,000 dollars of someone else's money.
so they came in around 12:45 and went straight to a VIP booth above our heads. i was amazed at how many people were falling over themselves to get a picture of the two. they were cheering and flashing and crowding and looking in one direction- fame. i was amazed at the reaction of the crowd - utter awe and excitement - but most of all, at myself. as i danced on the box i realized a) how lucky i was to be standing five feet higher than everyone else so i could get a better view and/or chance of rhianna pulling her manager aside and telling him to come down to me on my break and tell me "Ms. Rhianna wanted me to come down and get you, as she would like to employ you to do all the choreography for her next world tour and also be a backup singer and sometimes sing for her when she gets tired. here's my card. we'll send a driver tomorrow morning." ; and b) that i had just become one of the douchbags vying to get a piece of the action, of the fame.

the truth is, i was just a dancer on a box getting paid what one of rhianna's pedicures are worth in a nightclub too big for the town it resided in. i drifted off to sleep that night, starting work on the tour i was to choreograph for her, and from what i remember it looks really great.

but that's just the thing. it's just an image. a facade. rhianna is beautiful and talented and was in the right place at the right time with her talent... and now, she is a representation of herself. a marketable item. she's no longer rhianna, the girl who sang in the shower and got excited about the prospect of singing the national anthem for the city's little league playoffs. she was RHIANNA the superpower, on lunchboxes and schoolfolders and teeny bopper posters... surely she must be disappointed in the fact that her image has gotten bigger than the original. it would piss me off to have to fend off photographers and think before speaking and remember all the words to songs... and i knew, that kind of fame, is not for me.

not too long ago someone told me i'm the most famous person they knew, and my head swelled with compliment. all my flashbacks of being on set or being in the makeup chair swirled back in my head, loving being the center of attention and having people tell you how talented and beautiful you are... and then i remember, those people get paid to tell you that shit. the bigger you believe your image is, the more other people believe it.

and it is with that, that i confess. i don't think i'm famous, nor do i think i'm exceptionally talented. so in direct parallel, know that you shouldn't either. a person's worth isn't based on how many other people value them. otherwise, we'd all turn out to be britney spears, even though she did make a bitch of a comeback. all i know is, my days of wishing for fame are gone. instead, what i wish for is it's paycheck, and when i figure out how to get one without the other, i swear i'll let some of you know. so keep reading. one of these days, the secret will be your reward for making it through.


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