Andy Warhol once made a famous statement about the fact that everyone will get their 15 minutes of fame…sooner or later. But will we really? You may think that every time I post a successful blog, I get my 15 minutes. Well, partly true and partly not. I’ve always thought it would be cool to be famous. To have people point to you as you’re enjoying a private dinner in a restaurant and you hear them say: “I think that’s him” would be kind of nice. It’s happened to me several times, but the other person will usually correct the pointer and say: “No, that’s not him…George Clooney is in Tunisia making a movie.”
So, I began to think about what one needs to have a bit of time…center stage…in the spotlight so clear. It didn’t take me long to realize that all I really needed was a spotlight. Then I could attach it to something, clear some chairs away, and have all the time I wanted in my own personal “limelight.”
I went to B & H Electronics store in Manhattan one day this past week. I wanted to get a very important VHS converted to a quality DVD. On my way out of the store, which is located only a block or two from Madison Square Garden, I spotted the spotlights. I walked around and stared in amazement. If I wanted to light an entire soundstage on a New York City set, this would be the place to go shopping. I looked at all the tubing, stands, racks, lenses and filters…then I saw it! Here, in front of me, was the spotlight of my dreams. The only thing that stood between me and having that light in my home, was my credit card. I looked at the price tag: $875.50 + tax.
I walked out of the store empty-handed. Not because I didn’t think my time in the bright light was worth that price…I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to get it on the train back to Albany where we had parked the car.
And then I looked closer into my psyche. Did I really want to be the center of attention? You need to understand that I am a very shy and insecure person. Oh, I know what you’re thinking: “He’s so clever and open about everything…he’s a real “front-man.” Well, that just isn’t the case.
I’m a shy kind of guy.
This evening (it’s November 22), I was attending a benefit dinner at the China House at Hanover Square in lower Manhattan. I happened to be seated next to a lovely young woman, named Melissa. I actually met her a number of times in the past years. She works in the same office at Mt. Sinai Hospital where my wife was an administrator. The first time I met Melissa, I thought the hospital had violated the child-labor laws…she looked about 16 years old. I would joke with her about whether her teacher knew she was missing classes. That was a few years ago. Now, she looks about 17. In face, she’s a woman in her twenties with two children.
But she always makes it known that she reads and likes my posts.
Now, here, I thought, is someone who deserves her 15 minutes of fame. Yes, I would present her with an award. A small medal or statue for being my most ardent fan in New York City.
[I ask you, do you ever seek out your favorite blogger and take the time to thank him or her for how important they are to you? I mean, every few days, I bare my very soul to you all…I open my heart and share my thoughts and obsessions, ideas and stories. It takes me days to recover from the mental exhaustion of giving you my ALL.]
But, alas, I leaving NYC to return home in the morning. I will not get the chance to go back to B & H to buy the spotlight. I won’t have the opportunity to present Melissa with her award. Everything will go on as usual.
I guess the real issue is what did Andy Warhol mean by fame? How many people have to like you to make you famous? (I’ve thought about this for many years and I came up with the number of 7,686 people.)
In the end, someone pays attention to another person and makes them feel loved and appreciated…then fame really isn’t an issue.
Make someone happy and tell them that they are a superstar to you. Tell them that they are more important than Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift to you.