That’s right, you heard me. I want to be a star!
I don’t want to be a real star like Sir Lawrence Olivier, Marlon Brando, or even Don Knotts. The money sounds good but it seems like way too much work. Besides, I have a proven track record for forgetting lines dating back to Grade 1. In fact, I was the world’s first recorded case of pediatric ulcer as a direct result of the stress of the “write a poem at home and recite it in class without looking” hour in school. I want to be one of those “celebrities for no good reason” (CFNGR) that are so popular today.
There is no shortage of CFNGRs. Even a middle-aged guy like me who is out of touch with what is “hip” and “happening” has heard of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and others who one might wonder if they should collectively call themselves “Generation Skank”. I want to be one of them. Not in gender, mind you, but I want my share of done-nothing-to-deserve-it fame, wealth, and glory.
They drive exotic cars, smooch with the world’s most beautiful people, engage in heavy petting in bars that serve drinks that cost at least as much per glass as a trip to The Mandarin Buffet on a Friday night, wear first-run designer originals, and get their names splashed all over the internet, TV, radio, and gossip columns. But I cannot recall them having done anything to earn them such notoriety. I’d fit in nicely.
The only problem is that all of today’s CFNGRs are so young, and there has even been some talk that the iconic CFNGR Paris Hilton is very close to being over the hill. I was born at the tail-end of the Baby Boom so I’m quite a bit older than the average meme incarnate.
When I was a teen, we had a grand total of ten celebrities that even remotely came close to holding this place in the public eye… there was Zsa Zsa Gabor and the nine regulars on Hollywood Squares. Nobody knew why they were famous, but they were. And these ten were not Baby Boomers — they were of my parents’ generation. And the biggest demographic today is still us Baby Boomers, but the current crop of CFNGRs are not! There’s something terribly wrong with this picture.
The way I see it, there’s a huge untapped market of Baby Boomers who would eat up every lurid tidbit of info on their favourite middle-aged CFNGRs. I’d like to get in on the ground floor so that in four or five years when my flash in the pan has long since fizzled, I’d still look fairly young for my three-minute interviews on the “Where Are They Now?” shows. No one likes a doddering has-been.
So now that Paris is passé and Kim has tied the knot (that’ll keep her off the gossip sheets for a good eight months), the time is ripe for a new, but older, generation of CFNGRs to capture the public’s heart.
If there are any publicists or CFNGR handlers who have the vision to be a pioneer in promoting the next wave of celebrity nobodies, here are a few things I would bring to the table if given the chance to spearhead a new era of mature idol worship…
I’ve got “The Look”: Several of them in fact. I’m going to let the cat out of the bag concerning the marketing of entertainment media here… celebrities’ publicity photo facial expressions typically fall into one of three categories, with Look #1 being “Dangerous”. If you look deeply into the eyes of the person in the picture and you begin to feel like they are going to mug you or throw you a beating, that’s “The Dangerous Look”. Take a peek at your CD and DVD cases… most of the stars are trying very hard to look dangerous. That’s the big secret to making an entertainer or CFNGR look more appealing to the booger-picking public.
Look #2 is “The Ready to Face Danger Look”. It is very similar to Look #1 but is characterized by the subject not looking quite so threatening and has a more respectable clean-cut appearance. In these photos the stars just ooze a kind of “when the shit hits the fan, you want me around to take charge of the situation” expression and posture. Frankly, both Look #1 and Look #2 make people look like the kind of assholes that I don’t like to be around anywhere, anytime.
Look #3 is “The Cute and Cuddly Lovable Guy/Girl Next Door Look”. You can spot this look a mile off… the subjects look all happy and friendly like they’ve been at some cult’s recruitment retreat eating nothing but brownies for days.
A good photographer and Photoshop guru can craft a quality Hollywood-standard photo, in any one of the three basic celebrity photo flavours, of just about any doofus who walks into their studio so they’d be able to do it with photos of me, too.
Photos of CFNGRs often fall into a fourth, non-studio category… “The Haggard Stoned-to-the-Gills Look” that they sport when photographed exiting a bar at 7 a.m. This is my own default look, even when I haven’t been drinking. Unless the lighting is perfect and all the planets are perfectly aligned, in photos I tend to resemble Uncle Fester from The Addams Family TV series so I’ll always look like I have been partying very heavily. Life is cruel, but age-onset ugliness can make for good press.
Press Friendly: I don’t see myself punching any photographers but I might annoy the crap out of them with camera-oriented questions like “What f-stop are you using?”, “What auto-focus mode do you usually use?”, “How much does a lens like that cost?”, etc. These dumb questions just might drive them away so I’ll make myself a more attractive subject to them by pledging to roll down my car’s windows when I know they’re around. They’ll appreciate not having to worry about reflections from their high-powered pro electronic flash units. Also, it’s been a while since I did any really heavy partying so for the first while I should be passing out really early. The paparazzi will be clamouring to be assigned to me because once I’m carried off in an alcoholic coma, they’ll be able to wrap things up early and get home to their families in time to tuck in their kids.
SEAL Team Six: I am willing to continue the tradition of my predecessors and “go commando” but, if at all possible, could you let me ease into this and allow me to go from jockeys to wearing boxer shorts for a couple of weeks first? Commando or not, the public will be relieved to hear that they will never catch a glimpse of my reproductive gadgets because I intend to keep my pants on at all times.
Grooming: I don’t mind walking around with that phony bad-boy stubble on my face. I’ll have my razor modified to leave 1/16″ beard to make sure I’m always dressed for the job.
The Cupid Factor: Nothing grabs and holds the public’s attention quite like getting the scoop on a CFNGR’s sexual meanderings, and I’m not above giving my followers what they want. That being said, it took me decades of picking through the psychos of womankind before I found my incredible wife, and I don’t want to lose her now. So how about we engineer what the public thinks is me stepping outside my marriage but it is really just a very good act? I’m sure Mrs. HoaiPhai would agree to it if she’s part of the planning, is kept up to date on the details, and if my CFNGR income allows her to shop in Paris and relax in Bimini’s better spas.
I was thinking that Jessica Alba might fit the bill as a love interest. She’s an actress, which is crucial in this type of situation, and is already followed closely by the public eye. If she doesn’t work out, then maybe Patricia Heaton, Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Demi Moore, Kristen Johnston, Lucy Liu, Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, Sarah Silverman, or Denise Richards would meet the criteria. I guess I could be convinced to nuzzle up to them, either one-on-one or in groups, in semi-public places if I absolutely must.
The Spin Off: So if my phony lover is going to make phony trouble with my marriage, why not get Mrs. Hoaiphai into the spotlight? She could get a show on which she and other high-profile women who were wronged by their husbands or lovers get together and talk about the pain, and the tears, and the healing, and blah, blah, blah. The women don’t have to just sit there talking, they could spill their hearts over some sewing and light cooking. We could call the show Stitch & Bitch. The women formerly in Tiger Woods’ life alone could keep Stitch & Bitch stocked with guests for months! I’m sure the Oprah Winfrey Network would pick up a show like that in about a minute!
My Fame Name: We could go with HoaiPhai. There are already a bunch of one-name wonders out there like Bono, Sting, and Fabio. The added bonus is that HoaiPhai is bound to screw up small town announcers who will certainly be befuddled by how to pronounce it. The other option is to go with a catchy two-name name.
I heard of a formula to construct a porn star name for oneself and this just might do the trick. The way to do it is to take the name of your first pet as your first name and the name of the street that you grew up on as your family name.
I have a problem… my family moved half-way through my growing up (and I’m sure Mrs. HoaiPhai will argue that there is little to indicate that I’ve grown up at all). I lived in one house until I was nine years old where I learned to walk, talk, not mess my own pants, read, write, and ride a bicycle. In the next house I lived in until I was nineteen years old, I learned the basics of photography, got my driver’s licence, learned to roll joints, and figured out how to unfasten a girl’s bra while her shirt is still on. Personal developments in both houses have contributed equally to the well-rounded erudite man who sits before you today.
So my fabricated names turn out to be “Nipper Oakdale”, from the first house I lived in, or “Nipper Douglas”, from the street on which I became a grunting teenager.
So I put it to you, dear reader(s)…
Do you think the time is right for this whole Baby Boomer CFNGR idea?
Can you come up with a love interest that is better suited to this enterprise than one of the women listed above? If not, which of the ones listed do you think is the best match for me?
Which Fame Name should I use or do you think HoaiPhai is most appropriate? Any other name suggestions?
What is your Fame Name?
I welcome any input you may have for me. Thanks!