Social Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What earns or qualifies a person to be labeled as a Celebrity?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30938points) November 15th, 2010

I was recently browsing through a photographer’s web site. One of the categories was called “Celebrity”. Expecting to see people I had seen before, I was shocked to discover that I didn’t recognize 90% of the faces. These people looked like well dressed wannabe models and actors… not Celebrities.

He didn’t call it Local Celebrity.

He didn’t call it National Celebrity.

So what makes a Celebrity a Celebrity? Having been on a regular TV series? Appearing as a background extra for three seconds on a movie? Being recognizable enough to endorse products?

What is a Celebrity?

BTW… This photographer was no slouch. He had over two dozen international magazine covers under his belt and numerous fashion and editorial campaigns to his credit.

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19 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Just notoriety.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You do realize @marinelife, that 37,372 lurve is pretty notable, to me at least.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

^ Me too.

How about someone who is still in the news after their ‘15 minutes of fame’ and hasn’t reached ‘has-been’ or “Who?”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Hey that’s a good one… breaking the 15 minute barrier… I like it!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

But then would that make Bernie Maddoff and Jim Jones celebrities?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Maddoff and Jones fall into the ‘Notorious’ sub-category of types of celebrities.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I think that’s what I was getting at earlier. Are there different categories of celeb?

Trillian's avatar

Exposure, a PR agent and some opportune photographs. You can hire someone to do this. Have a couple poto shoots and get into some parties where there are some “real” celebrities. Have your picture taken then publicized with said celebs. Within 90 days you can have your name and face recognized by dint of having done nothing more than been in a few photos.
The main thing is to have people recognize you.
Recognition = celebrity.

wundayatta's avatar

I suppose it must be related to how many people actually know the name. As you point out, one can be a celebrity at different geographic areas. You can be a celebrity within a group.

The determination of celebrity, I think, is made on the individual level. If that person thinks the celebrity is know by enough people to be a celebrity, they become one. I think that the media is pretty much the only group that gets to confer celebrity on anyone. If you make it into the attention of reporters for blogs or news or anyone with a large audience, you become a celebrity.

Paradox's avatar

It seems these days all you have to do is get your 15 minutes of fame to be considered a celebrity and get a commercial or movie deal. Maybe just starring in a “reality” tv show will give you celebrity status as well.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Paradox You’ve explained how to become a celebrity. But you haven’t explained what a celebrity is.

@wundayatta @Trillian

Is it that easy? Can I really plan my own celebrity status? You know I’m in the business of creating celebrities… don’t you? What is the formula? How can I refine my pitch beyond the standard lust for headlines?

wundayatta's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Yes. If you have a good enough marketing plan, you can make yourself a celebrity. You could become a celebrity for making people celebrities. The celebrities’ celebrity.

And if you’re in the business, why are you asking us? You already know all this.

Get your clients on talk shows. Have them do something interesting or unusual or very very good. Or sell it as being any or all of those things. It helps, of course, if they have a bit of talent, but these days, that doesn’t really seem necessary. Look at Joe the Plumber’s fees for talks. All you have to do is something that stands out in a place with a lot of eyes on it.

But you already know all this. What are you looking for? What makes you think I (or anyone else here) could give you a new idea about an area you are an expert in? If I knew that, I wouldn’t be here, I’d be flogging a book in some tiny bookstore out in East Joeville, Idaho.

That wasn’t really funny, was it? I just don’t seem to be as sparkly in the mornings.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“It helps, of course, if they have a bit of talent, but these days, that doesn’t really seem necessary.”

You are correct sir. I’ve had a recent plethora of people with absolutely no talent want me to make them a star. Do you sing?… no… Act?, no… Comedy?, no… (These are not the ones who can get by on looks alone… i.e. young beautes wanting to be models)...

Ok so what do you expect out of this business? “I want to be famous.” For WHAT? “I dunno”.

And tons of these new websites have popped up for the Normal Looking Models who aren’t suited to fashion and have no acting skills whatsoever. They pay $400 each to be on a headsheet page with crappy photos suggesting they can play the role of a plumber or physician or anything at all in print advertisement. They’re signing up by the hundreds to be on these websites… as if being on the website itself actually made them famous.

I feel like I’m losing touch with what the market will settle for these days. I’m seeing less and less talented people, actual professional comedians, real trained actors, seasoned musicians… those who have earned their positions beyond a simple headshot… It seems people want to be in the business, simply to be in the business, and not because they have a desire to express their talent to the world. They have no talent. Paris Hilton and all the reality shows have successfully convinced them that they don’t need any.

wundayatta's avatar

Exactly. And all the reality shows—who do they pick? Where do they get those people? Is it the tryouts, or do they have publicists, too?

Do you get paid a flat rate, or on commission? Are you different from an agent?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

The agents send me the so called talent and I prep them with photos, portfolios, composite cards, wardrobe, hair and make up… I build the model or actor from the ground up. It’s up to the agent to get them work from the materials that I provide them.

On the commercial side, there are working professionals, bands, comedians, and even doctors, lawyers that come to me for press kits, web sites, and all forms of media collaterals.

I also act as scout, which is how people are picked for reality shows. Send me a snapshot! You may be the next Rupert Boneham.

wundayatta's avatar

If it’s all the same to you, I’ll pass. I do have a band and a dance group, but I don’t think anyone there wants publicity. I’d try to sell Wundayatta, but that would be problematic and besides, I’m sure he’d have an awfully hard time competing against the likes of Mr. Boneham. Daloon? Maybe him I could sell. But he be dead. Which might be more of an advantage, now that I think of it. Don’t people like dead….. well, whatever. “The history of a world-wide ass.” Or something. But his “head” shot has already been taken, rofl.

Interest point I’ve gotten out of what I just wrote. I tend to inhabit my characters so tightly that I forget they are only a part of me. To sell Daloon, or sell Wundayatta, or Plok or Zhop or Nichevo would not be the same as selling myself. I could not sell myself. Don’t believe in the product. But one of those others…. perhaps.

Cue spooky music… People, do not be alarmed. You are about to enter….



RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Interest point I’ve gotten out of what I just wrote.”

Me too. Thanks for the insight. Very interesting perspective on managing the multiple persona… In effect, You (whoever you are), but You are the Agent for all your characters.

I wonder, do any of them get jealous of one another? competing for cloud space so to speak…

wundayatta's avatar

My characters are different because they represent different stages in my development. I’m about ready for a new character, I think, but I don’t know if it can happen. They don’t allow changes here for reasons such as changing your character. I don’t think they do, anyway.

I don’t feel like Mr. One Day At A Time, any more. But I’m not sure who I do feel like. Well, I feel like my new avatar, actually. Who doesn’t have a name, sadly.

Anyway, because they are serial and not contiguous in time, they don’t get jealous. Not so far. No one has ever tried to come back from the dead. But it seems that I am departing from Wundayatta. It’s kind of like peeling off very tight jeans. Some people used to think I had a cute butt. I wonder what they will think now?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

How can they see your butt when it’s buried in the ground? I’d suppose it’s red and chunky like the rest of your new nameless avatar. Seems you’re wading through the soil.

Is he coming out? Heading towards the stars? Or is he going in, to the bosom of mother earth? Either we can celebrate… the direction for your next cleverly crafted celebrity. Can’t wait to see the next incarnation.

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