So you think you’re a Celebrity? Meh.

As I wander through this world of Social Media and discover the what and the how and the who, the thought has often come to me: what makes a ‘celebrity’. There are many ‘celebrities’ in the Social Media realm – many true but some self-ordained.

So, off the shelf I hauled my Oxford dictionary to define the word:

ce•leb•ri•ty: [L. celebritas < celeber: see celebrate.] A celebrated or famous person; the state of being celebrated, extolled or talked about; fame; renown.

Many years ago, before I became a grown-up with a dog to feed and a yard to rake, I worked for a concert promotion company. We promoted acts like U2 and The Rolling Stones … kinda big deals. My job was to manage the backstage passes for the press, various officials, and a few lucky ‘fans’. I watched the concerts from the Press area then would scoot off to the Green Room to verify and greet pass holders. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with people like Bono and David Bowie (who is taller than I thought he would be and devastatingly charming. Yes. I’m gushing.). It was a pretty sick gig for me.

The second summer into this job, I broke my leg quite badly, requiring a rather cumbersome full length cast. I could still do my job – just more slowly.

Our biggest concert that summer was a band with whom you may be familiar; Pink Floyd. The show was amazing. After the show, the Green Room was an asylum so the band requested relocation to a different venue. Finding that venue was my job. I commandeered a limo to take us to a small venue in the east end – The Diamond. It had a small stage where a local band was performing and also a private area; The Lizard Lounge. Pink Floyd was thrilled with the Lizard Lounge. They had comfy couches, a private bar (although none drank much), and some quiet time.

Herein lies the rub. I spent the next two hours sitting with David Gilmore talking about life, the universe, and everything. He asked about, and was interested in, my life, who I was, and what I thought (and what the hell happened to my leg). He told me about his life, who he was, and what he thought. It remains one of the most genuine conversations I have ever experienced. (And, yes, he signed my cast).

Nothing is very secret for very long. Murmurs were flooding the venue that Pink Floyd was on site. These gentlemen walked out of the Lizard Lounge, onto the stage and jammed with the local band. The thrill for everyone in the room was palpable. The ‘real’ for everyone in the room was extraordinary.

Celebrity is not about being ‘famous’ or ‘renown’ or ‘extolled’. It’s not about having two million followers. Real celebrity is borne of connection, mutual respect, conversation, courtesy, and regard.

What is your definition of a Celebrity? What makes you a Celebrity?

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4 Responses to So you think you’re a Celebrity? Meh.

  1. Todd Jordan says:

    Congratulations on the new blog! Found via @ChrisBrogan tweet. (he might be a celebrity)

    Love your final statement:
    “Celebrity is not about being ‘famous’ or ‘renown’ or ‘extolled’. It’s not about having two million followers. Real celebrity is borne of connection, mutual respect, conversation, courtesy, and regard.”

    To me the real celebrities in my life are those that do connect. I don’t mean those that follow me back on Twitter, or even send the occasional reply.

    Connection is about reaching out, listening, and being present. It’s not enough to be at the same table with me for five minutes and say hello, though that’s part of it. Beyond is when you are with me where I’m at for those five minutes or five hours. You’re not checking your watch, making excuses, or just making the rounds to up your status.

    (psst, celebrities occasionally leave comments as well, #justsaying)

    Love this post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Cheers,
    Todd
    @tojosan

    • tobeydeys says:

      Thank you, Todd. I really think that we meet celebrities every day; we just need to recognize them. Real celebrities are the people from whom we walk away feeling bigger and stronger about ourselves – the people who give. We should remember to ‘give’ some celebrity every day, too. 🙂

  2. Daniel Roach says:

    This blog post totally caught me off guard. That’s a killer story!

    Not to mention accurate. I can’t tell you how many times during my early days I tried to connect (not network, mind you, just be humanly friendly) with people I admired who not only ignored me but were actively too important for my time.

    To this day I still have fond appreciation and real friendships with the people who were bigger than me back then but still at least took the time to say a simple hi or leave that first comment. You don’t need to be “big” to be a celebrity, just someone worth celebrating and appreciating.

  3. tobeydeys says:

    Daniel, you’re spot on. Celebrity, to me, is not about how much space you take up but how you fill that space. I have had a lot of experience with ‘celebrities’ on red carpets who won’t give the time of day to those who ‘put them there’ (ie. pay their bills!? LOL). As you say, real celebrity comes from acknowledging those who believe in and invest in building others. There are so many influential folks here who I admire and respect – all of whom give back to those ‘just starting out’.
    Thanks so much for reading and sharing with me! 🙂

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