Despite what the fine print on your TV ads might say, actors are real people. Truly, they are! Unfortunately, I am continuously amazed that a percentage of the population treat celebrities as though they are not.
Actors (whether on screen or stage) have hopes and dreams, family and friends, ups and downs, and yes, even political opinions about the country and world in which they live. I’ve heard it stated on more than one occasion that “celebrities” shouldn’t complain about all the media attention or lack of privacy because it comes with the profession. That’s preposterous, ridiculous, and a load of…[bleep].
There’s been much talk as of late regarding “fans” and their sense of entitlement towards celebrities. The idea that fame constitutes ownership on any level is unfathomable. These are men, women, and children who are following their artistic passion. Their profession of choice enables them to make their dreams a reality – to act, sing, dance (all three) and share their art with the public. That’s beautiful and worthy of admiration. However, that does not invite a break in boundaries or lack of privacy by the adoring public. We have NO right to expect and/or demand that an artist (regardless of medium or level of fame) owes us their time, attention, or signature.
I completely understand the excitement of seeing your favorite actor, actress, or musician in person and the once in a lifetime opportunity of getting a selfie to show friends and family. I get that – I truly do. (If I ever met Lea Salonga in person I’d probably lose all ability at putting words together cohesively.) But to intrude upon their personal space or assume that they have a right to acknowledge my presence because I may will it so…well, no – never would I ever.
I like to think of celebrity sightings as a glass-half-full moment. If my favorite TV star or musical lead willingly makes time to sign autographs and take selfies, then that’s a happy surprise. Beside, there’s always conventions!!!!
If they choose instead to wait at the theatre between shows or are exhausted, in a rush, enjoying peace and quiet, or waiting at the airport then who am I to expect or assume that my needs supersede theirs? They owe me nothing – it is quite the opposite. If they’ve been brave enough to embrace their talent and succeed because of it, I owe them my respect and admiration. I will continue about my day and, if moved enough, write a letter or blog post sharing my appreciation.
Perhaps the next time you’re frustrated, angry, or annoyed that an actor passed you by without acknowledgement, you might consider that…
Actors are real people!
*Recent allegations regarding illegal and unethical behavior by some in positions of power in Hollywood must be voiced and heard in order to enact change. I applaud the brave individuals speaking out against a culture poisoned by those who believe fame gives them a sense of entitlement. If you commit a crime, you should be held accountable by law – regardless of your chosen profession.*