Thursday, May 06, 2010

Fast Track to Fame

I'm starting to get itchy about wanting to revise this book, but I know that would be a bad idea. It needs to rest, and I need some distance from it. Ideally, it would rest enough that I could almost forget I wrote it and I could review it as though it was someone else's work. I don't think I'll go that far, but I'm trying to get through this week at least not thinking about it. Next week I may delve into some of my writing books and use this book as my working example to do the exercises, but this week, I should be pretending that it doesn't exist.

Assuming I do sell this book, I'll have to jump back into the marketing/promotion game. I once jokingly included the item "get on a reality TV show or become romantically involved with someone famous" on a marketing plan I gave my publisher, but these days, it looks like the serious fast track to fame is to have an affair with a famous married man and then get him busted by going public with it. I wouldn't have thought that was something to be proud of or to brag about, let alone hold news conferences and talk to any reporter who will give you air time.

Not that I care who's sleeping with whom. I don't consider it to be any of my business. If Tiger Woods wants to mess up his marriage, then he can knock himself out. I just don't want to have to hear about it. I like Sandra Bullock in movies, and she seems to be a nice person in real life, but I don't feel like I have any right to information about the inner workings of her marriage. The media can stop stalking every move she makes in response to the accusations against her husband. I certainly am not demanding up-to-the-minute reports.

When all these "other women" are coming forward and telling their stories, all I can think of is "their mothers must be so very proud." I can kind of see the allure of fame -- I certainly would like to be famous as a bestselling author -- but I would want to be famous for having accomplished something worthy, for doing something very well, not for being a tramp. True, the men are guilty, too, for fooling around, but these are women who were willing to get involved with men they knew were married, so they're no better. Not that I'm advocating the return of the scarlet A or the stocks in the town square, but I don't think this behavior should be rewarded with book deals, acting roles, modeling jobs or reality TV shows. If your only "credential" is that you slept with a famous man, then I don't think you qualify for fame.

On an entirely different note, these recent scandals should force all movie critics to remove that macro they have in their word processing program for when they review romantic comedy movies. It seems mandatory that they have to comment on how unbelievable it is that a character who looks like the actress playing her could possibly have difficulty in her love life. I remember in particular that this remark was made in almost every review of any romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock back in the mid-to-late 90s when she was the queen of romantic comedy. She was generally cast as the awkward girl-next-door type who had trouble romantically, and the critics always scoffed at how unrealistic that was. But Sandra Bullock herself didn't marry until she was in her 40s and then her husband cheated on her, so looking like Sandra Bullock doesn't seem to have insulated her from romantic difficulties. Being attractive and successful doesn't guarantee romantic happiness.

So anyway, I guess if you want the fast track to fame and fortune, you should start scoping out the likely contenders for best actress or supporting actress Oscars, then go after these women's husbands and then time the announcement of your affair for either the Oscar nominations or right after the ceremony, depending on the odds of your target's wife actually winning. You'll soon have a book deal -- either for a memoir or one of those novels that everyone knows is just a fictionalized version of your memoir that's only published as fiction so you can avoid libel lawsuits by claiming it's fiction and changing the names -- and maybe even your own reality TV show. At the very least, you'll be on every talk show in the country and get interviewed by all kinds of magazines and newspapers.

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