How To Become Famous in a Few Easy Lessons

In my last post reviewing the book Wisdom 2.0 by Soren Gordhamer I griped about his infatuation with Eckhart Tolle. And I also said I’d tell how to become famous, including how to become a famous Buddhist or spiritual leader in a few easy lessons. So here we go. But first the disclaimer

Disclaimer:There are no guarantees either explicit or implied in the following advice. 15 minutes is generally the average fame gain for participants-your results may vary. I’ve also got a truckload of Enzyte to unload behind the house if anyone needs to buy in bulk-whoops wrong blog

1. Research a particularly esoteric aspect of your area of desired fame and learn as many words in as many languages as possible on that aspect. You will come off like you have tons of experience and years of learning. In the beginning of your quest for fame you will not likely encounter anyone who will challenge you on any of it. By the time you do, experience will have ripened this into a well polished act.

2. Do your one fame-gaining thing single-mindedly, even obsessively, in public so that you will become forever affiliated with that field. Attend parties or gatherings and talk only of your subject. Don’t let the conversation veer anywhere else. Drop names and recite quotes. Dismiss other subjects as somehow inferior to your subject area.

3. Steal originally. If you haven’t got any creativity or talent whatsoever steal well enough so that your version of a thing looks original. Rather like Arj Barker doing the Monty Python/Weird Al/Sacha Baron Cohen thing in the Sickest Buddha video. If someone accuses you of stealing simply laud your “inspiration” and point out that derivative works are not infringements of copyright.

4. Fake it to yourself til you make it. Believe your own hype and everyone else will too.

5. Take training from the best in your field even if you have absolutely no talent. This will help with networking and look good for a potential audience. “You’re the protégé/student of THAT GUY?! WOW!!”

6. Rev up the marketing machine. This works really well on the Internet. Make up a bunch of fake identities and comment all over the place about yourself. If you have a MySpace or blog have long conversations in the comments between your fake identities and yourself so you look witty and popular. Not necessary to give the fakes much background because few people will bother to check. Make some products that are available in limited editions. This will add to your cache (and your cash).

7. When in doubt parody. Either seriously or comedically. For women invoke a Marilyn Monroe lost girl/bad girl stereotype and men having a little more leeway can invoke the action hero/ badboy stereotypes. This can also pump up a lag in the fame trajectory.  It worked for Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton, Madonna, John Travolta, Brad Warner, Angelina Jolie, Micky Roarke, Gordon Ramsey,  etc.

8. The misunderstood loner. This may be related to # 7 depending on how you play it. Johnny Depp does this one perfectly. He shows up at major functions alone and maintains a personal space radius of about 6 feet all around him. This works as well for literary occasions and gallery openings as it does on a red carpet. Affect a slouching posture of absolute ennui and either smile knowingly or pout hautily. Don’t do this in the corner. Stand right in the center of the room. 

9. Stereotype mashups. This is similar to #3 stealing. Watch for particular behaviors that cause people in your field to stand out. Emulate them. Then put them all together in a choreographed fashion. Repeat as necessary. For example for the actor, the Jack Nicholson folded arms and then hand on the cheek (stolen from Jack Benny maybe) followed by the Johnny Depp does Keith Richard’s walk followed by the William Shatner soliloquy style speech in the old Star Trek series. (taken from every Shakespearean actor ever) Certain to get a moment in the spotlight. Another example, for the wanna-be spiritual master, learn all the poses, gestures and facial expressions used in religious statuary, practice the confident voice (an use a few phrases) of your favorite teacher, giggle like the Dalai Lama (but only in interviews, never before your flock) and learn to move and walk like a Shaolin monk (some Jackie Chan movie characters can be imitated to an extent). Put it all together and you’ve got the basic image down. Incorporate more things as you become comfortable (see #10).

10. Change image frequently. This includes hair color and style, weight, marital status, clothes, vehicles, homes, and religion. This shows your versatility as well as the effects of too much work. Change means busy-> Busy means popular-> Popular means famous (eventually if you work it hard enough).

11. Social charity/compassion. You must be seen giving things away. Every gift is a photo-op. Post it on Facebook or your own cable program immediately with long commentary.

12. Write poetry. Even badly. And get some hand made limited edition chapbooks of your stuff into the hands of other “poets”. Poetry is the ticket to all kinds of usually inaccessible networks.

Formulas for Success

Here are the points to concentrate on for certain kinds of fame.

To be a famous… Use points Reverse points Supplement with
Actor 2, 5, 6, 3, 10 8-for quick results you are initially everyone’s friend and then gradually fade to misunderstood loner 9, 7, 11, 12
Writer 12, 2, 3, 8 10-busy for you means a life of the mind not of image, a haphazard writer’s outfit of cardigan and tousled hair will work just fine 1, 6, 11-the latter has to involve imprisoned writers/journalists
TV talk show personality 2, 10, 4, 6, 11 8-you must be the loquacious center of attention at all times 7-but only in a comedic way
Artist 2, 4, 6, 8 12-poetry should be included in visual artwork since words are meant to be transcended by your unique vision 10-although the exception of Andy Warhol can also be kept in mind
Celebrity chef 1, 2, 5 11-unless you wish to be another Jamie Kennedy your food is way too important to be given away to anyone. 12-should be about food and wine
News anchor or journalist 2, 1, 5, 9 12-photography is an acceptable substitute for poetry 11
Stand up Comic 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 12-no limericks-will probably be related to sex, religion or politics 4
Rock star 2, 7, 9, 4, 3 11-unless you are in U2 the only gifts you give are to yourself (on second thought U2 tell a lot of people what to do and to give stuff away but I can’t come up with an instance where they have done the same-except a few free appearances now and then-maybe they are just shy about it!) 12-worked for Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Gord Downey (a Canadian from the Tragically Hip)-song lyrics are not included here
Buddhist or Spiritual Leader 2, 5, 1 , 8, 11 10-image changes are of a narrower range and only for highly developed spiritual reasons such as being on a fast, becoming a monk or having a dream of hearing divine words etc. 9, 12-should be about nature in the Buddhist case and dreams in other cases

The most important element is number 2 the single minded pursuit within one particular field. Generalists don’t get famous but specialists do. They become representative of that field even if only by their determination. Another lesson in the quick fame contest is not being afraid to sell out at the first decent opportunity that presents itself.  Forget about pretensions of art and the like. Gaining lots of money as quickly as possible attracts attention and this can be further parleyed into bigger fame. Ask Gene Simmons, he is the master of working the fame and money machine. And freely admits it. That’s a guy who knows what he is about and works it with no apologies. (I have found KISS music entertaining at a certain time in my life and I find his reality show quite funny some times so I’m not slagging on Gene for his life’s choices or whatever-I have some respect for his honesty and creativity and he had the insight long ago as to what he was working with both in terms of himself as an individual and in the realm of fame and fortune)

The above formulas are for quick fame and money gain. There are other ways to become famous but they involve dedication, talent, vision, courage, sacrifice and concern for a lot more than fame. And they take much longer. Ask anyone who’s won a Nobel Peace Prize about that.

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