My actress daughter and I were discussing the desperate behavior of some teary-eyed fans who appeared at the window of a set she worked on last week. "There she is! Hi, Victoria! Look over here!" they shrieked at the 17-year-old star of the show. My daughter called the gawkers "freakish" and told me that Victoria showed more tolerance for the crazed fans than they deserved.
"After all," my daughter explained, "even Victoria doesn't think of herself as being in some higher class than others. She talked to me like one high school girl to another. And I liked her because she was really friendly and fun to talk to, not because she has her own TV show. If I met her at school, and not on a set, I'd want to be her friend. Some of the other extras on set with me only cared about getting a picture of themselves with her, while I wanted to know her."
I replied, "You want to know her because you want to know her. The star-struck fans want to know her so that they can SAY they know her. That's one of the difficulties of fame: knowing who really admires you versus who wants to use you."
My daughter described Victoria's demeanor as one that says to others, "Hey, I'm just like you, except I have my own TV show, rather than, Hey, I'm just like you...only better!" The latter type are usually in the business of seeking fame, not artistic achievement, and most often, they are the "wannabes," not the successful. "I can't stand it when an acting teacher asks our class why we want to act and some of my classmates say, 'To be famous.' That's not a reason to act."
Remember this the next time you meet a "star": He or she is just a person whose achievements have brought not only admiration from others, but public visibility as well. Most "stars" don't think of themselves as some higher class of human; fans put them in that awkward position. Imagine their point-of-view, being more visible as a persona than as a person. Sounds as lonely as it is exhilarating.