May 08, 2015

A helpful guide to the flavours of fame: Part two - quality, cults and trash

Furious DRebel Blogger

Yesterday we looked at two major flavours of fame, Hysterical and Media fame. Today we'll look at some of the other flavours, from the classy to the trashy. Some are sweet, some are sour, and some start sweet, only to sour later.


This is where someone becomes famous for doing a specific type of thing. Like playing a certain kind of character, or performing a certain style of music.

Mary Pickford, America's Canadian born sweetheart, became rich and famous playing the young ingenue. The problem was that the audience actively refused to accept her playing any other role. Even when she was in her 30s, the audience would only accept her playing young girls, even children. It was insane and it ultimately destroyed her career because she wasn't allowed to break from a "type" that she was physically unable to play.

The flip-side of this is when a performer decides that he or she has achieved some state of perfection doing a certain type of thing a certain way, or in conjunction with a specific image or “look.” Then they start to do everything to polish or promote that image even though it's long past its "Best Before" date and the audience might like to see them do something different.

See: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sylvester Stallone, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler.


This kind of fame where the audience associates the performer with a certain quality of entertainment. This is for good or ill. Some performers get associated with good movies, music, or TV shows, and some get associated with bad movies, music and TV shows, making this both the best and worst flavour of fame you can get.

See: Denzel Washington, Daniel Day Lewis, Meryl Streep.


Imagine you're a performer, and your performance in a certain project has won you the love and loyalty of a niche audience. Now this can take your career in two ways. One way it can pigeonhole you in the type of role that won you your cult in the first place, which is not good. The other way, which is better, is that your niche audience will follow you into more mainstream projects, giving you some a certain number of guaranteed bums on seats no matter what you do.

See: William Shatner, Nathan Fillion, Bruce Campbell.


This is the sort of fame one associates with either scandal, reality TV, or both. It's similar in flavour to Media Fame, because the sweetness lingers within the media world long after it's turned bitter to the wider world. This can't last long because inevitably people will ask: "Why is this person famous?" and then expect an answer.

See: Anyone named Kardashian.


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