So as you know, a while ago I wrote a PenTales short for the PenTales project, run by my ol’ college pal Steph Hodges and my new post-college pal Saskia Miller. Last night was the live event to celebrate all the PenTales pieces they compiled and have live readings, and after I and the others read our pieces, there was social time for everyone to meet each other. I ended up speaking to an awesome woman who’s a writer and knows some pretty amazing people, and we spoke about ways to get publicity. She told me that in her opinion there are basically two ways to get famous:
1. Associate yourself with someone famous
2. Do something so wild and crazy that people have to pay attention to you
In my short lifetime, I’ve definitely seen people be successful with both of those methods, but it was great to hear an experienced member of the media break it down so simply like that. We also clicked because we spoke about our frustration over how people’s life stories are always SO sugarcoated in the media, but they’re never true to life. Made me think perhaps one way to stand out is to tell my story as truthfully as possible and point out that I’m pretty much the only one doing it out there.
So, if you want to get famous, spend some time mentally sorting through your contacts and figure out who you know who knows someone famous, and find a way to get closer to that famous person yourself. (Not in an assholey-social-climbey way, of course, but by passing your work to them through your mutual contact or organically fostering a relationship. Disregard this important part of it at your own peril.) Aren’t you much more likely to pay attention to someone if someone famous is singing his/her praises, or at least talking about him/her a lot? Alternatively, spend some time thinking of something amazingly attention-grabbing that you could do, and do it. Just look how that worked out for Balloon Boy’s dad, haha! Of course you have to be pretty careful with what you do, because you don’t want the kind of fame that makes your life terrible, you want the kind that makes your life fun.
Another cool thing that happened at the party was that I got to talk to comedian and actor Seth Herzog (Role Models, The Ten, Stella, VH1, etc) at length and got to hear his story of how he got to where he is straight from him, with no media filter. One thing that was interesting was that he definitely made a point of talking about how he got lucky in multiple ways with his particular comedy career. For example, he’s very close friends with some members of the State, who started their careers with a popular show on MTV, and has continued to get various acting/writing/comedy/networking opportunities partially through knowing them, for many years. (Associate yourself with someone famous.) Also, he talked about how things really started to take off for him in 2002 or thereabouts, and he started his career in the early 90’s. So it was definitely not a fairytale, overnight thing. He worked and worked and worked, and finally, after about ten years, was able to live completely off of comedy-related work. So refreshing to hear a real, truthful success story straight from the horse’s mouth. It was also funny to find out how many of the same people he and I know. You don’t often expect that to be the case when you see someone on TV or the movies, but that’s the great thing about living in New York and being in the artistic community. 🙂 You’re always closer to a prominent person than you think.
I also wanted to plug PenTales in this post. I wasn’t aware of how awesome of a project it truly is until I went to the live event last night. It was SO WONDERFUL to listen to other people’s stories and tell my own, and so great to speak with everyone afterwards. I met such great people and it was a wonderful atmosphere, and I cannot recommend getting involved with PenTales highly enough. Do it!!! Tell ’em I sent ya. www.PenTales.com
Also, based on all the value I got out of talking/networking at this one event that wasn’t even music-centric, I cannot WAIT to ramp up my networking time once the album and demo are finished! It’s going to be amazing!