Monday, September 21, 2009

The Sad Price of Fame

So, my son starts his last year of pre-K today and, last week, the school inundated us with emails, meetings and so on. As a result of all this communication, mothers started talking, old friendships renewed, new friendships begun. In the course of all this activity, my wife found out that we have a celebrity in our midst. The temple itself has quite the roster of members, from Ron Perlman to Jerry Seinfeld but the school, well, that's not something we're used to so, when we learned that this rather well known actor's kids would be attending this fall, we got a mild thrill. His kids are both younger than my son so we'll have no real chance to bump into each other although I know a half dozen parents with kids in the older child's class so, perhaps, birthday parties might result in some chance meetings.

Then my wife ran into a friend she hadn't seen in a while and this woman tells her she has a kid in the celebrity kid class and the actor's wife approached her after their orientation meeting and asked if she'd be interested in getting a cup of coffee. Turns out the actor will probably never be seen at the school. He will not walk on the street with his children and he won't go out in public with them because he wants to keep them sheltered from the cameras and the paparazzi and all that crap.

My first reaction was "how sad it that?" Think about it. You have kids and you cannot experience walking down the street, holding their hand? You can't swing them with each third step? You can't take them to the zoo in Central Park or push them on swings in any of the parks scattered throughout the city? That's a shitty deal. That's not parenting.

Don't get me wrong, the woman wasn't complaining about his parenting or any such thing. She was merely pointing out that he won't be around as he doesn't want his kids to be hounded and he wants to keep the school free of that bullshit as well.

Then I started thinking about the many celebrities I've seen and met around the city. I've stood side by side with James Gandolfini as we both pushed our kids on swings. Spoke to him a bit as our kids ran around the jungle jim. Nobody was taking his picture. I met Sarah Jessica Parker at the ob-gyn's office (same doc as my wife). No photogs hanging around out front and she was with her son, who was about a month old. Kelly Ripa takes her kids to birthday parties, she doesn't seem to be surrounded by photographers. Granted, none of these celebs are anywhere near the star wattage that the guy I'm talking about is but, still, they're targets of the cameras and I've never seen them being bothered by the cameras.

Here's what I think. I think that Angelina Jolie enjoys the cameras. I think Lindsey Lohan calls the photographers to tell them where she'll be flashing her beaver that night and I think that, perhaps, in LA, things are different than they are here. In NYC there are a lot of famous people and most New Yorkers could give a shit. Thus, you can walk into the gross deli on 35th and 7th and see Nicole Kidman and her redneck husband buying meals for their crew or some other large group of hungry, not too picky, people. No shit, she was loading up food from the salad bar and nobody even noticed.

Now I want to befriend this guy so I can show him that it is possible to lead a normal life here in the big apple. All he needs to do is call Jerry Seinfeld and ask him how he manages to lead a normal life here without constantly being the target of all those cameras.

And for the record, no, I won't say who he is as his privacy deserves to be respected.


foxy roxy said...

That's just stupid.

Sounds nice and quaint, wanting to give kids a normal life and life experience, but, news flash. Daddy being who daddy is, they'll never have a run-of-the-mill lifestyle. It may take longer to learn their dad's job differs than most.

Seriously, define normal.

You can't. What's normal to some, isn't normal to others, and likewise. Most kids in the world do not have rich, famous parents, so already, they're on a different level.

Although it sounds nice that a mega-star has a brain and refuses to raise kids a la Paris Hilton style, the sooner they get used to having an unusual lifestyle, the better they grow to take it in stride.

Quite simply, the baggage comes with the position. There shouldn't be a trade-off. Low-key is nice, and many people manage to do it - not always, but mostly.

I believe this is called, get over it.

Anonymous said...

Could be argued either way, but quite frankly if he didn't want his kids to get attention, his wife should have kept her mouth shut, and so should everyone else.
Celebrities are just like everyone else, just a better advertising dept marketing them, and for some of them, they enjoy the godlike status.
Not saying it is the case with this so called person.
You have to realize though that celebrity or non celebrity, there are active parents and non active parents and most use the excuse that the job takes away from it.
Here's hoping that what mr. celebrity lacks in public, he makes up for in private.