I had a “come to realize” moment today while on my bike: EVERYONE has some grade or ranking of celebrity.
In the Old Days, there were celebrities, and then there was everybody else. If you were an actor in a movie, you were probably attached to a studio contract, were effectively working in a separate universe, with separate parking, restaurants and work spaces from the rest of society. You knew movie “secrets”. You mysteriously vanished from this material culture into another, more ephemeral one, one that flickered on screens across the world, and in which you always looked amazing, albeit colorless.
Now we have so many grades of celebrity that it is truly “infinity valued”, meaning that there are infinite degrees of being known and talked about.
That’s one of the reasons modern information gathering and metrics have become so necessary; people want to know WHERE they lie in the order of things. Who knows me today? How much? Where?
I have my acting credits on IMDB.com, (the Internet Movie Database) a site that is used by the entertainment industry for information on actors, directors, writers and others. Like all the other actors I know, I have a ranking that ebbs and flows like the stock market. Last week, to my surprise, after being ranked comfortably just under the 20,000 mark (among the 20,000 most popular searches for persons, living or dead, on the IMDB site) I found myself suddenly ranked #1444!
Was it my appearance on America’s Got Talent that caused people to suddenly look up my credits? Probably. Now that I’m off the show, and am just a normal, workaday actor again, my ranking is going steadily down, down, down… at the moment I’m at, let me see… ah! #4525.
I got pretty excited for a moment there. What a leap! That’s what my friends who work on Wall Street must feel when something in their portfolio spikes! Of course, they have figured out a way to turn that into a new condominium, or a trip to Fiji. I haven’t got that down yet.
But then I realized, perhaps naively, that EVERYONE is a celebrity to some degree. To some website, YOU are very important. To some groups, YOU are a key player. To some organizations, YOU are vital. (One hopes that the groups that find us important are not just the IRS or the NSA.) To your family, well, YOU are pretty irreplaceable. Even if you happen to be in the doghouse this week. (That would put your ranking temporarily with the guy holding the “Plese help me” sign on the offramp.)
So, celebrity is a matter of degree. I guess that’s pretty obvious. But to me it was a bit of a breakthrough.
You ARE important, of course, whether or not you are listed on the IMDB. You would be important if you weren’t listed anywhere on the Internet, although that’s now hard to fathom. Your importance is in the eye of your beholders, the minds of the people you deal with every day. The thoughts of your family and friends. You are important to me, heck- you read my stuff!
Is this too sappy?
You can rate me at SappyBloggers.com. I think I’m currently… let me see,… Ah! #44,561! Wow! I’m up from #60,000!