I finally handed in my Masters thesis two weeks ago. Its title, 'The Insanity of Modern Celebrity' is named after a series of shows I've performed about the subject of celebrity culture (next part, 'Deluded' premieres at Bistrotheque on Tues 17th). Celebrity culture is something I've spent the last two years critically studying so think I'm well placed to have an informed opinion on it.
Last night I was 'Wardrobe Mistress' for the dressing up box at Smash N Grab night at Punk which is known to be frequented by celebrities. (I must here make the distinction between a star and celebrity, the former often being known and celebrated for their talent or achievement, the later for lesser accomplishments).
Early in the evening, a group of tourists came over to have their photo taken with me ("Ooooh Tranny!" It makes for a 'look what we saw in London photo' I guess) and later in the night one of them slid up to me and the conversation went like this;
Drunk tourist girl: Where are all the celebrities?
Me: Excuse me?
Her: Where are the celebrities?
Me: Is that why you came here tonight?
Her: Yes. Where are all the celebrities?
Me: Hun, I find it really quite sad that you came here just for that.
Her: But where are theeeeeeey?
Me: Probably at home, avoiding people like you.
So rather than go out with the intention of having a good time and enjoy London with her friends, she went to the venue just because she thought there was a chance of rubbing shoulders with someone who appears in the press. Wow.
Model Agyness Deyn was in the club, having a boogie and night out with her mates. For some reason, some people were heckling her. Just because she is a famous, isn't she entitled to have a knees up like the rest of us? At kick out time, she was a little worse for wear and the paps outside went into a frenzy, shouting and snapping away. A TV camera turned up out of nowhere, two mopeds chased her car and the whole spectacle was quite unnerving.
In my drunken state (I'm not much of a drinker but free drinks make it too easy), the whole thing made me angry and shouted "leave her alone, get a job or a conscious you fuckers". How butch.
Photos of her leaving the club appeared on the front cover and inside today's The London Paper (a daily free paper whose centre pages feature celebrities). It's bizarre to witness something quite inane being published as so-called news.
The abundance of celeb based media seem to focus on a core group of London party girls at the moment; Lilly Allen, Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn, Kelly Osbourne, Peaches and Pixie Geldof, Kimberly Stewart (two of them models and the others famous by association) and of course Amy Winehouse (who certainly has talent but its sad she's doing the Billie Holiday/Janis Joplin model of destruction). Kate Moss used to have a mysterious air about her but seeing her so often in the press in these celebrity obsessed times, she and those like her loose their sparkle and what makes them publicly interesting in the first place.
Of my least favourite professions, the paparazzi are up there with traffic wardens and those people who check peoples tickets on the bus (who gang raid London's bendy buses and appear to take great pleasure in pulling people off who haven't swiped their Oyster cards. It's ridiculous how many police they have with them. Their services are required elsewhere, not standing around bloody bus stops). It could be said that they are only just doing their jobs but they have a choice. I studied photography for five years and no amount of money could persuade me to hang around outside clubs and hunt celebrities for the possibility of getting 'that' shot bought and published by the press.
I was photographed by the 'razzi once in Vienna, they are such hateful and rude people. A gang of them aggressively tried to make me pose in ways that suited them so I walked off. I don't mind posing for photos but not when I'm barked at.
Why anyone would aspire to be papped and famous for merely being famous, without any kind of achievement baffles me. But as the new series of Big Brother has just started on Channel 4, it's obvious that there are many fervently wanting just that.
I've got so many opinions on all this but I just wrote a damn thesis about it and this rant is starting to turn into a prologue to it!
If you're in London on Tuesday (17th June), come down and see my new show 'Deluded' as part of Under Construction 3 at Bistrotheque. I'll lip synch, act, do costume changes and maybe sing for you!