Nudity garners a lot of attention. A good friend of mine during college, DeWayne, had been a “background actor” for several productions at a theater in the Twin Cities. He would walk into a scene and fill in space, no spoken lines since DeWayne didn’t belong to the actor’s union. He was a good-looking 21 year-old with a very nice physique. In one production he was on stage as an artist’s model. Even though he was wearing a small g-string, it was dyed to his flesh tone so the illusion of naked was complete. I had known him for years and even gone swimming together but it was a gasp and “Oh, my” moment when he dropped his robe.
He was stunningly beautiful. Ooh-la-la. He received notes, flowers, and gifts from strangers who wanted to meet him. Some were polite and others rather frank about wanting to shag. Single people of both genders and couples. DeWayne who is a bit introverted was flattered and amused. He liked the attention until he left the theater one night and was accosted in the parking lot. The man blatantly offered money for sex, which repulsed DeWayne. He managed to get back into the building unscathed but was rattled. DeWayne’s a romantic; he wanted a nice man to woo him.
Someone sent him flowers at his day job and other people began calling him on his home phone. Cell phone were too expensive for a poor college student. Creepy. Near the end of the production run, a couple followed him home and approached him as he went into his apartment. The woman grabbed his arm and he had to yell. His neighbor called the police but the couple left before the officers arrived. He was frightened enough to move out of the apartment. He had to quit his day job due to the harassment. After the show was finished, DeWayne moved out of Minnesota. He had encountered the dark side of celebrity. It triggered an anxiety disorder, which still haunts him today. He’s afraid of being recognized.
Anti-stalking laws have greatly improved since DeWayne’s experience. No one should be frightened by someone’s attention. I recently attended a fancy fundraiser, I volunteered so I that didn’t have to pay. I ended up talking with a handsome man and sat next to him while we listened to music. No physical attraction but interesting banter. Unknown to me, he was a well known retired professional athlete. People came up to him like a monarch in court. They blubbered and babbled how it was an honor to meet him. They wanted a photo to show their friends. Oddly, no one asked for an autograph.
Women would slink by and give him the come hither look and his eyes would sweep up and down their body. I was rather stunned by the frank sexual overtures at a black-tie and gown event. One drunken fool tottered over to him and demanded that she be invited to his hotel room. He politely said, “No thank you.” She escalated to a minor threat but he wasn’t intimidated because he was physically larger than her. The rest of us were aghast with her behavior. However, she would have hit any female who came near her because she was so focused upon the object of her desire. Her friend managed to draw her away but it was disturbing. I apologized to him for her behavior. He nonchalantly stated, “It happens all the time.” He had been a professional athlete for many years and had dealt with celebrity status since high school. He said that it was annoying but usually didn’t bother him.
I came for the music but enjoyed the show except for the drunken fool. Fame extracts a horrible price. I am way too shy to ever get up on stage. Perhaps that is why I write. I don’t ever expect to become legendary. I certainly do not want to be pounced upon by paparazzi. I’m just an average boring person. I hope that what I share in this blog brings a few moments of joy or reflection to the reader. I do like flowers and gifts, though (just joking, kind of, monetary donations can be directed to www.gofundme.com/i4ix0 account).
Infamy is futile.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing