I know a lot of people in many walks of life. Some of them can be considered to be famous.
Some I met through mutual interests. Some of them I got to know through business. Some of them I’ve known since childhood. Some were already famous when I met them.
As they grow more and more well-known over the years, it becomes necessary for them to have a public face, switched on at a moment’s notice, and in the most unlikeliest of situations. People look up to them. Complete strangers approach them with reverence, and an often decently-disguised, but recognisable hint of jealousy.
This is a very strange thing to watch from the sidelines. It’s especially strange to be drawn into it, when you’re recognised as a ‘friend of the famous’. Suddenly, someone wants to be your friend very, very much, and you know why they do, and you know that they hope you won’t catch on.
I completely understand why they do this, though.
I am incredibly lucky and privileged to be able to count so many people who I personally admire and look up to, as friends.
But I know that if I’d met any of them later than I did, I could have never been anything to them, other than just another fan, or a social climber. Or worse. These assumptions have nothing to do with them. It’s to do with me, and others, and the cult of the celebrity that we have as a society, that means all of these wonderful people have to be on their guard at all times.
And as a friend of the famous, as much as it truly pains me, I have to be on my guard too.