Being a celebrity looks like lots of fun to us ordinary folk. Know what's not fun? Hanging out with them.
For some strange reason, people zone out in front of celebrities. I mean really zone out. You might as well be their well-endowed naked brother; the fans will not notice you even if you were swinging youryou know what like a noose. (No wait, they will notice that)
I say this because I have been in this situation several times.In case you are wondering, I don't hang around celebrities; it’s the nature of my job, that's all you need to know.
The few times I have been in their "hallowed" presence, my self esteem has taken a beating. Not because of the people I am around but because I look like every other hanger-on and groupie whose space I have taken up, albeit momentarily.
Posers have a wretched past. MC Hammer had a posse of around 45 hungry illiterate men and they are the ones who managed to "touch this" and sent the guy and his parachute trousers tumbling down to the land of bankruptcy. I do not want to be associated with that kind of history.
I feel like there is some parent thinking to themselves: "What a waste. Is that all he could do with himself? What does his mother say his son does?" I should warn you I have a very proud mother—proud of how she raised her children, and when I am around a celebrity, I feel like I am dishonouring her.
Hanging with celebs means you run the risk of being the guy picking his nose at the back when their picture hits the press. If you are on the picture, the caption reads; "Celebrity blah, blah poses with an unknown admirer...." You cannot win I tell you.
I need to make one thing clear. I am not dismissing celebrities. Some are brilliant people with great minds and attitudes, and we spend time together on a regular basis. There’s a big difference between hanging out with and spending time with. Got it? No? Too bad; maybe it’s just an excuse.
The bouncer tag was attached sometime back, I was with a what we call in entertainment circles, a “celebrity couple”. We were walking into a club when, out of nowhere, some girl screamed as she staggered, okay, let's say she ran, towards the celebrity duo.
I never knew drunken people had such speed and balance; her screaming would be grounds for divorce if I were the boyfriend. But did she care? I have seen rioters with more decorum than she had.
After all the running and screaming, she gets to the couple and guess what she says? "Oh my God, I am speechless," Really? After all the screaming? She could have fooled me.
The couple are basking in the midnight fan love and adoration and are all smiles. I am at the back looking on with my hands in my pockets totally disappointing my dear mother who still wonders what it is I do when I’m awake at midnight.
She still demands answers whenever she calls me and I tell her I am "out". "What are you doing out at this hour? Do you have a sweater?" The love of a mother!
Back to our groupie. After what seemed like years, she finally asked: "Can I hug you?" (Not me, the stars) It’s a yes, and she squeezes the two like they are cute puppies. Then decided she needed an autograph, and that is where drama began.She had some paper but no pen.
She fumbled through her "Guchi" handbag (I kid you not, looks like the House of Gucci is expanding fast and catering to the local market), but there was no pen.
Then it happened. It was a light bulb moment for her. She looked up, froze for a second then stared me in the eye, and like a scene from a karaoke gig, I could read what she was about to say before she said it.
She turned to me and ordered: "Bouncer, bouncer, give me a pen!"
I saw it coming, but once it left her mouth, it still surprised me. She grabbed me and looked at me like I was the dog that ate the homework. Her grip was tight and with purpose; she wanted an autograph and not even the lack of a pen could deny her.
I just walked away wondering what it was that made her not see I was just a friend of the stars and not a bouncer. With all due respect to bouncers, I am not built in that way, I have a "soft" stare, and my voice is friendly.