Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fame: A Secret Formula?

by Karen Birnie

Is there something that all famous people have in common? Is there some special thing that some people have which guarantees recognition? Or is it just plain hard work?

There's no doubt that to make it into the public eye in any field, one must be prepared to work extremely hard. Actors, singers, even scientists; to be renowned, your work must be of a supreme quality.

But surely there's a secret formula that leads to success, a secret ingredient in the mix of skill and hard work. Some people just seem to attract the limelight. What is it about these people? Do they make an extra effort, or are they born with it?

                             Audrey Hepburn, the highly successful actress...what was her secret?

I feel that the first point in this recipe for celebrity is charisma. Charisma cannot be learnt, but is an infectious quality that some simply possess. Defined as 'the magnetic appeal or charm of an individual, that inspires popular loyalty or enthusiasm', this perfectly summarises the media's attachment to particular celebrities, and in turn, their rise to fame. Charisma alone may not guarantee recognition, but teamed with other qualities, may be the one thing that the famous have in common.

However, there may be another, darker, answer to the question. Ruby Wax recently fronted a campaign to de-stigmatise mental illness, and in the process it was revealed that mental illness is rife amongst the stars. Stephen Fry has talked candidly about living with bipolar disorder, others, such as Christian Bale, have publicly confessed their struggles with clinical depression. Even Marilyn Monroe and Winston Churchill, highly famed people, feature on the list of famous people with manic depressive disorder. Maybe it is this that lends them a unique outlook on life leading to celebrity, or a special quality that endears them to the public. It is certainly a correlation that warrants deeper exploration.

      Stephen Fry has always been honest about his mental illness

So to conclude, what is the secret formula? What is it that the famous have in common, or is it a blend of qualities that's required to determine success? For me, the most obvious thing in common is talent. One must be particularly good at what they do in the first instance if they are to gain fame, unless they're famed for notoriety. Natural ability will always secure a head start when it comes to 'making it to the top.'  However, this is no excuse for laziness, for those of you believe they can earn the spotlight; for hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.

1 comment:

  1. This is an intriguing article: I've never thought of fame as a secret formula! Good job, I'm looking forward to reading another article by you :)


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