Yesterday I went on one of those celebrity home tours you get in Hollywood. I wasn’t particularly keen but the girl I met in this hostel so I figured why not, I didn’t have anything better to do. Now don’t get me wrong, I am totally into celebrity culture – I write excessively on this blog about my one-sided but incredibly rewarding relationship with Tyler Hoechlin’s abs – I also read trashy celeb magazines like their Pulitzer Prize winners – but there was just something about this tour that made me really uncomfortable.
It was just a little gross, you know. Like I am of the school that if you chose to pursue a career in the public eye then you lose a certain degree of privacy. These people are aware of this when they entered the profession so I am not going to listen to them whine about it too much. That said, I think there is a limit and a bunch of people sitting on a bus looking at the various gates and garage doors of complete strangers was a level of dehumanization that I am really not comfortable with.
SIDE NOTE: Our tour guide really needed to find some references that were relevant to the last decade at least. Seriously I don’t think he’s watched TV since Seinfeld ended. It’s been 15 years dude, it’s time to move on.
Anyway as we were driving through these suburban streets – at unsettling speeds without a seatbelt, listening to pop culture references that were 20 years out of date – I couldn’t help but acknowledge the absurdity of the situation. All this effort just for a glimpse into the life of someone we saw in a movie once.
Maybe it’s just that because of my job I have had to distance myself from the whole idea of celebrity. I still love it, but I treat it like just another story, not as something genuine. To be perfectly honest I don’t want to know the ‘real’ person behind the celebrity because it will just ruin the character that I am invested in. I don’t want reality, I want the fantasy because the fantasy is so much more fun.
Driving around Beverly Hills starting over fences like some kind of peeping Tom, just brought the reality of the situation to the forefront. I don’t want to think about celebrities as real people that have to deal with the realities of celebrity every day, like tour buses of people driving past their house gawking at them. I am perfectly happy to play the game and accept their public persona in return for a reasonable number of public appearances and positive attitude to fans.
Here’s the thing – I buy into celebrity culture 100%. I’m a fan, of course I do. But I do not buy into this side of it. Really, I’d much rather prefer a tour of filming locations rather than celebrity homes but that’s stupidly impossible to find. Someone needs to start a fandom tour of LA because I would give them all my money (if you guys know of something like this let me know). Normally I’d be happy to just figure out my own way around but LA is really hard to navigate if you don’t have a car, as I’m sure most of you are aware.