Perception vs Reality: The Makings of an Overnight Celebrity

4 11 2010


Hey guys!!  Here’s an essay I wrote a while back after some crazy experiences and an awakening back in 2003 or 2004. I think this got published on some online outlets, and I had that shit on floppy disk and lost it, but I found the only paper copy in existence, lol. Now i’m posting it for u guys… Feel free to comment!

“I love it when you call me Big Poppa…” Don’t we all? Screaming fans, VIP treatment, flashbulbs of the paparazzi; wouldn’t you like to have that?  Well what if I told you this life could be yours for a night, heck maybe even a week if you’re on vacation?  You would probably say that life is reserved, blocked by that velvet rope that discerns the celebrity from the ordinary person.  I say that belief is played out: I can make you a celebrity overnight.  It’s all quite simple really, i mean, what makes someone a celebrity?  It’s all about perception.  We MAKE people celebrities.  Wait, let me re-emphasize: perception, perception, perception.  Got it?  Now follow this… if I told you the guy next to you was a bazillionaire, what clues could you use to see if I was telling the truth?  He could just have that look, maybe his car is an indicator (borrowed), or maybe he wears designer clothes (knock offs).  All of those things can be manipulated by anyone.  What makes him a celebrity is me making you believe that he is.  Altering perception through hype is gold.  Just ask Lil Jon or P. Diddy.  They get you pumped up, and you don’t even know why, but you just follow along.

I saw a movie called ‘Slackers’ recently and in it, one of the main characters narrated a sequence where he tried out his, “Seed of Doubt” theory on two girls at a college party.  “The technique to manipulating people’s perception” was easy he said. First he said what he wanted the other person to believe out loud. Usually he would be met with casual interest.  Then, once he got the person’s full attention, said it again with authority and conviction, making eye contact, and most importantly, believing it.  The response was complete adoration by a newly converted, star-struck fan.  I used to host a party downtown called, “Overnight Celebrity.”  Every person that came through the door was a celebrity.  As the host, I was at the beck and call of every patron there because who wouldn’t want to cater to someone of star caliber?  You are all celebrities as far as I’m concerned.  I hear the new radio ads for Moda’s Sunday night event saying the same thing.  Walk in a civilian, walk out an overnight celebrity, which brings me to my next point.

Aren’t celebrities just normal people like you and me?  Of course they are.  If you’ve seen ‘Matrix: Reloaded,’ remember back to when Neo confronted the Architect.  He went on to explain to Neo that, “his being was the sum of an unbalanced equation” that inherently flawed the matrix.  In essence, Neo was the epitome of the human race.  To some degree, I believe this is true in our world as well.  We as a society have a need to hold people in high regard i.e. movie stars, pro athletes, politicians, company presidents, etc.  Do they have special powers or do the impossible?  In most cases no, they just do things that we think we cannot.  So we put our hopes and dreams in them and place them on pedestals because we are afraid to do what they do.  Celebrities are the Neo’s of the real world.  The sum of what society believes to be the ideal of a person.  We want to be like them, wear their clothes, watch their movies, and look at countless magazine photos of them pumping gas and eating ice cream.  Look around, the fascination with celebs is like a virus.  We have gossip magazines, fan clubs, product endorsements, etc.  Why not get to enjoy a little of that life yourself?

I know some of you could care less, sorry to distract you from reading US magazine while simultaneously watching last week’s ‘The Bachelor/The Bachelorette’ in your J. Lo/Sean John sweatpants, listening to your new Ron Artest cd.  But I know some of you are glued to your screen and can’t wait for me to get on with how you can do it.  Here are some examples of personal, “research” conducted in the field.  Example #1: While on a trip to South Beach for Spring Break my senior year of college, two friends and I ran into a star NFL player.  Instead of asking for an autograph, I asked him what he did to let a club know he was showing up.  He said if knows he’s going somewhere in advance, he’ll have his publicist call in advance, if not, he’ll just show up because he’s very recognizable.  Luckily, I happened to do some research before I left home on movies that were coming out that summer.  I picked a movie with Toby Maguire because, ‘Spiderman’ was hot at the time.  The character in the movie, ‘Seabiscuit’ had a decent role for being a no name actor.  Kingston Decour was my celebrity.  The movie wasn’t coming out until the summer, so there was no way to verify the information. I called up a hot club on the strip and said I was a publicist for said actor.  At the end of the conversation, I had secured back door access, VIP table, bottle service, and security. Suffice it to say, all nine of us in our crew lived like kings that night!  And the best part was that everything was 100% absolutely free.  People were dying to give us all the perks and we were absolute nobodies.  Of course I captured it all on tape if you think I’m lying.

Example #2: In Ft. Lauderdale, I want to a club with a friend, a camera, and a mission.  I wanted in the club for free, free drinks, and film it all for my friends to see what went down that night.  I approached the manager, gave him the schtick about how we worked for a small production company and did a globe trotting party show similar to E! Wild On. We just wanted to film inside to get a feel for the club and put it on our show.  Walked past the line, free drinks all night, and proof that it happened.  Mission Accomplished!

Example #3: I was out downtown one night just after Thanksgiving with a friend of mine.  I had this article in mind when I decided to perform a series of social experiments using my friend as a guinea pig.  A nubile co-ed approached us and struck up a conversation.  WHen my friend leaned over the bar to order a drink, I discreetly told the woman that he had a part on the hit show, ‘Las Vegas,’ but was spending the holidays in his hometown.  I built the story up more a la “Seed of Doubt” technique and she promptly asked my friend to dance.  Some time later, back by the bar, a friend of that girl approaches my friend and starts dancing with him, threw her arms around his neck and started kissing him!  Must be nice to be a t.v. star. Believe it or not, a player for the Browns tried to talk to her afterwards, trying to repeat the results I bet, but she went back to my friend.  Simply amazing!

My last example taked place at the House of Blues Grand Opening.  At an invitation only event, there must be tons of VIP’s right?  But to be backstage you have to be a special person right?  Absolutely wrong.  Who am I?  I’m just a humble promoter/cell phone salesman who just happens to know a bunch of people.  Probably by accident anyways, but there I was chatting with the VP of House of Blues International.  This was sandwiched between face time with Dan Ackroyd and Jim Belushi, and the locals who brought HOB to Cleveland.  Did this come by accident? No, because in my mind, I already know I’m a celebrity, the general public just doesn’t know about it yet. We ALL are!  I’m a gatecrasher to show other people that it can be done.  But the difference between me and the other gatecrashers is that I fit the part.  If you have the attitude and act like you’re supposed to be there, you’re a welcome guest.  Get something back for all those duckets you spend at the club.  Make someone appreciate your presence.  Like that MasterCard commercial where Peyton Manning is cheering on the everyday people.  That’s how it should be.  Let the stars be awe struck by you, not the other way around.  As far as I’m concerned, the person reading this is a celebrity, just like the guy who just passed the Bar exam, and the woman executive at KeyBank who calls the shots.  If you are going out, there, making it, doing your thing and spreading the love… you’re it to me.

Andre 3000 said it best in Outkast’s song, “Elevators:” “I replied that I’ve been going through the same things that he has. True I got more fans than the average man, but not not enough loot to last me, till the end of the week I live by the beat like you live check to check. If you don’t move your feet, then I don’t eat, so we like neck to neck.”  With that said, I want everybody who reads this to get their butts downtown and take the self esteem up a notch.  Hold your head up and party like a rock star.  Don’t be surprised if an average guy like me asks for your autograph.  I love celebrities, and you love it when I call you big poppa, don’t you? Way to go superstars!


Kanye West Previews New Album

29 07 2010

Kanye West

Kanye West has been pretty mellow lately… No crazy headlines to report, so either he’s laid off the drinkin, back on his meds, found religion, or something else, lol.  Not at all bad, because he’s been in the lab, creating tracks to continue his takeover of pop/hip-hop music. Oh, and on the twittersphere… He’s been on for less than a day and he’s already an addict, lol. He spent some time in Palo Alto, CA the last couple days for who knows what, but during this trip he met with Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook supposedly, and on the way out, decided to hop on a table and do an impromptu performance.  Good thing he’s a little guy…. If I tried that table stunt, it would look like some WWE shit, lol…. Broken tables everywhere!  Tell you what though… That suit is mean!  No more backpacks for this kid..

I actually had the pleasure of meeting Kanye face to face some years ago during his, “Touch The Sky” tour. There was this private afterparty at House of Blues in the Cambridge room. It was a great event and Kanye wasn’t on the same uber stratosphere celebrity that he is today… Famous, but not KANYE famous. He was very nice and looked me in the eye. That’s huge for me. When people look you in the eye, it’s sincere… I never trust a person who doesn’t. You shouldn’t either. Enjoy!

LMFAO’s “Party Rock Tour” Official Afterparty in Cleveland, OH

9 11 2009

LMFAO's Party Rock Tour Official Afterparty at Ultra

So it is finally time to announce that Ultra will be hosting the official afterparty for LMFAO‘s, “Party Rock Tour,” when it touches down in Cleveland.  I’ve personally been waiting a long time to see these guys perform live here where I live.  They have been blowing up on the charts since their album dropped earlier this year and they have been on fire remixing tracks from here to kingdom come for some time now.  I’m sooo geeked that we got them coming to Ultra.

Not only will LMFAO be gracing us with their presence, but we also will have Shwayze w/ Cisco Adler, Far East Movement, Paradiso Girls, and Shwayze’s dj, Jason Smith!  That’s like the ultimate bonus to seeing them perform live onstage.  Check them out in an intimate environment.  There may also be live performances at the club (you’ll have to wait and see!).  Be sure to check out the concert first though, because I’ve heard that you haven’t lived until you went to see LMFAO, and HOB is almost sold out (Get tix here).

Tickets for the afterparty are available NOW!  There are a limited number of early bird tickets.  You can purchase them RIGHT HERE.

VIP table packages are also up for grabs, please contact Marcus at 216.970.2871 for more details.  Saturday, November 28th will be known after as “the day LMFAO destroyed Cleveland)….. LMFAO!!!!!

Common Disses Brady Quinn @ – HOB 10.1.09

3 10 2009

So the other day, rapper Common graced House of Blues Cleveland with his presence. I didn’t make it to the show, but I heard it was phenomenal. In typical Common fashion, he started on roughly a 4 minute freestyle. He talked about hot girls (shocker), and threw out various simile’s, then chose to make a cpl remarks about recently down and out QB, Brady Quinn as he watched above with Shaun Rogers, Braylon Edwards, Josh Cribbs, and others from an opera box.

To fans of Quinn, relax…. You should be proud that a visiting artist actually took the time to educate himself on what was going on in the city. He could have done the typical, “Hello Cincinnatti,” and proved he didn’t know where the hell he was. Always known as the thinking man’s rapper, Common proved it once again by coming up big and talking about the city’s most hotly debated topic. Check out the video below (great quality, thanks Adam).

And in case you think Brady really wasn’t there, somebody caught that on camera as well, lol.

Ouch! From what I heard though, Quinn was a great sport. Good for him

Myspace Goldrush Tour Recap……

27 09 2008

This tour stop featured Santogold, A-Trak, Trouble Andrew, and Low vs. Diamond.  All great acts, all great ppl, had a blast.  It’s crazy how my roommate and I create energy and fun.  We take something sweet and make it incredible.  Here’s how it went down….

So Trouble Andrew we knew from the show he did at Liquid while the Dew Tour was in town.  So when he got into town we ran back backstage to kick it and catch up.  We had a a pre/party at our apt, just gettin after it (typical), getting psyched up for the show.  So we head to HOB and of course I’m already breakin all the rules (i.e. camera, flask, etc).  Shots were flowin as Low vs. Diamond were finishing up their set.  LVD is a band on the come up just recently appearing on Leno and Letterman.  They also had a song on ‘One Tree Hill,’ and Myspace has taken to them fairly kindly.  The guys are a great bunch of dudes, they even brought one of the band members’ little brother on tour (him and my roomie were like 2 kids in a candy store).  Get a lot of references to the Killers.  Check them out on Myspace, you’ll like what you see.

So we went back into the crowd to see Trouble Andrew get down.  Set was dope, they sounded so much better than at liquid.  I think it was just more amps and a better sound board.  I tried to find a lighter for one of the band members and walked from backstage to ask a security guard.  This chick was so all about HOB it made me sick.  I ask for a light, she says, “Where’s your pass?” I’m thinkin I just came out from backstage lady, take a chill pill.  I said that I was hangin with one of the bands and they didn’t have passes to give me, they just walked in.  So she suggested I wait.  I wasn’t having it.  So I just turn around and walk back to backstage, and the lady runs back to yell at me.  She said “Don’t you walk away from me!”  My mom would be angry that someone would be yellin at her son like that.  I only need one mother.  So I say fine, at this point A-Trak is on the tables and i’m feelin his set, but now I have this security drama to deal with. 

I say fine, I’ll just walk back out into the main concert hall.  So I’m just wandering around and figure I might as well bring the band some drinks.  All HOB gave them was a case of beer.  So I run home and pick up a couple bottles of liquor, then proceed to get walked in the loading area into backstage.  Jesse and Kristin are tearin it up w/ the band.  At this point i’m pretty tanked, but the party has to keep rollin u know?  I go back to the main concert hall and I’m stopped by security.  “Sir, can you stand here for a second?  I can’t let you leave before I get my manager over here.”  I’m like wtf?  Is this about that crazy lady security guard?  She put an APB on me and described me, saying I was illegally backstage, etc.  So figure i’ll play along and waited for the mgr.  2 showed up actually and it couldn’t have worked out better.  The one guy said, “ya, he’s with the band, he’s ok” and the other mgr walked me to the box office to get me some backstage passes.  Kudos.  Then she’s like, “ur Marcus right?” I remembered her for solving some earlier HOB problems I had in the past.  Totally cool. 

So I go backstage again, and I think Santogold might be on at this point, I’m so drunk I have no idea what my name is.  So after a while, we all get kicked out of backstage by Santogold’s tour manager (and he was so nice to us earlier).  I’m sure I had something to do with his decision to kick us out.  So the show ends and I take a couple ppl back to my house and we’re just dancing in the living room.  Great success…

All of a sudden, I wake up sitting upright on my couch with the lights off, and it’s only 12:45am.  I get my drunken bearings and shoot a call to my dudes.  They are at Mercury and I managed to get back in the game and meet up with my roomie and the band and we start all over again.  I have no recollection of being at Mercury (also typical), we went back to the house, and kicked it till 4am.  So this story has lots of facets, lots of ins and outs. 

Check the photo recap on my myspace page…. here’s a taste of what’s to come….