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I operate an Internet radio show that seeks to help independent entertainers and artists promote their projects.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Pretender: Virtual Book Tour

Editor’s Note:

Over the past several weeks, I was approached by publicist Mallory Johnson about the possibility of The Cutting Room acting as stop on a virtual book tour for authors Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle.

If those names sound familiar to you, then you were probably a fan “The Pretender” – a very popular television series that they both created which ran from 1996-2000 and later spawned two TV movies.

Steven and Craig recently brought back “The Pretender” in the form of two novels called “Rebirth” and the much anticipated follow-up “Saving Luke”.

Below, the authors chat about the journey to revive the series and the reactions they got from fans. You can also look for a follow-up interview to be broadcast on my radio show in early June... CJR






Q: For those who are not familiar with the Pretender novels can you give us a brief description of the series?

SLM: Sure.Rebirth and Saving Luke are mystery thrillers about Jarod, a child prodigy, who was stolen as a child and raised by a clandestine organization that exploited his gift for their nefarious activities. After his escape, this ‘ingenious Jason Bourne,’ a human chameleon that can literally become anyone he wants to be, rejoins the world that was denied to him for 30 years. While attempting to find his own family, Jarod uses his brilliance to save a young boy kidnapped by terrorists and return him safely to his parents. 


 

CVS: Jarod does this while staying one step ahead of Miss Parker, the “sexiest woman on the planet” who is hell-bent on capturing and returning him to the organization that took him as a child. They have a multifaceted, love-hate relationship that fuels a very heated chase.

You can find out more about both novels and read sample chapters at: http://www.thepretenderlives.com/


Q: Why did you decide to bring The Pretender back at this particular point in time?
CVS: As luck and having amazing lawyers would have it, the rights to the Pretender recently reverted back to us, and we are excited to be able to bring the Pretender back now in a variety of exciting ways.

SLM: As all too often happens, when the Pretender was unexpectedly cancelled, the loyal fan base was left with a series of unanswered questions that we’d always intended to answer for them.

The fans around the globe have always been loyal to us and we’re thrilled to be able to return that faithfulness by reinventing the Pretender in a way that will give the answers they deserve, while at the same time embracing new fans, who will get the saga from a fresh perspective.

Q: Why did you bring the concept back as a novel first as opposed to another TV series?

SLM: We wanted to give the fans a much more in-depth look at the characters than we were able to explore in a television series – and also give them an opportunity to not only just read the books or passively watch the TV show, but to actively get involved and become part of the Pretender Universe, themselves. 

Steven Long Mitchell
Q: Where does the plot line pick up in terms of a timeline?

CVS:
The plot line doesn’t pick up, per se, it slides. Just like in the TV pilot, Jarod is 30ish when he escapes the Centre, and so is Miss Parker as she begins her pursuit of him.


In essence, it is a brand new story with all of the intrinsic elements of the old story, updated for the modern world. 

Craig W. Van Sickle
Q: What is your strategy for retaining old fans while still attracting new ones?

SLM: All of the story elements of the original series are there with contemporary twists that allow for new fans- and old-to be equally satisfied as the mythology takes them on a thrill ride.

And there is even more to experience at http://www.thepretenderlives.com/. We’ll soon be offering interactive ways to explore the mythology, story lines, characters, and even the physical Centre itself, something no other fandom or series of novels is doing (as far was we know).

Q: I also understand that you're launching an innovative series of graphic novels in tandem with the books?

CVS:Yes. The first fleshes out the mythology of the Pretender Universe by exploring the mysterious history of the Centre.

Q: What is the most surprising piece of feedback that you've received since you've brought The Pretender back?

SLM: First, was the overwhelming support from the Pretender fandom.It is global, fervent, multi-generational, and we are proud to be a part of it.

CVS: There are so many – but one that really stands out to me is the outpouring of involvement of the fan base –something we greatly embrace. Our fans have designed the covers of the novels, some have become characters within them, we even have a winner of a fan-fiction contest writing a short story for us that we will publish as canon. We think she could be a star writer one day and are overjoyed to give her the first shot.

Q: Where can people go to keep up with the latest news around the books or graphic novels?

SLM: http://www.thepretenderlives.com/ We love corresponding with our fans and look forward to hearing from them at anytime.

CVS:Below are all of the other links to connect with us.


Connect with Steven Long Mitchell: Blog / Facebook / Twitter
Connect with Craig W Van Sickle: Blog / Facebook / Twitter
Saving Luke: Links to follow when available





Monday, 10 February 2014

Scarlett Flame's "Bound for Passion" Blog Tour:


Editor’s note: In the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, I thought it only fitting to reach out to one of the many romance/erotica writers that have supported my podcast and blog to whip together a little something in fitting with the theme.

As luck would have it, Scarlett Flame (who last year wrote a massively popular piece for me on steampunk) is currently on the “Blog Tour” trail and asked if The Cutting Room Floor could be one of her stops. I’d never hosted such a stop so of course I was more than happy to help. Below, you’ll find some thoughts on her anthology “Bound for Passion”. I’ve also included some additional information as to where you can buy the book and even read some reviews. Also look for a live interview with the author herself on my show in early March.

Scarlett, once again the floor is yours…
CJR
 
 

What the book is about:

The debut novel is composed partially of stories that were published initially on my blog over the last six months or so, and a new story created especially for the book. Individually these stories are hot, but together they are sizzling.

When Vivienne sits inconsolable in the hospital chapel, the last encounter she expects is a fervent entanglement with an otherworldly being, as passions increase she learns for the first time in her life the true meaning of out of this world. In the second, Sarah meets a new lover after telling him all her intimate fantasies in an internet chat room. And, the final story concerns the journey a young woman takes, as a Dominant offers to show her the ropes, in exchange for her submission via BDSM.

Here is a link for a short excerpt from The Stranger which is the first story in the book, read by myself on audioboo.

Cover art & graphics:

The cover of the book is from a painting by an artist friend of mine that is based in Cork, Ireland. His name is Alan Hurley. I have had only fabulously positive comments about the cover and hope to use Alan again in future. The picture is also available to buy as a print from his gallery. Alan has some absolutely beautiful paintings please visit his page and choose some for yourself.

 

I have two signed prints gracing my living room walls, an original watercolour taken from my avi photograph on Twitter and this hangs in pride of place on my bedroom wall.

Alan also has a Blog here so please visit him here and see how his work progresses from an outline drawing to a full blown picture

The graphics were supplied by another good friend of mine, who is also an author Jon Fletcher who I did an interview for last year about my next book and a current WIP. Jon writes Science fiction and I believe I own ALL of his books. Check out Jon's blog and his author page to see more.
The blog tour:

In celebration and to let the public know about my new book there are a series of blogs being hosted by a number of bloggers across the world. Here they are and the dates they will be hosted:

Commencing on 5th of February via John Satisfy

6th of February via Karena Marie

7th February via Shaun Allan

8th February via Seumas Gallacher

9th of February via Suzy Ayers

10th of February via Taylor Fulks

11th of February via Casey Ryan

12th of February via Skelat

13th of February via Francis Potts

and finally but not least on Valentine's Day

14th of February via AfterDark Online


Reviews and other Links:

Reviews





The Book promotion is set to run alongside offers and promotions on Goodreads and Facebook with 4 copies of the book available to win on Goodreads through their giveaway deal.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

A Grave Call: By guest: Leslie A. Borghini


Editor’s Note:

Today actually being Halloween, I thought it would be fun to share a good old fashioned ghost story which today’s guest author assures me is based on actual events that happened to her.

I met Leslie A. Borghini aka "The Angel of Horror" by way of a referral from mutual friend (and CRF guest) C.K. Webb. In addition to the post you’re about to read, Leslie has also agreed to be a guest on my show to discuss her novel “Angel Heat”. Be on the lookout for that interview a little later this winter.

Leslie, the floor is yours…

CJR



A Grave Call:  

I see dead people, they see me, and sometimes we talk. This is an account of one of those times. The names have been changed to protect the privacy of the living and to respect those that have passed on.

July 23, 2012:  

I had run some errands and stopped at the grocery store. When I arrived home, I was in a hurry to put the frozen food away. I noticed the phone message light was blinking, but I was sweating and wanted to take a shower. The message could wait. If it was important, they would have called my cell.

In the shower, something kept nagging me to listen to the message. It became so hard to dismiss that I got out of the shower and grabbed the phone. I hit the playback button. There was an eerie dead silence followed by a sound I could only compare to the noise I heard when I put a seashell up to my ear. I was cold, dripping wet, and kicking myself for bothering. Then the static started. Not a little static, but a thunderous static that forced me to jerk the phone from my ear. It softened slightly, and I heard an elderly male voice.

“Johnny, it’s me. I’m trying to leave, and I can’t get my ticket. Please call me back. I need my ticket. Thanks, I love you son.”

I thought I should call him and let him know he had dialed the wrong number. This poor old man was probably stuck at some airport and missed his flight, so I checked the caller ID and hit redial. After a few rings, an older woman answered.

“Hello.”

“Hi, my name is Leslie. I just listened to my answering machine, and I think someone may have dialed my number by mistake. An elderly gentleman left a message. He’s trying to call his son. He can’t get his ticket. I just wanted to make sure the message gets to the right person.”

After a substantial pause the woman said, “How did you get this number?”

I explained, “I called the number on my caller ID.”

“You must have dialed the wrong number.” The woman sounded worried.

“I hit redial, but I apologize for bothering you. There must be a glitch with the phone. I was concerned for the old man. Thank you, anyway. Goodbye.”

As I was about to hang up, I heard her yell, “Wait, please!”

“Yes?”

The woman’s voice sounded nervous. “What did the message say, exactly? Please, tell me.”

“Are you alright?” I thought I had somehow freaked out the old lady.

“I’m not sure. What did the man say? Please, it’s important.”

I related the message verbatim. I heard a clang as she dropped the phone. I yelled, “Are you alright, ma’am? Are you there? Lady, answer me!”  Shit! Now I had caused this woman to have a heart attack. After a few seconds, I could hear her picking up the phone.

Crying, the woman said, “I’m sorry. This is such a shock to me.”

“Is he your husband, ma’am? Do you have a son named Johnny?”

“Please, call me Julie.”

“Okay, Julie, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“No, you didn’t. Well, I guess you did, but that’s alright. It’s just that my husband has been dead for two weeks, and our son is named Johnny.”

“I’m so sorry for your loss. Please don’t think I’m a crackpot. I really did get the message on my answering machine.”

“No, dear, I believe you. Are you a psychic?”

I explained that I had certain gifts, but this was only the second time I had received a phone call from beyond the grave.

She found solace telling me about her wonderful marriage. We were on the phone for almost an hour because I didn’t have the heart to stop her. We exchanged goodbyes, and she asked me to please call her if her husband John called again.

“I will,” I agreed, not thinking it would happen.

July 25, 2012: 

While I was preparing dinner, the phone rang. I answered it. There was silence followed by the sound of rushing air and then blaring static. I knew who it was.

“Hello, John, is that you?”

“Yes.”

“I talked to Julie. She misses you.”

“You have to tell Johnny it wasn’t his fault. It’s not his time. He can’t come yet. Tell him I love him, and we will dig for treasure again, but not now.”

The line went dead. I looked at the caller ID. It was the same number as before. I hit redial.

I didn’t even let her speak when she picked up the phone. “Julie, your husband just called.”

“What? Leslie, is that you?”

“Yes, listen, he said you have to tell Johnny it wasn’t his fault. He said it’s not his time and that he loves him. They will dig for treasure again. Does this make sense to you?”

“Yes, it does. When Johnny was a young child, his father would take him on treasure hunts in the woods. Oh, my God, Leslie, it really is John! Two weeks ago, they had a huge fight, and Johnny stormed out of the house. That night, my husband died of a massive heart attack. Johnny blames himself. He has been very depressed and talked to his wife about suicide. She called me, hysterical. I got on the phone with him and tried to convince him that his dad had a bad heart, and it wasn’t his fault. But he kept insisting he killed his dad.”

“How is Johnny now?”

“His wife Mary and I had him hospitalized for seventy-two hours. They sent him home with a lot of anti-depressants. They said he was no longer a threat to himself, but he’s still very depressed. He took a leave of absence from his job and stays at home.”

“You must call him and tell him what his father said.”

“Leslie, I can’t thank you enough. I’ll call him right now. Can I call you after I get off the phone with Johnny?”

“Yes, of course.”

After a while, Julie called.

“Oh Leslie, he was so relieved that he didn’t kill his father, he cried like a baby. The part about digging for treasure was the key. He knew you were telling the truth. Only Johnny, his dad, and I knew about that. He never told Mary. He was so young when they did it, he’d forgotten all about it. I can’t thank you enough. You saved my son.”

“I didn’t do anything except relay a message. Your husband saved your son.”

We hung up with Julie shedding tears of joy.

July 25, 2012 (about 2 a.m.):

The phone rang.

My husband rolled over and said, “Who the hell is calling at this hour?”

I stumbled out of bed and answered the phone. “Hello.”

By the sound I heard on the other end, I knew it was John.

“Thank you.”

The line went dead. He had his ticket to leave. Rest in peace, John.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

What is copyright? By guest: Casey Sheridan

Editor's note:

Back in May, erotica author and friend Casey Sheridan and I experimented with a fun little "Casey Crossover" concept by drafting guest posts for each other's blogs and posting them on the same day. You can read Casey's post on the disappearance of sex scenes in the movies by clicking here.

The idea proved to be well received by both of our readerships so, it only made sense that the two of us work on a sequel. Knowing Casey, she's also probably giggling at the fact that I used the word "experimented".

A large part of what I do on my radio show is enablement and sharing best practices so, I was very happy when she told me she'd written a post to provide authors with some advice on copyright issues.

Once you're done, I invite you to hop over to Casey's blog to read my own piece on "chick flicks" that I actually enjoyed.

Casey, once again, the floor is yours...

CJR


I leaned in closer to my monitor and gasped as I stared wide-eyed at the screen. A rush of adrenaline coursed through me and turned into a knot that settled as an ache in the pit of my stomach.

“What is this? Why is this on here?” I whispered. I sat frozen, unable to think.

What do I do now? Who do I contact? These questions, and many others, scrambled through my head the first time I saw one of my books being offered as a free download on a site notorious for illegal free downloads of books and music. Dozens and dozens of books. And now one of those books was mine.

If you’ve never experienced copyright infringement, let me tell you, it’s not fun. I felt violated. It’s unnerving, it’s infuriating, it’s frustrating, and it’s misunderstood.

(Just so we're clear, I'm not a lawyer. If you need an in-depth discussion of copyright, I suggest you contact an attorney).

What is copyright? Generally speaking, copyright is a form of intellectual property law that legally protects original works of authorship and artistic works such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. As an author/writer copyright protects my writing, the contents of my books.

Now that I have a book/story written and finished, stored on my computer and/or printed out and sitting on my desk, when does the copyright take effect? Immediately. The moment I created my story, it was under copyright protection. It DOES need to be registered with the U. S. Copyright Office if I want to file a lawsuit against anyone for infringement, but registration is voluntary. Even so, I gained legal rights at the exact instant my story was created.

Okay, so my work is copyright protected, big deal, right? That doesn’t affect you, the reader. Or does it? Should you, the reader, care? I hope so. To quote Marilyn Byerly, “Protecting and respecting the author’s copyright is the right thing to do.

If an author doesn’t make money by selling books, she will probably stop writing, and you will have lost some great reads.

If the author doesn’t sell enough books because of ILLEGAL books, the publisher won’t buy the next book.”


“Stealing or misusing copyright is not a way to thank an author for giving you pleasure.” (A Reader’s Guide to Copyright blog post by Marilyn Byerly)


I don’t make a lot of money on my writing. I wish I did. Actually, I make very little. I’d love to quit my day job and spend the time writing and creating more stories, more books. Many other authors, musicians, etc., are in the same situation.

Now you’re probably asking, “Okay, Casey, you’ve cleared up what copyright is (sort of) and how illegal books can affect us all, but I’ve got an e-reader loaded with eBooks. Can I sell some of my used copies of copyrighted eBooks?”


As of now, the US Government, along with most other governments, says no. This falls under the “first sale doctrine”. To keep this post brief (ha!), and to keep you from falling asleep, I’m not going to discuss First Sale Doctrine. If you would like to learn more about it please click here.

Who owns my copyright? I do! I’m the author. Under copyright law the creator of the original work (book, story, song, etc.) is the author. So, I own my copyright unless I have a written agreement that assigns it to another person (or entity). In other words, my publisher doesn’t own the copyright to my story unless I sign an agreement that assigns it to them.

Offering my books for free, in part or as a whole, without my permission, is illegal. It’s a violation of my right as an author, a violation of my copyright. Many authors, including me, have free reads available. Stories that you don't have to pay for so you can get a taste of my writing. Reviews and excerpts from my books are also available.

There's plenty of excuses that digital thieves offer for what they do, but not one of those excuses is legitimate, nor are any of those excuses reasons for "stealing" an author's work.



What can you do if someone infringed your copyright? First, DON’T send them an angry email, calling them every name in the book, and demand they remove your work from their sight. Be professional. Let yourself calm down first. That’s not easy to do. Trust me.

Always check with your publisher before doing anything in case they are running some special somewhere that you aren’t up on because you were too lazy to read your email. Hopefully, they’ll be able to help if your work is being made available illegally. They may have a department that handles infringements. If not, they should be able to provide you with a sample Takedown Notice and provide you with any other tips or information you need to move on this.

If your self-published, you should be keeping excellent records on where your works are available, if there free, or need to be paid for. You’ll have to send a Takedown Notice to the site your infringed work appears on.


Samples of Takedown Notices are available at Romance Writers of America (if you’re a member), and, here, at EPIC.

You’ll have to provide the exact URL where the infringed work appears and follow the sites directions on how and where to send your request.

Above all, BE PROFESSIONAL.


That’s it for me. I know this was a very brief discussion of copyright; it’s a subject that could go on forever. I encourage you to read all of Marilyn Byerly’s blog posts on the subject and follow the links she provides. You can find her posts using this link.

She has an excellent post about what would happen to books, movies, music, and more, if copyright were to end. Her post is titled, The Death of Copyright.

You can also find more information here.

I’d like to thank Marilyn Byerly for giving me permission to quote her blog and for giving me so many links loaded with information.

And I’d like to thank Casey Ryan, my gracious host, for allowing me to take over his blog for the day. Casey is a wonderful supporter of Indie talent and I'm honored to be. Thanks Casey!

FYI: Blog posts are copyrighted too, but feel free to spread this one around, if it’s okay with Mr. Ryan.


(CJR: By all means – share away!)


Bio:

Casey Sheridan is the author of playful erotic fiction. Like most authors, she began writing when she was very young. Later in life she read her first piece of erotica and it was on a dare that she wrote her first erotic story.


Casey’s work has been published by Breathless Press and Cobblestone Press, and her short fiction has appeared on various erotic web­sites.


Casey's main website:
Casey's facebook page:

Follow Casey on Twitter:

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Many Angles of Fame: By: Lynette Carrington


Editor’s Note:

Journalist/publicist Lynette Carrington first contributed to this blog back in April with a piece called "Agent. Publicist. That’s the Same Thing. Right?". The article was very well received so, when she volunteered to write a second one, I of course jumped at the chance to run it.

Below you’ll read her thoughts on some of the byproducts of fame that all too often get overlooked by fans (admittedly like yours truly). There are sacrifices that need to be made in conjunction with all the popularity that comes along with being a successful show business figure – some of which can be a lot less pleasant than others.  

On a lighter note, however (and as an added bonus), this time out Lynette told me that I could share this picture of her with one of my all-time favorite boxers, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield. It was taken by Joe Orr when Lynette interviewed Mr. Holyfield at the “Imagine 100 Faces” event for the Nick Lowery Youth Foundation.

Lynette, the floor is yours…

CJR


 
The Many Angles of Fame          
By: Lynette Carrington

“I would do anything to be famous!” “I would love be famous because then everyone would love me!” “I would have so much money if I were famous!” Sure, being famous has its perks. Think about it: lots of money, getting in to the hottest clubs, being on magazine covers, luxury cars, exotic film location shoots and rubbing elbows with A-Listers and world dignitaries on a regular basis. It all sounds glamorous, promising and exciting. But, there is a personal and emotional cost that comes with fame. And fame can be a slippery slope…or a downright monster.

Let’s consider some of the casualties in the world of entertainment--Chris Farley, River Phoenix, Amy Winehouse, Phil Hartman, Jim Belushi, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Anna Nicole Smith and most recently, “Glee” star Cory Monteith…the list is endless. Whether they met their demise at the hands of drugs, murder or an insane lifestyle, it is hardly arguable that in some shape or another, fame played a supporting role in their death.

Money:

Money is often a catalyst for some people to hop on the fame train (Kris Jenner, I’m talking to you), and money always sounds good. But, let’s take a look at why the bigger stars make outrageous sums of money that they do. Consider someone like Tom Cruise. Personally, I think he’s wackier than a box of frogs, but I have mad respect for him in that he has continually been a top box office draw for decades…not an easy feat. This is only one reason he makes the big bucks.

$25-$50 million dollar paydays. You think it’s crazy? No, it’s not. Tom Cruise puts millions of tooshes in the movie theater seats. Those tooshes are real money. That money has made hundreds if not thousands of people filthy rich. In essence, Cruise’s face and acting are a vehicle that make money not only for himself, but for an entire industry (and Scientology…but that’s another topic entirely).  There is a lot of pressure for him to make a movie successful. It’s not just his career…it’s all those involved with what he does. Look at it another way, if Tom Cruise was attached to a movie and buzz started going, the hype and publicity machine would kick in to nearly guarantee the film would be at least a moderate success. There are thousands of people that will work on that film in some regard, not to mention the geographic location(s) where that film will shoot. They will all benefit from the very fact that it’s Tom Cruise. Would that same film have quite the same economic impact if it starred Rob Schneider? Not so much. (Okay, I don’t know of any film where Tom Cruise would be up for a role where Rob Schneider would be a contender, too. I’m only making a point…)

It really is a lot of pressure when you think about all the millions and millions of dollars at stake for the industry. And not just the big boys; it trickles all the way down to those who rely on the contract for craft services on that Tom Cruise film. In my opinion, A-List actors have to have a strong mind-set and a talented team of legal and management folk to help them with their professional decisions. It’s mind boggling when you think about it. The pressure to make a hit can be astounding and a flop movie can result in changes in artist management, representation, future film contracts and earnings, etc.

Next time Tom Cruise makes a dud and you think, “I could have acted that ten times better at 1/100th the cost!” I’m sure many actors could have. But there would have been no “toosh” factor. And it’s the toosh factor that really makes a difference most of the time.

Loss of Privacy:

Let’s take look at Harrison Ford. What do you think of when you see Harrison Ford? You probably think Han Solo or Indiana Jones. This is just a person whose job it is to say the words on a page and act onscreen. As a person, Ford often laments the loss of his privacy and talks about it in the media frequently. He’s been a recognized star since the 70’s, so he’s had a lot of time to adjust to his level of fame.

But, put yourself in his shoes (size 12, in case you needed to know). Everywhere you go, people stare at you and do double-takes. Are you having a bad hair day or are you in a bad mood? Not only will people stare, they’ll take photos without your permission. If you’re unlucky enough to get stuck with paparazzi, some of them will shout out mean and unfathomable things at you in order to illicit some kind of a negative response so they can catch it on camera and sell it for their own monetary gain. And this will be nearly everywhere you go. Every day. Every place. You will probably never get away from it. Oh, and you’re expected to behave yourself and be gracious in these situations no matter your mood or what is going on in your private (or not-so-private) life. Don’t screw it up…you’re every misstep will become fodder for the tabloids. Just be perfect, ok. Remember, this is every day. Some towns or cities may be better for celebrities than others. (I understand why celebs like Halle Berry want to get out of Hollywood and move to Europe.)

The Papz:

You want a night out at a restaurant with your family or significant other? See the above paragraph and then add into your evening the extra 30 minutes you’ll probably need for all the fans that will come over and want to chat or get a photo op. Some places are known for their discretion, which I think is fantastic. Other places have doormen, security or management who will tip paparazzi to your location so you get swarmed on your way out the door. You know who gets a cut when that photo sells to the tabloid? Yep, said doorman, security or management. Everyone is in the fame game. In essence, even peripheral people make money off of other’s celebrity status.

And while we’re on the subject of paparazzi (again, I’m talking to you Kris Jenner). We all see the photos. How is it paparazzi happen to be on the beach when LeAnn Rimes is showing off her latest swimsuit? Many celebs (or those hanging on to the bottom rung of the celeb ladder) will tip the papz to whatever they will be doing and the star is contracted to receive a cut of whatever those photos can be sold for to the tabs. No, really. It happens all the time. And the clothes the celeb is wearing in the photos? That designer may have possibly given that star those clothes for the express purpose of being worn in the supposed “candid” photos. A money-maker and publicity for a designer friend?  You bet. So, indeed there is a pressure element that is present in your everyday life, too. Would you play at this level of the fame game? Many do. Again, Jenner/Kardashians…

When you’re out in public, total strangers come up and talk to you like they know you. Or they question you on some film you did 20 years ago. (Would you want to answer questions about a job you had 20 years ago at McDonald’s? I think you see what I’m getting at, here.) Worse yet, they ask you, “In Blade Runner, were you really a replicant?!?” Do you see how ridiculous this sounds when you’re just in Vons trying to pick up a gallon of milk and some bananas? You can never really leave work at work. It becomes part of who you are when you are in the public, because this is how the public knows you.

The loss of privacy is sad in today’s world because everything happens instantly and whenever there is a lawsuit, a squabble, a pending divorce or anything else, the entire world knows your business. Think about everything that has transpired during your own adult life and then try to imagine what that would have been like splashed on television and in the tabs with everyone talking about you and speculating. This is the price that one pays for being a celebrity nowadays and all the more reason that I feel that celebrities should get the paychecks they do. Nearly every portion of their life is violated. Publicized and/or scrutinized on a daily basis.

They Really Are Like the Rest of Us…No They’re Not:

Sure, they are like us. In fact, one of my favorite personal sayings is that, ‘Stars are just like the rest of us…except with more money and a lot more problems.’ They have to eat, they have families, they have to shop, they get tired, etc. What’s not like us is pretty much everything else. Granted, I’m talking about the upper echelon of entertainers who make a lot of money at what they do.

When you are a really big deal, everyone handles your personal and professional business so you can concentrate on your job. Managers, a legal team, accountants, wealth managers, various talent agents for each area of your expertise, publicists, personal assistants, a house staff, trainers, a driver, a chef, multiple personal stylists, several hair and make-up people and business consultants. Big celebs do not exist in the regular world of most of the 9-5 crowd and I’m certain that after time, you get used to having someone fly in your favorite salad dressing from Paris or getting front row tickets to the Lakers Game just because you pick up a phone. Is this being spoiled? I don’t think so. Actors and entertainers give up a lot of the areas of their life that we perhaps don’t think about. They’re entitled to enjoy their wealth since they’ve earned it. Some celebrities don’t choose to have huge staffs or an entourage of people, but if you were a busy celebrity and you could hire people to take care of things for you and that’s what you want, why shouldn’t you? However, when you can and do have a small army of people doing everything for you, you can see how you would really lose touch with the reality of most other people.

Getting back to the cost of fame, it does come at a very high price. Sure celebs are paid well, but they lose key aspects of privacy and the pressures to keep and control a decent public image (some of which you hardly have any control over) and the responsibilities that you have to your projects and others associated with you can be immense. Having a good head on your shoulders would be perhaps one of the most valuable things you could have before becoming famous. Next time you think that famous people have it all, consider the fishbowl world in which most of them live.

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