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Everybody Dies Famous

We all deserve an Academy Award.

A hairbrush is not just a hairbrush.

A hairbrush is a handheld microphone for you to sing into while you dance around your bedroom, performing for an imaginary crowd of screaming fans.

Your morning commute is not just your morning commute.

Your morning commute is an 8 AM rehearsal for your Academy Award acceptance speech.

A selfie is not just a selfie.

A selfie is only a small portion of that exhausting, six outfit photoshoot you did this morning for Vogue’s summer collection.

Sometimes, in the midst of pretending to be an international pop sensation who drinks room temperature water, I actually forget that I’m an incredibly average, normal person whose autograph is not worth two million dollars (yet).

After graduating high school, I did what a lot of people advised me to do and chose a "practical" career path instead of my dreams. I also did what a lot of people advised me not to do, and I put my aspirations on the back burner to pursue a degree. 

There are moments I get discouraged while working at my minimum wage paying job instead of going to auditions for a TV show. Sometimes I get really frustrated when I must memorize business calc formulas instead of lines for a Broadway play. And don’t even get me started on driving myself places instead of having a chauffeur.

There are also moments, though, when I pass Unicycle Tanner on my college campus and am reminded that because he rides a one-wheeled bike to class every single day, there is not a single student at my university who does not know his name. I am also reminded of the kids who I grew up with doing theatre, and that after performing a lead role in some low-budget production of Grease, they will have 6-year-olds run up to them in McDonald’s and ask for their autographs. There is also a seventy-year-old man who stands inside of my hometown Walmart every Sunday afternoon selling homemade bread, and every teenager in the entire county knows his wrinkled, smiling face.

The celebrities we follow on social media and the superstars whose lives we stalk through reality television shows, they are not special and unique and talented because they are famous. They are famous because they are special and unique and talented. Similarity, we are not without talent or boring or worthless just because we are not famous. Our brilliance, esteem, and beauty still exist, even if those qualities have never been put under a spotlight and showcased to the world. 

The Kardashians are famous because their father was the lawyer of an accused murderer. Guy Fieri is famous because he drives around the country taste-testing food. Dr. Phil is famous because he hosts a talk-show on which individuals seek advice and direction for their lives. We all have experiences, abilities, and characteristics that someone would find fame-worthy. Whether or not we ever see ourselves on the cover of People Magazine does not determine that.

Maybe fame comes in more forms than one, and maybe it’s unfair to call ourselves “average” or mediocre just because we don’t travel by limo or see our faces on the cover of People Magazine. Maybe fame is anything that makes you notable, and maybe you don’t have to be on the Top 100 charts to have people point at you in a fast food restaurant.

I'm not the 19 year-old pop music singer I always imagined being, but I still have daily concerts in my car. The paparazzi does not harass me at the grocery store, but I do always get a wave or two from familiar faces. I have spent my entire life dreaming of fame, without realizing that we are all celebrities already, in a way that no one else is.

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