Famous for Fifteen People

In 1968, Andy Warhol famously claimed, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

At least in our current version of Warhol’s future, it’s not quite accurate. I think a better expression would be, “famous for fifteen people.”

I know a lot of people who lead normal lives most of the time, but spend a small percentage of the time signing autographs like rockstars. A friend recently went to her hotel coffee shop in pajamas one morning, realizing too late she was in the rare location where she was famous.

A colleague and former student recently surprised his class with a Skype coaching with Craig Hella Johnson. Johnson goes unrecognized 99% of his life, but he was famous in that classroom – the students screamed when he was revealed.

My oldest son: “If The Real Group is the best in the world, how come no one in my class has heard of them?” That’s the nature of 21st Century fame.

“I want to be famous” never really worked as a career goal, but I think it’s completely impossible now. Better to say, “I want to do really interesting work.” So interesting that you’ll be famous – to fifteen people.


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