Koos Kombuis

Seven pitfalls celebrities should avoid

2012-10-16 13:57
Recently, a tongue-in-cheek article was published by Lebo Matshego about the Seven Habits of Highly Successful Celebrities.

Being a low-key celebrity myself, I found the list of tips hilariously funny. It also made me think of something else: The things that frequently go wrong in the lives of celebrities.

If you are a celebrity, or want to become a celebrity, there are certain pitfalls to avoid. In retrospect, these pitfalls are so obvious that it's quite surprising they happen to celebrities again and again. Yet they do. Some of them (not the first one on my list, but some of the others) have happened to me, to my great embarrassment.

Celeb Pitfall No 1: Don't marry a trophy wife/husband
With the possible exception of writer Chris Barnard and director Katinka Heyns, I have yet to see a marriage between two celebrities that did not eventually unravel, usually quite spectacularly. A marriage is not like a merger in the business world, nor is it a career move. I know it's true what Lebo says, a messy divorce is good publicity, but there are less painful ways of getting the same amount of publicity, for example puking on stage (see pitfall no 6 on my list).

Celeb Pitfall No 2: Don't marry a groupie or a fan
At first, it might be flattering to constantly be in the company of someone who absolutely admires everything you do. But the novelty is sure to wear off. There are people out there who seriously believe that my wife asks me to sing Lisa se Klavier to her every night before we go to bed. I don't. She would divorce me if I tried. She hates that song with a passion, and, to be honest, after hearing it about five thousand times, so do I.

Celeb Pitfall No 3: Don't write too many autobiographies
I wrote three, and the second and third ones sold very badly. I discovered the hard way that people out there are not as interested as I am in my private hopes and fears, my grudges, my memories. Reading a celebrity's autobiography is like landing next to a pompous, talkative asshole on a plane. Don't give your fans the whole story; if you do, they will have nothing left to gossip about.

Celeb Pitfall No 4: Don't get into a public argument with another celebrity (not even Steve Hofmeyr)
No matter how much you dislike someone, you will always have your fans, and they will always have theirs. That is why it's probably not a good idea to take part in a Roast, either as the Roaster or the Roastee. Those spats have a tendency to backfire. Contrary to Lebo's philosophy, not all publicity is good publicity!  

Celeb Pitfall No 5: Don't overestimate your own popularity
Your shows might be sold-out in the Pofadder church hall, but that doesn't mean you're ready for the Oppikoppi main stage. Recently, I opened a Huisgenoot by accident – I know I shouldn't have, but I was in pain in a doctor's waiting room and I wasn't thinking clearly – and, to my great surprise, I saw an article about someone called Manie Jackson who said to a reporter: "fame destroyed my marriage". Oh, really? Baffled, I asked all the other people in the waiting room who the hell this bloke was, and not a single one of them had ever heard of him either! Poor ol' Manie! A whole marriage destroyed for no reason at all!

Celeb Pitfall No 6. Don't be embarrassed about doing really stupid things on stage
These include being drunk, puking, forgetting your words, whatever. Justin Bieber has puked on stage, so has Lady Gaga. Arno Carstens and Jan Blohm has been drunk, and it did wonders for their careers. I forget my lyrics almost every night, and I tell you, it's a great ice-breaker. Behaving like an idiot in public endears you to everyone, it makes them realise how human you are. Even if you have to go into rehab for a while, that will only make your CD sales go up and it's fantastic publicity. As long as you don't write a book about it as well.

Celeb Pitfall No 7: Know when to stop
Of course, there isn't a hard-and-fast rule about this: Madonna should have stopped long ago, but Bob Dylan is still carrying on, although, like myself, he's starting to use the same chords over and over again, so his days are probably numbered. Even Paul McCartney has had the decency of scaling down when he reached the mythical age of 64. Elvis, on the other hand, left it too long, and look where it got him.
Well, that's about it for now. I hope you find these tips helpful! And if you don't ever become a celebrity, believe me, there are other occupations that are much more hassle-free and rewarding. Such as gardening.

Read more on:    koos kombuis  |  celebrities

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