Most of the time, with celebrities and their lifestyle, the term Idolatry comes into play. Not for all people, but the majority of fans tends to fall through the cracks of idolizing their favorite celebrities. To them, their favorite celebrity can’t do no wrong. Back in 2009, I worked for this guy who was a creative director of his own fashion shows. He would go to different colleges and offer the students modeling opportunities. A few actually hit it pretty far in their careers. Without his help, of course. And throughout the months of working for him, I came across a lot of celebrities. Rather a few local ones, but they were famous in their own right. A great deal of them definitely lived up to their reputation. When you get word about a celebrity and their perceived reputation whether it is a good one or bad one, it is always wise to judge that person based on your experience with them and not based on the experiences of others.
When I met Janet Jackson back in 2010, I was astonished by how down-to-earth and humbled she is. I recognize a lot of people will perceive her as a diva or may even be someone who is a little full of themselves because of the statue of her fame. But I can vouch and attest that she is anything but that. She is one of the most humbled celebrities you will ever encounter. The following year, I saw her sister La Toya and her brother Jermaine Jackson at their book signings here in New York City. And once again, very humbled, very friendly, and softspoken. However, there are some celebrities who do not have a great reputation and they most definitely live up to that.
A little less than a year later, I went to a show with a friend of mine. It was August of 2012 and I went to see a performance of another friend of mines here in NYC. The celebrity that was there, I was not expecting to run into her. It did not dawn to me that she would be there, because of a mutual friendship to the person whose performance I came to watch. I did not know they knew one another. I already had a perception of this individual based on watching her on TV. She rubbed me the wrong way, but I thought maybe it was just for show and she wasn’t really like that in person. I was wrong. I was excited to be at this show because it was my friend’s debut performance in NYC. And I wanted to be there out of support, my friend and I.
Let me set the ambiance for you. It was the beginning of August in Chinatown. So it was hot summery Tuesday evening, and it was one of the few nights I got to go out after having my son, who was going on a year old. My friend travelled from a different state to accompany me to this show. Forever grateful for that. So let me speed up to the actual show itself. So it’s the BET Music Matters showcase, where new and upcoming performers battle to the death show off their skills on the mic. So there were five performers, with my friend being the last performer for that evening. A little more than an hour goes by and his fans are getting a little impatient. My friend and I were enjoying the music, but we too were a little over the waiting as well. Minutes before he arrived on stage, his bandmates started setting up their equipment. We recognized them, so we knew we was about to have a good time. As it came closer to the actual performance, we got cut in front of by this small entourage. Now let me go back for a second, as I said before there were a total of five performers that night, my friend making the fifth and final one. With each performances at twenty to twenty five minutes long apiece, we waited for him for well over an hour. So when this entourage jumped in front of me and my friend, I am ready to turn up. I felt disrespected and was already exasperated by the crowd and heat. So as this group of young women are adjusting themselves in place, DJ Lyve proceeds to announce the celeb by her name. The crowd went absolutely berserk.
Okay, maybe I’m lying. The crowd is excited that she’s among the common folks, but they weren’t trying to bum rush her or anything like that. So at that moment, I am aware of who is standing in front of me and I am not as mad as before, but I am still bothered by the whole situation. Straight off a lot of people may not realize that I am a tall girl. I stand at five feet ten inches and my friend is probably a full five foot five. So she sees an opportune moment to move nearer to the stage. Close like “If-he-was-sweating-we-could-easily-get-slapped-in-the-face-by-it” close. So as this celebrity takes photos with other club goers, I proceeded to the other side of the room. Unfortunately, due to my stature and my beautiful curly fro, I was told by a cameraman in the back, that I was obstructing his view and I had to go back to my original spot. My friend, however, being height challenged got to remain where she was. So at this point, I am over this night, but then I have a light bulb (💡) moment and I decided to ask her if she would mind taking a picture with me. Mind you, she has taken pictures with several people by this time. She then goes on to tell me, “Sure. After the show.” So I don’t give it a second thought, I figured I would get my picture later on and all is well in America.
So my friend is being introduced onto the stage and I am recording the performance on my phone. My other friend is all the way up in the front and I am off center stage, but I have a fairly good view. He comes on stage, dancing and singing and the crowd is going insane. And as he is performing, I started adding things up in my mind. And I come to realize that she came here to watch him. “Oh, okay. Cool.” is what I am thinking. She came to support him and that’s neat. “The more, the merrier…” So everybody is singing along with him and dancing. I’m two-stepping, she’s in front of me two-stepping, everybody in the club is two-stepping. I guess she started to get hot because she begin to take off her jacket. I remember having to duck my face because of the way she swung her jacket around her, without any consideration to me and the people behind her. Strike one! So as the pace in his music changes from fast to slow, she and her friends started talking so loud that it actually became a disturbance to me. I didn’t come out to hear chickens cluck, I came to have a good time. Strike Two! So as the pace of his music picked up once more, this celeb started to dance again. Only this time she begins to fling her arms and her hair all over the place. I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore and I was ready to go. But I couldn’t reach my friend being so far away and with the club being so crowded, I had no choice but to remain where I was. So here I am standing here, recording his performance when I get hit not once, not twice, but three time by her hair. I am being assaulted by her hair and it wasn’t that she didn’t know, she didn’t care. So I tap her on her shoulder to tell her that she was hitting me with her hair. She turns around and shot this nasty look at me as though, I was disturbing her. And I told her, “You’re hitting me with your hair.” She just looked at me, her and her friends and just said, “Oh.” “Oh?”, I thought to myself. No “I am sorry. My bad.” Nothing. She just turns around and continues to watch the show. Y’all know that was strike three, right? I. was. LIVID.
After his performance was over, my friend walked up to me to tell me how much she enjoyed the show. I didn’t care at that moment, I was upset and furious. And as I told her what had happened, the celeb proceeded to go backstage. It took awhile for me to calm down because I didn’t understand why she was acting like that, especially towards someone she didn’t know. Eventually, my friend and I made it backstage, where we waited until after the interviews were over. She was back there with her friends, just mean mugging and looking miserable. I guess she thought that I was just another fan that just so happened to be at the show. She didn’t anticipate the fact that we both knew him, Let alone the fact that he invited me to his show just like she was. So I am greeting my friend and telling him how great he was on stage and I can literally feel her eyes burning a hole in my face. Needless to say, I didn’t get my picture. After a couple of drinks, the celeb excuses herself for the evening wished him a good night and left the club with her entourage. I couldn’t be happier. I mean, I was disturbed and confused by the whole night in itself and I was happy to see her leave.
I haven’t seen this celebrity since that night, almost four years ago and not too many people know about this encounter. It took a long time for me to not suck my teeth or roll my eyes at the sound of her name but I eventually got over what I was feeling. Then recently, I was watching a show about Kids growing up in the hip-hop world and I was watching a scene with her in it and got flashbacks from that night. I realized that this is her personality, this is her genuine self. And as I watched this scene I thought to myself, “Celebrities are human. They are the same as you and me. We are going to like them and we are not going to like them, but that’s life. That is just the way it is.” I don’t know If I will ever cross paths with her again, I am not against it. I just hope she carries herself in a better light the next time.