Most middle school dreams are filled with a common thing…a desire to be famous.  Is that what this life has come to?  A simple desire to be famous for the sake of being famous?  Really?

Well, I had the joy of meeting and talking with Renee Zellweger the other day, but when I woke up to an email from a friend that said: “Is that Renee Zellweger carrying your book?” I couldn’t believe it.  But, then again, is it really that hard to believe?  We live in such a celebrity infatuated society that a girl……like Renee can’t go to Starbucks and write without someone snapping 25 pictures of the entire thing?  My question to the kids out there is this: Do you really wanna be a celebrity when some of your most basic freedoms are taken away from you without permission? A few weeks ago, my wife and I were almost hit by three different paparazzi vehicles hauling after a celebrity on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.  There we were riding my 1983 Honda C-70 Scooter when three cars cut in front of us.  Okay….wait a minute…I have to take a side bar…how’s this for irony which just hit me between the eyes like a paparazzi long lens.

I bought that scooter from a children’s book author named Lisa Rojany Buccieri.  When I went to Lisa’s house to pick up the title for the scooter, I noticed all the children’s books lining the shelves of her home office.  Lisa also wrote Writing Children’s Books For Dummies. I never read the book, but back then Saltwater Taffy was a badly written screenplay and I remember thinking; “Hmm, maybe I should write Saltwater Taffy as a book for kids?” Who says life doesn’t have a master plan for us all?  Who says we aren’t constantly guided and protected.

When my friend Kimber alerted me to the pictures (she knew I met Renee yesterday because I told my friends on Facebook that Renee was a real sweetheart) I began to think about what a celebrity has to deal with on a day to day basis, especially in Los Angeles.

This Media Bistro website has something like 20 shots of Renee leaving Starbucks yesterday.  Can you imagine what her public life is like?  Based on the car chase that almost killed my wife and me, I’m guessing a girl like Renee can’t do ANYTHING or go ANYWHERE without someone taking her picture.  Sure, you might think that’s cool for a minute, but every…single…day?  There’s even video of Renee walking across the street.  Leave the girl alone, man!

Actors are simply doing what they love and well, celebritism goes along with that, but we now live in a world where people want to be famous for famous sake.  Reality stars like those knuckleheads on Jersey Shores or Big Brother, simply want to be famous.

Did the experience of not being cool in high school mess everyone up so much that all we want from life is to be recognized and on some magazine cover?  Is the cool people list really that important?  Ya know the list I’m talking about, those exclusive parties you could never get into if you weren’t a celebrity?  NEWS FLASH: I want to let you in on a little secret.  It’s all perception, man. Working on a film set is hard work.  Long hours away from your family and those ‘Hollywood parties?’  Please.  Ask any celebrity about those ‘is your name on the list’ parties.  98% of them can’t WAIT to leave.  The other 2%?  Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan.  Check please!

Eric DelaBarre is an award winning filmmaker and the author of Saltwater Taffy: A Novel of Adventure & Self-discovery. Copyright October 6, 2010 All Rights Reserved

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