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5 lessons to learn from…celebrities?

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Kim D'EonCelebrity.

The notion elicits a different reaction depending on who you’re talking to.

We all have our own relationship with celebrities and celebrity culture, whether we consume it, aspire to it or are grotesquely repulsed by it. No matter how you feel about it, celebrity undoubtedly rears its shiny, fabricated, hyper-manic, glossy head (full of perfectly coiffed hair) into your inner sanctum.

After spending 7 years entrenched in the world of celebrity as an entertainment reporter, I’ve gleaned quite a unique perspective on the topic.

There are so many things to say about the fame machine that I couldn’t possibly tackle all at once. So, for the sake of this blog, I’m not going to focus on why we’re obsessed with celebrities or how the machine keeps feeding our addiction (there’s lots to say about that…especially in an age of celebs “behaving badly”). If it “bleeds, it leads” still sells stories in the entertainment realm. And there’s no shortage of headlines about celebs run amok. Someone forgot their underwear, someone smoked salvia, someone tweeted inappropriately or spat on their fans.  You know. The usual.

Instead, (for now) I’m going to start things on a positive note and talk about what we can all learn from celebrities to cultivate and achieve our own super-star status in any field of our choice.

Don’t believe me yet? Be prepared to take notes.

1)   Get pro headshots!

If you’re a professional actor, you already have a great headshot. But, even if you’re in any other line of work, you too also need a great headshot. With the undeniable proliferation and integration of social media in our world, you need to have an awesome image of your mug to represent you in your best light within the social stratosphere (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, personal website, speaking bio…whatever!) You NEED a proper headshot not something you found on your iphone where you cropped your friend out. On shoot day, make sure to get a variety of shots, not just the straight up head-and-shoulders and close ups. Although you might not feel as comfortable in front of the camera as a celeb, try it anyway. Turn some music on and go for it! Ask to do a few candid or editorial-style shots. These will be great for promotional material and just plain awesome to look back on when you’re 85. Do it.  (If you can’t afford to pay for a pro shooter, ask a friend for a favour. Use a proper camera. Shoot in some soft, cloudy daylight and take hundreds of shots. There’s bound to be a few great ones amongst them).

2)   Write a great bio

Google any celebrity and you will find a biography on all the amazing things they’ve done with their lives and careers. Either a publicist has been paid to write it, or information has been accumulated by rabid fans and written into a short, loving, amazing synopsis of this person. You should have that! Even if you don’t have a specific place for this bio to live right now, you’ll be surprised at how good it feels just to write one and look at all your most notable achievements in one or two happy paragraphs.

3)   Promote yourself!

Celebrities have teams of publicists and PR firms who promote the hell out of their clients. At every turn, a celebrity is promoting or selling a movie, a clothing line a perfume…etc…Yes, it can be obnoxious. But, you’re not obnoxious, so don’t worry about it. Obviously, celebs have the kind of profile that gets their stuff promoted on huge platforms like national talk shows…you may not be there, yet…but you have social media! Now’s not the time to be bashful. Just be authentic. Don’t think of it as tooting your own horn. It’s the only way people are going to know about all the awesome things you are doing/creating/experiencing. Plus, you never know who is going to see those tweets. It might lead to your next big gig.

4)   Get out of the country!

Celebs are lucky enough to travel the world on locations shoots and press tours. All that traveling makes them (the thoughtful ones) more interesting and cultured. Traveling broadens your horizons, creates amazing memories and gives you really interesting things to talk about. The first two reasons alone are worth the time and money for your own personal development, but the third one will be good for your professional development too. A huge part of what we do involves networking and attending industry events. You will shine like the star that you are when you have cool stories to share about your adventures. Sharing your unique travel memories makes you more memorable.

5)   Don’t forget to party

At then end of every major accomplishment in Hollywood, there is some sort of “wrap” party. Celebs have no problem patting themselves on the back for a job well done.  They seriously NEVER get sick of it. You should give yourself a round of applause every now and then. I’m sure you’re already working away at small, achievable goals that lead to bigger ones. Well, when you’ve made some progress, reward yourself! It may not be some elaborate, catered event with mini bratwurst sausage pogo sticks or foie gras lollipops. Maybe you have a few friends over to drink wine, eat triscuits and do mutual mani-pedis or maybe you go rock-climbing as a group…whatever your cup of tea is, don’t deprive yourself waiting for the day you win an Oscar to celebrate your achievements. This business is full of ups and downs and a lot of hard knocks – be kind to yourself. Celebrate YOURSELF!

 

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About Kim D'Eon

Kim is an award-winning reporter and television host. She has spent the last 15 years reporting on a wide range of topics including consumer advocacy, current affairs, entertainment and food. Her resume boasts contributions to such popular and critically acclaimed shows as Street Cents, Marketplace, The Hour and Family Cook Off. She is best known for her work on Entertainment Tonight Canada where she spent 7 years traveling the world interviewing some of the biggest celebrities of our time. Kim is also an Ambassador of Change for CARE Canada, an aid organization that aims to empower girls and women in developing countries. Kim was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and lives in Toronto. She holds an honors degree in journalism.