2 WOMEN, 14 DAYS. THE GOAL? ACHIEVE BOLD FACE STATUS
SIGHTINGS: Spotted last night at a giant bash at Nobu: fashionista cuties Karen Robinovitz and Melissa De La Cruz. Karen was heard saying she's "still exhausted" from her recent Bungalow 8 birthday party that would have made P. Diddy jealous. Apparently, she was wearing two million dollars' worth of Harry Winston diamonds (including the 22-carat ring Whoopie Goldberg wore to the Oscars) and was constantly shadowed by a bodyguard named Lou who was straight out of a Scorsese film. Melissa, also fatigued from the fast track, just hosted an intimate dinner party at a swanky Upper East Side restaurant attended by trend-setting journos from New York magazine, The Observer, Allure, "Page Six" as well as the indefatigable Michael Musto-and as part of the gift bag giveaway, the whole crew is being flown to Miami to stay at a five-star resort favored by the likes of Will Smith.
Asked how they managed to go from barely-known freelance writers to A-list celebrities in just fourteen days, they coyly spilled the beans: Marie Claire called with the assignment, and they simply begged, clawed, cried, borrowed, cheated, lied, stole, and bribed their way to fame. Their how-to tips to stardom include "Pick an M&M color to hate, and stick to it." And they're writing a book, daaahlings, so whether you live in New York or Nebraska, you too can have the goods to claim your own fame and become legendary.
Charged with making themselves famous in two weeks for a Marie Claire article, New Yorkers de la Cruz and Robinovitz figured "how hard could it be?" They soon learned that becoming the latest It girls was not as easy as strapping on a pair of Manolos and giving in-depth interviews about the contents of their wardrobes. In this sassy and shamelessly shallow guide to landing in the limelight, the authors-de la Cruz wrote the novel Cat's Meow and Robinovitz writes for Harper's Bazaar and Elle-explain the ins and outs of the fame game, covering everything from exposure ("there's no such thing as bad publicity, darling") to gaining entrance to happening nightclubs ("start dropping names"). Although the authors realize they're not exactly staples of the Page Six set, they do have plenty of anecdotes to share about media manipulation and snagging goody bags at parties. It makes for a pointless yet entertaining look at the often frightening world of fame.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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June 30, 2003
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Excerpt from How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less by Melissa de la Cruz
STEP I Days 1—2: A “BRAND” NEW YOU As a star, it’s important to be instantly recognizable, even when you’re hiding in plain sight in a baseball cap and sunglasses. What is Gwyneth without her beautiful blond locks? J.Lo without her bodacious butt? Gwen Stefani without her steel midriff bared? Celebrities are like boxes of cereal—packaged and promoted to offer a consistent, bite-size message, so that everything from the clothes they wear to the color of their hair is a reflection of their particular trademark. The first order of business on your search for the spotlight is to start thinking of yourself as a product, a commodity, and a brand. Witness the golden arches of McDonald’s. Every time you see the giant yellow M in the sky, you know you deserve a break today. You, my friend, will need to acquire your own set of golden arches, that certain je ne sais quois that will make people think—even subconsciously—of you every time they see it. The trick is being true to yourself—and possibly coming up with a fabulous stage name (flirt with prestigious identifiable brand names like Kennedy or Rockefeller, or think about adding “Von” or “de” before your last name to give it an upper-crust spin). You also need to be original. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but the public can spot a cheap knockoff a mile away (Although for some reason boy-band amnesia seems to set in every five years; the success of ’N Sync was spawned from the Backstreet Boys, which in turn was coded from the DNA of New Kids on the Block, which really stemmed from New Edition, a total reproduction of the Jackson Five). Take it from us, the Fame Highway is littered with celebrity roadkill: starlets and also-rans who never elevated themselves from the Blond Clone Army to Hollywood Heaven. If you don’t want to become a bloody mess, discarded like yesterday’s trash, your brand must be strong—and likable. In private you can be as quirky, odd, and contradictory as you want. But in the public eye, your brand should always come first. Whether it’s the calling cards you hand out at a party, the type of drink you order at a bar, or the kind of car you drive and the esoteric monikers you name your kids (Demi Moore named her three daughters Rumer, Scout Larue, and Tallulah Belle, for heaven’s sake!), you need to adopt a larger-than-life persona and live it to the hilt. Exhausting? Maybe. But Hugh Hefner didn’t become Hef without his silken PJs and breast-implanted accessories. This chapter will help get you started by teaching you to establish your brand name. We will delineate the types of personas you can adopt (nothing like a little multiple-personality disorder amongst friends). Once you pick your MO, we’ll show you how to use it to your advantage and keep up appearances, from creating a business card and letterhead to assembling your own press kit, honing your personal celebrity style, bulking up your social calendar to its desired A-list status, and asking for what you want without making apologies for it (it’s called being high-maintenance, and nothing’s wrong with that). Be warned, all of this may come with possible public humiliation, but that’s to be expected. Renée Zellweger didn’t have us at hello until she made at least a dozen films that flopped, including Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1994. THE BEGINNING: ACQUIRE THE FAME PERSONA THE NAKED TRUTH Karen I was Rollerblading down Second Avenue on a sunny Monday morning. At Forty-second Street I stopped at a red light. I didn’t spot any oncoming cars, so I decided to go. The second I started to roll, a Volvo came f