Behind the Spotlight

At some point in our lives, we all want the fame and fortune or should I say the fame that comes with fortune and not the fortune that comes with fame. From the outside looking in, showbiz looks like one harmless party filled with glamour, money and cameras, but the darkness that lies behind the spotlight is where the truth about the industry is.

When you become a celebrity, the attention you receive is far more than you have experienced before. People will say what you want to hear without even meaning it just to buy your face and reap the benefits of your stardom. You’ll have tons of Facebook and Twitter followers as your congregation and whatever you post will be like the gospel to them as they polish your ego and boost your wounded self-esteem because the popularity will make you feel validated.

Your real friends who knew you before it all, will begin to feel like you have changed because you treat them like groupies and they can no longer be honest with you without you accusing them of being jealous and this is because industry friends and hangers-on will encourage you to do whatever you want, whether right or wrong, as long as it makes them look cool in your eyes.

Soon enough you adapt to their habits because you also want to seem cool and that’s when all hell breaks loose and your success is the flame that keeps it burning. The glasses of wine and cocktail are no longer an occasional thing, they become a way of life plus your new industry buddies will always be at your service.

They will introduce you to their addictions, but what you don’t realize is that they do so in order for you to get hooked and eventually be the one that maintains those habits for them. Even your peers who are also celebrities will befriend you just to keep their names alive at the expense of yours, but you will be too busy thinking that everybody loves you so you will not see who’s genuine and who’s not and then the absence of your real friends will go unnoticed.

Access to sex, drugs and alcohol suddenly becomes a few text buttons away and your excuse is you’re “under pressure” or you’re “celebrating life”.

Your creativity starts depending on substances, but the unfortunate thing is you won’t even be sober enough to execute the task well. Many have come and gone before you with the same mentality, who thought they were invincible until that moment when the bad press caught up and brands stopped investing in them.

Some died, some recovered, but a lot have lost so much they had worked hard to achieve, from being evicted to having cars repossessed and debts piling up. Your next best option becomes sexual favors to people who are in a position to keep you in the spotlight and soon, this habit starts to feel normal.

What you don’t know is that behind closed doors, the industry is whispering about your sycophantic ways and before you know it, the media turns its back on you. Your talent went to waste and your entourage starts to distance itself from you so they can protect their own reputations and your Facebook/Twitter congregation will be the first ones to judge you in the meanest way.

The friends you left behind have moved on with their lives and all you are to them is an example of how they don’t wanna end up. Everybody gave up on you and there’s not many people you can successfully convince that you’ve changed and those that do believe you, can’t even help. Eventually, you also give up on yourself and self-destruct because you feel like you have nothing to live for.

A guy once told me that showbiz will give you exactly what you’re after, whether it’s success, drugs or sex. It’s all about what you do with the spotlight when it shines on you and whatever it is, the people will see it.

@LeratoFiniza

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