Friday, November 20, 2009

The Fear of Fame


Sorry guys, I haven't been posting lately. Shame on me! Slap me with your ring hand. It's been pretty busy lately, as I'm trying to focus on stuff outside of porn. Have an upcoming project producing a corporate video, while I look for new work in mainstream media. Also, had a recent photo shoot with Steven Blank, but wanted to wait until I have photos from that before I updated the blog with the info. Have to get ready for some upcoming trips to Toronto next weekend, and L.A. the weekend after that, for my appearance at 'Cocktails with the Stars'. Everything in my life seems to be getting faster, and I just had to take a deep breath before plugging away at it again.

There's something I've wanted to write about for awhile, but was unsure how to begin. People have the general perspective that being famous is a good thing. I've always looked at it as a double-edged sword. Working in media from the age of 17 as a model and writer, to what I do now as a producer/model.... I've pretty much seen it all. For the longest time I was wary about doing anything in front of the camera, beyond the occasional modeling shoot... because I could see how it changed people. Not only you as the subject matter, the object of affection.... the star. But also, people around you... their perspective of you, and how they felt about themselves. For many of you.... Race Cooper is your first introduction to who I am. However, there are a whole slew of people that are used to me as J.R. Anderson, from a travel show I hosted a long time ago. I fell into that job, by accident... and although I'd been around famous people a great deal, I was unprepared at how things would change.

Simply put, I was freaked out by how the publicity of one's life becomes a persona onto itself. It wasn't all negative. I had some great interactions with fans, and had some wonderful fan emails that were heartfelt and still make me smile, but there is more to that.... Any time I tried to stay 'real' in an interview or talking with anyone on camera frankly, I would be giving part of myself away. It's an inevitable thing. Those that would watch me, would be watching me in the comfort of their own home. Automatically feeling a connection with someone that was in their living room, bedroom, in their daily lives. Suddenly, my persona was not my own.... it was theirs, and anything I said publicly, could then be owned by the public. The only thing is.... when I did the travel show, I didn't have any persona. I shunned the idea of it, not wanting to become something I wasn't. I was essentially the same guy I was, when having a beer with friends, that I was on screen. Looking back, for my own safety... that was a mistake. It's no surprise that people related well to me.... I was being me. But it came with a cost of having strangers on the street, grab my ass for no reason, people I'd never met before saying how their life growing up was just like mine, and eventually about three stalkers I had to try to avoid in Toronto. Even friends who had known me forever changed, and would introduce me to other people not by my name.... but by my name, and then by the show I was hosting. It took it's toll on me.... and after my season ended... I took a very long break from the spotlight.

Coming back to the spotlight now... I realize that I was afraid to talk about that time. But if I didn't, it would start repeating itself. The weird fans, and emails have started again... and although I'm better prepared to deal with it, there's a knot in my stomach when I think about how crazy things could get. Fear is powerful. Americans consume it like it's a product. My only answer to battling my fear of fame, is to embrace the fact that entertaining and connecting with people, is what I was born to do. Regardless of the land mines that come with it, I won't let it get to me.... and talking about it, is the first step. Everyone should have a healthy respect for fame. I've gone into it, and know exactly what to expect, and can't cry foul because of it.... but at the same time... those that watch me, shouldn't expect to know everything about me, and should understand that under all the adoration, glorified images, and lights..... I'm just a regular guy, with fears just like the rest of you. I'm just now taking the last step, to becoming totally fearless.

6 comments:

  1. I got a sneak peek at those shots with Steven this morning. The elevator shaft was crazy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was a joy and an honor to work with you on our shoot. Your wisdom and depth is perhaps matched only by your strength and charisma in front of the lens. I am deeply moved by how much of your self you reveal to the world. It feels like you are more naked in this blog post then you are in any photograph or video. Thank you for your astounding honesty and clarity.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well Stated!... Having worked in the television business for a LONG time and with professional athletes, I witness EXACTLY what you describe above to friends and co-workers and each of them have tackled it both successfully and not so much... It would make a VERY interesting graduate thesis for someone to pursue!.. Keep up the great work and looking forward to what your future projects include!

    ReplyDelete
  4. as a Psychotherapist I found this blog topic of particular interest. obviously I can't speak for others BUT I wonder what it's like being in your particular career, how do you navigate around the pitfalls of the business.. ie. people feeling that because you are a porn star that you are easy.. I can only imagine... How can you determine when someone truly LOVES / as in care for you as a person/ brother / friend and NOT as a someone thay would like to meet just to have a lay. I sense from you that you have GREAT instincts and I would guess it comes with experience over time.. I can empathise with the sentiments expressed above re the perils of fame.
    You know Race one of the reasons I wanted to meet you is because I find you interesting as the things you say in your blog has led mne to determimne that you have a BRILLIANT mind... I am really into guys that are deep.. sexing a porn star means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to me. its on the BOTTOM of the list for me. As I see you as a person, NO more no less. its a JOB.. I am very impressed with the way you think and your self confidence.. I truly believe in the corny adage" you never know a mans feeling till you walk in his shoe" . Must say I read where you are married. I think I saw you with your partner outside the Castro when I was visiting there in June...outside at the AVN awards. I have the greatest respect it must take a lot of faith, respect, trust on both sides to be married and in this business.
    I hope somneday we will meet, if its destined to be, and get to know each other as friends if its not meant to be that is cool too. life goes on... experience life for all its worth follow your GUT it will guide you along this journey.

    Sorry for the epistle LOLLLLLLLLLLLLL.but I wa smoved by this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Now, a few years after posting this, and many accomplishments and insights later, I would be very interested in knowing your current perspective on fame and your life approaching the 40 year mark!

    ReplyDelete