Playing The Fame Game - When will I be famous?
Seriously, working for a living is just so last year. There is only one way to secure your future and have fun along the way. You need to get famous. Don't worry, it's not even that difficult in this era of wall-to-wall reality TV and social media. In this 10-step guide, Pat Fitzpatrick shows you how to get started on your mission to become the new Kim Kardashian
1. FAT-SHAMED - One thing is clear. There aren't enough overweight people out there to meet the demands of fat-shaming reality-TV shows. It won't be long before fat-shaming has a channel all of its own. Like Channel 4, if they got rid of the news, says you. Very cynical.
You know what this means. Pies. All of them. In your mouth. Give it a month and you'll have a camera crew in your house, saying things such as: "Sorry, could you waddle out towards the fridge there again so we can get a poignant shot for the trailer."
These shows have a narrative. A team of good-looking doctors arrives at your house with the news that you are a disgrace. You take it on one of your chins and agree to go on a four-week diet and exercise regime. It's hugs all round at the end. You don't want to play that game. Not if you want to become a global sensation. The standard format gives you two shots at going viral.
The first is when Dr Good-Looking Young One says you only have a month to live if you don't give up the batter burgers. Start crying when she says this. She asks if the tears are because you allowed yourself to get so close to death. You reply no, it's more that you will miss the batter burgers. You'll be all over Facebook in an hour. They love it when Dr Good-Looking Young One gets put back in her skinny box.
Another opportunity is when said doctor lays out your food consumption for the week on a very large table. She asks how this makes you feel. You reply: "Proud and very, very hungry, babes." Then get stuck into a plate of ribs, Cookie Monster style. That's a million hits on YouTube right there.
2. FACE REALITY
Let's make one thing clear. We want X Factor to go on forever. Otherwise Louis will have loads of free time, which he will use to inflict another raft of boy bands on us. We've suffered enough on that front.
That said, you don't want to be part of it. X Factor has become a vehicle to torture warblers. Particularly the judges' houses bit, which should be called You'll Never Be Able To Afford This.
The future is in staged reality shows such as Made In Chelsea. That's where you want to be.
Fade Street was one Irish show that gave it a go. It should have run for a decade, except they launched it in 2010, just when the country started to run out of young people. Or, to be more precise, young people started to run out of the country.
The time is ripe for another one. Dublin is once more of full of attractive, horny young people who don't seem to do any work. If you doubt this, just pop into UCD.
It's du jour to pretend to be loaded again, so you want to be in a show about the idle rich. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Get RTE to produce a show about posh D4 people called Made In Donnybrook. The hipsters will love the ironic title. They'll do all the spade work on Twitter and Facebook to publicise your show for free. Don't worry about the ethics of this. They're under 30. They wouldn't know what to do if someone actually paid them for their time.
We recommend you adopt a ludicrously posh accent that couldn't possibly be your own. (Just look how well that worked for Graham Norton.) As for your co-stars, you'll need to find 10 young posh people in Dublin 4 who don't seem to do any work. Allocate about 30 minutes for this task.
3. SEXY SHOTS
You'll need a few decent shots of you in the nip. Obviously that alone won't be enough to help you stand out these days. Not when 79pc of people with a smartphone say things like, "I think I'll send Larry a photo of my tits - sure what could possibly go wrong?"
The nudie photos are more for when you find a little bit of fame, and then lose it. There's nothing like a shot of you pouting like a trout in the bathroom mirror to get back in the news. Obviously, the ideal way to spread this is to put these photos up on the cloud and wait for some hacker to steal them. The risk here is no one will bother and you'll feel both cheap and unimportant. (We've all been there.)
Better to go with The Mistake Tweet. That's when you accidentally tweet a photo of yourself pouting like a trout in your knickers. The downside is that people from Mullingar to Mongolia will think you are a complete eejit. The upside is that it never did any harm to Kim Kardashian. So you know what to do.
Be careful if your photo is meant for an Irish audience. It's fine in other countries to show a bit of panache in your naughty selfie. Unfortunately, in Ireland, you still need to pretend you are 'down-to-earth'. Which is another way of saying your underwear needs to be from Penneys. (Or TK Maxx if you're over 40. In which case you might want to give the whole nudie photo thing a wide berth.)
One final thing. Mammy will hate the photos. Of course she won't say that directly, because that's not her way. What she will say is: "I think your nipples need a bit of work." Be prepared for that.
4. ROMANTICALLY LINKED
Obviously we are hoping that Nadia Forde lives forever. But if not, there is a good chance her gravestone will bear the inscription: 'Once dated Rory McIlroy.' She has raised the bar for anyone looking to lever themselves up on the fame of another. That's the standard now.
There is huge mileage in any Rory story. Hopefully he will be single when you are launching your bid for fame. The media can't stand anyone being single. They are tortured by the notion that he or she is having loads of fun. So all you have to do is follow Rory around the golf course for an entire tournament. That should be enough to get you tagged as a mystery blonde. (Top tip: If you are not one already, dye your hair blonde. It's mysterious, apparently.) The normal thing here is to deny the relationship. But normal never made anyone famous. So say that you and Rory have already discussed the wedding. It's not like you're the first blonde who assumed she'd be getting married to him.
This route to fame is trickier for men. You might think there is gender equality in the romantically linked route. Right up to the moment you start appearing in internet lists titled 10 Total Pussies Who Have to Walk 2 Paces behind their Famous Girlfriends. And there's a picture of you skulking along a red carpet looking like Hugh Grant with extra sheepishness. It's never a good look. The best you can hope for here is a spot on a reality show made for TV3. You'll end up running a lighthouse with someone who was nearly on Tallafornia. If that's your idea of fame, one thing is for certain. You're going to make it.
5. THE SMELL OF SUCCESS
Obviously, you'll want to cash in on your fame. Unless you feel fame is some kind of vocation, in which case we strongly recommend you go back on your medication. (You should make no secret of the fact that you are on more meds than a busload of Michael Jacksons. The greater the fame, the greater the meds. That's how it works.)
It's important you get your timing right when it comes to releasing a range of accessories. On one hand, you need to act famous if you want people to think you are famous. On the other hand, it might be an idea to wait until you have 200 followers on Twitter before you release Eau de Jacinta. (By the way, if your name is actually Jacinta, a deed-poll name change costs about €30. Talk about money well spent.)
Still, a fragrance is a great way to go. You are going to be asked what your fragrance says about you. Don't tell the truth. Nobody wants to go around reeking of desperation.
Actually, steer clear of Eau du Jacinta type names for your fragrance. That sounds like something on sale at Mammy's hairdresser. You want something that captures your motivation or essence. Lady Gaga has one called Fame. If you're Irish, you could always go with Insecurity. Although we are more bolshie about ourselves these days. So maybe try Feck The Begrudgers.
Of course there are other accessories. Rihanna has her own range of clothing, for example. Not that she publicises it a lot, what with her usually appearing in the nip. Here's one guaranteed conversation if you go down that route. You: "Hey Dad, I'm getting my own clothes line." Dad: "Great love, you're wasting a fortune with that bloody tumble dryer." Dad. He's a right eejit.
6. SOCIAL MEDIA
Let's face it, you're not Jennifer Lawrence. Unless of course you are. In which case, any chance of a loan? Jennifer announced last November she will never use Facebook or Twitter to connect with her fans. The poor woman has to rely on The Hunger Games, one of the biggest movie franchises of all time, to keep her in the limelight. You're probably not so lucky.
So here is your three-step guide to making a splash on social media. 1: Join Twitter. 2: Become mildly famous. 3: Leave Twitter.
Nothing upsets the Twitter crowd more than a minor celeb closing their account. (Except maybe a tweet saying there are more than enough women presenting radio shows. That drives them nuts)
Leaving Twitter will get you on every media outlet in the country. They will all want to know how you get through the day without reading the same opinion from 200 different people. You say that you had a particularly bad experience with a troll. Who, as we all know, was your brother Kevin using the Twitter name @ignoredbyhotchicks. It's not like he needed much encouragement to call you an ugly gobshite in front of 200m people. Better still, he'll do it for free. Brothers are great that way.
With any luck, some gullible eejits will start a campaign to get you back on Twitter. They just won't be able to bear the thought of someone not knowing what they are cooking for dinner. All going to plan, you'll be back on the tweets in two months. The gullible eejits will tell all their followers about your return and to be nice to you. Our guess is you'll have doubled your number of fans. If not, it's back to @ignoredbyhotchicks. You'd be lost without him.
7. YOUR MEMOIRS
You're a loser these days with anything less than three memoirs. Wayne Rooney is the benchmark. He's got a five-book deal, with three books out before he hit 30. That's left him spread fairly thin. And not just on top, says you. Still, if you plan to follow Wayne, you can't afford to leave anything out. Your first book should be called The Early Years and open as follows: "It was just another ordinary day in my mother's womb."
If you are a sports star, then there is no need to worry about putting anything juicy in your book. Just bring it out around September, and loads of people will get it as a Christmas present for their fathers at 4:29pm on Christmas Eve. It's the golden rule of Christmas presents - nobody gives a damn about Dad. It's different for stars outside the sporting arena. You are in a very tough market. Your traditional middle-aged target audience are all reading young-adult books like The Hunger Games because they think it makes them down with the kids. (As against pathetic.) You'll need something huge to get your book out there. And we're not talking about a misunderstanding with a former boy-band star in the jacks at some awards show. We've all been there at this stage.
You could take a leaf out of Roy Keane's books. There's a man who knows how to stay in the public eye when his book is on the shelves. His strategy for the last one was simple. 1: Grow a hilarious beard. 2: Shave it off. That alone could be enough to get you on every front page in the country. Particularly if you are a lady.
8. BABY BUSINESS
A new baby is an ideal way for a female star to get a bit of spotlight. Here is our five-step guide. 1: Announce you are pregnant on Facebook with a photo of your pregnancy test showing positive. Accept that one or two perverts will examine the photo for traces of pee. Sorry, but that's the world you are in now.
Two: Wait three months and appear in public with a glass of red wine. The public go crazy if a pregnant lady tries to enjoy herself. (Don't actually drink the red wine unless you are being followed around by a lorry full of Gaviscon.) 3: Call the child after someone on Game of Thrones. That's a nice little concession to the nerds. They have most of the money now, you can't ignore them. Four: Go on one of Miriam O'Callaghan's 43 shows and tell her you find it disgusting the pressure women are under to lose weight after giving birth. 4: Head straight from RTE to the airport. Unless you want to do the "wow, look at her post-baby bod" bikini shot at the Forty Foot. Which you don't. We hear Ibiza is nice.
A new baby is also a great bit of spotlight for Dad. Here is our approach. 1: Examine closely everything that Robbie Williams did during the birth of his child last year. 2: Make sure you do the opposite. 3: Also, don't forget to use the phrase: "I have never been so in love with my wife/partner" when you meet the press coming out of the maternity hospital. Your female fans will love that. Then it's straight home to continue your affair with the nanny.
You'll need a team. First up is Your People. They can talk to Your People whenever there is business to be done. This allows you to appear on the after-dinner speaking circuit without compromising your integrity as an artist. Almost. Never ask your Dad to fulfil the role of Your People. That might work in other countries. Irish dad will just spend a lot of time in meetings saying: "I told her it would be more in her line to go away and do a course in office administration."
It goes without saying that you are incredibly bitchy and insecure. (Come on, you're a celebrity.) You'll need to hide this from public view, or you won't get any charity work. This sounds like a job for your "close friends". This is an imaginary group of people you can use to stick the knife into other celebs, while you continue with the charade that you are a normal, well-adjusted human being. An example here would be: "Close friends of the star say they are astonished he was passed over for the role in favour of Brian Ormond. The star himself wishes Brian all the best."
Under no circumstances should you issue statements about the state of your marriage. We still haven't stopped laughing at that letter from Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. The key here is to use "close friends of the couple". They give you a nice bit of distance as you keep your face front and centre with regular updates on your relationship. An example here would be: "close friends of the couple say they would like some time to reflect on the fact he can't stop sending photos of his manhood to the female stars on Made in Chelsea."
Finally, you'll need a solicitor for your apologies. Don't ask us why solicitors are required to say sorry, we didn't write the rules. But at some point you will need someone with a law degree to say: "My client acknowledges it is not appropriate to run down Harcourt Street at three in the morning shouting, 'Jesus, I was on Celebrity Farm on TV3, surely someone must recognise me.'"
10. A TIMELY BOOST
Finally, it's all too easy to drop out of the limelight. Here are some quick dos and don'ts to get you back in the frame.
A lot of celebs go for the "show your ex what he is missing" photo. Here is how it pans outs. 1: Get dumped by boyfriend. 2: Fly to Majorca. 3: Get photographed drinking mojitos, pretty much in your knickers. 4: This shows your ex what he is missing - a borderline alcoholic exhibitionist who thinks there is something classy about Magaluf. 5: Nobody wants that. So go for the conventional reaction to being dumped. Drink a bottle of vodka and ring him at 3am to ask what you did wrong. At least that's private. Unless one of his "close friends" decides to leak it. Sly.
There is always charity. And no, we're not talking about a helping hand for down-on-their-luck celebs. Or, as it's known in some quarters, Celebrity Bainisteoir. By charity we mean giving something back to those less fortunate than yourself (sobs into invisible hanky.) Let's just say the whole charity work gig has lost its sheen in Ireland. That's since it emerged that a lot of charity is about helping out people more fortunate than yourself. And nobody is more fortunate than a political appointee to the board of a charity. So check where the money is going before you get involved.
The final celeb issue is tattoos. There is only one way to make a splash with a tattoo these days. Refuse to get one. Seriously, what better way to appear classy than to say, I don't actually want to look like a cross between Angelina Jolie and Popeye?
That said, not getting a new tattoo means you are passing up a valuable opportunity to flash the top of your arse. So make sure to tweet a photo of it with, "It's my no-tattoo zone."