Young and Almost Famous

Young and Almost Famous

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Editor's Note: Our desire for wealth and fame has intrigued American society for ages, even today, young people hope to grab on to the tailcoats of the fame monster. This week on YO!Radio we talk to two young people who like so many of their peers are just waiting for their time in the limelight. Malcolm Marshall is the YO!Radio producer and Donny Lumpkins is a senior producer at YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia.

Listen to the full episode of YO!Radio here:


I was in Dolores Park in San Francisco the other day, just kickin’ it, and I saw this woman that I immediately recognized but didn’t know from where.

I remembered a whole bunch of things about her too. I could remember seeing her fighting, laughing, crying, eating breakfast, dancing. A whole bunch of memories flashed in my head. The truth is, I got a little freaked out trying to place all these seemingly intimate memories of this woman I didn’t know. And then it hit me: MTV’s Real World/Road Rules. She was Veronica from the Real World.

I’ve sat on more occasions than I care to admit and watched her and the ever-changing cast of beautiful teens and 20-somethings doing absolutely nothing, for the viewing pleaser of me and other teens and 20-somethings who were also doing absolutely nothing.

A lot of people my age seem to be preoccupied with fame - and, more specifically, fame for no particular reason. I’m guilty of it. When I was younger I thought it was just a matter of time before I would become famous. For what, exactly, I was never sure, but I knew it was going to happen. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said, "A rock star." And I’m not the only young person who thinks this way.

Listen to YO!'s interview with Jack Jukes here:


Listen to YO!'s interview with Marissa here:



We all feel we should be famous for one reason or another. But I think all we really want is to be famous just for being ourselves. No need to develop a talent or have a skill -- just the fact that we are ourselves should be good enough to get paid and be loved.

This idea of being famous for no reason came around during the reality show boom. Kids all over the country got to see regular people be the center of attention on primetime TV. The fact that they were normal people was the whole draw -- it was reality. Nowadays, though, the reality we see on TV is so different from the reality we live in. Life no longer imitates art, or vice versa. Art is totally taken out of the equation. Now life imitates life. People today strive to do the same things they have always done, but for an audience. Award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne has a young daughter going in to porn because she wants to be famous. She saw how well sex tapes worked to jump-start the careers of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.

No acting classes necessary. Instant infamy. Young audiences are captivated by millionairesses on magazine covers sipping Starbucks in their UGG boots, going about their day while paparazzi snap away as if they were actually important. And that’s what we want too. To be important enough to have someone else interested in witnessing our lives, no matter how unremarkable they may be. Shows like Jersey Shore (which I love by the way) prove to millions of people that you can make a living off of being drunk and ridiculous. Most of us do that for free. And now that it’s become a career choice, no other option seems as appealing. Imagine a day when everyone is famous and people go their whole lives seeking their 15 minutes of total silence and anonymity.