“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” Wise words from John Gooden and not ones followed closely by many.
Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears – over the last 10 years we’ve heard the sad cry of the poor celebrity seeking help after divorce, hard-partying, rehab trips, sex tape scandals, drink and drug meltdowns and more. We can’t prepare for natural disasters of the the earth-shattering, world-ending kind.
But smaller celebrity disasters, cataclysmic on a local scale, strike all the time. And yet each time they do, they never fail to take us by surprise. Showbusiness chaos is usually followed by a huge outpouring of debate on whether the brand can survive. But whisper it – they always do. Neil Hamilton, the self-proclaimed writer, actor, broadcaster and entertainer, is now the sensible UKIP side kick to Nigel Farage. Every storm cloud of crisis has a silver lining.
The point now is how to exploit the opportunity and learn to deal with the haters. Squinting at the storm clouds surrounding One Direction, there is a great deal of learning we can draw from the outraged media despair. The TV engineered wunderkinds who’ve spent their brief lives in the spot light life trying to get attention, will now, spend the remainder of their lives running away from it. Crisis offers some salutary lessons for those who are caught in the downward brand spiral. One Direction are arguably at the pinnacle of their fame cycle. Rumours have been circulating for some time about how long the band will stay together before it fractures.
Arguably the band success, power and adoration has created a filter bubble. Once the duplicitous band insider leaked this weeks, well, certainly not an E cigarette, viral their fame found a new narrative. Hubristic foolishness allowed the sneak in; but they must not allow the same complacent hubris squash an opportunity to say something new, transparent and fresh about the future of the brand, now it’s lost one of its ‘goody two shoes’
The issue now is how to tackle new ground and not obfuscate and spin. The fans demand more. It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. Once, a celebrity in turmoil, would take the fastest Addison Lee car to the nearest Priory, returning to public life detoxed and refreshed.
These days we expect transparency. The fans look for a plausible, trustworthy response. One Direction have reached the borderline. Time to leave the clean cut boy band behind, and take the opportunity to slough off the old skin. Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. The only thing endures is character.