by Rosemary Clooney
SINGER AND ACTRESS
to tell, complains a
You must have met someone some time who you thought was a celebrity or "important" in some way -- a political big shot, a movie actor, a millionaire, a star athlete. How did you act? Like one human being metting another, or like an ingratiating mouse being introduced to a king?
It happens that a lot of people know who I am -- my picutre's been in the papers, in magazines, on television and movie screens. I've been heard on radio and juke boxes. When I walk down a street, people often turn to stare, and though in a way it's fun it can be exceedingly embarrassing too -- sometimes I'd being anonymous.
But that's beside the point. I'm saying all this because I may have achieved some success, but underneath, to put it cornily, there's a person who wants to be liked for herself!
When people think you're important (or even that you might be), you've got a problem. And that is that it's often hard to tell whether the attention you receive is genuine feeling for you or for the position you're in. Do you get it because you're a nice girl whose company is enjoyable? Or do you get it because some people feel your so-called glamour rubs off on them?
This may sound like the tale of the poor little rich girl, but it's a problem! Sure, I'm always glad to help my friends out when I can, but I don't want a friend just because I can help him out -- if only by making him feel important.
Perhaps the hardest burden to bear, if people think you're "somebody," is that they don't act natural. They smile ingratiatingly, laugh at everything funny or not, nod enthusiastically whether your opinion strikes them as good or bad. How am I to tell if I like them if they're not being themselves? It's like talking to a marionette.
Of course, I'm invited to many parties where I'm treated like a genuine guest who just happens to sing, but then again there are those where it seems I'm there to provide memories. The host greets me with a "Hello honey," and a proud grin on his face as he smugly looks around to see the reactions of the other guests' faces.
"I'll introduce you around although I'm sure everyone knows who you are," he laughs. Like a trophy brought home from the wars I'm led about the room to be looked over. Pretty soon a cry goes up for "a song." Pretty soon after that I go home.
My feeling is this: because someone can sing -- or play football or has a lot of money -- doesn't mean he's a god and you should treat him like one. You've got accomplishments too and we can all be on equal footing.