Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Pinoy Celebrity Worship: So You Want to be Famous?

Is this post about the worship of celebrities, or is it about celebrities who worship?  You decide.

I had a pretty cool job at the Passion Manila event—I guarded the “VIP” entrance and seating section.  I didn’t ask for it—I simply told them to put me wherever I was needed.  They chose a few of us bigger guys to guard certain entrances/sections.

I had to keep people out of this particular entrance as the crowd flooded into the venue.  This was not a big deal—everyone was very respectful.

I stood inside the door of the VIP section after things got started.  A little later I noticed some commotion outside the door.  I peaked out and saw a very well known celebrity heading in.  A few people took pictures with him before we ushered him inside.  One young fan arrived seconds too late to get her coveted picture.  She was beside herself with excitement and disappointment: “Anong gagawin ko—anong gagawin ko!? (what will I do),” she said in a frantic, quivering voice.

The same thing happened a little later—an equally famous, good-looking celebrity came in.  I helped usher him in after a few people snapped photos.  I recognized his face, but I had to ask some of my friends who he was (I’m not completely in the loop when it comes to this kind of thing).

So there I was—a temporary “bodyguard” of sorts for two of the most famous men in the Philippines.  I guess I would have tried to meet them, but there was no way to do this without disturbing their worship.  I was there to keep that from happening.

All of us have probably wondered what it would be like to be famous.  There are many perks, but this night made me more keenly aware of the drawbacks.  Consider some of the dilemmas of celebrity status:

Always being the center of attention

I can relate to this, albeit on a very small scale.  Try looking like Mr. Clean and walking down an alley in Pasay, Taguig, or Malabon.  The attention can be a little overwhelming (especially for an introvert), but I’ve learned to adjust.

I can only imagine what it is like to be a celebrity—one thousand times more extreme than anything I’ve experienced.  One of the before-mentioned young men got a call on his cell phone during the event.  He went out into the lobby and crouched in the corner behind a large sign.  He had to keep a low profile in order to have a quick conversation in peace.

Carefully planning every move you make

The before-mentioned men arrived late and left early.  They had no choice.  They would have been swamped with fans if they had stayed until everyone was dismissed.  Several people dropped by after the concert, hoping to catch a glimpse of them (not realizing they had already left).  I’m guessing simple things like going to McDonalds or watching a movie aren’t so simple when you are famous.  Imagine not having the freedom to go out without planning for security, etc.

No Privacy

Celebrities’ personal lives are the topic of endless gossip.  Their relationship problems, failures, and mistakes come under public scrutiny.  What if everyone knew about your relationship problems?  What if everyone spent their time speculating about problems/relationships you don’t even have?

Dilemmas of Christian Celebrities

It seems there are quite a few movie actors and singers here who really want to follow Jesus.  I praise God for this, but I bet it is challenging.  Consider the temptations that such men and women face:

Purity

I’m sure it is hard to stay pure when gorgeous members of the opposite sex are constantly throwing themselves at you.

Compromise

Actors/singers are offered large sums of money to compromise (appear in sexy ads, etc).  I’m not excusing those who compromise, but I wonder how many of us would be able to maintain our standards when put under such pressure.

Public Failures

Everyone notices when a Christian celebrity falls short.  I’m not excusing anyone’s sin, but I’d hate to think of my worst moments being public knowledge.

So, do you still want to be famous?  Think about it.

See Also:

Six Lessons from the Life of Solomon

Confessions of a Suki

9 Comments

  1. it is my dream to become an anonymous great… but very famous before Jesus

  2. I’d like some attention (who doesn’t?) BUT NOT BE THE CENTER of it. When in the mall, shopping for something, I catch people stare and I start combing my hair haha…and I better not fall out of my chair.

  3. Thess,

    First you talk about running over peoples’ feet–now it’s falling out of the chair.

    What will we do with you? 🙂

  4. your observations are very real! sadly there are even lead worshipers in our local churches who have this celebrity syndrome. To God what’s important is the heart that is fully surrendered to him not how holy we look on stage or how good we sing. i keep reminding myself of that, being on stage most of the time.

    I admire celebrities who really live their Christian lives properly. And I tell you they are rare. It takes a lot of maturity in the faith to withstand all the temptations surrounding them.

    We also need to pray for them, diba? God placed them in a critical position where everyone sees them. May they continue to shout out a life that radiates the life of Christ.

  5. Faye,

    I agree with you.

    I intentionally delayed this post because I didn’t want it to distract from what God did at Passion.

    We should pray for those high-profile people who are striving to follow Jesus–I can’t imagine how difficult it is. Many of them are young–spiritually and chronologically, which makes it even more difficult.

  6. I can relate and I am guilty at times! 🙁

    I remember the first time I saw Piolo P. at the Hillsong United Concert back in 2006. I’m not really a big fan, but I haven’t had the oppy to see him in person yet. So I was having this internal debate of asking permission to have a pic with him VS just letting him be- watch the show/worship God. I deliberated for a while, then I thought, what if I never see him again? Finally, I decided, its now or never! I slowly went to his seat (at the front row) and asked permission to a pic with him. He did say yes, but I felt he wasn’t too happy about it. It showed in our pic. He wasn’t smiling. 🙁 Too late though. He already said yes to me. I suddenly felt awkward and bad/guilty. Especially when people started coming. BAD CHEETAH ME!:(

    He didn’t finish the show and he was wearing a hat the entire time he was watching and he didn’t even stand and just slouch at the chair.

    I’ve learned my lesson.

    I still ask for pic/autograph with/from celebs from time to time but I make sure to- 1. I ALWAYS ask for permission. 2. Do it before or after an event/concert/presscon. 3. Just let them be if they are tired/stressed out/in a hurry/just want to be alone. 4. Try to be sensitive and understanding.

    Celebs are human beings after all.

  7. I think people stare cuz they get curious…they wonder if I can brush my hair…lol….either that or the sales ladies are thinking I’m a shoplifter…haha… (lots of corners in the chair to stuff small things into you know – NO, I don’t do that!)

    What to do with me? Duct tape me to the cabinet door…lol, that’ll keep me out of trouble…

  8. I read the “Illusions of Sikat” post before with this picture of this shirt..was I having illusions then? or you removed that post?

  9. I removed that post. Somehow it wasn’t as funny after reading it a time or two.

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