Celebrity Obsessed

© 2012 Grecel Nepomuceno

Reading today’s free newspaper, 24 hrs (Toronto), there is an article called What’s the Price of Fame? by Joanne Richard. It talks about how celebrity obsessed the world has become. Even in an economic downturn, sales of celebrity memorabilia is skyrocketing. Sales for West Coast Authentic in Kelowna, B.C. has increased 300% in the past decade and includes items such as sports memorabilia. Some of the more popular items would be autographed photographs and document but are not limited to just that. With the death of famous people like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Elizabeth Taylor, items can include anything from jewelry, clothing and rare items such as a custom painted autographed guitar for Michael Jackson ($60,000, westcoastauthentic.com). Even more unusual items are not out of the question. John Lennon’s tooth last sold for £19,000 (approx. $31,000) in England on Nov. 2011 as reported by Rolling Sone. Though, in today’s article, it is quoted at $16,000.

I must admit that sometimes I get caught up in celebrity stardom. It was exciting to go out to the red carpets last year during TIFF. And given the opportunity, I may do it again this year. It was even nice to see Hugh Jackman in person during the Real Steel red carpet event. If someone gave me the opportunity to go to an exclusive party where celebrities would be present, would I say no to that? Certainly not. However, I am not crazy enough to buy such items at exuberant amounts of money. It won’t give me the same amount of high as going out and experiencing things that are fun.

I once got a pass to see Russell Peters at HMV in Mississauga. I live no more that 23 minutes (slow) walking distance from there. I couldn’t believe it. While Toronto is known to be the first choice for any celebrity event, I would have to travel by transit to get there and experience these events with a whole lot of other people. I live in the suburbs and having Russell Peters come out to my end of town is nice. Yes, he’s from Brampton and he openly admits to growing up there and seems to have an appreciation for where he comes from. On the day of the autograph signing, at least 200 people with this pass are already lined up by 5pm. I should have known better and gotten there earlier with a sandwich and drink. I was near the end of the line. Russell Peters shows up with his family. He’s there to promote his DVD Green Card. He patiently signs autographs for every one of his fans holding a pass. He made sure that everyone got an autograph and stays beyond the 2 hour contract that is required of him. The mall is now closed past 9pm, and I finally get my copy of Green Card signed. It was only a few minutes. I gave him a photo of himself from my graduation where he was the recipient of an honourary degree at Humber College just months earlier. He gave it to his mom who couldn’t help but smile over it. That was a kodak moment for me. However, after waiting in line for more than two hours, I have to re-think about the importance of celebrities and the importance of my life. Prior to this event, my cousin said he met Russell Peters prior to Russell becoming famous. According to my cousin, he’s just a regular dude. I really got that at the autograph signing. Not that it’s a bad thing. I actually like celebrities who appreciate their families and not forget where they come from. According to someone in line at this event, Russell Peters tries to spend as much time with his family when in Canada, even if it means taking them to these events. Back to me and what I can do for myself. Well…while Russell Peters was giving a speech at my graduation, he said to follow your passions and everything will fall into place. He may have it easier because he is famous. In this economic times, I have to think how I will implement my passions into making a living out of it. But it is true. I am currently exploring choices at an employment centre and the employment advisor sees me as someone that can go the creative route instead of a regular office job. I have finally come to the conclusion that it is better to dream and achieve my own success instead of fantasizing being close to an already successful famous person.

Every year in Toronto, there is an event called Open Door where certain places open their doors to give tours to the public for free. I went and actually enjoyed some of the venues. The Flat Iron building was somewhat of a bust. While the history itself was interesting, the tour wasn’t that great. Other places I visited was the St. James Cathedral and The Design Exchange. Here, fourteen of Princess Diana’s dresses were on display prior to an auction. The collection was owned by Maureen Rorech Dunkel and she hoped to sell the collection for upwards of $6 million. The auction was held at Waddington’s June 23. Sadly, it is to help Dunkel pay off her debts. It was later reported in the Toronto Star that only four of the fourteen dresses sold. For more on this link to:


While celebrities will continue to capture fans’ imaginations, this is one case where I feel like saying it was an epic fail for one person. Is collecting memorabilia worth the price?

© 2012 Grecel Nepomuceno

© 2012 Grecel Nepomuceno