For the purposes of this post, we’re going to put aside the reasons why you want to be famous in the first place. We’ll also assume that you’ve considered whether or not fame is all that desirable in the first place.
In addition, we’ll also take it as a given that you’re not looking to become famous at a particular skill or for a particular reason – you’re just interested in how to become famous. Period. But a good starting point is to recognize that in the pursuit for fame, the first thing to recognize is:
Not All Roads Lead to Fame
It almost goes without saying that you’re less likely to find fame in some career than others – you can be the best mime artist, puppeteer or origami practitioner in the world, but it’s probably not going to land you the kind of fame where people yell out your name in the street or attract a multitude of groupies to your tour bus. Mime artists don’t even get their own tour buses, so that’s definitely out of the question.
With all this in mind, you need to choose your profession carefully and there’s only really a few industries in which it’s possible to become A-list famous:
And with a few rare exceptions, they’re pretty much your best options. All that’s left is for you to…
Get Good At It
If you want to become renowned in your field (i.e. famous), you’ll need to earn your stripes and get noticed. Of the above list, acting and music are arguably the two fields most likely to yield success in a much quicker time if you catch a lucky break, so investing some initial time in a BFA acting program or taking up a few private music lessons will put you on the right trajectory.
Of course, that’s not the answer you wanted to hear. You want to know how to get famous without having the talent to back it up, right?
Fortunately, in 2014, you don’t have to.
How to Become Famous With Absolutely No Talent or Notable Skills
Alongside the famous career types listed above, we neglected to list one of the major professions that has only come into existence recently: Being famous for being famous.
Think Kim Kardashian, Amanda Bynes, Ivanka Trump, Kendall Jenner and, of course, Paris Hilton.
Hilton pretty much pioneered this field, and for a good while there were only a few main players until YouTube and social media became popular. Now you can be among them.
But how to get famous off the back of absolutely nothing like these people? Your best shot lies with being born into some form of celebrity – most of the above ‘famous for being famous’ celebrities got their leg-up on the fame ladder by having famous (or rather, notorious) parents. The tabloids love the kids of rich parents acting absolutely off the hook, so you’ve instantly got the likes of TMZ waiting for you to do your thing.
Not having to work for a living and the added nepotism that comes with being born into elite social classes also helps. But again, this is outside of your control (unless you’ve got the gift of time-travel, in which case fixing the temporal paradox you just caused should be more of a priority than growing your Instagram follower base.)
All this leaves you with one option, and for now, it’s the very easiest way to get famous:
If you’re looking to get famous and don’t mind becoming a laughing stock to achieve it, the easiest way to get people talking about you is to act as utterly bizarre as possible. Think of the column inches someone like Marilyn Manson or Miley Cyrus generates – talent gets them so far, but it’s the controversy that keeps people talking.
However, you do need to be on air at the time (otherwise you’re just a guy standing on a street corner with half-eaten egg in his matted beard yelling about mind-control pigeons in Moscow). Getting this initial television isn’t as difficult as it seems: bomb a news shoot or apply for some kind of reality show. The X-Factor is a good one, since they’re literally hunting for people who are going to stir the pot…
… just make sure when you get there, you don’t try to sing well. Sing horribly, and bring an outrageous attitude to the table.
Once the clip goes viral on YouTube and the interviewers start knocking, you’ll need to keep the momentum up and get even more outlandish. Because while it’s easy to get your proverbial 15 minutes of fame, it’s tough to stay in the limelight.
That brings us to the final point. If you want your 15 minutes to become 15 years, here’s the final killer advice on how to be famous:
“If you want to get rich, you start a religion.” – L. Ron Hubbard
In this case, wealth is synonymous with fame. If you can get on air and espouse some insane conspiracy theory that hasn’t been put forward before, you’re on easy street.
And really, the wackier the better. It doesn’t matter if it’s easy to debunk or clearly paints you as an immoral, money-grubbing piece of work: a large amount of people will buy into it anyway and defend your theory for you. That will bring with it media attention, and it’s the kind of fame that will be long-lasting and ultra-profitable; we won’t name any names, but you can probably think of a few examples here (*cough* alexjonesdavidickejennymccarthydylanavery *cough*)
But lastly, bear one thing in mind as you move forward:
There’s a big difference between fame and infamy.