The Three Lives of a Celebrity

I read an interview by Neil Patrick Harris in Entertainment Weekly the other day that made me really respect him as a celebrity. He touched upon something that I’ve talked about in the past, but he was way more eloquent.

The subject is about blogging–how do I decide what to share and what not to share? How much information is too much? What can I say about women I’ve dated?

NPH is talking about being a celebrity, which I am not at all, but this quote directly relates to my philosophy on blogging:

I feel like it’s important to have three lives. Your professional life, your personal life, and your private life.

As someone in the entertainment industry, you need to be as forthcoming about your personal life as you can be, because if people are intrigued by you, then they’ll want to know more about you. If you suddenly clam up and say “No comment” on who you’re dating, you’re just a bad guest on Letterman.

I’m in the Howard Stern camp of full disclosure. He doesn’t talk about how he had sex with his wife that night, but he talks about having sex with his wife. I think that’s where the distinction lies. You want to be able to have some transparency with people who are watching you tell stories.

I really like his distinction between professional life, personal life, and private life. The purpose of this blog is to generate conversation, and I don’t need to specifically cite a date I had three weeks ago. I can speak of dating in general or, if I need to be specific to make my point, I can change insignificant details about the date to protect the woman who didn’t sign up to be blog fodder. And it’s not just about dating–it’s insights that I learn on the job too.

George Bernard Shaw said that “The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.” Sometimes I see that on the blog–if I write about something that people have a knee-jerk reaction too (remember the entry about distrusting panhandlers?), it might generate a lot of comments. But I’ll never intentionally offend someone here.

To all of you writers out there, take heed of NPH’s advice. Find a forum (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) to share your personal and professional lives with the world while respecting the privacy of those in your private life. That’s how people can relate to you and connect with you.

4 thoughts on “The Three Lives of a Celebrity”

  1. hey Jamie
    I came here looking for exactly this topic, i can’t believe you blogged about it. <3
    My situation – I've had an instagram account for my personal brand that I curated heavily. I did this because I wanted to play it safe and professional. But I found how that doesn't really attract any people I would like in my network. Also curating and not telling anything about my personal life isn't really fulfilling , it's almost like I have stolen my own identity. Not to mention it's time consuming.
    So I decided to stop and show more of my true self. (comedy moments, true moments, life advice however lame it may be…)
    But what do I do when people close to me find it horrifying to share such moments with the public(internet). What would you say to those people and how would you warm them up to the idea of personal branding?

    • Thanks for your comment, Bobbie! It’s been a long time since I wrote this.

      Maybe ask what it is those people find so horrifying? Because if it’s just the case that *they* wouldn’t post what you post, that’s one thing; it’s another if your posts are actually having a negative impact on them. If it’s just about their person opinion, I don’t think they need to necessarily warm to it. If you’re comfortable with it and you’re having fun and not hurting anyone, I don’t think you need to explain yourself. 🙂

      • more detail : it’s my boyfriend who is objecting… but it’s very hard to edit him out of photos and videos XD…

        He doesn’t have any form of social media or channel but he told me that he plans on making one. He also thinks, as I once did, that he will edit,airbrush,curate the s*** out of his public image so it’s extra professional/impressive/safe.
        I feel like he doesn’t see how that would actually fail, or not produce the best results. What do you think, does it ever work, airbrushing your public image?

        I would never post anything that is hurting him or making him look bad. Catch is that he is a really funny guy so it’s even harder to hide that from videos and photos and ,in my opinion, stupid to hide it.

        I literally don’t have anyone who is dealing with this issues IRL – so tnx for answering and writing about this..

        • That certainly does complicate things, and it’s good that you’re looking out for him. Personally, if it’s causing him stress or frustration, I would focus on content that doesn’t include him unless he specifically approves it.

          As for airbrushing my public image, I think that’s the case with any form of social media–we share what we want people to see.


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