A Brief History of the Heroine - Seeking Fame and Fortune
Anne had, without a doubt, been transformed into a child of the 21st century. She was immersed in social media—Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and all those other internet sites that have shrunken the world and brought an easily accessible audience to anyone who chooses to stand before them and expose him or herself to their immediate praise or condemnation. Anyone could now produce a film, write a book, publish a blog, sing a ballad, compose a symphony, deliver a sermon, paint a picture, or attempt to be creative in any of a thousand different ways, place it on the appropriate internet social media site, and then … hope for fame and fortune to follow. And it was this desire to be rich and famous that drove so many of this fledgling 21st century. Multitudes, an incalculable number of all ages and with a diverse range of talents, hoped to pursue some activity on the internet that would, perhaps within minutes of world-wide social media exposure at just the right time and place, instantaneously propel them to international stardom, greatness, and riches galore.
Although being consumed by all the hoopla and exuberance over achieving celebrity and fortune on the world-wide web, Anne was not a youngster, was not a young woman, was not even a middle-aged woman, as one might expect. No. She was an old woman, already in her mid-seventies—an old geezer, as she often referred to herself! And yet, she swam with the current and fit right into the youthful media culture—this trend to achieve glory and riches through the internet. How truly amazing it was, finding essentially a senior citizen—probably already with one foot in the grave—marching in unison with one of the driving forces of the culture.
Anne Sinclaire Revisited - An Overlooked Celebrity?
“If I had done something to deserve attention, then yes … it might be justified, but I’m a nothing and a nobody … so … why am I the subject of all this furtive, undercover staring? My looks are ordinary—neither a stunning beauty or grotesquely ugly! So what do they see?”
Besides all the attention she received, Anne also, over time, began to realize that once people met or saw her, they never forgot her! People who had met her once or perhaps just seen her on the street, in a store, or at an event, remembered. Often, people would greet her—clearly, as if they knew her—and she had no idea who they were. It was painfully embarrassing, but Anne had no memory for faces.
“Sure … I’ve seen you in our store. You’re a regular shopper here. How could I forget you! But you don’t remember me, do you?”
“I saw you here … at this theater last month. You come here a lot,” an usher might comment. “Your name’s Anne … right! I would never forget your face. I know I’m not at all memorable, though.”
“You live around here, don’t you. I’ve passed you on the sidewalk many times. I live right here,” they would indicate, pointing to some walk-up apartment.
“You were in my math class last semester … with Professor Bromberg. Sure, I remember you.”
The Wretchedness of the Artist - Pauline Remus
Pauline, like so many beginning, floundering artists, made her home in Brooklyn, living in a one bedroom apartment and sharing it with another woman who could help her pay the rent. Nine years ago, she had left her family out in Seattle to come to New York, obtain her degrees, and establish herself in photography. Her parents, being in the midst of a nasty divorce battle at the time, had left Pauline pretty much free to make her own way in the world, and so, leaving home was of little consequence to her. She was a strong-minded, independent woman who was quite willing to accept whatever life tossed her way, as long as she had her camera and could shoot the marvelous people she found on the streets of the teeming metropolis. Already, she had had several small gallery showings of her work in Texas, New Orleans, Boston, and New York, and articles had been written and interviews given. She had just last week acquired a listing in Wikipedia as an up and coming photographer known for her portraits of eccentric, out-of-tune people—those whom she met on the city streets. To make a little money other than from the sale of her photographs, she reluctantly taught photography classes at several of the universities in and around the city.
Arriving at the gallery, Pauline lugged her photographs several blocks down the street, and, with sweat poring off her brow, finally placed them on the large empty desk of the curator and owner, Miss Bell, who came sauntering into the room.
“No … no, you can’t put them there … please … move them over … move them quickly … stand them along that wall,” cried the fussy woman.
Pauline, being quite at the mercy of Miss Bell, obediently did as she was told.
“Oh, Pauline … so wonderful you were able to bring me these photographs. Oh! I’m sure they’re marvelous!” she exclaimed with ardor, waving her hands in the air and glancing over at the two large pictures wrapped in brown paper that Pauline had carefully stood up against the wall. You know, Pauline, we sold one more of your photos since we last spoke. Yes, indeed, we sold it to an older gentleman who says he’s a big fan of yours. And I think he’s quite a wealthy gentleman.”
“Great,” Pauline responded, shyly.
She was not one to push herself; she waited for others to do that. In fact, she admitted to not being a very forceful advocate for herself.
“May I ask how much you sold the work for … and which one was it.”
Further Wretchedness of the Artist Continued - Amanda Mannix
“That, Amanda, is the one art, I have never enjoyed. Oh! I’ve done a little acting, but I just didn’t like it. Not challenging enough for me!”
“Well, I think that in our relationship,” Amanda continued fervently, “we’ll both be famous after I shoot all these amazing ideas I have in mind. I know the critics will love what we’re about to do. I have so many great ideas!”
Amanda’s ardor was contagious, and Anne was beginning to think that maybe this woman was going to be the photographer who could make it. Perhaps Amanda just needed a great subject, and maybe she, Anne, was it!
“Today,” Amanda continued, “I’d just like to improvise … shoot around here … your amazingly interesting apartment. I need to get to know my subject.”
“Sure … anything you want to do. I’m just the prop.”
“Nonsense,” jumped in Amanda, “you’re a wonderful subject. We can work together. Any ideas you have, you let me know.”
How different she was from Pauline and Sarah. They always came with specific ideas; they led the shoot. Now, here was Amanda, rather open-minded, telling Anne that she could contribute ideas as well. Anne was determined not to do that. She would let Amanda pose her and tell her precisely what to do. After all, Anne really did consider herself to be only a prop. It was up to the photographers to set the scene and use her as they wished.
“So … let’s see,” Amanda stood up, stretched, and then went over to her numerous photographic equipment cases propped against Anne’s bed. She set up a huge light with a big umbrella reflector, took out her camera, and told Anne to sit on the bed. Then she began working with the camera and testing the lights.
“Hmm … why isn’t the light going off?”