I date.
A lot.
Hence my blog, devoted to said dating (quite frivolous).

I’ve dated all kinds of boys…and once, I dated a rockstar.  I won’t name him, (I’m all about anonymity), but he is a famous and extremely talented musician, who became a worldwide, household name, in the 90s.  And while I’m not really a fan of his music, he still tours the globe, and we still hang out when he comes to town.

Also, he’s an Amerrrrcan — and has told me, many times, how much he LOVES Canada.

Derek* and I met on a dating site.  He’s a traffic announcer on the radio and he had been texting me, non-stop, in anticipation of our first date.  Since we both work in media, the question came up:

D – Have you dated anybody famous?
M – Yes.
D – Were they an actual celebrity or a Canadian celebrity?

This question offended me, because I know the difference…even though there really shouldn’t be one...

But back when I was dating the rockstar, he asked:

R – Do you ever get star-struck?
M – No, I’ve met and interviewed several famous people in my life.
R – Such as?
M – Dolores O’Riordan, Billy Bob Thornton, David Suzuki…
R – Who’s David Suzuki?

How could this (environmentally conscious) rockstar NOT know David Suzuki?  He was only the most famous nature and science broadcaster/activist in…

And, while Canada grew many well-known celebrities (Jim Carey, Mike Myers…etc), if they don’t make the jump to the States, then, they seem to remain Canadian celebrities.

The rockstar was very familiar with/idolized Neil Young (Canadian), but that’s because Neil crossed over.  Rockstar is not, however, familiar with a rock band called The Tragically Hip – but if you asked ANY Canadian, they’d probably have an opinion on the Hip‘s music.

I know this holds true with a lot of celebrities in other countries who don’t “break out” into the “mainstream” (aka. America).

For example, I work in television, and one of my editors is actually a FAMOUS ROCKSTAR –from Serbia.  There, he’s the equivalent of Slash.  But here, I wouldn’t have had any idea about that, (luckily, a colleague showed me this Serbian band’s very expensive music video, produced in the mid-90s — highly entertaining).

But when you’re a celebrity in America, you automatically seem to be a celebrity EVERYWHERE.
Better PR machine?  More exposure?  Hungrier die-hard fanatics?
I don’t know why.  It just is.

[UN-PAUSE] Back to Derek.
M – He’s an actual celebrity and thanks for insinuating that I don’t know the ‘difference‘.
D – Oh, I just meant that like, some people think I’m a celebrity, since I’m on the radio…I guess it depends on your definition.

Really, dude?  People think you’re a celebrity?!?!
You read the traffic report on an AM station, every 20 minutes. 

That’s like saying the weatherman on the local news is “famous.”
But believe me, the paparazzi aren’t going to be following him around, any time soon.

It’s a shame that Canada’s stars don’t burn as brightly (apparently) outside of the country…
But in the end, they’re all just people, anyway, right?
Rockstar puts his pants on, one leg at a time (I watched him do it, on a few occasions).
But when he does it, it’s in his fancy NYC flat, his house in the Hollywood Hills, or backstage.

*names changed

24 thoughts on “Celebrities

  1. Pingback: whattodo: blog world « howtodateboys

  2. Great post. Canada has given birth to MANY talented celebrities. I actually love how animated comedies (Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park) ALL insult Canada on an almost weekly basis. It means that although Americans might view us a smaller and somehow insignificant, we are still worth talking about which is more than most countries can say. Go ahead and talk about us, we love living rent free in your heads. 🙂

  3. Having our own bands gives Canadians hipster cred: “Oh, you’ve never heard of Metric? Oh… Well… I’m sure your musical tastes are quite broad in their own way…”

    What drives me crazy is Maclean’s Syndrome, the need to identify any celebrity by their Canadianess, i.e. “Canadian-born director Norman Jewison.” And that’s relevant why?

    Great post.

  4. I think you’re right about marketing. American celebrities get way more traction. I grew up in India, and the only Canadian celebrities I heard of were those who became famous in America. With most of us being online and the cost of producing good-quality niche programming dropping, I’d say that Canadian celebrities of today stand a good chance of being famous everywhere.
    Nice post.

  5. There is also that stigma of the “Canadian” movie. I have to wonder if James Cameron (from Niagara Region in Canada) had done “Titanic” or “Avatar”, or Paul Haggis (from London, Ontario) had done “Million Dollar Baby” or “Crash” in Canada would people refer to them as “Canadian” movies in that way they do with such disdain?
    Great post I really enjoyed it!

  6. If we’re going to list amazing Canadian bands, what about Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Stars, Feist, Bedouin Soundclash, Constantines, The Dears, Esthero, Tegan & Sara, Mobile, New Pornographers, Tokyo Police Club, Two Hours Traffic, and many many more. Add to the list many, many talented actors and directors. I just think in today’s America, we are willing to celebritize the likes of Honey Boo Boo (mostly people who are famous for nothing). It used to be that you had to be “someone” to be considered a celebrity.

  7. It’s true – we do produce some serious talent!
    But on the flip side, I do know a lot about the stigma attached to “Canadian” movies…AND television (some of the shows I’ve seen are truly awful –even the titles suck: Train 48? Corner Gas?). There’s just more money being pumped into the US entertainment machine…
    In any case, thanks for the comments/compliments everyone 🙂

    • Wait a minute, young lady! I loved Corner Gas and I loved the stars in it. It was one sitcom I always tried to watch. I dated a minor celebrity years ago. She was a newscaster. She was a lot of fun, but in bed she kept giving me updates every 20 minutes! All joy. HF

  8. It is an unfortunate attitude. Even claiming citizenship. It is natural for me to say “I am an American”. I mentioned that to a man when I was in Buenos Aires. He said “I am too, I am from Argentina, you?” America automatically evokes the US, but it is a short name for two continents.

    • hey there elisa, i wanted to add my thought to your lovely comment. my colombian cousins bring this point up all the time. they say we are “American,” just “South American”…why do you “Americans” claim such ownership over the word American? And I would say it has less to do with hubris and more with the fact that it is embedded within our country’s actual name. it’s the USA. United States of America. I’ve never once heard of Canada being referred to as the Canada republic of America. If it was, people would call them that more often. Even in my Colobmbian cousin example, he still refers to us as “Americans” and if it were an easier thing to do, I’d think he’d call us “united states-ers.” or something else to make his point, but it’s just too known the shortening of USA by saying, americans… unfortunate, but true…

  9. hey daters, this is an AWESOME post and I will plug it on sweet mo today. really and truly enjoyed it. i think the biggest reason that canadian ‘stars’ are less known worldwide is a simply due to population. For example, if you are known in Canada, you are known to approx 31 million people. If you are known in America, you are known to 311 million. That is 280 (approx) more millions of ppl to scream about how great you are the world over… 280 million more to buy your albums, movies, etc. It’s simply a volume type of thing, for the most part. People often overlook that, but it is a big part of the truth… much love, sm

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