A Research Paper Created by Tiffany Manchester
(Relationship Coach for Men, UNITED STATES)
THE LEADING ROLE
A young professional in the spotlight (or celebrity) as stated by Wikipedia, ‘is a person under the age of 23 who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media. The term is synonymous with wealth (commonly denoted as a person with fame and fortune), implied with great popular appeal, prominence in a particular field, and is easily recognized by the general public.’
Various careers within the fields of sports and entertainment are commonly associated with status in the spotlight, and these youngsters face many challenges in both their personal and professional lives. But it’s their ability to overcome these challenges that can be the difference in long-term success or short-lived fame. How they do this, and its connection to coaching is what we are going to explore.
ACT I – THE SUPPORTING ROLES
Young professionals are constantly in the public eye, their privacy is limited, and everything they do, say, and wear is scrutinized. Yet people with their own agendas continue to pull at these youngsters from all directions when they already have so many decisions to make at this point in their lives. So who are these people, what do they want, and what kind of influence do they have?
THE ENTOURAGE ELEMENT
A young star becomes a mini-corporation, employing hordes of helpers and handlers, who are easily dismissed if their advice is not to the star’s liking. From bodyguards and stylists to managers and publicists, those closest to the stars have an income that depends on the star working and maintaining a popular image.
Relying on the entourage contributed to Hilton’s downfall (and was even part of her defense) to a 45-day jail sentence. The heiress was caught driving with a suspended license, a violation of her probation after a DUI. Hilton counted on her staff to open and read her mail, to deal with her lawyers and to advise her, she told a judge, and said she believed she was allowed to drive to work. After surrendering to officials she said that her future includes “more of an active role in the decisions I make.”
Having a circle of enablers makes recognizing a problem elusive, says Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. “All these people around you are making sure your head’s above water.”
Morgan Creek production head James G. Robinson, who blasted Lohan’s behavior on the set of Georgia Rule in an infamous letter that was leaked to the media, says the actress ranks among the most talented. But her troubles now stem from her lonely life in L.A. surrounded by a salaried workforce. “She doesn’t have people in her life who care for her and are not living off her,” Robinson says. “She needs people who don’t care that she’s a celebrity.”
THE FAMILY FACTOR
It seems appropriate to lay some blame with the stars’ parents. But the USA TODAY poll finds that most people find other factors more culpable, including having too much money at a young age (79%), pressure of fame at a young age (68%) and negative influence of Hollywood culture (65%). Parents came in fourth, with 63%.
“When your child is the boss, and everybody is bowing to your child, how do you maintain authority and control?” asks Bobby producer Edward Bass, who cast Lohan in the 2006 film only after she personally assured him that rumors of drugs and alcohol were behind her. “It’s hard enough to raise a child under normal circumstances. It’s amazing child stars survive.”
Brooke Shields, 42, survived, and she credits her “pit bull” mother for her success. But “when I was doing it, it was a different era. It scares me now. The ages of these kids are younger so their knowledge and precociousness is so much more formed. I don’t know where the people are who are taking care of them.”
The Club Scene
Everybody yearns for an anesthetizing escape, says Hairspray’s Amanda Bynes, 20, especially when you’re young and in the public eye, and it’s a lot of stress
Gary Morris, CEO of Splash photo agency, says underage drinking is rampant at Hollywood clubs. “Every bouncer knows they’re letting in an underage drinker. No one does anything about it,” he says. “The clubs want the kids there, and the kids want to go in, and no one is stopping them.”
Lohan and Rumer Willis, 18, Hayden Panettiere, 17, and other female underage stars are often seen going into the clubs and there is prolific photographic evidence. Panettiere confessed in an interview that it’s not hard to get in. “When you have a ‘name,’ they want you to be in the club,” she explains, adding that she doesn’t drink alcohol in clubs. “When celebrities are seen at a certain place, it all of a sudden becomes a mob scene and it’s a given that people have fake IDs.” And “once you’re in, you’re in,” meaning, she says, that underage celebs are routinely served booze.