LM & Celebrity Non-Celebrityism

LM has expressed that she does not believe in the cult of celebrity, and further states that "…it is always hard for me to consider myself any different than any other individual in the world making his or her way through this mysterious journey called life. I suppose that this, in itself, may be one thing I would like the public to understand about me."

Wikipedia defines "the cult of celebrity" as: "The widespread interest in arbitrarily famous individuals. The public fascination with…celebrities, though not technically a cult, leads to a level of idolatry. Driven by constant publicity and exposure…the cult of celebrity…is associated with an increased focus on celebrity by the entertainment industry."

I admire LM's attempt to exist simultaneously as both a celebrity and as a regular person. But to what extent does she succeed at being the same as the rest of us? True, we are all equal in our humanness, but the very fact that so many of us enjoy LM's music makes it impossible for her not to be singled out. Therefore, can a celebrity simultaneously be a non-celebrity? Does LM manage to strike a balance between the two?

One author is rather opinionated in her take on this issue: "Celebrities who insist…that they do not court publicity, who try to wrest their private lives from the public gaze on which they are totally dependent, are naive only for failing to realise that this is the balancing-act they are required to perform" (Jacqueline Rose).

What Rose fails to distinguish is that it's not so black-and-white. Celebrities come into their renowned status in different ways and with varying intentions. For example, there is a difference between a famous person who just wants to live for his or her art, and if others like it, great - versus a celebrity who revels in fame and glory. I'm sure it's clear to all of us here on the QR MB which of these two categories LM falls into.

In LM's own words: "I think it is important to continue to live your life according to your values and hopefully who you are will be revealed and stand for itself."

Thoughts?

Donna Betts
www.art-therapy.us
Original Post
Yes, I believe it is possible for her to be the "Non- Celebrity" that she says she wants to be. It is up to us, "the members of her community", to respect her wishes.
I'd much rather sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with her, then say Paris Hilton.
There are only a couple shows left for this tour. Then I'm sure she goes home to Stratford and rests for a while, takes care of business and then she sets out on the next part of the "journey" and see where that leads.
Hopefully it will be more music in the making down the road.
So many celebrities come and go quickly, she seems to be in it for the long haul. If we keep respecting her way of doing it, maybe she'll want to continue doing it and not get burned out on celebrity.
I got to meet her, shake her hand and speak briefly with her because she's not a snob, she just wants to be Loreena, and that's fine with me.
The way I see it, celebrities aren't that much different from the rest of us, other than having a special talent or circumstance that made them well-known. They probably have the same hopes and desires and faults as the rest of us. It's when a celebrity starts feeling like they're 10 times better than everyone else and everyone should drop everything for them that we get irritated with them. Thankfully, Loreena doesn't act like that at all. For my part, I wouldn't idolize a celebrity. Yeah, I might want to meet them and say thank you for whatever enjoyment they may have brought to me, but I'm not going to treat them much different from anyone else I've just met. Any further admiration will be based on the merits of the individual.
quote:
Originally posted by Dan:
The way I see it, celebrities aren't that much different from the rest of us, other than having a special talent or circumstance that made them well-known. They probably have the same hopes and desires and faults as the rest of us. It's when a celebrity starts feeling like they're 10 times better than everyone else and everyone should drop everything for them that we get irritated with them. Thankfully, Loreena doesn't act like that at all. For my part, I wouldn't idolize a celebrity. Yeah, I might want to meet them and say thank you for whatever enjoyment they may have brought to me, but I'm not going to treat them much different from anyone else I've just met. Any further admiration will be based on the merits of the individual.
I agree with what you have said, Dan. As the Dalai Lama once said (and I know I am not going to be able to give an accurate quote): "Whether a president or king, they are as any other man: for they are but men." (I apologize, for not being able to remember the actual quote. I have it on my computer, but the Word file refuses to open...) As I was taught in the military: It is required to show respect for the rank (position) of the officer, but it is not required that you respect the person holding that rank. It is not the person who is "special", but what that person does which makes them "special".

I respect not only Loreena as a musician, but also as a person -- because of what she has done and continues doing for the betterment of others.

--Artúr
I think that her goal succeeds, but it is partly from the type of popularity her music and activities engenders at least in the U.S.. While she has a overall large fan base worldwide, her fan base in most countries is small compared to more mainstream celebrities like Norah Jones or (gasp) Britney Spears. Certainly if I talk to the average man in the street in Austin, Texas (self proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World") very few people have heard of her. She could certainly walk the streets of Austin and enjoy complete anonymity. This is not intended in anyway as a putdown, but just an observation of where Celtic music is in the general popularity in the U.S.
I think the bottom line is, is that she realizes she's a performer and in making a living in this business (and it is a business)requires a bit of selling to be successful.
Tee shirts, DVD's, CD's, tickets and whatever else comes along with it. It also requires selling a bit of yourself. I've always been a big believer in "you must give to get". She has to give up a bit of herself to get her success. When she is on tour, she is the celebrity and she showed she is willing to meet with us (her community) and shake hands, sign autographs and put herself out there when the time is right.
I think the respect she wants in return, is when you may run into her at a restaraunt and she's having dinner with whomever, that is when she just wants to be Loreena and not to be interupted.
Barnes & Noble CD signing's "yes", Olive Garden dinner "No".
She wishes to be more of a behind the scenes "Pulitzer Prize" winning type celebrity VS. a Rod Stewart, Paris Hilton, Pam Anderson mob scene type celebrity.
quote:
I respect not only Loreena as a musician, but also as a person -- because of what she has done and continues doing for the betterment of others.

Loreena is a special soul that has a great gift of showing us how we as humans living on this one planet we call home should take to heart the traits that will benefit everyone and every creature.
Her humilty in wanting to just be and not strut her ego is a hard listen to learn for some people. Her examples of love, beauty, compassion, peace, and harmony remind us that there is more to life then just money. To her life is not about making more money then everyone else, it is not about having power over people, it is about learning how we can be better and help other people become better people. To live with peace, love and harmony no matter what your beliefs are or where you have came from or if you can sing or not. It is all about love and respect and honor. No other artist I have heard has brought out those aspects and I love her for doing so. I love the fact she does not serender to the "cult of celebrity". As much as I would love to give her a hug and a huge thank you and tell her how her songs have impacted my life, I am not going to fly to Stratfort and bust down her door. I also repsect her for all she has done for us and I will not ever do something that would offend her in anyway.
Love to All,
Gina
quote:
What Rose fails to distinguish is that it's not so black-and-white. ... For example, there is a difference between a famous person who just wants to live for his or her art, and if others like it, great - versus a celebrity who revels in fame and glory.


Good grief ain't that the truth! I'm so sick of hearing about Paris Hilton! Toss the bimbo in jail and treat her like anyone else who fails to appear before a court or violates their probation. Enough already with her.

I think it's entirely possible for any person, to live in balance between work and home. We all make that choice every day. And that's the key, it's a choice.

Because of that, I can't agree that the problem is with the celebrity being forced into a balancing act. I think the problem is with the public and the desire to put celebrities on a platform for the public to gaze upon. Too often the every day person forgets that the celebrities are people too.

Those who want to sing and share their music are not always looking for fame and fortune. They want to share their music, they want to touch people with their songs, and they want to perform because they get enjoyment out of it themselves.

How many of you attended Loreena's concert this summer and didn't see or witness the fun had by the musicians and Loreena as well as the audiance?

It is important to live your life according to your own values. Those who sacrifice their integrity never last and often fade away to that non-celebrity status through heart-wrenching experiences.

I say 3 cheers for Loreena's approach to life. More of us should practice that view and attempt to achieve some balance in our own lives.

Many Blessings,
Spring
"A teacher doesn't teach, until the student is ready to ask the question."
quote:
Originally posted by Celtickat:

....But as one who hasn't been capable of doing much of any real value for quite a long time now....

Sometimes I wish I were one of those fortunate few who could prove worthy of somehow becoming accepted by her as a 'real' mutual friend, but I'm highly aware of my own limitations and realize that of course, such could never be possible; I have nothing to offer, really, which would be of interest, at least not any longer. I only wish I had something which she might value to GIVE to her, because she has given so much to me. Somehow, being able to thank her in person after the concerts I was privileged to attend seems so paltry, and not nearly enough...

And, at times I do wish I had 1/10 of her obvious stamina! It would have come in most handy, during my own life! Smiler But I've been partially disabled for many years, and have tried, often not too successfully, to deal with THAT in my own journey through this life. I guess our life journeys are all very different! Some just seem WORTH so much more than others....


Jeanne (Celtickat)
Jeanne, I think I agree with you on most of what you said concerning "celebrity" and those who purposely chase after it -- no, I DO agree with you. I do NOT, however, believe for one moment that you have nothing to offer! I remember once hearing about a little girl who was "stuck" in a wheelchair...She over-heard someone saying how much they pitied her, because she was "disabled": She replied that she pitied those who are "abled", because they do not know and appreciate just what they do have. That little girl had more courage, more love of life, than anyone around her!

I will not believe that Loreena would not accept you as a "real" friend, given the opportunity: From all that I have seen here and elsewhere, she is a fine woman and a Great human who does not discriminate on the basis of physical ability when deciding who she calls "friend". I hope to someday be able to sit down and talk with her, myself.

One of my cousins is deaf, yet he hears more in his deafness than most people are able to with their hearing ears; he is a Master mechanic, working for the U.S. Postal Service. Jeanne, you are NOT worthless, you have much more to give than many others I know. If nothing else, you have for offer FRIENDSHIP to anyone who will accept it, and it is more than enough for people such as Loreena and myself.

Actually, I hope to someday meet both Loreena and you, together, just because you both seem to be the kind of people I would enjoy being with. A person's "celebrity" does not matter to me, nor does their "ability", so long as they are a decent and caring person.

--Artúr
I think that certain people enter the music business because they want to be famous and admired. Others do it because they love making music as an art form. These are few and far between nowadays. I think they were more common in the late sixties, early seventies (e.g Nick Drake, Sandy Denny). I think Loreena fits into this second class as does Kate Bush who shuns publicity and, like Loreena, took years to bring out a new album.
Good afternoon everyone. In response to the message below (posted to the techincal forum), I will be moving this topic within the next 24 to 48 hours. I wanted to give everyone participating in this topic an opportunity to see notice of its migration before actually moving.



Dear Mark,

As the MB increases in size, is there something that can be done to better organize topics? For example, as the "General" forum grows, could newer, more specific Forums be started up? And, if this were to occur, could topics then be moved to the appropriate forum? As an example, I wrote a topic in the "General" category on LM & Celebrity Non-Celebrityism. Now that the MB has a Forum for "Greenslade BLOG / Media Accountability / Cult of Celebrity / Privacy Discussion," can I move my topic there? If so, how?

Thanks Mark.
Cheers,
Donna Betts
I personally met Loreena in Firenze and can testify that she is a common person, she's kind and very sensitive. I still don't believe I've had that chance but thanks to Mark and all the entourage I was with her for about 20 minutes.
She is a star, actually. She shines when you are close to her. Difficult to her to consider herself a star, not interested in money but in quality of music and life, we can only learn from her.
Thanks for beeing with us.

Fabio
quote:
Originally posted by Fabio:
I personally met Loreena in Firenze and can testify that she is a common person, she's kind and very sensitive. I still don't believe I've had that chance but thanks to Mark and all the entourage I was with her for about 20 minutes.
She is a star, actually. She shines when you are close to her. Difficult to her to consider herself a star, not interested in money but in quality of music and life, we can only learn from her.
Thanks for beeing with us.

Fabio

20 minutes!! EekerWhat did you talk about?What did she tell you?I'm curious and a bit envious! WinkIt must have been breath-taking!I really hope one day to meet her..it would be a dream that comes true..i think she's a very interesting person to talk with..she's not vain and does not behave like a celebrity cause she just focuses on music and historical researches..she doesn't need to overexpose herself..her music speaks for itself!
Anyway,let me know if you want.. Smiler
Bye!
quote:
Originally posted by Liliesfair:
Therefore, can a celebrity simultaneously be a non-celebrity? Does LM manage to strike a balance between the two?


I've been thinking on this theme for awhile, and while I still can't fully gel my thoughts into a cohesive argument, I'll try.

I understand that Loreena's dislike of the cult of celebrity is more or less directed at the circus that is Hollyood with the current obsession over weight, hair color, latest scandals in the magazines, who did what to do who, and the like. I get that. I think a lot of us get that. No question there.

I also understand that Loreena would prefer us not to care or ask what shampoo she uses, nor would she prefer to endorse it, as a result of her selling however many albums she's sold. I get that, nor do I want to ask. As Donna said, I think a lot of us get that on the MB here too.

However, I wonder if the "celebrity" gaze has been transferred (since it's not about shampoo or scandals at this rate) to more or less what Loreena does choose to do with her time - travel and interviews and such. I've come to worry that such interest in such matters is delving into a bit of a celebrity like interest because (in my mind) we're still following along at the same intensity others might follow the latest Britney saga. I am interested to learn her preferences as to where she might travel next or what she really thinks about the current affair overseas of the week. I say this not because she is a celebrity, but more because this is what she does. Who better to want to know this from than someone who's been there? However, I can see where Loreena could hold sway with her experiences over people who look up to her as a reference - doesn't that still fit the bill as being a celebrity?
Where does the line stop between being influenced by someone and their ideas to being described by the Wikipedia quote Donna listed?
For example, Marjane Satrapi came out with a beautiful book, Persepolis. I read the book, saw the movie, and, intrigued by her thoughts, did an internet search and watched a fascinating hour long lecture/Q-A session. Now, everytime I see an article about Marjane Satrapi does that make her a celebrity because now she's getting a following she might not otherwise have due to the exposure? How much am I, as a consumer and viewer of her work, feeding into that exposure, and how much of it positive, and negative? Does the line stop as being in that "cult" when it becomes about using your newfound status to hawk wares or give your personal opinion on current events that otherwise everyday folk don't necessarily have the means to do? (which is changing nowadays with the advent of blogs - as we've seen in Greenslade's case, almost anyone can become viewed or heightened due to how many readers you have). Does Loreena see speaking about current events an abuse of her status, and would I be wrong to be curious to see what she thinks about it?

I think Loreena balances her personal life fine as seen by the reaction to the book settlement, by the by people are for her protecting her everyday privacy. However, my questioning deals more with the type of status she already has, and whether or not we as fans are contributing (indavertantly) by having such an interest that we do in what she does.
I wonder another reason why the commentary on this "cult of celebrity" comes up because she worries she is falling into that trap, both pre-and-post Niema's book, or more of a generalized sentiment.
This is an interesting topic to me because of what I do as an artist - it's not perhaps everyone's cup of tea, but I take inspiration from certain people to create paintings of otherworldly beings. Yes, Loreena was one of these inspirations. But that is a far cry from wanting to interfere with their lives in any way, shape or form. Loreena inspires me to think of the goddess/saint Brighid in Celtic lore, because she is the muse of poetry & her personality seems to fit this image in a lovely way. I paint from my head, I don't try to impinge upon anyone's privacy/rights. My hope is to translate something basic & human into a form that is more elevated than the mere human being who inspired me to begin with. Hoping that this makes some kind of sense, & yes, I am totally with everyone whose intentions are merely to be inspired by Loreena, in whatever way this occurs to any individual who enjoys her music.
quote:
Originally posted by drdiver:
Certainly if I talk to the average man in the street in Austin, Texas (self proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World") very few people have heard of her. She could certainly walk the streets of Austin and enjoy complete anonymity. This is not intended in anyway as a putdown, but just an observation of where Celtic music is in the general popularity in the U.S.


Hi drdiver,
While I agree that Austin's musical tastes are very broad and Loreena stands a better chance of being recognized in Stratford than in Austin, I've been surprised by the number of people here who are at least aware of her music, if not her name. Austin has a large celtic music fan base, and more than that, folkies of all stripes, poets, even rockers know of her. The independent record store Waterloo Records had an impressive response for "An Ancient Muse" on the first day of release, and the Austin Chronicle (alternative weekly covering music, art and entertainment) has reviewed McKennitt releases in its most generously glowing terms... http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/review?oid=oid%3A431120 (and) http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/review?oid=oid%3A73813
Two of the Chronicle's 8 music reviewers even put "The Book of Secrets" in their top 10 picks for the 1998 year... see http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/review?oid=oid%3A73813.

Having an apparent high regard for anonimity myself, I think I could leave her in peace in a private situation. But I'd dearly love to explore her mind in friendship!

All the best to you, and everyone here at QR boards.

Rusty
Greetings from Nashville. This is my first post after joining QR Community.

Yes,certainly we must recognize the difference between celebrity and greatness. Sadly, few people do. If we truly admire and respect someone, we should respect their privacy and never try to add meaning to our life by association - parasites do this, after all. LM avoids the "cult" temptation because she seems to be a normal, well-adjusted adult congnizant of her own faults and limitations.
I think there's a vast difference between being a "celebrity" and being an "artist," just as there's a difference between Paris Hilton and Audrey Hepburn.

I learned not to confuse the magic with the magician long ago. I also learned that there are some people in this world who get caught up in their own interpretations of a person's performance - or songs - to the point that they project their wants and/or needs onto the other person. They feel an artificial closeness to that person--an intimacy created by the work when the audience responds emotionally.

The problems begin when the celebrity/artist does not share those intimate feelings. How can she? There's one Loreena, there are thousands of us.

What I respond to in Loreena's music has everything to do with:

1. Her talent for touching through her art;

2. My receptivity to that touching.

What I choose to do with the emotional reactions I have to her music is my responsibility. I can turn inward and see what messages my own psyche are trying to send to better my life, or urge me to research Celtic [whatever]... or I can turn outward, project things onto Loreena, and think she, as a "celebrity," has something I want and/or need.

Going inward is the more healthy response. Fame creates that false intimacy for some people, and things can get really scary from there. Someone once told me you don't value your privacy until you lose it and can't get it back. Famous writers can choose not to put their photos on the backs of their books; musicians and actors haven't that luxury.

Just my 25p.
I can't describe what elation shot through me when I first read that Loreena was planning to tour the United States in 2007. I had expected that the concert would be limited to the European tour, and when I received the announcement, I excitedly perused the list of cities, hoping for Dallas, Texas. But, no... the tour was limited to the northern USA, and the closest she would come to me was Boulder, Colorado, 917 miles away.

No matter; Boulder is do-able! I shared the news with my girlfriend, Lynda, and when tickets became available I bought two for us and we arranged a vacation around the concert. Rather than fly, we chose to make the drive up through Oklahoma and southern Colorado, stopping at various scenic areas along the way and thoroughly enjoying the trip.

Come the night of the concert, we received our official Loreena McKennitt An Ancient Muse 2007 tour handouts. After a welcoming greeting and warning not to take pictures, it listed the performers and help, and then became a catalog of official Loreena McKennitt items we could buy. CDs, of course; but also tee shirts, notecards, totebags, the special DVD which was available only at the concert (at least, then, I guess... you can get it now from the website), a personally signed photoprint of Loreena ($30), and posters of the tour ($20).

Reading through the "Notes from the Road" insert, I found this exciting description of how Loreena's time at a concert goes: "Directly following the show, the musicians usually head back to the hotel and I stay at the venue to meet friends, business collegues and special guests. Following this, I am usually found signing autographs if there are people waiting at the stage door."

"We can get an autograph!" I told Lynda. Wouldn't that be the culmination of the trip! We drove a thousand miles to hear Loreena McKennitt, and met her in person for the brief moment it takes to get an autograph! So I went up to the vending booth where all the tee shirts and tote bags and such were being sold, and I dutifully paid $20 for a poster with a barely discernable picture of a tent (presumably part of a caravanserai) with a listing of cities on the tour.

The concert was wonderful, everything we could have hoped for, with the driving rock drummer adding a dimension to the live performance that was not there on the studio recordings. I stood up and yelled, "Yeaaah!" after the concluding violin solo on Santiago.

And then the concert was over, and I hurried to the exit and around to the stage door to get Loreena to sign my poster. It was lightly raining as the crew began bringing the instruments out and loading them in the truck. I was the first one there, but directly several others came as well. We all stood in the drizzle for a few minutes, and then a side door opened and someone called to one of my fellow waiters, "Carolyn! Come in here, she's in here." And so we all filed back through that door and into the auditorium again, and we milled around for a few moments, and then someone began checking passes.

It turned out that you had to have a special pass to get in. I hadn't known about this. I don't know what the criteria were for receiving a pass; perhaps you had to be a member of the city council, or someone who had facilitated the use of the concert hall; I can't guess. But I didn't have one. So I watched the "friends, business collegues and special guests" file through the door into the backstage area (she did appear briefly at the door; I got to see that flaming head of hair), and then I was left standing outside, dutifully waiting my turn for an autograph.

Then one of the crew, a big ol' boy with a big beer gut stretching his white tee shirt, came up to me, pointed at the back exit from the concert hall, and said, "You need to go out that door."

I said, "Can't I get an autograph?"

He said, "Nope."

I thought of arguing, but saw the futility in it. I thought of what I'd read in the insert: "Folloing this, I am usually found signing autographs if there are people waiting..." And I thought to myself, "I guess 'usually' is the operative word here."

I drove 1000 miles to hear Loreena in person, and paid twenty dollars for a picture of a tent, and I couldn't get an autograph. The tent poster hangs on the wall in my living room, unsigned, enshrined in $200 worth of framing. I wanted it to be a reminder of a wonderful concert (and the concert was wonderful). But instead it's a reminder of a fat guy in a tee shirt folding his arms and saying, "Nope."

Twenty dollars for an unsigned concert advertisement? Don't talk to me about the cult of celebrity. But then, I guess it's simple economics... supply what the demand will sustain, huh? I paid for it, didn't I.

P.S. Of course, it was later announced that a second sweep of the tour would come south, and it came to Arlington (next door to Dallas), and of course, we attended that one, too. Lynda asked, "Do you want to take your poster out of the frame and see if you can get it signed this time?"

I shrugged and said, "Nah... why bother?" The magic was gone.

P.P.S. Lynda's daughter Aimee, living in New York, met Loreena at a signing and got her to sign a CD for Lynda. Aww... how sweet.
quote:
Originally posted by GatoCat:
I can't describe what elation shot through me when I first read that Loreena was planning to tour the United States in 2007. I had expected that the concert would be limited to the European tour, and when I received the announcement, I excitedly perused the list of cities, hoping for Dallas, Texas. But, no... the tour was limited to the northern USA, and the closest she would come to me was Boulder, Colorado, 917 miles away.

No matter; Boulder is do-able! I shared the news with my girlfriend, Lynda, and when tickets became available I bought two for us and we arranged a vacation around the concert. Rather than fly, we chose to make the drive up through Oklahoma and southern Colorado, stopping at various scenic areas along the way and thoroughly enjoying the trip.

Come the night of the concert, we received our official Loreena McKennitt An Ancient Muse 2007 tour handouts. After a welcoming greeting and warning not to take pictures, it listed the performers and help, and then became a catalog of official Loreena McKennitt items we could buy. CDs, of course; but also tee shirts, notecards, totebags, the special DVD which was available only at the concert (at least, then, I guess... you can get it now from the website), a personally signed photoprint of Loreena ($30), and posters of the tour ($20).

Reading through the "Notes from the Road" insert, I found this exciting description of how Loreena's time at a concert goes: "Directly following the show, the musicians usually head back to the hotel and I stay at the venue to meet friends, business collegues and special guests. Following this, I am usually found signing autographs if there are people waiting at the stage door."

"We can get an autograph!" I told Lynda. Wouldn't that be the culmination of the trip! We drove a thousand miles to hear Loreena McKennitt, and met her in person for the brief moment it takes to get an autograph! So I went up to the vending booth where all the tee shirts and tote bags and such were being sold, and I dutifully paid $20 for a poster with a barely discernable picture of a tent (presumably part of a caravanserai) with a listing of cities on the tour.

The concert was wonderful, everything we could have hoped for, with the driving rock drummer adding a dimension to the live performance that was not there on the studio recordings. I stood up and yelled, "Yeaaah!" after the concluding violin solo on Santiago.

And then the concert was over, and I hurried to the exit and around to the stage door to get Loreena to sign my poster. It was lightly raining as the crew began bringing the instruments out and loading them in the truck. I was the first one there, but directly several others came as well. We all stood in the drizzle for a few minutes, and then a side door opened and someone called to one of my fellow waiters, "Carolyn! Come in here, she's in here." And so we all filed back through that door and into the auditorium again, and we milled around for a few moments, and then someone began checking passes.

It turned out that you had to have a special pass to get in. I hadn't known about this. I don't know what the criteria were for receiving a pass; perhaps you had to be a member of the city council, or someone who had facilitated the use of the concert hall; I can't guess. But I didn't have one. So I watched the "friends, business collegues and special guests" file through the door into the backstage area (she did appear briefly at the door; I got to see that flaming head of hair), and then I was left standing outside, dutifully waiting my turn for an autograph.

Then one of the crew, a big ol' boy with a big beer gut stretching his white tee shirt, came up to me, pointed at the back exit from the concert hall, and said, "You need to go out that door."

I said, "Can't I get an autograph?"

He said, "Nope."

I thought of arguing, but saw the futility in it. I thought of what I'd read in the insert: "Folloing this, I am usually found signing autographs if there are people waiting..." And I thought to myself, "I guess 'usually' is the operative word here."

I drove 1000 miles to hear Loreena in person, and paid twenty dollars for a picture of a tent, and I couldn't get an autograph. The tent poster hangs on the wall in my living room, unsigned, enshrined in $200 worth of framing. I wanted it to be a reminder of a wonderful concert (and the concert was wonderful). But instead it's a reminder of a fat guy in a tee shirt folding his arms and saying, "Nope."

Twenty dollars for an unsigned concert advertisement? Don't talk to me about the cult of celebrity. But then, I guess it's simple economics... supply what the demand will sustain, huh? I paid for it, didn't I.

P.S. Of course, it was later announced that a second sweep of the tour would come south, and it came to Arlington (next door to Dallas), and of course, we attended that one, too. Lynda asked, "Do you want to take your poster out of the frame and see if you can get it signed this time?"

I shrugged and said, "Nah... why bother?" The magic was gone.

P.P.S. Lynda's daughter Aimee, living in New York, met Loreena at a signing and got her to sign a CD for Lynda. Aww... how sweet.



You know what, GatoCat, the same thing happened to me when Ms. McKennitt came to the "Motor City". I was feeling so happy and excited until I found out I couldn't meet with the Lady of Quinlan Road. I was so disappointed I ended up crying on the way home. From that point on, dear, I was determined to see that woman and meet her. I felt that and vowed that my spirit would not rest until I meet Loreena McKennitt.
Hello messageboard folk.

As you can appreciate, I am not able to spend as much time on the message board as I would prefer, but I did want to clarify something which came up in this thread.

I read with some concern the comments from a few of individuals who sought to get an autograph following concerts last year and were unable to.

Firstly, I'd like to appologise for whatever your experience was which lead to your disappointment and frustration. Additionally, if you would still like something signed, please contact me at the Quinlan Road address and I would be delighted to sign something for you.

With regards to last year's tour, in fact there was only one date in the whole of last year's North American tour that I was unable to sign autographs after the concert, and that was Detroit. Following all other concerts, I made my way to the stage door area to sign and in some instances I met with and signed for well over 200 people before travelling overnight to our next city.

Clearly however , and regretably ,it sometimes takes a considerable amount of time for me to make my way out of the theatre.

In the program notes when I mention friends, family, business associates this is truly the case and sometimes there is a great number of them including family and friends of band and crew etc, as well as record company, retail, radio folk.

In addition to this, it is not uncommon that there are dignitaries and special situations which involve individuals with handicaps or special considerations for me to meet. Last year there were a number of occasions on which I met a larger number of PBS donors following the concert which was part of their package following their donation.All of the above mentioned poeple would have been on a list for which they would be issued backstage passes. It simply is not realistic to accomodate the whole audience backstage for security and loadout reasons.And sadly, I cannot meet with everyone at once.

What I can assure you, I was always very aware that there could be people waiting outside for me and did what I could do to ensure that they were communicated with and assured I would be to them as soon as I possibly could.

Unfortunately, every evening is a unique experience in a new venue with new people running it. My team is instructed to treat the public with great appreciation and care. However, at each venue we are also working with local crew etc. Some of those individuals have a great appreciation for the public, others tend to treat the public, well, rather casually. For that I am truly sorry.

You must know , that one of the greatest pleasures I get out of touring is actually meeting you.It is not always easy and especially for many of you when you are left waiting and wondering, sometimes in most unpleasant weather, for a very long time after a concert, not knowing for sure I will appear.

Given that we have another tour coming up this summer, please know I will be making every effort to meet with as many of you as I can whenever that is humanly possible. The bets thing I can suggest is inquire at the QR merchandise stand and they will advise and assist you as best they can.

Please be reminded though, that some of these summer concerts in Europe can begin rather late, and we must bear in mind what is reasonable for everyone.

I hope this clarifies things a bit . I want you to know that I greatly appreciate your support as well as your feedback, including any critical comments which in turn offers me an opportunity to address or respond to them.

I do look forward to meeting as many of you as I can this summer and thanks again for your input here.

Warm regards,

Loreena
quote:
Originally posted by Loreena:
Hello messageboard folk.

As you can appreciate, I am not able to spend as much time on the message board as I would prefer, but I did want to clarify something which came up in this thread.

I read with some concern the comments from a few of individuals who sought to get an autograph following concerts last year and were unable to.

Firstly, I'd like to appologise for whatever your experience was which lead to your disappointment and frustration. Additionally, if you would still like something signed, please contact me at the Quinlan Road address and I would be delighted to sign something for you.

With regards to last year's tour, in fact there was only one date in the whole of last year's North American tour that I was unable to sign autographs after the concert, and that was Detroit. Following all other concerts, I made my way to the stage door area to sign and in some instances I met with and signed for well over 200 people before travelling overnight to our next city.

Clearly however , and regretably ,it sometimes takes a considerable amount of time for me to make my way out of the theatre.

In the program notes when I mention friends, family, business associates this is truly the case and sometimes there is a great number of them including family and friends of band and crew etc, as well as record company, retail, radio folk.

In addition to this, it is not uncommon that there are dignitaries and special situations which involve individuals with handicaps or special considerations for me to meet. Last year there were a number of occasions on which I met a larger number of PBS donors following the concert which was part of their package following their donation.All of the above mentioned poeple would have been on a list for which they would be issued backstage passes. It simply is not realistic to accomodate the whole audience backstage for security and loadout reasons.And sadly, I cannot meet with everyone at once.

What I can assure you, I was always very aware that there could be people waiting outside for me and did what I could do to ensure that they were communicated with and assured I would be to them as soon as I possibly could.

Unfortunately, every evening is a unique experience in a new venue with new people running it. My team is instructed to treat the public with great appreciation and care. However, at each venue we are also working with local crew etc. Some of those individuals have a great appreciation for the public, others tend to treat the public, well, rather casually. For that I am truly sorry.

You must know , that one of the greatest pleasures I get out of touring is actually meeting you.It is not always easy and especially for many of you when you are left waiting and wondering, sometimes in most unpleasant weather, for a very long time after a concert, not knowing for sure I will appear.

Given that we have another tour coming up this summer, please know I will be making every effort to meet with as many of you as I can whenever that is humanly possible. The bets thing I can suggest is inquire at the QR merchandise stand and they will advise and assist you as best they can.

Please be reminded though, that some of these summer concerts in Europe can begin rather late, and we must bear in mind what is reasonable for everyone.

I hope this clarifies things a bit . I want you to know that I greatly appreciate your support as well as your feedback, including any critical comments which in turn offers me an opportunity to address or respond to them.

I do look forward to meeting as many of you as I can this summer and thanks again for your input here.

Warm regards,

Loreena


By golly, Ms. McKennitt, you seem to be right. There is no doubt Detroit is "Trash City" with so much crime and abandoned buildings. I reckon you feared you didn't want get to shot in head out of the clear blue. Don't you remember what happened to John Lennon? --Loreenya
Hello "Loreenya"

I am not sure how you came to the conclusion about the reasons I was not able to be available for signing in Detroit, out of what I wrote earlier, but for the record, it was necessary for me to travel back to southern Ontario that night in order to undertake some important adminstrative matters early the following morning. Since I had a concert the following night in Buffalo, signing afterward would have made an already short night even shorter.

I hope this dispells your inference there was anything more involved. Detroit was a great location, great audience and great venue. I look forward to returning again sometime and meeting those I wasn't able to meet last fall.


Loreena
I have read, with interest, the comments made on this topic.
While Miss McKennitt strives to be a "regular" citizen, it must be very difficult to maintain that status. To have her gift can also be a burden. I can't imagine what it must be like to have everyone wanting a piece of you. While I am sure that there is great joy in the approval received from "fans", there must be times when one is tired and just not up to the extended hours to which Miss McKennitt has alluded.

To meet Miss McKennitt after a performance is a bonus... a priviledge in my eyes. It is never a sure thing, although by her response, I can see that she tries very hard to accomodate her admirers. I would hope that fans everywhere would take things in stride and stay on the positive side. By the sounds of it, with a little patience, they will be rewarded. It would be nice to have the added bonus of that autograph, but that wasn't the real reason you went to that concert...was it? No... it is her musical performance and her words that we wish to experience at that concert.

We would all love to meet Loreena McKennitt on a personal level, but for most of us that is never going to happen. We can dream, though! Smiler

Anyway, I don't think anyone should suggest ulterior motives, nor read into her words meanings that are not there. Neither should Miss Mckennitt have to justify herself. Things happen, time runs short (or long!) and circumstances that affect all of us, affect her as well.

Enjoy the music, with no great expectations...and who knows what will happen? Sometimes, dreams do come true.

Cheers, everyone.

John
quote:
Originally posted by Loreena:
Hello "Loreenya"

I am not sure how you came to the conclusion about the reasons I was not able to be available for signing in Detroit, out of what I wrote earlier, but for the record, it was necessary for me to travel back to southern Ontario that night in order to undertake some important adminstrative matters early the following morning. Since I had a concert the following night in Buffalo, signing afterward would have made an already short night even shorter.

I hope this dispells your inference there was anything more involved. Detroit was a great location, great audience and great venue. I look forward to returning again sometime and meeting those I wasn't able to meet last fall.


Loreena


Ms. McKennitt, I apologise for making this horrific conclusion. I suddenly remembered that you dohave to go to do away with some admininstrative business when you held the concert in Detroit on October 16, 2007. Oh, in the names of Jesus and Mary, Ms. McKennitt, I beg for your forgiveness. --Loreenya
quote:
Originally posted by GatoCat:
Don't talk to me about the cult of celebrity. But then, I guess it's simple economics...


Hi,
I understand your disappointment and I’m aware this is a tough issue, particularly because it involves your feelings and expectations, but I don’t agree with your strict conclusions about Loreena.

That QR is based on economics is not anything new to anyone, it’s not a secret that Loreena runs a business and that most of her working decisions are linked to financial reasons. We pay a ticket to attend a concert, we pay for every item at the merchandise stand, we pay for a cd or dvd in stores; there’s a QR shop on her website to give anyone worldwide the chance to purchase her goods. This is economics, but NOT celebrity; economics doesn’t imply her lack of sensitivity or of consideration and gratitude towards her fans who love and support her. My experience is proof of that and I’d like to tell it. At the beginning I preferred not to tell my “little”, lovely story, but now I think I owe that to Loreena.
Some months ago I wrote to QR to ask the staff for a Stratford postcard, as I collect postcards from all over the world and never got any from Canada. Stratford is where Loreena resides, as you know, and so I liked the idea to have a pic of her hamlet. A few weeks later I was sent an email to let me know that Loreena herself signed a postcard for me and “she was happy to do so”, as Robin told me. Leaps and tears of joy. I couldn’t believe it!! Obviously it was a great surprise. I didn’t have her autograph. After a week I got her postcard. This is neither economics, nor celebrity, but a simple gesture of kindness, which is often so rare if someone is really a celebrity: what a labour to get down from that so high pedestal just to sign a postcard for someone totally unknown she will never meet with in her life – and of course about that I hope not, however. But she did and I appreciated so much!

And then…Loreena is not that fat guy, she is not at fault if he behaved in a bad manner. She would have never done.

Loreena, I know you needn’t my help and support, but I was pretty keen to say that. Thanks once again and sorry… if my English is a bit unsteady.

freesoul
quote:
To meet Miss McKennitt after a performance is a bonus... a priviledge in my eyes. It is never a sure thing, although by her response, I can see that she tries very hard to accomodate her admirers. I would hope that fans everywhere would take things in stride and stay on the positive side. By the sounds of it, with a little patience, they will be rewarded. It would be nice to have the added bonus of that autograph, but that wasn't the real reason you went to that concert...was it? No... it is her musical performance and her words that we wish to experience at that concert.



I totally agree, John. I've been to two concerts and had the good fortune to meet Ms. McKennitt both times. But, I didn't go with the expectation that I would meet her. I didn't feel as if it were an entitlement. It was pure good fortune.

Personally, I can't imagine what it would feel like to expend all that energy on stage, then appear at the stage door, smile, greet all those people, sign all those autographs *and* then move on to the next city and start all over again. It's probably all compounded and complicated by other business, family and personal demands. And it lasts for weeks on end.

The fact that so many people want to meet Ms. McKennitt must be a similar to a "double edged sword". Gratifying on one hand and yet physically and emotionally demanding on the other.

Will I attend more concerts? Probably if it's at all feasible. Would I like to meet Ms. McKennitt again after her concert? Only if good fortune smiles. Smiler
I, too, have been so blessed as to twice have the opportunity to meet and converse briefly with Ms. McKennitt, and I can attest that her interaction with her fans is not limited to "friends, business colleagues, and special guests".

The first time I got to meet her, I was one of the aforementioned PBS donors for whom a backstage pass had been allocated. The second time, I was merely one of the people lingering outside the venue.

She was every bit as engaging, kind, and gracious on our second encounter as she had been on our first, and after signing my program guide, and allowing me to walk her to her bus, stood patiently at the door while I stumbled through bidding her farewell.

Having had the experience of meeting her both as a "special guest" and as just another lingering fan, I have a special appreciation that perhaps no one else has sufficiently elucidated:

The meet and greet sessions with the "friends, business colleagues, and special guests" are not exclusive gatherings to which you need be invited to merit her attention.

They are, rather, obligations which she must meet before she is able to graciously indulge the aspirations of those of us to whom she has no formal obligation.

That she so freely and enthusiastically does so is measure of how well she shuns the cult of celebrity.
If I may be so bold as to throw a pragmatic angle on this discussion. .

Loreena is a celebrity. . because we force it upon her. If you saw her twin standing in a checkout line, would you lose your mind and have one of those "Fan Fits", or would you just note her presence, and go on about your business?

There are many musicians of note who you would not know in a crowd, unless someone pointed them out to you. You might see their face and find it familiar, but unless you had scrutinized and memorized their features, would you actually KNOW who they were without an introduction?

I find the assertion that celebrities cannot separate their private lives from their public appearances, to be obtuse and inaccurate. With the Paparazzi stalking their every step, it's no wonder that many celebrities are so celebrated and scrutinized under a microscope, and that people (for lack of a better evaluation) are so simplistic as to believe that by joining a "celebrity cult" they somehow gain importance and self realization.

So, the question begs. . at a concert, if given the chance to meet the artist, in this case Loreena McKennitt, would you act like a "Fan", or as a friend?

I'm not so ignorant as to suggest that Meeting Loreena would not be a bit exciting. . but I hope I'd at least have the grace to keep it in context. She is an extremely talented, and hard working artist. Her celebrity comes from our view of her greatness in this regard.

On a side note .. if you met Tom Cruise, Cher, Amy Lee, Mick Jagger, or Paul McCartney, would you go nuts? Or would you let them be "people".

One other comment, if I may. People attribute the most misguided infatuation for most everything a "Celebrity" does. . from their opinions, to their hair style, car they drive, and even the shoes they wear. Which many times explains the misguided intentions of "Fans" concerning important subjects that these celebrities have opinions on. Pick a modern day heavy political or global topic, and there is a celebrity touting their opinion of it, and thousands of adoring fans marching in lock step with that celebrities views, no matter if they are correct views, or not. In a way it is humorous, and in another it is sad. That people so easily give over their thinking simply because a celebrity speaks, says much of our society. I have observed and heard some of Loreenas opinions, and seen her works and charities she is affiliated with. Most I agree with, some I am unfamilar with. But, I would hope that anyone seeing Loreena's actions, and associating with the activities she is involved in, would do so because they are worthy causes and things to do, not simply because Loreena was involved.

I'm glad Loreena is able to separate these two facets of her life. Ir reinforces the genuiness of who she is, and what she is doing.
quote:
Originally posted by KrisW:
Loreena is a celebrity. . because we force it upon her.

I find the assertion that celebrities cannot separate their private lives from their public appearances, to be obtuse and inaccurate. With the Paparazzi stalking their every step, it's no wonder that many celebrities are so celebrated and scrutinized under a microscope, and that people (for lack of a better evaluation) are so simplistic as to believe that by joining a "celebrity cult" they somehow gain importance and self realization.


There are some Hollywood types that lead a pretty private life. However, I would not condemn them for speaking their mind on an issue they feel strongly about.

If you want to decrease the attention placed on people like Loreena, don't partake in the big media shenanigans. However, most people's curiosity wins out and they end up perusing the latest tabloid in the doctor's office or check out line. The more people who defy that decreases the effect paparazzi have on celebrities. I think I've made it clear on this forum and also on the OWL that I feel there is a strong moralistic absence from society that ironically can be traced back to the Puritanical notion of being upright and moral and frowning on the very sexy and outrageous behavior we see today.

Media (and other big events in US/World history of late) have done a number on societal views on a person's self worth, security, and potential. I think it's this paralysis of people to be right with themselves and do right by others and give of themselves to their communities that feeds into this notion of worshipping the "perfect" celebrity with all the money, potential, and looks.

Angie
Certainly LM doesn't go out of her way to cultivate her celebrities like a lot of UK and West Coast Celebrities do. Most of her "celebrity" activities revolve around her charities or straight forward promotion of her music business. The incident with her brother's cows and the privacy lawsuit are the only things that smack even vaguely of celebrity self aggrandizement and even that is very much an overstatement in my opinion. There is no reason that she shouldn't be given the same considerations as other people and be ignored as much as she wants to be. As I believe I've said before, if she came to Austin, she could walk from one end of 6th St to the other and no one would recognize her, I promise.
I would like to say that Ms. McKennitt will always be a celebrity, whether she likes it or not. Besides, she has been the talk of the town in her hometown, Stratford. Even if she is one, she doesn't have to go on some game show like "Celebrity Jeopardy" and hang around with her fellow Canadian, Alex Trebeck (which, on the other hand, would be pretty interesting if it happened. Ms. McKennitt and Mr. Trebeck would have a wonderful, lively conversation on the show. I wonder if they'll get along.)--Loreenya
It's another decision in the UK courts. I'm wondering how much weight it carries in the US and Canada (does British jurisprudence carry over to Canada as part of the commonwealth?) and what enforcement mechanisms are there other than dragging the offender into court. These are civil cases that are initiated after the fact. The idea is to prevent someone from violating your privacy instead of being forced to sue them after it happens...

quote:
Originally posted by angie:
I'm shocked.

A voice of reason ... in the UK papers?

Times Article about Rowling judgment/privacy laws
Hi Loreenya

I've been thinking a while about what you’ve written
quote:
Originally posted by Loreenya:
I would like to say that Ms. McKennitt will always be a celebrity, whether she likes it or not. ... Loreenya

Yes, ms. McK is a celebrity. But does that remove her right of having a private life? Or any other celebrity for that matter?

I come to think about respect, again.
Isn’t it a kind of lack of respect not to let the celebrities live their own lives in privacy? At least when they are at home or not in a celebrity-related situation, like shopping or visiting the beach with the family or walking the dog.

I'm not saying that you Loreenya do not have that respect, as I don't really know what you mean by saying
quote:
... whether she likes it or not.


I'm not quite sure of your intention by saying this. Is it meant as a statement?

I would very much like to know what you mean.


Take as much time you like to answer. I know I'm a little hard on you.


Sincerely

Anxious 2
Dear Loreena,

I was reading your writings on the Cult of Celebrity. First off, I think it’s fantastic that you share your thoughts in a personal way.

When I think of the word celebrity, I think of a person who is unreachable and is only there for you to hear about. Maybe even someone who just interacts with those who are famous like him or herself. With that said, I have come to realize that this does not sound like you, to me. The word I would describe your instance is that you are well-known.

What may give you somewhat of the celebrity edge (not that you are a celebrity) is that you will have people like me, whose tongue gets tied because they meet someone they admire and are in awe of them. This, of course, is no fault of your own. I have to say that I’m not use to seeing someone as well-known as you, to be personable as you are and responsive. Course maybe I could see this more often, if I didn’t claim that I was going to faint from sheer excitement. But I digress.

I saw you perform at Barnes and Noble in New York City, playing a café like setting, and it seemed to me that you are just like us. Just like us in that, you do work, (sounds like early days and late nights), you run, plan, and represent your business. I can relate to this because I have started a small business. I could see the entrepreneurialship when it came time to introduce ourselves to you. You made sure, that after we took photos and had our cds signed, that the person assisting you, had us sign up for your newsletters and membership. That’s business, which I appreciate. Still you were personable and in touch with all those who came to hear your music. So it is not as if no one could relate to you or you to them. But I guess what is so awesome about you, is that you are living a life you love (That is right isn’t it?) and you are well-known and admired around the world. That is a big deal.

So what I’m really saying is that you are, as you once said at the meet and greet in NYC Barnes and Noble (that was Union Square) “I’m just an ordinary person”. This was in response to my dramatic words of “I think I’m going to faint!” I didn’t respond to you then because I didn’t know what to say at that moment. I think I was still stunned in meeting you. But as I thought about it, and I would like to say to you now, is that yes, you are an ordinary person, but an ordinary person, who I think is doing some extraordinary things (if you will). And you know what? That is how it should be. We need to have individuals like your self to go beyond where others have not reached just yet. Only because you and other wonderful artists are so inspiring. You give hope in the knowledge that all things can be made possible. For me, it makes me look at my life, my dreams, my goals and my path in life. Gives me the feeling that I could possibly step out and express the gifts given to me by the almighty above.

May Blessings Be Upon You Always!

Lizjul

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