Most of you that read this blog will know that there was a F0 tornado that swept through camp where I work. Not only did that tornado bring some minor devastation to our camp, but it also brought a whirlwind of media attention. Having a little television experience, I ended up being the point man. I snapped some photos of the downed trees and sent them in to our local network affiliate.
The station liked them.
Maybe too much.
After my photos hit the 11 o’clock news, my phone rang. It was the station asking if I would mind doing a live remote at 5AM the next morning. I accepted, and my path to local stardom began.
I arrived at the location of the remote broadcast at 4:45AM having donned my finest man-wear — Carhart pants, Columbia jacket and a sweet cap featuring my camp’s initials on the front.
The camera rolled and so did all the dollar bills. I started getting $5,000 a gig. The local media couldn’t get enough of my description of the tornado — how it “sounded like a freight train” or how the “trees were topped as if Paul Bunyan himself laid waste to the camp with his axe.”
As the sun rose, my fame was skyrocketing. At least 2 or 3 channels had my face on the top story intro. People were sticking products in my hand so that I could endorse them in my interviews. A pro football player by the name of Walter Payton asked me if I would wear his new brand of K-Swiss shoes. I told him that I didn’t think those cameras would be focusing on my feet, but for an extra $200, I would wear them.
By 5′oclock, I had purchased a limo made of diamonds, I had nearly OD’d on Pixie Stix candy (I was buying by the box) and I demanded that everyone call me Mr. Media Magicface Donaldsonton.
But my fame was short-lived. For not long after 5:05PM, I noticed that my cell phone made of bronze stopped ringing. I also noticed that though I demanded to be called Mr. Media Magicface Donaldsonton, my name appeared as Dan Hill on one broadcast (coincidentally, that same station burned to the ground that night). Not only was I being ignored and being misrepresented, but my long time manager of 3 hours quit and started working for some guy that saw an image of Jesus on his toast.
I was on my way out and I knew it.
The nail in the coffin was when I was confused with Tyler Stanton in an image I had provided. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to get out. I had to leave. I had to get away from it all.
I went home.
Across the street.
And that is where I am this very day, writing to you about the rise and fall of a media darling.
That’s me, the media darling.
I am available for birthdays, Bar Mitzvahs and car shows.