It’s weird being “Charlotte famous.”
The city doesn’t have many real celebrities, like New York or LA. There aren’t a bunch of actors and musicians, so the celebs here are more often influencers, media personalities and entrepreneurs.
In a small city, you’re more likely to encounter the people the city has made famous. At the same time, those famous folks probably never planned to be famous in the first place.
From wild speculations about your personal life, to overhearing strangers having a conversation about you, to meeting people who say they love your work even though you recognize them as one of your online bullies (all experiences I’ve personally had), it’s wild to experience being a public figure in a city that loves gossip as much as a small town.
It made me curious about whether or not other local celebrities had similar feelings.
So I asked five local celebs to chime in on their experiences.
What’s it like getting recognized in public? Are there benefits? I let them remain anonymous so they could be as honest as possible. The responses have been lightly edited for clarity and anonymity.
I like the attention when it is appropriate.
But when I’m in my zone and working on things that build the “fame,” it feels like a distraction.
Sometimes I find it hard to not to show my lack of interest. I personally have a whole other world in my mind, and sometimes I’m lost in it. When I get snapped out of it, it’s hard not to let my mind wonder on what I was thinking about beforehand.
However, if I’m laughing and speaking with someone else or engaging with the world around me, I love it!
When people message me later and say “Hey, were you at X place a minute ago?” I hate that. I want people to feel comfortable saying hi to me, and it’s never awkward.
I love our young professional community and meeting the people that make it possible for our community to exist.
– Digital Media, Snappy Dresser
Here’s my answer that my therapist would laugh at.
Sometimes people stare at me or come over to say hello. They usually open with: “OMG, you’re so busy,” as a statement, and I don’t what to say — I’m never one to talk about how busy I am.
Most of the time I deflect by asking them a million questions and then walk away so I don’t actually ever say anything.
Thanks for including me?
Signed, an imposter.
– Business Owner, Thematic Unifier
I honestly feel sorry for some of the people that meet me.
They seem so excited when they recognize me, and I feel like the end result is underwhelming compared to what they expected. I don’t know what to do. Should I pull confetti out of my pockets, throw it up in the air, and sing a song?
It also made me realize that somebody is always watching. I’ve been to events and had people tweet pictures of myself at me rather than approaching and saying hi which is pretty weird, but it keeps me on my best behavior which was a good thing considering I came into the spotlight fairly young.
It also shocks me how much personal information people I’ve never met know about me.
But it definitely has its perks. I get free stuff sometimes and access to things people would pay a decent penny for — and I’m very grateful for that.
On the other hand, I’ve also had people threaten me and follow me to events to verbally attack me in public for things I have said online (which weren’t that serious).
Overall I’ve met some really cool people, heard some really cool stories, and made lifelong friends on the ride. It’s not as hard as some other “Charlotte famous” people make it out to be. There’s definitely more pluses than minuses to it.
– Sports Media, Angry Fella
The messages I get are borderline crazy and scary.
It’s way worse on social media than in real life.
I don’t mind when people come up and recognize me at all, because I love talking about my job.
The weird stuff is when they stare, talk to their friends, and grab their phones as if I can’t see them. I mean just come over and say hello.
I think it’s weirder for my family. Sometimes my kids will have their friends ask, “Hey, is that really your Dad? They will say yeah and try to introduce me and their friends act weird and run away.
– Local TV, Cool Dad
If anyone knows my personality, I don’t mind getting recognized in public one bit.
Honestly, because of the content on my social media people come up and say, “Dude, your Instagram kills me,” or “I love how real you are on social media,” and that makes me happy.
I like making people laugh and being true to who I am and having social media as a tool to do that is the best!
Last thing: I put so much on my social media that I could go without seeing a friend for six months, and they can repeat back everything I’ve been doing — that’s pretty hilarious.
“Dude, you’re doing so much around town AND you just got back from LA! How was that?” Hilarious.
– Creator, Social Butterfly