You could tell he was a best-selling author the moment he stepped on the elevator. It was in the smile: the smug smile of success of someone who needs success to smile. If that didn’t tip you off, then the collared shirt with his name embroidered over his right tit and the words “Best-Selling Author” embroidered over his right tit did.
His beard resembled a furry cat, a tawny feline that perched onto his chin years ago and never left. Instead, the pussiness seeped into his pores and oozed throughout his persona: the entitlement in his strut, the condescension in his tone – he was a self-satisfied pussy alright, content with a belly rub, maybe a broken-winged butterfly to bat around. Behind every. last. word. was an inner sigh of contentment. An, “Ahhh… it’s me, bitches!” right as a Swizz Beatz beat dropped and looped endlessly in his head.
He was the kind of person you’d meet at wine ‘n cheese parties. He’d listen politely to whatever you said, nodding too often, after every. last. word. because that’s what he learned in his interpersonal communications class. Except the glazed look in his eyes and the superior smile itching to break out over his face gave the game up, and finally you’d pop the unavoidable question: so what do you do?
And he’d one-up your every utterance with his trump card, his bitch of spades:
“Me?” dripped with false modesty and fake surprise. As if he’s never heard the question before. “I’m a best-selling author.”
Then you nod and say something to the effect of “how fabulous,” though you may never have used the word “fabulous” in your life, before sipping the box wine and nibbling on some stinky Cabrales. You’d re-read the words on his shirt.
“I never would have guessed,” you’d say.
Promote, market, sell yourself. You gots to do it if you’re going to make it, yeah? Chalk one up to naivety, but there’s got to be some finesse to it, a balance between creating buzz and hawking yourself on the street corner with the name “Kandy Kane” screened onto your booty shorts. The line’s a blur at the best of times, and a beer-goggled squiggle at the worst, when wearing a shirt with your resume embroidered on it is an acceptable practice in branding. Seems the line will continue getting fuzzier and fuzzier, too, as this generation emerges into the market, a generation brought up believing they are all unique snowflakes, and encouraged to tout the specificity of their successes and talents with alarming ease.
The problem with this is you’re only as good as the hype until you begin to believe it. At that point, it’s all downhill, because the second you start believing you “made it,” the drive that got you there begins to diminish. Humility and humbleness won’t blow you up like a youtube video gone viral, but they’ll continue pushing your talents long after any glim and glamour has worn off. And no matter how loud the marketing gimmick, it can’t match the volume of the art you make or the content you create. If these don’t say enough about you, nothing will.
Photo Credit: Famelab Italia