Sunday, August 1, 2010

How to be a Superstar

Sometimes we read books for a good story, to escape reality, or to see the world in a different way. But sometimes we read books for practical reasons--the genre of "how to."

When my dad's cousin wanted to build a house, she went to her local library and checked out books like How to Plan, Contract and Build Your Own Home. When my boyfriend and I broke up, I admit I went to the bookstore and bought How to Heal a Broken Heart in Thirty Days (the book told me to eat chocolate and cry a lot, which was fairly helpful).

And apparently, when Lady Gaga decided she wanted to be a superstar, she read a biography of Andy Warhol-- a "how to" guide to getting her 15 minutes of fame. In an excellent profile from March 2010, New York Magazine described Lady Gaga's journey from being Stefani Joanne Germanotta to becoming a superstar. According to the article, after being dropped a number of times from record labels while trying to go the singer-songwriter route, a turning point in her transformation to becoming the most famous woman in the world was when Lady Gaga picked up a book. It might have been Warhol: The Biography, Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol, or maybe his own The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: (From A to B and Back Again).

Whichever Warhol biography or book it was, his philosophy "freed her to invent herself, like so many before her, expand herself, make herself a spectacle." The New York Magazine article quotes her friend Darian Darling: "Andy's books became her bible. She would highlight them with a pen." Lady Gaga is definitely a superstar in the Warhol sense today and she knows everyone is listening: “It’s as if I’ve been shouting at everyone, and now I’m whispering and everybody’s leaning in to hear me. I’ve had to shout for so long because I was only given five minutes, but now I’ve got fifteen. Andy said you only needed fifteen minutes.”

Celebrate Andy Warhol's birthday and a new book, The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol, on August 6th at the Gershwin Hotel!

No comments:

Post a Comment