Remember who you were the second before your defining event occurred. Because, in 15 minutes and 1 second, that’s who you’re going to be again. Glory is fleeting. Enjoy the ride, but don’t expect it to define your life. It will forever be a part of your life and people will occasionally remind you of it, but you had a life before the event happened and that is most likely what you will go back to. You may wish to change your life after the event and that’s fine. You can change your life, the event can’t. It can only interrupt your life and send it is a different direction for a while. Things will go back to normal. However, you must define what normal is for you.
Remember who your friends were one second before your 15 Minutes started. After your 15 Minutes start, you’re going to have lots of people around you saying they’re your friends. You want the friends that you had before your 15 Minutes to be there after the 15 Minutes are over. For whatever reason, they were your friends before and you will want them to be your friends afterward. Also, try to have a trusted friend from before the 15 Minutes with you while the firestorm swirls around you. Get someone that will help you remember who you were before all of the hoopla and can talk with you about the time before the 15 Minutes. It will help you ground yourself in what is the true reality of your life.
No matter how nice the media is to you, they aren’t your friends. They are there to do a job and make money for their companies. Some of them are nice and some of them are honest, but some of them don’t care how they do their jobs. If they can find a niche no one else has pushed forward yet, they’ll do it to get readers or viewers. Along with this, if you don’t want a picture of you in a certain pose or with certain people to be published, don’t let it be taken.
Be honest with everyone about what you did and why. The truth never changes. If you exaggerate, embellish, or lie, someone will notice. They will catch you on it and the questions will go to the differences in your story rather than what you did. The media stops calling when there are questions concerning your honesty. Whatever you did was newsworthy, otherwise the reporters wouldn’t be there. Stick to the facts.
Be yourself. It’s okay for a jeans and t-shirt kind of person to dress up for an interview or an award. Even I did it and my coworkers laughed as my image came across the screen. But don’t try to put on airs that make people think that you are something different than you are. Get back into your regular clothes and regular schedule as soon as possible. You may not realize it as the press is asking for interviews, but a normal life feels good.
Sit down whenever you can. For some reason, 15-minute type events involve a lot of standing. Take advantage of an offered chair. Don’t be afraid to ask to sit down for a while.
Drink water whenever you can. Eat whenever you can and if someone else is buying, eat well. But, always remember Rule 1. You want to be remembered for what you did, not what advantages you took while you could.
Go to the bathroom whenever you can. The media will keep trying to do their job and they can’t feel your bladder swelling. No further explanation is needed. Trust me on this one.
Don’t drink everything everybody wants to buy for you. People seem to think at times that the proper thing to do is buy the hero an adult beverage. One is okay. A few are okay if someone else is driving. But, nothing will end 15 Minutes of Fame faster than a video of a drunk obnoxious hero stumbling down the sidewalk.
When your 15 minutes are up, realize it. Remember that it’s called “15 Minutes of Fame” for a reason. Glory is fleeting. Don’t be bitter that the media isn’t calling any more. They’ve moved on to the next story in the pile. That’s their job. Now it’s time for you to go back to your job which is living your life. That’s why Rules 1 & 2 are Rules 1 & 2.