When you’re famous, you want your ex-friends to tell the press, “I always knew she had the light of genius glimmering beneath her skin like final couplet of that Neruda poem, “Ode to a Beautiful Nude,” that she loved so well oh and also Neruda wrote that poem for her.” You don’t want your ex-friends to go on record saying, “I dunno, she seemed pretty ordinary to me…” or even worse, “Who?”
If you’re planning to be famous, you need to start curating your future legend NOW. Every second you sit at a coffee shop hoping that genius will strike through something as petty as “art” is another second that you look ordinary, forgettable, and completely sane. Be sure to utilize these incendiary techniques every time you run into a fairly articulate acquaintance who may one day be giving an interview about–who else?–YOU:
- Never make eye contact. Always look slightly above everybody’s heads, and make sure your eyes grow misty and far-reaching. After all, you’re staring into the realm of genius—or is that the infinite abyss? Only you know for sure.
- When asked, “How are you?” make sure your response contains a) something controversial about art and b) a foreign word. Example: “Sturm und drang, James Joyce was a woman!”
- If you run into an acquaintance on the street, say breathlessly (before they have a chance to greet you), “Can’t talk now, I’ve been writing the last chapter of my novel in my head for the past 3 hours and I must get it down on paper.” Then mime using a typewriter or a quill pen and shout something mysterious and irrelevant like “Shark moon!” It’s great publicity and you’ll sound like a mad poet.
- Don’t dance like nobody’s watching. Dance like EVERYBODY’S watching.
- Never underestimate the power of quirky makeup.
- Pepper your conversation with confusing anecdotes featuring common first names. Example: “James and I were down at the fishing hole talking about quarks the other day…” People will wonder which James you mean. James Smith? James Franco? JAMES JOYCE?
- Wave people away impatiently. Then mime using a typewriter again.
- When attending any sort of public artistic performance (concerts, plays, movies), yawn a lot, look aimlessly around the theater, and write furiously in a Moleskine. It’s very important that you do not support any other art form. This is a dying economy, people! EAT OR BE EATEN.
- Sing in the shower. Have a microphone installed in your shower.
- You’re not a poet, a dancer, a scuptor. Genres are so passe. Only refer to your “art” and your “craft.” Threaten to feature people in your “art.” But use a really neutral voice so they don’t know if it’s a compliment or an insult. Then whisper, “I love to capture people at their most vulnerable,” and mime using a videocamera.
- Draw furiously on the tablecloth. Then continue drawing on your date’s face. Then gaze across the restaurant, lock eyes with a beautiful woman, and rush over to her, abandoning your date and crying, “The search for loveliness is neverending!”
- Fling yourself onto EVERY CHAISE LOUNGE YOU SEE. This one is not optional.