Celebrities and Meeting Marilyn Manson
Celebrities are people too. I don’t like the idea of putting people on a pedestal, and either thinking they are god-like or expecting them to always do the right thing. I admire people who inspire me and who, in my eyes, have talents that impress me. Sometimes the so-called stars don’t have either, and are only famous because they are pretty, they know how to sell themselves or how to create drama (yes, I am looking at you, Kardashians!). While I take an “each their own”-approach to life, I sometimes am really shocked at the lengths people go to just so they can become famous, popular or celebrated. And it is even sadder to see how they then realize that the expectations are too high, and that because you are in the spotlight, people will point at even the tiniest flaws and missteps that you do.
How do I know that? Well, several reasons. I used to be very popular on a website that I volunteered on. Now you might think that that is not really a celebrity status, but let me explain! There are hundreds of thousands of people on that website, and everyone knew who I was. And I didn’t want it to be that way. I had so much attention that I didn’t crave.
When I registered on that website to become a volunteer, my goal was to support people. I knew that I would be good at it and I pretty much was in my element right from the start. I never applied for any positions, they were given to me because of my skills. Before I knew it, I was leading projects, mentoring other volunteers. I was leading group chat sessions, wrote guides and quickly became a community leader. I wanted to be able to help as many people as possible, and in the position I was in, I could do just that.
And I was celebrated for that. I was most definitely the most popular person in that community. Without wanting to be that. I wanted to be recognized for my skills. And that happened, too. But mostly, I just had a large group of followers who all wanted to be like me, to look like me, to learn the skills I had. They put me on a pedestal I didn’t want to be on. But I took it on, because well, flattery is nice, and because I was able to get some of my ideas through, and I helped all those people.
But with the fame and glory, also came the drama and hatred. There were those who were jealous of me, and who labelled me as arrogant. There were those who looked for the tiniest mistake that I made, and called me out for it. People’s expectations grew, and I felt like I was presented as some kind of superwoman I really wasn’t. It all was out of my hands the entire time, really. And the only reason why I just kept going was because of why I was there: helping others.
Eventually, the drama, harrassment and hatred just became too much for me. I got death threats daily, people who were jealous and attacked me, threatened to rape me, people who spread lies about me, people who spread very private things about me. So it was for the best that I didn’t continue with my work there. The funny thing is that I am still talked about on the site and in that community, two years after I left. I am being seen as some guru from the past that people still want to be like. It confuses me and makes me feel uncomfortable, because, honestly, no one should aspire to be me. Everyone should aspire to be the best version of themselves.
Meeting the Stars
So yeah, I have a bit of experience of being in the spotlight. And while I liked the perks that came with it, I definitely did not sign up for the dark sides of it all. And I have also been around quite a lot of celebrities. In the late 1990s/ early 2000s, I worked with catering for festivals and awardshows in Germany. So I was basically in the backstage area, where everyone wanted to be. I met people like Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Shakira, Bon Jovi and so on. And I must say that I didn’t feel any jealousy. They all seemed to just be playing a part, hiding from overly excited fans, wanting to be left alone.
I also travelled around a lot, to concerts and festivals, and hung out with quite a few musicians during those days. I especially enjoyed touring with HIM, getting drunk and partying. We got kicked out of bars and hotels together, and one or the other blowjobs were given. Fun times! But the one person I had always wanted to meet was the frontman of the band Marilyn Manson. He was basically my teenage crush, and I admired him for his style, his lyrical talent and his don’t give a fuck-attitude. And lucky me, I got to meet him twice!
Marilyn Manson – Meeting the Man
The first time was in 2003. Now, I had seen them live already in the 1990s, but back then, I was too young to be even be allowed in the backstage area at their shows. My friend C wasn’t, and she got to fuck him (see, that is something I am jealous of, haha!). In 2003 I was 22 though, so it felt more appropriate to try and meet the man.
So. 2003. Late autumn. My friend and I had tickets to see Marilyn Manson in Hamburg, Germany. My uncle lived there and we decided to get there a day early because we both loved the city. By accident we found out which hotel the band was staying in, and because we had nothing better to do, we thought we’d check it out. We had some wine and decided we’d spend the evening listening to music through earphones, sitting in front of a hotel, I mean, why not?
We asked the concierge if the band was staying at the hotel but he was not allowed to give out any information. A second later we saw the whole band, minus Mr. Manson himself, stand in front of the elevator doors, carrying bags with McDonald’s food. It was pretty obvious it was them: four guys in white blonde hair, in goth boots, talking loudly in an American accent in a German hotel? I mean, c’mon!
So we decided to stay and hang out. It was quite a fun evening, to be honest. One of the biggest German actors (Till Schweiger) was staying at the hotel too, and he came over to us, shared our wine and we had a good chat. We peed behind a dumpster, we ordered pizza, we had quite the blast. And suddenly I saw a huge black man followed by Marilyn Manson, leave the lobby. We got all overly excited and walked towards them. I remember being tipsy, and wanting an autograph, and he said something like: “Uh uh, calm down down, girl”. Oops. I asked for a picture too, but he was in a rush and walked up to a taxi and they drove off.
Oh my, we were over the moon! He was so cool, so calm, so fucking awesome! Word had spread, and more and more fans started gathering in front of the hotel. They put up metal fences. A and I made a party of it all, listening to music, dancing, smoking. After a couple of hours, Manson and his bodyguard returned. And the bodyguard walked up to me and said: “You, just you, get in the hotel!” I stood there like: “Whut? What is happening? Why? Help? What? Aaaaah?”
So I was let through, my friend pushed me forward because I was very confused about what was happening. So there I was, standing in the lobby with Marilyn Manson. “You wanted a picture, right?” – I nodded. The bodyguard (I think his name is James but don’t quote me on that) took my camera, counted to three and took a picture of us.
I then found my words again and told Marilyn Manson that his music had changed my life and I thanked him for it. He hugged me and said “Thank you, (insert my real name)” and then walked to the elevator. All this time, the fans outside were all staring at us through the glass doors of the hotel, and once Manson had entered the elevator , security didn’t feel like it was necessary to hold them back anymore. So like in some sort of weird movie, everyone was running past me to catch a glimpse of the rockstar. I watched the doors to the elevator close, Manson waved, and my friend poked my arm, asking if I was okay.
Was I okay? Ha, I sure was! We went to my uncle’s place, and woke up with a hangover the next morning. The concert that night was absolutely amazing. We had gone back to the hotel in the afternoon and met the rest of the band and arrived at the venue quite late. But because I am quite short, I was pushed through the crowd and ended up in the front row! The bodyguard saw me and actually fistbumped me! And when Marilyn Manson sang his version of “Sweet Dreams”, he knelt right in front of me, looked at me throughout the whole song, and then ended it saying into the microphone “This was for [insert my real name)”. I was really shocked!
That tour was in general pretty awesome! I went to several shows all over Europe, and especially the one in Berlin was pretty rad, and the day after that I was in the middle of some barfight in a run down area of Berlin with the band Suicidal Tendencies. You could say that 2003 was a very rock’n’roll year for me!
I met Marilyn Manson again, in 2012, this time in Stockholm, Sweden. This time my then husband and I had backstage passes, and things were more organized. When I showed Marilyn Manson the picture of us 9 years ago, he said: “Look at us, so young, so pretty!”. It was really nice meeting him again, and you know, while I don’t really care much for the whole craziness around celebrities, he is still someone I admire. He doesn’t hide who he is, he is smart, and he is a lyrical genius.
I don’t really get all star-struck around celebrities, and I am also quite aware of the issues that being popular can bring. I often feel more sorry for them than being envious of their lives. But there are some people who I very much admire, and who also have celebrity status. And I would definitely get nervous if I got to spend some time with them.