Over the last few days I’ve been following the quest of John Gerard who is video blogging his journey across the US at his site Famous in 31 Days.
As the name suggests, John’s goals are simple – to become famous…. in 31 days.
He’s traveling across America and aims to end his journey by being featured on Jay Leno’s show. Only problem is that Jay’s never heard of him and neither had too many others before he started his journey.
Having said that – John managed to get himself some media attention in the days leading up to the start of his journey and at least in his home town got a little of the fame he’s after – but now he’s in New York and the real challenge starts.
Why am I interested in John’s journey?
To be honest, at first I arrived at his site and left again in a few seconds. But about half an hour later I realized that while John’s methods are different – that his goal is actually pretty similar to that of many bloggers that I bump into – fame (or at least getting noticed in the clutter of this crazy space we interact in).
So I went back to his site for a second look and began to watch some of his videos. Of course I then became hooked. He’s pretty funny and the reactions that he gets out of people are too.
He also had videos that kind of resonated with me called ‘Oprah Moments’. In the first one he talks about the feeling he has when someone offers to help him by giving him a free meal and in the second one he talks about being an anonymous face trying to get noticed in New York (the feelings I suspect will be familiar to many bloggers).
What John’s doing fascinates me on numerous levels. I think his journey is one that will be entertaining, enlightening and worth watching – whether he becomes famous or not (he’s making a film about the process which I’d love to see someday).
So I decided to shoot John an email and ask him if he could do a quick interview (and hopefully to help him spread the word a little). John kindly agreed and here it is:
Interview with John Gerard:
Can you briefly tell us what you’re doing and why you’re doing it with the Famous in 31 Days project that you’re doing?
I’m conducting an unusual social experiment. I’m trying to see if it’s possible for a person to become famous in 31 days, for really doing very little. I’m doing this for several reasons:
1) If it is possible, I think it’s a fascinating social commentary.
2) I was unfulfilled at work and I asked myself ‘If I could do anything, what would I do?’ And this was it.
3) I’m really intrigued by fame. What it is. Why people crave it. And what it would feel like to experience it.
4) To unsuccessfully try and fill the giant gaping hole inside of me through mass approval.
How’s it going so far?
That depends on the moment you ask me. (I occasionally experience mood swings ;) I think it’s going pretty well. I need more exposure though. People seem to enjoy the story once they hear it. It’s just trying to share it with as many people as possible.
How are you using the Web to assist you in your goals?
My website is key! www.famousin31days.com. Everything drives to the site. Promotional T-shirts, Businesscards, Car Advertising… All of it drives to the site. The internet is a critical component in achieving success today. It is a must have. Also, blog sites like this one… And content sites like Dailymotion.com, Youtube, Myspace… etc.
What are you learning about the web and how to use it? I’m learning how valuable it is… And how there really is a special knack to utilizing it well.
A lot of ProBlogger’s readers would like the publicity that you’re starting to get for their blogs – how are you getting it?
You have to do something unique and creative that will capture people’s imaginations. If it’s ordinary, you can’t stand out.
I noticed in one of your videos that you were having some strange feelings about people offering to give you things – how’s that going for you now?
I made a conscious decision to gratefully embrace every gift that someone offers. I met a really nice New York couple at The State Fair. They didn’t look rich, but the man opened his wallet and gave me his last nine dollars. I was overcome with his generosity. It’s still hard to accept and I’m trying to work through it.
Have you thought about using a blog with comments on your website to help you tell the story during the 31 days?
I’m so busy driving, producing videos, and trying to do media relations that I don’t have time to blog. I’m trying to vlog though, whenever an emotional moment presents itself.
Why did you go with the style of website that you’re using?
My kickass web designer, LeFrenchie.com designed it for me. I’ve definitely had a lot of input as to what feeling and flavor I want to create, and he’s made it happen. Not without a few speedbumps along the way though.
What have you learned so far in your journey?
That I need to overcome fear almost every step of the way and learn to trust deeply in the process of life. Often easier said than done!
Follow John’s Journey at Famous in 31 Days