It’s probably 18 months since I first met Britney in a dance studio in New York. She’s gone from being a cute unknown who could sing and dance into a multi-million selling singing sensation and grown from being a bubbly kid into a young woman.
What’s more frightening to the casual observer (i.e. me) is the way the world has changed around Britney. When we shot ?Baby One More Time? at Venice High Britney could walk around the campus unnoticed. Today she can’t so much as poke her nose out of her Winnebago without three video crews descending upon her.
The abiding memory of this shoot was a moment when I turned around and saw Britney coming on set. In front of her cameramen were walking backwards as they pushed their lenses in her face, she was bathed in the glare of hand held lights as she walked, talked and tried to sign an autograph. I try to allow an artist the space to relax and prepare before they go in front of our cameras to do their thing. For someone like Britney this is just not possible anymore.
I have spent two and a half days hanging out with Britney this time and there has not been a single moment for personal reflection between the two of us. No chance to say ?How are you doing? What’s really happening in your world?? It’s not Britney’s fault or the fault of those around her – it’s us, the consumers, that are ultimately to blame. We all feel we need a slice of Britney (or whoever we idolize) and god forbid that our idol should be tired or in a bad mood when we thrust that grubby piece of paper in their face and ask for an autograph.
I always wanted to be a star when I was a teenager…but now I’m so grateful that when I was 18, wearing loon pants the size of a small tent, experimenting with rather ridiculous facial-hair options and exploring the wonders brought upon my brain by too much alcohol there was no-one following me around with a camera or a tape recorder.
I always wanted to be a star when I was a teenager…I think, now, I’m glad it didn’t happen.