The Stages of
by K. A. Laity
default starting point of most careers unless the
offspring of famous, wealthy or royal people (a
lustre prone to tarnishing in the absence of
Strangers do not know you, but friends begin to
become intimidated by the first glow of your
Strangers know you, but only within a modest
radius. Friends joke about your ubiquity and grow
nettled whenever you mention your latest success.
People recognize you unless they are former
friends. You remain surprised but delighted by
People you've never met talk about you in places
you have never been. Horrible lies by people you
do not know distress you and you become appalled
at the effort put into tearing you down by folks
whose acquaintance you are unlikely to ever make.
Friends offer some grudging sympathy.
(Ascendant): Accolades war with attacks to garner
the most attention from yourself and the rest of
the world. Words and actions attributed to you
mystify but you find yourself incapable of
resisting the fawning hordes and various
temptations of excess offered as you find the
whole rigmarole exhausting. Friends are not
May last only a moment or for several months;
people are as inclined to despise as to adore you,
and do so by turns. You are conscious of the
balance, frightened you cannot maintain it, even
more so that you will. The suspense is terrible,
but it will not last.
(Descendant): You become the focus of comedians
and would-be comedians, as well as quiz shows but
the general public begins to look over your
shoulder for the next big thing.
The nation loses interest in you seemingly at
once, although national organizations may hope
for your presence to add a modest sheen to public
events. Friends nod somewhat coldly but make
excuses when invited to drinks.
The city paper still uses your name at the drop
of a hat to add any lingering sparkle to small
events. Friends greet you warmly, smirk over
drinks, delighted to be seen with you and
described as old acquaintances by the local press.
Your children despise you, but this is normal for
Friends delight in your presence as proof they
were right not to try. You a) drink far more than
is recommended or b) don't drink at all to retain
a dignity in hopes that a reunion tour/new book/rediscovery
brings you back to national prominence. You lie
awake nights, wondering what it all meant.