Monday, October 14, 2013

How to Be a Rock Star

I came across an interesting post by a friend of mine in a different community and thought to myself, wow. That would work so well for every aspect of my life.

She speaks about how she once was in a room where everyone was throwing themselves at a man she was with, shouting his name and showing their excitement he was there. In that particular community, they had a specific form of salute to show Rock Star status, and everyone was giving this man the Rock Star Salute (RSS from here on out). Picture, of course, young teens at a concert. What is the RSS? Pulling their hair, screaming at the top of their lungs, waving hands in front of their face, reaching hands out to the person on stage. This is a RSS. This is where we get the term from. Think of Elvis. Think of the Beatles.

Now, let's look at it in terms of the way life works. The beloved member of your family who you only see once a year during the holidays just arrived. What is the RSS? Usually it is everyone putting down what they are doing, cooing their hellos, and suddenly encircling the person. Maybe they are a Rock Star because they moved out of the area and became a doctor or a lawyer or some other amazing profession through long long years of education. But they are someone special and being with them is amazing.

How about meeting your favorite author? Hugging the book to your chest. People do this all the time. Even if they aren't meeting their favorite author, but instead found their book on the shelf of their local book store.

In the SCA? I know you have seen a million versions of RSS. Sometimes it is people crowding around someone, not letting them move five feet before more people add to the circle. I always hear you should never wear your metals of office (coronet, laurel leaves, medallions, what have you) when you are trying to make an ice run. The ice will melt long before you get home. But yes, the SCA has RSS in many different manners due to the extremity of different communities within this one large group. It could be people cheering for a particular fighter, people begging for a performance from a certain performer no matter where they see them, people oogling and gossiping over the amazingness of a particular artisan and how they are the best at what the do... think about all the different ways we, as a group, put someone up on a pedestal and form them into a Rock Star.

In either case, she continues to say, "I have saluted many a Rockstar, and I'm happy to know that it has caught on, that Rockstars are now 'making' new Rockstars. A Rockstar can 'make' another Rockstar, but a random cannot make a Rockstar." Think about that. Try and really think and grasp that. Let's pretend that you have a Big Important Title aka YOU ARE A ROCK STAR (and this could, honestly, be anything. You could be a baronial champion, you could have an award people look up to, or you could just be the go to person in your area where people know you know everything). Yes, getting a RSS feels amazing, but do you know how much good you can do as a Rock Star? You are looked up to. You are believed in. You are amazing. And if you tell people 'wow, have you seen this person?' They are going to look. If you give that person the RSS, people are going to say 'wow... so and so just gave that person an RSS! They must be amazing and I should be doing that too!' YOU have the power to point people towards people that YOU think are amazing! You can't create a Rock Star out of nothing, but you CAN point people towards someone who has been overlooked and deserves time on that pedestal.

I have seen it happen. I have seen a Rock Star give their version for their situation of a RSS and, it may have taken days or weeks or months, but people realized what a Rock Star this person they were saluting was and they, in turn, became a Rock Star.

My friend continues with a list of ten things to help you decide if you are a Rock Star (because sometimes you need a reminder or you just never realized) or not (which I will put into more general terms so I wont out my friend at all):

Well, You Might Be A Rock Star If...

1. When you go somewhere, more people know you by your Rock Star name (think SCA versus the rest of your life) than by your mundane name
2. It takes you 45 minutes to walk a path that others can walk in 10, because so many people are coming up to you and saying hello
3. People you consider colleagues keep randomly giving you RSS
4. People you don't know and have never met you want to meet you
5. You teach a class with 200 people in it as effectively as you can teach a class with 20 - or 2, because size doesn't matter to you.
6. You participate in your community beyond being the Rock Star on stage and in front of an audience
7. You treat people with kindness and respect, regardless of what they may or may not have to offer you
8. Your name has become a household name - and you didn't create it yourself
9. You need help when you are finished teaching or demoing just so you can get back to your room (be it from exhaustion or so many people wanting your attention the second it is over)
10. You don't really care if you ever get a RSS, because you know it isn't important

So go out there. Be a Rock Star and create Rock Stars. Inspire through your words and actions. Remember how good it was the first time someone gave you the RSS? Don't you think other people deserve to feel that amazing as well? Go create Rock Stars!