Client: Self-assigned project
Date: June 11, 2015
I met Jimmy McMillan shortly after the televised gubernatorial debate that launched him into celebrity (link). Jimmy is a perennial candidate and has been running for one office or another since the early 1990s. While he is serious about wanting to be a politician, his campaigning seems to be for other reasons. As soon as the polls showed that he had lost, he began talking about new campaign strategies. He had his car wrapped with an adhesive cover containing his image and slogan, “Rent is too Damn High,” and continued making appearances on television, radio or even theater productions that pretended to be TV shows. Jimmy enjoys talking to people and loves to entertain. Not unlike a lot of other politicians.
Jimmy was quick to recognize that this was his moment in the limelight. He did what he could to capitalize on the moment, but it his celebrity was relatively short lived. Saturday Night Live predicted this with their skit of him saying that it would be a “very short, but very wild ride (link).” It was indeed. While this project is very much about Jimmy’s very short, but very wild ride into international celebrity, it is also about the 15 minutes of fame that Andy Warhol so insightfully spoke about. With today’s youtube celebrity culture, how does one react to sudden celebrity?