Illuminating the Dark of the Limelight

The season premiere for Keeping up with the Kardashians racked in 2.547 million viewers. Alex from Target has a whopping 812,000 followers on Twitter. Vine sensation Nash Grier has 12.3 million followers on the app. In a world where the number of people following one’s presence on media seems to define an individual’s worth, some Millennials are almost begging for the attention of the limelight.

“Fame is so appealing to us. We’re all absolutely obsessed with it,” said Frank Simmons Jr, a 20-year-old political science major. He would know.

He’s been trying to achieve it for the past four years.

Frank, who as a musician goes by Phobez Apollo, started his music career while working in the fashion industry in his hometown of Chicago. Always a singer, Frank said he completely understands why people want to be famous: the thrill. He said it’s the greatest roller coaster. The feeling of being noticed. Of people wanting to know you.

Sue Erikson Bloland, the daughter of a well known psychoanalyst, wrote about fame in The Atlantic. She said the illusion of a difference between a famous person and the everyday person is false. She spent her childhood watching her father’s admirers treat him as if he was magical. 

Admirers of her father would often come up to her, begging to know what her father was really like, she wrote. That is one of the things most intriguing about fame. To Sue, her father was the same person. Living with the same difficulties and insecurities. So why did people treat him like he was larger-than-life?

For Frank, his personality as Phobez Apollo is completely different than his own personality. He decided to create a striking contrast between himself and the musician seeking fame. He joked, comparing his situation to the show Hannah Montana, implying that he was living a double life.


Frank Simmons Jr. uses photos like these to promote his image. (Photo provided by Frank Simmons Jr.)

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