Saturday, August 9, 2014

The S-list celebrity.

We haven't completely settled on standard measurements for our celebrities just yet.

We have the "A-list," of course, and Kathy Griffin's cementing of her position with the TV show My Life on the D-List. If you look up Z-list, you'll find it used as a term for someone who thinks they're a celebrity when they're not. But all those letters of the alphabet between D and Z seem to be just lying there, waiting for definitions.

So while we're in this alphabetic-celebrity-ranking state of flux, I want to propose we grab the "S-list" spot and make it "S" for Sherlockian. An "S-list" celebrity, then, would be anyone who has attained any celebrity whatsoever for their association with Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Consider any Sherlockian you've heard of, whom isn't local to you, you've never met, and is still a recognizable name to you due to your interest in Sherlock Holmes.

I'm not talking Jonny Lee Miller or Nicholas Meyer  here. Those guys are on the actual upper-tier celebrity lists, and if you first encountered them via Sherlock Holmes, well, that was just your personal route. Other people have discovered them through other non-Holmes career highlights. No, the true S-list celebrity would be someone we've heard of via Sherlock Holmes, and nobody else has heard of them in any way except regarding their connection to Sherlock Holmes.

Many a novelist has started as an S-list celebrity with a pastiche as their first published work, but then rises above into whatever lists that popular writers inhabit, which is the hope of most Sherlockian novelists, I'd wager. Those whose Sherlock Holmes novels lead to more Sherlock Holmes novels can manage to stay on the S-list, but most career writers eventually find celebrity in other than Sherlockian circles just due to their other output and travels, even if it's just the "M for Mystery" list.

A solid route for being an S-list celebrity and not aspiring to more is the article in the Sherlockian journal, and it has long been the standard payment for Sherlockian journal writers. An article in The Baker Street Journal has always been a first step for getting noticed by the Baker Street Irregulars membership selection person, and if ever there was an "I'm on the S-list!" moment for a Sherlockian, Irregular membership is one.

Of course, there are many others. Going to your first Sherlock Holmes conference or event in a faraway city and having people come up to you knowing something you did is probably the most common way to suddenly feel you're on the S-list. As is having a co-worker or someone else in your everyday life be surprised to discover something you did in the Sherlock world via the internet or some other source you had nothing to do with.

Any action that moves your name outside of the local Sherlock Holmes club, really, is what can put you on the celebrity S-list of the Sherlockian world. And now that there's a pseudonymous world of fanfic existing alongside the old world of Sherlock Holmes fans with aliases that get around like renowned criminals or skilled spies, you don't even have to get your actual name out to be on the S-list. (Though I guess that sort of thing has been happening in show biz forever.)

One of these days, given the inventive, creative, "Who knew you could do that? nature of the internet, somebody may even start an online TMZ of S-list celebrities. Because, lord knows, Sherlockians can do some pretty wacky, wacky stuff, and the rumors do fly about major S-listers. And that's an even better sign that the S-list exists . . . because there are people we do like to gossip about in Sherlockian circles, which however awful the story, does mean they're an interesting celebrity to somebody.

And if you Google "S-list" right now, the field seems pretty open for Sherlockians to lay claim to the term. Why not stake our claim?

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