I just got back from the local pub quiz with my friend Hannah and we came sixth!! That never happens to me – we won a vinyl that cost the quiz master 50p (they left the price on) and we also won a packet of ginger nut biscuits (which has been torture as I am doing the 5:2 diet and today is a two day, which means NO GINGER NUTS).
Anyway, I got distracted from my point at hand.
I USED TO WANT TO BE FAMOUS. I knew it from an early age. I loved performers, I really did. I once performed Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” in the school talent show – and I still got bullied more for being ginger than for that number. I was also a huge fan of S Club 7 and read an article once that said that Rachel Steven’s was discovered outside an M&S, so naturally I’ve always found myself hanging outside shops a little longer than is deemed sane.
I didn’t have any actual talent (sound familiar Kerry Katona and the entire casts of the Real Housewives franchise?) but I thought I was sassy and that would do.
I think to me at that time fame = rich and being from a low-income household in a small estate in working-class Denton, having money really appealed to me and more so the security that comes with money.
As I’ve gotten older my attitudes have, of course, changed. I no longer wish to just be famous. I’m not a Kardashian. I am a real person, who just wants to earn a healthy salary to survive on by doing the thing they love the most in the world.
Nowadays, I want to be successful and I want to feel proud of my success. I want to feel like I’ve earnt it and I want to feel like I’ve earned it through working hard at my job so that when I look back at my life, I can feel proud.
For years, I feel like I was chasing the wrong thing. I wanted fame and adoration. Maybe it’s something in all of us as performers? I know I’ve certain pals / ex-pals who would literally throw their granny under a bus to be famous – and that makes me feel a bit sick.
I recently went back home and went to the Pound Bakery in Stockport, where I used to always go because for £1 you got two sandwiches and that would feed me for two days. I used to go in there and be like “I just want to one day earn enough money from my job so that I can at least afford one Greggs a day”.
Now, I am 30, the only thing I crave it isn’t fame, it’s genuine happiness – and since, I’ve realised that fame, money doesn’t make you happy… I have never felt richer.
My parents have not come for money, nor even now when we’ve grown up and left the house are they in any way wealthy but they have always worked hard, they still work 50-hour weeks and they’ve never moaned or felt entitled because they have true contentment. They have a roof over their heads, kids, great friends, weekly trips to the Harvester and now they have a selfie stick – and they have something that CBB’s Kim Woodburn might never have, they have contentment.
I don’t want to be Rachel Stevens anymore – I want to be my mum and dad.
And as 2017 rang in, I picked FIVE words that I want to live by this year that are all better than the word FAME
STEPHEN IS GOING ON TOUR THIS SPRING, FIND OUT WHERE HE IS NEAR YOU AT: www.stephenbaileycomedy.co.uk