Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Fifteen Minutes of Fame
Dr. gives his advice to guests who are seeking fame.

Recalling her life fifteen years ago, Julia says, "I had a wonderful career. I was in Dreamgirls on Broadway and had a number one record in London ... Then I made a choice. I had my son."

Julia says that when she was a driven career woman, she alienated a lot of people, including her ex-husband. "My ex-husband said that I had abandoned him," says Julia. "But once I had my son, I had to put my career on the back burner ... I'm looking out the window not knowing how to get started again. Dr. Phil, can you help me recapture my fame and help me get rid of this paralyzing fear that surrounds me?"

"Was your ex-husband right?" asks Dr. Phil. "Did he come second? Was the family second because you put the career first?"

"Sometimes, yes," admits Julia.
Julia's son, Nicholas, who is now 17, explains that he believes his mother could have been a star if it wasn't for him. "I feel bad. I feel like me coming along kind of messed up her whole Broadway career and everything she could have done if it wasn't for me," he says.

Dr. Phil asks Julia, "You don't think he's the one that ruined your Broadway career, do you?"

"Oh, no," says Julia.

"You made the choice to step back and have a family," says Dr. Phil. "If you knew then what you know now, would you still make that choice?"

"I would still make the choice," says Julia. "But I would choose to do it later in life, once I had established myself more."

"[What] if you could have your career back but [not have] Nicholas?" asks Dr. Phil.

Julia shakes her head, "No."
When Dr. Phil asks Julia why she is afraid to pursue her career again, she says she feels "bogged down under a huge mommy blanket" and fears "deserting and abandoning" her son.

Dr. Phil tells Julia, "You said, 'If I had to do it again, I would do it, but I would do it a little later in life.' Have you noticed it's a little later? What am I missing here? You need to get off your butt and get your hat back in the ring!"

The audience applauds in agreement. Overwhelmed, Julia puts her face in her hands.

"Get off the sidelines!" says Dr. Phil. "You've got to believe in your talent, skill and ability and throw your hat back in the ring ... You are using [being a mother] as an excuse because you're afraid you don't have it any more. You're afraid you're going to turn into a diva again and that [your son] is going to say the same thing that your ex-husband said to you. You're afraid that if you start pursing this again, your son will guilt-induce you just like your ex-husband did."
Robyn and Her Son Dylan

"Since the age of 2, Dylan has always wanted to be in front of the camera," says Dylan's mom, Robyn. "Dylan wants to be a professional model and actor. He also sings. I think Dylan loves the attention and thrives on it. We've sacrificed almost everything for Dylan to pursue this career. I'm beginning to think we should move to Los Angeles or New York."

"I've taken on a second job to help fund the venture," explains Dylan's dad, Craig. "We've easily spent more than $10,000 trying to make this happen ... He's actually only gotten this one Sears ad since we started the whole thing."

"I quit my full-time job as the manager of a restaurant," says Robyn. "I work part-time as a bartender so that I can leave at the drop of a hat to drive him to an audition. I worry that sometimes it might be a little hard on his ego if he does get several rejections. Dr. Phil, I'm not sure we can afford the cost of fame, both physically and emotionally."
"I just have to ask, whose dream is this?" asks Dr. Phil.

When Dr. Phil asks Robyn if she was a performer, she admits that she competed in over 30 beauty pageants.

"So you spent a lot of time in front of the camera," says Dr. Phil. "And now [Dylan] is doing it. Is it wrong or evil? Absolutely not. But does it make sense to compromise the entire family and your stability and finances in pursuit of this rather than letting it happen organically, where he performs in school plays and develops his craft?"

Dr. Phil continues, "You say he likes to perform and loves the camera but every kid likes to perform and loves the camera ... The problem I have here is [that you're] saying what a 6-year-old child wants is going to make a decision for the rest of the family ... A 6-year-old doesn't know what he wants or doesn't want."

Dr. Phil encourages Robyn to create balance in her son's life by exposing him to different things and then letting him make
his own choice.

Charles and Dee

"I'm an actor," explains Charles Napier. "I'm 67 years old. I've been in close to 100 pictures and a lot of television shows. I'm at the groveling stage of my career. The [work has] slowly drawn off ... I thought fame would be the answer to all
my problems. I'd still like another roll of the dice ... As long as I'm in this town and keep being rejected, I'm going to have that pain."

"I'm so afraid he's going to be on his deathbed saying, 'I never made it. It never happened,' says Charles' wife, Dee. "Charlie is very depressed about his career ... Our life is very difficult because we live with so much rejection ... We just feel helpless ... It's an addiction ... Dr. Phil, can you help my husband get over his depression about his career and his fame?"

"Do you measure your self-worth as a function of the roles you get or don't get?" asks Dr. Phil. "Does it go up and down with how your work is?"

"Sure," says Charles. "The self-worth does go up and down with it."

"What do you want?" Dr. Phil asks Dee.

"I'd like for him to look at his career and say, 'Wow! Look at what I've done,'" says Dee. "How many actors get to have a
career like he's had? I mean, it's been 35 years and he's still acting. But he's never satisfied. I want him to think he did something with himself. But it's such a roller coaster ride with the rejection."

"Do you want him to say it's over?" asks Dr. Phil.

"I never wanted him to give his dream up," says Dee. "If I did that, I would lose part of the man I love. But I have my dreams too, and [there's] the kids. I feel like sometimes we're left out and we don't get to pursue our dreams. But then I feel guilty and think I should be more supportive of him."

Dr. Phil tells Charles, "She says she's missing you being plugged in now. Because if you go out for auditions and it doesn't work, then the kids don't have their dad and she doesn't have her husband because you're shut down over this [rejection]. And it's not fair to her."
Dr. Phil tells Charles that he can make the choice to get honest with himself and decide not to give his power away to the people he auditions for, because he is currently allowing them to determine how he feels about himself.

"Fame is fleeting," says Dr. Phil. "I guarantee you there will be a day when people [who see me] will say, 'Hey, that guy used to be on TV!'"

Dr. Phil continues, "You need to begin to develop some alternative interests so you do have balance in your life ... The point is, if you can't say that you won't tie up your self worth into whether you fit into a movie or TV show, you're in over your head and it's time to get away from it."

"You know what, doc?" says Charles. "I'm not feeling sorry for myself because at least I came and I tried."

"No, you came and you did," insists Dr. Phil. "And that's what you need to claim."