I was christened with a christian name
, that when combined with my otherwise common surname
, meant I shared a name with a famous
person. Not your run-of-the-mill flash-in-the-pan
celebrity, but a very very famous person. An icon
. Someone whose visage
graces posters in bedrooms everywhere. Someone whose fame is still as strong as it was nearly 50 years ago, when this person was still alive. Make no mistake, everyone I encounter has heard of this person.
This is quite an interesting situation. Sharing a name with a famous person has its fair share of ups and downs.
My name is rarely forgotten, if someone else knows both my christian name and surname. If I meet someone and they are only aware of my christian name, it isn't uncommon for them not to remember my name. But if they are aware of my surname, they never, ever forget my name.
This has the added effect of meaning I am rarely forgotten by people. Unfortunately, this is usually because of my name alone, and not anything about me personally.
I often end up answering the same questions over and over again. Is that really your name? Yes. Did you change your name? No. Were your parents fans (of the famous person)? No. Did your parents realise? No. Was it intentional? That I should have a famous name? Hell no. You must get comments on your name all the time. Ummm, yes.. You must be sick of getting comments on your name. You could say that.
Then you get the skeptics. My favourite was the bloke who responded to hearing my name with, "Yeah, and I'm Jimi Hendrix". Hilarious. Fortunately the smart-arse comments are rare and any doubters are silenced upon seeing my driver's license.
A trick I employ often is to use a contraction of my christian name. The extra second it takes for someone to click what my full name is, is enough for them to realise that commenting on it is most likely unnecessary small talk and probably a pretty stupid idea.
I like my name. Heaven knows what I'll do if I ever become famous in my own right though, especially if my namesake is trademarked. However, this is not keeping me awake at nights at this particular point in time.