How To Become A Pop Star In Seven Easy Steps
When you become a pop star, you have to worry about things like keeping up with all your many different bank accounts (most of them will only let you store a paltry $100,000 per location), jetting from posh hotel to posh hotel, and the tiresome selection of which two to eight groupies to have sex with after each night's show.
Marco Torres Rocks Off is assuming you know who this is by now; if not, see here and here. Or here, if you just like to look at pictures.
Still, there are also many upsides to being a pop star. Luckily, just in time for the preeminent pop star of 2010's two-night stand in Houston Sunday and Monday, we've boiled how to become one down to a formula for those of you who are interested. You just have to pay attention to these things.
1. Wholesomeness: Idol worship is a lot like actual worship (by which we mean religion), in that if you can get to people before they're old enough to start thinking things out critically and logically, you're much more likely to create a convert for life. Not only do pop idols use religion's tactics, they use religion itself, especially early on in their careers, in order to come across to the one demographic even more important than tweens with allowances: The parents who shell out those allowances.
By paying lip service to God and "traditional American family values," pop idols assure parents that their material is G-rated and therefore A-OK for consumption by their children. Of all the steps to pop stardom, this one is usually the briefest; in fact, as parents care less and less about their kids, it can even be skipped over entirely.
2. Say "Baby" a Lot: Literally every pop star repeats the word "baby" so much in their songs, it's less like an expression of affection and more like an invocation to enrapture lovestruck fans. Throwing the word "baby" out there allows impressionable young girls to imagine that the pop star in question is singing the song to her personally, or else it gives her cause to imagine herself singing it to whichever twee, feminine boy-girl she's got a crush on at the time.
Plus, if the song's main lyrics are simply the word "baby" repeated over and over, it's a hell of a lot easier to remember, more likely to get stuck in folks' heads, and get requested on the radio. (Apparently FM radio is still somehow relevant in today's world, although we're not sure why this is true or who, exactly, is still listening.)
3. Tease, Tease, Tease: Okay, you've got the kids indoctrinated. A couple of years have passed, however, and those kids are starting to grow up and reject the things they clung to as children; it's a natural part of maturing. You don't want them to lose interest in you, yet you don't want their parents to bar you from their households, either, so you've got to walk a bit of a highwire between those two options.
Keep your lyrics G-rated, but start wearing skimpier outfits or dancing sexier onstage. Let some risqué photos leak to the media when your phone gets "stolen." Maybe get sighted underage drinking at a party or club. Whatever you do, make sure it's a gradual slope of relatively subtle hijinks or else nervous parents could still cut off the cash supply to your fan base.
When people start calling you "jailbait," you know you've achieved the perfect balance of having made people want to savagely fuck you while keeping in mind that doing so would be naughty.
4. Media Saturation: By this time, you'll be getting plenty of tabloid action, and you can stop there if you just want to become a train wreck, but to achieve true pop stardom, you need more. You need your song to be playing in the background while Ambiguously Pretty White Guy stiffly makes out with Naïve, Starry-Eyed Waif Girl on teen-oriented soap operas like Meaghanne and Teagaen's Vapid Party Life and The Pouty Vampire Fashion Model Fantasy Hour.
You need to appear in a Diet Pepsi commercial, singing about how carbonated caffeine and Nutrasweet will make kids cooler and more popular. You need to guest star on How I Put Your Mother Through Eleven Excruciating Goddamn Seasons of Awkward Wooing. Start dating any interchangeable pop star who hovers near your current level of fame. Before long, even the mainstream news should be running stories on how visible your camel toe was in those jogging pants you went running in the other day, with lots of telephoto-zoom pictures and insincere chiding.
That's when you know you should move on to the next step.