Fame for good … or fame for evil?

Actor Christopher Meloni on the red carpet for the Make Believe on Broadway Gala, which supports the Only Make Believe organization founded by Dena Hammerstein, left.

I love a good quote, and I know lots of you do too. So as we work on our coverage of the Make Believe on Broadway Gala that happened in New York City a few days ago, I have to share this great line we heard from Law & Order: SVU and True Blood star Christopher Meloni on the red carpet.

I was working the event with Juliet Shatkin, one of our teen reporters and a student at New York University. She asked Chris what he’s learned about the power of the spotlight.

“You’re a recognizable face,” he told us. “That gives you a certain amount of power. Do you use it for good or evil?”

So true! When you live in the spotlight, people don’t just watch you. They’re impacted by you. If you do something impressive, they’re more likely to aspire to that. But do something bad, and you’re spreading far more negative energy – even if that’s not your intention – than you would if you weren’t famous.

Chris, as you can imagine, uses his fame for good. When we caught him on the red carpet, he was with Dena Hammerstein, founder of the Only Make Believe organization, which puts professional actors and actresses into hospitals to perform with kids. The gala was in support of Only Make Believe, and Chris was the host.

“I prefer to use it for a good cause like Dena’s,” he told us, and it’s true. As the host, he veered away from the tough-guy persona of his TV characters and put himself way out there. He danced, he wore a little-girl wig in a pre-taped sketch, and he even slipped into size-11 high heels and learned how to walk a runway with supermodel Petra Nemcova.

That got people talking. That got people laughing. And it’ll make people remember the cause of Only Make Believe, which means Christopher Meloni truly used his fame for good.

Tim O’Shei
LSY! founder

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