Be a Star in Your Private Life

It’s okay to be a star in public, but the most important role you’ll ever play is in your private life.

When superstar speaker and author Scott McKain was an entertainment reporter in Indianapolis, one evening he and his wife Sherry were waiting for friends to join them for dinner. The friends arrived twenty minutes late, apologizing and giggling. They had been at K-Mart and seen a woman who looked so much like Meryl Streep that they couldn’t resist watching her shop from a discreet distance.

A week later, Scott was in Hollywood interviewing Meryl Streep about her then new movie “River Wild.” He told her how his friends had mistaken a stranger for her at K-mart in Indianapolis. “Is that the store on 39th next to Kroger’s?” she asked.

Meryl explained that she and her husband wanted their children to have a more normal upbringing, so they lived in Connecticut. The previous week they had been visiting her mother-in-law in Indianapolis. “If people see you in a store in Los Angeles,” she commented, “they say, ‘Oh, there’s Meryl Streep.’ But if they see you in a store in Indianapolis, they say, ‘Gosh, doesn’t she look like Meryl Streep?”

Meryl Streep raises her kids out of the spotlight. So do many other stars. That’s their private space. The stars who maintain maximum mental health are those who realize the most important role they can play is not on the screen, but in their private life.