I experienced my first run in with the paparazzi–it was such a mixture of bad emotions!PPAPPARAZA

About a month ago, I experienced it from a close distance and felt this severe sense of intrusion.  I was jolted.

I was having lunch with a friend in a Brentwood restaurant when all of a sudden, 5 men with huge camera lenses were running into position outside the entrance clicking away.  It was loud and a huge disruption, it felt really bad to me.  It almost felt like they had big guns.paparazzi

I started thinking how awful it must be to not be able to go into a store and walk back to your car without some intruder in your face!

Today, while leading a hike for a drug & alcohol treatment center, I encountered direct experience with the paparazzi.IMG_0785

One of the clients there is a  major celebrity who has had so many run ins with paparazzi throughout her career  As we walked down onto a neighborhood street in Malibu to get to another trail entrance up about a block, we noticed a car that kept driving by and turning around.

The celebrity client immediately became stressed and anxious–she did not want to be photographed.  I could feel her energy and started feeling the same way!  This is when being empathic does not feel good!   It troubled me deeply.Papparazz

I went into protection mode–it’s just my default reaction to a threat, I don’t get weak and become submissive, I get strong and become assertive and protective.  In light of that, I remained quite calm.

I blocked her as we walked by him so that he couldn’t look at her directly.  He acted as if he was going to the beach with his beach towel, but we saw the huge camera  on the passenger seat.

The myriad of emotions that I felt was intense.   Here is a person who is working on being better and she can’t even go and just BE without some creep up in her business!   To think that activity is allowed and legal is just plain wrong!

Some of the other male residents were combative toward him while I just maintained this wall of strength.

As we walked up the trail entrance,  there was some verbal exchange between the camera ass and the celebrity, “awe, come on,  you owe me one, we’re friends”.  She replied, “I don’t owe you anything!”

While one of the other residents was wanting to fight with the guy, the camera ass said, “Yeah, we can take care of that when you get to the parking lot, I’ll meet you up there –I know where you’re going to end up.”

Well, what he didn’t know is that I know alternative ways out of that trail system!IMG_0795

We played a little trick on them and avoided any further interaction.  I sent the drivers of the trucks in the direction they were expecting, then I took the group to a section of the trail that is mounded in the corner that happens to be next to a street.  I found the trucks and waved them back to my  hiding spot.

It was so great to see them after I successfully got the clients shusshed away and on the road.  They were so perplexed–they just couldn’t figure out where we were. Hah!

Anyway…

Some people I’ve shared this topic with say, “well those celebrities signed up for it, they’re gonna have to live with it”.

 They didn’t sign up for that kind of intrusion! 

They signed up for the red carpet flashes and thrills but not to have annoying people follow them around  in their personal lives with a camera!

I am very empathic and I felt this deep deep pain that I’ve never felt before.  For the most part, their lives look luxurious and glamorous but, ultimately, they are prisoners in their own home.

I have no ties or connection to any celebrities so this isn’t a biased opinion, this is a pure “feeling” experience.  Going through that did not feel good, it was bizarre and unsettling.

How can we make this totally unacceptable and illegal?

Just this week, I heard about Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry’s support for the Senate bill 606 to make it illegal for paparazzi to take photos of children of hollywood stars.

http://www.newsmax.com/thewire/halle-berry-jennifer-garner-paparazzi-kids/2013/08/15/id/520527

I believe all paparazzi (un-invited photographers) should be illegal.