Source: LA Times - Southern California's high-profile real estate market attracts celebrities, and creates quite a few too.
The face. The hair. The voice. Why does that real estate agent seem so familiar?
Because, in that only-in-L.A. kind of way, there's a good chance the agent is also an actor, reality show personality or has had some other brush with fame.
The last decade's real estate bubble and bust spawned more than 20 reality cable television shows devoted to home buying, selling and flipping, so the odds are that some of those agents will end up at an open house near you. Broaden the spotlight to music and acting, and the recognition factor climbs even higher.
"There's been an explosion of celebrities," said Stuart Fischoff, a professor emeritus of media psychology at Cal State Los Angeles. "There are so many different venues for people to become celebrities."
At age 17, Sharona Alperin was the inspiration for the song "My Sharona," a No. 1 hit by Los Angeles band the Knack. Today, Alperin sells high-end real estate in West Los Angeles working for Sotheby's International Realty, Sunset Boulevard. Although she had been selling real estate for more than 20 years, Alperin's website doesn't shy away from her connection with the energetic rock anthem, blasting it on the home page.
A recent addition to the ranks of real estate licensees is Stuart Damon, who played Dr. Alan Quartermaine on "General Hospital." Stuart Damon, who ended his role of 31 years on the soap opera in 2008, teamed up with his son Christopher Damon six months ago to establish Damon Group within Joyce Rey's Coldwell Banker office in Beverly Hills.
An actor for five decades, he keeps a foot in both worlds having made several appearances on "Days of Our Lives" this year while laying the groundwork for his real estate business. If strangers give him a puzzled glance, he just volunteers who he is. It's an ice-breaker.
"Even when I'm at Coldwell Banker, sitting at the office meetings, I'll be getting these strange looks: 'Who are you? Do I know you? Haven't I seen you before?' And we'll strike up a conversation," Damon said. "There's just a general feeling of friendship and a kind of closeness because they know who I am, even though I was playing a character."
This feeling of a personal intimacy where none exists is called a parasocial relationship, according to Fischoff, who has studied the celebrity phenomenon. "You feel you know them but all you know is the persona. It's illusory." Read more at LATimes.com