Thursday, October 18, 2007

What's in a name?

My Non-Comedy Buddy (NCB) and I were chattin' it up about fake names in Hollywood and I wasn't aware that Jamie Foxx's name was a stagename. Now I'm not the first to blow up his spot(Definition #2). Wikipedia has it right here. But I will be the second. His real name is Eric Marlon Bishop.

My NCB then proceeded to tell me the story behind his name. And now I will share it with you: Jamie's (uh, Eric's) girlfriend at the time dared him to get on stage and do stand-up comedy at some comedy club. He did it and liked it and kept going to open mics. But he soon realized that there was a preference given to women. (And I should know. I've experienced this myself.) So Eric changed his name to "Wanda". (No, I'm kidding.) Eric chose the name 'Jamie' because it was unisex. He chose the last name Foxx as tribute to revered comedian Redd Foxx, of "Sanford and Son".

Now I'm a little slow on the uptake. The news room at Quest doesn't have the budget of say or CNN for that matter. In fact, our Quest slogan is: "We update when we get to it."

So in really, really, REALLY LATE breaking news, on Sept 14th of this year, Jamie Foxx received the honorary star on the walk of fame in HollywoodLand. But not really. Because it wasn't his name. It's "Jamie Foxx"'s star. That must be weird. To not have a real name there. You're paying taxes and maintenance on a fictious name, Eric! Yeah, for those of you who don't know, a $25,000 fee must be paid every year for upkeep of the star. Do all your Oscars have 'Jamie' written on them, too, Eric?

That's crazy weird.

I was going to put up a link or embed a video here of Jamie's (I mean, Eric's) stand-up. But I decided against it. I wasn't a big fan of his stand-up comedy anyway--too much swearing and crass references to women. Yeah, I'm censoring him here at Quest. So Nyah-nyah!

PLUS, He has a thing for R. Kelly. You can read on that Jamie Foxx (uh, Eric) idolizes R. Kelly and takes after his musical and personal style.

A big WTF!?!?

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Sunshine said...

I understand a little more how back in the day the Hollywood machine would make actors change their very ethnic names to easier, more top-billing friendly versions.

Today, though, I think I'd be pissed if somebody said I needed a new identity, and yeah, having that star with a different name on it...I'd be sad my true self wasn't identified.

Anonymous said...

FYI, it's not a $25,000 annual fee. It's a one time, up front $25,000 fee which goes into a trust account. The income from the trust is used to pay for any required maintenance. And it's not usually the stars who pay the fee, it's the film studios and/or record companies. Thanks, Wikipedia ;-)

Jallad Productions said...

Cool stuff Lucy. I never really cared for his standup either. Nothing special about it.

Fleiger said...

I know how that feels on smaller level. One of my reviews made it on to the website of the book. But they are using my web-name instead of my real name :(

I guess at some time you have to decide to come out of anonymity. Unless you change it legally.

On that note, how do taxes and everything legal work really in this case?

Lucy said...

Sunshine - I assumed that Foxx was as egocentric as the rest of them, and especially since he's received the Oscar and became a "serious" actor, he may want his real name on there, much like LL Cool J is now using his real name, James Todd Smith, in movie credits and Fresh Prince has been using his real name, Will Smith, I would just assume Foxx would want to change it now. But, to each his own.

Anonymous - So should I thank you or wikipedia? Nawwhh, I did glance over that in wikipedia, but actors/talent leave film studios/record companies all the time. I'm sure that it later on becomes a litigious issue that perhaps the celebrity may have to deal with in the end. But who knows? My statement is speculation.

Jallad Productions - glad you liked the entry! Stop by more often. Foxx's stand-up revolved around imitations and off-colour jokes. Again, something I'm not into.

Fleiger - I suppose eventually you have to use your real name. But you just use your stage name when it comes to anything regarding your entertainment career. I doubt Queen Latifah has that name on her tax records.