I’ve been aware of Cameo for a while now. A website where you can obtain shout-outs from your favorite celebrities is a novel idea. While I found this an intriguing concept, it never held enough appeal to open my wallet.
But then 2020 came along and brought a global pandemic into the mix. Suddenly, all of the entertaining outlets I used to spend money on — concerts, conventions, movies, live theater — were no longer an option. Fun and recreation became foreign concepts. My days consisted solely of going to work and returning home. Frankly, you can only deal with that monotony for so long before boredom and hopelessness start to set in.
But what could I do about it?
The solution presented itself when my favorite band announced that 3 out of 4 members had joined Cameo. Traditionally, the idea is to purchase Cameo videos as gifts for special occasions — get your mom a birthday shout-out, wish your dad a happy Father’s day, etc. But I was only one mouse click away from getting a personalized video from the musicians I admire so much. I was missing them horribly, and curiosity got the better of me.
I finally caved.
I decided to buy a Cameo from Billy Moran (guitar player for Louden Swain). I asked if he would sing my favorite Swain song to cheer me up. He did not disappoint. I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time I was watching that video. He only sang a portion of the song, but it was more than enough to lift my spirits. Receiving that video did me a world of good.
I quickly decided to follow suit with Louden Swain’s bass player, Michael Borja. He chose to sing a little more of the song for me while accompanying himself on the keyboard. Once again, I found myself smiling like an idiot the entire time I watched. It made my heart content.
There was no turning back after that — I was utterly hooked.
Down the rabbit hole
Over the next few months, I started exploring the Cameo site further. I began searching out my favorite celebrities to see if they had accounts. I started making myself a wishlist for future reference. In short, I swiftly tumbled down the rabbit hole.
At first, I only used Cameo to request songs from people. I had Broadway star Adam Pascal sing me an entire song from RENT. I asked Chris Daughtry to wish my mom a Happy Mother’s Day with a snippet of her favorite song. I also got a couple of other song videos from musicians I admire.
During one of my exploration sessions of the Cameo site, I discovered actor Scott Grimes had an account. He played one of my favorite characters on the tv show E.R., and I knew that he had a great singing voice because I’d heard him sing on the show. I decided to take a chance and ask if he could sing me something. I left the song choice up to him.
I was not remotely prepared for what I received.
Scott said he liked my name in the video and wanted to use it to write a song just for me! It was just a simplistic song, but it made my entire day. I can’t stop smiling every time I think about it.
Happy Birthday to me!
When it came time for my birthday this year, I had plans to see Les Miserables on stage. Of course, due to the pandemic, I had to cancel those celebration plans. I knew exactly how to cheer myself up, though.
You guessed it!
I went on a Cameo spree. There’s nothing quite like hearing Broadway actor Jeremy Jordan singing Bring Him Home to take the sting out of missing a live performance of Les Miserables.
Hearing actor Dominic Monaghan (LOST, Lord of the Rings) sing Happy Birthday to me was also a fabulous pick-me-up.
Although my birthday my plans did a complete 180, I still had a fabulous day thanks to the videos I received from some of my favorite people.
In addition to the videos themselves, another aspect of Cameo that I love is writing something directly to your chosen celebrity. To request a Cameo, you have 250 characters to type whatever you desire. The person then uses this information to fulfill your request, so they are guaranteed to read what you wrote. You have to be brief, but if there’s something you’ve always wanted to say to your favorite celebrity, now is your chance!
Cameo has created a unique opportunity to connect with some of your favorite celebrities. You can either request something for yourself or as a gift for someone else. You can be very specific in your request, or you can be general and leave the bulk of it up to them. If the celebrity doesn’t feel comfortable with your suggestions, they can reject the video request, and you don’t pay for the cameo unless it gets fulfilled.
Some people may think celebrity shout-out videos are a frivolous way to spend your hard-earned money. For me, they have been an excellent pick-me-up. This year, especially with the pandemic taking away many avenues for recreation and mental relief, I needed something to distract me.
Cameo did the trick.