Yeah, you became friends and colleagues. That is different and drives at my point. Friends and family know the person, not just the work and the persona. Consumers of the work only know the work and/or the persona but feel a need to have a bit of the person. It is weird to me that we want a bit of the person if they do a given job/make a given thing, but not people who do more mundane jobs that may have even greater impacts on a person's life and well being (teachers, doctors, transportation workers who literally take us to where we need to be, sanitation workers that help prevent the spreading of disease, etc.)
@Greg It is a question of emotional investment of entertainment/art/knowing a person's name versus emotional investment in the people who do less glamorous jobs in relative anonymity. I am an artist (actor, writer, singer, composer, and harpist) who was raised in family with multiple generations of artists. I understand the profound impact of art just as well as I understand that sometimes even more profound impact of the daily grind contributing to the well being of an individual and/or a society. It is not that I do not see the value in one and not the other, it is that I see great value in both, but also separate the person from the art - as they are not the same thing to my mind (a debate/discussion for another thread). As a well known trumpeter and band leader who played for royalty, presidents, and dignitaries - my grandfather was often asked for autographs. As an actor, director, and singer well known in his region, he was sometimes asked for autographs. As a WWII navy vet who served and was wounded in the Pacific, he was never asked for his autograph. As a young, poor Irish kid raised outside of Chicago by printer who took over his father's business, grew it into a power-house print marketing business, and modernized it to keep it not only alive but thriving, he ensured helped many local, regional, and national business were properly marketed to ensure how many employees had jobs - yet no autographs then. As a boss who daily kept a roll of pennies in his pocket and would not go home from work until he had given out one positive comment to an employee for each penny, no one asked for his autograph. As a father who took on two jobs so that his wife wouldn't have to take on a second job to ensure that his two children and his aging mother could live comfortably and have a middle-class existence when all he knew was an Irish immigrant childhood during the great depression in a family of six boys, no one asked for his autograph. As a man who sang for free at every funeral at his Church, started a youth musical theater program in the 80s with no funding except his own retirement savings in the under served and crime ridden downtown Tampa that is still going today (18 years after his death), and was active in getting media attention for his local VA hospital when it was under funded and did not have the facilities to take care of Vietnam vets, etc. no one asked for his autograph. Compare all of these things - is his trumpet playing, acting, directing, and singing really the stuff that should induce strong emotional reactions? My point is not that art cannot be of great and profound value, but rather that we as a culture seem to place the arts/entertainment/known names (counterintuitively, based on our unwillingness to fund art and art education) on a pedestal while simultaneously undervaluing people who do other jobs or are not famous.