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From top left: Bill O’Brien, Ashley Judd, some maniac, Ferleshare Starks, Gigi Huang, Andyshea Saberloon, Susan Marie Sclacca, Pockets the Clown

Image: Chris Danger

Fame’s harsh spotlight: who doesn’t want to bask in its glow from time to time? But it can be so fair-weather, so fleeting, so fickle. Hence, this month’s guests, each of whom could give a master class on the subject. Fame, or at least infamy, is as easy as dropping 14 F-bombs an hour, as Texans head coach  Bill O’Brien did during the premiere episode of Hard Knocks, HBO’s NFL preseason docu-series, stealing every scene he was in—even overshadowing J.J. (mega) Watt himself. Or you might fearlessly take on misogynist Twitter trolls, as actress  Ashley Judd (appearing this month at a benefit for the Fort Bend Women’s Center) has been known to do. A third option: risk life, limb and arrest—and Houstonians’ ire—to alter a beloved bit of graffiti, as  some maniac did multiple times this summer to the BE SOMEONE sign on a railroad bridge above I-45. Or simply go above and beyond the call of duty, as Wheatley High School biology teacher  Ferleshare Starks did in mentoring a first-year teacher, who promptly nominated her for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (she’s a finalist). Surprising the heck out of people can be effective, as  Gigi Huang recently did with the announcement that she was changing course after almost four decades as a prominent Houston restaurateur—Pres. Bush Sr. was among the regulars at her eponymous, now-shuttered Galleria eatery—and going into real estate. Also effective: raising money for our public schools, which is what Houstonian  Andyshea Saberioon has done with his crowdfunding startup, PledgeCents. And of course, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, unless you’re assistant Harris County attorney  Susan Marie Sciacca, recently convicted of aggravated assault for pulling her freaking gun during a road rage incident last year. And finally, people will definitely notice you if you’re a clown named   Pockets who has 11 toes, collects string and sings backwards—not creepy at all, nope. Go see him this month at Phobia Haunted House’s new digs off Beltway 8, and remind yourself just how scary fame can be.

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