When I watched the two documentaries that were released last year in an attempt to make sense of the absolute shitshow that was Fire Festival, I discovered I’d somehow never learned that the ill-fated event was primarily held to promote an app that allowed people to connect with and book their favorite musical acts (a concept Ja Rule was still trying to make a thing after those retrospectives were released).
Based on what we know about Billy McFarland, that venture was probably just another elaborate money-making house of cards that would’ve still imploded in spectacular fashion at some point even if the gathering in the Bahamas hadn’t been an unmitigated disaster. With that said, there’s another company that’s harnessed a similar concept with resounding success in the form of Cameo.
If you’re not familiar with the platform, Cameo allows users to browse a catalog of tens of thousands of “celebrities” (a term I use very loosely here) to film a short video with a message of their choice. However, it’s also an absolutely fascinating illustration of the concept of supply and demand, as the varyingly famous people offering their services pick how much they want to charge.
In doing so, they give us a glimpse at how much they think their time is worth, and while people like Jeremy Piven think far too highly of themselves, you can also find some absolute steals if someone from an old Nickelodeon show underestimates how lucrative the ’90s nostalgia mark can be these days.
CEO Steven Galanis recently appeared on a podcast produced by The New York Times and addressed a wide variety of topics—including the person who managed to rake in the most dough over the past year. According to him, no one earned more than Brian Baumgartner, who made over $1 million by capitalizing on the popularity of the man you probably know him better as: Kevin on The Office.
It’s impossible to hate Kevin and extremely easy to relate to him in a number of ways; if you’ve ever tried to stick it to your company by routinely raiding the communal snacks, spent more time dreaming up ways to not do your job than actually doing it, or purposefully exerted the least effort possible to lower your coworker’s expectations even though you might’ve actually been smarter than all of them, you can probably identify with him on some level.
By all accounts, Baumgartner is just as genial in real life, and while his $195 asking price may sound a bit steep, Galanis notes the actor “takes a lot of pride in his craftsmanship” and has a five-star rating to show for it after producing thousands of videos for fans who were more than pleased with the end result.
Good for him.