Stage Names: Would You Change Your Name for Fame?
Guest blogger JILL BARNETT ponders the reinvented names that work magic on our lives….or do they?
I stood in front of the mirror backstage, proudly inspecting my makeup and blue and white gingham costume. Granted, I was in the midst of the most unfortunate awkward phase in the history of adolescence (my parents truly should have kept me indoors as a public service), but on that night, opening night of our middle school musical, The Wizard of Oz, I was too excited about my debut as Dorothy to notice that my skinny body and giant hair made me resemble a human Q-Tip. As I saw my gangly13-year-old reflection staring back at me, only one thing entered my mind: stardom!
I couldn’t deny that dress rehearsals hadn’t been pretty–the Stryofoam rainbow prop had a habit of crashing to the ground as I sang about troubles melting like lemon drops, and then there was that pesky issue of my ruby slippers shedding chunks of red glitter with every step I took, but in my mind, this elite middle school production of The Wizard of Oz (complete with an orchestra consisting of a pianist, a flatulent flautist, and a drummer who smelled like Velveeta cheese) was my launching pad to certain fame. Who cared that many of the Munchkins were taller than I was, that our Toto was missing in action, or that the stage crew had never gotten around to actually building a set? Not I! I was too busy daydreaming about seeing my name in lights.
WAIT! My name in lights? Jill Barnett in lights? I didn’t even like my given name for everyday use, and certainly had no desire to see it on the marquis of the Gershwin Theatre or to hear it read aloud upon the win of my first Tony Award. Nope, Jill Barnett simply wouldn’t do, and in my opinion, it had even less star quality than a name like Frances Ethel Gumm, who happened to be my favorite actress and singer.
I knew that Ms. Gumm would have empathized with my plight, as she had surely once known the pain of being saddled with a name that felt more Frumpsville than glamorous icon; after all, why else would she have changed her name to Judy Garland? And if Frances Gumm, the original Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz, could give herself a new name, why couldn’t I do the same? Then and there, I adopted my stage name: Victoria Collins.
Victoria Collins came to me out of the blue, and was everything the name Jill Barnett wasn’t: elegant, dramatic, flowery, and longer than three syllables. Sure, Jill Barnett was an awkward teen in need of braces and a palate expander, but Victoria Collins was sophisticated, graceful, and mature. As I took the stage that night and imagined myself as Victoria Collins, I understood firsthand the transformative power of names.
Hollywood understands it, too, and has artfully transformed many an ugly duckling moniker into a melodic name befitting a sophisticated swan, genteel girl next door, or manly matinee idol. Gloomy Frances Gumm wasn’t right for the role of Dorothy Gale, but vibrant Judy Garland? She was perfect for the part! Alexandra Zuck didn’t feel perky and warm like the character of Gidget, but Sandra Dee? How wholesome! Merle Johnson, Jr. didn’t project the image of a big screen heartthrob, but Troy Donahue? Cue the screaming girls! In the world of Hollywood, stage names clearly play a crucial role in defining a performer’s image, making it possible for mere mortals to travel somewhere over the rainbow into the magical world of fame and fortune.
Here’s a look at some of my favorite Hollywood transformations:
JOYCE FRANKENBERG: Known for her guides to romantic living, Joyce spent a large chunk of the 1990s gracing our TV screens as Michaela Quinn, M.D. in the television series Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman, using little more than string and a smile to operate on frontier folk. You know her better as Jane Seymour.
EDNA GILHOOLEY: “And the Academy Award goes to…Edna Gilhooley?” Apparently, she didn’t like the sound of it, either, because this Academy Award winning actress known for roles in films such as Alice Doesn’t Sleep Here Anymore and The Last Picture Show is better known as Ellen Burstyn.
CONSTANCE OCKLEMAN: The personification of Old Hollywood glamour and the star of films including Sullivan’s Travels and This Gun for Hire, you probably recognize Ms. Ockleman by her stage name, Veronica Lake.
LUCILLE LE SUEUR: This Old Hollywood star of films such as The Women and Mildred Pierce (I hear she was quite the Mommie Dearest), apparently was going for a less glamorous name, preferring the no-nonsense Joan Crawford to her alliterative given name.
VERA JAYNE PALMER: This iconic actress and pinup girl was killed in a tragic accident. Better known to you and me as Jayne Mansfield, her daughter, Mariska Hargitay, has followed in her acting footsteps.
DORIS VON KAPPELHOFF: This perky star of films such as Pillow Talk and Please Don’t Eat the Daisies obviously liked her first name, but wasn’t the biggest fan of her last name, which she traded in for the cheerier (and less clunky) Day.
DIANE HALL: She grew up to star in a film named after her childhood nickname, Annie Hall, and you may have seen her in movies such as Baby Boom and Father of the Bride. Because there was already a Diane Hall in the Actors Guild, she chose to use her mother’s maiden name instead of Hall, becoming Diane Keaton.
ALPHONSO D’ABRUZZO: Alphonso found success on both the small and large screens, most notably in the television series M.A.S.H. and in films such as Same Time Next Year (in which he starred with Edna Gilhooley/Ellen Burstyn). Keeping his initials, he chose a much shorter stage name, Alan Alda.
JOHN BLYTHE: An Old Hollywood star with a famous granddaughter, Mr. Blythe graced the big screen in movies such as Grand Hotel and A Bill of Divorcement. Even without the help of Nameberry, Mr. Blythe must have realized that a longer last name would better suit John, and he traded in Blythe for Barrymore.
If you could become a star, would you choose to use a stage name? If so, what would it be?
JILL BARNETT, a lifelong name fan, enjoys working with children, painting, drawing, writing, running, cooking, traveling, and following popular culture and politics. She wrote previously for us on hating her name, and is famous on the nameberry message boards as just plain Jill, always dispensing excellent advice.
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on November 17th, 2009 at 10:59 pm
Much fun, Jill! I love your personal anecdotes that tie in with the subject of names and naming! And that was a great collection of Hollywood transformations that you put together.
To answer your question: “If you could become a star, would you choose to use a stage name? If so, what would it be?” I would definitely choose a stage name. I rather like “Arcadia Dunson” (which is an anagram of “Isadora Duncan” – one of my childhood influences).
Your own choice of “Victoria Collins” has star quality. But… Do I detect an unconscious, underlying Dark Shadows influence in that choice of name? Victoria Winters merged with Barnabas Collins, hmm? 😉
on November 17th, 2009 at 11:20 pm
I have always wanted to figure out my stage name i want something fierce and cool Like Sid Vicious. Sophie Thorsen is pretty boring. when i was younger my friends and i said that if you take your first pets name and street name would be your stripper name. Silly kids. Mine would be Penny Franklin. I kinda like it maybe i could use my middle name Elizabeth but shorten it to Lizzie Franklin thats pretty cool but doesnt beat Sid Vicious.
on November 17th, 2009 at 11:33 pm
I wouldn’t change mine to differently, just shorten my maiden name and be Devon Ford. With Sophie’s idea of stripper names, mine would be Clover Swan, a definite stripper name but not a glamourous name.
on November 17th, 2009 at 11:46 pm
Thanks Jill for your wonderful blog! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your “Wizard of Oz” experience and also found it very interesting reading the real names of some Hollywood stars. I’m a big musical and old Hollywood fan so your blog was right up my alley.
My choice for a stage name-Rosalind Sheridan!
Keep the blogs coming Jill!
on November 18th, 2009 at 12:57 am
I would use Mae Legend, my middle name + street I used to live on
on November 18th, 2009 at 2:20 am
Nephele: I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for the positive feedback. 🙂 I LOVE your anagram of Isadora Duncan. I may have to start calling you Arcadia.
As I was writing the blog, Pam had a great idea that you could anagram stage names for people! What do you think? What if people left you their names (scrambled, of course), and you gave them stage names?
I won’t bother to scramble my name: Jill Kimberly Barnett…
I have no idea where Victoria Collins came from! 🙂 I’d choose something different now, but I’m not sure what!
Sophie: I agree that Sid Vicious is very cool. I just looked him up and saw that his real name is John Simon Ritchie. Lizzie Franklin is very sweet.
Thanks for commenting!
Devon: I think that Devon Ford is great, and your Clover Swan name cracked me up. Thanks for reading!
Rosamund: Thank you so much! I had so much fun writing this blog! Rosalind Sheridan? Ooooh! VERY Old Hollywood! I love it! 🙂
Vera: I think that Mae Legend is great!
Thanks for reading and for your comments! 🙂
on November 18th, 2009 at 2:37 am
I just wrote a reply, but it vanished! Hmm… I’ll try again!
Nephele: Thank so much! 🙂 I love your stage name, and think I may have to start calling you Arcadia from time to time, because I can’t wear out Nephelette.
I have no idea where Victoria came from, but I definitely wouldn’t choose Victoria Collins now. Hmm…Must think of a new name….
As I was writing this blog, Pam suggested that perhaps you could anagram stage names for people! Peeople could share their names (even scrambling them if they’re not comfortable sharing the real thing), and you could give them one of your award-winning makeovers. If you’re up to it, here’s my name in all its glory (I won’t bother to scramble): Jill Kimberly Barnett. Bleh.
Sophie: I agree that Sid Vicious is a very cool name. I just looked him up, and saw that his real name was John Simon Ritchie. I think your stage name, Lizzie Franklin, is very sweet. Thanks for commenting!
Devon: I think that Devon Ford is great! I cracked up at your Clover Swan comment. 🙂 Thanks for reading/commenting!
Rosamund: Thanks for the kind words! Ooooh….Rosalind Sheridan is very Old Hollywood and elegant! I’m happy you commented!
Vera: Cool stage name! Thanks for commenting!
Thanks, everyone! 🙂
on November 18th, 2009 at 5:23 am
I actually already have a stage name, sort of… My name is very Norwegian and thus impossible to pronounce anywhere else, but most importantly in English speaking countries which is a drawback in our globalised world….
I picked the name Adelaide from a very important song to me and some other very personal reasons, and the last name Toy to honour a friend who means a lot to me and because I kind of like it! Very kitschy and kind of sexy at the same time XD
Adelaide Toy it is! Sometimes I add Augustine in the middle, also from a song I love… 🙂
on November 18th, 2009 at 8:44 am
When I was fourteen, I decided that my pen name would be Isabel Parker Prescott.
on November 18th, 2009 at 9:12 am
Well, I use Stella online in place of my real name. My real life pet name is Estrellita.
However, my chosen screen name when I was a teenager was Esselte Ochoa. It’s from a name of a map company. As if that would automatically make me more worldly! I would HAVE to chose a new name if I wanted to be world-wide famous though, my very uncommon name is already a major celebrity in Europe of the political kind!
on November 18th, 2009 at 9:28 am
My maiden name was pretty ethnic sounding, so I always wanted to use something else — in my case it wasn’t a stage name, though, but a nom de plume to write with. I’d always wanted to use Mariel Jacobs. I still like it.
on November 18th, 2009 at 9:42 am
Oh, Jill! I had just a blast reading this! You wrote it just for me, didn’t you?! 🙂 LOL! I wrote a column like this once for my high school paper, but you used MUCH better names 😉
on November 18th, 2009 at 10:04 am
Secret stage names definitely sounds like a fun anagram theme! Give me a few days, and I’ll start one over on the Nameberry “Talk About Names” forum. 🙂
It’s so true what you wrote so eloquently about how: “Hollywood…has artfully transformed many an ugly duckling moniker into a melodic name befitting a sophisticated swan, genteel girl next door, or manly matinee idol.” We do conjure up certain images and expectations based on a person’s name, don’t we?
Here’s a favorite quote for you, that sort of ties in with how the silver screen immortalizes and preserves the memory of the names of those who have played across it over the many years:
We wish our names eternally to live;
Wild dream! which ne’er had haunted human thought,
Had not our natures been eternal too.
— Edward Young (1683-1765), from “Night Thoughts”
on November 18th, 2009 at 10:23 am
Great blog! It was so fun reading the stars real names! Some of them are DEFINITELY lacking the star-quality glamour!
I always thought if I was a star my miaden name would be perfect (Savage). It gives it a rough edge. 🙂 But I could never think of a good name to go with it. I always wanted something unique, spunky, edgy, but not weird. Any ideas?
on November 18th, 2009 at 12:40 pm
I love my name, and I wouldn’t give up it’s everyday use for anything, but I write a lot and have considered the fun of pen names I think I might end up using one when/if I get published, the possibilities are fun to imagine.
on November 18th, 2009 at 1:24 pm
Hmm I loved this Jill! I don’t know if I would change my name. Its pretty cool I think. Bree O. My last name is very Scandinavian. Maybe Olga Blackwood?
on November 18th, 2009 at 1:32 pm
Or maybe Olga Stoker or Olga Iverys.
Pamela Redmond Satran Said
on November 18th, 2009 at 2:23 pm
I’m sorry, but your name is Bree and you want to change it to Olga?? That is definitely the reverse of the old Hollywood trend.
on November 18th, 2009 at 4:12 pm
Great Blog! I didn’t really come up with a stage name (not that I wasn’t trying) but I think the pet + road name idea is kind of fun. Mine would be “Susi Flieder” or anglized: Suzie Lilac.Yes, I do live on Lilac Lane 🙂
on November 18th, 2009 at 4:45 pm
I would use my maiden name, as my married surname (whilst lovely), sounds a bit ‘heavy’.
My maiden name was Oakley.
I’d also use my ‘nickname’ Elsa, rather than the full form Elisabeth, so I’d be Elsa Oakley. I think that has star quality!
on November 18th, 2009 at 5:49 pm
In high school my friends and I were all in Drama Productions and in Band and Choir. We decided that we all needed stage names because our real names just weren’t good enough. I love my first name Victoria so I decided to keep that but my maiden name is Horak and I was sometimes made fun of because of the first syllable (prn. like Whore) so I decided that it needed to go. I rearranged the letters in Horak to become Karoh. I actually used it once in a play I was in in college.
Looking back now I’m sure how much star quality Victoria Karoh has!
on November 18th, 2009 at 6:35 pm
Dearest: I love Adelaide Toy! I know very little about Norwegian names, but I’d love to learn!
Sarah: Isabel Parker Prescott? Very nice! 🙂 I really love the alliteration!
Stella: Esselte Ochoa sounds very distinctive! I’d definitely remember you (in a good way). 🙂
Stacy: I really like Mariel Jacobs! Mariel sounds so elegant to me. 🙂
Nephele: You’ll start a thread? Woo-hoo! I love your anagram threads! Jilly Trinket Bramble is quiet excited. Great quote! 🙂
Erin: I agree that Savage would make a great stage name. Let’s see… Bryony Savage, Dahlia Savage, Juniper Savage (spunky to me), Jessamine Savage, Lydia Savage (I love this!), Marielle Savage, Matilda Savage, Tallulah Savage, Veronica Savage, Willoughby Savage…Are any of these close to what you’re looking for?
Lark: I grew up with a lovely Lark, and I think your name is perfect for the stage! (No fair!) 🙂
Bree: I think your name is great, and makes a perfect stage name!
Annika: I absolutely love your name! What about Annika Lane?
Elsa: I think Elsa Oakley is wonderful, and I love Elisabeth Oakley, too!
Victoria: I wouldn’t have changed Victoria, either, but I love what you did with your last name! I definitely think your combo has star quality.
Thank you so much for commenting, everyone! I really loved reading what you had to say!
on November 18th, 2009 at 6:42 pm
Great blog subject. I’ve always felt like changing my name would change … something! I love my name, my first name, but agree, it’s missing some intrigue and drama. Sort of what I like about it. My last name is kind of blech also. It’s sort of grown on me, but definitely not something people would think was dashing. I have thought of a lot of names for myself, but I didn’t write them down, and never really told anyone about it. I think rather than performing, I’m really more of a secret agent (in my mind), and they are my aliases! So of course I can’t share them. The trick with aliases is you have to sound like that is really your name, and sometimes they are not so dramatic. I do spend too much time daydreaming.
I think Jill Barnett is not terrible for an actress, Victoria Collins is very dramatic. I think you can still use Barnett, or I may steal it, it’s a lot more dynamic than my surname. I guess I ought to remember to mention, one of my earlier surname choices was Gale, as in Dorothy. I also spent time in drama club and took dance lessons for years, and I guess it never occurred to me my name wasn’t fitting – but the super-secret spy life is where I directed my renaming myself. Totally imaginary, of course, I never spied on or stalked anyone, but it’s fun to call up a business and use a fake name to inquire about something. No harm.
on November 18th, 2009 at 6:47 pm
Rica, how could I forget to reply to my Ricette?! I’m so glad you liked the blog and the names I chose! I hope you’re enjoying your M&Ms… 🙂
on November 18th, 2009 at 6:52 pm
Karen, you crack me up! Who knew you were a spy? 🙂 If you’d like Barnett, I’ll gladly hand it over to you, but just make sure to use your new alias for good, not evil. 🙂
I never pursued theatre after the age of 17 or so, but I do still sing in the shower. Victoria Collins has seen a lot of use, though, mostly as an alias when I’m not comfortable sharing my real name (memo to self: time to get a new alias).
I’m glad you liked the topic, and I thank you for commenting! 🙂
on November 18th, 2009 at 7:09 pm
Oh Jill, I love reading your blog posts!
I was hugely into theatre in my day (I guess I still am since I’m currently performing… not as much time with the kiddos though!).
For some reason I never came up with a stage name. I guess I thought my (extremely Scandinavian) name was good enough! Now that I’m married, my name is very alliterative so I think it’s works!
Thanks for giving me a smile tonight!
Sarah Lipoff Said
on November 18th, 2009 at 8:26 pm
I don’t think expecting parents think about if they are naming a future star – well maybe some do more than others – and then we get the super outrageous names out there!
I will admit to changing my last name in the past, but have since gone back to using my plain ol’ original name – and am proud of it 🙂
I enjoy reading your postings!
Sarah Lipoff from Baby Names Buzz
on November 18th, 2009 at 8:29 pm
Loved the blog(: That was quite an entertaining anecdote of your thespian days.
My stage name is a tie between Cecily Fairchild and Vivian Fairfax, if I was to start entirely anew. If I made mine somewhat similar to my real name, it would be more along the lines of Sadie Walterson. And if I followed the old “stage name being your pet & street” trick, it would be Sebastiana “Sebby” Cole.
Charlotte Vera Said
on November 18th, 2009 at 8:50 pm
This is a fabulous blog post! I’ve always been rather partial to my first name, and even though it’s becoming super popular right now, I think I’d keep it. I’d also like to honour my German heritage, so Charlotte Lansburgh it is!
on November 18th, 2009 at 11:50 pm
I truly enjoyed this post – and had a good laugh too! My niece/god-daughter’s name is Victoria Collins. She’s only four, but has a personality of a hollywood golden girl. Too funny.
on November 18th, 2009 at 11:54 pm
It’s Dovey! Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you liked the blog! 🙂 I love alliterative names, and bet yours is very stage-worthy. 🙂
Charlotte: Thanks! I love your name so much, and think that Charlotte Lansburgh is so elegant! (Me? Jealous?) 🙂
Thanks for commenting!
on November 19th, 2009 at 12:24 am
I like Olga. And its one letter off of my real last name.
on November 19th, 2009 at 2:01 am
A lot of these posts didn’t appear when I replied before, so I’m really sorry for not replying to some of you!
Sarah: Thanks so much! I’ll check out your site! 🙂
NameGoddess: Cecily Fairchild and Vivian Fairfax are so elegant, and I love Sebastiana Cole! How pretty! (I also really like the sweetness of Sadie Walterson.) I’m glad you liked the blog!
Heidi: You’re niece is Victoria Collins?! I think she’s very lucky, and I’ll look for her name in lights someday!
Bree: I do think that Olga is a cool name, and it would certainly be memorable!
Thank you all so much! 🙂
on November 19th, 2009 at 2:59 am
Thanks for your post Jill! I enjoyed hearing the given and stage names of some wonderful actors and actresses. I like to remember that Margaret Hookham became Prima Ballerina Margot Fonteyn and Audrey Kathleen Ruston became Audrey Hepburn. It is amazing how many actors and actresses use stage names today. I often hear comments about Reese Witherspoon’s name (full name Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon) and others. It seems a lot of stars today either shorten their first name, like Catherine to Cate, or use a middle name as a first name. My name is unusual so I don’t think I ever really considered stage names. I suppose it might be a more elaborate form of my nickname name with a classic last name I’ve always admired, maybe Adelice Montgomery. Or something a little more exotic like Hazel Morisot…
on November 19th, 2009 at 4:39 pm
I like your blog! 🙂 I have a plain name, so I guess I would use a more unique stage name for myself. Maybe Anya Cooper.
on November 19th, 2009 at 7:20 pm
Jill, I adored this post! You have really outdone yourself – it was fascinating and hilarious. Hmm, for a stage name … Ivy Twinkle, perhaps, or Luella Blythe 🙂
on November 19th, 2009 at 9:25 pm
Jill, I really enjoyed your blog! My first name is Julia and my last name ends in a D, so I think my stage name would be Juliet Ducreaux. What do you think?
on November 19th, 2009 at 10:25 pm
Hi Peach! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 Margaret Hookham, Laura Witherspoon, and Audrey Ruston are great examples! I really love Adelice Montgomery and Hazel Morisot. (Adelice is fun to say.) 🙂
Anna: Thanks! I love your name, and all Anne/Anna names! I think that Anya is a beautiful choice! (I think that Annabelle Cooper is sweet, too.) 🙂
Twinkle: Thanks so much! I’m glad you read it! 🙂 I love your given name (I won’t post it here), and would use it in a hearbeat, both in real life and on stage. Luella Blythe is terrrific, and I love Ivy, too.
Thank you, everyone! I love reading your comments! 🙂
on November 23rd, 2009 at 6:14 pm
Fun post! And I enjoyed reading everyone’s stage names too! I think my own stage name would be Sylvie Summer 🙂
My maiden name is Sommer (pr. like the season) which I’ve always loved. And I find alliteration memorable, so Sylvie Summer it is!
on November 29th, 2009 at 7:48 pm
Here are some other famous name changes:
I think you should change your name for your own life’s fame! Names are my thing and I love talking to people about their names! I know many people who have changed their name to change their life. I highly recommend it!
on December 1st, 2009 at 7:35 pm
One of the best blogs in a long time. My friends told me that to get you stripper name, use your middle name and the street you grew up on, if so mine is Brittany Corvette. I actually wouldn’t mind it for a stage name.
on December 9th, 2009 at 2:27 am
Lili: I love Sylvie Summer! Very cute! Thanks for posting!:-)
Marly: Thanks for the info! I’ll be sure to check out your blog.
Jen: Thanks so much! 🙂 I’ll look for Brittany Corvette in lights someday.
Thanks everyone, and I’m sorry it’s been a while since I checked for comments! Take care! 🙂
YOONEEK NAMES: Do Kre8iv Spellings Make Names More Special? – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on December 14th, 2009 at 3:03 am
[…] cooking, traveling, and following popular culture and politics. She wrote previously for us on both name fame and name shame, and is famous on the nameberry message boards as just plain Jill, always dispensing […]
on February 6th, 2010 at 7:46 pm
I am an actress, have been since I was four, I love the stage! I don’t use my last name for auditions and performances. I am known as Gabrielle Carolina or Bella (my nn) Carolina. Carolina is my middle name. I get it, I don’t have a bad last name, but it doesn’t SPARK! haha, very enjoyable posting!
on October 4th, 2010 at 1:10 pm
Yes I think all of those are memorable stage names..
I’ve been acting since Grade 10 and and hate my name –
So am probably going to change it to something like :
I’m part Scottish and don’t want to get rid of that heritage. As you can see I’m kind of stuck picking a stage name. If someone could help.. That would be much appreciated.
on October 4th, 2010 at 1:13 pm
Sorry I haven’t finished. As it is a requirement for work to change my name then yes I would. But I don’t think I would change it legally!
on November 20th, 2010 at 5:39 pm
I’ve gone through a number of different pseudonyms through my life, but i guess the one i’m using right now, Zipporah (which is also my Hebrew name) has the most star quality.
Although i have to say Olga is the one i use the most, because it reflects my Russian heritage and sounds a little like my real name. My pen name is Madame Olga. Sounds “naughty”, but…
I just love the name Olga!
Mrs G Said
on March 8th, 2011 at 3:14 am
HAVE NAMES FOR TWINS
PLESHETTE & BRIDGETTE
PLESHETTE & GIDGETTE
on March 14th, 2011 at 10:38 pm
My issue with stage names is that they’re largely outdated. Note that the majority of celebrities listed here are from a bygone era. Changing one’s name for the entertainment industry is largely regarded as ‘silly’ or ‘posing’ these days.
Obviously, there are exceptions, and I’ve certainly run across people who choose to adopt names (usually using a family name so that they can pass the change off as “honoring someone”) for their acting/modeling/singing careers (it’s most common in the latter two), but I’ve never been able to talk myself into it because of the growing taboo.
on March 28th, 2011 at 7:13 pm
Hahaha! Great post! My stripper name would be Lou Roseway. Not very stripper…it’s actually kinda cute! My first name is very unique but there is another semi-famous actress with my name. I don’t love old Hollywood names so much, but my pseudanim (sp?) would have to have alliteration. My punk rocker name would be Orchid Alchemy. My pen name… Hmm… Maybe Lou Roseway would work for that!
on May 31st, 2011 at 1:38 am
I would be Jayn Smythe (Jane Smith!) or Eden Valeur.
Also, for stripper name, I was told it was your first pet and your mother’s maiden name. I would be Misty Williamson for mine, and Hazel 34th for the other. I prefer mine in this case!
on June 1st, 2011 at 8:49 pm
My initials CHRO.
Or my over the top can-you-tell-I-was-11-when-I-came-up-with-it alter ego: Cadeau Hazar Rhea Octave (can you guess where I got that from?)
Or my real name, which is less vampire then aI would like but good enough, dammit: Claire O’connor.
My stripper name would be Chicko Chancery. Hahaha that sounds better then I thought it would
on June 14th, 2011 at 4:17 pm
Would change mine to either Greta Cole, Nell Cooper or Clio DeRosier.
on September 11th, 2011 at 9:31 pm
I have no idea what it would be! My name is Cameron, I was actually named after my parents saw a movie with Cameron Diaz in it, (I’m only 12) so I couldn’t exactly use Cameron. My nickname is Cam and my middle name is Marie, so when I was little I went by Camarie for a while, I kind of like it, but it is a bit… odd, and it sounds a bit like Canary and Camery. I might go by Marie and my mother’s maided name… Everyone elses are very cool!!
My first pets were Beauty and Lily, but my street would be Pablo (I live in an area settled by the spanish), so I would probably do Victory or Patterson. Lily Victory and Lily Patterson is fairly glamorous!
on November 2nd, 2011 at 2:00 am
With the “stripper name” game in mind, mine would be Strawberry Rose. :$ Since I’m considered a “ginger”, I would probably just be called Strawberry Shortcake. It doesn’t help that I’m short, either.
on February 8th, 2012 at 7:43 pm
Oh dear haha. My stripper name would be Tia Juniper. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It sounds kind of spunky :P. I have a pen name that I use though Juniper Marie Thompson, usually shortened to just J.M. Thompson.
on August 20th, 2012 at 12:01 pm
As a writer, I gave myself the pen name of Aly Lawrence years ago – Aly comes from my first name (RosALYn) and Lawrence was my father’s middle name. He’s the reason I’m a writer, so I felt it was a good way to honour him.
on August 22nd, 2012 at 5:50 pm
LOL, the top comment really cracked me up!!! As far as stage names go. I’d be something like Fern Munrowe, distinctive but normal, in a way.
on February 16th, 2013 at 5:41 pm
Lol I know a Victoria Collins…my stripper name would be Rosie Torrington. Since my name is Rose, Rose Torrington could work, or Rose Whittington, my grandma’s last name
on May 4th, 2013 at 5:19 pm
This is fascinating! My stripper name… Going by the ‘pet + mother’s maiden name’ rules, I’d be either Bobbie Haigh (current pet) or – cringe – Muffin Haigh. Oh God!
My stage name – or pen name, as this thread became ;P – would probably be something to honour my grandma and Clara Bow. So probably either Eileen Bow (I think it rings so well!), Clare Holloran, or Clare Hennessy (I prefer the spelling Claire, but I think Clare works better).
Thinking about it, Eileen Bow is probably the best of those. And with my middle name Jayne as well, Eileen Jayne Bow. Shortened to E. J. Bow?
on May 20th, 2014 at 7:03 pm
I’d definitely go with a stage name! I really dislike my name, and I’m such a name nerd.
This is actually why I’m on this site. Looking for a stage name. I’m totally lost. Can’t find anything. I feel like I’ve heard every name there is!
Going by the stripper name (pet + mother’s maiden name), I’d be Hollie Reed. Not bad.
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