If you’re a “somebody” you’d best not move about by yourself.  If you do, you will certainly not get the attention you expect.  Followers of one sort or another are essential to confirm your importance.  Kings and noblemen in their day would certainly never venture forth without their retinue of courtiers., retainers and servants, personal attendants, armed escorts and all manner of hangers-on.  This both reflected their power and influence and served to reinforce their exalted status.

Entourages are definitely in these days.  American presidents, for example, have generally outdone the Kings of yore.  Barack Obama’s overseas travel normally involves hundreds who accompany him, including the press corps, security personnel of all sorts, diplomats, advisers, cooks and medical people.  His recent predecessors have not traveled any lighter.

Being on the road and on the move is always a challenge.  Normal schedules are disrupted, familiar routines and discipline hard to maintain and the unexpected often likely to occur.  Surrounded by an entourage one is protected and at least partially insulated against unwelcome developments.

One notes that while such high profile tennis stars, say, champions like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadel may be alone out on the court, accompanying them to most major tournaments are clusters of support staff.  Often at their disposal are practice partners, nutritionists, physical and massage therapists, coaches and yes, in some instances, their own racquet stringers.  That is, of course, in addition to friends and family.

Entertainment personalities usually go one better.  Being “stars” they expect special treatment and consideration and typically assemble a cast capable of serving them in any number of ways.  Whether it be the likes of Lady Gaga, Pink, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez or others occupying the entertainment firmament, each counts on being surrounded by swarms of service providers.  Many a hotel insider, for example, reports being asked by them to accommodate personal nutritionists and cooks and grant them access to kitchen facilities.  Others insist that the gym be made available to them and their trainers at all times.  Stylists, make-up artists, dressers, and physical therapists are rarely absent while personal photographer are frequently on hand as well.  Then, of course, there’s always security, always friends, relatives and intimates, gofers, publicists and managers.

If A-list athletes and entertainers pocket handsome sums for their efforts, remember most also serve as generous pay masters to a crowd of personal assistants and support staff.  It takes an entourage to sustain a star.

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