Hi, my name is Atticus.
You may not know me, or maybe you do. It doesn’t really matter, but I’d like to tell a story.
It starts a few years ago, when someone I knew died in a hotel room in Vancouver.
Every time I saw him, I felt the same thing. The strange confusion of fame and sadness that I saw in so many famous people I knew.
Fame is a tricky thing. On one hand, it gives you everything you want in life. On the other, it takes away everything you need.
That summer I took a trip to France, and through a friend, I met a guy named Michael Madsen. He’s the bad guy from Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, and a Justin Bieber music video. We became friends, and he taught me a lot about fame, about sadness, and how poetry had saved his life. How interesting. Here was a motorcycle-riding, whiskey-drinking American badass, telling me to write poetry.
A few days later, walking the streets of Paris, I saw something beautiful and wrote it down. I posted it online under the name, Atticus. Why? Just because I liked the name.
Not long after, I was offered my first book deal. And my publisher said — you should take off the mask, you’ll sell a million books.
But, all I could think of was why? For who? And at what cost?
So, I kept the mask on. And I asked my fans who knew to help keep me hidden. They got it. They saw it for what it was, a guy who wanted to create things, but also, not be famous.
I realized that’s what Atticus is, it's not me at all, it’s all of you. And because I have no face, we put the face we need on the words, and Atticus becomes whoever we need. Because it’s not about who Atticus is. It’s about who you are.
A woman once stood up at the end of one of my shows. I was wearing my mask. She said: "In a world obsessed with fame, I think it’s beautiful you’re here — sending love from the shadows."