You Share a Name With a Household Name. What’s to Be Done?

If you’re reading this, fellow Kris Duggan, you know what it’s like to share a name in common. But what if your name-ganger (like doppelganger, but for names) happens to be someone more famous than yourself? 

Must you be consigned to a life lived in the shadow of a fairer, better-known person? Or is it within your abilities to turn this association to your advantage and embrace the awesome power of name recognition?

Our bets are on the latter. Here are some ideas to make the most of your name association with a celebrity name-ganger — past or present.

Get to Know Your Famous Name-ganger Better

Under ordinary circumstances, the person with whom you share a full name may not be someone to whom you’d pay any special attention. But these aren’t ordinary circumstances. 

Read up on your name-ganger; Wikipedia is a good start, but probably should not be your only resource. Learn more about their background, what they’re famous for, their lifestyle, and any extracurricular activities or causes for which they’re known.

Figure Out How Popular (And Likable) They Really Are

Tease out how popular this person really is. Not every famous person is equally well-liked or well-regarded. In certain domains, such as politics and sports, you’ll find characters that “enjoy” near-universal revulsion. 

Elsewhere, it’s just as common to find public figures with remarkably high “Q” scores — a key measure of personal likability used in show business. How well your name-ganger comes off is important to your treatment of the association.

Identify at Least One Thing You Do Better Than Them

Next, turn the tables on your name-ganger by identifying at least one thing you do better than them and emphasizing this difference in your personal branding. Since you’re unlikely to work in the same profession as your name-ganger, this could be as easy as calling yourself a better lawyer or nurse or economist than whatever start of the screen or page or stage you happen to share a name with.

Call Them Out by Name, But Know Where the Line Lies

While we’ve thus far assumed that it’s best to lean into your name association with a particular famous person, it’s important not to take things too far. You don’t want a good-natured running joke to turn into fodder for a lawsuit. Above all else, be respectful of your name-ganger’s privacy and humanity, just as you’d prefer them to be of yours.

Keep Your Head Up — It’s Yours, After All

In the end, you are your own Kris Duggan (or whatever your name happens to be). No one can take that away from you, not even the far more famous person with whom you happen to share a first and last name.

The last thing you want to do is permit an inferiority complex to take root. Sure, you might never be as well-known as your name-ganger, but you still have much to be proud of. Name recognition isn’t the only measure of personal or professional success.

So, while it’s perfectly acceptable to lean into your celebrity association, you should resist allowing that association to define you. There’s so much more to your story than a mere accident of birth.

Do you share a name with a famous person? How do you handle the burden?

Honorary Kris Duggan

Kenuric Duggan (Kris Robson (Duggan))

Mr. Kenuric Duggan is an “honorary” Kris Duggan — his family name is actually Robson. Mr. Duggan/Robson hails from the Lansing, Michigan, area, and works in the healthcare industry.

This honorary Kris Duggan’s real passion, however, is history. An avid Renaissance Faire participant, he’s become quite good at medieval sword fighting — with full regalia and armor, in case you’re wondering. Despite his home region’s harsh winters, he practices outdoors year-round. Concerned friends and family members needn’t worry — it’s all in good fun, assures Mr. Duggan/Robson. Here’s hoping it stays that way!

This Kris Duggan Didn’t Take a Left at Albuquerque!

Kris Duggan – Albuquerque, NM 

Mr. Kris Duggan hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment’s largest city. Living in the shadow of the Sandia Mountains, he’s privy to some of the Lower 48’s most dramatic scenery and weather conditions. No wonder, then, that he’s an avid photographer who specializes in sunset and night sky scenes.

Our resident Albuquerque Kris Duggan has plenty of other interests, too. When he’s not waiting for the golden hour or hiking uphill for a clearer view of the night sky, you can find him taking a University of New Mexico basketball game (go Lobos!) or spending time with his beloved family.

Kris Duggan – Homegrown Irishman

Kris Duggan – Dublin, Ireland 

Mr. Kris Duggan is the only born-and-bred Irishman on our list, at least to our knowledge. Perhaps he can shed some light on his name’s backstory — although there’s no indication he’s related to the original “Dugans,” as of yet.

This particular Kris Duggan hails from Dublin, his home country’s capital and largest city, and knows the place well. Like any good Dubliner, he enjoys exploring the city’s beautiful riverfront, window-shopping its many high streets, and escaping to the stunning Wicklow Mountains when the weather allows. A romantic type, he enjoys spending time with his sweetheart, too.

Kris Duggan in the South Too!

Kris Duggan – Jackson, TN 

Mr. Kris Duggan is an all-American guy from the close-knit town of Jackson, Tennessee, conveniently located between Nashville (Music City USA!) and Memphis (home of the Delta Blues, of course).

Mr. Duggan works for FedEx, one of the region’s largest employers (and proud to call nearby Memphis its global headquarters). His job sometimes keeps him out on the road for hours or days at a time, but that doesn’t get him down — he takes solace in knowing that, without him, folks would have to wait longer for holiday gifts, birthday presents, and “just-because” purchases.

Kris Duggan in Italy?

Kristen Duggan – Emilia-Romagna, Italy 

Kristen Duggan doesn’t always go by “Kris Duggan,” but that’s no matter. She’s a proud resident of Emilia-Romagna, Italy, an absolutely stunning region of rolling foothills and verdant plains straddling the divide between the Alps and Apennines, Italy’s two largest mountain ranges.

Ms. Duggan lives between the waterlogged medieval metropolis of Venice and the storybook university town of Bologna; some days, she can’t decide which she loves more. When she’s not exploring the mountains or hitting one of her favorite Adriatic beaches, she’s probably out exploring northern Italy with her partner.

Kris Duggans Around the World

Kris Duggan – Castleford, U.K.

Mr. Kris Duggan lives in the quiet Leeds suburb of Castleford, part of the extensive urban agglomeration stretching from Liverpool in the west to Hull in the east. If you love the outdoors, as this particular Kris Duggan does, there’s no better place to be, with the Lake District next door and the stunning Scottish highlands not too far off.

When he’s not checking out autos on auction or exploring the beautiful parks of northern England and Scotland, you’ll find Mr. Duggan spending time with his family, taking a Sunday drive, or reconnecting with his mates.

Kris Duggan – Not Only in States Beginning with “I”

Kris Duggan, Lancaster, CA

Ms. Kris Duggan, nee McCurdy, lives in Lancaster, California, with her spouse. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, she took to life in the southern California desert like a fish out of water — literally, thanks to the recent punishing drought that depleted groundwater supplies and threatened municipal water systems in the region.

Ms. Duggan doesn’t let that get to her. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time outdoors in the beautiful San Gabriel and Sierra Nevada mountains. Occasionally, she heads to the coast. No word on whether she’s taken up surfing like a true Californian yet!

A Kris Duggan in Iowa?

Kris (Kayser) Duggan, Cedar Falls, IA

Ms. Kris Duggan, nee Kayser, lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa — a tight-knit college town home to the University of Northern Iowa, the Hawkeye State’s third-largest public university. Ms. Duggan is a proud graduate of UNI (go Panthers!) and counts among her friends many fellow alumni who’ve remained in the area after graduating.

Ms. Duggan has many hobbies and interests. She’s a big fan of stage productions, as are other members of her family. One recent highlight: a trip to the big city to see “Hamilton,” the Broadway smash. And, like any born and bred Iowan, she loves escaping to warmer climes during the long, harsh winter.

There is a Kris Duggan in Idaho

Kris Duggan, Twin Falls, ID

Mr. Kris Duggan hails from the picturesque community of Twin Falls, Idaho, near the banks of the mighty Snake River. A committed family man, Mr. Duggan loves nothing more than spending time with his wife, kids, and pets.

To make ends meet and give back to the community he loves so much, Duggan works as a first responder for a local health system, covering a vast swathe of sparsely populated southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. When he’s not helping to save lives, you’re likely to find him exploring a new mountain trail, reconnecting with friends around town, or contributing his talents at church.

Thanks Kris Duggan!