Solution - Soul-Searching

by Marc Spraragen

Answer: Click here to reveal

The flavor text and the text of the story speak of self-effacement, obscurity, incognito, etc. These refer to hiding oneself, and hint that we need people who do not use their real names. There are also references to self-negation, false humility, etc. which clue that the opposites of these false names are used.

Each capitalized word (other than the ones starting sentences) is an antonym of a celebrity's one-word stage name. Each of these words also intersects at one letter with the celebrity's real last name, which appears word-search style in the text.

We only achieve purity through self-negation.  Earthly success gives
a sinful measure of Excitement, though our intent be Noble as the
angels’.  Loathe all temptation to recognition and glory.  And
beware: a false humility is itself a revelry of the sanctimonious,
leading somberly on to the dusky gates of eternal damnation.  From
the sad Ebony portals there is no return.  One measure we take is to
conceal our unabridged histories with shadowy identities so as to
divert fame, lest it Uncork the weak vessels of our profane persons.
Yet we must beware if misdirection gain its own repute, and cause
alternate trapdoors unfamiliar to us in our new opacity, as horrible
and as sinister as past snares that caught the benighted cretins that
we once were.  The most beautiful of souls are those that never shine
for themselves or anyone else: a virtuous obscurity.  We Imprecate
thus the Shyness that conceals its own indulgences, and rebuke
they who satiate themselves whensoever not perceived.  Remember
always that the psychological aspirations to oblivion must be matched
by the physical abatement inherent to a life spent in penury and
pure asceticism not jaundiced by greed, or Blemished by the material
and our bodily recalcitrancies.  One last task remains to they whose
souls are not Obese with worldly or ethereal dreams and pretentions.
This is to enhance one’s incognito with the charades of values far
from one’s true wont-- Jezebel to the outside world, but inwardly a
nonentity, not a saint.  Finalizing our self-erasure, we fade back
into the noise of mankind, leaving the Hellish prison of our
individuality for the sheer nirvana of anonymity.

Extract the intersecting letters in the order of the capitalized words' appearance, and swap each for the letter in the stage name at the same position of this letter in the capitalized word. In order, these letters spell the final answer, AMOS BARTON

WordLast NameStage NameExtract