There you are standing nervously, a small bead of sweat coming down your forehead, the limo door of your favorite celebrity just opened and now it's gut check time to see if you have what it takes to ask them for an autograph. You have been waiting for two hours for this moment and then the moment comes only to be turned down in a heartbeat.
Welcome to the world of collecting autographs in person, do you have what it takes? Let me give you some suggestions when trying to meet your favorite celebrity.
- The first rule that I have always lived by is just to be as respectful as possible. Sure you have been waiting for two hours in the cold night air, but please don't insult or disrespect the security staff or the celebrity if things do not work out. The things they do might make me angry but I have never taken it out verbally on them... I have just vented afterwards on my web site (ha ha). At the end of the day they are just people who may be having a really bad day, which all of us can relate to.
- This may be an obvious suggestion, but try and know a little something about the celebrity you are trying to meet. Trust me, there is nothing more embarrassing or awkward than having the celebrity call you out when you don't know the last film they were in.
The next step is to find out where celebrities will be visiting, chances are you will find an event at a local venue or theatre near you. Considering I don't live in a celebrity hot spot like California or New York, I've been fortunate enough to meet many big name celebrities. You just have to keep looking and you may be surprised who is coming to your town.
Local newspapers and other publications are the best resource you have trying to find events. I don't know how many times I've read the newspaper to find out that a celebrity would be in town for a fundraiser or political rally. If you are really lucky the celebrity could be in town for the purpose of signing autographs and meeting their fans.
Great Web Sites to Find Events:
Another suggestion is to look up the web site for your local film office or on the IMDB to see what films may be shooting near you.
- What should you bring? Along with a camera, bring something to get signed and a Sharpie (Blue is the Autograph Collector's Preference). If you don't have a photograph or CD of the celebrity you can try to be creative by bringing along something unique, like a microphone for a singer or a chef's hat for a celebrity chef. If creativity isn't your thing then simply bring along a double sided blank index card, you don't want to risk having the celebrity turn the index card over and sign the lined part of the card.
Here we are the day of the event, it's getting exciting. I strongly recommend that you show up at the venue at least 2-3 hours early, depending on your venue. This is especially true of musical acts who always perform sound checks before the concert even starts. It is a great time to ask for autographs.
Showing up early also gives you the opportunity to find the backstage entrance and get the lay of the venue. If you are going to a movie premiere, showing up early is a must because it will allow you to choose the prime spots at the barrier.
The stage door is usually located in the back of the building (hence backstage) and is usually out in the open. In the worst case scenario the backstage entrance is located underground or in a loading dock, where a limo or tour bus can actually drive into. In this case, security guards will probably prohibit anyone from going down to wait for autographs and it makes things much more complicated.
- So you've found the stage door and now comes the hardest part... the wait! The thing about collecting autographs, whether in person or by mail, is that it takes patience. Unless you have an inside source, you have no idea when the celebrity is going to show up at the event. Are they the type of celebrity who is going to come early to prepare for the event or will they be arriving to the show at the last minute? They may also say that they can't sign going into the event but will after the show, which means you have to wait the good 3 or 4 hours until the show lets out.
- This brings us to the last step, the encounter. Everything you've prepared for has built up to this moment. You see the tour bus pull up to the stage door and the door opens. Out comes your favorite musical artist and that's when it happens, you become star struck. Suddenly your mind has gone blank, but you must snap out of this because there isn't time to spare. Now take a deep breath and politely ask them for an autograph. The scary part is that there is no telling what the outcome will be. It can be quite upsetting when the celebrity you've admired for so long turns out to be a jerk, but there's also a chance that they will give you an amazing experience that will last a lifetime.
Remember be patient, persistent, and polite and you'll go far collecting autographs in person.
Earl's Tips Collecting Autographs By Mail