Getting an autograph in person from your favorite celebrity might seem like a far-fetched reality, especially if you don’t frequent Hollywood or other cities crawling with famous people. However, it is possible surprisingly more possible than you think. Especially, if you keep your eye open for opportunities. There are a few tried and true methods of how to get the autograph of any celebrity you aspire to meet, whether it is an actor or an athlete.
Getting an Autograph in Person
- Purchase tickets to autograph signings. Autograph signings often require you pay a fee to attend. On a positive note, paying a fee guarantees you a high quality autograph for the celebrity you’re trying to get an autograph from.
- Keep tabs on autograph signings happening near you by signing up for the DeLuxe membership offered at SigningsHotline.com.
- Be prepared to wait in a long line for a lengthy amount of time. Bring your smartphone to help you pass the time.
- Attend a book signing. It’s the less expensive alternative to autograph signings. Just purchase a book to earn your spot in line and get an autograph.
- It’s a more controlled environment and allows you to connect with famous authors (actors, online influencers, politicians, television personalities) about something personal that touches on the subject matter of their book project.
- You will usually have a much more authentic and engaged encounter than you would if the famous person in question was promoting a film.
- Get more from your autograph encounter at the signing by asking the famous person for advice based on the subject matter of the book they wrote.
- Take advantage of speaking engagements where celebrities are keynote speakers. Famous people sometimes go on press circuits, especially at popular public universities. Check your area for upcoming conferences and learn about their keynote speakers.
- Stand at the entrance or exit of the venue and ask for the speaker’s autograph in passing.
- Ask questions and appear genuinely interested during discussions to stand out in the crowd of people while the famous person is making their speech. You will be a familiar face to them if you choose to approach them after the speech.
- Capitalize on live music events. Concerts tend to be the best opportunities to get autographs from musicians. Sometimes artists offer paid opportunities to receive an autograph. Other times, you just have to catch them at the right moment.
- Consider purchasing a VIP package to get some one on one time with musicians backstage, often times with the accompaniment of an autograph signing.
- Stand outside the concert venue near the artist’s tour bus and wait an hour or two to greet the celebrity as they walk to their bus after the show. They are typically kind enough to sign things for fans as they make their way to their bus to head to the next location.
- Get autographs from your favorite athletes. Stake out the ballpark or stadium during the season before and after games to see what athletes you might encounter. During the off-season, look into special sporting events like baseball card shows to meet players and get cards signed in person.
- Try your luck at catching a baseball during a game. You might be able to get that ball signed after the game by a player.
- Keep your eyes peeled for retired players who might be in the crowd with you during games and try going up to them to ask for an autograph. They are often very humbled by requests so don’t be shy.
Writing an Autograph Request Letter
- Craft your letter with a personal touch. When writing letters to celebrities, you have to make sure that your letter stands out and shows them that it is worth replying to. Skip the formality of typing your letters and sit down to handwrite one instead.
- Show your knowledge of the celebrity you’re writing to. Flesh your letter out by sharing ways you appreciate the celebrity and how their career influences you personally. Choose two or three different moments in their career that you admire and make sure you’re genuine in your praise and enthusiasm.
- Format your letter, starting it off with: Dear [Person’s Full Name]. Structure your letter into three paragraphs.
- In the first paragraph, you will compliment their talent and achievements. Celebrities can tell when you’re being insincere so make sure it’s a celebrity whose career you follow and admire so that you have a lot to talk about.
- In the second paragraph, you will list your favorite work of theirs or something that really strikes you about their career. Showing them how much you know about their films and that you’ve followed the characters they’ve played will speak volumes of how much of a fan you are.
- In the third, you will request to be sent an autograph or to have an item autographed. Tell them how appreciative you would be if they were to give you your autograph and make sure you thank them. Give them best wishes and close with your signature.
- Prepare your letter to be sent. Place your signed letter into a 9x12 envelope so that the celebrity can send an 8x10 signed photo if they choose to do so. Also include a self addressed 9x12 envelope in the packaging with your letter.
- Take things a step further by making things even more convenient for the celeb in question. Include the photo or item you want them to sign in the package.
- If you are looking to collect autographs, include another item (a photo, a paper, a book, a card) in your package for the celebrity to sign. This will make authenticating the signature easier because you will have a reference to compare the signature to.
Sending an Autograph Request Letter to the Right Place
- Search for celebrity addresses by finding their agents online. An online alternative to magazine searches is the use of IMDB and their subscription service IMDBpro which lists the agents of many actors, providing you with information to help you direct your letters to the right agent.
- Locate celebrity addresses on other parts of the web. Although sending autograph requests to agents and firms come at a 50-60% response rate, sending your letter to those places prove no good if the celebrity is no longer with the agent or agency. There are a handful of other websites that help you keep your celebrity addresses current.
- As previously mentioned, The Internet Movie Database is a great credible resource for information on people working in television and film. Find your celebrity by searching their name in the search engine provided.
- Other sites like FanMail.biz and Celebrity Fans are other free online resources that offer some success with locating celebrity address information. On FanMail.biz, read the forums to check out the success and failure rates other fans have had with writing to celebrities for autographs.
- Send autograph requests directly to home stadiums. Athletes can be reached by contacting them directly through the team they play for. Send the letter at the player’s attention, c/o the team they play for underneath, and include the name of the stadium, and the address on the recipient portion of the envelope.
- Look at the official websites for the leagues to get a rundown of the teams and the official venues they call home. For example, for a roundup of baseball teams in the league, find it here: http://mlb.mlb.com/team/
- Spring training facilities, TV studios, and minor league affiliates might be an effective way to get a reply to sent autograph requests as well.
- Wait for a reply. Celebrities are very busy people with hectic and demanding schedules. Have patience for the length of time it takes to hear back from an autograph request you’ve sent. Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes it takes months. It can even take up to a year to hear back from a celebrity, so be patient.
- Don't sell your autograph on the internet. It will be worth a lot more with time and the more fame the celebrity acquires.
- Don't act like you are just writing to them for their autograph. Act interested in them.
- If you end up buying an autograph on the internet be careful. Don't be sucked in by eBay and their autographs. Some are real but 95% of the time they are fake.
- Some of these efforts have a success rate of %20 or lower, but if you’re serious about building an autograph collection, keep trying. Eventually a lack of response will turn into a “yes”.
- If you are not cooperating with the staff, or people attending it may result in you getting kicked out and not getting an autograph.
- Some celebrities might send out pre-printed autographs.
- Some celebrities might get their secretary or autograph machines to sign them on their behalf.
- If getting an autograph through FaceBook, YouTube, or email, make sure the person is reputable.
Things You'll Need
- Self addressed stamped envelope (sometimes they will reply without one, but make sure to include one just in case)
- A picture of them
- A pen
- Their address
- An envelope
- Get a Celebrity's E Mail Address
- Ask a Celebrity for an Autograph or Photo
- Stalk a Celebrity Without Getting Caught
- Look Up an Actor or Actress
- Send an Autograph Request
Sources and Citations