Know when to Talk to a Celebrity
Were it not for general celebrity worship and admiration, they would not stay at the top of their tree for long. Some celebrities welcome attention, whilst others prefer to be private when not performing. This should be respected. If you see a celebrity in person, however, it is hard to resist the temptation to talk to them even if it is just to get an autograph. Extend some courtesy, and you can make the interaction a pleasant one for the celebrity and yourself.
- Find the right time to approach them. You would not want to be bothered by a stranger if you were in the middle of an important conversation, would you? Try to wait until the person is unoccupied or until they finish a cell phone call.
- Approach politely. Smile and introduce yourself gently.
- Open with a compliment. Do not overly flatter a celebrity, or you will sound phony. Be specific. For example, tell them you thought they were great in a certain role or that you appreciate their work for a certain charity. Do not give a generic compliment, such as “I’m your biggest fan,” and do not critique the person.
- If you have something obviously in common with them, share this information. Building a rapport through similarities is a great way to get anyone talking to you.
- Explain what you want. If you just want to chat and enjoy the moment, fine. If you want an autograph or picture with them, politely and quickly ask. Be prepared and make sure you have a pen and a paper to autograph handy before you approach them. If they consent to give you an autograph, hand them the notepad; do not make them wait. As well, make sure your camera is ready if you want a picture and never approach them by sticking your notepad or camera in his or her face.
- Watch their body language. Body language can clue you in on how they are feeling about the interaction. If they appear rushed or if they keep walking as you are talking, or if they glance at their watch, be sensitive to that time crunch. If they seem distressed, this probably is not a good time to talk.
- Converse with them if they appear to like you, but remember they may just be trying to be polite. Try not to drag the conversation on.
- Avoid overly gushing. Some celebrities cannot get enough compliments; they like to hear how great you think they are. In general, too much enthusiasm on your part may embarrass them, or scare them off.
- Be a good listener. If they actually engage in a conversation with you, pay attention to what they are saying. Do not interrupt them, but build upon their statements as you would for any good conversation.
- Stick to talking about their public life. Unless the celebrity brings it up, it is usually best to avoid conversing about his or her family or other private issues. At the extreme, this can seem very creepy.
- Be discreet. Do not draw attention to a celebrity if other people have not recognized them. While one fan may be tolerable, ten or fifteen fans crowding around is certainly not.
- Take pictures discreetly. If your camera is handy, either take the picture from a certain distance, or ask them if they would mind if you snapped a quick photo. However, if the celebrity is in disguise, it would be much better to photograph him or her from away, as you should not draw any extra attention to them. Do not take a picture of you and the celebrity, without asking for permission first. But, if the star is friendly, you could ask if they would let you have a picture taken with them.
- Wrap up nicely. Be sure to thank the celebrity for his or her time or for an autograph or photo, and say something like, “It was great to meet you.”
- Accept rejection. It is okay for you to ask quickly for an autograph or photo, but it is also okay for him/her to decline. If your request is turned down, do not force the issue. They are allowed to have their personal space. Don’t be pushy.
- Try to call them by their public name. Do not call them by a nickname, as that is too familiar! You do not know them, they don't know you. Do not call their names out loudly, unless in a meet or greet situation, where it is expected.
- Some are really nice and funny and will give you a hug if you ask them for one. Just don't be creepy.
- Another way to word it is: "Sorry to bother you, but have you the time to sign an autograph?"
- Celebrities not only need some privacy, they need to make the most of their free time. They also have appointments to keep. Expect any celebrity meeting to be fast.
- Most celebrities prefer a polite, "Hello, if you have the time, I would love your autograph!" This is an honest approach and even the most irritable celebrity probably will sign quickly.
- If you have a natural sense of humor and can apply it when meeting a celebrity, he or she will likely appreciate that. Everyone needs a laugh at least once a day.
- If the actor has a stage name and you know their real name, but they do not use it, address them only by their stage name. Professional wrestlers are a great example of this. For example if you met The Undertaker, you wouldn't call him Mark, you'd call him Taker. A possible exception were to be if he were not in costume. Another example is Shawn Michaels (real name Michael Hickenbottom). His real-life dress would likely be similar to what he wears on TV, so the costume exception wouldn't apply.
- A celebrity who is disguised does not want to be bothered. It is worth respecting this desire. If you do approach someone who is going incognito, try not to blow his or her cover.
- On the other hand, if they're selling something, that works as a great opening. For example a musician, buy their CD right there (even if you already own it) and more than likely, they will be more than willing to sign the cover and/or the disc itself.
- Consider not trying to get an autograph. The best conversations you may have with celebrities may be those in which you do not expect anything in return. Talk about your surroundings, recent news, or other things you know they might be interested in.
- Another note on professional wrestlers, those who play the bad guys often stay in character, to an extent, when they're not on TV, to maintain that image. The exception is for charity events, and when they visit the troops overseas. Otherwise, don't expect a guy like Randy Orton to sign your autograph. If you ask, and he looks down on you like you're nothing, that's just his character.
- Celebrities are not in the business of discovering others, so do not try to use them as a method of rising to fame yourself. Many will see this as a nuisance and they will probably not want to talk to you any more. On a related note, do not tell them how fantastic a friend or relative of yours is, no matter how brilliant or talented your acquaintance may be.
- Be careful not to talk in the past tense of their careers, popularity or beauty. This would be offensive to anyone.
- Celebrities are usually afraid to make eye contact with the public, as they do not want to converse with everyone who recognizes them. Just imagine how tedious it would be having people talking to you everywhere you go!
- Try to avoid approaching celebrities if they are engaged in an in-depth conversation or private time with their partner.
- Expect irrational behavior or eccentricity.
Things You'll Need
- Autograph book or something to write on
- Camera (cell phone cameras are great for quick, discreet pictures)
- Basic social skills
- Talk to Celebrities
- Meet Your Favourite Band or Singer
- Talk to a Film Director on the Phone
- Start a Fan Club
- Become a Famous Singer
- Become an Actor