A mix of nervousness, shock, and a ramped-up level of self analysis can culminate into an ill advised reaction when meeting someone famous.
You’ve likely visualized yourself being in a position of interacting with famous people. Simulating our own personal interactions with those we see on screens is a test of our ability to keep up with them of sorts. It’s common to visualize ourselves in a successful position in life; a vision which comes with the assumption that success will propel you into social circles that other successful people populate.
As silly as it may sound, it seems that our desire to act our best, and perhaps stand out, around celebrities is, in part, due to our egotistical desire to be considered one ourselves. If we pass the test of making a positive mark on a celebrity we meet, our pride would, at least temporarily, swell. We would feel socially validated in the eyes of someone whose social validation is sought by millions.
The desire for social validation with celebrities does not end there however. There’s nothing wrong in attempting to make a celebrity like you in the brief moments of your mutual interaction. A tendency to want too much however, often ruins the first impression you put out.
Not only do people seek to be liked by a celebrity they meet randomly on the street, they often try to exploit celebrity to farm for validation from people in their daily lives as well. They plead for celebrities to take a selfie with them, sign their prints, and give shout outs to their friends. They can’t wait to provide proof of being in the same vicinity as someone famous, and will seemingly use that information as currency for online likes and mentions.
This article is about making a good impression on celebrities you meet in person. The methods which go on to be presented will center, first and foremost, on guiding all your words and actions with respect. It is written to discourage you from using famous people as propellers of validation, and makes suggestions toward having a meaningful interaction by way of limiting your words and actions.
This article assumes that you benefit more from making the celebrity comfortable around you, than from garnering points of validation from your friends and family at the expense of a famous person’s comfort.
Expressing Fan-ship of Their Work
As you meet those you’ve looked up to for a while, you’ll feel a strong desire to express just how much of a fan you are. You’ll form eloquent sentences; the deepest you’ve ever formed. You’ll want to place yourself in a vulnerable position by expressing your wholesome respect with words you’ve seldom used. Perhaps you’ll simply say that you’re a fan, and thank them for their work. As you do either of those things, remember that it’s not wrong.
What you need to keep in mind however, is to try maintaining the sense of comfort the person you’re interacting with felt before you arrived into the picture. Try to fit your compliments and exclamations of respect to the general energy of the environment you’re in. If you bump into someone famous at the airport for instance, meeting them with an energy which is more intense than they’d rather deal with at that moment, won’t do well to keep them comfortable. If you bump into them at a party on the other hand, you’ll find yourself freer to express your love for them and their work.
When in doubt regarding how you should conduct yourself, be calm and simple in your approach. Express your fan-ship clearly, calmly, and concisely. Add a few opinions into your expression of gratitude, but don’t go overboard. Attempt to own the words you tell the famous people you meet, and try not to tell them that your mom’s a massive fan. If you’re a fan, then tell them clearly, calmly, and concisely. If your mom is one and you’re not, perhaps it doesn’t make too much sense to walk up to them and introduce yourself.
Asking for Something in Return
As you finish up expressing your absolute pleasure in meeting someone famous, your mind will take you toward a desire to ask for something in return. Whether it be a signature, a photo, or another specific act, you may decide to request a favor from the person (famous they may be) whom you’re interacting with.
Your decision to ask for something is your own. First though, remember that if they go on to reject your ask, not to take it personally. They have final say whether to provide you with a photo, or to sign your shirt. It would be unfair to judge them on that front. As you ask them for your favor of choice, don’t preface it with contradictory remarks such as, “I don’t want to be a bother but can you…” If you think you’re bothering someone, then you likely are. Act with a desire to not be a bother, rather than tell them your intentions.
The best approach is one of simply asking for the favor in question.
“Can you please take a photo with me?”
“Can you please sign this card for me?”
The two above are simple asks, which don’t contain editorialized dialogue. Try to veer on the side of saving your subject time, rather than providing them with any perceived food for thought. Remember, they’re doing you a favor, not the other way around. Be clear, simple, and direct in your asks. If you find your own asks bothersome or embarrassing, then it’s solely your job to bask in that embarrassment and bother.
If the famous person in question decides to start a dialogue with you, then feel free to partake. However, you are not the person in control of whether a dialogue between the two of you takes place in such a situation. Be concise in your approach by expressing and owning your fanship or the individual, and if you choose, be quick in asking for a favor. In following these guidelines, you’d ensure to maintain a level of respectful comfort between the two of you. You’d act on your desire to not be a bother, rather than exclaim it out loud. Most of all however, you’d express your love toward a person directly, in a manner which they’d prefer to receive it.