2013 Tip of the Day #17: Celeb Encounters

Screen shot 2013-06-28 at 12.18.20 AMOne of the best parts of the San Diego Comic-Con is all the celebrity sightings. There is so much star gazing that it would make Galileo jealous (see what I did there). If you have never been before, the celebrity encounters can get pretty surreal at times and they happen at the most unexpected moments. Crazy thing is that no one has the same experience twice. I have gone some years and ran into big names every day and other years I hardly saw anyone. That’s the beautiful unpredictable nature of Comic-Con. But a bad encounter can lead to a lifetime of regret. So to prepare you for when you have that chance, here are some tips:

  • Don’t gawk. This is your one chance to meet someone you have admired for a long time. Don’t let the opportunity pass and seize the moment. If not, then just leave. Hanging around and gawking is super annoying for a celeb.
  • Respect their situation. If a celeb is engaged in business or in a serious conversation then patiently wait. Don’t stare or take pics just chill nearby.
  • Remember, that celebrities are people too. Treating them like such will go a long way. Most of them are just as awkward and uncomfortable as you are- so the best thing to do it to talk to them like a respected friend. Overly gushing may be instinctual but it just wastes your short moment with them and creates embarrassment. They are not expecting you to kiss their ring, just to be natural and normal.
  • Speak to them not at them. Which means asking them normal questions: “How are you enjoying Comic-Con, what it what you expected?” “Would you ever dress up in costume, if so what?” “What is the craziest thing you have seen so far?” As soon as they see that you are are not afraid or freaked out by them, they will most likely interact with you.
  • If the actor is older, I call them by their last name. In business you wouldn’t call someone older by their first name if you didn’t know them so I don’t think it’s ok to do that with celebs. This is my personal preference. For instance, If I saw Sir Gandalf the Grey, I would not be saying “Ian, wassup?!”
  • Keep it brief. Nothing like crossing that line when the target of your affections is slowly walking away backwards.
  • No weird request. No kissing, no inviting yourself to their party, no asking for the shirt off their back. Don’t be weird.
  • ALWAYS ask to take a picture. These guys are daily hounded by paparazzi so politely asking will be appreciated. Just do one pic too- multiple pics are a whip.
  • I would not initiate a handshake unless they do. Whether it’s because of germs or personal preference, some celebs do not like the physical contact.
  • If autographs is important to you, then always have a Sharpie with you and know what you would have signed- like your Comic-Con badge.
  • Finally, keep it ‘breezy’ (Friends reference)

Well I hoped that helped. I know there are a TON of stories out there of your celebrity encounter from past Comic-Cons. Share your story below and give us your tips!

Here was my favorite celebrity moment!


12 thoughts on “2013 Tip of the Day #17: Celeb Encounters

  1. This is a very important post and even though I have “old school” manners, I still learned something. I met John Noble and I was okay with the encounter, although I wouldn’t have said I was his biggest fan in Stockton (although that is true) if I had to do it all over again. It is already known that a person is a celebrity’s biggest fan! I was wondering, in order to say something interesting, can I mention my Uncle Jimmy being a famous jazz musician in Benny Goodman band (say for instance if I know a celebrity is a big Big Band Era Jazz fan)? Not to brag but to find some common ground?

    • Finding common ground in a ‘non-creepy’ way is a good idea. The main thing is to connect quickly and keep it casual. Everyone is different so keep the expectations low. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I try to use my phone for the quick, Oh hey its so-and-so (that and my husband fails at focusing my professional camera lol). In 2011 I got to meet Breckin Meyer and I asked lightly, and politely if I could get a picture, and he said “Yes as long as its quick, I’ve got to be somewhere.” So at that point I already has my android ready in camera mode.
    But sadly I gave his position away and someone else flooded him soon after. I felt awful and kick myself mentally on not apologizing or shouting “LOOK ITS (insert current popular actor here)!!” and run off in another direction, but at the same time someone probably would have gotten trampled…

    • Yea, it’s tricky. If a celeb is going to Comic-Con, they know what they are getting themselves into. So you shouldn’t feel bad for recognizing anyone- the main thing is just matching their social level. If they are being discreet, keep it discreet.Thanks for sharing your story and commenting!

  3. I may have kinda of sorta freaked out and asked Lana Parilla to take a picture with me while in a bathroom, while she was washing her hands. YOu would have never known that I was a grown adult in my 30s. I was dressed like Snow White and really what were the chances of running into the evil queen in a bathroom while dressed as Snow White?? (OK higher than most at Comic Con). We posed against a wall so you couldn’t tell it was a bathroom and she was very polite. I kinda felt bad after maybe I could have left the bathroom when I saw her and waited outside the door. As it turns out, I happened to be where most of the cast of OUAT was eating lunch so I also snagged a picture with Ginnifer Goodwin in the hallway who was actually was really cool about taking a picture too and commented on my steampunk Snow White get up. When it rains it does pour at Comic Con with these kinds of encounters.

  4. Kevin Sorbo (Hercules!) nearly knocked me over in the Weta cave last year, while trying to get over to a friend from New Zealand to chat. No apology, either, the big oaf!

  5. I had this unique celeb experience at sdcc 2011. I was able to get an autograph from Kevin Smith. I loved his movies since he started making them. My ASL interpreter encouraged me to have something to say to him. So I thought of a nice little spiel about how I introduced his movie to my circle of friends. It was short and simple. Now when I gave him my spiel and was ready for the closure with an autograph. Instead, he kept on talking to me. We have mutual agreement that Tracy Morgran is one of fhe funniest people of that time.m he gave me a double high five. I was shock that we have a regular conversation, cosidering the long line o fans waiting for their turn. My interpreter said that he did many celeb meet n greet and mine was the longest he ever seen.

    • What a great story. Yea, I have heard that Kevin is a really great guy. Overall it goes to show you that if you act as normal as possible, the conversation will be more pleasant. Putting celebs on a pedestal just creeps them out. thanks for commenting!

  6. Great tips! If you are polite and respectful (sometimes all they have time for is a hello – respect that many celebrities are working at Comic Con) most celebrities will be nice back. I second the don’t be creepy quote. Wander around and you’ll see celebs – you’ll be amazed at who you might run into (Joss, and many more).

  7. Also, some actors like to walk the con floor incognito. If you do recognize them, through there costume, let them also enjoy walking the floor. They want to be a nerd too that day. They have been probably looking forward to SDCC just as long as you have.

    If you want a autograph or photo, try and do it discreetly.

  8. This post is so true. I was over near the Pokemon booth a few yrs back just finding a spot to take a breather. The enter/exit doors near the booth opened up and i saw a couple of security and Joss Whedon walk by. I was close enough to give him a high five as he did so. All i could think to do was to just stick my hand out and he gave me a high five. While not as good as a pic or autograph. I still kind of geeked out afterwards and appreciated that he took just that second to even acknowledge my presence in any way. Also that same year I bumped into movie critic Leonard Maltin who was walking around. I was like its Leonard Maltin. I went up to him and asked if i could take a pic with him and he was cool and took one with me. So yeah indeed one can never predict everything that will happen during the con.

  9. I always carry Sharpies and I am always respectful….. I meet Zombie leaving our Hotel and I said “Mr. Zombie I love your work. Could I get your autograph?” and he said yes , I said thank you and I walked away IT WAS AMAZING!

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