You’ve heard the mythical stories of the once in the lifetime rare encounters during the San Diego Comic-Con. Could they be true? If you are new to Comic-Con, one of the reasons that may have enticed you to come are the epic stories of chance sightings of a celebrity. Whether it’s Joss Whedon, Robert Downey Jr, or Nathan Fillion, most of us hope to have at least one magical moment during the 4-days in San Diego. While not as rare as Bigfoot, celeb sightings in the sea of other SDCC fans can have the odds stacked against you. However, the migration patterns of these sought after creatures have been tracked over the years- so while It’s not guaranteed, there are a few places that will increase your chances to catch a glimpse…or a photo…or a hug (before you get arrested):
1. The Hilton Bayfront
2. Omni Hotel
3. Hard Rock Cafe and Hotel
4. The Hilton Gaslamp
5. Marriott Marina and Marquis
By trolling the lobbies, bars, or entrances of these areas, you greatly increase your chances of crossing paths with the object(s) of your obsession(s). During Comic-Con, 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 that chance encounter, 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. Lingering and gawking is super common and super annoying for many celebs.
- Respect their situation. If a celeb is engaged in business or in a serious conversation then patiently wait. Don’t stare or take pics.
- 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 the target of your affections slowly walking away backwards while fake talking into their phone.
- 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)
One last tip. The recognizable celebs are asked not to walk through floor to avoid causing a traffic jam. However, between panels, celebs like to burn time by checking out the the hype incognito with the help of a mask. A couple of years ago, Matt Smith went out as Homer Simpson! So if you see a normal (or nicely) dressed person in a random mask being followed by an official looking entourage, it might be a celebrity! Don’t out anyone but there might be an opportunity for a quick hello. 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 below!
Check out the rest of my Tip of the Day for this year.