“So you stalk them?” That’s probably my least favourite assumptive question that comes up when I have a conversation about the celebrities I’ve met. Look, I will admit that in 2012 I met celebrities and collected photos like they were Pokemon but times change, people change. I like to think I’m older, wiser, more attractive, still have my passion for music and occasionally meet some of my favourite artists.
I understand that meet ‘n’ greet tickets can be expensive and if you have a wide music taste you can’t do it for every artist you like. So yeah I guess the next option is to ‘stalk’. This is a term I hate with a passion, and every time I hear it I think of these particular groups of “fan-arazzi” in Sydney and Melbourne that harass every celebrity that comes to town because they “need it”.
Yes, that’s a real term they use when a celebrity announces they are going to their city. These ‘fan-arazzi’s meet them and get some photos or albums signed. They then take paparazzi pictures and sell them to the media while flogging the signed items online for an inflated price. Then on the other end of the spectrum you have the actual fans that meet their favourite celebs, have a conversation and appreciate the experience.
So what are my tips on ‘stalking’ your favourite artist but still keeping it sane?
1. Become a ninja.
2. Study the form of stalking and watch a lot of Veronica Mars and Pretty Little Liars.
3. Buy bulk eye drops to make it look like you’re always crying.
4. Car chase them as if it was a scene of The Fast & the Furious.
5. If that doesn’t work double as a security guard.
Okay, maybe those aren’t the best pieces of advice I have… these are probably the ones you should follow if you don’t want to get arrested.
This is the most important piece of advice I have. Always ask them how they are and have general chit chat first because you need to remember that they are human too. Never assume and always ask them if you can have a photo or something signed. If they say no then don’t be rude and respect that, thank them for their time and leave.
Also, don’t take photos or videos of them while you are talking to them or of them walking. That is called being creepy.
Venues and airports
So where is ‘okay’ and ‘easy’ to meet them. For a musician or band, the place I always recommend is outside the venue after the show. They always have to leave the venue and 7 out of 10 times they will stop and interact with you. I’ve had some hilarious experiences like jumping into a car with Carrie Underwood, meeting Usher on a Segway in the carpark, to a chilled conversation with The Fray, Good Charlotte and Kelly Clarkson. So buy a ticket to the show and try your luck before or after at the stage door or gate.
Now I think airports are perfectly fine to go and meet people when they fly in or out, but it just comes back to the respect tip. Some celebs don’t agree with it, and you have to understand that and back off. I’ve met Elle Goulding and Anastacia at the airport and the experience was incredible. As I asked respectively they were more than happy to sign my stuff, answer my many questions and pose for photos.
Don’t word vomit
This is something I’ve been well known to do, so let’s not do this. Word vomiting is when you get so nervous or awkward that you blurt out random things that don’t make sense or are just plain embarrassing. This one time I met Rupual’s Drag Race All Stars 2 Winner Alaska Thunderfuck at a gig of hers and I went to ask if she was performing her song “Pussy” that night. Instead it came out as “I want pussy”. Here I am an obvious gay man saying to a drag queen “I want pussy”. Not the most ideal situation.
Another time it happened was when I met Clare Bowen from Nashville . She was thanking us for waiting in the cold after the show and I was like “it’s okay your voice keeps us warm”. In my head it seemed completely normal but when it came out and I was like what did I just say?!
Be confident, cool, calm and collected and know what you want to say. Last thing you want to do is freak out in front of them because they will not respond well to that.
Social media is your best friend
Everyone always asks me “but how did you find them” when I post a photo of myself meeting someone in the city or out and about. Honestly, the answer is just social media. Celebs love posting what they are doing, who they are hanging out with or what they are eating. Especially when they are in a new city.
Snapchat and Instagram are great for this as they post in real time what they are doing, so you can easily find out where they are and get a cool candid photo. If you can beat the paps that is.
Be memorable, be you
I’ve created some cool friendships and stayed memorable with some of the artists I’ve met. That’s because I’ve been myself when I’ve met them and haven’t over-reacted or treated them like they’re on a pedestal.
Celebrities are just like everyone else. They love to be asked normal questions, love when you make jokes, love when you don’t scream or cry in their face and love it when you genuinely appreciate their art form.
Trust me I know it’s easier said than done because I did not act cool when I met Justin Bieber. But now I’m referenced as “the funny guy”, and I’m okay with that.