Imagine being in the practice courts at New York City’s annual US Open tennis tournament. Although you do know that your favorite tennis player of all time, Rafa Nadal, is practicing on court, you were still caught by surprise when he comes walking to the practice court. Together with only a handful of a few other fans who are as starstruck as you, you try to make up your mind on whether you should stop Rafa on his tracks or wait for him to finish practicing and compose a spiel as you try to get an autograph later on. Chances to get an autograph are quite seldom. What does it take to get an autograph while trying your best not to annoy your favorite celebrity? Here are some tips:
1. Do your best to decipher the situation
Just like any other person, celebrities could find themselves in the middle of a situation where they expect not to be bothered. For instance, when you see the celebrity having a peaceful vacation with family or rushing to get morning supplies while they are on their jammies, you should resist from asking an autograph. However, when they are in fan meet-ups or in a situation where they expect to be with fans, they will always welcome an autograph.
However, you could also spot them buying coffee for instance in your local Starbucks with a smile on their face while engaging in small talk with a store clerk. When you have a situation like this, chances are they would be okay for an autograph and probably even a selfie with you. In any case, do your best to assess the situation first before you come charging in with your autograph request.
2. Be quick on your feet to come up with what to say as you ask an autograph
Stammering because you don’t know what to say would most likely annoy any person, let alone a celebrity. You have to be a picture of confidence and positivity. While you flash that sincerest smile, have the right words when you ask an autograph. Positive superlative statements such as “I believe that you are the greatest of all time, and it would mean the world to me if you sign an autograph for me” or a simple “I love what you do; please sign this autograph” would work.
3. Be ready with your autograph paraphernalia
Signing autographs takes time, and although celebrities may devote time for it, they would love for everything to be ready when they sign an autograph. If you are scrambling just to get your notebook out or a pen as you ask a celebrity to sign a t-shirt with their name on it, a celebrity might not take this positively as they would think you weren’t courteous enough to prepare your autograph materials. How difficult is it to get your ballpen ready? If you’re standing in front of your favorite celebrity, being prepared is crucial.
4. Keep your distance
You are standing face-to-face with your favorite celebrity. However, it doesn’t mean that you should take advantage of it to get even closer or to ask for a handshake. You are not asking a celebrity to be friends or to be business partners! You are simply asking for an autograph. Thus, all you can do is to hand over your pen and autograph materials, ask politely, smile, and walk away. Simple as that!