Struggling to talk to famous people

There are too many stress-inducing uncertainties when trying to speak to celebrities

(Kristen Frier)

(Kristen Frier)

I find myself perplexed by a question that has eluded me longer than my maturity: “How do you talk to famous people?” 

Nobody tells you how to speak to celebrities if you see them on the streets. It’s as if everyone expects you to know this stuff since birth. I don’t remember getting an instruction manual called “How to Talk to Famous People for Dummies” in the mail. We weren’t taught this in class. There’s no educational curriculum or bonus points for being a talented socialite. 

I mean, what’s the procedure? Do you have to bribe famous people’s managers to get your 15 minutes of talk? Do you take a ticket from a ticket counter and just wait your turn? What’s the red tape? Is there red tape? Why is it called red tape? Why tape at all? Why not call it red glue or red sticky note?

Assuming they don’t run away from you and jump into a rocket to escape your starstruck eyes, what do you say to a famous person? How much can you say? 

I’m mortified by the prospect of being slapped with a premium rate by a celebrity’s agent, where I’ll be forced to pay $50 per word just to talk to their client. If that’s the case, does that mean I have to choose between lunch and saying “Hi”?

Will I be discouraged? I’m this close to connecting with celebrity X and having an anecdote to tell my friends. I won’t be known as “The Quiet One” anymore. However, dread sweeps over me as I realize I’m going to be broke afterwards.

Do the bureaucratic powers have nothing better to do than make fans’ lives harder by turning a simple greeting into a complicated hassle? I don’t know. I suspect no one will even bother solving this mystery.

A friend of mine told me this story once, where he got cast in a show shot in Vancouver. Each time a famous cast member said “Hello” to him, my pal would bite his bottom lip as his anxiety rose to its boiling point. He would drop everything, sprint in the other direction, and crash through craft services to drive back home. 

Why? He wasn’t shy. My friend’s an extrovert. 

He later told me that he simply did not know how to talk to his cast. He never saw any step-by-step process or clauses in his contract for speaking to famous people. My friend spent the entire first season wondering how to speak to his more well-known co-stars.

I don’t want to be like that.

I want to be confident in talking to celebrity X, but I just don’t know how. I know how to say “please,” “thank you,” and “sorry” thanks mom and dad. But honestly, Adele has an easier time saying “Hello” than I ever will to a celebrity.