One of the most popular questions I get asked since coming to NYU is, “How do you meet so many celebrities?” You could say that I have a knack for finding (or stalking) celebrities, but when it comes time for me to explain how to meet them, I often have trouble listing all the ways.
Actually, scratch that. I have no trouble telling you how to meet celebrities. It is simple if you are willing to leave your dorm and actually explore New York City. Living in the city as a student of New York University, you will walk past celebrities every day. You might not always notice them, but they are everywhere in this city.
Here are a few of my personal tips on how to meet your celebrity crush (even if it’s Bieber).
Valuable Tip #1: Know beforehand whether you are going to ask a celebrity for a picture or an autograph. Most times, you can get both, but when you have to deal with fans pushing and shoving you, you may only get one. Seriously though, fans will be on top of you and you might end up with a STD from the amount of pushing that will occur.
Connections: One of the easiest ways to meet celebrities is to network yourself. Eventually, you will meet someone who knows a celebrity. In my case, I was able to become family friends with someone who works closely with Kristin Chenoweth. Everyone knows someone. If you don’t, you will eventually have the opportunity to build a relationship with someone who has connections; take advantage of this and network yourself.
Small Events: New York City is one of the best places to meet celebrities. Often celebrities will come to promote their latest business venture. Think for a second about how many celebrities come out with new television shows, books, fragrances, clothing lines, and more. If you live in New York City and say that you never see celebrities, then you are either lying or too pretentious to care about them.
Celebrities are always looking to promote themselves. If you’re willing to pay a small amount of money, then book signings are an easy way to meet them. It is often hard to get a picture with a celebrity at a book signing, especially if the celebrity has a large fanbase.
Some book signings may require you to camp out. It all depends on who the celebrity is. For The Hunger Games book signing by the movie’s cast, I waited 23 hours outside of Barnes and Noble. For the Jane Lynch book signing, I waited three hours. Yes, I’m a little insane. It’s important to stay informed, so my biggest suggestion is to call the bookstore in advance. The best site to use for this is Celebrity Book Signings and Events.
A free way to meet celebrities is to go to a television or movie filming. Some days, you will randomly come across a filming in the city. It just happens. There are so many filmings in the city that it is so easy to meet a celebrity if you have the patience to wait outside their trailer.
For movie and television filmings, the best site to use is On Location Vacations. This site has helped me meet celebrities such as the Glee cast, Adam Levine, and Mark Ruffalo.
Valuable Tip #2: If you are asking for signatures, ask the celebrities to personalize it. By personalizing it, celebrities automatically recognize that you will not be selling it on the Internet. Personalization may also increase your chances of getting something signed.
Large Events: There are also events that allow you to meet multiple celebrities, such as movie premieres and award shows. Countless movie premieres happen in New York City. It is hard to get information about movie premieres online, so your best bet is to ask around on the Internet or through a knowledgeable friend.
Valuable Tip #3: Follow your favorite celebrities on their social media websites. They will often announce ahead of time if they are going to be somewhere.
Internships: If you have an internship at Bravo, ABC, NBC, or any other major channel and work with them, you are bound to have an elevator ride or some short encounter with a celebrity. It may not be the most exciting experience, but it is still an experience.
VIP Tickets: Sites such as VIP Nation offer customers the opportunity to meet a celebrity at a concert. Other singers include a “meet and greet” portion of their concert. It can be expensive and overpriced, but if you have the money, you might as well spend it on this. Most times, VIP Nation includes a gift bag with goodies, a laminate, and a photo with the singer. You have to sell your right arm to get these tickets, but it is probably worth it to be front row to see Beyonce half-naked on stage.
Valuable Tip #3: Everybody has a story. When you meet a celebrity, we understand that you may be overwhelmed by your admiration for that certain celebrity; however, keep in mind that any celebrity is on a tight schedule and he/she does not have the time to listen to how he/she may have inspired you. Instead, write a letter to the celebrities of your choice and give it to them when you meet them. Since celebrities have a lot of down time when they travel, they are more likely to read your letter. Don’t be a drama queen if they don’t have time for you when you meet them, though. Celebrities have busy schedules, and although it’s really important to say that that one special celebrity may have inspired you or some generic story as such, their publicists will most likely push them so fast into the car that you will think they don’t like you (which they probably don’t, because you’re stalking them).
Random Occurrence: By exploring the city, I randomly met Jessica Alba on Spring Street and Matt Bomer at Union Square. A part of it is just being lucky, but also consider that this is New York City and celebrities are bound to be walking around. Eat out at restaurants, go on a shopping spree, and visit some hot-spots. You never know whom you might run into.
When people hear the word, “stage door,” they immediately think of Broadway. What some people may forget or overlook is that talk shows have stage doors. If you wait outside the stage door for a talk show, you will meet two or three celebrities a day. You may not always get a picture, but most of the time, you will. The best talk show stage doors are Live With Kelly!, David Letterman, and The Wendy Williams Show. All of the shows’ taping schedules and guest guides are listed on their websites. Google will become your best friend. Seriously, there are so many creepy teenagers on the internet, specifically on Tumblr, who just long to meet their celebrity crush. Trust me when I say that no matter how obsessed you are, there are forty people who would go all Bad Girls Club and Hunger Games on you.
Valuable Tip #4: Be prepared for anything and have patience. If you don’t meet a celebrity at an event, don’t fret. There will always be another opportunity to meet that same celebrity. If you find out your celebrity crush is actually the most annoying obnoxious person on Earth, then it obviously reflects on your bad taste in men or women.
Sometimes, you may have to wait hours to meet a celebrity. While it may seem like a stupid idea at first to camp out for someone, meeting the celebrity after waiting for such a long time only makes the experience that much more memorable. If you’re as big of a fanboy as me, then take these tips and start your obsessive stalking. I’m not even kidding. There’s a Background Check app that can tell you some private information about celebrities. I’m sorry I’m not sorry.
(images via Frank Costa)