“OH MY GOD!!!” we both screamed as the girl in the low-cut black sequined dress scratched my back to get a closer look at Justin Bieber.
First of all, a number of people have described me, personally, as a public figure lately and I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. I feel like public figures should be actually famous, make a decent amount of money, and do good things (or bad things…) maybe they just do things that other people notice. They make a difference. They’re on the news. People know who they are. So, not me, but close…?
After living in both NY, LA, and other places around the world, I’ve noticed that when regular-ass people (“muggles”) see a public figure in real life (“wizards”), they freak out and turn into a total crazy muggle, like they’ve never interacted with a real human before.
Yes, celebrities are attractive and you saw them on a big screen in a theater. Maybe you watched them cry over a lost love while you ate ice cream from the tub in your underwear after work. Maybe you’ve never met a really rich person. A lot of people follow them on social media and that’s wild too. Whatever the case, why the hell are you acting like a crazy person?
1 – Do not: Take out your phone and start snapping photos, video, etc.
What if someone saw you walking down the street, minding your own business with your groceries, and they just start taking a video of you? That’s super creepy. Mind your own business.
2 – Do not: Stare.
This seems obvious, but to some people, it’s not. You wouldn’t stare at a random person. Why stare at a celebrity? (If you answered: “BECAUSE IT’S A CELEBRITY!!!!” keep reading.)
Okay, so quick story: Once, I saw Lauren Collins from Degrassi sitting across from me at a bar in Silver Lake and I could not stop staring. It was for a reason, I swear. I do not usually get star struck, but when it comes to celebrities I liked when I was younger, that’s a whole different story. Get me Kenan Thompson and I will freak out. Anyway, I was trying to figure out if it was her. Why is she in LA and not Toronto? Is she working on a new movie? Is she still in Degrassi, because I know that show is still on somehow.
I’m pretty sure I’ve already told you guys this story before, but I looked at her Twitter and lo-and-behold, she was on a new project that was shooting in Los Angeles. It was likely this was her. What I should have done instead of stare at her
and read her Twitter was to walk around the bar, introduce myself, and ask if she was Lauren Collins. I could have then told her I really liked her work, made small talk about the comedy show we were watching, joked about how the mic kept cutting in-and-out, ask her why she was in Los Angeles, etc. That would have been totally not creepy. But no, I was creepy about it, you guys, and I never went up to her because the bar was so crowded you could barely make it to the bathroom, but I did make it to the bathroom at one point and I still didn’t talk to her. This is why I’m writing this. You guys need to stop making the same mistakes.
3 – Do not: Yell at them.
You see Angelina Jolie. You yell “Angelina!” and run towards her. Other people take notice and run towards her as well. Not only are you directing negative attention at a complete stranger, who you do not know in real life, you are literally making it a dangerous situation for this person. What if someone wants to kidnap Ms. Jolie and she’s all by herself? What if you see her in some sketchy part of LA? What if she thinks you are trying to kidnap her? Leave the damn woman alone.
4 – Do not: Tell anyone you’re their biggest fan
Maybe I’m wrong about this one, but “biggest fans” also tend to come off as super crazy. Say you’re a big fan, say you like their work. Maybe tell them a funny short story about how their work has affected your life in a positive way, if they don’t seem like they’re in a rush.
5 – Do not: Call them names or threaten them directly – including online
Just because Instagram and Twitter have given you the opportunity to contact celebrities directly, does not mean it is appropriate for you to threaten or insult them online. Even though they may be a fake character on a screen to you, celebrities are actually real people (crazy, right?). Being on screen and dealing with creeps like you is their job. It is not as glamorous as you think it is (okay, sometimes it is pretty glamorous). They have lives outside of acting, telling jokes, singing, or writing books. They have children and they need to pay mortgages and sometimes they get fired too and they don’t like the work they do and sometimes you don’t realize that the singer didn’t pick those lyrics or choose that outfit for her music video. Many times, people with even more money than she has make those decisions for her and maybe she has made the exact same arguments that you’re making to those decision-making people, so cut it out.
So when you tell Amanda Bynes to “go kill yourself, you dirty whore,” do you understand that a real human being gets that notification and reads that message? Do you know how many other creeps like yourself has sent her the same message?
6 – Do not: Touch them without their permission.
Again, why isn’t this obvious? What is wrong with you people? Would you touch a random stranger (this celebrity is likely a random stranger)? Okay, so stop it.
1 – Do: Say hello
You’re excited about someone! You might as well say “hello” to them. Does that seem weird? Well, staring and giggling with your friends is weirder.
2 – Do: Make any kind of conversation
Remember, this is a person. How would you approach a person? Make small talk. Is this celebrity at a show you’re attending? Ask which song they’re excited to hear. Is this celebrity performing the show you’re attending? Tell them you’re excited to see the show, or that it was great. Make small talk! It’s okay! Are you at a grocery store? Point to the damn broccoli in their cart, show them yours, and say “broccoli is the shit, ain’t it?” It’s so much more normal than what you were doing before.
3 – Do: Ask for a photo
“Hey, could I take a photo for my Instagram?” is totally fine, but if you don’t take a selfie with that broccoli after you told each other how great it was and introduced yourself, you can’t tell people, “Holy shit, you guys. I just met Angelina Jolie at the grocery store!” because you didn’t. You ambushed her and violated her privacy. Oh, and if they refuse to take a photo with you, don’t ask again. Respect them. Don’t sneakily take a photo of them for snapchat, either. Guess what? People can tell when celebrities look uncomfortable in photos. Don’t be the bad guy.
4 – Do: Be excited, but don’t be crazy
Okay, yeah, it’s pretty cool to see Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s incredible. You watched him die on the titanic when you were 16. Just don’t let it take over being a normal, respectful person. Due to the nature of my job, I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities. Some of them (most) are assholes. Others are super boring. Some will talk your ear off and you can’t wait until they have to go back on set. Some of them are the sweetest people you’ve ever met and when you hear they’ve died of a heroin overdose on a random Tuesday afternoon, you truly feel heartbroken.
Please, for the love of GOD, treat celebrities like the human beings that they are. Just because someone is a public figure does not mean that you should leak their naked photos online or seek those naked photos or share those naked photos. It does not give you the right to say bad things about them online or in person, really. You literally do not know Madonna. So what if she’s still performing in her 50s? That’s amazing. Fuck off.
People treating celebrities like they are some kind of character in a book pisses me off to no end. It is one of my biggest pet peeves. I mean, if they’re a sex offender, that’s totally different, but otherwise, you know what I mean. Treat celebr- treat OTHER PEOPLE with respect. You have no idea what they’re going through. You don’t know their family. You know nothing about what life is like through their eyes, so stop pretending you do because they were in a movie you saw once.
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Photo Credit: HuffPo, Piximus
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