Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending an advanced screening of the latest YA novel turned film, The Sun Is Also a Star, in Atlanta (perks of Her Campus Emory!!). Anyway, this advanced screening was different from the previous ones (yes, there have been others so you should really join the Her Campus family) because after the movie, there was a Q&A with the stars of the film, Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton, as well as the author of the novel Nicola Yoon. Not only was I internally and externally screaming at the sight of the stars, but I also chose to sit in the center of the very first row that way I could be as close to them as possible. This decision not only gave me easy access to take a selfie with Charles Melton but also the opportunity to be captured in official press photos with CHARLES MELTON’S ARM AROUND ME!!
Upon leaving the theater still shaking, I was glad that I knew how to deal with the situation and did not embarrass myself and look like a total fool. So, here are some do’s and don’ts for the rare yet spectacularly magical occasion of meeting celebrities.
1. Don’t Faint
When you see a major or even a minor celebrity, it can be a big shock since we don’t usually see them, so it is important to JUST BREATHE. Remember, while they are probably used to being recognized and they understand the level of their fame, they still are just trying to live their lives too (cue “celebrities: they’re just like us”). So try and remain calm and remember they are normal people who will say hi.
2. Do Read the Situation
This one is really important. When you see a celebrity, make sure you read the situation so you know how to act. For example, the first time I ever saw a celebrity was in the JFK airport when I noticed that celebrity couple, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, were waiting in line at security. I ended up staring at Kristen Bell for longer than you should stare at someone because I kept saying to myself, “why do I know that face?” and then it hit me; however, I realized that they were there with their children so instead of asking for a picture, I simply admired from afar out of the fear that the experience might be tarnished. So, it is important to notice the situation and make sure you’re not interrupting their dinner at a restaurant or their family time.
3. Don’t Scream “OMG IT’S X”
The worst thing you could do when spotting a celebrity is point and scream. Alerting the rest of the people around them will only make the celebrities less excited to meet you and take pictures. So, you might want to learn from my past experience where I freaked out at the sight of an MTV reality show star at a restaurant and called my best friend, drawing immense attention to myself. The best thing to do is to maybe tell the people you’re with at the time and approach the celebrity politely and quietly. This will also make it feel more personal and exclusive!
4. Do Tell Them You’re a Big Fan
After all, is said and done, celebrities are always appreciative for their fans. They want to know when they’ve inspired you with their music or the roles they’ve played on screen because they too were inspired by someone else. So, when you’re taking that selfie with them or chatting with them quickly DO NOT forget to mention that you’re a big fan; at the end of the day, the support and love from the fans is why celebrities do what they do.
So, Charles Melton, if by some chance you read this, I am so thankful that I had the chance to meet you briefly at the Atlanta screening, and I want to thank you for bringing the character of Daniel to life. I was truly inspired and reminded that I should pursue the career I want and not worry about what others think I should do or expectations I need to live up to. Thank you!