“A celebrity is any well-known TV or movie star who looks like he spends more than two hours working on his hair.” – Steve Martin
Los Angeles is the land of celebrities. Leave Griffith Observatory to those wishing to gaze at the constellations, if you want to see the stars my friends, head to The ‘Bu, BH, and WeHo (Malibu, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood respectively). The stars shine bright here and seeing Jennifer Lawrence at Whole Foods is comparable to seeing an albino tiger in the jungles of Bengal.
There are those in LA who bemoan seeing celebrities. However, I’ve learned in my six months here that if you buy an Angeleno a drink, they love to gush about the time they saw Richard Gere pumping gas or Catherine Zeta Jones yelling at a waiter. I’ve also learned that there’s a code of etiquette in approaching your favorite celeb. Here are the three commandments that were passed down to me by the booming voice of Orson Welles from a burning bush on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Rule 1: Does thou care
Great! You just saw one of the Gilmore Girls at The Grove. Get as close as you can and breathe that intoxicating scent of fame and glamor. Ok, so maybe you only saw the show once or twice when you were flipping through the channels. But she’s a celebrity and you’re pretty sure her name is Lexi, or is it Alexis? You should say something, right? Wrong! If you don’t know their name or flat out don’t like them, don’t suck up to them in real life. If you see Neil Patrick Harris in Studio City and you went as Doogie Howser for Halloween, it is completely acceptable to say hello.
Rule 2: Speak trippingly on the tongue
Introduce yourself to NPH and let him know you’re a big fan. There’s nothing wrong with expressing your love for one of your idols. Insert any odd facts, or bit of trivia that you have to impress your celeb. You’re not a run-of-the-mill fan after all, you know that Neil Patrick Harris voiced the Spider-Man video game in 2009. Being a crazy fan is to be avoided at all costs. If you see Jodi Foster in an aisle at CVS and say “Put the lotion in the basket!” it probably won’t make her want to talk to you. A simple introduction will suffice and if you must snap a photo of you and them, try not to be a tool about it. Besides, if the photo doesn’t come out great, you can always “fix it in post.”
3. Vox populi
Question: If you saw Benedict Cumberbatch at The Beverly Center but didn’t tell anyone, did you really see Benedict Cumberbatch at all? After you’ve said farewell to your new celebrity BFF, and got their autograph or photo with you, it’s time to tell all your friends. Brag to everyone about how cool they were, and how surprised you were to see them. If you can’t think of anything to say, you can also rely on the old phrase, “they were nothing like the character they played – they were just like a real person.” This will instill in them the fact that celebrities really are like the rest of us. And they are just like us, except with nicer cars, bigger houses, and much better hair.