Friday, August 14, 2009

Tips on celebrity handling

I consider myself very lucky when it comes to meeting celebrities. I have met them in shopping malls, gymnasiums, on the road, on the beach, in the middle of traffic, at restaurants and coffee shops, at airports, in airplanes even in the buses from the terminal to the aircraft. One might ask – “ So whats the big deal!” I say, it is a big deal. In a country where people are so obsessed with celebrities that they worship them, it is a big deal to run into celebrities every now and then. In fact the frequency at which I have bumped into them has made me feel like quite a celebrity magnet.
So that technically establishes me as the expert on celebrity encounters and hence I have decided to share a few tips on how to handle celebrity presence. If you think you are too suave to be reading anything like this, you can quickly save this post on your computer and read it in private when you are sure no body is watching you ( some places that assure you privacy are – the restrooms, your neighborhood library, the graveyard and your office’s conference room)
Here we go:
Tip 1: Never balk when you spot a celebrity. The trick is to continue to walk even after having spotted them and then strategically sit down to tie your shoe laces while you watch/admire/ogle them. In case your shoes do not have shoe laces or you aren’t really wearing shoes, you can still pretend to be tying your shoe laces because it’s the celebrity and not you who has all the eyeballs
Tip 2: If you feel like looking at the celeb for a longer time, the shoe lace trick might not really work. While you can continue to keep tying your shoe laces alternatively repeatedly, you can not do it for more than a couple of minutes. Also, you run the risk of being fallen over by people who are walking around with their heads turned towards the celeb and tripping over you. Your mobile phone works beautifully in this situation. Place yourself strategically so that the celeb is well within sight and then pretend to talk on your mobile phone while casually, yet intently fixing your gaze on the target. Make sure you have turned it to the silent mode to avoid embarrassment due to friends who always call at the wrong time. The call can continue for as long as you want to. Animated gestures and intermittent laughter lend greater credibility to this act
Tip 3: A lot of us might want to look at them up close. The mobile phone trick wouldn’t work here because you are obviously talking gibberish on the phone and would prefer to stay out of the hearing zone of the celeb and their companions. If you spot a celeb in a coffee shop or a restaurant, take the seat close to them. Ideally a seat at an angle of elevation of 45 degrees is apt for such a mission. I have demonstrated that in the diagram below for a quick reference.
Diagram: Celebrity and You at a 45 degree angle of elevation
There is a strong probability that the celeb would be visited by other celebs and you don’t want to miss the opportunity of getting two birds with one stone! Order the cheapest drink in the menu so that a refill doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. You could also order a sandwich and finish it really slowly… then, after you’ve had the sandwich, kill your time by licking the sauce. It comes for free so you can always ask for more.
Tip 4: This one is for those who want to go a step ahead and actually strike a conversation with the celeb. This isn’t easy considering the fact that you might have AWE written all over your face. So the trick is to act as normal as you can strike a casual conversation with something like- “Could you please help me with the time?” and then follow it up with - “ Hey ! I know you.. Are you from the silver screen?” Or if that sounds too obvious then go with- “Excuse me, I think you are on my seat” and then create a row. Celebrities like overwhelming people with their presence but they also hate negative publicity. More often than not, they would try to press upon you who they are and this is the opportunity you need to grab. Here’s how the conversation should materialize:
You: Excuse me, I think you are on my seat...
Celeb: Sorry? But I found this unoccupied..
You: You mean to say I am lying? You want me to prove I am right? Do you want me to call everyone in the coffee shop to come and testify?? Is anyone listening? This person has taken my seat! .. Police!
Celeb: (In panic) He.. hello.. excuse me .. I think you are getting it all wrong.. you see I am Kaifreena Kat.. the filmstar…
You: Well yeah? You expect me to believe that? Let’s see your signature… I know Kaifreena Kat’s signatures…. Here.. write something on this tissue .. something like – “ I loved having coffee with you – Love Kaifreena” and then sign..
The celeb would weigh her options and then obviously would see this as an easier way out. She would sign on the tissue and there you go.. an all personalized autograph that you can brag about to your friends!
Tip 5: I call this tip - paparazzo panache. As the name indicates, this one is for fans who not only want to see celebs but also want to click them. Now celebs are really weary of cameras (for obvious reasons) so the trick here is to be as secretive as possible with the act. Two possible ways to do this effectively:
Sit at a right angle to the celeb and pretend to talk on your phone. With the phone pressed to the ear facing the celeb, click the camera button to capture the celeb at the right moment. This might take some practice but it is an easier ruse to pull off
If your phone/camera has a timer, fix the timer for around 5 seconds and toss it towards the celeb. The trajectory should be such that the camera should be right in front of the celebrity while on its projectile motion downwards. I would recommend this only for physicists or engineers since a successful execution requires complex mathematical calculations
I would strongly recommend against asking the celeb to pose for a picture because I believe in taking natural photographs like this one:

A celeb in a natural pose
Finally, you might want to make one lasting impression on the celeb before either you or she/he leaves. My suggestion is present her/him with one of the following:
Emptied sachets of the ketchup you licked
Crumbs of the sandwich you devoured
The last few sips of the cappuccino you had
These are not the kind of gifts they would normally get so you are bound to make a lasting impression.
A word of caution though - Make sure you bolt after making the offering. I am saying this for the simple reason that I have never stayed back to see what happens if you don’t run. Good Luck.

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