This happened at a party I attended recently. I was curious as to how someone else would handle the situation.
The backstory is this. I live in an area known for a specific industry that involves a large number of celebrities. Many of them have large houses in the area and they tend to have families that live there with them.
I was at a small party thrown by a friend (we are considered “millennials” and frequently stay in and have small events at each others’ homes) when I encountered someone I’d never met at one of these small parties before. She and I were chatting and I learned that she worked for a local nanny agency. These agencies work by having a group of nannies on staff, and when you call them they send out one of their contractors to babysit instead of hiring the local teens. It’s short-term only, and you generally can’t request a specific person. Sitters frequently know who they will be sitting for in advance for safety purposes, but often they won’t be informed of who they’re seeing if it’s a celebrity that’s called. This protects the clients’ privacy and prevents unwanted visitors in the form of those obnoxious individuals who have been known to show up, unannounced and uninvited, on the doorsteps of the rich and famous for pictures and autographs.
As this woman and I were talking, she mentioned that she’d never babysit for a local celeb we will call J again. I asked her why. Her words, exactly, were “because she’s a b—h.”
Upon further questioning, I learned why this woman had come to the conclusion she had.
She had been called one night to do an emergency sitting job for someone who’s original sitter had cancelled at the last minute. She raced over to a specific celeb-filled neighborhood and arrived at J’s house. She was unaware of who it was she would be babysitting for, but she knew it would be a celeb. When she arrived, it was none other than her favorite singer, J.
Now, this is not her first babysitting gig for a celebrity. She had apparently babysat for several other celebrities without incident, which is why she was chosen for this job. Therefore, she should have known better.
She asked J for a hug. Apparently J gave her an awkward side hug, left a note with the important numbers, and booked it out of there very quickly.
And that, apparently, is why J is a b—h.
I was floored. So, a stranger didn’t want to give this woman a hug, and somehow she’s a horrible person? For various reasons, I don’t like hugging people I don’t know well. I’d prefer a handshake. I found an excuse to talk to someone else at the party and escaped this woman. At the end of the party, I successfully avoided hugging her.
She’s been talking to our mutual friends. I didn’t want to hug her either. Apparently that makes me a b—h too!! 0111-16
People are not stupid and as she tells her version of the story, it only makes her look bad in many people’s eyes. Asking the client to give you a hug is unprofessional. Because it was an emergency job, J the celebrity singer was probably late to the event she needed to be at and to expect her to disengage from that “business mode” to give the hired babysitter a hug was the height of entitlement. If J were smart, she’d call the agency and report the lack of professionalism and request that this woman not babysit for her again.
Had you had a closer relationship with this woman I’d have suggested you say something to her but seeing as you had just met her, I think your beandipping and avoiding her thereafter was a fine solution to the dilemma.
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Okay….I know you can’t give the name, but I can’t be the only one mentally flipping through famous singers whose name begins with “J”. 🙂
That aside, I agree with Admin….She was there to do a job…not backstage at a concert.
If I were J, I’d be put off too, and I’d be wondering if the baby sitter is going to do any actual “sitting”….or if she’s going to spend the evening going through my jewelry and trying on my designer clothes.
When I worked at a radio station, I spent three years there and then quit to be a stay home mom when we were expecting our third child.
One day, the station manager who was a good friend of my husband and I, called me to ask what I was doing for lunch next Friday.
Because Carly Simon is coming in for a catered lunch and meet and greet with the staff and a few listeners who won a contest…..would I like to come?!?
Yes…Yes, and YES!!!
Ms. Simon was gracious, kind and just all around delightful!!!
There were about 20 of us in the conference room, no one was touching the food (she hadn’t got there yet), and we were all just standing around.
Her PR person poked her head in and said, “Carly is looking forward to meeting you all in about 15 minutes!!! But….She gets very awkward when everyone is just standing around. Please, help yourselves to lunch…chat amongst yourselves….she’ll slip in soon, and would love to talk to all of you!!! At ease, everyone!!!”
That broke the ice, so to speak, and by the time Ms. Simon came in, we were eating and having a grand old time.
She came around and introduced herself to everyone there, and was just SO lovely….She and I spoke for about ten minutes and she signed a CD I had brought.
One of the songs was her rendition of the “itsy bitsy spider” (recorded live at Martha’s vineyard, great CD!) and when I mentioned my three children loved it, she asked me about my kid’s and asked if I had any pictures of them with me!!!
She chatted about her own kids, Ben and Sally, and it was a lovely afternoon.
I can’t say enough about how down to earth she was and I still smile when I think about that day!
….had not GOTTEN there yet…..OY!
Thank you so much for this response.
As the daughter of someone not famous but who worked in the film industry I have learned that there are people who can be professional and people who seem to feel celebrities “owe” them something for being a fan. Are you waiting in line to get an autograph? You deserve an autograph when you get to the front. Are you eating lunch at the same restaurant? You are not owed a 20 min interview.
When I was in middle school I had a teacher give me a picture she wanted someone my dad was working with to sign. Parents of friends would give me scripts that they wanted passed on to someone famous. Most parents and teachers weren’t like this, but every time that happened I felt awkward and not sure how to get out of it without burning bridges. I can only imagine what it must be like to be a celebrity and frankly never want to find out.
I’ve never considered that “creeping on” someone would have application in a broader sense, as here. But, really, WHO begs for hugs just because someone is famous? (Or rich, beautiful, whatever…).? No one wants to be an object!
I never have understood why so many people (the vast majority, it often seems) expect that celebrities are not “allowed” to have the same need for down-time and personal space as “real” people. For goodness sake, we are all human, no matter how many platinum albums someone has cut. And when someone is forced to be “on” all the time, and can’t even go grocery shopping (or have a night away from the kids) without adoring fans fawning all over, you end up with Britney Spears 2007. Glad that you, OP, recognize that ‘J’ was not the one with a problem here.
I remember that. Everyone seemed to be wondering what was wrong with her. Maybe I was the crazy one, but it seemed obvious to me that all the attention was making it worse. I’m not a fan of South Park but their episode on the subject was on.
I always felt so bad for her. I remember seeing footage of her retreating into a gas station bathroom to get away from the paparazzi. She was practically surrounded by cameras and had people literally inches from her face with cameras as she walked. I’m sure that was an everyday occurrence for her. I was always aroused she didn’t crack sooner. There should be laws preventing that sort of invasion and harassment.
Amazed she didn’t crack sooner. LOL
If I remember correctly, (the trip into the gas station ladies room), all anyone could talk about was that she was barefoot….not that she looked like she was about to crack mentally.
I’m very glad that didn’t, but during “Britney watch”, I was always expecting to hear that she committed suicide when I turned on the news.
By the way, not too long ago I saw pics of her two boys….gorgeous young men!
….very glad SHE didn’t….
This doesn’t have to be a story about celebrities, this sort of thing happens all the time. For instance in my church people are constantly expecting hugs. I am NOT a hugger. I don’t mind the handshake ,even a gentle hand on the shoulder or back, but I don’t want a full on frontal hug. But it’s known at church that i’m the stand offish one.
Dad, is that you? 🙂
In the UK a while ago ‘sharing the peace’ began in church services. All of a sudden, reserved British people were supposed to turn around in the pew and shake hands with people they’d been ignoring up till then and would ignore afterwards. Or people they already knew as friends. I found it weird, and I’m not the only one. I laughed out loud when I read someone’s solution to it: he wrote that when someone approached him to offer the peace, he said loudly, “No thank you, I’m British!”.
Once, I turned to the woman behind me, who remained seated and ignored me with a dreamy look on her face when I proferred my hand and said the official words. Thinking she hadn’t heard/noticed, I tried again, leaning closer to her – and realised she was breastfeeding!!!
Mark2, I say do whatever you feel like doing. Other people should understand (they don’t, but they should). I hate being told what to feel. Once I was asked why I didn’t put my hands up and say, “Praise the Lord!” when everyone else did (this was in a happy clappy church). I said it didn’t feel right. The woman tried to encourage me, saying, “Well now, you tell your husband you love him, don’t you? This is just the same.” I said, “Yes, I do, but I don’t put my hands in the air and shout it out in front of other people.” That got rid of her.
Off topic, sorry. As to the celebrity thing, I remember being at a TV/film convention for the first and only time, and I was a mass of confusion and embarrassment as I picked my way through the social minefield of dealing with a celebrity (who was lovely) who already knew some members of my group, in a setting I was unfamiliar with. In a completely professional situation like the one described by the OP, the boundaries are surely very clear, and I’m surprised the baby-sitters hadn’t been given guidelines when they were taken on by the agency. Maybe they were and this one just ignored them.
I am an American and I don’t like the sign of peace. Why I should wish “Peace” to a total stranger seems odd. I have no intention of attacking them nor do I expect them to jump me. Why not “Love”, or “Joy” or ” Be steadfast in the Faith”?
Your congregation may not have caught the current craze of holding hands during the “Our Father” or of imitating the priest’s gestures during the mass. Neither is part of the rubrics of the mass so I refrain from both. Moses and St. Francis of Assisi prayed with their arms raised, but I cannot. I am not the happy, clappy sort either.
“Peace” can be many things not related to aggression. As a non-religious person, I feel more comfortable giving and receiving a verbal wish of “peace” than I do of “love” etc, especially from a stranger.
The touchy-feely part . . . not so much. Words will work.
If it were not in a religious context, I would not want to go up to a stranger and and wish them love either. I’d either get punched in the face by a jealous spouse or asked, “How much?” Good point.
I agree with all this. I wish we could have a year of rubrics or something.
@UK Helen: You just gave me a great big laugh….thank you!
You reminded me of every Sunday at Mass, my folks liked to sit in the same pew, if possible.
In front of us, if we attended the same service, was the sweetest, smallest elderly married couple.
They were both very slight in stature, but just the nicest people.
You would never know to look at this sweet old grandpa, but….at the Sign of Peace, he had the most bone crushing hand shake I’ve ever encountered….to this day.
Being pretty young, (and I NEVER said it to this man) I nick-named him “The Crusher!”
My sister and I would get the church giggles every time this couple came into.church and sat down in front of us….of course, prompting “The Look” from our Mom!
Oh, ‘the church giggles’, I remember those! My husband once caused me to have them. We were attending a church where they only sang modern choruses rather than hymns. I think the one that caused the trouble had a line which went, ‘And I worship you’ and DH maintained that that bit sounded like the opening to the theme tune of ‘Blake’s Seven’, a rather naff sci-fi show we’d each seen in our teenage years. One Sunday, as we were singing along, we sang ‘And I worship you’ and DH surreptitiously went, “Wooooosh!” in perfect imitation of the space ship flying by in the opening credits. I corpsed.
UK Helen: My sister and I used to get in so much trouble when this couple would come in, I would whisper to my sister, “Uh oh….It’s. The. CRUSH-ER!!!” in true professional wrestling style.
At my son’s high school graduation Baccaluraute (sp?) Mass last year, a young woman in the graduating class got up to sing a hymn before the Mass started.
I don’t know if it was the acoustics in the church, or the hymn itself, but (God Bless her for having the courage to sing in a packed venue), she sounded very off key….And my MOM got the “church giggles” after a few sour notes.
I leaned over to my mom and said, “MARY ANN!!! You are in the house of the Lord, young lady! Control yourself!!!”
Which of course, sent her over the edge and she had to step out and compose herself.
….And, May I add, we were not making fun of this lovely young lady, she had a gorgeous voice, I just think the song selection didn’t match her vocal style.
She sang the communion hymn as well, and their wasn’t a dry eye in the house….it was absolutely beautiful!
By the way, the exchange of the peace does have a specific scriptural basis. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus advises his followers that if they have an issue with someone, resolve it before they bring their gift to the altar. The exchange of peace is a symbolic act of that.
That’s true. The problem is that those with whom we have an issue are not the same folks who are with us at mass. We’d all have to rush out of the church, go find the people we are having problems with, make peace, and then rush back to mass.
In a sense, we are preaching to the choir.
I always thought the Sign of Peace was a gesture to those around you, as in we may all be strangers, but in this moment in church we all are worshipping as one.
I agree that in this social situation it just wasn’t worth trying to explain the utter impropriety of her conduct to a stranger.
There isn’t any doubt whatsoever in my mind that next morning J will have reported this to the agency as a piece of professional misconduct, and quite likely not only said she didn’t want them sent to her house again but advised she not be sent to any other celeb booking either; I suspect she only didn’t make an issue of it then and there because she was already running late. The agency will certainly have noted it against this woman’s name.
Yes, that was my thought! I’d bet the agency has policies about this sort of thing, especially if they often supply sitters to celebrities. I volunteer at a museum that has some very famous people on the board / as guests, and there are VERY strict rules about how and when staff and volunteers can interact with them. Something like this would get you thrown right out.
I wonder if she called J a B**** because J did call the agency and asked to never have that nanny assigned to her again. I’m sure it only takes one bad strike to get removed from all celebrity clients since the nanny business is very big on privacy and professionalism That one call from J could have caused her to lose out on the more high end clients.
She probably called you a B**** because you didn’t immediately sympathize with her and how much of a B**** J must be. Sounds like a Drama Llama, leave her alone.
I’d like to see this story from J’s point of view.
George Burns wrote that strangers constantly were knocking on their door to meet them. He said that people assumed that since they invited him into their living room (via radio) every week, he should invite them into his living room. It’s a strange and senseless thing.
I was out to dinner with my MIL and DH, and unfortunately my DH pointed out that some famous people were there, trying to have a quiet family dinner. My MIL stared at them with her mouth hanging open until she got their attention, and then interrupted their conversation. DH and I were both kicking her under the table, but we couldn’t get her to stop. I told DH to PLEASE never point out a celebrity again, until the poor celebrity was actually out of the restaurant.
I saw an interview with Aaron Rodgers (NFL Quarterback) wherein he said a professional athlete usually has pretty good peripheral vision and they can definitely see you staring at them- he said he would rather if fans just came over and said hi. Being stared down makes anyone uncomfortable, celebrity or not.
Of course, he said, “Come say hi,” not “Interrupt our dinner and demand we pay attention to you for the next twenty minutes!” And he was referring to an unplanned encounter in public, not showing up at a celebrity’s private property!
You can acknowledge someone without going up to them either. See a famous QB, give them a smile and a wave. They’ll probably appreciate that you’re recognizing and saying hi but not really interrupting their business.
I worked on incoming phone bank some years back for a place that sold ribbons/bows/wrapping paper. We had special ‘fundraiser’ catalogs where a church group or something could sell the stuff, call in their order and they paid the lesser price ad thus fundraise. One of these could be a three or four hour call. I did this seasonally for about 3-4 months a year for them… the supervisor could tap into and listen in and monitor what you were doing (being professional, sticking to the script)
I get called from our customer service. They had a special ‘fundraiser’, it was a celeb, they were going to be ordering mostly wrapping paper and bows and to/from cards for a children’s Christmas charity thing they were a big part of. They said take the order, do as normal, and take the CC number and it’s going to lock up because of the amount. Flag it and send it back to customer service. They transfer. First word out of their mouth I know who they are. I know I had mice on the line, but I stuck to script from word one. We finally verified, finished, and I flagged the order and sent it back to CS.
CS manager came back about 20 min later for the compliment call they made back. I had been totally professional, polite, and TREATED THEM LIKE A NORMAL PERSON. CS manager said thank you for not breaking script once. My DH didn’t believe me until several days later in newspaper, there was a picture of them at the party and gift handout and kid down front had a big box with one of our exclusive wrapping designs on it. Showed DH picture in catalog.
Next year CS calls and gets me again, and I got to take their order again. Again a walkover from CS manager about not breaking script… then she said, didn’t you do that one last year. Yes Ma’am.
Celebs are people too. There are times for the paparazzi and there are times when they just need to be people. I wouldn’t call the J a b… just because someone wanted a hug and J probably just wanted to get going and it was faster to do glom-flee. The hug asker was out of line I’m afraid.
I used to live in a big metro where a good chunk of our livelihood was tourists. Downtown doing business I stop at a small sidewalk/inside café at one of the old premere hotels in town, and it being lunch seats were at a premium. I nicely asked a gentleman who was at a 2 seater by himself if I could share the table. He was gracious and agreed, so we perched there and scarfed and being a local told him about several places he might want to visit (cheap or free) and not well known about unless you were local. We were at pick up after selves, and he said do you know who you’re talking to. My reply was immediate, yes I do (name omitted). He said thank you for the information, and thank you for a pleasant lunch where we were just two people. He rarely got that ‘luxury’. He did say, I suppose you want my autograph. (I was self employed so I had business cards on me) Only if you want mine. I replied. We got out cards and signed the backs, traded, shook hands and wished each other a good day and headed for the tray return and parted company. Again, sometimes just being treated like a regular person, with respect, and privacy (I only shook hands because he offered his) is just what a celeb wants sometime. (these are just two of my faves of meeting the elite 🙂 )
The sitter mentioned was out of line. Unless she sat for J often and they were friends, asking for the hug was unprofessional.
What’s even stranger to me is that around here, you have no excuse for not knowing how to conduct yourself when your favorite celeb appears in your place of work. If you work in a grocery store in some areas of the city, you’ll encounter actors and musicians pretty regularly (seriously, want to meet your local celebs? Work in a grocery store. They go food shopping, too).
She’s grown up here. She knows better.
One place I waitressed we occasionally got a celeb in, one night the whole crew and several on their way from here to there people got stuck in the 24 hour place. I might say how do you do and get back to business but that night we sort of just hung out, the cook made a few late snacks for everyone free (we had a very famous musician and he’d brought his instrument in to keep it warm and he broke it out and we had the most fun 3 am concert, lovely fellow).
ONLY time I broke with asking a celeb about something. We had a high functioning mentally handicapped dishwasher who took his job seriously and the rest of us had been told you tick him off bad you are FIRED (he would do all the late night weird shifts). He LOVED pro wresting and they had an event in town, and he took some time off to go. He came into work with the program from the event. One of the fellow with about 5 of his entourage came in at that late hour (about 3 am) and ordered plenty and two of our famous dinnerplate sized rolls. Killing one was hard, he is the only man I ever seen eat two…. and the dishwasher was freaking out that so and so was in the store. I asked the guy to get me the program he had brought in. Near the dessert and I’d done a plate round, I politely asked (Mr. xxxxx), our dishwasher had been at the event, and he brought this program back, would he be super kind and sign it (dude was on the front of it) please? The fellow was really kind, asked the name, and wrote on it and signed it, then he said bring him out, please? So I put the program in the fellow’s locker in break room and grabbed a fresh apron and hat and went up to the dishwasher and said Mr. xxxxx wanted me to bring him out. He dried off and changed and I think the fellow’s heart melted when he realized some of the uniquess of this fan, shook hands with him, and nobody had a camera but… it was very kind of Mr. xxxxx to do this and our dishwasher was just on his own cloud for the rest of the week.
Scary to think how this woman even made it through the nanny agency’s interview process…
From what I understand from a mutual friend, she’s sat for several other celebrities without incident. However, something tells me she’s never actually encountered them face to face.
That’s of course kind of funny in its own way–I can’t imagine letting someone stay alone with my kids without even MEETING them first, no matter how much I trusted the agency!
I bet it depends on who though.
I could walk pass a lot of famous people and not even double take. However I got flustered when was watching my favorite hockey player inches away, I’d like to think if I accidentally had him walk into my place of business I wouldn’t start ugly crying at very least.
I wonder if she sat for other celebs, asked for hugs and got them. Perhaps she’s encountered some who were ok with that. Doesn’t make it right that she asked, but it’s possible she was doing it all along.
When my best friend and I started going to Star Trek and Sci-Fi conventions, we more or less agreed that we would remember the celebrities were people just like us. It served us well and still serves me well when the opportunity arises. When there are open question times, I can think of good questions that are not repetitive of what everyone else seems to ask. And when meeting them at their autograph tables, it puts everyone at ease. I wince every time I’m at one of these events when fans do things during Q&A like, “Can I just shake your hand?” or “Can I have a hug?” or they ask a variation of a question asked several times already because they were so busy thinking “OMG! OMG!” that they stopped thinking. The fans end up looking like idiots, and then call the celebs jerks or worse because they didn’t get what they wanted.
Had this woman been professional, she might have been rewarded with additional work and the celeb treating her well and maybe, eventually, at least shaking her hand. As it is, she may find herself losing work as word gets around.
To be fair, there are celebrities out there that act like total jerks no matter what. Even if you’re super polite, they will treat you like dirt. I wouldn’t say this is the case.
To be fair, it’s easy to short-circuit when you’re in front of a celebrity. I went to my first Star Trek convention this summer and got in line to ask Tim Russ (Tuvok from Voyager) a question. I knew exactly what I wanted to ask, had it all planned out, and the second he looked directly at me, I started stammering, said something incredibly obvious and ridiculous, and then, falling back on a familiar pattern from other times I’ve had trouble forming a sentence (I have a non-obvious language disorder so it happens more often to me than to most) and said, into the microphone, “hang on a second, I swear I know how to form a sentence”. Thank God he’s a good guy, he smiled and told me I was doing great (as the entire assembled crowd cracked up) and then I was able to take a breath, remember my question, and ask it fully. But…I did have an actual question I wanted to know the answer to, and no one had asked it yet.
For awhile when I was younger and lived in a big burg; I used to do the themed cons. I belonged to some of the clubs. I spoke the lingo. I met a lot of scifi ‘stars’ of the era, and some events were well run and some they marfed up so bad the star refused to do another con. They are people too.
You’d meet them in the back ways and elevators if you were one of the workers or for me, dealer. Smile, say hi, and be nice. They weren’t ‘on’ they were being people going from here to there or whatever. One particular con the dealer room had gone dead as a dodo because some of the stars were supposed to sit at the table nd smile and hand out autographs for awhile. Along the side of the dealer room one of the con assistants was helping one of the rather elderly stars through, the shortcut. I did step over (grabbed the handful in my cashbox and put it in a pocket) and came to offer another arm. I said hello, got one back, and the help was appreciated. I got to meet a couple of the others too, smiles and hi’s as I helped deliver the fellow to his seat. A wave and I melted back to my place in dead-ville before they opened the door and the ungodly line swarmed in. Later one of the con employees came to me with one of the headshot gropings of the stars that were there, signed. The fellow I had helped insisted. I think that was the beautiful part. But. As I said, they’re people too. You may think the universe revolves around them but remember they have a life and it doesn’t revolve around every fan out there. You are their livelihood but give them the courtesy of being people too and having ‘off’ or ‘down time’.
I see stories like this all the time on facebook or twitter or IMDb and my reaction is always the same: celebrities don’t owe you anything. sure if I go see a play with a certain actor and he decides not to perform that night I might be a little annoyed–but then again some overworked understudy gets to perform good for them! Or if a celeb cancels a meet and greet, then I will be annoyed but even then I’d hope to be understanding that anything can come up at the last minute. But out in public they’re just humans. Imperfect, vulnerable to bad days and trying to go about their lives (just like us!). I know I’d hate to be bothered all the time by strangers.
And in a professional setting like child care, it is especially inapprorpiate. I imagine that working professionals have an ethical duty to remain discreet and polite (and when your clients aren’t famous). I can’t imagine why anyone would think hugging your client is proper behavior.
To be honest, I act all high and mighty about this but if I saw my favorite actor, Scarlett Johansson, I would be very tempted to tell her how much I appreciate the work she’s done (especially the film Her). LOL The one time I did see someone famous was at a restaurant in NYC where I saw Hugh Jackman. My waitress came up to our table and discreetly told us Jackman was there and asked if we could refrain from going up to him. Of course, I would NEVER disturb someone’s meal. Although I did sneak a peek on my way to the restroom…
I’d be careful of that, mm. I have a friend who has met Scarlett Johansson and he didn’t have much good to say about her. My friend works in the entertainment industry and knows many celebrities, so he’s not one get starstruck. He met her at a party and he said that she was quite full of herself.
to be honest, from my experience “full of herself” seems to be coded language for a woman who isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants. Either way, the likelihood of me meeting her is very small so I’m happy to just enjoy her work.
It can also be a misinterpretation of shyness–especially from someone beautiful.
Amen, mm. For all the protests publicly, society’s real workings still demand that women be modest (even if falsely so), submissive, and desperate to please. Women who value themselves, or chose not to bow to the wishes of others (particularly men) are still branded “B*tchy” or “Stuck-up” or a “b*llbuster”, or more tellingly, “unfeminine”. I wonder if the sitter would be upset if the client had been a no-name guy asking HER for a hug. Would she have considered herself a B for refusing?
So based on a friend meeting her at one party, you are going to say she’s full of herself online?
Maybe she was having a bad night.
Maybe your friend is exaggerating things to have a better story to tell.
This is a person who you’ve never met and has a very public profile.
It doesn’t exactly seem fair for you to tarnish her reputation on a public message board based off a friend meeting her once at a party.
Unless you’re their agent …
I remember reading someone’s ‘rant’ on the IMDb page for ‘House M.D.’ – the poster had seen Hugh Laurie in an airport and gone over and asked him for a hug. He said ‘Sorry, no.’ The poster was furious and claimed he ‘hated his fans’.
Completely ridiculous of course. I really dislike hugging anyone I don’t love, if I were a celebrity I’d be terrified!
I’m a hugger, but not with complete strangers – and certainly not strangers at the airport! Mr. Laurie even gave an (uneccessary), “Sorry” with his refusal. This person sounds wacky.
Agreed. I really don’t understand the fans who think they’re owed a hug by their favorite celebrities. Some people just aren’t huggers and that does NOT make them bad people or “fan-haters.”
He could have used UKHelen’s ‘No thank you. I’m British’…
Haha, I actually think that was probably implied. I’ve heard Hugh Laurie speaking about the differences between American and British social culture and how he finds American fans quite tiring (not that he dislikes Americans by any means!)
The funny thing is, I could see asking for a hug from a beloved character (if I was the type of person who asked for hugs), but the character Hugh plays in House is famously crotchety and rude!
That’s so bizarre that a staffer would go out of her way to inform your table that a celebrity was there.
Chiming in to say that when SJ was dating Josh Harnett she would shop at the local Minneapolis Whole Foods. She was always extraordinarily rude and treated staff poorly. After that, I just couldn’t be a fan. I usually just treat celebrities like I don’t know who they are.
Some people are very comfortable with physical contact and others are not. I cannot imagine asking anyone, especially a total stranger, for a hug.
I have never liked those who want to call people who are not present names. I sometimes fall back on the line, “Oh, I don’t think he/she is one. I am one and he/she is never at our meetings”. That normally changes the subject.
Cat, I absolutely love that response and will add it to my own repertoire!
Asking for a hug like that just floors me. It’s so unprofessional, and with celebrities, who often hire bodyguards, it is a foolish thing to do, as well. A hugger might find herself getting questioned, by big men with stern faces, about her motives and intentions.
Yes, celebrities are more public in their lives, but the etiquette boundaries still should be observed with them just as they should with others who are less famous. Did I understand the OP to mean that the nanny expected the OP to hug her as well? Good grief. Nanny has an odd idea of the propriety of hugging strangers. I don’t foresee her nanny career flourishing.
I work in a local film industry and have been involved in two films with celebrities as an extra. I have witnessed firsthand how ridiculous and unprofessional some people react to celebrities. Last year I was one of a few hundred extras in a film with a Hollywood legend. When he finally reported to set, some of us knew the proper way to behave, which was to leave him be unless he approached you first. Others hadn’t a clue and ambushed this celeb as soon as he walked in the door! Because he’s been a star for so long and is quite used to that, along with having a huge ego, he dealt with it fine, but it was still very wrong. At the end of the shoot, he stood around and graciously allowed us extras to take photos with him. That is when it’s okay to approach celebs.
What this gal did was inexcusable. I wouldn’t be surprised if she never worked for that business again. And I wonder how she’d feel if a complete stranger wanted a hug from her.
I think OP could have said something to the party guest about her story. I would have. Something along the lines of “Oh, I wouldn’t have been comfortable with giving you a hug, if I was that person”, just to let her know that I don’t agree with her. I don’t have any problem disagreeing with strangers or friends, and the latter don’t seem to have any problem disagreeing with me. Why would it be a problem?
I also think OP is somewhat obligated to report the guest to her workplace agency. It is highly unprofessional to complain publicly, naming names, about any client. OP wouldn’t have to give either her name or the party guest’s name, just a heads-up that the agency might want to review its rules regarding discretion about its clients and give the example why. And I would consider telling the party guest such, as in “Is it agency policy to discuss clients in public? Because I’m uncomfortable hearing about your client and wonder if your agency is very professional”.
I used to live in New York in my wild and tumultuous youth and ran into a lot of celebrities going about their daily lives. What I always appreciated was that everyone would simply…leave them alone. They were allowed to eat in peace, shop in peace, chase their children around the playground in peace, etc. I was proud of myself for not staring, even when I ate lunch one table over from Kevin Spacey at a restaurant once (and I love Kevin Spacey. And I kind of wanted to fawn all over him shamelessly. But I didn’t. Yay, me). Celebrities are humans, also, and they are allowed to eat their pasta in peace with their friends without some crazed 20-year-old falling all over them.
The story goes that John Lennon loved the anonymity of buying stuff at his neighborhood stores in NYC so much that he called one of his bandmates to say, “You have to come here! They ignore you.”
A while ago, my family and I went to see “Wicked” in our home town. When the show was over, I was astonished and delighted to see the young actress Abigail Breslin leaving the theatre – she was in town filming a movie and had evidently decided to have a fun evening at the theatre with some friends (I think her mother might have been there, too). I opened my mouth to scream “I LOVED YOU IN ‘SIGNS’ and ‘ZOMBIELAND’!!!” – then I closed it again. She and her friends looked so excited and happy after the show; a middle-aged woman going all fangirl on her would probably have spoiled their fun!
Never fear. I suspect J will have had an agency note never to have her sent again. That she’s running around blacklisting herself will merely add to the unlikelihood that she ever has the *opportunity* to turn down working for J again.
Yeah, ’cause now would -you- want her to babysit your kids?
Celebrities have a right to privacy and personal space like everyone else.
I have two anecdotes on this issue. I think I have posted them before but they are both apropos here.
1. The classic actress Gene Tierney (“Laura”) contracted rubella from an overeager fan, which resulted in severe birth defects to Tierney’s yet-to-be-born daughter. The daughter had to be institutionalized and it’s believed that Tierney’s personal life unraveled from that point. Years later, the fan met her again and gushed how she had snuck out of quarantine all those years ago just to meet her. Can you imagine the horror Tierney must have felt? (I don’t know what her specific reaction was.)
2. More personal and not nearly so serious: Years ago, the granddaughter of an NHL hockey great attended my sons’ school. This legendary man attended the school’s Special Persons’ Day (aka “Grandparents Day”). I saw him and pondered the notion of getting an autograph for my dad, who was a big fan, but decided instead to give the man his space and let him enjoy some time with his granddaughter. Others obviously didn’t feel the same — the line for his autograph wrapped around the playground and then some. Kids went back to their classrooms shouting, “I got Christy’s grandpa’s autograph!” with nary a clue as to who he was. (Their parents sure did though.)
I remember reading about Gene Tierney’s encounter with that fan. I think she just stared at her, turned her back and walked away.
(The same story inspired Agatha Christie’s “The mirror crack’d from side to side.” Dame Agatha painted a very vivid, though understandably not flattering, portrait of the fan-inspired character)
I think this has to be one of the most horrifying stories I have ever read.
The few times I’ve met someone I would consider a celebrity, they were gracious and charming. To be fair, my ideas of celebrities are Charles Kuralt, Molly Ivins, and Rita Mae Brown.
I do know that my fave actor is known for being very gracious no matter what. I routinely see pics online where he’s had a fan encounter and smiled for a selfie.
But if *my* sitter had canceled and I was running late, and I was *J* … I wouldn’t have time to hug anyone, plus if I was all hair and makeup done and glammed up I’m not sure I would want to get rumpled up.
Oh, Molly Ivins. I’ve spent time with her and she was such a lovely woman. So gracious and welcoming!
I don’t know if many folks remember the band “The Tubes”….whose lead singer was/is Fee Waybill.
When I was 17, I was waitressing in a decent restaurant close to the hotel/airport part of town.
Everyone I worked with was much older and had no idea who the heck they were.
The lady who was supposed to wait on them was grumbling about having to wait on some stupid music group under breath.
I was like, “who? Here?!?”
And she said “yeah….some group called The Inner Tubes or something….” and I said “THE TUBES?!? I LOVE them!!!”
She said “great. They are ALL yours kiddo….”
Of course….I made an jerk out of myself saying how much I loved their music….blah, blah….
They asked my name and said they would leave tickets for me at will call, with an all access backstage pass….AWESOME!
Then….I made the big mistake of asking where Fee Waybill was?!?
Things at the table got chilly REAL fast, and one of them said they FIRED him a few shows ago…..
Ooooohhhhh…..um….okay….let me check on your food, guys….”Talk to ya later!!!” 😉
I recall years ago my family had gone out on an extended shopping trip off the edge of Atlanta and stopped at some nice Italian restaurant to eat. There was a partially sectioned off area (half wall and decorative metal shutter things on the sides of pillars) where a party was being held. I remember my mom kept on looking over there, before finally realizing where she knew one man from. Turns out he was a fairly famous boxer/football player who lived in Georgia (Can’t remember which as I had absolutely no interest in it as a tween). He was apparently there at the birthday party of a cousin, so y’know … cute.
Once my mom finally figured out who he was she pretty much lost interest other than noting that it was cool. Another table though was apparently a couple of huge fans. This couple sent over their daughter, who was only around 4, to try and get an autograph several times. Of course, you try to describe which of the dozen or so strange men they are supposed to go over and bug to a kid that young and see how well it works out. She basically just went over there and hovered in the entryway or walked in about 5 feet before going back to her parent’s table each time. I though one of the times when she was just kind of hovering around in the crowd without saying anything to anyone my mother was going to go over and lead her back to her parents.
Logic and sense goes out the window with some people and their hobbies (fanboying/girling)
Why does this person think that anyone in a business situation is a B… For acting in a professional way?
Many years ago my husband was selling something through the newspaper. I took the call that someone wanted to look at it and arranged the time. The call ended with the caller telling me that her husband is an actor and could we please me not make a fuss over him. They came and looked and ended up buying the thing and as they were leaving the wife (also an actor) pulled me to the side and thanked me for treating them normally.
‘Famous female singers who could be J’ is going to occupy my mind for a while. Jennifer Lopez?
I’ve met a couple of famous people and seen them interact with other fans. Generally, they have been polite and friendly to the people who approached them with what I would consider good manners, and a little more reserved when confronted with overeager fans trying to hug them or encroach on their personal space. I think the majority of people would be fine with “excuse me X, I’m a big fan and just wanted to say hello to you. May I have an autograph or photo?”. Immediately asking for a hug or approaching famous people under inappropriate circumstances is less acceptable (I remember reading an interview with the rapper Eminem in which he discusses how many fans think it’s okay to ask him for photos while he’s using the urinal!).
The other one that especially shows up at sports things is the fan with 85 items they want signed. Yeah, then they’re going to run home and eBay them. Some events have started limiting it to one or two signed things per person. (shakes head)
I’m an absolute Australian Rules footy fanatic and I see that when I go to watch my team train. Nothing worse than a little kid clutching his footy jumper, waiting to meet his hero, and being shoved out of the way by someone wanting a handful of merchandise signed for resale.
I know what you mean.
I have to admit that I was proud of my AFL team when the team were signing autographs after training and an older person with a large bag of banners etc rushed through the line and knocked several children over. The whole team moved over and made sure that the kids were ok and got their black and white jumpers signed and had security escort the person out of the training grounds.
At a concert of a quartet at my college days, and I was pretty strong and hale. I can tell you the stage deck was about 4 and a half feet as that’s where my shoulders live. After the concert, the group was supposed to come out and sign stuff, and people massed in and started pushing! The security on stage said stop pushing or they won’t come out. Right up front there’s about an 8 year old kid, and I braced my legs and arms and was rocking like a human shock absorber with everything I had or the kid in the foot or so in front of me was toast. He’s scared and crouching there, the security has told them for about the third time to stop the pushing and one of them heard me scream I have a small kid in front of me, HELP. And they seen me doing my best to keep the kid from getting smashed. One of them came over, reached into the small space and pulled the kid out and onto stage and carried him backstage somewhere. A moment later the fellow came back out and said A Boy Almost Got Crushed, they’re not coming out.
Pissed fans, yes, they started leaving and at least the pressure ceased so I leaned on the stage edge as it was going to be a while before I could get out of there. One of the security came out and said, you’re the one that had the kid, is it your kid? I shook my head no. He said wait at the stage. He came back with an LP signed with nice messages by the whole quartet. I still have that prize, it was nice of them, and I suffered for about three days after that bit. They didn’t get the idea, get in line, which they were asked to, not mass the stage and push.
Oh, I was loving this story until black and white came up. Blergh, Collingwood!
Jennifer Lopez is the only one I could of too.
my guess as well!
JLo doesn’t live in the area.
OP: shucks! That’s the only one I could think of! 😉
I’m gonna throw my guess of Jessica Simpson.
My employer is a member of a well-known family; I wrote a paper on her grandfather in my college years. While most people in her small community are unaware of her maiden name and all it implies, she does have some friends and relatives who are more instantly recognizable. When these people visit, I sometimes have to brief the newer members of the household staff on how to act around them. No autographs, no sneaking pictures with their cellphones, no fawning, and heaven forbid, absolutely no hugging! They are to treat all guests, whether unknowns or celebrities, with exactly the same respect. These people lead such public lives, the least we can do is offer them a peaceful weekend in the country, with no pressure to be “on”. And honestly, once you’ve brought them their coffee and scooped their wet beach towels off the patio a few times, it’s hard not to think of them as just “the boss’s cousin”.
This nanny would receive a strongly worded warning if she went around asking guests for hugs where I work, and likely would not last long as a staff member.
My.husband and I once had a layover in the Atlanta airport.
As we passed the private VIP room, there was a man surrounded by a large group of bodyguards.
Later on, my husband asked who the heck was that?
None other than Pharrell Williams.
I was at Disneyland some months back and apparently Victoria Beckham was in the same princess restaurant with her kids I was. I don’t personally care about such things because I’m too focused on my kid and his “celebrities” the princesses, lol. So I never even noticed she was there. But in the bathroom the other women couldn’t shut up about it. And from the sound of their conversation I gathered Mrs. Beckham had had her meal interrupted. That’s a shame. You make special reservations to eat there, it’s a big deal for the kids who really don’t care if other people think their parents are someone special. They want to see a princess, get their kids photo taken with them, then listen to their kids talk about it for the next three weeks. They do not want a stranger grabbing them, or their kid, and asking for photos and ruining the moment. That’s just not okay.
I was also sat next to a newer supermodel (also at Disneyland, go figure) the next time I was out there. I didn’t make a fuss, I didn’t even talk to her. She was there with her friends. It would be weird to interrupt a conversation she just had going to talk about random stuff I wanted to discuss or take a photo. I wouldn’t do that with a non famous person so I’m not going to do it with a famous one. I’m not sure why the rules should change so dramatically just because your public profile does.
Wow….who knew Disneyland was so trendy! 🙂
Victoria Beckham would get a look or two from me from afar…..can’t say I’d be that restrained if David Beckham was there!!!
I know right? But I guess it makes sense. So many of them live in CA and it’s not hard to do a day trip. I try to never go on a weekend and go during the “slow season” so you figure if you’re going to run into someone famous that’s when it would be. Apparently they’re have been “VIP’s” at Disney World when I was there too but I don’t know who they were and never saw them. All I know is that they seriously held up lines during special ticket events so they’re lucky I don’t know who they’re selfish butts are…
Oh, I hate hearing about celebrities being bothered in front of their children. The children did not choose to be famous, they have a right to a nice day out with their parents without having the parents’ time monopolised by fans. It could potentially be a scary experience for younger kids too.
Tori Spelling really grinds my gears in this area.
One day, they are out shopping and she sends the kids to the front window to “wave to all the cameras!!!”….then, another day, she swerved to the side of the road to ask the photographers to “stop taking pictures of my kids!”
You can’t have it both ways, Sunshine.
I know, it’s really sad. Why can’t she just have a stinking meal with her kids? What did they do to deserve this? And really, what does she do? She sang in a girl band a million years ago and now she designs clothes. She’s married to an athlete, that’s her claim to fame now. People are so weird.
I remember my sister saying Kate Middleton was lucky and she wished she was her in the lead up to her wedding. I told her I though she was not lucky but selfish. From that day forward her life would never be her own again. Her children would be targets for assassination, have to be followed around by bodyguards forever, they’d never have normal childhoods, lead normal lives, and all because she chose to marry royalty. I get she may love him, but I love my son too. And I loved him years before I had him. I’d have picked my kid and a normal life over a guy any day.
I recall that time that Suri Cruise yelled at a mob to get out of their way as they were surrounded as they tried to get to their car and a paparazzo called her a little brat and a b****. She was all of seven and certainly never asked to have cameras in her face everywhere she went. Made me so mad on her behalf.
That’s really sad….calling a seven year old a bitch.
What are people thinking???
Many years ago, (1983) I was visiting NYC with my then fiance. We went to the American Museum of Natural History and were wandering around. While in the gift shop, I turned around and bumped into Sean Lennon (who does look just like his father). I said “excuse me”, purchased my item, and left. I figured he didn’t need to be fawned over. Unfortunately, as we walked out, the news of his presence must have spread through the museum because a mob of people were heading towards the gift shop. Fiance and I got out of there FAST!
Are you sure it was Sean Lennon and not Julian Lennon? Sean would have been 8 in 1983.
I think I’ve posted this story before….
A famous photographer was good friends with John and Yoko.
He asked John once why he loved NYC so much, and John said he can (usually) blend in and folks don’t bother him.
John said one day, he was taking a walk and was standing on the corner waiting for the light to change, and was standing next to young woman.
She looked at him and nodded, and John nodded back.
Just then, he said, she realized WHO she was standing next to and her eyes and mouth opened very wide in a surprised “OH MY GOD!!! John Lennon!!!”
John silently reached over and put his finger gently on her lips in a “shush” motion, winked and smiled and went on his way.
I would have fainted dead away! 🙂
While I appreciate Yoko Ono’ s business sense and amazing management of all things John and Yoko, I will say she screwed Julian Lennon over ROYALLY, and considered Sean to be John’s only son.
How sad for Julian…of course, John once said that Julian was conceived one night out of “a bottle of rum and no birth control in the house.”
How awful to hear your own dad say that! My heart just aches for Julian.
And, may I add that John said when he and yoko were strolling in Central Park, the key is to keep moving at a steady pace.
If they stop they get swarmed….if they run, they get chased.
Good strategy imo.
“Because it was an emergency job, J the celebrity singer was probably late to the event she needed to be at and to expect her to disengage from that “business mode” to give the hired babysitter a hug was the height of entitlement.”
Actually, I don’t think J needed any excuse at all to not feel like giving a hug to a babysitter she’d just met. Business mode or not.
Simply because you recognize someone, does not mean you have a relationship with them.
I have two celebrity stories to share as well.
I attended a fan convention last summer. One of the big name guests has very publicly discussed her struggles with mental illness. She attended all her autograph signings and picture times as well as 2 out of her 3 fan panels. But on Sunday afternoon, she just couldn’t do another fan panel. She was exhausted and feeling too off keel.
Another one of the big name guests stepped into the time and did an extra fan panel instead.
I thought that was all very reasonable. If celebrity one flew all the way to Florida, did all the other events but just couldn’t face the last one – fair enough. She’s human. Sometimes you just can’t.
And I thought it was very sweet of celebrity two to say “It’s fine. If she can’t go out, I’ll go ahead and do an extra panel.”
But on the message boards after the convention people were terrible. They called the first celebrity all sorts of names. Some of them said things about how they hoped she’d just go ahead and kill herself if she couldn’t bother giving back to the fans who wanted to see her. Like celebrity one OWED them for being fans of a movie series she was in 40 years ago. Like celebrity one’s only value was giving them an opportunity to ask questions and prove what super fans they were.
Sure, it’s disappointing that they wanted to see her, but didn’t get the chance. But the amount of bile that spilled over those message boards was completely over the top.
A very famous wrestler lives in the same town as I do.
Which means at some point everyone around here has run into him and his family at a restaurant, car wash, gas station, grocery store, etc…
One year he took his kids (they were very young, maybe 6 and 8) to the local Renaissance Festival.
People swarmed him and his kids. There was a group of 40 – 50 adults that had them cornered in one of the vendor’s stalls.
He’s a fairly large man, and he stepped up on a stool and announced “Hey guys! Thank you so much for all your enthusiasm. I really appreciate it! But I’m just trying to have a day here with my kids, so if you could give us a little space, that would be great.”
Like 5 people left the crowd. Apparently the rest of them thought “Yes, those other people should go away. But he doesn’t mean ME, his number one fan!”
I was shopping in a booth across the way and horrified that just kept mobbing him and his little kids.
I heard later that he and his kids left like 20 minutes later because people wouldn’t leave them alone and some guy started scream obscenities when the wrestler refused to sign an autograph.
Celebrities are people.
If you want a picture with them, an autograph, 10 seconds to tell them how much you love them – go to one of their publicity events set up for that.
But if you run into them in the doctor’s office, grocery store, gas station, restaurant, airplane, etc… Please just treat them like another stranger. They don’t OWE you an autograph, picture, 10 minutes of fauning, a hug, or anything else.
No more than if you ran into a stranger and found out they were an accountant would the accountant than be obligated to do your taxes.
I figure, “Hello, Mr. Celebrity, congrats on the Oscar nomination, have a nice day.”
I swore to myself that if I ever ran into someone famous, even if it was someone I was a super huge fan of that I would keep my cool and treat them like everybody else, because they deserve it.
Years and years ago I went into a hotel to visit some friends that were staying there and there was this one guy that would not stop staring at me. It was pretty uncomfortable while I was waiting for them to come down. After about ten minutes of waiting the guy approached me asking me if I was some actress from 7th Heaven I shook my head no and he looked down and kinda wandered off. That bit of uncomfortableness was more than enough to make me realize what celebrities go through and worse everyday.
A little side story, I worked at a specialty walk in museum that doubled that had a side feature of a summer camp for kids. I was one of helpers that would teach kids certain crafts and stuff and one week these two children were very attached to me. I didn’t think much of it, kids tended to have their ‘favorite’ helper and they really wanted me to be working the day that parents came to pick them up. Sadly I missed that day because it was not a day I worked and when I said something to the effect that I missed meeting the parents of the kids that were so fond of me my co-worker informed me they were the children of the current Prime Minister. I told them that was nice, but I wanted to meet the parents just like we did with all the others.
A few years ago I was traveling for work – I was in a book shop in the home town of my favorite author so I decided I would grab one of his to read! I had just grabbed a book when I noticed someone grab a bunch of the author’s books … and turned to see the author himself! Apparently he randomly popped in to sign copies of his books on store shelves! My eyes got wide, I inhaled as if to speak, and then … remembered myself, composed myself and changed that to a big smile and turned back around to the shelf. He laughed, offered to sign the book I was buying and wished me a pleasant stay in his city!
Wouldn’t have happened to been John Green would it? Sounds like him 😀
I’m probably wrong, but Stpehen King is who popped into my head.
I read a similar story about Stephen King not long ago …
Major metro I lived in with a friend, bought season tickets to the concert series every year, with a different friend. On occasion the different friend couldn’t go so I would attend in the nosebleed (literally we were against the back wall up back). Her parents had some nice seats down in the good section on the lower floor. A special reception cropped up with some pretty high class performers and royalty there; her parents bought tickets and at the last second couldn’t go. I actually owned a teal silk charmeuse cocktail gown (gone through an upscale consignment shop and still had the tags on and went for a fraction) and I borrowed a mink stole and strung up some pearls (I made and sold jewelry-that was the afternoon I learned how to knot pearls) and attended with friend. Pretending to like caviar and the whole ten yards. Those that were the ‘honored guests’ were ‘on’ and all treated very well by everyone, I even curtseyed properly without breaking my face in those heels. It was still an event, and how meeting ‘the elite’ should be. Politeness, respect, manners and they’re people too. (The princess was a few steps sideways from the main line and not the usual family you’re thinking of; she was a real sweetheart actually- I did want to ask her how she kept her tiara on but didn’t)
People are people, when I see and hear of some of the things that go on around ‘the elite’ the more I shake my head and think of that nice little event (massive fundraiser for the concert series).
All of these stories illustrate why I’m SO SO glad not to be famous. Rich, I could handle. 🙂
I have a good friend who is in a serious relationship with a celebrity. He is quite a few years older than she is. They have been in a relationship for the better part of a decade.
Every year, I take my Christmas cards and tape them around the arch of one of my walls. I had a Christmas card from my friend. On the card was a picture of her, Celebrity, and Celebrity’s kids. I had two people come into my house and ask me about the picture. I explained, “That’s X, my good friend from college. She’s in a relationship with *him*. ” Both people started making comments about Celebrity and then started saying these nasty things about my friend. I said, “Excuse me. This isn’t the comment section on TMZ. This is my home, and that person is one of my best friends. You don’t even know her, so I am unclear as to why you think it’s appropriate to be trashing her based on her companion. I seriously doubt you would be saying these things if it was my friend and her older non-famous companion. Please stop.”
That’s terrible! I can’t believe they have the gall to bad mouth your friend right in front of you.
That’s beyond rude of them.
I feel sorry for J. She was probably promised a professional babysitter, and she got a gushing fan instead. How awkward for her.
My rule with celebrities is I will NOT be the one to point them out to anyone.
This is true whether they are right next to me or across the room.
On a couple of occasions I’ve locked eyes with someone famous and given them a “I know you” smile (that sounds way creepier than it actually is, I promise), then go right back to whatever I was doing before I noticed them. Then, when someone else does point them out and a crowd starts forming, the famous person has actually leaned over and said something to the effect of “thank you for not being the one to point me out”.
They are famous but they are just people first and foremost. No reason to treat them differently
I can relate to this after spending many years in rural Japan. It’s not quite the same, but the instant recognition, the “glamour” I apparently conveyed by being a Caucasian American woman, and so on. I was the only foreigner in my town when I first came to Japan. I had been asked for autographs in random places, like hiking with my dog, and to have photos taken with random strangers. I’ve had people snap photos of me, and later, my children, without permission. Even now, 20 years later, it’s better, but now I have two very blond children (and we are back in Japan after some years away), and the looks and stares are nonstop. My son’s first word in Japanese was “Stop it!” He would stick out his hand in a gesture of “stay away” because so many people had accosted him with attention.
I have always understood where this was coming from and am not angry about it. I usually try to accommodate people’s curiousity, knowing I “represent” Americans and American women by my behavior. But it gets tiring. It’s always the same, such as the shouts of “Hello!’ but when I actually stop and respond as I would normally to such an overture, people run away or laugh (the laughing is awful). I call it “poke the dog;” people are just trying to see what will happen when they try out this weird English language. But poked dogs get annoyed by the game. Being turned into a toy, an object, is tedious in the extreme.
But at least I knew I was a foreigner and could always go home to the States and live in perfect anonymity. American celebrities cannot do that. And you quickly start to feel used when people treat you this way…they are interacting this way for themselves and the story they can tell about having met you. They take something for themselves (autographs, hugs, piece of hair) without offering much back to the relationship. It turns people into a commodity. These celebrities’ WORK is the commodity, not their corporeal existence. But the distinction is a little too hard to discern for some people, alas.
I still wonder how many photo albums I unknowingly grace in Japan.
My tall Caucasian niece spent some time in Japan and was in constant demand as a bridesmaid!
It’s said in the music business when they hire their beef (security) during the interview it usually goes through do you like this person’s music and are you a fan? If you are you are usually thanked for coming. They want people around them that will be focusing on their job, not their fandom.
[and A good one I remember about Leann Rimes, she had just turned 15 and was seen and photoed wearing a very grown up LBD (little black dress) and press asked her mom about that. Her mom said two things, she makes enough money (that year was reported 95 mil gross) that she can wear anything she wants, and I’ll just hire more bodyguards]
When I worked for an HMO in Pittsburgh, PA, I had a patient that came in on a chilly night to see me and as she was leaving and her family came back from the waiting room, they were all wearing jackets with the Camp David Presidential Seal on the back, When I asked about it, she explained that either she or her husband (I don’t remember which now) was related to Rosalyn Carter and they had been invited to Camp David when Jimmy Carter was President and got the jackets as part of the visit. I said something about that being a neat experience and they left. After they left on of the MAs said something about them wearing the jackets to show off and I replied if I had been to Camp David and had something like that, I would wear it too. I can’t believe the MA wouldn’t and she was just being jealous as the patient and her family were very nice people.
I also met Billy Carter on an elevator when I was at a sci-fi convention and he happened to be be in the same hotel for another function. A friend and I had gone out and gotten Chinese for our crowd and were taking the boxes of food up to the rooms we were in. He was very nice (this was after his drinking days) and joked with us about what we had in the boxes. The funny thing was he was right about several of them and we told him so. Very nice little encounter with a nice person.
Lastly at the hospital in a small town that I used to go to, I was in the ICU to see a patient and one of the nurses told me another one of the patents in the ICU was the mother of an NBA star who had grown up not far from there. I said oh, really and picked up my patient’s chart and the nurse went on to tell me the woman had autographed pictures of her son and wouldn’t mind if I went into her “room” to meet her and get one of the pictures. I looked at the nurse and told her I didn’t know the woman or her son either professionally or personally and I would never dream of going into her room and bothering her. The nurse urged me to go in and get a picture, but I’m glad to say I didn’t. The woman was in the ICU for Heaven’s sake. I would imagine she had other things to worry about than some stranger bugging her for a picture of her son. By all accounts, he was very nice too, but really people, there are limits!
Wow! That last one…Didn’t the nurse violate all kinds of HIPAA/patient confidentiality policies by telling you about her?
It’s very possible that this was before HIPAA. However if it was after, then definitely a violation! No matter what, still unprofessional.
It was before HIPPA, but yes, violated confidentiality. Where we live, basketball is everything and basketball stars are GODS. I think she was just overwhelmed by the fact that this lady was even in our hospital instead of where her son really wanted her to go which was the Big City about an hour and a half away with a very good medical school and several excellent hospitals. Our hospital is pretty good though and our docs are too (not all the docs in small towns are idiots, which is the impression you get at the medical school) and her care here was just as good as there as our docs also recognize when the patients needs to go to the Big City for something we just cannot offer.
We have a photo of a famous Philadelphia eagles player, I want to say Ron Jaworski, who my husband had the pleasure of playing golf with once in some sort of charity event.
My husband said he was amazing, a lot of fun and just “one of the guys” that day.
My husband mentioned to him that he used to play golf with his FIL (my dad) alot, but can’t anymore.
Mr. Jaworski asked why they don’t play anymore, and my husband said he has MS, and can’t play anymore….my husband also said that my dad is a HUGE eagles fan, just in passing conversation.
At the end of the day, Ron shook my husband’s hand, said he enjoyed himself, and asked my husband if he could write down my dad’s name and phone number.
He never did call my dad, but I thought that was a lovely gesture anyway.
My dad may have slept with the phone next to him for a few weeks after we told him Ron Jaworski asked for his number. 🙂
To clance out all the ‘bad fan’ stories, it’s worht noting that often, fans do behave well. A few years ago I was at a conention where George RR Martin (Author of the ‘Game of Thornes’ books) was the Guest of Honour. Most of those attending were there because they were fans of his work and the panels and signings he did were very popular.
One evening, I happened to be sitting in the hotel lobby with a friend of mine when George came through – he happens to be an old friend of my friend, so when he saw my friend, and he stopped, said hi, and then sat down with us and stayed, chatting, for about an hour. During that time there were lots of attendees passing by and although many of them were clearly very excited to see him, not one person came and interrupted or tried to get photos or autographs, or was inappropriate in any way.
Hey now, show the man some respect! The series is “A Song of Ice and Fire” 😛
(Forgive me, but the show’s writers have done some VERY dumb things to numerous fantastic story arcs)
I haven’t actually either read or watched it 🙂 But he’s a very nice guy
If you stay up late chatting in public areas at many of the sci-fi cons I’ve been too you usually see the GOH going by in the wee hours with no surrounding entourage. A few may have wished they weren’t seen by fans doing what they were doing, but those are other stories! We usually just kept talking; I can’t remember once when we accosted one.
At one con I was at, I k new the people putting it on and got invited one night to go and sit on the floor of Famous Author’s room (who was the GOH) while he read the beginning chapters of his newest book, not yet published. I was sufficiently honored by the invite that I behaved myself and didn’t go all fan on him, just sat there and enjoyed it. The book turned out to be a best seller BTW, and the author truly enjoyed his fans, at least at that stage of his career.
I did that circuit for awhile and met a lot of very nice people who also happened to write best selling fantasy and scifi. I worked as a dealer selling stuff, and most of the talent (GOH and other pros would show sooner or later) to see what was up for grabs in the dealer’s room. There was one big con (that disbanded awhile ago, it outgrew the site which was huge and some satellite hotels as well and the ability to run it) They had a 24hour coffeehouse and if you went through there about midnight it was amazing who you could and would run across. I did get to wear a pro badge too because I was a merchant… I have many stories of meeting many people over the years. I had a few that I accepted a check for and asked for a form of ID and they proceeded to pull out their (first) just published book… and over the next decade went on to become pretty famous. That was a while back but usually the entourage was only needed if the person of honor was going to the scheduled panel, or book signing. Else they could wander freely like the rest of us did. I miss those days.
When I was a kid, we used to go to a restaurant on the gulf coast of Florida (burned down in the 04 hurricanes). The restaurant was a very good steak house right on the water. At the time, Ted Williams was living in the area before his death. He and his family were regular guests at this establishment. I saw Mr. Williams on one of his last outings before he died, smiling at folks waiting for tables while leaning on his walker. No one bothered him, demanded signatures, etc, just smiled back in polite acknowledgement.
In May 2014, I took DH to New Orleans for a few days. On our last night, we were at a bar on Bourbon Street, and two seats away sits down an MMA fighter. I had no idea who he was, but DH did, and was super excited/nervous- he didn’t want to bother the guy, but he did want to say hello and tell him DH admired his fighting style/would be rooting for him in his next match up in 2.5 months. DH finally plucked up the courage to speak to him, and the fighter was super nice, chatting with DH for a good 15 minutes and agreeing to some quick photos. The fighter’s best friend was there, and explained to me this was the start of the best friend’s bachelor weekend- neither of them minded, because MMA fighter is not one of the top guys in the business (yet), and really enjoys fans talking to him/appreciates their support. We bought them each drinks to thank them, and after that, went back to enjoying our own evening, giving them our good wishes for a fun time.
That meeting made DH’s trip, and he still occasionally brings up meeting this fighter and how nice he was. But I think the facts that 1) we kept the interaction relatively brief 2) the fighter is big on positive interactions for/with fans and 3) we showed appreciation for his kindness by buying him and his friend each a drink.
My boyfriend dumped me at Comic-con a long time ago and left me to eat lunch alone. I sat there, crying and ticked off because we spent a lot of money to be there and I got dumped in a place meant to be fun. Someone asked if the seat was taken and I said “no” through my tears as I was trying to collect myself.
Long story short: I ate lunch with David Tennant. (Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who.)
Oh my gosh….One of my son’s loves Doctor Who and would’ve been beside himself with glee if that would’ve happened to him! 🙂
On a personal note….what a jerk you were dating, I’m so sorry that happened to you!
How did you get home and such, if I may be nosy???
Not nosy! 🙂
A very awkward drive with the ex is how I got home. I paid for the event tickets and he paid for the gas. We took my car. Ex missed out on Tennant’s autograph line and I got to casually say “Oh, I ate lunch with him after you dumped me” and showed him the photos on my camera. Ex’s face was priceless. Karma got him later when the girl he dumped me for dumped him. I refused to take him back and he’s been out of my life for a long while now.
David Tennant joked about being my replacement date for lunch and I was fine with that. He turned the worst day of my life (at that time) into the best day of my life. I don’t remember that Comic-con as where I got dumped. I remember it as the day I ate lunch with my favorite Doctor. He is as cute in person as he is on TV and he has the most adorable giggle you’ll ever hear in your life.
Thank you for the update!
I’m glad you got rid of that jerk, and what a great story….would’ve loved to see his face when he saw your lunch date! 🙂
Good for you!
My son is also a HUGE Walking Dead fan, and Comic-con came to Philly awhile back, and I checked into pricing…..holy cow….very expensive!
The tickets alone were way out of our price range, add in parking, meals and souvenirs….we couldn’t swing it.
On our honeymoon, we ran into the famous wrestler (his name escapes me) who had a long shaggy beard that he put rubber bands on and played Cindy Lauper’s dad in one of her videos.
Captain Lou Albano, I think…..He was very nice and once his cover was blown bought the next round at the bar/restaurant we were at.
I’m currently working on a book on Jack Lord, the star of Hawaii Five-O. Jack was maligned and unfairly given a reputation for being difficult to work with and an egotist, all of which was nonsense started by reporters whom Jack would not speak to and crew and actors who were not doing their jobs. Anything Jack did, even if it was trivial, was blown out of proportion to make it look like he was a bad person. If he yelled at an actor for not learning his lines, people acted like Jack was in the wrong for doing so, not even admitting that an actor is supposed to learn their lines.
To this day, on social media, I come across drips who gripe that Jack didn’t socialize with the crew or hang out with them after hours. These people are working from 6:30 in the morning till late at night – not just Jack but the whole crew. Why would they want to hang out with one another after hours? Why should Jack spend his spare time with them? It’s not as thought the other actors all hung out together every single day after filming ended.
A man who was extra on one episode complained that Jack didn’t talk to anyone except the director and spent the time he wasn’t on the set in his trailer, painting. What is wrong with that?
A guy said that when he and his family visited Hawaii in the mid-seventies, they came across the crew filming. The guy – who was a kid at the time – asked Jack for his autograph and Jack said, “Sorry, kid, not today,” and walked away. The guy said he still watched Hawaii Five-O in cable, but he still remembers that incident. It’s not like Jack yelled at him. He spoke to him politely and he didn’t have to give him an autograph if he didn’t want to.
I spoke to a producer’s daughter who complained that when she filmed her 5-second scene one day, Jack came to the set and sat and watched, but didn’t speak to anyone. He didn’t yell at or speak rudely to anyone; he just didn’t talk to anyone. The woman went on about how the others actors in the scene – two guest stars and some other extras – were all warm and friendly and spoke to everyone, but Jack didn’t. I just wanted to sock the woman in the face, but we were on the phone. There is nothing wrong with Jack not talking to anyone, and if the other actors were paying attention to one another, why does she need Jack’s attention?
This producer’s daughter had the gall to talk about me behind my back, and say that no one I spoke to is going to say good things about Jack. To date, I interviewed over 50 people – maybe 55 to be exact, and only three were strongly negative, and 4 were neutral about Jack. This includes actors, writers, directors, cameramen, other technicians, extras, and people who did charity work with him.
I’ve met a few celebs mainly athletes from state based major sports teams and a few singers, and all have been really nice. I’ve always been polite and kept my composure as the places I met them in were part of events for stores or before concerts. One of my favorites was that I met Adam Lambert – I won a meet and greet then the radio station arranged for me to interview him for the station before his show, Adam was gracious and was a pleasure to meet, then I asked nicely for a hug at the end and he obliged. Another singer in a fan base I am in – I’ve met him a few times. I’ve not gotten a hug from him but he did let me know when I asked for a few cd sleeves to be signed for friends 1st before requesting for myself was a nice thing & then he signed my poster then said “see you later gorgeous”.
I took my, at the time, middle-school age sister to a concert by her favorite band. She knew beforehand that they would be autographing things afterward so she brought an album to have signed. Many people ahead of us in line were being obnoxious and asking kind of outrageous things, like for the band to sign parts of their body and such, and then people started cutting us in line, and then people who had already been through the line started cutting us. We just waited, and finally one of the band members said, “Guys, these two have been waiting patiently for a long time.” And they came over to sign our things and actually chatted with us for a bit, which was so kind and pretty much made my sister’s year. Well, actually, they chatted with me because my sister was SO excited that she couldn’t speak! 😛 (If you knew my sister, you’d know she’s never at a loss for words!)
Ha, that reminds me of the first time I met my favorite author. I was in college, and my parents were visiting for Parent’s Weekend. I happened to see that this author was going to be doing a book signing in a nearby town, one I would not have been able to get to on my own (I didn’t have a car). My parents brought me – my father was actually a fan too and introduced me to his books – and we spent hours and hours waiting in line. I finally got up to the front, and literally all I could say was “hi” in a tiny voice. I can still hear my dad saying “We waited all that time and you just said HI?” LOL I did get a photograph with him, and the author’s wife was so kind, she had me come back around the table to get the photo standing next to him.
I did end up meeting him several more times at other book signings, and was eventually able to speak more (I had a wonderful long conversation with his son at one of the events). Sadly he passed away several years ago but he was a really great guy and wonderful with fans.