Friday, February 11, 2011

Your Turn

Last weekend I heard an interview with Matthew Morrison from Glee where he said the only time he ever signs autographs for people or takes his picture with people is when it is an event or something where he is doing something business wise. Other than that he is a no guy. I find this awful. If you are lucky enough to become an actor on a hit show and are earning more in a week than people do in a year for doing absolutely nothing and it is all based on people watching your show, I think you owe it to your fans to always say yes. I don't care if I was in the bathroom, if someone wants an autograph I would be willing to do it. He and Lea Michele must get along like gangbusters. So, what about you? If you were a star, what would your autograph and photo limitations be?

70 comments:

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I'd autograph wherever, whenever. Unless I was in the bathroom, then I might get a little upset.

looserdude said...

I think stars can "protect" themselves from fans by being careful where they go, but when they do go into public they should not only sign autographs but be grateful for the opportunity, because, hey Glee kids, fame isn't forever..

Coralie said...

no matter what, unless i was out with my kids and felt it was a situation that could put them in danger (mob mentality type thing)

in fact, if i met any of you wonderful cdan readers, i'd sign an autograph for you on the spot :P

Paisley said...

Paul Newman never signed autographs. And I think they're pointless. Just a scribble on a piece of paper to prove you met someone?

If an actor is off the clock (like grocery shopping), then maybe you can get away with snapping a picture from afar. I think it's kind of tacky to interrupt their day.

chihuahuense said...

I agree re: what good is an autograph anyway. Personally, I would sign whatever, wherever unless it was beyond tacky (i.e. during my kids' recital, while I am waiting at the dr's office) but I don't fault actors for not wanting to be "on" all the time, I cannot imagine.

RocketQueen said...

I've twice walked up to people I've admired here in Vancouver and asked for a photo with them. Once was at a play, the second in a Lulu Lemon store - both kindly obliged. I think the only time it is offside is when the person is eating at a restaurant. My bf and I saw Lou Diamond Philips in a restaurant here recently and didn't feel it was ever right to approach someone who is eating.
I would much prefer a photo to an autograph.

Ice Angel said...

I think autographs are pretty dumb. I'd much rather have a picture of me with a famous person. I've got plenty of those! Autographs do nothing for me and I would never just go up to a famous person and ask for an autograph. Pointless and awkward. Now...if I happened to meet a celebrity and we were chatting, etc...I might ask for a phot with them, but never an autograph.

I think many celebs feel awkward about autographs as well. I have heard many of them feel it puts them "above" the person and they just aren't comfortable with that. They are just a person like you are walking around going about their business.

Borg Queen said...

I think you should be grateful to your fans but there is a line that needs to be maintained. I always think about an interview where Dave Chappelle said that he was somewhere with his kids (which I think are under 10 yrs) and this guy kept going up to him saying "I'm Rick James, bitch" cursing in front of Dave's kids. To me that very uncool.

Jamie's Girl said...

I'm different. I have no talent. None whatsoever. So I can't fathom anyone asking me for an autograph. I'd be a 'no' person.

Ellen said...

I think it's okay to set a few boundaries as a celebrity, but I also think that if you are the type who doesn't like dealing with the public on a regular basis, maybe you picked the wrong job. Especially for someone like Matthew Morrison. If he doesn't like people approaching him, why not stick with Broadway? I certainly was plenty happy not knowing he existed!

A side note.....I am SOOOOOO sick of all the Glee people. I hate that show and it is so annoying they all seem to think they are better than all of us now. Every time I hear someone play a Glee cover of a song I cringe. If I were a musician, I would not let them TOUCH any of my music.

MontanaMarriott said...

I have no problem signing autographs within reason, please don't ask me for one while I am on the toilet or while I am eating. Please wait till I am done then ask away.

Also I am NOT into having my children photographed since I am the celebrity not them not to mention the fear of them being kidnapped for ransom or something.

Hilary said...

I used to date a basketball player and he would get interrupted everywhere (especially dinner) for autographs and pictures. A lot of times it was kids so of course you are going to be nice. He ALWAYS said yes, but I think it had more to do with the fact that he really enjoyed his ego being stroked. As his date, I found it annoying because I would be completely ignored 90% of the time.

Cancan said...

Sign/photos for anyone, anywhere AS LONG AS THEY ASK NICELY. If they are dicks they can suck it.

kimmypie1 said...

I can kind of see his point. I think he is saying that being an actor/celeb is his job, so unless he is at his job then he is just a regular Joe.

I think he was trying to sound like he is just a regular guy but it came across as snooty.

von said...

Debating the issue of the importance/significance of autographs isn't the point. You don't like them, fine. Some people do. Doesn't really matter.

But I do find it unreasonable for celebrities to say no to autographs in normal situations. Most fans will not encounter someone like Matthew Morrison at an industry event or on set, they'll see him at a coffee shop or some other random place. As long as it's not wildly intrusive, I don't see the harm in taking a few seconds to scribble on a page.

I think the bathroom is a no-go zone (that's just off limits) and a private dinner is pushing things but anywhere else seems fine.

Fame is fleeting and deeply fickle, embrace your fans now and they might stick with you.

Reese said...

Paul Newman did sign autographs; a friend of mine has a signed photo of herself with him. He was very private but not a jerk. He was famous for not shaking hands for hygienic reasons (can't blame him). Look on Google images; there are plenty of signed Newman photos on it.

kelly said...

I agree with most of the comments I would gladly sign unless I was eating, in the bathroom or with my kids. It seems to me the people with the staying power in HWood are respectful of their fans and the ones that aren't disappear fast. My daughter works at a very exclusive hotel (outside of USA) and has met a bunch of big name celebs and she says almost 100% of their are great with her. She has never asked for an autograph she has actually been hired by a few to show them around and she always gets a picture at the end of the day.

Merlin D. Bear said...

I don't understand the whole autograph thing myself, however if asked politely and not during a bathroom visit, then sure.
Pics? Who's going to stop them?
Rest assured, the absolute worst picture is always going to be the most popular.

Cat said...

Funny, I shook hands with Paul Newman a long time ago at a charity event in NYC :-)

If I were famous, would definitely take photos as long as the person was with me in them, otherwise they could just sell to ebay or enquirer or something?

Tempestuous Grape said...
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Mooshki said...

I think they should sign for fans, but I hate when there's gossip that someone wouldn't sign an autograph, and it turns out it was for one of those annoying professional autograph seekers. Those people can take a hike.

KellyLynn said...

I can sometimes understand when stars refuse autographs or pictures, since it can be easy to use up hours of a packed schedule to oblige so many fans. However, I don't think a star should turn anyone down if he or she has the time and wants to maintain a star status. It doesn't take too many snubbed fans before an entertainer goes from being a heartthrob to a jerk.
If I ever got into that position (yeah, as if,) I wouldn't mind giving autographs or posing for pictures any time I'm out in public. If I'm at a private or solemn affair (funeral, family gathering, etc.), I would have to decline. I consider being in the bathroom a private event. Hit me up on the way out, and I would be more than happy to oblige.

Amartel said...

If i read some story about a celeb turning down autograph requests, I don't usually jump to the conclusion that the celeb is an asshole (even though that's usually what the author of the story wants me to think). Autographs are lame; it's just a way to get close to a celebrity and make them do something, and a lot of people do it for profit anyway. Also, maybe the celeb is late for something, just wants to buy groceries/walk the dog/whatever in peace for once. I can't hold that against the person. If a celebrity is popular it's (supposed to be) because they're doing/have done something that is entertaining or somehow worthy of recognition. That should be enough from the public perspective. Also, instead of making them sign autographs, maybe we could all be a little more picky about what qualifies as a "celebrity." (Like, NO HILTONS.)

jax said...

people who have an 8x10 glossy of my can hit the road,but fans-always.

i only ask for autos at in store signings and i haven't done that in like 10 years.

my brother got me George Michael's autograph on a BA flight once. still have it. i have a lot of signed cd's etc but more for value than collection.

Whitney said...

Let's see. I'd sign unless I was late to something and really did have to go. Other than that, I'd sign for kids, people who were obvious fans and not the guys with stacks of pictures that want to sell them for profit.

I do think I'd draw the line if someone was asking me to sign something while I was in the bathroom. Or you know, with my kids.

I met a lot of people when I worked at an amusement park, and obviously, we couldn't get pictures or autographs. I just have the memories!

Robert said...

I used to do a lot of press junkets, and it took me a long time to get to the point where I asked any of the participants to sign photos. I was pretty selective, but no one ever turned me down.
That said, I think there's a line to be drawn between situations where a celebrity is in a public situation or a private one. If you happen to see Matthew Morrison and he's haven't a private dinner on the other side of a restaurant, leave him alone. But if he's standing in line next to you at the ice cream parlor, he's got no business being a snob. (Related to the remark about junkets, when Jackie Chan was promoting "Rumble in the Bronx", his publicist always brought along a stack of signed photos. She told me that if she didn't they would never get anywhere on time because he'll stop for any fan any time.)

awesome balla. said...

i can understand his point (not that i totally agree with it), acting is his job, appearances are his job, when he's at the grocery store, eh. it's people's choice to watch a show, they really don't owe anything.

and on that note, i would sign autographs and take pictures in most situations. but i can imagine if you are incredibly famous if you sign one and people keep coming up to you, say when you are at dinner. i would probably say, come back when im finished if i didn't feel like being interrupted. but i would hope that i would be incredibly generous because i know that's what i would hope for in return.

FS said...

I have a friend who is a celebrity of sorts. I've been out in public with him sometimes when he gets asked for things away from his 'work environment'. He's usually okay with it because he's not super famous and not often recognized, but there were times when it annoyed the hell out of me as the friend who was interrupted and ignored, and once even physically pushed aside.

Bathrooms and dinner tables are absolutely off limits (oh, my friend will only use stalls in public restrooms, no urinals). If it was me, I would try to do it as often as possible, but not for rude people or professionals. I understand the celebs who want to minimize their public contact, they have their reasons. Check out the interview Javier Bardem did recently about fame, saying how only assholes would actually desire that kind of attention.

iheartjacksparrow said...

If I was a celebrity, I'd give autographs/pose for photos anytime and anywhere, because I'm smart enough to know that the money in my bank account, my fancy house, my expensive car, and everything else I owned was due to the fans who paid to see my movie (or bought my records or whatever). A lot of celebrities lose sight of the fact that without fans to support them, they'd still be living in poverty. Signing autographs is a small price to pay to be able to look at your bank account balance and see seven figures.

Greenlee said...

I was one of the people Mr. Morrison said 'no photos' to...but like Lea did with Hallie, maybe he'd change his tune if I was nominated for an Oscar. Autographs and photos in public are fine...and agree with not in the bathroom or mid-dinner. Most people in NYC leave you alone anyway...

Jenny said...

I've always thought it rude to ask stars for autographs or photos when they are on their personal time, moreso if they are with friends or family. It's okay if the requests are during "business hours" and the star is willing.

If I were a star, my millions of fans would have to be satisfied with my brilliant smile and friendly wave.

MISCH said...

I wouldn't know any of the Glee people ..so they're safe..also native New Yorkers rarely ask for autographs..

Jennifer said...

agree with most of you...I'll sign anything anywhere unless I'm 1. Eating (don't mess with me when food is involved) or 2. using the potty. If I'm washing my hands its fine.

califblondy said...

I think the whole autograph thing is a throwback from the days when we all didn't have camera cellphones at the ready 24/7. I've seen lots of celebrities in NYC and I just gawk and keep on moving.

Honestly, I don't know if I would autograph or take pictures with every person who asked, A lot would depend on the circumstances.

Hilary said...

As a side note- I guess a celebrity and an athlete are a little different. The athlete is going to be rich and famous fans or not. It is interesting to note with this that athletes are usually pretty good about signing/pictures

pomme said...

i know Ed Norton, Leo dicaprio or Tobey Maguire dislike to do autograph or pix every time or Christian Bale dislikes to do autograph when he's with his daughter but he likes to personalize the autograph

i think no autograph in the restroom or during a lunch or in a grocery or with kids are logic

blue sky said...

Decades ago when I was a young teenager and a huge fan of pro wrestling, I was in an airport cafeteria-style restaurant. Hulk Hogan sat at the table next to us. This was back in his glory days of wrestling. The guy surprised me. He was a big teddy bear to all the young kids that were coming up to him for autographs while he was eating. I was expecting chairs and tables to be thrown (that's how you saw him on TV), but he was a sweetheart. I was also amazed that he had two trays of food all to himself. That was a cool celebrity autograph moment. My how times change!

RocketQueen said...

Oh Cat! You have no idea how insanely envious I am that you shook Paul's hand! I have a signed Cool Hand Luke poster that I purchased on EBay for way too much, and it is my prized possession.

Sorka8 said...

I'd sign but there has to be limits. Some folks come up to celebs and DEMAND autographs. AS in PLURAL items and then they trot off and sell them on E-Bay
So for most fans sure, but let me be able to leave and get to wherever it is I am going. I would never refuse a kid.

Derek X said...

I'd sign autographs for my fans whenever and wherever they want.

The only times I would say 'no' is if I'm out with my family on a family event. Then I would have to say 'no', but I would explain why.

sunnyside1213 said...

I would sign just about any time. That being said, I would never ask for an autograph or picture. The few times I saw celebs, I ignored them.

Tania said...

I wouldn't ask for an autograph or photo if the celeb is just going about their business. I'll pay for a autographs at a signing event, or ask for one at the stage door, if a performer is happy to sign there. But when they are off-duty, I leave them alone. They don't owe me their private time.
If I were famous, I'd like to be treated that way. I think also, it's sometimes best not to meet your idols when they're off the clock. You might find they're not as nice/hot/smart as you thought..... :-)

girltrav said...
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thurbers said...

I think the bathroom, private events (funerals/weddings etc) and obvious family outings should be off limits.
But otherwise if you are in a public place you should be be prepared to be approached and be gracious about it.

I had the pleasure of working with Jerry Orbach. He was known to tell the people he worked with that they should be grateful, that the people who asked for autographs are the people who buy the tickets and watch the shows. If you love what you do, recognize that fans are why you can make a living doing it.

Basil said...

The only time I would even think of asking for an autograph from someone was if it was a set up thing and that is what they were there to do, like a book or record signing and they were signing something I bought.

But if I saw a celeb on the street, unless it was someone I really admired and liked, I probably wouldn't even go up to them. But if I did go up to them, all I would do is just say that I liked their work and thank them and wish them a nice day.

But as for Matthew Morrison, it is his right not to sign autographs if he wants to. But I hope he isn't an asshole about it. There is no need to be rude to anyone unless they are extremely aggressive and don't take the hint.

chihuahuense said...

^^^I LOVED Jerry Orbach!!! I was so sad when he passed, every once in a while my husband's eyebrows start looking like his and we laugh at his Det. Lenny Briscoe brows and trim them. Good to hear he was as wonderful in life as he was on screen!

penelope said...

My stepson is a successful Canadian actor (TV and Movie) and is recognized everywhere he goes. Although it is sometimes very difficult, he is one (like Jerry Orbach) who appreciates his fans because they are the ones who watch the shows he is on and buy the tickets to his movies. His ex-wife (also an actress) would get angry at fans who followed him around, but my stepson has always been friendly and gracious. (He is also a down-to-earth and humble guy!)

When my late husband and I would accompany him to a restaurant, I would watch to see how long it took for people to recognize him - pretty instantaneous. 99% of the time people were respectful while he was eating and would wait until he was finished to come over and say hello.

Based on my experiences with my stepson, I imagine if one is an A++ star, it must be pretty intense!

Green Tara said...

While I heartily agree w/ everyone here who has said that autographs seem pointless, I DO believe that when you are out in public, as a public person, you need to suck it up & be gracious (& that includes indulging someone in an autograph) --- as long as the fan approaching you is not being rude or in any way putting your family at risk.

I have an example of a celebrity who -- IMHO -- acted like an ass when recognized in a very "obvious" place. While at Disneyland several years ago, my best friend & I saw George Lucas... in front of the Star Tours exhibit. There were few people there that day, it was quiet, no crowd frenzy or anything. When my best friend attempted to say a simple "Thank you for creating a fabulous childhood memory for a lot of us, Mr. Lucas", he got very cranky & walked by us in a huff.

Now, I'm sorry, but when you're GEORGE LUCAS & you're hovering in front of the f-ing STAR TOURS exhibit, you MIGHT expect to be RECOGNIZED.

There, I feel better. I've been holding on to that little bit of bitterness for years. I love me some "Star Wars", but Lucas will forever be an asshat in my memory.

Selock said...

There is a good section in Robbie Williams' bio about this... (I keep referencing it sorry, just finished it...but it's a great celeb bio, even if you don't know who he is)...

Anyway, my limits would be circumstantial, based on whether or not the ask-er was being rude, really. If I was in the middle of something (ie. dinner) I would say no. To interrupt is rude, to me. If I am free & approachable, fine. Some people are jerks about this stuff.

I don't think celebrities are bound to open every second of their private lives and time to "the people who got them there"...they have already put a lot of work into a product - acting or music performances, which they offer for sale. If you buy it, that's what you get...they have no real obligation beyond that, it's all bonus and kindness. Should only count positive on them for doing it, not negative for not.

Ms. said...
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janele said...

I would sign with a number, starting with the first fan with 1, the next fan with 2, then 3, then 4, and so on.

And keep a mental record of what the next number in sequence is.

It would be my quirk (maybe not unique), let the fans argue over who actually got the 1,049th autograph, and make my autographs unsellable on eBay.

MCH said...

@Green Tara - What a bummer!
See that story is why I'd probably never have the nerve to bug a celeb in person.

I don't understand why anyone would want an autograph. I'd want a photo!

Jenny S said...

Actually, I feel that a celebrity deserves some privacy and respect in their personal life. Matthew is smart about creating healthy boundaries. He didn't say I will never ever sign autographs he has just specified when and where.

Mooshki said...

Aww, so neat to hear good stories about Jerry Orbach and Jackie Chan - two of my faves!

chihuahuense said...

that's cool, penelope! Sounds like a classy guy--ex sounds like, well, an ex ;D

empyrios said...

What a cock in the mouth. Seriously.

empyrios said...

As for limitations, that word shouldn't be in your vocabulary.

You signed up for this so you should do just that and SIGN.

empyrios said...

@Green Tara:

Don't feel too bad. Lucas had been ruining shit for years now :)

Anotheramy said...

There has got to be a line between being on duty all the time because it is your job, just like a politician and still being a human being who deserves to spend time with their family or in a bathroom or enjoying a nice meal.

Christina Penn said...

I've only gotten pics/autographs at events of the type that Morrison talks about. I have seen celebs out in the wild, but never approached them for fear of making a fool of myself.

But if I were a celebrity with autograph seekers I would sign anytime, anywhere, probably even in inappropriate places and for pushy professional autograph seekers, mostly because I'm bad about setting boundaries like that, and partly because I love signing my name. No joke. Sometimes I'll even practice my signature when I'm bored. And if other people like me enough to ask me for it, then who am I to refuse?

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

@Penelope

I hope your step son is Dave Foley because I met him one time in the wild and he was everything I thought he would be.

Sarah said...

I think if people use discretion, like dont interrupt what looks like a private or important conversation at dinner - then we are good to go!

There are many celebs that smile for the paps and sign whenever and wherever. Its also easier that way. Just smile for the dang cameras! The press is your paycheck so make friends lol.

And the people, well hell, can you remember being a kid and looking up to your favorite singer and wishing you could meet them? I wish more celebs would think of it that way. They are blessed, they wanted into the biz and comes with it EVERY bell and whistle!

Miranda said...

I'm totally in agreement with Sarah. Meeting a celebrity for a fan totally makes that fan's life and will leave them with an amazing story. I would try to be as gracious with fans as I could be. Of course, I'd be much more likely to go the way of Bill Murray, though, and just randomly show up at peoples' places and do the weirdest shit imaginable!

shakey said...

Like many of you, I would happily sign/pose with people for photos as long as I'm not eating or in the bathroom. I would accomodate those people once I was done, though. If those pros with stacks of pictures approach, I'd draw a line across my face then write "fuck you" then politely ask if they want me to continue to sign. I like Jackie Chan's publicist's idea, though.

Quite often I hear tales from people who went to my highschool (and others) of how they met Mike Myers either on the street or at a hockey game and he's happy to sign autographs and pose for pictures with the fans. I know Lainey likes to make him out to be a jerk, but he was a very nice guy back in the day and from what I've heard he is good to the fans.

chihuahuense said...

@Miranda---I have told this story before, but a bartender friend of mine said that Bill Murray came into his bar, drank his beer, chatted when it was appropriate and left a $100 tip. My friend thought that was awesome :D

quietmn1 said...

Pictures maybe, but no autographs. My handwriting stinks :-(

sussique said...
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sussique said...

Yes I would. In December I went to see Sam Ronson spin at On The Rox and asked her for a picture. When she was done she told everyone waiting to see her to wait and came up to me and we took a picture together. She was so nice to do that.

www.blogdogrunsatnight.blogspot.com

__-__=__ said...

Too many stalkers, too many crazies. No unless it was business. Never.

Sherry said...

I was once out with a group of 3 other actor friends of mine(local regional theatre) and Holly Hunter was having dinner at the next table as she was shooting a movie. We wrote her a kind note explaining we were also actors and appreciated her work. Did not gawk, did not approach her table out of respect. She skirted out the back door and never chose to say hello or thank you (not like either was necessary)but we weren't crazy stalkers either.