Monday, February 4, 2008

Wannabe Etiquette

The idea for this began percolating while I was writing my last post. And when I discovered this shortly afterward, and then started thinking about Jul's last Pink Raygun column, I knew I couldn't fight writing it any longer. Signs & Portents, my friends. And yes (launch 2 percenter, Commander!), I have finally been watching season one of Babylon 5. (You'll have your DVDs back soon, Matt, I promise.)

Here's the deal: I want to tell you how you should act when meeting your heroes, various celebs, and the in-general cool and interesting people who will inevitably cross your path if you stay in LA for any length of time... Except that, after several years in Hollywoodland, I still don't really know how to act myself.

Though I'm definitely a geek, it's not that I geek out when I see my idols... Or maybe I do, but I sincerely doubt that's what they see. My real problem is that I believe that there are two kinds of interactions we as aspiring whatevers can have with those we idolize -- a fan interaction or a peer interaction. And I'm totally uninterested in having a fan interaction.

Besides the possibility that the person might actually remember and relegate you to the "fan zone" (an off-shoot of the dreaded Phantom Zone and even more dreaded Friend Zone), I have this desire to talk to these people on the level. As a peer. And I'm sure it makes me look like an ass sometimes.

A couple of years ago Jul and I went to a neighborhood comic store because Seth Green was signing Freshmen. However, because I couldn't bring myself to do the fan thing and didn't know what to say to him as a "peer," I mostly thumbed through comics while Jul chatted him up and got a signature and a picture. Lame.

And I've posted about my recent interaction with The Whedon on the picket line, but that wasn't the first time I spoke to him, oh no. The first time was at the 2006 Comic Con, where Jul and I waited for several hours to make sure that we could get him to sign a few things in his allotted hour. Again, I didn't want to do the fan thing (and yes I know that's idiotic considering I sat and waited several hours just to get his signature -- what's more fanboyish than that?), and again I felt like I had nothing valid in the "peer" realm to say, so I simply asked him to sign what I had and walked on.

Worse than that, I'm not sure that the interaction I linked to above was any better. Yes I talked to the man without gushing about how awesome he is, but in all of my attempts at professionalism and unintended name-dropping, I might have just, again, come off like an ass.

Yet I don't think I'm completely wrong about the not-coming-across-like-a-starstruck-fan thing, and Lisa Klink's post I linked to above--as well as the experience I've had working with my bosses--seems to confirm this. So the question then becomes: How do you toe that line?

Well, how do you toe that line?

No comments: