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Thread: Cameras and famous people

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    Default Cameras and famous people

    I've been thinking for a while now how I wanted to construct this post. I want to throw out some hypothetical situations and see how different types would react to them.

    I'll explain what I saw that made me think of this after I type out the hypotheticals.

    1) You're walking down the street alone in a commercial district of a town or city and you spot a small crowd of people. As you get closer you see that in front of the crowd there's a camera and a field reporter from the local news who is doing a live report. What is your reaction and what do you choose to do?

    2) Same question as 1) except you're with a group of people. Someone in the group suggests to go to the small crowd of people. How would you react? If no one suggested to go to the crowd of people, would you?

    3) You're at a small local restaurant/coffee shop/pub by yourself and you spot someone that you recognize as a famous person and you are reasonably confident it actually is the person and not someone who looks like them. What is your reaction and what do you choose to do (if anything)?

    4) Same question as 3) except you're with a small group of people (say 3 or 4 others) and someone spots the person. Someone suggests they are going over to talk to the person. What is your reaction? If no one suggests going over to talk to them/get their autograph/take a picture with them, do you?


    I thought about this after seeing some recent polical rallies on tv and thinking about those people that are there waving a sign and talking on their cell phones at the same time. You know what I'm talking about. It's not limited to political rallies, it happens anytime there's a camera on. Just something I thought about.

    I also thought this memory I have when I was younger when I went to a baseball game with my SLE dad. In this particular memory, we had seats about 10 rows behind the 3rd base dugout (the visitor's dugout). At the time I was in Little League baseball, and I had been playing some first base, so I brought my first base mitt with me. Will Clark (who was the first baseman for the Giants at the time) was one of my favorite players at the time and they happened to be playing the Astros. I remember Will Clark popped out of the dugout in the middle of the game and started waving to the crowd. My dad leaned over and said "Wave your first baseman's mitt. He'll get a big kick out of that." And I remember thinking to myself "What? Why?"

    This was extended when my dad was like "Come on, let's go down and get his autograph" And I'm like "No, that's ok". See, there's this gap that exists in things like this where I'm of the opinion that people should generally be left alone in public. I don't like bothering people needlessly, especially more well-known people. So, I feel that if I don't bother them, that's one less person that they have to respond to with the same tired questions/comments. The other faction says, "They're professional athletes, they sign autographs all the time. It's their job to do that." as if to say that it's the athlete's responsibility to give things to the public and the public is entitled to those things if they ask for them.

    I see both sides of the argument, but if I see someone being bombarded with attention, I don't like piling on wanting to get their attention under any circumstance. I don't like asking for autographs from people. I don't want to make idle chit-chat with someone if I feel like they get asked the question hundreds of times. I feel better if I spare them of having to go through that.

    If I see a crowd of people around a camera, my reaction is to walk the opposite direction and ignore what's going on. Or, act like I've been there before. If the group I'm with wants to go towards the crowd, I'll do something to separate from the group, like keep walking down the street or go sit somewhere. I don't get a thrill from getting in front of a camera and waving "WOOO I'M ON TV" and calling a friend of mine and going "HEY QUICK TURN ON CHANNEL _ THEY GOT A CAMERA ON OVER HERE... YEAH, DO YOU SEE ME? I'M WAVING... NO? NO, I'M... NO, I'M JUST BEHIND THAT GUY. YEAHHHHH! PARTY AT MY PLACE TONIGHT! WE'RE SO GONNA DVR THIS!" There are reasons for this, but I won't get into that right now.

    Ok, your thoughts now.
    Last edited by tereg; 03-07-2008 at 03:18 AM. Reason: grammar
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    1) Do nothing. I'd just walk away and carry on with what I was doing previously.

    2) The person who suggested it has nothing better to do. Just a camera. Big deal. lol. If that person insists, I'd still not go and let those who wanna go over go.

    3) Recognize that that person exists and is human and just go about my own business.

    4) If someone suggests going over, I'd think the person is crazy. I'm not interested and don't care. And will not go over.

    Seriously, i think people who start waving and acting crazy when they see a camera are idiots. LOL
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    1) Avoid them. Cross the street if they're on the same side of the street as me. If I can't cross the street, walk past them in silence. I would be interested in the point of it all, but would probably be able to put it together in the time it takes me to pass by them. If something about it really does catch my interest or is somehow relevant to me, I might observe from a safe distance for a while and draw no attention. I like to be "incognito." My interest would have to be really peaked for me to actually approach (unlikely).

    2) I would use all my powers to advise against it of course! Why would we want to waste our time doing something like that? Can't you see that everyone else is doing it and gawking? Why would we wish to participate in such lemming-like behavior? Is there a particular reason we should hang around? I think the news media is largely fiendish. If my efforts failed... then I'd be like... You seriously want to do this... Ugh! Fine! *roll eyes* Then I would begin asking how long we'd have to stay... because I need to "prepare myself" for the unpleasant experience of it. Eventually I'd remind myself to stop being such a brat and just surrender to my horrible fate.

    3) I would stay there, hide behind my coffee cup, and wait for others to notice the person so I could watch it all unfold. This would amuse me. I wouldn't do anything myself. The problem with being a celebrity is that wherever you go people won't leave you alone. I do not wish to contribute to this problem. I'm more interested in interacting with people if I think they have some actual interest in me specifically or actually seem to want me there. If I detect nothing like this, I'm less likely to be interested I think.

    4) If others want to, then yay, go for it, but I will try not to participate... unless I have some actual reason to beyond the person simply being a celebrity. I don't see what exchanging a few sentences with them or getting their autograph will accomplish anyway. And why would I want anyone's autograph? It wouldn't mean anything to me, and I'd probably just lose it anyway. And I refuse to participate in the ridiculousness of celebrity worship/idolatry... I find this self-degrading.
    Last edited by inumbra; 03-07-2008 at 05:03 AM.

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    1) ...a field reporter from the local news who is doing a live report.

    "Cool." Keep walking.

    2) ...with a group of people...

    I'd follow their whim until they got bored (which wouldn't be long).

    3) ...you spot someone that you recognize as a famous person...

    "Cool." Keep drinking.

    4) ...with a small group of people (say 3 or 4 others)...

    I point out that they may not want to be bothered and stay put. I watch with equal parts embarassment and amusment as the others approach. I roll my eyes inwardly as they gush about meeting said person.
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    Haha, interesting thread idea!

    1) I would probably come on over close enough to overhear what was going on, but I doubt I'd try to get in the shot. In fact, I'd probably purposely avoid it. My main interest would be in seeing what was going down, not in getting seen myself.

    2) Pretty much the same deal, though if they were elbowing to get on camera I'd probably be pretty close by, so in that case I might show up as well. I guess it would depend on what happened. Probably I'd be all serious unless it was like some fluff report on say St. Paddy's Day or other celebratory occasion, in which case I'd be mildly enthusiastic.

    3) I flat out wouldn't want to bother them. They get that all the time, I'm sure. It would have to be a handful of people I absolutely admire for me to go to the lengths of impugning on their night. Even then I'd thank them and apologize for the bother.

    4) Same as the above. If someone else wanted to go over and start up with them, I'd likely be even more set to not contribute in taking up said person's time.
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    1) I'd think 'oh shit', and then walk the long way around the block to avoid the camera.

    2) I'd just go along with them and pretend not to be too bothered - I would use them as cover...though I might be tempted to do some jazz hands.

    3) Whoops, I just accidentally looked up and saw them and said 'hello', like you might do if you 'accidentally' make eye contact with a complete stranger...then I might show a degree of recognition and apologise.


    4) I would probably retreat to a safe distance, though if things are going well, I might say something. It really depends on who it is - basically, the vast majority of famous people I wouldn't want to approach any more than a random stranger. Though there are maybe one or two who I really 'get'. But, those people are such gods that there wouldn't be anything I could possibly say to them that they wouldn't find contrite, so why would I approach them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tereg View Post
    This was extended when my dad was like "Come on, let's go down and get his autograph" And I'm like "No, that's ok". See, there's this gap that exists in things like this where I'm of the opinion that people should generally be left alone in public. I don't like bothering people needlessly, especially more well-known people. So, I feel that if I don't bother them, that's one less person that they have to respond to with the same tired questions/comments. The other faction says, "They're professional athletes, they sign autographs all the time. It's their job to do that." as if to say that it's the athlete's responsibility to give things to the public and the public is entitled to those things if they ask for them.

    I see both sides of the argument, but if I see someone being bombarded with attention, I don't like piling on wanting to get their attention under any circumstance. I don't like asking for autographs from people. I don't want to make idle chit-chat with someone if I feel like they get asked the question hundreds of times. I feel better if I spare them of having to go through that.

    If I see a crowd of people around a camera, my reaction is to walk the opposite direction and ignore what's going on. Or, act like I've been there before. If the group I'm with wants to go towards the crowd, I'll do something to separate from the group, like keep walking down the street or go sit somewhere. I don't get a thrill from getting in front of a camera and waving "WOOO I'M ON TV" and calling a friend of mine and going "HEY QUICK TURN ON CHANNEL _ THEY GOT A CAMERA ON OVER HERE... YEAH, DO YOU SEE ME? I'M WAVING... NO? NO, I'M... NO, I'M JUST BEHIND THAT GUY. YEAHHHHH! PARTY AT MY PLACE TONIGHT! WE'RE SO GONNA DVR THIS!" There are reasons for this, but I won't get into that right now.

    Ok, your thoughts now.
    You've pretty much summed up my thoughts. Except that I also experience strong contempt of such behavior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snegledmaca View Post
    You've pretty much summed up my thoughts. Except that I also experience strong contempt of such behavior.
    Oh no, trust me. There's contempt in what I said as well. I just didn't directly say it in the post.

    Edit: Because the continuation of the autograph conversation was this. I said "No, that's ok." My dad was like "Come on! They're professional athletes, they do this for a living. Let's go down there and get them to sign a ball for you." I'm like "NO, I really don't... um... I just don't feel like going down there." So, my dad took the initiative and said "Fine, I'll get it myself." then walked down to the dugout, leaned over the dugout got someone to sign a ball and then brought it back. Yeah. That was an awkward and embarassing experience. Because all I kept thinking about were like other dads who had their sons/daughters next to them while the athlete was signing their hat/ball/whatever, and meanwhile, I'm probably the only kid who is sitting back in the stands while my dad goes to fetch an autograph. He comes back up and goes "Here. I didn't get Will Clark's signature because he wasn't there, so I got Bud Black's autograph (a starting pitcher for the Giants, a random ball player). I just don't understand why you didn't want to go down there."

    Still fresh in my mind after like 16 years or so.

    Whenever I see people in front of a camera do the stuff I described I just kind of roll my eyes.
    Last edited by tereg; 03-07-2008 at 12:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    1) ...a field reporter from the local news who is doing a live report.

    "Cool." Keep walking.

    2) ...with a group of people...

    I'd follow their whim until they got bored (which wouldn't be long).

    3) ...you spot someone that you recognize as a famous person...

    "Cool." Keep drinking.

    4) ...with a small group of people (say 3 or 4 others)...

    I point out that they may not want to be bothered and stay put. I watch with equal parts embarassment and amusment as the others approach. I roll my eyes inwardly as they gush about meeting said person.
    Yeah, pretty much for me, too.

    The only situation where I'd approach a famous person is one where s/he expect to be approached, as in a book signing, lecture, Q&A session, whatever. Not otherwise.

    Once, in a shop in London, I was with a couple of friends in a department store. They recognized a very famous guy and went "is that him?!" "Yeah!" etc. That's ok and natural imo. But to actually go talk to him? For what? I'd have asked them not to, if they had had the idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mea View Post
    1) Do nothing. I'd just walk away and carry on with what I was doing previously.

    2) The person who suggested it has nothing better to do. Just a camera. Big deal. lol. If that person insists, I'd still not go and let those who wanna go over go.

    3) Recognize that that person exists and is human and just go about my own business.

    4) If someone suggests going over, I'd think the person is crazy. I'm not interested and don't care. And will not go over.

    Seriously, i think people who start waving and acting crazy when they see a camera are idiots. LOL
    Yep. The same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expat View Post
    The only situation where I'd approach a famous person is one where s/he expect to be approached, as in a book signing, lecture, Q&A session, whatever. Not otherwise.
    I'm glad you brought this up because I thought about these situations as well. And for me, I still feel hesitant even if they expect to be approached. Again, there's something about asking a person a question they hear hundreds of times or saying the same type of statement that a person hears a lot that I just don't want to do. So, even at events like that, if I am to get in line to meet them, it would take a bit of egging me on to get me to do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    1) ...a field reporter from the local news who is doing a live report.
    "Cool." Keep walking.

    2) ...with a group of people...
    I'd follow their whim until they got bored (which wouldn't be long).

    3) ...you spot someone that you recognize as a famous person...
    "Cool." Keep drinking.

    4) ...with a small group of people (say 3 or 4 others)...
    I point out that they may not want to be bothered and stay put. I watch with equal parts embarassment and amusment as the others approach. I roll my eyes inwardly as they gush about meeting said person.
    I'd be the same, except I wouldn't be embarrassed in #4, just amused.

    I've been in a couple of interesting situations because my half-sister has music industry contacts. So, even though I'm not a fan of KISS, I've met them ... KISS came out to greet the backstagers completely wasted drunk and would only pay attention to some bimbo in a minidress whose tits must have been FFs. Still, they put on a good show once they were onstage. I still have my autographed backstage pass, but it's moldering in a file somewhere, and frankly my decision to keep it has more to do with that it takes up very little space than that I think it's so cool.
    My sister ended up marrying Metallica's tour manager (this was years and years ago; they've since divorced). Since I play piano, she asked me to play the march & procession. But she didn't tell me that Jason Newsted & Lars Ulrich (the bassist & drummer) were groomsmen. Well, we all assembled the day before to rehearse, and all three run-throughs, I fucked up playing the songs. But the next day dawned and I made it through just fine. At the reception, Jason came up to me and told me I had made him a little nervous the day before, but I had pulled it off, and that was cool. I must admit, at 15 years old, having a heavy-metal bassist tell you you're cool does make an impression.
    A few years later, I got to go backstage after a Metallica concert (BTW, I'm not a fan of the band - some of the old stuff's OK, but this was during their black album tour, and even that album I didn't listen to by choice), and because I and the two friends with me worked at my high school auditorium, we got to talking to their sound manager. He was a great guy, told us funny stories from various tours ... after about twenty minutes, I noticed that other people were wandering up and trying to get in on the circle, looking confused and wandering off again. I could just imagine their thought process: "Hey, is that guy .... ? Haven't I seen him on ... wait, what the fuck are they talking about lighting equipment and sound baffling for?"
    After one particularly hilarious tale, I backed up half a step while laughing and bumped into someone sitting in a chair. It was James Hetfield (singer), signing autographs. I apologized and then turned back to the circle.
    Later on, I decided since I was backstage I might as well get some autographs, so I approached James again. He told me he'd never been turned down in favor of his sound manager before, and it had really blown his mind.

    So that's the kinds of things I think of when "famous" is associated with "right in front of me" ...

    PS ... one day I helped out at the "official" Metallica fan club, and we were all opening their fan mail. Most of it was crap, but when we came across something memorable, we would share it with the group. I opened one envelope containing a love note to Kirk Hammet (lead guitarist) complete with a black & white photo of the girl posing in a cemetery. She looked like a female version of Kirk herself, which made me laugh out loud. As I was tossing it toward the garbage, one of the other folks asked me what I was laughing about, and when I explained, she went over and retrieved the letter & picture. "Oh, we have to save this. He *likes* girls who look like him."
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    iAnnAu, I really enjoyed reading that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tereg View Post
    I've been thinking for a while now how I wanted to construct this post. I want to throw out some hypothetical situations and see how different types would react to them.

    I'll explain what I saw that made me think of this after I type out the hypotheticals.

    1) You're walking down the street alone in a commercial district of a town or city and you spot a small crowd of people. As you get closer you see that in front of the crowd there's a camera and a field reporter from the local news who is doing a live report. What is your reaction and what do you choose to do?
    I look across the road and if it's anything interesting but I'd probably not stop. I'd more than likely just look around to see why their even there... since there's usually some type of story goin on...lol.
    I was actually interviewed on the news when I was younger. Me and a bunch of other people were cleaning up an elementary school after a big tornado came in and screwed it up. A lady from Fox's news network in Knoxville, TN was doing a story and asked me and another buddy if we'd be interested in doing an interview. My friend pretty much said no and ran away... myself... shiiiit... I was like, hell yeah... look mom I'm on TV!


    Quote Originally Posted by tereg View Post
    2) Same question as 1) except you're with a group of people. Someone in the group suggests to go to the small crowd of people. How would you react? If no one suggested to go to the crowd of people, would you?
    I'd probably be the one to tell the whole group that we need to check it out...haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by tereg View Post
    3) You're at a small local restaurant/coffee shop/pub by yourself and you spot someone that you recognize as a famous person and you are reasonably confident it actually is the person and not someone who looks like them. What is your reaction and what do you choose to do (if anything)?
    I've been in this situation and ended up getting shitfaced with Afroman and my cousin, who showed up a bit later and almost went nuts seeing me sitting with a celeb. The first thing I said was, "Dude... I'm a huge fan but probably the only fucker here that doesn't smoke weed, I just wanted to shake your hand." So he says, well have a seat and I'll get you a drink, maybe i'll have you smokin by the end of the night." *we both start laughing*

    I've also passed Penny Hardaway in the mall in Phoenix, AZ once and he didn't seem like chit chatting it up so I didn't approach him or anything, just kinda nodded the head, pretty much saying "sup."

    Quote Originally Posted by tereg View Post
    4) Same question as 3) except you're with a small group of people (say 3 or 4 others) and someone spots the person. Someone suggests they are going over to talk to the person. What is your reaction? If no one suggests going over to talk to them/get their autograph/take a picture with them, do you?
    This would depend on the situation more than anything. If the celebrity looked busy and didn't seem to wanna be bothered... I'd let him/her be and would probably tell my friend to respect their little bubble of comfort and not be a typical fan. At other times though, I'd say let's go say hi. I've met the band Little Texas and Levar Burton from reading rainbow/star trek this way. All of them were really cool about it since we didn't come across like OMG, OMG, OMG it's a celebrity!!! yeah... not my style I guess. I'm more of a, treat them like a regular person cuz that's all they are in the grand scheme of things, kinda guy.

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