“Oh! I met someone famous in New York!” The Big Apple is notorious for allowing celebrities the anonymity they don’t get anywhere else in the country. This is even truer for Broadway celebrities, who often aren’t as well-known and are even easier to run into. So it is easy to run into celebrities, and even easier to run into Broadway celebrities.
But I never thought that it would happen to me. I was visiting New York just recently, and while I walked by a few people that made me turn my head (“Was that Darren Cr—No. Noooo….okay just move along!”), by the last day of my trip I had given up hope of having a run in with a celebrity.
But then, as I stood at the Matilda stagedoor, waiting to meet people much more talented than I am at half the age, I got my wish. I saw Andrew Keenan-Bolger waiting off to the side of the barricade. Now, for people who live in New York or saw Newsies with him, this probably wouldn’t have been a big deal. However, I, the tourist, got incredibly excited. Andrew Keenan Bolger had gotten me interested in the 2012 election, helping out at local phone banks, and finding my democratic self in a republican town. In short: this guy had done a lot for me.
So what was I to do? I still had to meet the talented munchkins, but I couldn’t let this opportunity slip by me.
He was standing away from the stagedoor and this wasn’t his show. He probably didn’t want me to come up and just start talking to him. So I did what everyone would. I stood and stared, and quickly realized I had NO idea how I was going to do this.
It was incredibly nerve wracking! But somehow, I did it. I had a friend who was standing near him and had met him before, so I let her to tell me what would be appropriate. When she nodded, I looked over and said hello, which he returned with a smile.
Though, I must admit that I have been holding back, folks, because I happen to have a mutual friend with AKB. Once I told him that, it was much easier to talk to him. And I couldn’t resist taking a picture after we’d had a conversation.
Obviously it’s rare to have a mutual friend we run into, so here are just a few rules I think people should follow when approaching a Broadway celebrity:
- Don’t crowd them! If they are doing something, or are with people, don’t go up to them, or at least be courteous and let them see you and see what they do.
- Be polite. They aren’t required to stop for you, and if they do, respect that! Thank them for their time!
- Do not call attention to them! Try to be as subtle as you can so that, if need be, they can make an exit.
- Don’t fangirl in front of them. I know it’s hard (trust me, I KNOW), but don’t. If you can’t treat them like they’re human, settle for being able to say “I SAW SO AND SO!” How awkward would it be if someone randomly came up to you and said the equivalent of “ASLJKSLDKJAKSD????!?!??!?!!?”
Basically: just be respectful. Treat them like people, because they are! They’re going to have good days and bad days, or will be busy. Sometimes just going “Is that—” is enough of a story to bring home!
…But meeting them is fun too.