It was a once in a lifetime experience.
As a result of a Kickstarter campaign, I had the opportunity to meet my favorite band. They aren’t extremely famous but I have adored their music for over 20 years.
As you can imagine, it was a surreal experience. I didn’t want to waste it.
The biggest danger of meeting a celebrity whose work you love is that you will gush too much.
For a celebrity starting out, this might be enjoyable to hear but it quickly wears thin. You can only hear so much of how much strangers love that movie you made or that song you wrote before it gets boring.
Put yourself in their position - How many times could you hear the same comment or question before it became grating?
It’s a noticeable problem when you watch Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us”. You have a lot of magicians come on and gush at length about how much they love Penn & Teller’s work. Penn & Teller are nice about it but you can tell they are responding with polite disinterest. The magicians that really capture their attention are the ones that use the opportunity to make Penn & Teller laugh or amaze them.
If you want to make an impression, be interesting.
In talking to my favorite band, I turned their attention on by asking them about smaller passion projects they had, ones that they hadn’t answered thousands of questions about. Their response was genuine enthusiasm.
Have something interesting to say about yourself too in case they ask. A lot of celebrities prefer a two-way conversation, same as you do in everyday life.
And have some fun with the experience. It may be hard not to be nervous, but relish the moment.
PS: If you see a celebrity having some personal time, such as out having dinner with their partner, try to be respectful. Perhaps let them have time to themselves. Or if they decline that selfie or autograph, it’s not because they are a jerk. You may have just been the thousandth person that week to impose.