My biggest, and thus far only, brush with celebrity was when I was leaving MW Restaurant last year and bumped into actor Daniel Dae Kim. He was talking to his friend, so he did not notice me gape and then walk through without saying a word as he held the door open.
Not my smoothest moment, no.
While paparazzi photos and gossip websites inform me that Beyoncé could be vacationing a mere dozen miles away right now, the reality is that coincidental brushes with fame are less common here than in New York or Los Angeles, unless, of course, your aim is to bump into someone from Hawaii Five-0.
The one place you can have a sanctioned meet-and-greet with a big name is at one of the many comic conventions held throughout the year. The big news right now is that Comic Con Honolulu will host the indomitable George Takei, as well as Sean Astin, most loyal of Hobbits, in addition to a number of other sci-fi icons.
Samwise Gamgee and Sulu are big draws, but it’s of little solace to me when across the ocean, the likes of Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell and Anthony Mackie — basically Captain America and literally his whole crew — are meeting legions of fans like it’s no big thing at Wizard World Comic Con.
Reading the fan reports trickling out of Wizard World, though, makes me realize that the world probably needs a primer on How To Stay Cool When Meeting An Idol because we, as a people, are not being cool at all.
1. Don’t be creepy.
It’s OK to write a letter about how much a performance has meant to you during a hard time in your life. But don’t call anyone “daddy” or “mom,” or confess your undying love, or reveal that you know unsettling personal details about their lives. Seriously, don’t call anyone “daddy.”
2. Don’t ask their opinion about fandom.
So you and I might know that there exists a passionate section of the world that believes Captain America loves the Winter Soldier in the romantic way, and hey, maybe we believe that too, but under no circumstances should you print out any fanfiction or fanart to show Chris Evans. It’s just wildly inappropriate.
3. Don’t give expensive gifts.
This is actually just practicality: Most celebrities don’t accept personal gifts because the sad reality is that they don’t know you, a stranger who just baked them cookies, so it’s best not to risk it. So don’t waste your money on gifts that your idol probably won’t or can’t keep.
These seem like very common-sense things to say, but it’s amazing how little regard we sometimes have for celebrities as human beings. People see no issue with sending cruel hate mail and harassment via the Internet, nor any issues with being pushy and over-the-top in person.
So the next time you meet a star, just remember: Be cool. And say thank you when Daniel Dae Kim holds the door.