Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Subculture

I read a book called Starstruck years ago. The author shed light on the professional autograph seeker subculture. Because of sites like eBay celebrities have gotten a bit suspect of signing pictures for “fans” especially when a so-called fan walks up to the celebrity with 10 copies of a picture asking for an autograph. While we were at the awards show last week waiting for Rupert Grint, we were standing outside the hotel with a group of people that I thought were just fans. As time went by and others joined in the queue, I realized at least six of these people were professionals. Some of them had just come from stalking The Dorchester Hotel where Mariah Carey was staying. They were grousing that the paparazzi showed up and chaos ensued. None of them got the autographs they were hoping for. As some of them were talking they pulled out file folders of various head shots out of their backpacks, looking for the pictures they needed to get signed at this event. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, the paparazzi are just trying to make a living too. When the event began, you could separate the fans from the professionals. While the fans were just standing there waiting for the celebrities to come to our side for pictures and autographs, the professionals were yelling at the celebrities, trying to flatter them to get them to come and sign. I didn’t see any of them not sign the merchandise put in front of them. The only celebrity that seemed to ignore the pros was Pixie Lott, a young singer in the early stages of her career. She was courting the legitimate press, which makes sense if you are trying to establish yourself. The pros couldn’t stop bad-mouthing her!

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