May I Buy Your Autograph?

Last weekend at Dragon*Con I learned what I’ve always heard was true in some cases. Celebrities DO charge for their autograph.

“What the…! You pretentious bastards.”

So I ran this through my mind wondering why they do this.

Supply and Demand: People want ink on a picture, book, etc in that person’s unique style. The celeb sees a way to capitalize. They know a few people make a living auctioning off their autographs on E-Bay. As a supporter of Free Market Capitalism I can go along with this. Just don’t be surprised when I don’t buy your autograph.

Now I don’t know if conventions pay celebrities to show up and sit at a table or what. And if they don’t, I can see a bit of the reasoning for charging for a autograph.

This begs the other question, do they charge in man on the street situations. A fan spots them, runs over to talk and asks to sign his hat?

“Cough up 30$ before I take the cap of my Sharpie?”

If so, this is how I see it in the man on the street context, you’re not a fan, the one who is dedicated enough to watch, buy, and collect my stuff. Your just a “little person” who wants a pat on the head from one of the elite “famous”. You should feel privileged that I acknowledged your existence.

Remember, you’re only relevant as long as people are willing to watch you entertain them.

Now I know celebrities want their privacy, but if they were that worried about it, they wouldn’t have worked so hard to get their name out. Work out a system, you go out and recognized, tell the fans that as soon as your done, you’ll take time to talk to them. Also the fans on their end have to recognize that the celebrity is a human also, not a dancing monkey.

Its about mutual respect, both sides are human, equals. One just has more people that recognize them than the other. For one performing is a career, not a life, and is paid only as long as the fans are willing to watch. For the fans, celebrities have lives of their own, respect that. And if they’re charging for their signature, and you’re willing to pay. Go for it, its your money.

I know I’ll never charge anyone who wants me to sign their copy of Howls From The Wolfpack. I’m happy as a clam that they were willing to part ways with 10$ to buy the book. For the celebrities who have their head up their ass, it may pay to remember that.


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