June 20, 2015 – For many fans, meeting a Star Wars celebrity delivers an emotional high. If the actor is willing to autograph your favorite photo or item, you now have something tangible and unique. The autographed item becomes your “proof” to the world that you brushed against greatness and that you made an emotional connection (even if it’s one-sided and however brief). And finally, your autographed item – especially if it’s from an “A List” actor – can become the crown jewel of your Star Wars collection.
For new fans, the question is: How do I start? For experienced oldtimers, the question is: How do I get more autographs and efficiently channel my resources (time and money)?
First, you need to figure out which Star Wars actors, modelers, production crew, voice actors and the like you wish to meet. There is a galaxy of them scattered globally, though the majority are home-based in the United Kingdom and the United States. Even if you live in the middle of nowhere, there are numerous conventions (comic cons) which will bring the Star Wars celebrities to a city near you.
Here are some of our favorite online resources:
www.starwarsactorappearances.blogspot.com maintains a running list of actor appearances. The roster includes the actors’/actresses’ names; the characters they portray; the movie or animated series; and the location of the convention. We especially appreciate the hyperlinks to each of the convention websites as there is a dizzying number of them scattered on the Internet.
Two of the mother ships of conventions are the San Diego Comic Con and Star Wars Celebration. But there are many other conventions and meet-ups which, because they are smaller and willing to travel to less-popular venues (Airport Hilton in Podunck, anyone?), may offer you shorter lines and an easier opportunity to meet a celebrity.
Fanmail.biz is a celebrity address database listing over 50,000 celebrity addresses. Here you can find addresses for an astounding number of actors, actresses, singers, music groups, writers and celebrity athletes. The website is a great resource so you know where to send your fanmail and autograph requests.
starwarsttm.ucoz.com is tailored to Star Wars fans. To access the list of addresses, you will first have to sign up with the site. There is no fee to sign up.
There are many other great websites, but these will get you started. And now some tips:
TIP No. 1: Be patient. While some celebrities will sign and return your item within weeks, others may take several months because of their travel and career demands.
TIP No. 2: Always include a written request, the item you want signed, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope (using that country’s local stamps). Write “Do Not Bend” or “Photo – Do Not Bend” on the return envelope. You might also consider including a cardboard sleeve to protect the photograph from bending.
TIP No. 3: Do not send an irreplaceable valuable. Sometimes the address is wrong and outdated. Sometimes the celebrity never signs. Sometimes things get lost in the mail. So be prepared for some disappointments. And never send an item if you are not willing to risk losing it forever.
TIP No. 4: Do your homework and read the fanmail sites. The comment sections will tell you about successes and failures: Which celebrities respond, how long or short it took, and address corrections. And be sure to return the favor and post your experience, too.
TIP No. 5: For high-quality Star Wars photos, we recommend OfficialPix.com. They are officially licensed, offer reasonable prices, quick shipping, and have a large selection of Star Wars photographs.
TIP No. 6 If you wish to purchase a pre-signed item, be extremely wary and careful. There are scams, fraudsters and bogus “Certificates of Authenticity” out there, ready to steal your money. Deal only with licensed and approved vendors. With everyone else, it’s caveat emptor.
TIP No. 7 Decide whether you want the item personalized with your name. As a general rule, an autographed item is far more valuable if it does not include your name – in case you decide to sell it later. But if you’re not chasing value, then go ahead and have it personalized. Print your name clearly on a Post-It note (e.g., “To Zelda”) attached to the item to be signed. This makes it so much easier for the celebrity since they don’t have to ask for your name and how to spell it.
TIP No. 8: Finally, for the hardcore and supremely patient fan, there is a free and long-tried method for meeting your celebrity: Find out where he/she is performing or attending (stage performance? parade? charity appearance?), then camp out at the guestimated exit/entrance. Have your item ready at a moment’s notice and a good-quality pen (we recommend a paint-pen from your favorite art supply or hobby store).
While the chances are fleeting and low, this video shows you what a successful encounter might look like:
But above all, have fun while you chase the galaxy!