On Friday, I'll be heading to Camden, New Jersey, to see the Backstreet Boys. It will be my 10th Backstreet Boys concert. (So the next time you wonder, "Is my life embarrassing?" just look at this post you will feel better.) I've actually been to all of their tours since "Into the Millenium," except for their "This Is Us" tour, and I am still mad about it. Let's not talk about it.
But this concert is extra special for two reasons. One, all five band members are back. Two, I kind of splurged on a meet and greet pass.
To be fair, meet and greet passes to a Backstreet Boys show include a decent amount of perks, like photos with the band, access to their sound check, and the ability to be part of a Q&A before the show. I decided just to go for it given the fact that I've been a fan of the band for 15 years of my life. That's kind of longer than a lot of marriages last. (I'm just saying.) So I'm trying to mentally prepare. Here are a few things I'm telling myself to remember before I meet my favorite band.
Keep expectations realistic.
I will shake their hands for all of one minute, get a photo, and then it's on to the next one. Your meet and greet will probably be similar. Given how many celebrities do, meet and greets are often a little clinical, but hey, at least you're meeting whoever it is.
Who celebrities are in your head is not who they are in real life.
When you meet your favorite star, you really are taking a pretty big gamble. Believe it or not, Katy Perry probably does not wear outfits made of cupcakes in real life. Whoever you're meeting will likely be different than who you imagine them to be. There's a reason people say you should never meet your idols. I am a fool and I do not listen.
Celebrities are people, too.
Therefore, don't freak out. No screaming, no crying, no fainting. (Okay, the last one you may not be able to help, but keep it together, man!) And don't tell them you used to have posters on your bedroom wall or that you secretly stalk them on Twitter. Remember, you are pretending to be a normal person who doesn't collect all of their memorabilia.
Skip the gifts.
Especially if they are stuffed animals. I'm no expert, but I have to think that celebrities get tons of free stuff, often from fans. While the gesture is sweet, I don't think most celebrities hold onto the gifts they were given, unless it's incredibly unique (so, maybe something handmade). The time spent fumbling with the gift could be time spent just making conversation.
Know what you want to say.
Let's be real, you've probably imagined this moment before. In a perfect world, you'd just casually bump into your favorite celebrity at Starbucks and say something charming and they'd think you're funny and they're like, "Hey, let's be friends!" This will not happen. (Again, refer to the first tip, "keep expectations realistic.") That said, there's no reason why you can't prepare something you'd like to say in case you end up being really tongue-tied.
OMG OMG OMG — breathe.
Good luck with that.
Have you ever met your favorite celebrity? How did it go?