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10 rules of selfie with a star

As the winner of NewYork.com's Best Broadway Fan competition, I've had a great year! From the 2015 Tony Awards and Gala to this year's Meet the Nominee press event, I seem to have met my favorite Broadway stars everywhere I went. Getting an autograph or taking a photo with a Broadway star is always a pleasure. I live in Texas, so I rarely see Broadway stars there, but every time I come to New York, I learn a new way of taking selfies with the stars - so much so that I have something to show off at home.

Article writer Jason (right) with Hunter Foster Photo: Jason Crespin

The author of the article is Jason (right) with Hunter Foster.
Photo: Jason Crespin

I present to you 10 tips on "How to take a selfie with a star."

  1. Write to your favorite Twitter artist that you will be on his or her performance and are very pleased to see this performance.

I follow a few of my favorite Broadway artists on various social media, but Twitter seems to me to be the most beneficial in this regard. Some stars post very funny tweets every day! (If you're not already following Leslie Marguerite @QueenLesli or Laura Benanti @LauraBenanti, I recommend doing it now!). What I love about Twitter is the opportunity to write to a Broadway star that you will be at her play and wish you no fluff - sometimes they “like” your tweet or even reply. It's a great way to interact with Broadway stars - if you're lucky, you might even be able to meet them at the front door after the show.

During my recent trip to New York, I was at a play School of Rock. Mamie Perris is one of those stars that I saw in last year’s production. On the Twentieth Century. In it, she played the lead role Lily Garland. She played fantastic and I really wanted to see her in School of Rock! On the way to the Winter Garden, I posted a tweet “@MamieParris, go to your daytime performance. Can not wait! I really liked you in the role of Lily in On the Twentieth! Not a fluff! ” A few minutes later I received a notification that she liked the tweet. This set me apart from the crowd of other fans at the service entrance after the performance: I am the guy who sent the tweet. She thanked me for this pleasantness, and, of course, we made an excellent photo at the service entrance!

Jason says an amiable tweet can do a lot - for example, help get a photo with Mamie Perris. Photo: Jason Crespin

Jason says an amiable tweet can do a lot - for example, help get a photo with Mamie Perris.
Photo: Jason Crespin

  1. Bring or send flowers or sweets to the actor's entrance before the start of the performance

This is one of my favorite gestures, because it reminds me of the times before the era of advanced technology, when people wrote postcards by hand and left them at the actor’s entrance. This simple and cute gesture shows a Broadway star that you are glad to be at its performance. In our time, technology, it would seem, controls everything, but it seems to me that a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a note can do a lot. This will also set you apart from the crowd of fans at the service door who are trying to get autographs and take a photo. Wouldn't you like to take a picture with the one who sent you the flowers, instead of someone who didn't send anything?

If you are in New York, there are several shops where you can buy a bouquet to leave it at the actor’s door. If you are not in New York, but want to send flowers, my favorite place to buy a bouquet is the Ode a la Rose flower boutique. Great company! They offer not only very beautiful flowers, but also the opportunity to send a video message along with a bouquet. Before sending the courier, they send you a photo of the bouquet that you ordered, as well as a notification upon delivery. Not long ago, I sent them flowers to Kelly O'Hara, and she was delighted!

Another great idea is to send or leave Schmackary's cookies at the actor’s entrance to your favorite star. If you have not tried them yet - do it immediately! The cookie is known for being the favorite treat of many actors on Broadway. I recently bought about a dozen packages of Funfetti cookies (my favorites) and left them for Megan Hilti before her premiere of two-week concerts at Café Carlyle, as well as a few pieces for Laura Benanti at Studio 54 - that evening I watched She Loves Me. In the message for Laura, I left my name on Twitter - and she wrote to me directly to thank for the cookies. Cool because? I also like Schmackary's that they are right in Theater quarter, on the corner of 9 and 45 streets - they are easy to reach! There is also a delivery service here, so if you are not in the city, you can order it online. Important: Do a little investigation to find out if your Broadway star has any dietary restrictions. Unfortunately, I sent these cookies to Laura, who does not eat gluten and dairy products! Oops! But she still very nicely replied that it counted!

  1. Ask the conductor where the actor's door is located, before the start of the performance or during an intermission. Make a plan how you get there

In the case of Broadway performances, the actor’s entrance is the place where you can get an autograph or take a photo with your favorite actors. Knowing where this entrance is located is a must, since in many theaters on Broadway there are so many exits that you may not even get to it. The actor's entrance can be located near the entrance to the theater, and maybe also on the other side of the building. When I come to the performances, during the intermission, I usually ask the guardian where exactly the actor’s entrance is, and then I come up with the best way to him from my place. This is important, as you need to quickly get to the actor's entrance, after the performance is over. There is usually a small railing near this service entrance - it is near them you need to be. A good place near the railing determines whether you can take a selfie with your star, or just take it off from afar, as she signs autographs. Some stars are the first to leave the theater after the performance - you do not want to miss them, stomping in the hall or buying all kinds of things. Do it before the performance or during intermission.

Jason with Christine Ebersole and Donna Murphy Photo: Jason Crespin

Jason with Christine Ebersole and Donna Murphy.
Photo: Jason Crespin

  1. Take good care of the guards and staff at the service entrance. They can help you.

Each service entrance has at least one or two security guards to watch the crowd. You need to be nice to these people. They do their job and watch for safety. Do what they say. If they ask you to move, move as they try to do better for everyone. At the actors' porch, you may have to wait a bit while the actors change their clothes or greet guests backstage. Be patient. The guards cannot influence the speed of the star's exit or even the fact of its emergence. Watch them: they will give you a signal with whom to take pictures, or - if the star has already left.

Among other things, act nice - you never know what they can do for you. I had two occasions when I was lucky enough to start a conversation with people at the door. I asked them about work because I was wondering what they were doing. Both said that no one ever was interested in them and asked them about their work, and thanked me. In both situations it was terribly cold outside. The crowd began to disperse, and the guard asked me if I wanted to wait inside. Of course, I agreed, and I was led inside, where I expected to be warm. It was then that I was lucky to meet and take pictures with Christine Ebersole in the play Grey Gardens and Donna Murphy, who played Wonderful Town. Both ladies were very nice, and I would never have met with them if it had not been friendly with the guards acting room.

  1. Keep your camera ready at the actor's door

Many times I saw how people missed the opportunity to take a picture with a star, without having a ready camera at hand. Remember - the actors just finished work, they are tired and they want to go home. They want to slip through the back door as quickly as possible, so if your camera is ready, you will be more likely to take a selfie than the guy who still removes the lens cap. If you are using a smartphone, put it in airplane mode so that no one will disturb you when you take pictures. I have a girlfriend whose dream to take a selfie with a star did not come true just because she was called and she tried too long to reject the call and go back to the camera. If you are waiting at the service door with a friend, switch cameras with him before the actors leave. So he will shoot you with your camera, and you with his camera. It will save a lot of time! However, make sure that your friend knows how to take beautiful pictures. One of my dear friends was very nervous, and I got the corresponding photo with Terrence Howard after the performance Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Do not let this happen to you.

Jason with the cast of the play On Your Feet! Photo: Jason Crespin

Jason with the cast of the play On Your Feet!
Photo: Jason Crespin

  1. Just in case, have a marker at hand.

In addition to photos with my favorite Broadway stars, I also love to get autographs on the program of their performance. This is a great souvenir. Nowadays, many actors come out with their markers at the ready. I always try to have one or two markers with me, just in case. If other fans ask you for a marker, don't refuse them. Recently at a performance On Your Feet! butThe caters had no markers on their way out of the door, but took advantage of mine. They were all so cute, thanked me for my markers and happily took pictures with me. Nice behavior, I repeat, can bring pleasant results.

  1. Act politely with the star. Ask if you can take pictures with her. Do not draw conclusions yourself

Buying a ticket to the Broadway show does not guarantee you a meeting with a star at the actor's entrance. Such a meeting is just a nice bonus. Be polite and thank them for coming out after they have just worked for you for several hours. Also do not assume that you can be photographed with them. Always ask. Sometimes they need to get up early, or they rush home to their relatives, so they don’t want to stop for a selfie at the service door. This is normal and fans should respect such desires. Health is also very important for the actors, so some do not want to stand next to a stranger who may have a cold. Respect the actors, and if they agree to take a picture, thank them for it.

 

Jason with Gavin Creel. Photo: Jason Crespin.

Jason with Gavin Creel.
Photo: Jason Crespin.

  1. Look for more information. Give the star a compliment not only for her current role, but also for previous achievements.

When I meet with Broadway stars, I try to establish a connection with them that goes beyond the limits of this performance. I can mention one of their earlier productions that I saw, or say that I liked their latest post on Twitter. This helps them make sure that you really are their fan. At a recent performance She Loves Me I managed to chat with a few stars thanks to this. For example, when I met Gavin Creel, I told him that I had seen him play The Book of Mormon in Denver and that I really enjoyed it. I also told him that through his Twitter, I determined that we had dinner at the same restaurant that evening - this is one of my favorite places. It turns out that he likes it there too! We chatted nicely while other fans just stood by and watched us. So I had the wonderful opportunity to take a picture with Gavin, and he was not against it at all.

Jason, Joel Gray and his husband, Michael. Photo: Jason Crespin

Jason, Joel Gray and his husband, Michael.
Photo: Jason Crespin

 

  1. Be agitated, but do not lose your mind!

Yes, meeting with your favorite actor on Broadway can be very exciting, but you need to keep yourself in hand and under control. I have seen fans blow up at the actor’s entrance many times - screaming, crying, or both! Guess what happens in 99% of cases like this? The guards keep such fans away from the actors, as they don’t want anyone to be hurt. Your dream to be photographed with a star quickly fades. Remember - they just finished playing and don't want to deal with the fans who are yelling and asking them to marry them. For God's sake, keep your emotions in check. Also remember the situation and those around you. When I watched last year The King and II sat right in front of the Broadway legend Joel Gray. The theater geek in me was screaming with admiration, but I knew that I needed to keep cool. I did not want to make a presentation of my request to take a picture with him in the theater, but I was lucky to cross with him at the exit from the Lincoln Center. I just approached him and said: “Mr. Gray, I am your big fan and did not want to create turmoil inside the theater, so I waited here and want to know if you can take a picture with you. Do you mind? ” He thanked me for being so tactful and said that he would like to take a photo with me.

Jason with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeffrey Seller. Photo: Jason Crespin.

Jason with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeffrey Seller.
Photo: Jason Crespin.

  1. This is New York! Look around not only at the actor’s entrance, but also on the streets

I managed to make cool photos with Broadway stars, just by meeting them on the streets of New York. These actors also live in the city, so be careful. Also remember that they probably do not walk on Times Square with crowds of tourists. I found that a simple walk through 9 Street could bring you a meeting with several stars. When I got out of Schmackary's with packages of cookies for Laura Benanti, I literally crashed into the Broadway star of Hunter Foster. I told him that I was his fan (but discreetly) and I regret that I missed Bridges of Madison County (made him a compliment on previous achievements). And then he asked whether it was possible to take a photo with him (very politely), to which he happily agreed. A few minutes later I met the musical legend of Michael Feinstein, and he also kindly agreed to take a picture. The same thing happened with Lin Manuel Miranda and producer Hamilton Jeffrey Celler that day. I stood in the hall of the building, and they got out of the elevator. It was the morning when they nominated for Tony, and I congratulated them on their record-breaking 16 nominations. They smiled and thanked me as they headed for the exit. I followed them and politely asked if they could take a quick photo. They agreed. The moral of this story is: you never know who you come across in New York.

Jason and Michael Feinstein. Photo: Jason Crespin.

Jason and Michael Feinstein.
Photo: Jason Crespin.

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