This topic has come up twice in my pop culture life lately, and it got me thinking about meeting your favorite celebrities. As I hope that you already know, Patrick Stump EP “TruantWave” dropped last week as the album “Soul Punk” got pushed back further. The first song is titled “Porcelain” and includes lyrics like “I don’t ever want to meet you/ Cause you’re like porcelain / And I think it might crack / If I found you were a brat/ Stay perfect. Stay perfect.” These days, it seems like we love to either build celebrities up or tear them down, and there’s no real logic to which one we do. Charlie Sheen has been a Grade-A douchebag lately after doing drugs, rehab, hookers, etc, and the media is LOVING every minute of it. On the other hand, Lindsey Lohan is in trouble yet again, and everyone is out to get her. What’s the difference? Not much except one is bragging about his problems while the other wants us to pity her for her problems. But with all of this positive or negative media attention, it turns our stars into some porcelain caricature of themselves. Now say you love Mr. Sheen’s cocky attitude, but when you met him, you found that it was all a publicity stunt and he’s actually a really tame dude. Or maybe that’s not a good example. Let’s take a personal favorite of mine, Edward Norton. Now I respect Mr. Norton as an actor because he’s talented and never in the tabloids. I like celebs that keep their personal lives to themselves. Now I have this image of Mr. Norton in my head as a level-headed, chill guy. What if I met him and he was all high-strung and a real diva? That might alter how I watch his movies. Same goes for Angelina Jolie. I used to LOVE her in high school until all of this Brangelina nonsense. Now I’m just sick of her being in the headlines for everything and actually avoid her new movies because I’m sure that they’re all just a remake of Tomb Raider somehow.
It’s ironic that Patrick Stump wrote these lyrics because the only time I’ve felt a similar way was after meeting his former band, Fall Out Boy. I used to listen to FOB constantly and was obsessed with Pete Wentz (I’m still not ashamed of it). Well I was lucky enough to acquire tickets to a Meet and Greet before a show in Columbus, OH back in ’09. I was so excited because I’d finally be face to face with my four favorite men in the world. I got the time it takes to get 4 autographs to meet them and then I was shuffled along with the fangirls. The only one of them that smiled at me when I was flustered and nervous was Patrick; the others looked completely bored, disinterested, and … well… bratty. Getting that from Pete Wentz nearly broke my heart. Now don’t get me wrong, I still listen to FOB, just not on constant repeat anymore, and I’m finally sick of Pete Wentz in the tabloids.
The other side of this is you don’t want to meet your idols because what if you feel like you disappoint them instead of the other way around. Troy had a full on “starstruck meltdown” on the Community episode “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking.” Instead of getting an autographed picture of Levar Burton like he wanted, Pierce tortures Troy by actually inviting the Reading Rainbow star to Greendale. Troy freaks out so hardcore that he can only sit there starring at Mr. Burton, barely even blinking. If you haven’t seen a clip of the meltdown, stop reading this right now and watch it here (http://www.nbc.com/community/video/ep-216-never-meet-your-idol/1296269). Having a starstruck meltdown has to be one of the most embarrassing things ever because you’ll probably never get a chance to resolve that encounter. To the celebrity, you’ll always be that strange fan that ran out of the room crying, stood still like a statue, rambled on like you had no social filter what-so-ever, or any other number of embarrassing situations.
I guess that sometimes, it’s best to keep some things safely locked away in daydreams where things go exactly how you planned them, especially when it comes to celebrities.