Thursday, 16 September 2010
What was really strange was when Jeff Goldblum offered to sign my programme for "Prisoner of Second Avenue" for me. Of course I said yes. But I had a tiny moment of hesitation and here's why:
You see, usually people ask me to sign things for them. Now, in case this sounds incredibly arrogant, I am speaking of book-signings at bookshops, festivals and schools etc. I have never had anyone stop me in the street and ask for an autograph. And I hope I never shall.
But because of my experience in this department, I have often mused on autographs and fame. I can understand someone liking to have their book signed by the author; I like that too and am lucky that many of my friends are also writers.
But the kids who come up with scraps of paper torn from exercise books - what does a signature do for them? Is it a brush with fame? Or perceived celebrity at least? If I saw one of my heroes or crushes in a public place I wouldn't dream of rushing up and asking for an autograph. The most I would do is wear a big soppy grin (see photo).
I would NEVER have bothered Jeff Goldblum for an autograph if I'd bumped into him in a restaurant, say. But since we had been introduced and he was asking ... Well, of course.
What do you all think about this? Writer friends who sign and non-writer friends and passers-by who collect autographs? And what do you do with them afterwards?
* I should like to make it quite clear no hugging or kissing took place on that occasion. Eww!