Written by Omar Aviles

Saturday, 9 October 2004

image for A how-to guide on how to properly meet a celebrity

Because most people aren't sure what to do when they meet a big time celebrity like Tom Cruise, I decided to write a little guide about how to prepare for such a meeting. It won't be easy but with enough time and work, you will see the fruits of your labor. And while I'll be using Tom Cruise as an example, everything said here should be applied to the celebrity of your choosing.

First of all, before you even meet Tom Cruise, you have to prepare. Going in to meet Tom Cruise unprepared is like going to the Olympics without training. You must put in the work before you can fully realize this dream. So what do you do to prepare? Well, the first step is to take some speech classes so you'll be able to enunciate the intricacies of the name Tom Cruise better. While at the actual meeting, it is likely that you'll only be saying his last name as in "hello, Mr. Cruise" you must still familiarize yourself with both names. Why the extra work? Well, because this is a holistic preparation. The name should flow from your mouth as easily as your own name. Every syllable must be perfectly enunciated. This is crucial. This can't be done with just a last name. It must be done with both names. Now, I understand that you won't get it at first but practicing at least two months, two to three hours a day should give you the right pitch, frequency and clarity of pronunciation.

Once you've mastered name pronunciation, the next step is to choose and employ the proper greeting. This can be a little daunting as there are literally thousands of greetings to choose from but don't worry, my research has shown that sticking with the traditional "hi" "hello" and even the less formal "hey" are the most effective. These, of course, are basic greetings and would not require a follow-up response from you after Tom Cruise has answered you. However, if you wish to employ a greeting like "how are you?" which would require a follow-up response on your part, I do run an Advanced Greeting workshop. You'll have to email me about it, though, as it is strictly for advanced greeters.

One of the biggest problems you'll encounter is the combining of the Tom Cruise name with the greeting of your choosing. I know that after you've put a lot of effort into mastering the name, it's daunting to have to spend another few months combining the name and greeting. I've been there, believe me, and I'm here to tell you that it's worth it. As this exercise is slightly more advanced, it will take practicing at least four months, two to three hours a day to master.

So you've successfully passed the speech stage of your preparation, what next? Fortunately, there are only two more issues to address. First off is posture. Like the greeting, there are an endless number of postures that you could assume when meeting Tom Cruise. My research indicates, however, that the most appropriate posture conducive to fully realize the meeting Tom Cruise experience is standing straight, looking relaxed and comfortable. Why standing? Well, studies have shown that given the high probability that Tom Cruise will be standing as well when you meet, standing provides the most direct path to his ears when the verbal and possible physical interactions occur. Once again, you need to practice to prevent the impulse to posture in a way that could reduce the quality of the meeting. A month of posture training preferrably with a dummy or real life person simulating the encounter with Tom Cruise should have you well equipped to handle the postural demands when the occasion arises. Also, for those of you interested, I do have an Advanced Posturing workshop where I go through alternate posturing for maximum effect.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, there will be the possibility of physical interaction i.e. a handshake or pat on the shoulder or something similar. Experience and probability dictate that the most likely of any physical interaction will be a handshake so that's what I'll discuss. After you've mastered posturing, the handshake should be easily incorporated and should flow naturally from your initial verbal response. There are two scenarios to keep in mind. The first scenario, and one that is most likely, is that Tom Cruise will extend his hand for you to shake. In this scenario, anticipation is key. Practicing about a month and a half in real life situations with hands that closely approximate the size, length and texture of Tom Cruise's is the best way to achieve this. It's important that the hand you practice with closely resemble Tom Cruise's. If you use the wrong hand, you're likely to miss the handshake completely.

The second scenario is you initiating the handshake. This is easier to master as it is you that's setting the rules of the handshake. With this, the specifications on the practice hand aren't as necessary as Tom Cruise is the one who'll have to respond to your gesture. The only caveat is that being the initiator of the handshake requires a certain level of confidence that's really only achieved through experience. My advice if you're a newcomer is to stick to the first scenario.

You should be aware, though, that the variables of physical interaction are quite numerous and each change the dynamic of your interaction. As such, my Advanced Physical Interaction workshop goes through each possibility and it's repercussion in the meeting. We use computer and live simulations to bring you the closest approximation of how each physical interaction will affect your reaction, your posturing, and sometimes even your verbal response.

Notice that I've spoken of all these elements individually. The final step and culmination of your training will be to combine all these basic elements into a fully flowing interaction. Once again, the best way to do this is with real life simulations. As with everything else, I do offer RLCIC (Real Life and Computer Interaction Combination) workshops that provide live and computer simulated siutations for you to practice. However, if you choose to go at it alone, I would recommend a strict regime of three months practicing three to four hours a day.

As meeting Tom Cruise will be the culmination of arduous months of preparation, you're sure to be excited when the oppourtunity arises. You must remember to quell that excitement and remember your training. Remember, a single wrong movement could ruin the entire experience. If you're just beginning, I assure you it will be worth it. If you're almost done, good job on getting through the preparation. If you're about to fulfill the dream, I trust you will do us all proud. Good luck.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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