The lesson today is that meeting a celebrity once does not give you a great insight into that celebrity. There are so many factors involved in every celebrity encounter.
I have been a fan of PJ Soles for many years. I loved her in Stripes, Rock 'N' Roll High School, Halloween and more. Many years ago, I had the chance to meet PJ at a Hollywood Collectors Show. PJ was pleasant, but not very talkative. It was a rather bland encounter.
I walked away disappointed. PJ did nothing wrong. She wasn't mean, rude, rushed or anything negative. The encpunter just fell flat..
When you meet one of your favorites, you always hope that they will be jovial and chatty. You imagine a quick connection and a lot of fun. You want to walk away thinking you will be remembered.
Years later, I had the chance to meet PJ again and this time (and every time since), PJ has been an absolute pleasure. Every encounter since the first is exactly what anyone would want. We joke, laugh and chat.
Was the first encounter my fault? Did I give off a bad vibe? Maybe I was introverted and I expected PJ to carry the load. Maybe PJ was under the weather a bit. Maybe I was the 500th person she met that day. Maybe none of this is true and I expected too much, because I was such a fan.
I try not to judge celebrities on one encounter. I never publicly complained about the first meeting with PJ. I hear stories of people calling celebrities names because they would not sign an autograph or pose for a picture. That all depends on time, manner and place.
Even now, after meeting PJ many times and getting a bit familiar to her, I still do not pretend to position myself as her friend. She is friendly. She is a great convention guest. Take what you want from each experience, but understand these celebrities are people. The interactions with them have so many variables and quite often, you can be the determining factor in how the encounter goes or at least how you perceive it.
Whose fault was it that my first encounter with PJ left me a bit disappointed? Maybe there is no fault, because there was no real problem. Maybe it was a perfectly fine celebrity convention interaction.
On the other hand, maybe the real blame goes to PJ. She was so adorable as Riff Randell that I just wanted to hang out a bit with her!
PJ Soles and me in Indianapolis, IN-June 2015.