Booh yah! Show me your moves!


Here’s the thing: do the signing, sign the things.

When I went to my first juggling convention in the USA, back in 2004, I was taken aback by how many jugglers wanted me to sign stuff. Mainly because in the UK and Europe nobody gives a shit about stuff like that, but also because while I was internet famous, I hadn’t been anywhere where I’d consider myself actually famous.

First I turned down autograph requests, and then I moved on to signing things in a way where my signature was hard to read or in a weird inaccessible place. But soon I noticed that the things I was asked sign, generally juggling rings or convention programs or promo material, had lots of other signatures. I asked around, and was told by the famous American jugglers there that it was the done thing.

And I soon realised they were exactly right. No matter how uncomfortable or weird I felt about signing stuff, I only came off as a dick to everyone if I didn’t do it. If I did sign stuff, I only felt like a dick to myself. There was never a moment where I was famous enough that anyone would care that I WAS signing stuff, in that they thought that I thought I was someone big and famous when I wasn’t.

Anyway, you can game-theory this all out, and it signing stuff only has upsides to everyone, including yourself.

Still feel weird whenever I do it though.


I haven’t been asked for a signature yet, but I have had a few requests for selfies thanks to the podcast. Luke’s right, though, never stops feeling weird.


I’m opposed to the very concept or collecting and materialism, autographs included. But also, I’m not actually famous. Someone might want my autograph now, but later they may regret having me vandalize something. I will begrudgingly sign something if I’m sure the person actually wants it, and the object is not valuable. I’ll also make sure they know I think autographs are stupid.

If I was legit famous, I would sign all the things, especially for the kids. I would sign so many things that my autograph would have no monetary value from being too common. This way, people asking for it for eBay selling would make no profit, and only true fans would want it for sentimental reasons.

When I was a kid who did care about autographs I always hated those pro athletes who wouldn’t sign things because they had some kind of merch contract. Caring more about the money than the fans.


I more or less agree with Scott with an important exception that I feel I should note from personal experience.

Signed stuff is, in general, dumb however, I once received, as a gift, a copy of an FMA dvd signed by Vic Vignogna. The signature itself doesn’t matter to me but the fact that the gift giver had gone to some lengths to procure it, meant a great deal, so in that sense it increased the value of the gift and increased my appreciation.

So there you have it, the one time autographs are worth it.


Signatures are mementos of good times to me. I cherish my signed LP of Dark Was The Yearling by JR Jones because I got it signed at a private house party that was really unique. Similar to my signed copy of Sing A Longs by Blair Crimmins and the Hookers, where Blair met me on the street cause I was too young to get into the venue. Conversely, I once bought a signed Joan Jett record, but after about a week I stopped caring about it. Or the Chris Farren record I got signed but the show was really bad so I don’t have any attachment to it.


I have a few autographed things, and they’re cool as a symbol of the time I met someone I thought was cool. I collect posters of concerts I go to, and every once in a while I’ll run into the artist afterwards and they’ll sign the poster. That’s cool because they signed it for me, and I can tell people I shook their hand or bought them a beer or something. Buying something signed off of eBay holds no value for me.

I don’t know how pertinent that is to the discussion, just you guys got me thinking about autographs.


Yeah, that’s the thing. No matter how dumb you think signing autographs is, or someone wanting something signed, it’s the most harmless fun activity ever, and only ever creates good memories.


Not true. For example, someone out there has a signed Aaron Hernandez jersey. Good for nothing now but kindling.


If not good memories, then at least interesting memories!


Burning jerseys aside, another thing I just realized is autographs as an ice breaker. Some people might be too nervous or feel awkward to just walk up to someone and start a conversation. So maybe they’re not after the autograph itself, but it is a socially normalized way to start a conversation with a “famous” person, and try to connect with them on a human level or at least let them know they’re appreciated.


Exactly. When my mom and I went to see ex- Nightly Show writer Rory Albanese, we used the “can we get a picture?” cover to talk to him about how our friend found Flat Larry. He was really excited to hear about that, so it’s a good thing we had that excuse.


Oh, I’ve been asked to sign stuff before, and yeah, it’s TOTALLY WEIRD. Same with people asking me for selfies. BUT I WILL ALWAYS DO THOSE THINGS because they, for whatever reason they want it enough to ask. They feel I’m important enough or cool enough or whatever that they want me to sign something for them so I’d feel like a total dick if I didn’t.

But I’ve never had a convention tell me, “Hey Victor, we need you to sit in this room for an hour for the express purpose of signing autographs for people”. For Kyle Hebert or Vic Mignogna or Christina Vee, sure, that makes sense. But, for me? I’m not even “Internet Famous”, much less ACTUAL famous. I mean, it’s a “boo yah”, and I’ll take it, but I can’t help but feel it’s a misplaced honor.


I agree with the sentiments posted already, my experience was getting 2 books signed by Terry Pratchett when I went to an author dinner and another time when he released his second last book and was at a bookstore.

While there is sentimental value to these, the photos are better, I think they capture the kid I was at the time.


I’m with Scott on the autographs, though it is mostly because I do not really understand the whole star struck thing. I can appreciate, respect, and be awed by a person’s work, but that person is a person I don’t know. I may be aware of their public persona, but I am not their friend or family member so my investment in them as a person goes no further than my investment in anyone doing their job/hobby really well. People don’t ask the best bus driver in the city for their autograph, so why ask a famous (or internet famous) person for theirs?


I’ve never asked anyone for an autograph (that I remember) but I have had some “fan moments” meeting a famous person whose work I really enjoy and admire.

One that sticks out is “accidentally” sitting in on a tech rehearsal and run-through before a Tim Minchin appearance at an event. He ran through a few songs on the piano. Doesn’t sound like much, but it was super interesting to see him try the same song out once with just the backing track, then the same one again with the backing track and the piano, and then see it the third time live with all the performance aspects included too.

It was mainly an answer to the question “I think this guy is amazing based on his YouTube videos and other available music… is he really that good in real life, or am I over-rating him?” And seeing him go through the tech setup of a show confirmed that way more strongly than just seeing him play some music on stage.

I have many, many thoughts on stardom in general, but will save it for another time.


[quote=“Kate_Monster, post:34, topic:54”]
People don’t ask the best bus driver in the city for their autograph, so why ask a famous (or internet famous) person for theirs?[/quote]I would absolutely ask the best bus driver in the city for an autograph. I’d probably ask to shadow them for a day, too. Always take an opportunity to learn someone who is among the best in their trade.


Now that you mention it, there’s a public transit operator whose autograph I would love. He’s this Red Line operator who tells everyone (regardless of what day it is) to “have a five star Friday.” If I could get my subway pass autographed by him I totally would.


Watching craft and seeing the work behind the performance is fascinating and awe inspiring. Discussing and learning a craft from someone with some degree of mastery are amazing and enriching experiences. These things simply aren’t analogous with asking for a signature and having a cursory, forced conversation with a stranger.

@VictorFrost As I say above, learning from someone is very different than asking for their signature. Also, I find your statement to be a nice sentiment and little more. As well meant as it may be, you likely interact with people who do so-called mundane jobs with a relative degree of mastery on a regular basis. Do you even notice them? Can anyone notice all of them? Probably not. I am just enough of an egalitarian to feel the same way about my post office worker as I do a well known actor.


There is the question of emotional proximity. Art is powerful and can have profound effects on individuals. For a purposefully extreme example, I know a woman who was brought back from attempting suicide by a song by Ramshackle Glory. Were she to meet them, would it not make sense that she would have an intense emotional reaction?


Sure, but I think for most people signatures or selfies are just small personal records of this kind of encounter.