Living in Hollywood and attempting to make ends meet as a creative can be difficult. Fortunately, my love of the the city and its position as an entertainment industry center presented a unique opportunity for myself and I made ends meet for several years as a reputable autograph hound, seeking out rare and desirable signatures from some of Tinseltown's biggest stars.
Here, I present some of the gems of my collection.
Some people say to avoid meeting your heroes, but several celebrities have been as charismatic and likable in person as they are in their films. For example, my fondest celebrity crush Anne Hathaway was extremely gracious when signing for my good friend eBay.
Likewise, worldwide heartthrob Idris Elba truly made my day with this inscription to Lucky Bidder.
A personal favorite of mine, 60s teen idol Davy Jones of the Monkees, is a great example musicians should strive for, as he was generous and sweet to his fans until the very end.
This sort of decorum isn't the norm for all, unfortunately. Some notable jerks include Mark Wahlberg.
Sometimes, it's not obtaining the signature that ends in disappointment, but the signature itself. I've found that even a dismal autograph can be enhanced with the proper personalization request.
For example, former Spider-Man Andrew Garfield's signature is a rushed wave of indifference, but it becomes far more personal when you learn he hates Mondays and loves lasagna.
That being said, I have no idea why Sean Connery also felt the need to stress this point.
True to his no-nonsense reputation, Clint Eastwood hates both Mondays *and* lasagna.
Despite his handicap, Stevie Wonder has both excellent handwriting and a great sense of humor.
And despite *his* handicap, Ray Charles *hated* Stevie Wonder.
I've collected autographs since I was a child - a habit ingrained in me by my father, who helped me acquire one of my first pieces - the definitive Superman, Christopher Reeve - who was in the DC area around my 6th birthday, days before the tragic horseriding accident which paralyzed him.
Pieces signed afterwards are significantly less desirable.
Watch this space in the future for more celebrity autograph successes, including the story of the holy grail of my collection, the great Bombino himself, Bob Ruth!