Some guidelines for fans:
While courtesy and respect seems to have gone out of style - not just in Hollywood, but in a great many places around the world - we can do our part. I'm not saying that you shouldn't bitch and moan... that's a given human right, provided you live in a place where you're allowed to speak without the government monitoring your every word (and even thought). I'm just asking that you give some thought to courtesy... celebrities are human too, despite all appearances - they deserve the same kind of respect and courtesy that you'd give to anyone else. (Obviously not a problem here at JFO, but you don't have to surf far on the web to see a slew of bad examples)
Realize that a system is in place to deal with fans... Hollywood has been dealing with fans for longer than most people have been alive, and they've gotten good at it. There are "filters" of various levels in place between the fans and the celebrities they adore, and a lot of fans will never make it through all of those filters. Some celebrities get hundreds of thousands of pieces of mail (and email) every month... a vast majority of that is weeded out along the way; the fanatics and stalkers will get placed in a very special file. A lot of letters (and emails, for those few celebs that have public addresses) finally end up with a celeb's agent / publicist / representative, and generally they're added to a growing pile... once a week or once a month the celeb in question will pick up their mail, and they'll read it when they can (depending on how conscientious they are) - so any letter or email you send might not be read for up to two months (or more) after you sent it.
The final filters on the line will weed out letters for various reasons... maybe it's a sicko that somehow made it through the system, or maybe it's a bitching, complaining letter. Desperate pleas, offers of this and that (even sex) and general hate letters will either get filed in the trash or a cabinet somewhere - everybody has their own criteria, so you'll never really know. Presents and gifts sent by fans probably have less than a 50% chance of making it all the way through the system.
The majority of fan mail will not be answered... in the very few cases where it is, it may take months for the reply to get back to you. Patience is the key, no matter how frustrating it may be. Just remember that even the inclusion of a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) does not guarantee a reply. You will probably never receive a reply, and an acknowledgment of receipt of your letter is so rare as to merit great mention when it does happen.
Does this mean you should give up, stop sending letters? Lord no... it could be that something in your letter is just what it takes to brighten up a celeb's day when they're feeling a bit depressed (or oppressed). Some celebs enjoy hearing criticisms (polite ones) about the show or their characters... some even enjoy the questions they receive all the time (a lot of the same questions over and over again). If you feel like sending a letter (birthday card, get well card, a racy poem, whatever the case may be), go right ahead and do so - just don't go sending several a month in the hopes that one might get a reply. Sometimes it's those little things which can make the day seem brighter, and celebs appreciate them no less than anyone else does.
Be aware of the fact that it is extremely unlikely that you will ever meet the celeb of your dreams or talk to them... you and they don't move in the same circles, and the security screen around them is even tougher than the filtering system for mail. Unless you live in the same neighborhood, know their parents, or go to the same deli you're unlikely to meet them. You may get lucky and run into them at some social or charitable event, but even then there's a distance between you and them. Trying to push your way in is a good way to find out in person just how tough the security screen can be.
You may have a ton of questions about the celeb, their character or their show (or movie), but don't ever expect to have them answered... interviews are granted to accredited journalists and known media, not fans. Keep watching the web... eventually your questions might be answered there, or you may never know.
If all of this makes the prospects of being an appreciative fan and admirer seem dismal, don't let it dismay you... keep that hope alive, but temper it with reality. Remember that your life - no matter how difficult it may seem at times - is far far less complicated than what celebs face every day. They stand up on their pedastals where we place them, balancing on the edge... and hearing the howls of the mob below waiting to tear them to pieces - a mob made of the same people who placed them up on high in the first place. Know that by being a fan, you're part of a larger group organism that provides a support structure for that pedastal... your interest (and at times, devotion) keeps that pedastal balanced for just a little while longer. Most celebs know that, and they appreciate that... sometimes they'll even show it in a direct manner.
Written by Nightwolf