Share this article on Facebook
Getting in Touch with the Famous
by Tara Farmer
Your heart is racing as you walk into Planet
Hollywood, your interviewee is *hopefully* there already. You tell the hostess
that you have reservations before searching out your subject, and adrenaline
rushes through you as you spot him. His signature chin juts out as he rises to
"Mr. Travolta," you say, greeting him with a
"Please, call me John".
Hey, it could
happen, if you start building your clips file in celebrity interviews and
profiles. What's that you ask? How to go about doing this? Well according to Pam
Felp's who's had the chance to chat it up with the likes of Don McLean, Jerry
Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Meat Loaf, Judy Collins, and many more, "It's about being
polite, yet insistent".
You'll first need a slant, then you can start
calling the celebrities publicist. "For musicians, there are directories listing
such things as personal manager, booking agent, record company, etc.," reports
Felp's, "You can call any of these and they'll get you to the right person. For
the non-musical types, I've usually done stories involving them visiting a
specific city for a show or event; in that case, I contact the venue's publicist
and they'll gladly hand over the contact info."
Felp's suggests contacting an agent or manager
first before contacting any editors. It creates a better relationship, and will
pay off in the future. Says Felp's, "Asking [publicists/agents] before you pitch
to an editor certainly helps give them a feeling of being involved, rather than
just being the doorway you're walking through to get to their
To help get through the red tape of scoring a
time slot, Felps warns, "Don't treat [publicists] like the welcome mat in front
of the celeb's door, and never take the stance that they owe you this
interview or that you have to have it. Show that you've done your research and
know the subject. Be professional -- you can admire their client, but don't
gush. You don't want to sound like a stalker with a pen."
After you score...
Once you've managed to anchor a time slot, you
must decide how you're going to conduct interviewing. The most cost effective,
obviously being the telephone. But remember that you won't be able to see your
interviewees reactions to your questions. In person is more expensive if you
have to splurge for your own expenses, but you may get the best story -- the
whole story. Don't forget about e-mail, which has opened up a whole new
dimension in interviewing.
Take heed to Felp's hints about the actual
* Study up.
* Get your questions ready.
* Know what direction you're going in, but also
be flexible enough to let the interviewee ramble -- you end up with some great
stuff that way.
* Don't waste time going over info that's in
their bio or every other story you've ever read.
It's inevitable, you're going to be nervous, but
remain as professional as possible. With this, I leave you with Felps's last
words of wisdom, "Treat [celebrities] like people, not like just another
© Copyright 1999, Tara Farmer
Check out the latest articles in
How to Promote Your Book BLOG
Find out what works.
Join the Writing for DOLLARS! group on Facebook.
Writing for DOLLARS!
is a publication of