The gawker-in-chief - Spear's Magazine

The gawker-in-chief

How should you react when faced with a hero/ idol/ legend/ object of devotion?

How should you react when faced with a hero/idol/legend/object of devotion? I only ask because I was lucky enough to go to the RSC's gala this week, where I met two of my favourite actors, Jonathan Slinger and Chuk Iwuji. They both blew me away when I saw them as part of the RSC's histories cycle, the Glorious Moment.

Happily I had had a glass of champagne, so my natural responses (gawk/be silent/cry) were suppressed, and I think I managed some decent conversation, or at least did not just stutter like an unleashed Uzi.

One question is whether you should admit that you are a fan. I felt that, since their performances had moved and enthralled me, it would be nice to say so, and I feel I came off with at least some of my dignity remaining. After all, they do not perform in a vacuum and surely must want to hear they've touched someone.

With a plastic Hollywood megastar, it's bound to be a different matter. They have (in my experience) such shields up that it's impossible to say anything and have them listen, or indeed to say anything and have them take you even a little seriously.

Perhaps the best strategy is not to lead off with slavering adoration, but mention it if the time feels right. Don't faint (not me) or scream (not me) or stammer that the New York Times wrote a really great article on them (sadly me). Above all, keep your cool – no-one likes a hysteric.