One of the staples of these large conventions is the bringing in of guests. These range from the relatively obscure to the wildly popular. The basic law of economics operates efficiently in these situations: The most in demand “stars” charge high prices for either photo ops or autographs; the most in demand artists charge high prices for either drawings or autographs. Everything scales down from there.
As my nieces and their girlfriend waited in line for the highly popular voice actor (who was not charging for photos or autographs but did encourage people to buy his CD), I observed several guests seated at the traditional eight foot folding tables. They had no people by their table, let alone a long line like the one we were in.
That got me to wondering, is that all there is at the end of the day? The record in the discount bin? The book in the return pile? The former “hot” guest now mostly unnoticed? Is it presumptuous arrogance on my part to think that way?
I did a little research on the net about a couple of the guests I saw (I knew one of them from her work, but was unsure of the other). Nothing in their fledgling websites suggests anything other than positive, business-as-usual attitudes. Nothing in any secondary articles suggests misery or despair. Indeed, they seemed perfectly fine in the company of whomever they brought with them to sit at their table, laughing and conversing during that otherwise uninterrupted time.
Still, seeing the large quantities of photographs brought in anticipation of signing; seeing long lines for other guests, I couldn’t help but wonder, presumption or not. It probably says more about me and my pride than it does about them, I suppose. They are apparently comfortable with who they are and where they are in life so as not to be affected by the difference in attention. Perhaps it’s something they’ve always had to deal with and so they just enjoy the trip to Orlando for what it is.
Other than that curiosity, which I presumed too gauche to ask, I had no compulsion to speak to any of the people at the table. In fairness, I didn’t have any burning desire to speak to the more in demand guests, either. Still, if I could have framed the question in a non-insulting way, I would have loved to know if that difference in attention ever bothered them and how they dealt with it. I suspect it’s probably not much different than how an employee feels seeing another employee get promoted instead of themselves, especially if it were due to timing or other non-controllables…”there, but for bad timing, goes I”.
We were in line long enough for someone to come over and take photographs with the actress, share a short conversation and pick up a signed photo. It was nice to be reminded that regardless of the fame or the wait, everyone is somebody’s favorite.