Sign of the Times: How to Get an Autograph in Los Angeles



LOS ANGELES [ ABN NEWS ] — One of the joys of either living in or visiting LA is the prospect of running into a star or celebrity on the street, in the mall or at a shop. And if you spend enough time in higher-end enclaves such as Malibu, Brentwood or Pacific Palisades, it`s bound to happen. That said, getting an autograph from one of these luminaries is a trickier proposition: throwing a pen and pad in front of someone`s face over a plate of eggs at Coogies isn`t likely to generate the desired response. But there`s a time and place for everything, including securing a sought-after autograph. Here are a few places, and times, to consider in and around LA.

Fish in Barrel: The Hollywood Show

For those looking to cut to the chase, the Hollywood Show, also known as the Hollywood Autograph Collectors Show, takes place in Burbank about every three months — usually in February, April, July and October — and typically features about 50 celebrities of various vintages and degrees of fame, all there specifically to meet the hoi polloi and get their pens working. Many of the Hollywood Shows feature reunions of specific TV shows. The three-day, spring 2012 version included dignitaries from shows like “The Love Boat” (“Doc”) and “Laverne & Shirley” (both of them, actually) and movies such as The Sound of Music. Ticket prices start at about $15.

Hoofing It: Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremonies

Trying to get an autograph at a Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony represents the opposite approach of the Hollywood Show: The odds of getting a signature aren`t nearly as good, but if you can get one, it`s likely to be a relatively big fish. Tracking upcoming ceremonies is easy: Just keep an eye on the Web site or follow @wofstargirl on Twitter. And remember to get there good and early.

Pay to Play: Hollywood Memorabilia Shops

If you`re a real autograph hound, few things are more indelible than the signatures of some of the most legendary stars in cement in from of Grauman`s Chinese Theatre, but taking those with you may be a bit of a challenge. No fear, though, as Hollywood`s chock full of memorabilia shops that sell posters, books, souvenirs and, yes, autographs. Head about four blocks east of Grauman`s, and you`ll find one of the best in Larry Edmunds Bookshop, which has been collecting hundreds of thousands of collectables for more than three-quarters of a century.

Seeing Red: Movie Premieres

Like the Walk of Fame Ceremony, a movie premiere may provide a home run of sorts for an autograph hound who`s extremely lucky, as fans are allowed to line the red carpet for such premieres. The center of all of this action, naturally, tends to be Hollywood, where Grauman`s Chinese Theatre, El Capitan and ArcLight Cinemas regularly roll out the red carpet for movie premieres. L.A. LIVE is quickly becoming another popular spot with movie premiers happening at Regal Cinemas at L.A. LIVE and Nokia Theater L.A. LIVE. Other movie premiere locales worth keeping an eye on include Universal CityWalk`s AMC Theater and Westwood Village, where either the Village or the Bruin occasionally have movie premieres.

Taking it Literally: Book Signings

Think of a celebrity book signing as a quid pro quo of sorts: You buy the book, they sign it, you have their autograph, they have your cash, and everyone wins. The good news is that there are opportunities to do that all over LA. West Hollywood`s Book Soup has hosted book-hawking celebrities, including many of the rock n` roll variety, like ex-Guns n` Roses member Duff McKagan, notorious film producer Robert Evans and adult film star Jenna Jameson, while Barnes & Noble at The Grove hosts celebrity-authors like Lauren Conrad from “The Hills” and Food Network star Giada DeLaurentiis. And if you`re looking for safety in numbers, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which takes place every April, hosts well over 500 authors, and you`re bound to find a host of actors, athletes and pop-culture icons (Florence Henderson, anyone?) among that group. If you miss that, the West Hollywood Book Fair comes around every fall. The 2011 version featured folks ranging from Dyan Cannon to Steve-O to Dee Wallace (yes, the mom from E.T.).

Freedom of Expressions: Signed Artwork

Yes, not only can some of those famous people write (or get someone to ghost-write), but many can paint, sculpt, take pictures or create other forms of visual art that are often signed. Santa Monica`s Gallery 319 goes the rock n` roll route, featuring art created by music dignitaries such as Ringo Starr, Grace Slick and KISS` Paul Stanley. And Rose Gallery at Santa Monica`s Bergamot Station has included work such as photography from actor Jeff Bridges.

Of Thee I Sing (and Sign): Concerts

While music`s biggest stars often play larger local arenas like STAPLES Center or the Greek Theatre, some more niche but no less accomplished musicians prefer the intimacy of a smaller venue, especially if they live in LA and they`re trying out new material. And that boosts the odds of a dedicated concert goer getting a signature. West Hollywood`s Troubadour, Santa Monica`s McCabe`s Guitar Shop and UCLA`s Royce Hall are all small enough to give attendees a chance to meet a musician face-to-face. Better yet, the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live Downtown regularly hosts programs in its 200-seat Clive Davis Theater, where musicians, songwriters and other accomplished members of the music community address the audience directly and often give attendees the chance to get an autograph.

For a Good Cause: Film Festivals

Actors, writers, directors and other entertainment luminaries can often be found at film festivals plugging an indie film, supporting a cause, or speaking on a panel, giving fans a chance to meet them personally and maybe secure a signature. And, unlike Sundance or Telluride, LA film festivals are a year-around phenomenon. Granted, the biggies are the Los Angeles Film Festival, which takes place every summer Downtown; and AFI Fest, which goes off in Hollywood each fall. But the rest of the year supplies many festivals targeting more specific audiences, including the Pan African Film and Art Festival; the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival; and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, aka Outfest.

Going the Extra Mile: Sporting Events

Trying to get an autograph from a member of the Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers or Kings is a dicey affair, as none of the teams` publicity departments process autograph requests by mail. The Dodgers have pre-game autograph sessions from time-to-time had — either near the third-base seats for current players or near center field, aka “Autograph Alley,” for former players. No such ritual takes place at STAPLES Center. Best for fans to keep an eye out for one-shot athlete appearances — especially for kids — around town.