Autograph collecting. There really is no cooler, most thrilling, (and challenging) hobby out there. If you are a longtime collector reading this- please feel free to comment and share your tips for ttm success. If you are a new collector- welcome. We would love to hear from you too… please feel free to ask questions and share your tips too.
I remember starting out back in the 90’s and thinking how cool it would be to have autographs from my favorite stars. Before sites like this, (or websites at all) there were online message boards where fans and collectors could share addresses. Lorraine Gary (of “Jaws” fame) has always been a favorite of mine and was one of my first ttm successes. She signed an 8×10 from “Jaws the Revenge” (my favorite movie). After that I was hooked, and I’ve never looked back.
The best advice I give fellow collectors is this; NEVER GIVE UP. This hobby is like a roller coaster- it has enormous highs and lows. I’ve seen multiple people get a ttm autograph from someone I wrote to, yet never got a response; Many times, I have got a response (and even hand written notes) from celebrities that are incredibly difficult about signing. With this business, you just have to keep going. If at first you are not successful, try again- try a different address. I wrote to Mary Steenburgen at least 5 times (and 5 addresses) before finally getting ONE success. On the other hand, Miriam Flynn has evaded me for 20+ years.
If you are brand new to collecting- here are some tips to get you going.
Research the celebrity you are wanting. There are many websites dedicated to autograph collecting. Find out the signing habits before you send anything.
Write a letter. I hand write every letter, but many others like to type a letter. Either way, keep it short (one page or less). Tell the celeb what they mean to you and talk from your heart. Make sure to ask the celeb for the autograph.
Include something for them to sign.
Include a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) to make it simple for the celebrity to sign, and pop your photo in the return envelope.
Include a piece of cardboard (or something relatively hard) so your photo doesn’t get bent.
Write “Photo do not bend” on both the envelope going to the celeb, and your return envelope.
Wait. Most celebs return an autograph in 1-3 months. If you don’t hear anything after 6-8 months, try again.
Ready to try your hand at autograph collecting? Awesome! With the world pretty much quarantined from the coronavirus, now may not be the best time to try to get an autograph. I know I am waiting to send anything out until this craziness slows down. And still, there are celebs signing and returning photos. This week, the stars are aligned for:
To Kill A Mockingbird’
c/o Shubert Theatre
225 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036-3991
2707 Benedict Canyon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-1024
c/o CESD Talent Agency
10635 Santa Monica Blvd. #130
Los Angeles, CA 90025
PO Box 284
Tesuque, NM 87574-0284
c/o Tom Skerritt
4111 Madison St. STE224
Seattle. WA 98112
Mina Productions, Inc.
15260 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403-5345
6260 Royer Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91367-1619
Applied Action Research Corp.
14310 Ventura Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA.91423
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Los Angeles, CA – Saturday, July 9, 2016: Dan Aykroyd is seen at the Los Angeles Premiere of Columbia Pictures’ “Ghostbusters” at TCL Chinese Theatre on Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Blair Raughley/Invision for Sony/AP Images)