Collecting contemporary entertainers is an incredibly popular hobby.  Movie stars, TV personalities, comedians, stage actors and actresses are just some of the categories autograph collectors love.

As professional appraisers, we see thousands of signed celebrity photos each year.  Not surprisingly, most of them are not authentically signed.   Autograph collectors must understand that the volume of requests overwhelms an entertainer’s office.  Celebrities combat this onslaught with secretarial signatures, printed signatures, pre-printed postcards, and pre-signed photographic reproductions.

Many collectors focus on quantity, not quality.  They shoot for numbers of signed photographs in their collection with little concern of authenticity.

If you choose to write to celebrities for their autographs, make your letter stand out.  Be genuine.  Inquire about their career and how it progressed.  Your chances of an authentic reply will greatly increase.   When I was eleven, I wrote to Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny and other Warner Brothers characters.  I could have asked for a signed photo, but instead I asked how to he got started doing voices.  He wrote back with a long handwritten letter explaining his start in radio and voice-over work.  I learned a great deal about the man and his life.  That letter means more to me than any contemporary entertainers signed photograph.

Create a collection of significance.  Seek out those contemporary entertainers and celebrities that you respect.  Study their life and learn about them.  Write and ask questions that show you care.  Then take their valuable lessons and apply them in your life.  Not only will you build a collection of quality, but you will also build a successful life with the help of your new celebrity friends’ experiences.

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