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November 30 2004

New James Marsters photos available from his official site. You can get them personalized with up to five words.

tvtome on Charisma Carpenter says: "She is one of the only cast members from "Buffy" and "Angel" who refuses to charge for her autograph at fan conventions. She does it for free."
I didn't get this, when I first read it. What do they mean: 'charge'? Nobody charges for autographs, do they?
Then I read JM's site:
$45.00 Autographed
$6.00 Non-autographed

WTF?
That's just... wrong..!!

(or maybe I'm just really naive..)
You can get them personalized with up to five words

I wonder how many people with choose "Out for a walk....Bitch" :)
"Welcome to the OC... bitch!"

Oops, wrong show.
Puck: Loads of people charge for autographs. Most people, in fact, although the Buffy cast have normally been fairly good with doing it for free.
Puck - yes they charge for autographs - it is normally included at the price of a convention for most and sometimes all of the guest, otherwise it will be stated that there is a fee for obtaining autographs at events and now even photos with some celebrities (not the professional photo op) are being charged for.

Even though some celebrities seem to be uncomfortable asking for compensation for signing their signature on an item it is a necessary evil. How would you like to do an part of your job for a bunch of strangers (like hundreds to thousands) and not get some compensation for it. A lot of conventions pay little or just expenses for some to attend a convention now a days (outside of the headliners - even though sometimes even them) and they are their only commodity and source of income so what else would they do but sell their signatures. There is no real unemployment compensation for most actors and like the rest of us they still have bills to pay, by doing conventions the few that actually can, they can meet people who appreciate their work and make a few bucks along the way that may tide them over while either in between or out looking for more employment. It's not to say they are not flexible about the price at times or in certain cases more times than not if you cannot afford to pay and you have an item to sign they will not charge you anything more than a handshake or hug.

I have to take issue with TV tome saying Charisma does conventions cause she does not - she did 1 convention early on during Buffy and I do not think she even signed at that event. She had a very bad experience and has since refused every other offer to do one. So kinda of skeptical of that comment.

As for the personalization - how many think James will be the one actually doing them - a lot of actors sign a stack of photos and then their management hires someone to personalize the shots for them. This is a pretty common practice in Hollywood and has been for like forever, heck even Denise Crosby did it when she was a kid and the better forger you were the more money you got.
Well said, RavenU. It's highly unusual for a star not to charge for an autograph. And the price is reasonable considering you're getting a personalization as well. Next time you see one of the various star reporting magazines, check out some of the autograph picture ads (trust me, there'll be several). Many stars charge $100-$200 for an autograph. Shocking.

Btw, Amber Benson is also doing an autograph/personalization of her 'New Moon Rising' action figure as well.
Hey, if you're lucky enough to see one of the Buffy stars on the street, I'm sure they won't charge you for an autograph, but how often does that happen!

As for other people signing celeb's stuff...I'll never forget how upset I was when I saw The Bodyguard(I think it was) and it showed the celeb giving her friends photos to autograph her name on.

And hey, James is so darned precise and exact on his autographs, if you practice a little, anyone could copy it! Or hell, make a stamp of it, they're all so similar! Actually, now that I'm looking closer, I think they just used a comp file of his autograph for the samples of the new pics, because those autographs are completely identical.
I have to also say that I don't find this very unusual as any events I've been to the autographs were paid for. My first thought was whether CC had ever actually done a con...

Priced too high? Possibly, but if people are willing to pay then there is obviously a market. Of course, I'm sure sometimes it can be a much better experience as a fan to snag an autograph from someone without "paying" for the privilege, and you might even end up with a better "story" or more personal experience. For many though, the paid route is the only way it will ever happen. It also allows for a more organized, less stressful experience for the one doing the signing (and less harrassment I'm sure). Much better than getting chased down the street for one.

I know some may argue about whether a "star" needs the money to tide them over (needs/desires are all relative) but I certainly would want some sort of compensation for sitting there signing 800+ autos at one time, personalized or not. Even if it was just to pay for the Carpal Tunnel surgery!

Puck, if you don't buy into the commercialism and marketing hype and stick to your guns on it, good on you! Not naive at all!

[ edited by Gracie on 2004-11-30 18:08 ]
It's a necessary evil. There are people who make a living by tracking down actors and get them to sign a bunch of autographs for free under the guise of being a fan, then turn around and sell those autographs for a lot of money. Actually, there are a lot of people who don't even bother to do that - they sell fake autographs for a lot of money. Most of the ones you see on Ebay, for example, are either forgeries or copies of an original. It's a huge problem. So many celebrities now-and-days do professional autograph signings (like the Metro Entertainment ones that have been posted here for other Buffy/Angel stars without any complaints), charge for them at other appearances such at conventions, or sell them from their official website. That way they get compensated for their work and provide a way for their real fans to get a genuine autograph.
Iíve read many times that at conventions James does not limit his available time for autographs. Instead, he remains until every fan wanting his autograph, receives it - personally, from him. Thatís a great response to fans and a great deal of time from him. Selling his photos in two formats, signed and unsigned, is also a nice response to fans, allowing those with small budgets an chance to have a professional photo of one of their favorite stars and those with larger budgets a personalized, signed photo. If you want one, buy the version you want. And give the guy a break - too often celebrities and damned if they do/damned if they donít.
Hmm, I have to say that it's interesting to pay more for an autographed photo without the personal experience, than say the $20-$25 you would pay for an autographed pic when you actually get to meet the star at a con(minus the con entry fee, of course). I am a little miffed though that this is the only way to get something personalized from James, since he doesn't do it at signings(I understand, time constraints) But hey, he's making $3 per word on the personalization, not a bad day's work!

But no, it wouldn't be worth the money for me to order something that I'm not even certain is genuinely from James, when I could stand in front of him and watch him sign it himself!
Rogue Slayer, you're exactly right about other people "autographing" items for a star. I would never pay for an autograph unless I saw the signing in person. I was reading an article on a popular star (I won't say who) and the interviewer, building this star's grandiose, stated he/she employed six people to autograph the star's pictures. And it was meant as a compliment to this star's fame. I was disgusted because I see this as fraud. Guess they authorize the people to sign their names, but it doesn't seem right.

killinj, I have a sister who works for e-bay and she tells me the forgeries are a big problem. And that most could have been detected if the buyer did a little research. Most of these scams are only skin deep. People, research before you sink any serious money on e-bay.

Back to the topic, I like the selection of pictures James used. I think most of his promotional pictures are here.
They have given us the choice to buy any of the three options though, which is nice. I really like this new set of pictures, they are very James and not Spike- the Spike ones are still up there if people want them. I'm more tempted by the GotR cards.

I don't think many people would expect a free autograph from a website, would they? It's just there if you like that sort of thing.
I wonder who has the selling rights to the dual photo of David and James or I wonder if they are not going to sell those shots at all anymore.
Loads of people charge for autographs. Most people, in fac

Hell, some people make a business out of getting the actor's autographs and then selling them for money online.
I'm not a convention-goer (although I love reading about others' experiences at them), and I have never intruded upon the personal lives of those celebrities I have encountered to ask for an autograph. But I am in a profession where people are constantly asking me to do services for free -- thinking, I suppose, that the flattery of asking pays for my time and years of education and experience. Because I have come to resent being asked to give away something for nothing, it would never occur to me not to expect to pay for a star's autograph for analogous reasons. As said above, stars are themselves their product; they are what they have to market, based upon their skills, their education, their experience. If people want a "piece" of them by virtue of the success they have attained, then I see no problem in their wanting to be compensated. If they choose to be more generous, that's fine. But those that don't make that choice should also not be criticized. And for those who make money at the expense of a star, without the star's consent, well I have little charitable I might say about them.
Ok who is being criticized, if you are refering to my tv tome comment. I was commenting on the statement that Charisma does conventions cause she does not. I was not talking about her personal autographing policy, that's her choice.
Also, people need to remember that there is a staff of people involved with these autographs. It's not just the celebrity getting paid but the staff of people who put together the packages, websites, etc also getting paid. Yes, I'm sure if James Marsters or most other celebrities was approached walking down the street they'd gladly sign someone's shirt, notebook or whatever but in this case these are professional photos that cost money to have done, people putting together the website and people mailing out the packages to the fans who've bought the autographed photos.

That said though, I'd also want to see him personally sign it as Rogue Slayer pointed out before I'd pay for something like that.
Slurp. Looking at pics of James reduces me to girlish giggles, and not so girlish thoughts. :)

Okay. Getting on topic, I've got no problem with charging for these. Having said that though, I wonder if I would feel differently if the price were higher. At this price, it's within my budget to splurge on one if I choose.

I understand completely where Rogue Slayer is coming from - prefering to stand in front of the celeb signing it rather than assume (possibly naively) that the signature on one of these pix is authentic. And if I had a pic ordered of the website, and one that I watched him sign, I know which one would be more important to me. But, as someone who has never been to a con, I could see myself ordering one of these either for myself or as a gift. Had I not already bought Buffy S7 for a friend for Christmas, I would order one of these, personalized. For me, it would just be something fun to have on the wall.
I've no problem at all with James or any other actor charging for an autograph,be it at a convention or from their official site.At least you know its genuine and you know where the money is going.
After all,what could be better than being there and watching it being signed just for you.I belive the saying goes something like "you pays your money and takes you chances", i know which one i would choose.
Slurp. Looking at pics of James reduces me to girlish giggles, and not so girlish thoughts.

Well said, Angela. Those pics of JM with short, dark hair were quite hot. Love those cheekbones. But, no, I'm not buying any pics.
I have to admit that when I first started collecting Buffy/Angel actors autographs I was amazed that I had to pay for them too. I am a great collector of autographs and I was used to waiting at the backstage door after a gig and getting many items autographed for free. But I'm used to it now, although the prices some actors (not Buffy/Angel/Forefly ones) charge for signing a picture is quite obscene.

I met both Alyson Hannigan, Alexis Denisof and Luke Perry backstage after When Harry Met Sally in London and they were all signing autographs for free for the fans that took the time to wait outside to meet them.

I don't see the point of buying pre-autographed items, to me collecting autographs from people I admire is a personal memory of the short time I got to spend with that person. I like to be able to look at my Buffy Season 7 DVD, which is now covered in autographs and say, I met all those people and they signed my DVD. But that is just a personal choice of mine.
Is anyone considering the idea that these pics are this expensive because James IS signing them?

Imagine the time frame needed. Let's say three minutes is a good estimate and he gets 10 pics a day. That's half an hour. $450.oo a day. Maybe. MAYBE. Cost of the Photographer (a really good one) and mass production of photos--what? It's hard even to guess, but say $20,000.--so let's say it will take two, maybe three months to get in the black. On a business venture that's very optimistic and that's based on ten a day. So it begins to work out as capital gain after three months--maybe.

Because.

There is a risk here--he has to lay cash out to get cash. And as all the posts here have indicated they wouldn't send for a pic and I wouldn't either--I wouldn't even buy one if the price was $20.00. So the market for this may be more limited than one might first suspect. And this price has to be based on specs of that expectation. So James has to balance serving the fans with being able to recoup his investment.

And...being an actor is all about making hay while the sun shines.

It has 98% unemployment; that is why it appears like actors make disporportionately more money for a venture than a 'regular job.' One project may have to last them four years. And they are compensated in a way that reflects the financial demands of being an actor in the first place. A new actor could get paid $100,000 dollars for a lead in a movie budgeted at 10 million, which breaks down to only $25,000 dollars a year for the next four years. (I'm basing those specs on on a friend of mine and what he made)this the reality of the thing.

Sure, James can charge what he wants for the service provided. And personally? I believe he will provide that service. I do. There is just something about the guy that resonates emotional wisdom and I believe he must understand the karmic repercussions of misrepresentation. (lying) (stealing)

I think he's wise enough and loves his fans enough to do what he says he will.

And remember the product is a known thing. People make an informed decision up front about what to expect and if they want to purchase: go to! Hey, I read a news article last week about somebody who purchased a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of 'Jesus' on it for $28,000 dollars on EBay. ??

Value is in the pocket of the beholder.

Capitalism baby, I'm a liberal who respects free will choice in the system and if folks wanna fork out $45. bucks?

Choo choo and chug the train that runs this country.
Ok who is being criticized.

One could read Puck's post as criticizing JM for charging for autographs. That may not be the person's intention. It can be difficult to interpret the printed word in public forums sometimes - so I perhaps it was misunderstood. Personally, I read as being a bit critical, since the post suggests that JM is doing something wrong by charging for autographs. Perhaps the person just doesn't know how common it is for celebrities to charge for them.

Granted, I wouldn't expect to pay if I happened to run into them on the street and asked for an autograph, but in that situation I probably wouldn't happen to have a snapshot of them handy either. If you attend a stage production or some other performance you've already paid to see them and probably have something on hand for them to sign, then it's a matter of luck regarding actually getting a signature and it costs you time and effort. I suppose you could stand by the stage doors without watching the peformance or go to a red carpet event or a film premiere without being charged for the autograph, but it still costs you the time and effort, plus there's no gaurantee you'll get a signature. Besides, there is also the cost of travel to these events and not everyone can afford to go to where these events take place. Therefore, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to pay for a professionally shot photograph, signed by a star, and shipped to my home in special protective packaging.

At conventions you don't pay extra for an autograph with JM - its included in the ticket price. I've seen him literally spend hours signing autographs for hundreds of convention attendees so that everyone could get one. Perhaps at smaller events he would have the time to do personalizations, but not with 800+ people waiting for an autograph. In regards to Charisma, if she was at a convention, those autographs weren't really free unless the event itself was free and she was giving away professional photos for anyone who didn't have one for her to sign. I'm betting fans had to pay to attend and that she was paid to be there. I'm also betting you had to already have a item for her to sign or buy one from a vendor. So, I don't find the tvtome comment credible.
Gawd I ramble on way too much! My apologies!
There is just something about the guy that resonates emotional wisdom and I believe he must understand the karmic repercussions of misrepresentation.


This reminds me of the discussion that came up when James said he had nothing to do with his website, yet the website contains a section for 'personal messages from James'. Now, it could be as simple as he asks Steve Himber to write up some thank yous for his various gifts or whathaveyou in his 'voice', but to me that's kind of a misrepresentation. Then again, maybe James writes/dictates them personally and he just got confused when he said that. Who knows...
But my point is, I'm not sure you can make it in acting without some misrepresentation. I mean, how long did James hide his true age? Misrepresentation/fibbing seems to be a necessity in Hollywood.
I occasionally see those autograph hounds (there were a few at the front of the Firefly line at Comic-Con) and I *really* hate them.

Didn't Sarah Michelle Gellar comment that at least 75% of her supposedly autographed photos on eBay are fake? It's really frightening just how bad the fake ones look!

On top of that are the Buffy scripts on eBay that are supposedly signed by the entire cast, including Sarah. There are so many of them on eBay, and the majority of them have fake autographs... and they sell for lots of money! It's ridiculous!
Rogue have you been to James site lately those personal messages are no longer on his website. Take that as you will, they disappeared sometime around Halloween.
Rogue have you been to James site lately those personal messages are no longer on his website. Take that as you will, they disappeared sometime around Halloween

Ah, right around the time he said that, right? At the UK Halloween Con? Ah well, it was a nice gesture to the fans(the message section) I just think James should censor himself a bit better!
James said he had nothing to do with his website, yet the website contains a section for 'personal messages from James'.

I don't honestly think sending in occasional two sentence messages constitutes having anything to do with his website. IIRC the question was what his involvement was with the website, and he said he had none, which seems true enough if he doesn't dictate/check the content or have anything to do with putting together or maintaining the site. I run a website for a figure skater who has twice done interviews with us (and he used to write a letter or two to his ex-official site) but I certainly wouldn't say he has any involvement in the site.
Ok who is being criticized

RavenU, if you were responding to my post, I'm sorry for having had to log off and get back to work before seeing your posting. I was not referring to you in any way -- just making a general comment based upon Puck's initial posting -- and I was not intending to be critical of that. Just trying to say that it is the stars' choice, either way, and fans should not begrudge them the right to make some dough if they want.
I don't honestly think sending in occasional two sentence messages constitutes having anything to do with his website. IIRC the question was what his involvement was with the website, and he said he had none, which seems true enough if he doesn't dictate/check the content or have anything to do with putting together or maintaining the site. I run a website for a figure skater who has twice done interviews with us (and he used to write a letter or two to his ex-official site) but I certainly wouldn't say he has any involvement in the site.

It just seems to me the vibe the website tries to give off is that James is somewhat involved, enough to give personal messages to his fans via the site. And I obviously don't think James has anything to do with the maintenance or programming, but now I'm even doubting if he actually has anything to do with the messages put up under his name except for a cursory 'yes or no' if SH mentions giving some 'shout outs'--if that.
And if he does request the messages himself, and dictate them, I would have answered that question about being involved differently. Maybe give props to the people who administer it for you, but let people know that you are aware of what's on it and you do like to use it for personal messages to fans.

And this is beside the point, but I know if I were a celeb(of James' caliber), I would be very involved in anything that said it was my 'official' something, and that involvement may only extend to monitoring the content and making suggestions, but unless someone in my family was doing it, I'd keep an eye on it. I would have a healthy wariness of anyone who made their living off of my celebrity(agents, managers, etc)
Someone approached Picasso in a restaraunt once and asked if he would do a doodle on a napkin and he would pay what Picasso "thought it was worth". The great man spent five seconds doing a squiggle and said "That'll be ten thousand pounds." The fan said "But it only took you a few seconds to do it!" and Picasso said "No, it's taken me twenty years to be able to do that."

And Ebay? I could put a bible on there autographed by "both Popes" and someone would buy it....
And Ebay? I could put a bible on there autographed by "both Popes" and someone would buy it....

*Both* Popes?? Oh, that IS worth something!! Hey, even cheaper, just put up on Ebay a bottle of water and say it was blessed by some muckity muck. Hmm, on second thought, don't cuz that's my idea! ;~)
Ok who is being criticized

BforBeth, killinj et al., thanks for your comments.
It wasn't at all my intention to criticize James or any other actor. I guess I just didn't think it through: all the work, the costs of the photographer and such.
And maybe deep inside, a little voice is saying: 'but I'm different! I'm not one of hundreds of fans! I'm me! I wouldn't have to pay, would I?!'.
But of course, I am one of many. And I really don't even want to think about having to sign hundreds of photographs myself.
So, having read your comments, I'd have to say it doesn't make sense to not charge for autographs.. :)
"But I am in a profession where people are constantly asking me to do services for free -- thinking, I suppose, that the flattery of asking pays for my time and years of education and experience. Because I have come to resent being asked to give away something for nothing, it would never occur to me not to expect to pay for a star's autograph for analogous reasons."

"The great man spent five seconds doing a squiggle and said "That'll be ten thousand pounds." The fan said "But it only took you a few seconds to do it!" and Picasso said "No, it's taken me twenty years to be able to do that."

Well I'm in a profession too where people ask me to make free stuff for them all the time and I understand where you're coming from but an autograph is just a scribble. Art was Picasso's craft and livelihood, but for an actor, scribbling his name is not his 'art' or 'craft'. Nor is it the product of years of training and talent.

The correct equivalent would be to ask an actor on the spot to do an entire scene from a movie while you tape them....for free. That would be asking a free sample of their work and their experience and skill. Just doing a scribble of your name is not the same thing.

I have no problem with them asking money for it, if people are willing to pay, but let's be realistic here.
It just seems to me the vibe the website tries to give off is that James is somewhat involved, enough to give personal messages to his fans via the site.


Heh. IMO, the website is trying to give off the vibe of "hey come check us out, you might see a personal message from James to you!" For the website, it's a way to get visitors to come to the site and to return.

but now I'm even doubting if he actually has anything to do with the messages put up under his name except for a cursory 'yes or no' if SH mentions giving some 'shout outs'--if that.

I dunno, I tend to think that if a PR-type was responsible for those messages, they'd be better worded, more grammatical, and spelled better ;). Or at least that they would have been proofread. I figure those messages aren't something that require too much thought or involvement on James' part. Someone came up with the idea and when James had a random thing he wanted to say or random thanks he wanted to send out, he told Steve and up it went. My guess is his level of involvement with/knowledge of the site is some abstract awareness of it as a tool by which to send the occasional message to his fans. That doesn't necessarily mean he actually has awareness of what's on the site itself, content-wise. He probably just trusts his manager to handle that.

And this is beside the point, but I know if I were a celeb(of James' caliber), I would be very involved in anything that said it was my 'official' something, and that involvement may only extend to monitoring the content and making suggestions, but unless someone in my family was doing it, I'd keep an eye on it. I would have a healthy wariness of anyone who made their living off of my celebrity(agents, managers, etc)

But that's what they hire agents, managers, and in particular, publicists for, isn't it? I mean, I realize James claims he got rid of his agent b/c he figured he was micromanaging so much anyway that he may as well do it himself, but the point of having assistants and various staff is so he doesn't have to do everything himself. If he trusts his manager, or his publicist, he probably just lets them do their thing. This is Mr. I don't have a computer who seems to think that people just say wonderful things about him on the 'net. Doubt the website is high in his awareness.

Obviously I'm just speculating here. But IMO, an offhand disavowal of involvement in the website from a self-admitted Internet-ignorant man doesn't indicate anything to me except that he's not particularly aware of or concerned with what goes on that site. Not that his manager is pretending to send personal messages from him that aren't actually from him.

As for the actual topic here ;). Paying for autographs - not something I like to do myself since for me, the point of the autograph is the proof of/memory of actually meeting the celebrity, but it's definitely common practice.
But that's what they hire agents, managers, and in particular, publicists for, isn't it?

Yes, but like I said, *I* would be more aware, maybe *because* I know what goes on on the net. Obviously if I were a Julia Roberts, I probably wouldn't care that much, nor would I have the time to make myself aware. But if I was a tv actor who was between gigs, I'd probably just like to keep up with stuff myself--not handle it, mind you, just keep aware of how my image and name are being portrayed 'officially'.

And I've always doubted his whole 'unaware of the net' thing. Maybe he's not on their regularly, but he's admitted to getting a big head when he does go, so I have a feeling he's more aware of what's out there than he lets on.(Didn't he mention something about people Photoshopping his pics at the UK con??) That's fine, I probably wouldn't announce I was on the net checking out fan sites devoted to me either, but I'm not sure I buy the idea of low-tech James. I could be wrong, it's just my inkling. There are many people that just have no interest in comps and the 'net. It's just that ever since my 55 year old mother in the boonies told me she upgraded to DSL, but claims to know nothing about the 'net, I tend to be skeptical about that stuff!

As for the actual topic here ;). Paying for autographs - not something I like to do myself since for me, the point of the autograph is the proof of/memory of actually meeting the celebrity, but it's definitely common practice.

Exactly. If you get it in person, there can be no doubt of it's authenticity, and you can always say 'Remember when Tony Head said such and such when he signed this?' A far cry better than 'Remember when the mail came?' But that's just me. I live in LA and these events are easily accessible(tho when I lived in MO, I wouldn't have paid for send-away autographs either) but I can see if someone can't make it to one and still would like a little something. I'll be naive and believe James signs and personalizes his stuff himself...cuz it makes me happy.
EdDantes, maybe the Picasso point wasn't the same thing, but Picasso could have meant "Because of my fame and stature this three second squiggle would fetch ten grand from any art dealer" which is a closer analogy. Or is it a metaphor? Whatever. I don't think he considered a doodle on a napkin "Art", a serious example of his talent, but knew what it was 'worth' anyway. In that respect it would be similiar to an actor charging for autographs.

And re Ebay, the laser printer I bought for 99 pence (about $1.50c) arrived today and works perfectly! Defenitly my best bargain!
And I've always doubted his whole 'unaware of the net' thing.

Honestly, whether that's true or not is irrelevant to my point, so I probably shouldn't have emphasized it so much. He could be fully conversant with the Web and go online all the time and still have little to no involvement with the website.

Though I do have to confess that after hearing him claim he has no computer and say that he hasn't heard from Joss since the show ended, I did think - maybe you should get email, James! Of course, I have a hard time conceiving of anyone not having an email address.
"And I've always doubted his whole 'unaware of the net' thing. Maybe he's not on their regularly, but he's admitted to getting a big head when he does go, so I have a feeling he's more aware of what's out there than he lets on.(Didn't he mention something about people Photoshopping his pics at the UK con??) That's fine, I probably wouldn't announce I was on the net checking out fan sites devoted to me either, but I'm not sure I buy the idea of low-tech James. I could be wrong, it's just my inkling. There are many people that just have no interest in comps and the 'net. It's just that ever since my 55 year old mother in the boonies told me she upgraded to DSL, but claims to know nothing about the 'net, I tend to be skeptical about that stuff!"

The truth is probably very close to that. To try and retain a bit of privacy (and perhaps his sanity)and not have the more stalkery types trying to figure out his emails etc. he probably maintains an official "non-involvement" stance on all things internet. The reason why I would claim non-involvement if I was him in order to protect my privacy: while I was involved with a discussion board for the band last year, someone else involved in the behind the scenes stuff (and who should have known better) tried to weasle out of another of us just such info. They tried unsuccessfully to determine whether he A)had an email and B) what it was if he did.

I agree with you teenes, to not have at least have an email in this day and age (especially if you are someone with more than average means but very little spare time!) is unusual. It's his right to claim ignorance though. I personally know some extremely paranoid people that have absolutely no celebrity status, that will not divulge info or emails like that so I understand where he may be coming from. I even work with someone who won't share their email with the business group we're a part of, which doesn't make much sense to me.

I realize we've headed kind of far from personalized autos on James' site but I suppose it's all related! Is it really him signing? Is it worth the price? Is he involved in his site? Does he surf, etc.? Apparently the answer is Yes/No/Maybe to all of the above! :) I've enjoyed everyone's comments on these questions, it's been quite interesting!

[ edited by Gracie on 2004-12-01 04:36 ]
Well I'm in a profession too where people ask me to make free stuff for them all the time and I understand where you're coming from but an autograph is just a scribble. Art was Picasso's craft and livelihood, but for an actor, scribbling his name is not his 'art' or 'craft'. Nor is it the product of years of training and talent.

Except that it's not just a scribble, it's also what they're scribbling on. In this case, an autograph on a photo of an actor. The photo portray's an image that the actor wants to convey. Actors work very hard to create an image both for the characters that they portray and their professional image as an actor, celebrity, personality, etc. An actor's image is very much tied to his 'art' or 'craft' and does require training and talent especially if he wants to continue performing. The signature adds something 'real' to the faÁade.
I went to the London Film & Comic Con recently to see the guys from 'Shaun of the Dead' (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost).

Simon, I gotta say, was the nicest guy. Much respect to him. Why? WELL, I'll tell you...

Because (after he'd already agreed to do the convention) he found out that in addition to the entrance fee the convention was going to charge fans £15 (that's, what, $25?) for every autograph. So, what did Simon do? He came back out after the "official" signing was over and not only signed anything anybody wanted him to sign (for free), but also posed for photos with anyone who wanted one, apologised and handed out Jaffa Cakes to people. Nice, huh?

He's such a fanboy himself, you see. He knows. ;-)
I have to take issue with TV tome saying Charisma does conventions cause she does not - she did 1 convention early on during Buffy and I do not think she even signed at that event. She had a very bad experience and has since refused every other offer to do one.

It saddens me to hear that, what happened to her?
I also had reservations about the autographs on the new photos, so I contacted Steve Himber. I wanted to know if they were "pre-printed" or original signatures.

His response..

"James will be doing all original signings and personalizing."
Thanks ASassyKat! :)

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