MY life as an autograph hound
When I was 9, I convinced my family to take me on a Mary-Kate and Ashley cruise. The cruise inspired me so deeply that as soon as we returned home to California, I started acting. By age 10, I’d booked my first pilot. By 11, I was on TV. That was when I was invited to the premiere of Blue Crush.
I attended in French-braided pigtails, thrilled to be invited to gawk at celebrities for free. In order to get invited to more premieres, I hired a publicist. I was advised not to attend every premiere I was invited to, as it would make me look desperate and like I had nothing better to do. But I did it anyway. What could be better than being in the presence of my favorite stars?
Only one thing --- taking pictures with them.
Looking back at these photos reminds me that I became obsessed with celebrities in order to feel less lonely and confused. I collected pictures with people I thought were important so I could feel important. Needless to say, it didn't solve my problems. Only a lifetime of therapy can do that! Still, I have to appreciate the pure joy and wonder that posing with Raven-Symoné brought me as a kid. I admire how the girl in these pictures is shamelessly devoted to doing what makes her happy, even if no one else cares and she looks weird doing it.
When I started posting these pictures on Instagram, I didn't expect anyone to care. I thought I'd be made fun of, or worse, ignored. Instead, people wanted to see more! They related to that single-minded autograph hound searching for meaning in Shane West's eyes. Which is kind of beautiful, in a way.
As I've grown up, I've learned that life is not one big photo-op, and I've tried to stop taking pictures with celebrities. But sometimes I can't help it. Once I was paparazzi’d while watching Kim Kardashian get paparazzi’d, which was a total accident. There was that other time that I saw Angelina Jolie selling organic dog treats at my dog park. And sometimes, to honor my inner Mary-Kate and Ashley #1 Fan, I let myself take a few photos (or photobombs) with stars that I love. Like the cast of Riverdale, who will never speak to me again.