The social dilemma of meeting a celebrity in public

When is it a good time to approach a celebrity?

That was a small debate Paddy and I had when we were out and about in Western Sydney – dining at The Fiddler in Rouse Hill.

Let me set the scene:

You and your friends are out in a public place, either a bar or restaurant or park… whatever works. You are there to have a good time but then suddenly, you see your friends freaking out, acting weirdly. You ask them what’s wrong and they tell you that someone famous is behind you.

You try to turn but you don’t know who it is. They showed you a photo of the person and you pretend to leave your table just to get a better glimpse. And it’s true – the person next to you is someone well known. You message your friends who couldn’t make it and tell them the news and to verify the situation. They can confirm its the same person.

The person next to you is a celebrity. What do you do?

“But some famous people don’t mind being approached”

This one caused a bit of debate between Paddy and I when NRL Melbourne Storms player Ryan Papenhuyzen was sitting right behind us. Paddy was too nervous to approach and I was insisting we should say hi. Even if I do want to approach, I was told by Paddy that maybe the guy wants to be left alone.

I grew up in a culture where celebrities outright told their audience that they don’t mind being approached in public as long as they’re respectful. Their definition of respectful is “not shoving a camera at their face” and just being friendly.

However, Paddy pointed out that “He must be tired from being in the media circuit for a while and just want a peaceful night with friends”. And that is a valid argument, no one is approaching him in the restaurant and he did look like he wanted to have a quiet night with friends.

But dude, you shouldn’t tell me that we’re next to someone famous without doing anything about it. That’s like seeing a pot of gold but not collecting. It’s our lucky day.

“These guys are people too”

In the end, we decided to leave the guy alone as he’s also a human who wants a night out. But we can’t just say “we met an NRL star” without proof. To be honest, our group chat didn’t believe us either and wanted a photo (and a shoutout). So using some sneaky photography skills, I managed to capture a sneaky shot.

It’s up to you to decide if it’s really him or if you would want to approach him.

Is this really Ryan Papenhuyzen????

So when should you approach a celebrity in public?

Based on the events that happened between Paddy and I, we think that the best time to meet someone notable is if they’re doing everyday things alone. If they’re in a situation where they’re with friends and loved ones, it might be best to let them be.

Like we said earlier, these guys are people too.

Maybe someday, Paddy will be able to talk to Ryan Papenhuyzen but I guess our night isn’t that night.

This article is an extension of the events that happened during the Pick You Up At 6 Podcast.

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