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Thread: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    I was just up in Toronto to take my 17 year old son to the comic/scifi/horror/gaming expo for his birthday present(he is a comic book fan). His argument for going is that actors from stargate and star trek were going to be there namely:

    WILLIAM SHATNER
    LEONARD NIMOY
    CARRIE FISHER
    JAMES CALLIS
    GATES McFADDEN
    ROBERT PICARDO
    MORENA BACCARIN
    PAUL McGILLION


    I know Shatner and Nimoy charge outrages amount for an autograph(which I disagree fans made them).

    but I was shocked that the rest were charging 20-25 for autographs. I was hoping to get Pauls,Roberts and Morenas autographs but that would have cost me 75.00 bucks(admission cost me 39.00). I have gone to two other conventions in my life with James Dohan(scotty) and Morina Serttis(Troi) both did not charge for autographs.

    I know people get autographs and sell them at a profit but they usually want lots of things signed which at that point I believe they should charge after say one or two signatures.

    I stood in line to help my son get some signatures from comic artist and writers like Jim Lee(Batman fame). My son had one comic others had boxes yet the artist/writers signed them all. which I thought was to much but still they signed at no charge.

    in my closing rant I say shame on the actors who charge the fans for one autograph after the fans are the reason they have jobs.

  2. #2
    Colonel Seshat's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    They charge because so many people want their autographs. If they didn't, they'd have to sit there for days to accommodate everyone. The other alternative is that they don't sign anything at all.

    Conventions are a money-making event for those involved. Not a charity event just for you. No one is forcing you to pay for an autograph if you choose not to buy one. Neither should actors be forced to sign autographs for free just because you want one.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Seshat
    They charge because so many people want their autographs. If they didn't, they'd have to sit there for days to accommodate everyone. The other alternative is that they don't sign anything at all.

    Conventions are a money-making event for those involved. Not a charity event just for you. No one is forcing you to pay for an autograph if you choose not to buy one. Neither should actors be forced to sign autographs for free just because you want one.

    I would agree if say the admisson was free but it was not. as far as forcing I would not call it forcing more like "hey thanks for watching my show if it were not for fans(ratings) I would not have a job so here is one free signature. I bet they were paid to be there. No actor would say hey I will ask for a table and charge for autographs to make some extra money. The actors do not owe anyone anything(acting is a job). I just think it looks bad when they say I enjoy meeting the fans(as long as they have cash).

    Finally this just my opinion just like yours. I feel one way you feel another.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    I have to say that the way that conventions are run these days, together with this kind of thing of actors charging for autographs, is a sad reflection on how things have changed from my day. When I think of the conventions I attended in my youth, I feel very sad for fans today. Nowadays, it just seems to be all about grabbing at much money from them as possible. Which is especially reprehensible in my opinion when it comes to youngsters.

    This kind of comment (while probably true)

    Conventions are a money-making event for those involved. Not a charity event just for you.
    Just makes me wish that fans could enjoy the type of conventions we did. Back then, it was all about fun and sharing your love of a show with your fellow fans. Not about profits. I guess that's what you get when big business starts running conventions instead of the fans themselves.

    I would like to think that, at the very least, those autograph charges go to some charity and not into the actors' already well stuffed bank accounts?

    Albion
    Listen, we had General Ryan come on and do a little cameo for us, and he's a real live four star, one of the big guys. And I had to ask him point blank, because there's a certain irreverence that I bring to the character, and denseness, but while we were doing this scene, I just looked at him and said, "Do you have guys like me in...?" and he stopped me and said, "Yes, and worse, and you're doing a fine job, son."

    Richard Dean Anderson

  5. #5
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Albion
    I have to say that the way that conventions are run these days, together with this kind of thing of actors charging for autographs, is a sad reflection on how things have changed from my day. When I think of the conventions I attended in my youth, I feel very sad for fans today. Nowadays, it just seems to be all about grabbing at much money from them as possible. Which is especially reprehensible in my opinion when it comes to youngsters. Back then, it was all about fun and sharing your love of a show with your fellow fans.

    I would like to think that, at the very least, those autograph charges go to some charity and not into the actors' already well stuffed bank accounts?

    Albion
    Well said

  6. #6
    Lieutenant Colonel vaberella's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    I'd have to agree. I've never been to a con or even pictured going to one of those things in my life. But my sister really wants to go just to meet Paul McGillion. When I found out that there would be local con in NJ in Oct. and was about to purchase tickets and would have liked to get JF's autograph, since he'd was going to be there (apparently recently cancelled); I wasn't impressed by the price of the autograph.

    I also think it's totally outrageous, and I'm one of those people who has outgrown frivolous spending of money. Nor is their picture and autograph worthy of such reverance, I'd think their autograph would be worth that kind of dough. My baby cousin could use that in her fund for future college tuition. Down with overpriced signatures!!

  7. #7
    Captain Mousie's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Whilst I can see both sides of the arguement - I remember when they charged less for a personal item to be signed - why shouldn't they charge? Ok maybe the prices are getting a bit high, but I don't have a problem with them charging. (I wish they where lower but that's a different story)

    Often times its the event organiser who states how much to charge for each auto in order to recoup the guests apperance fee, event costs ect.

    However much you can argue that without the fans watching show wouldn't be as successfull as they are (Thus keeping the actors employed) it's still just a job for them. Why should they give up their weekends to fly to different locations around the world without some sort of financial incentive/compensation. If you look at how many events/cons there are on around the world, some of these actors can be popping off here there and everywhere.

    If you knew a mechanic and took your car around for him to see it out of work hours you wouldn't expect him to fix it for free would you?

  8. #8
    Lieutenant Colonel vaberella's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Mousie
    Whilst I can see both sides of the arguement - I remember when they charged less for a personal item to be signed - why shouldn't they charge? Ok maybe the prices are getting a bit high, but I don't have a problem with them charging. (I wish they where lower but that's a different story)

    Often times its the event organiser who states how much to charge for each auto in order to recoup the guests apperance fee, event costs ect.

    However much you can argue that without the fans watching show wouldn't be as successfull as they are (Thus keeping the actors employed) it's still just a job for them. Why should they give up their weekends to fly to different locations around the world without some sort of financial incentive/compensation. If you look at how many events/cons there are on around the world, some of these actors can be popping off here there and everywhere.

    If you knew a mechanic and took your car around for him to see it out of work hours you wouldn't expect him to fix it for free would you?
    Wait, don't they get by the organisers, a dividend (of sorts) just to be there?! That comes out of the ticket prices and such. Like a rock concert, the artist does get a fee from the shirts that are sold and what not. I'd have thought the actors get a similar percentage in just being there. The autograph just ups the check amount they recieve. And there are people who play the hundreds for the major ticket!! And you take let's say about 700 or more people there, that's a hefty amount of moola.

  9. #9
    Captain Mousie's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    I agree but again it's not always the guest charging - it's the event organisers. Even if there is a small extra charge to the guest per auto, why shouldn't there be? They aren't running a charity, it's a business. As long as people are willing to pay the prices this is what will happen. We will either reach a point where it really is too much for most people and they will have to lower prices or cons/event s will just not be run as they won't sell enough tickets.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Depending on the convention...this may be the ONLY wage these actors may earn. Some (like Shatner and Nimoy) will get an actual payment for attending, plus a percentage of the autograph money. Others will only get the money they have earned from that autograph. That will have to cover their trip there, the hotel room if they've stayed over night and the trip home. HOPEFULLY, they earned more than their expenses.

    An unemployed actor may use this to get by until they get another acting job.

    At ComiCon, I spoke with one actor who was hugely relieved because he had made his rent for that month by selling his autograph. Not all of them make the big bucks.

    Do I think the prices have gotten outrageous? Yeah. But, I fault the con coordinators who to really rake in the money and try to get the actors for as cheaply as possible. Yes, it IS a business, but when you read that one scifi convention company made ofer $6 million in a year..... *shakes head*

  11. #11
    Captain Mousie's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    There is an American con organiser that recently did a con in the UK (last year I think), they are not getting any better actors (by that I mean rarer) than any other organiser but they charge a heck of a lot more than any other event i've ever seen or been to in the UK - i refuse to even think about buying a ticket for them.

  12. #12
    Brigadier General sueKay's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Some other points to consider:

    1. Not all actors are even aware that people are being charged for autographs..I've seen this first hand at a convention.

    2. Some convention companies are actually the ones to put the prices on autographs.

    3. If everyone got a free autograph, then the actors at larger conventions would likely have no time to do their talks, meet and greets, auctions etc. At Wolf: The Return, Kate Mulgrew forewent prices for her autograph...I read later that she regretted it, because she ended up spending almost the whole weekend signing autographs, and didn't get to do much else besides her talks.

    4. Some actors charge for autographs, and if other actors who aren't getting paid for doing the conventions (beyond their flights and accomodation), they might think 'well why shouldn't I charge for autographs?' and a lot of the money goes straight to charity to.

    5. Anyone who's been in a dealer's room at a con will tell you that one of the most popular items is 'the autograph'. If actors are going to start giving everyone a free autograph, then a lot of the dealers would go out of business. This is probably one of the reasons that agents/convention companies sometimes impose prices.

    Not all the actors are comfortable with autographs exchanging hands for money...keep that in mind too.

    I think the best way to remedy this is to include one signature per actor in the price of a ticket, the way quite a few companies already do.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by sueKay
    I think the best way to remedy this is to include one signature per actor in the price of a ticket, the way quite a few companies already do.
    A good point, but sadly...we wouldn't have as many actors as guests. With the Official Farscape Con, we are able to have a few extras but ONLY because they are there making money off the autograph. If the coordinators made it part of the "gold ticket" (already at $359)...that same gold ticket would go up exponentially or not have the actors at all.

    All of your points were good ones, BTW.

  14. #14
    Carson’s Wrestling Mat yaaayoubetcha's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    I've found that it's rare that the celeb in person is fully informed on how much the fans are being charged.

    I'd attend more cons if the auto's weren't so expensive but add to that admission and in the case of some sports card shows, you're not allowed to have the player sign a card/pic/jersey you brought in, you have to buy something at the table to be signed at a cost seperate from the actual sig.

    I've been debating cutting out the middle man and sending stuff straight to the celeb via the studio. I've had some success doing that with my sports cards. No better than 50%, but the cards are cheap so if i never see them again, I don't really mind. There's plenty of SGA, SG1, BSG, ST, CSI and whatnot cards out there that I'm sure it would be equally inexpensive.
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  15. #15
    Lieutenant General prion's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by vartech
    I was just up in Toronto to take my 17 year old son to the comic/scifi/horror/gaming expo for his birthday present(he is a comic book fan). His argument for going is that actors from stargate and star trek were going to be there namely:

    WILLIAM SHATNER
    LEONARD NIMOY
    CARRIE FISHER
    JAMES CALLIS
    GATES McFADDEN
    ROBERT PICARDO
    MORENA BACCARIN
    PAUL McGILLION


    I know Shatner and Nimoy charge outrages amount for an autograph(which I disagree fans made them).

    but I was shocked that the rest were charging 20-25 for autographs. I was hoping to get Pauls,Roberts and Morenas autographs but that would have cost me 75.00 bucks(admission cost me 39.00). I have gone to two other conventions in my life with James Dohan(scotty) and Morina Serttis(Troi) both did not charge for autographs.

    I know people get autographs and sell them at a profit but they usually want lots of things signed which at that point I believe they should charge after say one or two signatures.

    I stood in line to help my son get some signatures from comic artist and writers like Jim Lee(Batman fame). My son had one comic others had boxes yet the artist/writers signed them all. which I thought was to much but still they signed at no charge.

    in my closing rant I say shame on the actors who charge the fans for one autograph after the fans are the reason they have jobs.
    Unfortunately you can't find cons that don't seem to charge for actor's autographs anymore. Why?I blame the fans, or rather, those that pose as fans, get an autograph, and immdiately sell it on eBay. Hell, cons are full of people who are there to grab the freebies and gouge as much as they can with online auctions.

    I rarely saw anybody charge for autographs till eBay came along, alas

    However, I"m sure the cons are taking a nice chunk out of the receipts. I miss the days when an actor would sign stuff for you cheerily and nobody tried to make a huge profit.

    Heck, I've been in dealer's rooms and seen autographed photos going for hundreds of dollars. That's part of the reason why the common folk get gouged.

  16. #16
    Lieutenant General Alipeeps's Avatar
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by sueKay
    Not all the actors are comfortable with autographs exchanging hands for money...keep that in mind too.
    I'm sure I've read somewhere that one of the reasons David Hewlett doesn't do many conventions (aside from cherishing his rare free time to spend with his partner) is that he's not too comfortable with the business aspect of them and with money changing hands for things like autographs etc.

  17. #17
    First Lieutenant Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    Smile Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    Unfortunately, many actors end up making a living from "autograph money" and it's an incentive for them to make or schedule appearances at cons. Plus it keeps them in the public consciousness or at least in the minds of scifi fans.

    You'll find guest stars or nameless redshirts that appeared only once in ST:TOS buying table space, selling their autographs, and finding buyers for their wares. When actors start doing nostalgic Caribbean cruises, that's when you really know they are trying to cash in on their former fame and can't finding acting jobs.

    In any case, the eBay sellers will want just the autographs, nothing personalized, to get the most money reselling signed items. One can tell who the eBay'ers are at cons by their insistence on autographs only requests to the actors. Actors know this and want their cut by charging for autographs up to the current market value. That cuts down a lot of the eBay sellers and their relay teams at cons because they can't make a reasonable profit or outrageous sum from the bidding.

    It's better to just contact the studio or the actor's agent/agency and request an 8X10 autographed glossy. It may not be the same as actually getting the chance to meet and talk to your favorite actor while getting a signature, but it will save you a lot of money.

    Try going to the smaller cons. Actors tend to have more time and you can take pictures with them and have a short conversation or longer talk with them, plus get autographs cheaper or even for free. In some cases, at least with SG1 and BSG, one could get lucky and end up eating lunch with the actors at your table or be invited inside to share stories. It all depends on the circumstances.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    I'm definitely not a fan of actors charging outrageous amounts for an autograph. It's not like its costing them anything. If the time spent giving free autographs is an issue, I don't understand why event organizers do not find a way to control the amount of time that an actor spends signing, or a specific number. Have it included in the ticket price, if need be.

    BTW, if anyone wants mall map signed by some supposedly famous UFC champion, $5.

    (J/k, but funny story. I was at work in the mall, and some guy comes up to me and starts blathering on about the gym, and where is it. I'm trying to give him directions, but he just keeps yapping about he's a UFC champion, and he's just run 10 laps around the mall and blah, blah, blah, so finally I just grab a map and circle it. He takes the map, and my pen, and scribbles something on the map, hands it back to me, says "Thanks" and walks away. I have no idea who he was, or what exactly he wrote.)


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  19. #19
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    I've never cared much for celebrities charging for autographs, so I've never gotten any that I would have had to pay for. They're not that important to me.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: actors charging for autographs! why and Why I Think its wrong

    While I hate the fact that they charge money for autographs...suekay made a good point by mentioning that if they didn't charge, they'd be there forever and wouldn't be able to do anything else cause everyone would want a free autograph.

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