Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Alton Brown, What Can Brown Do For You? 10/21/11

The Barnes and Nobles in the little town of Frisco, TX hosted Alton Brown last Friday for his Good Eats 3 book. This was a large event and whether the local B&N knew what they were getting into, they seemed to manage well, at least for the 3 hours I was there.
Alton Brown is a fan’s dream come true. Even before I knew about his Fanifesto, I could tell from the last encounter he was a man that cared about his fans.  After I read his Fanifesto, I can testify these are not empty words to him. He did not write these to be hidden in some dark closet to collect dust.  It’s a blueprint of his autograph events. It’s something every fan should appreciate.  And in my opinion, it’s also something every celebrity should also try to emulate to the best of their ability.
What I got out of his Fanifesto most was: Don’t Panic!  Within this document he manages expectation between the fans and himself. He also answers the most asked questions which I’m sure reduces the stress of fans and the bookstore employees and he discusses the rules of conduct.
He promises to stay along as it takes.  I have been at events where the celebrity has left early or the time expired and the celeb left even though only 50 of the 200 people got signatures.  For me that eliminates a lot of stress.
He will pose for photos.  I don’t know how often people won’t pose or even allow photos to be taken.  This is also the one number asked questioned by fans.  He quickly lets you know right up front. I do understand that photos will slow the autograph process but it’s such a simple thing to plan into the schedule.
Yes, he will. Yes, he will sign memorabilia and other stuff. That is a question asked from the hard core collectors and autograph hounds like me. This one makes me happy.
He will move kidlets and the elderly to the front of the line. I like this for 2 reasons. The first, it’s gentlemanly of him and we seem to live in an age when no one is nice to one another anymore. The second, I seem to be the one that is stuck next to the crying child for 3 hours. 
He has other details but you can read them for yourself. 
So the wife and I got there around 7PM.  The bookstore handed out a little schedule to explain when your group would be called.  Even though I knew better we still showed up a little early.  Alton entertained the crowd and had people laughing.
Our group was called about 1 ½ hours later than planned. We explored the book store from top to bottom as we waited. After our group was called we still had a wait.
As we got closer to the front we got to ease drop on his conversations with others. One lady told him it was her birthday.  As she was leaving, he asked if anyone sang her ‘Happy Birthday’.  She said no and there was a long pause.  Just as everyone expected him to start the song, he waved and said sorry to hear that.  The lady and the crowded laughed in good humor.
When we finally got to Alton, he removed the books from my hands and placed them on his table.  Alton stands during the whole event. It helps speeds things up and it also reminds him how tired everyone else much be too.
On top of my books was a clipboard with a copy of photos I wanted him to sign.  He saw those and asked if I was going to sell them on eBay.  I said no. He mentioned some guy got him as he was leaving his plane and had a big stack of photos.  Alton asked him the same question and that guy said yes, he was going to sell the photos. So Alton said, okay then, give me $5 a photo.  The guy refused and was mad.  I laughed and I repeated I wasn’t going to sell the photos.
He signed our books, he signed my photos, he talked with us, he made us laugh, and then he posed for a photo.
Both experiences with Alton Brown were fun and we felt it was worth the wait and the tired feet.
He makes it a stress free experience for fans and collectors.



  1. Really wish a lot more celebs were like this, great picture and write up!

  2. He really is a great guy. I am charmed by that sweetie pie.