Okay so I know this is kind of off topic (not really) but some of you could use this information while trying to send fan mail to the Hunger Game cast! My current collection as of right now consist of 316 autographs from about 222 people. So I’m going to try to break this down for you and make it as simple as possible in my explanations! Please keep in mind that this is broken down for sending mail within the US!
First thing you will need to know that this isnt a free or cheap hobby. This will cost you money in one way or another.
To start off you will need paper/pens (to write your letters), envelops, stamps and whatever item you will be sending off to the person you are writing to.
Paper and pen are kind of self explanatory so I will be skipping over that one! But I will add this since its something I get asked alot on my Tumblr account. “What do I write in my letter?” You can write whatever you like to write! Tell them why you are a fan of their work. Tell them about yourself. Anything you want!
Envelops – You will need 2 envelops for every request you send. One you will address to the celeb and one will be your self addressed stamped address (known as a SASE) to be able to get you your autographed item back, well thats if you are requesting an autograph! Depending on the size of the item you will be sending you would pick out what size envelops to use. I usually send 8×11 pictures that I print at home, so I get 9×12 envelops. You will also want to write “PLEASE DO NOT BEND” on both envelops (or include a piece of cardboard to keep the picture from bending). The post office can be brutal with mail and mess up the picture.
** I do have a video on my Youtube account showing you how to put together the request just incase you are a visual learner **
Stamps – Depending on the size of the envelop you get and the weight of the items inside would be determine how many stamps you would need to use. The post office can also weigh your envelop and tell you how much in stamps you would need. For example I send a 9×12 envelop that has my letter to the actor, a picture and my SASE on 3 Forever stamps. (Forever stamps are currently at .45cents so thats $1.35 in stamps). You would also need to put stamps on your SASE (thats another 3 stamps).
**As I mentioned in the first paragraph this is for sending within the US. If you are sending to an actor/singer in another country the stamp issue is something totally diff!**
Item you send to be signed – A lot of people send pictures of the person or even blank index cards for them to sign. Now when it comes to printing pictures, I also do it myself from my own computer/home printer (thats another expense. buying photo paper and ink!). I’ve heard people try to get their pictures printed out at a CVS/Walmart/etc and have issues because they are not the copyright owners of the picture. So I think its just easier to print from my own home. You dont necessarily have to send a printed picture. You could send a magazine clipping for example. Its up to you on what you want to send!
**Most celebs have head shots on hand just in case you dont have anything to send them. You could just nicely ask in your letter if they could provide you with an autograph picture.**
Now onto the next topic of within fan mail and autograph collecting! Waiting. Once you send your request forget about it. Depending on the person you are sending to and their habits it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to a few months to even a few years. Theres even the possibility that you get anything back at all! Theres also the certain celebs that dont sign autographs at all because they dont want people selling them for money on ebay. I’ve had just about a success in all those categorizes. I normally keep a log on what I sent and when I sent it/when I got something back.
Next thing (which is the fun part): When you get a answer back/success! While getting an autograph is fun there are little disappointments that come along with it. Some autographs may not be 100% legit. One thing I know for sure is that Jennifer Lawrence doesnt have time for fan mail at this moment so she lets her secretary sign the fan mail for her, which leads to only getting a real Jen autograph in person (IP). Josh Hutcherson is another one that you would need to get IP. “He’s” known to send out Auto-penned/PrePrinted autographs (AP/PP). I put he in ” ” cause its not really him that sends it out its his agency.
**AP: an autopen is basically a signature signed by a computer/machine.
PP: preprinted autographs are pictures that edited to have the signature placed on the picture before it gets printed out. **
I personally dont mind AP/PP autographs since the celeb had to sign something first to be able to get the signature into the computer for it to be reproduced later on, some people might not like it. And trust me I know people who dont.
How do you find fan mail addresses? Most celebs provide a contact on their personal websites. Or you can do a quick google search and it should come up. Or if you have a twitter account you could always tweet the celeb! While googling I would check a for a few diff addresses. There are times when the celeb has more then just one agency that represents them and theres also times where you will find an address that no longer is valid for the person. For example Isabelle Fuhrman who plays Clove in THG recently changed agencys so the old fan mail address you would find online no longer works.
Now the little knowledge I do have on sending to other countries, like the UK, for the Harry Potter actors! When you do your SASE and you could include several International Reply Coupons. The international Reply Coupons (IRC) will be used by the receiver to purchase english stamps. You can only get them at your post office. Place the IRC’s into the envelope, not on it. (The purpose of the IRC is to allow a person to send someone in another country a letter, along with the cost of postage for a reply). If you were to send a SASE with US stamps the celeb in the UK (or whatever other country) wouldnt be able to send you it since our stamps would work over there.
I personally have had successes without sending IRC. I send a few US dollars ($2-$3) to cover postage and never have had an issue. Yes I know what you are thinking. What are they going to do with US dollars in the UK! Well they could either exchange it at a currency exchange location (since many americans do travel over there!) or they could possibly keep it for when they travel to the states!
Well I think its come to an end on my explanation of fan mail! I will be updating this every once in a while. But if you have any questions feel free to send me an ASK here on Tumblr or tweet me on twitter @iL0VESEAMUS .. or even comment on my facebook page facebook.com/iL0VESEAMUShp