Are you an aspiring collector?
I've been an autograph collector for many years and am very proud of my collection, but I get asked a-lot about how I've managed to amass such a collection.
We've all seen the signed stuff on sites like eBay, the problem is how do you know it's real? Unless you buy from a registered UACC (Universal Autograph Collector's Club) dealer, which is usually very expensive, then you could be buying forgeries.
I'm always shocked by peoples reactions when I tell them that most actors nowadays have their own website where you can buy signed merchandise from them, it's an extra income for them and most are reasonably priced as-well. Unfortunately it's postage that can be pricey, especially if it's from another country such as USA to UK.
Just type the actors name into Google and see what pops up and start adding it all up, you're going to have to start saving.
Another way is going to conventions, that way you get the added bonus of meeting the actor in person and getting a signed picture from them or even a prop.
The unfortunate thing is that conventions are mainly a US thing but they are gaining popularity here in the UK and other countries so keep an eye out for one popping up near you.
Another method is the good old fashioned way, by post. Now this can be risky but if done properly is usually the best, behind the official websites anyway. There are ways of finding out addresses to send your envelopes to, my preferred way is through the website fanmail.biz as it gets a-lot of fan feedback and is very helpful.
There are right and wrong ways to do this so I'm going to give you some helpful tips to aid you as best as I can in doing this.
You'll want to include a letter to send, the best thing to do is type it out on your computer and print it. This way the person receiving it will be able to read it clearly, also it's a good idea to do it in a large clear font and never forget to proof read it.
Now most actors will have photos to send to you but not all of them so it's best to include something for them to sign, this can be a DVD cover, a photo you've printed yourself, posters etc. Anything you can think of basically just keep postage in mind with the weight.
Now this is the risky part, the item you've sent to your selected actor could get lost in the post, it's rare but it happens so think about what you're sending. It can even seem like it got lost but I've heard stories of it being returned 2-3 years after sending it, which brings me to my next point.
Patience, you're going to need lots of it, It could take months for your picture to return to you but this is all part of the process. You have to remember that some of these actors receive a-lot of mail like this.
If you're wanting your item returned to you then you're going to have to pay postage for it's return. This can be easily arranged through your local post office, the weight will be more once you've placed you're self addressed envelope into the envelope for the actor so bear that in mind.
Also write a return address on the outer envelope just incase something goes wrong and the item can be returned to you, the last thing you want is to lose it because of a mistake.
Just a couple of more pointers, to make it a more enjoyable experience for you and the actor. A-lot of actors will tell you they love hearing about your personal stories relating to their work, whether it was your first Horror movie, it's your all time favourite or even if it's the film you and your partner saw on your first date then give your letter that personal touch.
This goes without saying but be polite, they are people as-well and manners will go a long way, be sure to say thank you to them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to do this for you because in all honesty, they don't have to.
Well there you have it, I hope this helps those of you who ask about this and I wish you the best of luck!