KNOCK, KNOCK, WHO’S THERE?
Part Two by Fiona

In my last blog regarding the way that celebrity personal assistants are called upon to act as gatekeepers, I discussed an annoying but relatively harmless intrusion upon my employer’s privacy. Celebrities are notoriously unavailable to those wishing an audience to grant a favor, for example. They have to be. Not only do they work long and exhausting hours on the set, they are often bombarded with unwanted demands on their free time.

Most celebrities will grin and bear it when they are in public. It comes with the territory. When a celebrity is asked to sign an autograph while they are at Starbucks or at the park with their kids, it’s usually no problem. However, that changes when it’s the unexpected appearance of an unstable person knocking at the door. In this blog, I am going to discuss this kind of intrusion which brings the potential of more dire consequences for the celebrity, his or her family, and the household staff.

Your role as gatekeeper may involve ascertaining the threat level of unexpected visitors to your employer’s workplace and/or personal residence. You may encounter individuals ranging from an overzealous fan to a deranged psycho. The delicate matter of security in the celebrity’s home often becomes the responsibility of the celebrity personal assistant. As long as there are maps to the movie stars homes and celebrity addresses easily attainable on the internet there are going to be uninvited “guests” who are going to try and make an unannounced appearance at your employer’s home.

It is one thing to turn away a carful of starstruck teenagers from out-of-town who just wanted to see where a movie star lives. It is another thing to have a foaming-at- the-mouth nut job who climbs over the fence and is suddenly threatening the security of the celebrity and everyone in the line of fire.  The Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants (www.acpa-la.com) has devoted numerous meetings with professionals trained in identifying and handling stalkers who show up at your celebrity employer’s door. These meetings help us prepare to recognize the problem when it appears. Until you have actually opened the door and seen a stalker it is hard to believe these people really exist.

Unfortunately for us they do.

(Part Three next week)