If I wasn’t a celebrity, would you be so nice to me?

Part of the thrill of visiting a big city like New York or LA involves the possibility of running into a celebrity. I confess, I am that crazy girl in the Big Apple, keeping my eyes peeled as I trotted through SoHo.

Then there’s the chance times celebrities visit you. When Alabama played LSU in Tuscaloosa last year, celebs invaded my mid-sized hometown for the Game of the Century. Stars included LeBron James, Sela Ward, Lil Wayne and many football greats. Not to mention, the stars of ESPN’s College Game Day set up camp in Tuscaloosa on Thursday. My friend Morgan was able to snag a picture with former Cincinnati Bengal David Pollack.

The excitement of meeting someone famous should be experienced by everyone, even if you’re not a celeb guru like myself. Now don’t go stalker crazy or anything, but if the opportunity for a autograph or picture presents itself, take it.

Though I keep a close watch when traveling, I’ve never met a celeb on a trip. Never. I’ve visited New York and LA a number of times, not to mention London and Paris, and I’ve been unsuccessful. I waited outside what was supposedly The Jonas Brothers’ hotel for about thirty minutes, and that’s the closest I’ve gotten. My recommendation is to look for opportunities near you. You’ll know the area better and most likely have more success.

Last weekend, I visited Barber Motor Sports, a track in the Izod Indy Car series. Patrick Dempsey races there, and my friends Kelsey, Jordan and I were lucky enough to meet him.

Dempsey greeted everyone who was waiting outside his tent, signing autographs and taking pictures. If a group this size spotted him in NYC, for example, he would not have been able to take the time to talk with everyone. For safety reasons, he probably would need to get away as quickly as possible.

So, look for opportunities near you to see the stars. In the South, sports events are some of the best places to meet the rich and famous.

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Morning Shows Are Worth It Part 1: The Today Show

The gang has a lot of energy, even at the crack of dawn.

Leaving my toasty bed before the sun comes up (or before 10 a.m., really) is not something I particularly enjoy. So, when my family and friends traveled to New York in May 2011, visiting The Today Show was not something I was just dying to do. Though I enjoy The Today Show ( the gang’s chemistry is the best of early morning news programs), I prefer to watch Al Roker give the weather report from the comforts of my queen-sized bed.

When we arrived at NBC (about 2 hours before the show, a good time if you want to be on the first row), a breakfast truck provided free coffee, waffles and pastries to those waiting for program. Don’t judge a caramel macchiato from a van. It’s one of the best I’ve ever had.

My group also participated in the sign-making tradition of The Today Show. The April 27th tornadoes had just struck my hometown, Tuscaloosa, as well as many areas in the Southeast. Our signs reflected our Tuscaloosa pride, one reading, “We will praise You in this storm-Tuscaloosa, Alabama” and another saying, “Roll Tide, Y’all.” Security checks every sign before you enter the gates of the lot, and they are a scary bunch.

Various members of The Today Show gang come out to the lot about five times per show. Roker, the showman, gave everyone on the front row (including myself) high fives. The special guest, who was Glee’s Chris Colfer at our show, also visits the lot.

Needless to say, I was freaking out. And trying not to call him Kurt.

Television screens and speakers allow you to see what’s filmed in the studio, so you’re not bored when none of the on-air talent is outside. The high energy of trying to get on TV is fun if you want your five seconds of fame. As an aspiring member of the media, I enjoyed watching how the producers, directors, assistants and on-air talent prepared for the show. It’s definitely a fast-paced environment, but this group makes it look effortless.

The next time you go to New York, devote a morning to The Today Show. Plus, it’s a free attraction with free breakfast. That’s nearly impossible to come by in the Big Apple.