by Blair Cannon
Frank Costa, junior in Gallatin School of Individualized Study
What is your major?
I’m in Gallatin and my concentration is Effective Strategies in Advertisement, Management, and Events with a minor of Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. I chose it because I have a rough plan of what I want to do with my life, but if it doesn’t work out the way I planned, I want to be able to have the versatility to move around in the entertainment industry and get a feel for what’s right for me.
When did you meet your first celebrity?
It was on May 4, 2009. It was a Thursday… I believe. I have great memory, which is why I have become good at facial recognition for celebrities and public figures. The two celebrities that I met at this time were Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Looking back, it’s sort of funny to think that I met them together since they’re currently divorced.
When did you decide to make meeting celebrities a regular thing?
I still don’t really consider it a regular thing. I find that living in New York City is a gift because you do have the opportunity to meet celebrities on your way to class. My residence hall is located right next to the Bowery Hotel, so I often do see celebrities come out or walk in.
How many celebrities have you met?
I would say that I have met around 30 to 40 celebrities within the past 4 years. I don’t consider it a major part of my life, but I definitely feel that it has impacted who I am as a person.
How do you choose what celebrities you want to meet?
It’s a combination. I base most of anything that I do around my schedule. I also feel, however, that it depends on who the celebrity is, will they take a photo with me, how I am meeting them, and how easy it will be to meet them. All of those questions are critical.
Have you ever gotten in trouble when trying to meet a celebrity?
A lot of the security can be rude to even the people that are nice. They just don’t want to take any risks, but it does take a lot to just give up a part of your day to go meet someone who doesn’t even know who you are.
Why continue to meet celebrities when it does take up so much time?
I enjoy meeting celebrities. I don’t praise them or put them higher than anybody else in society, but I do appreciate meeting them in person because we see so much of Hollywood glamour on TV and in movies, but it’s different when you meet someone in person and you get to have a conversation with them.
Who has been the nicest celebrity you’ve met? And the rudest?
At the top of the list is definitely Kristin Chenoweth. I admire her so much for her work and her integrity, so it was such a blessing to find out that she’s so genuine in real life. A few other celebrities who expressed kindness to me when it wasn’t even necessary were Jessica Alba, Matt Bomer, Adam Levine, and Jane Lynch. As for the meanest, it has to go to Jonah Hill. I met him once and he took pictures with the people next to me. But when I asked for a photo, he just completely disregarded my existence. He just walked away and I found that to be very off-putting, especially since no security had been rushing him.
Why do you think you are so well-known within the NYU community?
I would say Miley Cyrus. I am positive that I have met people who are more famous than her, but she has been such an inspiration for me. I grew up with her, not literally, but I grew up watching Hannah Montana, listening to Miley’s music post-Disney, and supporting Miley in any way I can. I think Miley has this raw talent that most people are scared to embrace. When we truly dissect the Video Music Awards performance, all she did was make a spectacle and that spectacle may have just made her latest album Bangerz #1 in more than 80 countries. What I appreciate about her is that she does what she wants. There’s no sense of “bullshit” surrounding her.
What do you want to do with the rest of your life/what are your aspirations?
I want to work with celebrities to some extent. I’m looking into being a publicist as my career in the end, but I’d like to get my feet wet before I declare anything for sure.