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Six Tips for Writing Celebrity Profiles

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Writing about celebrities can be a humbling experience, but it's a great way to get your name into the mainstream and to make a few extra bucks. Writers must pursue every opportunity they are given, which means that celebrity profiles should be embraced. Contrary to popular opinion, it isn't all that difficult to get an interview with a celebrity if you are persistent and professional.

1. Request an Assignment

Celebrities are very discriminating about the people to whom they will grant an interview. Their managers and agents are well-schooled in the art of screening interview prospects before agreeing, which means that only the writers with assignments will usually make the cut. In order to get an assignment to write a celebrity profile, you will need to contact a variety of publications with your interest. Magazines and local newspapers are a great place to start.

2. Maintain Flexibility

While you might not feel that a celebrity's time is more valuable than your own, their crazy schedules are something you will have to deal with if you write celebrity profiles. In most cases, you will be given a couple of options by the celebrity's publicist during which you can conduct your interview; if you can't make those times work, you're out of luck. Your best bet is to remain flexible and rearrange your schedule to accommodate the interview. After all, without the interview, you don't have a celebrity profile to sell.

3. Clarify Common Misconceptions

One of the best ways to earn a name in the industry and to generate more opportunities to write celebrity profiles is to clarify common misconceptions. For example, if the Internet is rife with rumors about the celebrity you are interviewing, ask for the real scoop on the matter. It shouldn't be a personal question (don't ask, "Is it true that you sleep with the lights on?") or embarrassing, but try to come up with an interesting fact that no one else knows.

4. Record the Interview

It is never a good idea to conduct an interview while relying on your memory or ability to scribble fast. Writing celebrity profiles requires absolute accuracy, as a misprint could put you or the publication in deep legal trouble. I'd advise investing in a good quality tape recorder and a device that allows you to connect it to your phone. That way you have no change to misquote the celebrity.

5. Take Every Opportunity

You don't have to live in NYC or LA to run into celebrities. When my wife worked at the Houston airport, she met about two hundred different celebrities and they all stopped to chat when asked. If you don't have an assignment to write a celebrity profile, take advantage of any opportunity you get to meet a celebrity in passing. If you do happen to meet one, give him or her your business card and request an interview at a later date. You never know.

6. Don't Discriminate

You might not have the chance to interview Tom Cruise or Sandra Bullock for your first celebrity profile. Take heart, however, because even the no-names can become big names given time. If you are asked to write a celebrity profile on someone you've never heard of before, take advantage.

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