About three years ago I met actress and comedienne Kim Coles, a favorite of mine on Twitter. Soon after I began working for her and the types of events and people I met changed. I was a shy girl from the hood, and we didn’t have musicians or actresses just strolling blissfully down the street, making mingling with celebs commonplace. What to do?

The good thing is that living in LA, working in Westwood and Hollywood, favoriting Santa Monica as a hangout spot and going to the Beverly Center for lunch, you see people. (Sidebar: I saw rapper/producer Warren G – read: accomplished musician if you check out his recent work – at the mall, Chris Rock eating and Woody Harrelson at the beach, go figure) How did I act? No, no–not like a bonafide fool.

I got off subject but hey, follow me here. If mama Jasmine doesn’t act a fool with celebrities when she has every capability and desire too, don’t you do it. If you’re presented with the opportunity to attend celebrity events, this is what you do.

Smile, nod, and go on with your life. Highly visible people like celebs are simply that. Their jobs come with the added perk that everyone knows their name and they are used to being bombarded. Don’t bombard them. Simply smile, acknowledge them (or not depending on how close you are to them), if you’re close enough to say hello, do that in a very poised way (no wailing out Heeeeey giiiirl, I seent chu on TV), and then go on so as not to create a scene or keep others from getting a chance to meet them.

There are some cases, like special events designed for the celebs to mingle with guest and take pictures. One event I went to, actress Tia Mowry gracefully took pictures, dined with friends and enjoyed live music. The event layout was set up for the mingling aspect so no one was out of place and awkward when doing the meet and greet. Following that, however, everybody went on, enjoyed themselves and all had a great time.

Now when I met John Legend at an album signing, I was a little more engaged. To ease my sheer awe at my favorite crooner, I shared very briefly that I appreciated his music, had my album signed, quickly took a picture with him, and carried on.

The thing is we all are fans at heart, even of we personally have made celebrity status (I have sooooo much longer to go because I haven’t gotten my reality show deal yet, lol). Celebs GET that they are adored by others and typically are okay with the sometimes awkward interaction with an appreciative fan. At events, this doesn’t change so put yourself in their shoes and treat them very much like you treat everyone you meet–with dignity, appreciation, and hopefully not like you’ve seen one of the gods so you don’t behave embarrassingly starstuck. Get your fan time in, don’t pitch, be brief and revel in the fact that you don’t embarrass them or yourself.

If you frequent these types of events, you’ll begin to see some celebs repeatedly so don’t make the first interaction the be all end all. Play it cool.

The key is if you treat everyone the same–with respect, considerate of their space and time, and dignified–you will never go wrong. Of course, every personality is different so not all are busy or unfriendly, just never create a scene of hog up the fan time (especially if there’s a line of people waiting).

Be poised, don’t drool and instead, do like I do–smile, nod, and carry on while screaming inside! Have fun and mingle folks!