I have a new rule, and its corollary:
1. don't meet your heroes, they've already given you the best that they've got in their book or poem or movie.
2. don't let your heroes meet you, you'll slobber on their egos like a hungry dog.
In rare cases I've done both things to an artist I admire and found myself, finally, laughing about it later.
I met Penn, of Penn and Teller (the tall one who talks) at a Monday Night Magic show. Huge fan. Grotesque gushing inanities poured out of my mouth as he sat, hemmed in by my eagerness, during intermission and the look of wary weariness--as in this happens all the time and is so boring-- humiliated me even as my mouth kept slobbering compliments... I promise if I ever see you again Penn I won't say a thing. Ack.
Then with the multi talented Shaun Tan I managed to have BOTH experiences. At the world fantasy convention I heard him talk, loved his intelligence, wit, and talent, ran into him, invited him to dinner with friends, he accepted and was as thoughtful, considerate, and interesting as I could have hoped for. If only the story could end here. A short time later he was in New York signing books at Books of Wonder, a delightful children's bookstore. By this point I'd morphed into weird fannish mode. I saw him at the signing table, ran to him clutching a copy of the book like a football player, and almost knocked over a lady in her wheelchair and a guy with his kids. I'd accidentally cut the line in my awful eagerness. The shame. I looked up and heard the woman spinning her wheels slightly, sighing "I don't mind waiting a little longer" and felt like a turd. A fan turd. And Shaun's face had a look of wary weariness.