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Saturday, May 25, 2013

How to Be a Fan


How to be a Fan
Subtitle: I really shouldn't be writing this because apparently I've been going about this all wrong. 

I had you for a sec, didn't I, making you think I was gonna give ya ten steps. No, I really don't have ten steps for this one, though I reserve the right to break out into a list at any point in time, just so we're clear. This is just something that has been bugging the SNOT out of me, so in the interest of honesty I needed to get this out. 

Hope I don't offend, because that is NOT nor will it ever be the intention. 

This is my TRUE first hand experience as I have experienced it and I wanted to share. 

First, some background. You've probably figured out that I tend to NOT follow the crowd. It's not intentional; I'm not some angsty emo blasting garage band music bemoaning my daily struggle as a member of the middle class, but I was just raised to be who you are no matter what. So, I am a good Southern girl who hates country music and speak Spanish. 

That makes a hell of a lot of sense, right?

I just went with what made me happy and did it, as long as it didn't hurt anyone else. (Thanks Mommy - see I listened)

In middle school, high school, college and early adulthood, I liked things sure, but was just never THAT into anything. I mean, I LOVE Star Wars, can recite the original three start to finish including sound effects (gotta love a weird talent that will NEVER make you one red cent LOL) but I never did the fan thing. So when I found Stargate and got into that I decided to give this mystery called 'fandom' a try. I reactivated my Twitter account, followed some groups on Facebook and decided to go to a con to meet my inspiration Michael Shanks. 

Time to be BLOWN away. 

Apparently there are rules. 

My bad, I missed the memo. 

First, you can not be 'fan enough.' It seemed that, well, not seemed, as I got and saw some VERY rude tweets that informed me quickly of the following:

1. You're not a real fan if you are new. Yeah, that kinda blew me away. Granted if I was in the loop sooner I could have helped in saving a show in threat of cancellation, maybe, not like US TV execs really care, but I could have. So much nastiness abounded about 'newbies' that for a while I almost quit, but I stayed a little while longer.  Sorry, I was in college and grad school during the show's TV run; it wasn't intentional - I didn't own my life - homework did. 

2. You can be 'friends' with the celebs/actors and if you 'aren't' you don't belong here. Ok, that was kinda new to me because the thought of being friends with any of them never crossed my mind. Not only that, but the amount of times that you are answered by said celeb somehow supports that friend status. Sure, I get super excited when Shanks answers me, Daniel was an important inspiration in my life, but I would NEVER think to throw that up in someone else's face. Maybe that is back to how my mom raised me. 

3. There are cliques. (Did I spell that right?) And you have to be like a certain kind of person to get into said clique. I made an error of being nice to every single person that I met online and at the cons because that's what you're supposed to do. Be SUPER nice!! No!! You can't! Because you get to talking to people eventually on Skype who hate Fan A because she is whatever and they can't believe you talk to her and  you are not allowed to talk to her because she is this and that and WHAT?!?! Is this high school?? I'm just being nice to people, isn't that what adults do?? 

4. There is a way to act like a fan. Ok, this I for real STILL do not get, so I am gonna try to sublist these the best I can. 
 a. You have to be single and the celeb has to be single to say anything flirty, even jokingly, lest you feel the wrath!! If you are on the "special friend list" these rules do not apply. 
b. You might be told that you're not allowed to fan on a given day or at a place. The old school fans claim cons and other places/things/events and if you show up at these things you may be bullied, cyber and in person, or you may be straight up told not to come. 
c. You're not allowed to be too excited. That's considering rubbing it in someone's face. Unless you're "special" you're not allowed to exude any emotions lest you be bullied again. 
d. You cannot tweet the celeb, like ever. Even to say 'hi' I hope you're having a nice day. Unless you are an "old fan" then it's ok. 

 So you would think I would be walking away now right? 

Actually, no, and it's not because I'm stubborn. 

Because hidden in the mess and rubble, which I stood there virtually confused, lost, trying to figure out which end was up, there were some hidden gems. Somewhere in the 'you're not good enough to be in the in crowd (which by the way, I was in the 'in-crowd' in high school and I did NOT allow the 'not popular' kids to be treated like crap - just sayin' ) there are real AWESOME people!! 

They may not be rich! 

They may not be perfect! 

They may not be well, whatever the HELL people are supposed to be but they are AWESOME!

Through this brave dive into fandom I found the diamonds in the rough. I have made some FANTASTIC friends and really look forward to making more. This is me, this is what you get and I welcome you to the madness. 

Hi! 

My name is Bri.
I love Stargate but I'm too ADD to memorize facts and things so I'll BUM off of you guys to write FanFic and love and kisses in advance.
I am in love with Daniel Jackson and I think that Michael Shanks is a total sweetheart and it honestly warms my heart that he cares enough to support my running and support so many other fans with their endeavors! 
I think you should treat others they way you want to be treated and when I screw up and don't act like a nice person I APOLOGIZE right away. 
I will be friends with anyone, I don't care what you fit in to or what! A person's a person no matter what!! 
If you want to be my friend, cool, welcome. 
I am happy to be a fellow fan friend. 





5 comments:

  1. Couldn't have put it better myself.
    In the fandom I have had MANY nasty horrible things said about me and even once was threatened. I kept quiet and didn't say anything because it's not my style to spread negativity in anyway.
    Yet despite that, the good, welcoming and wonderful people far out weighed the bad and that's why I stuck with it.
    I think people need to realise that a fan is a fan no matter how long they have been one, where they come from, how rich, poor, pretty, quiet, insane, crazy, excitable they are. We are all people with feelings and we are all in a fandom because we support what we're a fan of. Therefore we should all support each other for that reason.
    P.S (Just my opinon) a fan is not a friend. EVER, no matter how much they believe they are. A friend you call, have over, spend time with etc. A fan is someone you see at cons and tweet with occasionally. Fans who call themselves friends of a celeb are gonna get a rude awakening one of theses days and hopefully the others will be there to support them when they come back down to Earth

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  2. Well put love! I'm an 'old fan', but fairly new to the whole online fandom. Because I have young kids a husband,a job & lack of funds, I've not had the opportunity to go to any cons, although i really wish i could. To some, this fact makes me 'less of a fan'. Strange,i didn't realize that only ppl who attended multiple cons & paid to speak to/listen to/have pic taken with, etc their 'idol' were the only "real fans"... I thought when you greatly admired someone for who they are & what they do, that that is what made a person a true fan..crazy,i know. I've been subjected to ppl who seem to think they are friends with their idol as well. I'm not sure if they realize that you don't typically have to pay to see/speak with friends? Or, maybe I've just never really had a friend..because mine have always been free. There may be some fans that stick out in an 'idols' mind for one reason or another, so they may pay a bit more attention to that fan..but unless said idol is calling you upto chat, or inviting you to their home..you are still just a fan, not a friend.sorry to burst yer bubble =S I've seen first hand some fans who believe they are the be all & end all of fans & whom try to control what the rest of the fandom should say, how they should act.etc.These ppl think they have some kind of creepy claim over their idol & don't think twice before letting anyone else know what they feel is acceptable behavior towards said idol. And here i thot that these 'idols had minds & mouths of their own? Thank God for creepy claim stakers or the idol may have to decide for him/herself what they feel is acceptable o.O tis just sad how a few obsessive and/or mean fans can ruin the fandom experience for others. This should be a place where ppl can have fun supporting & possibly interacting with someone they admire, together. I'm so grateful that i didn't let the few bullies i encountered in the beginning scare me away, because I've had the honour & pleasure of 'meeting' some of the kindest, most awesome ppl! To those that have fun interacting with other fans, good on ya! That's how it should be..to those of you who actlly think yer better than others, or that yer idol actlly favors you over others...get over yourselves! cos i can guarantee that if you were to suddenly stop 'fanning', yer idol (if they were to notice at all) wouldn't lose sleep over it, and neither wld any of the other fans whom you thot you were above...

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  3. I just love you guys and am so happy to see you have this all in perspective. There are times when I see these out-of-control fans on social media and I start feeling sad or actually guilty for my "method" of being a fan. Then I stop and realize that it is all in their heads and my fan-ness is just as valid as theirs. And I know I can come to you, B, J, & N, and a few others, and you will support me and lift me up. I hope to return that sentiment to any of you who need it. I am astonished that I have found you all and so grateful. <3

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  4. I've been thinking of what to say to this overnight and having read what has been said here have decided what the hell go for it. Firstly J I am so sorry you encountered the horror of Fandom and very glad you stuck with it. N, what you say is so so true! In my years of SG1 fandom I've encountered many of those 'Fans' and have been told loads times that I wasn't a 'true fan' because I hadn't spent money and travelled 1000 of miles to attend a Con. My experience of the Dark Side was when Yahoo Groups was the place to be for SG1 Fandom. I was a member of at least 6 groups. It all started with the warm welcome then when you started posting your thread would hi-jacked by the VIF (Very Important Fan) who would then start a post with 'I know! When I met Shanks at (name of Con)' and what you had said would get lost. I complained once and was told sharply by the moderator that 'So and So knows Shanks and I should listen to what she says.' The worst happened 3 years ago when I called someone out on something and was told 'that you have been nothing but a troublemaker since you joined and there is noway so and so would ever be that nasty to anyone.' Well believe me she was never nasty to anyone as long as you toed her line, I didn't. It basically resulted in me being shunned by the bulk of the main Fandom. It was a lovely time, not.

    So, I 'left' Fandom and spent my time reading Slash, watching SG1 and keeping tabs on Shanks. Then last year, news was Shanks would be joining Twitter to promote his new show. So I dusted off my hardly ever used twitter account and what do you....I found friends, real friends, folk who don't care about my strange ways and think like me. So thank you to all of you for renewing my faith in the SG1 Fandom and Fuck to those so called VIFs they are not the true fans. The true fans are the ones who quietly watch everything their hero is in and continually support him/her. They say empty cans make the most noise and that is so true.

    Thank you for 'listening' to this ramble and to Bri for giving me the outlet to do it.

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  5. Awhh, just read Donna & Karens posts..i love you guys xox

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