There are a lot of things that I have been able to do the last couple of year, many of them being conventions and parties and personal tours and random leaps of faith that have paid off greatly.
I was very sad about not being able to go to SDCC this year, and doubt I will ever be able to go. That’s pretty much my emo-ment. Barring the fact that I somehow get super famous and invited to the shindig, I just don’t have the money to go.
That being said, the idea of going and meeting people whose work you admire is always a tricky thing. There are moments in time when you meet someone after having an impression in your brain and then becoming disillusioned and disappointed by the actuality. I have seen people belligerently drunk and rude to people that are fans. I have seen someone flat out attack a fan.
I have witnessed the “Don’t you know who I am?” moment. The question was issued to me and I answered honestly. They were not pleased when I told them I didn’t care. Fame is not a “get-out-of-being-courteous” freebie. There is absolutely no excuse for being an asshat to anyone, regardless of how much pussy you got in the eighties.
The problem with being a fan and nerding out especially when someone is an utter dick to you is that for most people it will catch them off guard. They won’t say anything about it, but you can feel the air change around them and the expression on their face is like they have watched a thousand kittens die horrifically. I don’t let people talk down to me. I can’t. I don’t deserve someone I don’t know having an effect how I feel about myself.
I’m probably an exception. I have met people and had a pleasant experience and someone else has met the same person and their perception has been forever altered. What an actor, writer, singer (or someone who assumes they are super relevant to everyone they encounter) needs to realize is that you are a notion, a sketch, an idea to whomever you meet that is a fan.
You end up being a fictitious entity that doesn’t actually exist. A fan thinks you to be crazyawesomespectaculous because you wrote their favorite character, played the quirkiest badass, sang the most heartwrenchingly poignant songs. They do not know the ultimately flawed person you are. Don’t kid yourself. You’re flawed. Everyone has flaws. That’s what makes us beautiful.
Have you ever met someone, thinking that they would be someone that you thought would be one way and turned out to be completely different? Say you have a friend of a friend that you have never met and your friend says that their friend is one of the most kind-hearted, generous and loyal people you have ever met. You’d think Glenda the good witch, right? Then… you meet the Wicked Witch. Perception is skewed. People cannot be summarized by someone else.
A person is a living book. At times they can be completely confusing, but they are a story nonetheless. There are life experiences, silly quirks, deep wounds, and infinitely poignant and insightful moments that shape who they are. When a person has difficulty describing themselves to you, it is not because they haven’t given it any thought. It is because they have thought about it so much that they don’t even know how to summarize themselves.
As a fan, you have the responsibility of recognizing that you can appreciate someone’s work even though that person can be having a bad day when they meet you. Also? They are not their character/persona. You do not have the right to assume that you know everything about this famous person. If they allow fans a glimpse of their lives, it is a gift, not necessary.
As someone famous, you have the responsibility of recognizing that you might have a bad experience with a fan. You may not remember the encounter, but they will.
Oh, and here’s a little something for everyone. Mutual respect/admiration is a lot easier than being an ass.