I was recently asked to submit some interviews to a fledging publication. One of the pieces was going to be a revised question and answer piece from a year ago. The subject asked to sign off on the article. I sent off the newish result for approval…and despite a couple of contact attempts…never heard back. I was nervous about it going to print. Did this person like the piece? Was all the information correct? Would there be some kind of an uproar when it was published? So, I was actually relieved when I was, eventually, told that the issue was overlong and this particular article was not going to be used. Flash forward to my email inbox yesterday…and this personality is, suddenly, enquiring when the magazine with their interview will be available. What? I was honestly confused, having had assumed, for awhile, that this celebrity had forgotten all about the piece or maybe had hated what I had done with it and had lost all interest. I mean, they had never responded back to me. Thus, I, nervously, spent half the day composing a response email to this individual, hoping that I wouldn’t offend or upset them…chewing over the possible outcomes in my mind. Even today, after all is said and done, I find my nerves a little wracked.
I realize if this had been a colleague of mine from another field, I would have still felt a little bad and awkward about the situation. But, troublingly, I also realize that my feelings here were definitely compounded by the fact that this person has appeared in a number of films that I love and that, as a result, I have placed their opinions above my own and the people I hold most dear to me in my everyday life. I have a feeling that I am not the only one that this is true for. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed beer swilling bro-types hanging slavishly on to every word of some aging horror legend as he, bluntly, describes a female co-star’s breasts…something that I find both disturbing and sexist, but I guess that’s another story for another article. But, right now, I do think it’s time that I find a more emotionally healthy way to fan boy.
Granted, it can be very hard to keep our feelings for these personalities in perspective. So many emotions revolve around them. They have been a part of our lives, sometimes for decades. They represent our first dates in high school and all night viewing parties with deceased parents. They remind us of the first time we kissed that rebel in the alley outside of the theater and certain of their films completely encapsulate entire beginnings and endings of so many portions of our lives. How can it not matter if they don’t like us when we meet them? How can their lack of approval not hurt? But they are human, not gods and goddesses. Is it really so much more important when one of them follows us on Twitter as opposed to some super cool, indie start up horror femme fatale from the gut buckets of Indiana? Are their thoughts really more valid than your super smart scientist friend whose ideas truly could bring about a better world?
Obviously, a major part of this site has been about my slavish (and over-the-top, hopefully humorous) love for these folks, but this recent incident has been a good reminder of where my focus really belongs. I should care more about those 25 pounds that I want to lose, the book I want to write, that zombie musical that I am co-writing than what some possible terror icon thinks or doesn’t think of me. Especially as we enter an era where the prices of autographs and photos are at an all time high, where it’s more and more obvious that certain convention attendees care more about making money than making a connection. It seems like the perfect time for me, and so many others, to enter a period of more self respecting, less reverential fandom.
I’m starting today.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!