There was one time when I asked my friend: “Have you ever been a passionate fan of something or someone? Your favorite artists, actors and actresses – your faves?”
It took her two minutes to come up with an answer. She said “Oh my god, I seriously don’t know.” I was in disbelief. Who the hell hasn’t been a fan of any particular subject?
Then it perplexed me. What did I exactly mean by a “passionate fan”?
Going to every concert or tour of your favorite artist? Buying all the comic books of a certain story arc? Purchasing every merchandise of a movie franchise you’ll die for?
Or can it just be livestreaming the major events of your faves, selectively buying merch, taking screenshots of their public appearances online from your home while other passionate fans are ecstatic, enjoying the f*cking peak of their fangirling because their faves are LITERALLY in front of them?
Frustratingly, I’m the last one. That eager fan who has geographical disadvantages because I live far away from the city where major events happen. That eager fan who wants to buy tickets but money isn’t also happening. That fan who stays at home fanboying online.
This isn’t me saying that being a home-based fan is entirely pathetic and loser-ish. This is me expressing the frustrations being this kind of fan bring out of me. I mean, just listen.
How can you not be frustrated when:
…you feel that you live on the utmost opposite side of the world.
Good news for the fans who live with their faves in the same country, let alone same city. Bad news for us who don’t. While your favorite artists and bands go on with their national tour, and your favorite actors and actresses attend Comic Conventions, you’re feeling isolated in wherever other country you live in – scrolling down on your Twitter feed, reading tweets and updates as your tears drop on your phone screen.
Personally, I’ve always desired to attend Comic Cons held in the US but all I can do at the moment is to be happy for other fans who just met their faves (and my faves!), while I wallow myself in the mud of my tears.
…you’re just as poor as the rats living on your roof.
Is there a more frustrating thing than not being in the same country as your faves? There freakin is. It’s being in the same country as them but you’re just far down the south or far up the north, and buying tickets is hardly possible because money is just a figment of your imagination. Painful. Really, really painful.
You even selectively purchase merchandise and products from your favorite movie franchise or boy bands or any fandom you have because it’s either you’re a student with a limited budget or you’re an adult who just financially deals with adulthood in a miserable way.
…your local theatre keeps releasing movies weeks after the worldwide premiere.
I’m a big, crazy fan of several movie franchises. Franchises that release sequels (or prequels) every single freakin year. Franchises that are basically a universe of various trilogies, releasing two to three installments annually. You’ll exactly be like “Wa-wait, let my wallet keep up!” And as your money tries to gather its strength, you also deal with the fact that sometimes, your country has late movie releases.
So, while others are being stoked on their social media about how crazy their movie experience was, you’re at home waiting for the movie to be released in your country, counting down the remaining days… in absolute desperation.
…in your entire existence, you fangirl or fanboy behind your phone.
…which isn’t to be ashamed of, really! You wait for your faves’ photos from events they’re in to be uploaded online so you can grab them. You livestream them instead of being there at the venue. You browse every corner of the internet to witness countless fans who’ve had the chance to take a photo with them, save those photos, and deliberately crops the fans out of their own photos. Cue in the social media felony.
You also regularly check your faves’ Instagram to check their god-given selfies. But what if your particular fave rarely uploads images, and when they do, like probably after 34 weeks, you get a notification, you rise like a ninja to check it, and find out that it’s a photo a freakin goat or a chicken or a llama! What did we do to deserve that. WHAT.
But seriously though, I’m not shaming anyone who can’t buy tickets and merch and whatnots. If I am, huh, then I’ll be shaming myself as well. I loathe fan-shaming.
But there’s one thing you should know. Ok, maybe two things or more.
Maybe being a passionate fan doesn’t necessarily mean attending every event your faves are in, or throwing all your dollars on all tickets and merch you see and display them in your room. Maybe being passionate is relative.
Maybe having intense admiration to something or someone isn’t always ascribed to how often you see them, your faves, or how much money you spend for it. Perhaps it’s about the strength of your feels, the intensity of your emotional involvement.
You badly want to patronize your favorite movie franchises, the actors and actresses in it, purchase every related merch. You badly want to see the artists you stan, gravely wanting to make it happen. But the fact is that you just can’t at some moments and there should be nothing pathetic and ridiculous about that.
Besides, not being able to be physically there with your faves in a concert or in a convention venue, and not being able to spend all you can doesn’t mean you’re less of a fan than those who can.