Something that I’ve been reading a lot about lately is what makes a good fan and what makes a “freaky” fan. In my opinion “freaky fan” is an overused phrase in the West End. Having worked at a couple of West End shows I have heard the words “freaky fan” being thrown around a little too much, (From Front of House i might add) so I asked my Twitter followers what they thought made a good fan and a bad fan.
Here’s my top five…
This is my number one fandom rule. Respect. It’s great that you admire someone’s performance. It’s great that you admire them as a person, but remember that they are just that – a person. I read way too much about people being offended that someone doesn’t sign or doesn’t come out of the stage door at the end of the show. What is important to remember is that performing in a show eight shows a week is hard. It takes it out of you. So if someone wants to go home at the end of the show – so be it. If it loses them fans… that’s their problem. That’s not for the fans to worry about.
2) Gifts Galore
Everyone loves a gift right? It’s what Christmas and birthdays are all about! But is it what every day of the week is about? A lot of performers enjoy receiving gifts, but I think if you MUST bring a gift, bring something that is of use. It’s a performer’s last night? What about a card or some flowers?
3) Private and Confidential
As far as I’m concerned, and others do differ on their opinion on this, never ask an actor about their private life. It’s not up to you to know if they have a boyfriend/girlfriend, where they live or anything like that. I once heard a horrible story about a fan that ended up knowing so much about a performer that they changed their route home just to get the same train as them and moved house on the off chance they might bump into them in the area. It all goes back to the respect thing.
Don’t expect to become best friends with someone you met at a stage door. People do become friends with performers, yes, but don’t go to a stage door expecting it. At the end of the day, in the first instance you are going to the stage door to congratulate someone on their performance, not to become their best friend.
5) Other Fans Are Not The Enemy.
I know a performer who often feels torn between two groups of fans. The two groups of fans hate each other, but are often at stage door at the same time. The performer feels that their time has to be separated between the two groups and feels that they can’t show favouritism towards either. What a ridiculous situation! Remember that other fans have a common interest so be nice to them. If not, just be polite.
What do you guys think makes a good fan and a bad fan? Give me a comment or tweet @westend_wendy