Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Why Serial Stalking Shouldn't Be A Hobby

From the blind eye, it may seem that I meet a lot of celebrities and it's easy and fun entertainment. I'm writing this post to tell you that's not true.

I only ever try to meet, and want to meet, artists that I actually like; people that inspire me, people who are incredible at what they do, people who deserve my support and hard earnt money. Like everyone, I have many artists - musicians, actors, comedians, writers etc - that I like, but that doesn't necessarily mean I will try to meet all of them. I only make a proper effort with those who truly mean something to me and are worthy of my time. I have a job and other commitments that don't always allow me to drop everything to do this - and it makes me more selective of who to prioritise.

Any of you who truly know me know which artists I love (generally because I never shut up about them). Some of these people I talk about more than others, whether it be because they are more present in our country, or maybe for a different reason entirely. I'm also a lot harder on these artists because I know the brilliance they are capable of and it disappoints me when they sell themselves short by releasing something that's not up to the high standard they have created for themselves - it doesn't mean I don't still love them.

You can't argue my dedication to those artists either. I will constantly support those people even after they have first hand treated me like rubbish (One Direction that indirect was for you). I buy their music/books/products, I go to see their movies, I buy tickets to their shows - I'm in it for the long run because it means something to me; they and their work mean something to me. It's only fair if you like something enough to listen to it repeatedly on your iPod, or watch it multiple times on your TV that you pay for it. As working people living in a world with a flailing economy, supporting things you actually like by spending that money is keeping them continuing to create that for you. Yes, the artists may be rich enough without you buying that CD you already have a pirated copy of, but the success of an artist's work is measured in the sales, and if everyone had that same attitude no one would still be making music/movies/TV etc.

Just by owning someone's CD doesn't make you a fan though. Supporting an artist and being a real fan goes beyond buying things and following them on social media. Real fans are the ones out there lining up for hours on the street for gigs/tickets/premieres, spreading the word about their latest song/movie/book, standing by the artist through thick and thin; There are certain levels of fan dedication sure, but those should be given efforts if you're considering meeting an artist.

So let me ask you this - why would I bother trying to meet people I don't genuinely like? The answer: I don't. Why would I bother meeting someone that means nothing to me? Just because they're a 'celebrity'? The whole interaction would be pointless. Not everyone sees it that way however...

Many unaware of this, but an increasing amount of people do dedicate a ridiculous amount of their time to get a photo with celebrities, whether they like them or not - 'for the facebook likes' as someone once told me. Essentially, these people go out of their way to get these photos not only for the bragging rights it gives them, but also for the impressive portfolio it builds on their social media. It disgusts me that these people shove cameras in celebrities faces not caring at all about A) their work, B) that they are real people too, and C) that what they're doing is making it difficult for REAL fans to have a moment with them. It may seem like harmless fun, but they're actually ruining it for everyone else. Countless times this year I have seen real fans, who have spent so much of their time and money on the artists they like, fail to meet them due to these inconsiderate and disrespectful fake fans. How the fuck would you like a camera shoved in your face as you're getting off a plane, or having dinner with your family? CELEBRITIES ARE PEOPLE TOO. If you show some respect to them, they'll generally do right by you too and stop for that photo, or do a quick autograph or have a chat. 9 times out of 10 they actually care about the people supporting their careers.

It's these serial stalkers that are making celebrities consistently dodge the real fans by taking back exits and having decoy transportation. If you truly appreciate someone, you wouldn't mob them, or scream in their face, or put a camera in front of them the first chance you get. It's a wonder any celebrities stop at all for fan photos these days when it's getting so difficult for them to tell who is there just to get a photo with them and who is there because they legitimately like them. There is so much more to 'meeting' a celebrity than just getting a photo.

I know for one as a fan, I'd much rather have a chat with artists I love about their work and what I love about it - and funnily enough, so would they; both Justin Bieber and Calum Hood for example have spoken up recently admitting they'd prefer that too. I can't stress how satisfying it is to share a true moment with someone you idolise and have them remember you for it; it's one of the greatest feelings to connect with them and mutually appreciate that moment as much as you do. I've seen first hand the difference in celebrities responses when you treat them like normal people and it's incredible. A little respect can go a long way.

My point is, real fans are less likely to have these sorts of life-changing interactions with the artists they love when these selfish fakers step in. Will meeting a certain celebrity who you don't even like enough to support really mean anywhere as much to you as someone genuine? Are you going to remember it fondly in 50 years? Will you even remember the celebrity's name by then?

This is why I get worked up and rant on social media sometimes. I see the real fans hearts breaking when they miss out due to those kind of people. All it takes is one rude, inconsiderate person to ruin it for everyone. If your reason for meeting a celebrity isn't because you have a genuine love for them and their work, then you really shouldn't be doing it at all.

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