Note: Mikesd’s feature below is part of a two-part series on our relationships with each other as David fans. Mikesd’s and Freofan’s posts each have a different take on fan relationships, but both features invite us to think about how and why these relationships are meaningful to us.
I have never participated in a blog…until now. I have never followed a performer around the country…until now. I have never played a CD a monumental number of times…until now. This whole fan experience has been an amazing one and, in my eyes, has produced a phenomenon that is becoming more fascinating as it plays out. I’m talking about the fans themselves, those characters who visit the blog and write on a regular basis. I’m talking about the screen name vs. the real person. As I have participated in the multi-level drama, comedy and mystery of blogging, I have found myself forming opinions about people based on their screen name and their avatar as well as their comments. Admit it. You are doing the same thing. We become characters in the play, actors on the stage. You can’t help but think as you log on: What is this scene about? Who is starring in it…at least for this moment?
This drama continues day after day…and then you meet some of the players in real life. I will be the first to admit that after having met several of the “cast,” my opinions have changed in a subtle yet noticeable way. Being able to put a real person to the screen name and really learn more about them enhances your experience on the blog. It doesn’t matter that maybe we are not seeing this best seller of a fan experience in the same light, or that we have different plot twists or even are reading different chapters. What matters is that we are all doing it together, and that there are common threads amongst us. Meeting up with fans from the sites after the concerts is an opportunity to analyze every last move and note of our beloved main character. This is a conversation that can open up your perception of your fellow fans. Sometimes just hearing a voice and how something is said can change the tone of the comment. On a blog you just don’t get the intonation! Not to mention that a glass of wine or three can change the whole direction of the conversation! As my partner of nearly thirty years said to me after hearing about my after-show debriefs, “How can you possibly talk about David for hours on end?” My answer? “I have no idea. It just happens.”
David has given us another gift: the ability to meet others from around the country, no the WORLD, who have a common cause. I am forming friendships that I expect will last a long time. And maybe, just maybe, we may discuss something that we disagree upon, and come to some common understanding. Even better, we may come to an AWARENESS of each other and why they feel the way they do. My next venture will be to the East Coast where I know I will meet some new characters in our ongoing “play.” I can’t wait because it will broaden my knowledge of them and what they are really like, and I know it will influence how I read their comments from now on. When you go to your next concert, and I know you will, make sure you seek out those screen names you see every day. Then you can decide: “Which did I like better – the book or the movie?”