- Living as Someone's Fan -
I think that the most people around the world have experienced longing for celebrity on TV in their childhood. Or maybe some people are still having fallen in love with him or her until now. I also like many male celebrities and search them on the internet, wondering their age, what shows they showed up, whether they are dating with someone or not, etc. But some huge fans usually do more than that. And my friend is one of them.
I met Minkyung when we were middle school students. At that time, several boy bands were really popular among girls. Students carved their favorite member's name on their wooden desks and elaborately decorated their school supplies with bands' pictures. I was also big fan of boy band called TVXQ that were composed of five members. But after they broke up, I lost my interests. But all students was crazy about boy bands, Minkyung was interested in a ballad singer who was not so popular among girls. So my friends used to tease her with her mature sensibility. But she didn't care about us at all. She has remained as a huge fan of that singer until we graduated the high school. And through 5 years so far, even if her favorite singer has been changed, if she got into something, she was deeply possessed with that.
Therefore I chose her for my interview because she keeps her balance well between her own life and at the same time, being a huge fan of singers. So it was not difficult to get honest answers to my questions. I wanted to know the effect of being a huge fan of someone, and how the fans think about themselves and what they feel through fan experiences, and so on.
We met at a cafe near the Konkuk University because she had to go work as a part-time after the interview. As she and I are very close friends, I knew about her fan life up to a point. So I carried out the interview focusing on her feelings more and recent experiences that I haven't heard before.
She has gotten into a Korean rock band recently. When I asked about her that singer's state, her face was not very good. According to her, that band is having trouble with their agency, so their album has not been released yet, even though recording had finished a long time ago. But she added some. "Of course I'm sorry that we fans can't listen their new songs. but it's okay because their previous songs are enough much for me to enjoy. I never get tired of those songs. And band members will be happy if fans wait calmly".
And I noticed that there is a fan network that is formed through some websites. Fans share the information about the singer and discuss on certain topics related to the singer or songs. Several band members sometimes sign up to the website and have a conversation with fans. A year ago, one of members has invited a fan for dinner and still get in touch with the fan. Fans and singers both feel comfortable to each other because they can gather with the common interest. On special occasions such as TV show or concerts, they organize the small group from themselves and collect some money to prepare snacks or presents for the singer. When I asked her it's a wasting as we are still students but singers earn money by themselves, She said that "Others may think like that, but singers went through the hard time because it's hard to be get popularity in Korea as rock band. Korean still have prejudice toward rock band. And even though we collect some money, it's absolutely not much. We can pay as our please."
"When is the hardest time to fans in general?" I asked. Then she kept thinking a while and answered. "There are two cases. At first, fans are affected by the singer. So if the singer is in a bad condition, we feel in the same way. But as I said earlier, if fans get tired, singers will be more tired. So we just wait and see until situation gets better. We fans don't want to bother singers because of our trivial mind. And the second, sometimes people whisper that being a huge fan spoils our life and it's a wasting of time. But I don't think so. I met many people through an experience being a fan, and most of people live their own lives well. We can control our life. Of course, being too much addicted is not good. But I think talking behind our back is also wasting their time."
When I asked her when the happiest time was while you live as a fan, she recollect an experience that she met the main vocal after the concert. She got a signature and shook hands. And she added that she feels happy when band members enjoy the stage of other singer in some rock festival, because they are fans of other singer, too. So it's pleased to see band members do the same reaction when they were the seats for the audience.
While the interview was carried out, her eyes were bright and she answered passionately. I really appreciated her. As she said above, sometimes people worry about huge fans, thinking that they don't do right things. But to some people, living as someone's fan gives life to them and inspire them with happiness. It can be precious memories. I'm not a big fan of someone now, but as I have felt the same feeling with her, I can understand her. And I envy her that she has something that she get into deeply. Living as a fan is good, I guess.