Once a Fangirl, Always a Fangirl ~ David Archuleta
Posted by bebereader on Thursday, September 15, 2011
It makes perfect sense that I would help run a fan site. Growing up in the seventies in New York City, I was the ultimate fangirl. I used my allowance to buy tickets to see Broadway plays and when the curtain went down, I waited at the stage door for a glimpse of the stars. Every month I bought a stash of movie magazines. I knew the exact day they were due to hit the newsstands. On the way home from school I stopped at the candy store for an egg cream (which has no eggs in it, by the way), a pretzel and brand new copies of Photoplay and Rona Barrett’s Hollywood magazines and anything else that drew my attention. I carried my magazines home in a flat brown paper bag, careful not to make a crease in them. A few years later, I started going to concerts: Three Dog Night, Chicago, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel, Elvis, The Temptations and Elton John. I saw Kenny Rogers at Westbury, where David had the last show on his Christmas Tour. But after I saw the movie “Love Story” I became a fan of Ryan O’Neal and had to read everything I could get my grabby hands on about him. There was an ad to join his official fan club in the back of a magazine. I sent the $1 membership fee and soon after an envelope arrived containing official membership material – an 8×10 black and white autographed glossy picture, a membership card and a newsletter. I was an official fan! Ryan’s autograph was of course *coughforrealzcough*.
Back then, those items were the closest you could get to the object of your admiration. There was no world wide web with livestream, Ustream, or any stream to see an airport arrival in real time. There were no vlogs or blogs, VIPs, Twitter, YouTubes, tumblrs, text messages or DVDs. Seeing their movies repeatedly, playing their records ad infinitim, going to tapings of their TV shows or to multiple concerts was about all you could do to keep up with them. I couldn’t entertain the idea of ever meeting or talking to Ryan; it just didn’t happen back then. I wrote him a fan letter and “he” replied: “Dear Bebe, Thank you for your interest. Fondly, Ryan O’Neal.” Ryan, Can you get any more generic? It was an impersonal relationship.
I’m not a teen anymore but I never stopped being a fangirl. Fandom is still very much a part of my life but the difference is that now it’s a more productive emotion for me and drives me to write articles about a certain handsome singer with an angelic voice. Being a fan girl is like being in this over-stimulated state where I am compelled to write words like “OH WOW!!“ or “AWESOME” and “AMAZING” and to use exclamation points like they‘re going out of style!!! I find myself repeating words a lot like, “really really really” and “very very very”! The truth is that I spazz at the sight of David Archuleta, even in a picture.
Technology today makes it easy to have a more personal relationship but that is not why David is so endearing to me. The relationship he chooses to have with his fans, the way he treats us, the respect he shows us is beyond what any other celebrity I have ever fangirled about has ever done for their fans. He makes himself accessible to us at VIPs and book signings, where you can meet him. He tweets about what he had for lunch, encourages us to try new foods, recommends music he thinks we’d like, gives great advice that people of any age can learn from. He reminds us that it’s more gratifying to give than to receive and that if we have a dream we should ‘go for it!‘ He treats all his fans as equals and with the same degree of respect, no matter the age, race, color or religion. He accepts us as we are; all of us; and through being a fan of his we are better than we were before.
By the time we’re adults, aren’t we supposed to move on to more adult stuff like writing critiques? The answer to that is no. As adults we are supposed to do whatever we damn please. I’m still the same person with the same likes and dislikes as when I was a teenager. I’m still a concert junkie. I still like to go to Broadway plays, see movies, read magazines, try new foods. I still like to watch the sun come up in the morning, go for long drives, get together with family and friends, take pictures, read good books. I still despise cleaning out my closets, going to the dentist or ironing. My taste in music hasn’t changed because I’ve gotten older. I didn’t turn into a fan of Frank Sinatra or Lawrence Welk just because I’m not a teenager anymore. I have the same taste in music that I had when I was a teen except the only music coming out of my speakers now is that of David Archuleta’s. Why listen to anybody else when I hit the jackpot? After being a fan of many singers, I finally found the one voice that takes me to heaven and back. David is a light that guides me home. Ryan may as well have been a stick figure or a figment of my imagination because he never got closer to me than 3,000 miles, on the opposite coast. David, however, is just as far in mileage but he is so close to my heart.