A few years ago I met Nick Earls.
I’m quite a fan of his, a read all his books (most of them twice) kind of fan. I even wrote him a fan-girl letter once. Nothing to see here. Favourite authors. Totally normal. But it kind of becomes a problem when you come face to face with someone, hoping to have a normal intelligent appreciate discussion, and realise your brain’s gone a bit wobbly. To put it another way, fan-girling should never really be introduced to the real world.
Six degrees of separation is basically a formula which shows that everyone in the entire world can be connected to each other by six people. So you know someone who went to school with someone who’s brother has a friend who once went out with someone who’s related to the Queen. If you want to meet your hero or fan-girl obsession, all you have to do (theoretically) is work out the degrees.
To demonstrate this- I live next door to a women, who went to university with a girl who is now the assistant costume designer on Doctor Who.
I promise that’s true.
The basic problem is that it makes meeting people not just possible but a teeny bit attainable. And going all wobbly fan-girly isn’t going to help that once in a lifetime meeting much is it?
Just wait. It gets worse.
Earlier this year I discovered a band called Dead Cat Bounce. They’re an Irish musical comedy group and are, to put it lightly, amazing. I saw then play live during the Sydney Comedy Festival, I bought their CD and I listened to it on high rotation for weeks. I then proceeded to get the songs stuck in my head and lip-synch them enthusiastically in elevators.
On a scale of one to ten, my fan-girl status is at least an eight.
After seeing them play, I had this conversation with Mikey.
“Do anything last night?”
“I saw Dead Cat Bounce. They were pretty cool.”
“Oh yeah. I know them. Kept bumping into them in Melbourne. Kind of embarrassing really because they all knew my name but I could never remember any of theirs.”
Comedy is a small world. Everyone knows everyone. Like seriously everyone. Part of the job description is learning to remain cool, calm and collected in the face of amazing comedic talent. Fan worship can be flattering, but mostly its kind of awkward for all involved.
Coming face to face with someone in their “natural habitat” is quite different to shaking their hand after a gig. People don’t expect to be signing autographs in the Green Room. And the thing is, the more of a fan you are, the more difficult it is to stay cool. I haven’t had a major problem yet. I’ve yet to encounter someone on a fan-girl level of more than five.
But its only a matter of time.
This would all be less of a problem if I was obsessed with slightly more unattainable people like, I don’t know, Cedric Diggory the vampire. Except that Dead Cat Bounce are at least seven million times more awesome.