Broadway fan accounts, and the growing rise of fame

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Broadway fan accounts on instagram, Im sure we have all followed them before, but as they grow more and more successful does it give our industry a bad name? Certain account with well over 100K followers seem to be policing opinions given about shows, and making everything be said in a positive light? Do you think this beneficial towards young kids or not a great idea? Being kind on social media is 100% the right move to go, but is saying everything is great just give out a false sense of enjoyment. I feel as if you *have* to like something because actors need the positivity.

Curious to know your thoughts on this.
broadway.4me2
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Lol I thought this was about me but it turns out it wasn’t according to OP

Updated On: 2/26/19 at 03:09 PM
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What a beautiful microcosm!
"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
lightguy06222
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I never really understood "fan" accounts.  I dont follow any.  they annoy me.  just follow the actual ARTIST.   or show. 

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Yes! Apologies towards broadway.4me, this is more towards the “toxic side” of accounts, and how they paint a negative image on the industry.
Hamilfan2
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While I personally don't follow them, I do think they do more help than good.  Exposing many theater fans (mostly younger and new to the fandom) to new shows and allowing these fans to connect with other like-minded fans I think is a very positive and beneficial tool.  This isn't really new, it is in many ways just the Broadway version of a social media influencer, and I think as these accounts grow in popularity they will start to play a bigger role in the industry as a whole.  At the end of the day producers and actors are taking note of these accounts, so I get why they would police negative comments.  Especially if the actor is tagged in the post and therefore has easy access to the comments.

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JBroadway
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Well, I sort of get that if it's a FAN account, they probably don't want people bashing the artist/show in question in the comments. There are other places, such as this board, for fostering debate like that. Instagram isn't the most conducive platform for that regardless (due to its culture and visual layout), but then if you add the fact that it's a fan account, it's all the more understandable that they would want to keep it a positive space.

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The monopolization of opinion and people's inability to respect discourse is detrimental to society. (And it's egomaniacal for one person to think that their opinion matters more than everyone else's.) It's the age-old argument of reviews: don't trash something just for the sake of trashing it. 100% fine if you have a passionate opinion, but WHY? Justify it! Creating a dialogue about entertainment is what makes it interesting. Nobody grows by living in a bubble.

Every show is going to have passionate people who love it, those who hate it, differing opinions on the creative decisions, and that's just the nature of healthy dialogue. Green Book is an example: some people say it's a racist "white savior" film, others say it's a feel-good film about coming together and putting aside differences. Two vastly different opinions that have been well-articulated, and there's no right answer.

To answer your question about giving the industry a bad name, it's the "boy band" problem that has followed everyone from Elvis to Justin Bieber to Harry Styles: some people get turned off entirely because of the behavior of the fans. Theatre's biggest problem over the years has been elitism, because it can be expensive. Now we have overwhelming stan behavior, which is a very populist attitude. I think extreme behavior for or against something is unproductive. It also becomes mind-numbing and overwhelming, whether it's on social or in mainstream media. Also, overwhelming buzz one way or another can lead to disappointed audiences: for a lot of people, Hamilton was SO hyped up that by the time they actually got to see it, they were underwhelmed because their expectations were so high.

Emmaloucbway
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I don’t follow any fan accounts but I’ve always found it odd for there to be one on a specific actor who is also active on that social media platform.
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JBroadway said: "There are other places, such as this board, for fostering debate like that."

HA!

 

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On the one hand, it's sweet that fans are passionate about theater, and you won't catch me telling them to care less

On the other hand, these stan accounts do verge on the stalker-ish sometimes, and they also feel a bit like riding on coattails - like these kids can get internet fame/recognition/whatever, but by reposting the content of someone else.

Also, I'm a bit biased, since I discovered that a personal photo of an industry friend and me was stolen off my own Instagram and reposted to a stan account - with me cropped out.

Updated On: 2/26/19 at 07:33 PM
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dearalanaaaa
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This definitely dates me. But oh well.

I run a fan account. On Instagram. Why?

This actor doesn't have an Instagram, he only has a Twitter and Facebook. I've been running this account for nearly 2 years; every day I come home from school and post a photo. That still doesn't answer why though. Why I post is to spread the word about this actor. I am in no way attracted to or even stalking- I simply pull up his hashtag or google his name and upload a photo and a caption. One day when he becomes a big actor, I'll be able to say I've been there from early on. It helps others explore his works and find out new facts and discover new shows through the actor. Also by creating an Instagram dedicated to an actor who doesn't have an Instagram gives people another way to figure out and ask questions.

I have never claimed to be this actor. People message me often with messages for the actor, which I immediately direct them to whichever show they're in and the address or their Facebook contact information.

Young people use Instagram more than they use Facebook, and as long as the boundary is never overstepped fan accounts are good. They function more than just to stalk, but as information hubs and ways to find people who have something in common with you. And as a kid who runs a broadway one for 2 years and ones for other fandoms for 3, I think that's beautiful. By running a fan account, I've made friends I still talk to and visit at least weekly. Specifically, my wonderful friend who I ended up meeting at a stagedoor in 2017 and exchanging fan accounts, and now I'm seeing her in a community production on Friday.

Fan accounts are good. Don't bash all of them just because of a few bad eggs. There's more than meets the eye.

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dearalanaaaa said: "Specifically, my wonderful friend who I ended up meeting at a stagedoor in 2017 and exchanging fan accounts, and now I'm seeing her in a community production on Friday."

I'm guessing it isn't a production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Oh wait...wrong place?

 

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OK, I somehow missed it. What is "Stan"/"stan behavior"?
Just give the world Love.
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dramamama611
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Stalker + fan = stan.

Its obsession. But now its a goal, instead of a happenstance.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Updated On: 2/27/19 at 03:45 AM
theaterlyfe19
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lightguy06222 said: "I never really understood "fan" accounts. I dont follow any. they annoy me. just follow the actual ARTIST. or show."

I have to second this. Like why do it? This makes me think of those social media accounts that pretend to be an actor to get things from fans. I know of someone who was scammed by an account pretending to be Sara Bareilles. They asked her for money. At that point she had to bring it to Sara's attention. So I would say if fan accounts do this, it's 100% crossing a line and that account should be deleted.

Even if an actor doesn't have social media, it's not up to a fan/fans of theirs to create one. It's incredibly nice to be supportive, but there are other ways to do that. For example I support Kinky Boots. I didn't create an account of an actor in the show, I didn't create a social media account for the show. I follow different actors on social media, I give them social media shout-outs, and most recently, I just posted a picture of their marquee and encouraged people to see the show. There are many other ways to support a show or an actor than creating an account for them. Especially if you don't have that actors permission? What if they don't even want a social media presence? There are so many actors who don't have one. Again, it's not up to fans to create one. 

 

Dramamama611 when did becoming a stan become a goal? That's really sad Broadway fan accounts, and the growing rise of fame 

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theaterlyfe19 said: "



Dramamama611 when did becoming a stan become a goal? That's really sad Broadway fan accounts, and the growing rise of fame"

 

I’ve said this before in other threads, but it’s worth repeating:

From what I’ve observed, the term “Stan” has been around for a while, but it gained recent popularity among young people as a deliberately hyperbolic, sort of joking/ironic way of describing the extent of their admiration for an artist. The “stalking” aspect was also mainly used to describe (again, hyperbolically) the fact that they would follow the artist’s CAREER - I.e they would watch all their movies, listen to all their music, etc. - NOT  that they would actually stalk the person themself (though I admit the line does become a bit blurry when the artist is a stage actor, who’s work requires their physical presence in a space). 

The word has since been co-opted by older people on this board to condescend to young Broadway fans, and is generally used without any hyperbole or irony as it has when it’s being used as a self-descriptor. 

 

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BroadwayRox3588 said: "dearalanaaaa said: "Specifically, my wonderful friend who I ended up meeting at a stagedoor in 2017 and exchanging fan accounts, and now I'm seeing her in a community production on Friday."

I'm guessing it isn't a production ofTo Killa Mockingbird.

Oh wait...wrong place?
"

If you're truly wondering... I met her at Spongebob's first preview and the production is going to be Cinderella.

 

dramamama611 said: "Stalker + fan = stan.

Its obsession. But now its a goal, instead of a happenstance.
"

Stan is usually a stalker fan, but it's recent cropped up also as a side of Twitter. To keep simple terms, there's Stan Twit (which is fan accounts of actors or shows), Anitwit (anime fans), cartwit (cartoon fans), basic/norm twit (mostly older people, politwit (political Twitter), and the locals.

Stan is usually the side of Twitter that is most prominent (after politwit), and it's because a positive term due to the things they're accomplished using only social media. There's bands on Stan twitter that got such a large following of fan accounts that they were able to launch global tours and fans would promote it. Marketing becomes easier with "Stan's" around as long as they don't cross a line.

 

It's weird being the only person here who really knows the culture and sees both sides of this (good and bad), but I'll be watching this because the questions posed here are great and I see why the "older" crowd can't relate with the rise of things on social media.

theaterlyfe19
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dearalanaaaa said: "BroadwayRox3588 said: "dearalanaaaa said: "Specifically, my wonderful friend who I ended up meeting at a stagedoor in 2017 and exchanging fan accounts, and now I'm seeing her in a community production on Friday."

I'm guessing it isn't a production ofTo Killa Mockingbird.

Oh wait...wrong place?
"

If you're truly wondering... I met her at Spongebob's first preview and the production is going to be Cinderella.



dramamama611 said: "Stalker + fan = stan.

Its obsession. But now its a goal, instead of a happenstance.
"

Stan is usually a stalker fan, but it's recent cropped up also as a side of Twitter. To keep simple terms, there's Stan Twit (which is fan accounts of actors or shows), Anitwit (anime fans), cartwit (cartoon fans), basic/norm twit (mostly older people, politwit (political Twitter), and the locals.

Stan is usually the side of Twitter that is most prominent (after politwit), and it's because a positive term due to the things they're accomplished using only social media. There's bands on Stan twitter that got such a large following of fan accounts that they were able to launch global tours and fans would promote it. Marketing becomes easier with "Stan's" around as long as they don't cross a line.



It's weird being the only person here who really knows the culture and sees both sides of this (good and bad), but I'll be watching this because the questions posed here are great and I see why the "older" crowd can't relate with the rise of things on social media.
"

You don’t have to be younger than the other posters on this board to be knoledgable about this topic, just saying

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I'm very glad I missed social media. As an outcast theatre-obsessed kid with very few friends, I totally would've gone out of control with these fandoms. I would've gone from casual to obsessed to deranged very quickly, so I can understand why it happens.

I really wish people would get back to their interest in the ART and making it - participate in theatre yourself, write your own musical (or a parody), go to a tap class, read Uta Hagen, draw new set designs, watch movie musicals and critique their merits, just do something that requires more thought! Nowadays, it seems folks prefer to channel that energy into being obsessive about people who make the art. I just don't understand the logic - all that time & energy wasted on silly obsession when it could be spent practicing and actually growing/improving a craft that would have a positive result.

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Greens greens, it sounds like you’re implying that anyone who enjoys art without actually BEING an artist is misdirecting their energy. And that’s a ludicrous thing to say. What if they have no interest in writing musicals or becoming a tap dancer? Some of these kids probably want to grow up to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, or whatever, but they also happen to also love seeing theatre. Is that a problem? If the only people who supported the arts were aspiring artists themselves, we’d be in real trouble.

And believe me, there are still plenty of artists out there. Perhaps more now than ever before. 

Updated On: 2/27/19 at 10:20 AM
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I never said enjoying art, even if you don't make it, is wrong. Obviously, that's foundational to our society. However, fandoms often take it to extremes and then it becomes a problem.

What I said, and this is from my own experience which is just as valid as anyone else's, was activity beyond fan worship seems like an investment with higher returns. I've invested way too much in some heroes and been terribly let down, regretting the time and energy I invested in those fandoms.

However, I can say I've never regretted a moment of a tap class I never used, French lessons I've long forgotten, books I've read, or even the terrible "shows" I "wrote" when I was younger. It was when I made the step from fan and admirer to creator that I found my true calling and I encourage others to explore those options too.

Don't stop your potential by relegating yourself to fanning the flame of others. Nourish your own talents too.

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Does # of followers = fame?!

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greensgreens, I'm glad you've found something you've enjoyed (and somehow never had a regret over), but for what it's worth, I've been a theatre fan for more than half my life, but I have never ONCE wanted to perform, write, or otherwise work in theatre. I've only wanted to be a fan. It's possible to enjoy an art form without wanting to be a part of it.

Also, why come so close to policing how people enjoy things? As long as you're not making performers or other fans uncomfortable in the way you express what you enjoy, there's nothing wrong. Is stan culture bananas? Sure! Are there plenty of fans out there we don't hear about because they choose not to draw attention to themselves? Hell yes.
"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
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(I'm too lazy to @ everybody since I'm on a phone)

Some pages take away their own creativity or go too far with fanpages. I agree with that. What I understand is who it's harming? There's no harm in fan accounts, and again, they often provide a way for people to express their love for something. The same goes for cosplay accounts or Facebook groups.
Running a fan account doesn't need to be obsessive. Heck, I only log in once per day to post literally whatever. It's not about the work, it's about the people surrounding you.
Tumblr and Instagram definitely take it too far sometimes. But if somebody wants the username "@bensplatts" and to post daily photos of him, why stop them? They don't harm anybody.

As for Stan culture, there's no need to interact with it if you don't want to. Stan's are annoying, but unless they're crossing physical boundaries or general boundaries (ex obsessively messaging the actor or show), theres no way to stop them. Growing up around this might give me a different perspective on this, but I definitely see where you're all coming from with how it can be harmful.