What's the difference between a Stalker and a Fan?

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mamamia sammy
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Where exactly is the line that separates a stalker from a fan?
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Zola Q. LaPlaya
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Sadly, I have first-hand experience with this and the difference is very clear in my mind.
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Do tell Zola....

"It never bothered me that she called me a c*nt, it bothered me that I answered to it!" Carol Channing about Ethel Merman filming an episode of "The Love Boat"
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Does a "stalker" know that they are a "stalker" or do they just think that they are a very devoted "fan" or even a "friend"?
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From stalkers of celebrities I've heard about in the past, they have followed them to their houses, made phone calls, write tons and tons of letters, take as many pictures as they can of the celebrity and even make threats.

A fan is someone who has more respect for the person they admire. In that case, there is nothing wrong with a few pictures and a nice letter to them.

A "stalker" probably doesn't know they're a stalker. They look up to the person so much and have such an obsession for them, that they don't care what they have to do to meet them.
"We like to snark around here. Sometimes we actually talk about theater...but we try not to let that get in our way." - dramamama611
Updated On: 8/12/04 at 01:26 PM
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Zola Q. LaPlaya
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Sammalicious: it's complicated. Stalkers aren't always so benevolent to think they're your friend. Sometimes they intend to harm.

Why are you asking?
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I'm considering stalking Jarico.
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Oh. Then there is no difference.
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eyeonbroadway
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I think the difference is the person understanding "appropriate distance". There is an accepted "norm" where a fan should be able to respectfully approach someone who makes themselves publicly available for an autograph or to briefly converse, but when the "fan" repetitively crosses "normally accepted" lines of privacy without respect or regard to how uncomfortable they are making someone, then I'd have to call that stalking. When someone has such poor judgment, it's prudent to suspect that they are capable of just about anything.
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etoile
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Sammy dear, how much time do you have? If you can block off a good bit of time for reading I'll cite you several examples of stalking in PMs.

And no, stalkers don't acknowledge that they've crossed the line. They don't see the line, or if they do it's not for them but for other people, because they're special.
Rest in peace, Iflitifloat.
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Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have/had a stalker. Creepy, creepy, woman she was.
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Kristin has fans. Idina has stalkers. Does that clear it up? re: What's the difference between a Stalker and a Fan?
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Jon
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Look at my icon pic. KZ is smiling because she's pleased to see that one of her biggest fans came all the way from Chicago to see her closing performance in I DO, I DO - and even made a major change in his vacation plans when her show's closing date was moved up.

Or is she smiling because, in case I turn out to be a stalker, she has video evidence???
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KZ would be running the other way with the camera if you were the stalker!
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I've had 2 guys I dated stalk me....

I currently have another stalker who knows me through all the message boards. It's slightly alarming to me.
"You're every gay man's wet dream!" ~ MA

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JohnPopa
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If you have to ask ...
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There's also a difference between a teenaged over-zealous fan and a middle aged creepy "fan" crossing lines. I think Idina's fans fit into the former... the latter category is what one wants to watch out for. Not to say that teenagers can't be dangerous, BUT...

I think obsession is common in young fans of musical theatre. It seems like it comes with the territory... a combination of immaturity and passion, perhaps, and not knowing where that fine line is. I wouldn't go as far as calling them stalkers... at least they can grow out of it. :)
"You! You are the worst thing to happen to musical theatre since Andrew Lloyd Webber! And you, well, I just plain don't like you."
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Daisy -- sorry dear but in this case your ageism is showing. There is no difference. Just because someone is over 30 does not make them "creepy" and because someone is a teenager does not make them harmless.

Trust me on this one, you don't know what you're talking about.
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judy_in_disguise
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Catherine had a stalker?
......looks around suspiciously.......spots Spidey out of the corner of her eye.....points accusingly........
LadyGuenevere
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Catherine's stalker was a woman who supposedly hated Micheal Douglas or something along that line...
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I thought she broke into their home, shouting: "Republicans smell like cobbler!"
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I'm not saying it makes it any more right... but a bunch of fans jumping up and down outside a stage door screaming out Idina's name is CERTAINLY not the same thing as someone following an actor home from the theatre, sitting outside their house, following them to every appointment, leaving them five letters a day at the theatre, making threats, etc. You can't group them into the same category. The former are YOUNG... they're enthusiastic... immature. I can't say I understand the Idina hyper, but hey, if a bunch of 14 year olds want to emulate her... see the show a bunch of times. Seeing a show over and over again may be obsessive but it certainly isn't hurting any of the actors in the show. It may appear 'stalkeresque', but in the end they're not harming Idina, are they? I'm just using her as an example, because she clearly has 'crazy' fans.
"You! You are the worst thing to happen to musical theatre since Andrew Lloyd Webber! And you, well, I just plain don't like you."
~Stewart Gilligan Griffin
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" "Republicans smell like cobbler!" "

I guess everyone's saying it now!

Bush should plaster that on the side of the political campaign bus.
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That's not what you said originally, but I agree it's about behavior not age.

People screaming outside a theater (whatever their ages), people seeing a show 100 times (whatever their ages) -- no problem. People following you home (whatever their ages) -- big problem.
Stop worrying about what I'm doing -- focus instead on what you're eating.
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What's that yummy smell?? LG, is that you??
Have I ever shown you my Shattered Dreams box? It's in my Disappointment Closet. - Marge Simpson