What makes someone become a rabid fan of something?

A few months ago I went to see Eugene and Dan Levy speak at the Beacon theater on the eve of the release of their book about Schitt’s Creek. Fun show, fun evening, fun Levy and son… I enjoyed the whole experience…

However…

Seated next to me was a superfan…

The woman next to me had flown in from Minnesota or Michigan or Wisconsin specifically for this evening. They were doing nothing else in NYC- just this. Not even a good restaurant… She was here with her husband, who was sitting in the balcony because they originally bought seats upstairs, but then she was able to get a ticket closer to the action…so she had a total of three seats and chose not to sit with her spouse.

When Eugene and Dan took the stage, the woman screamed so loud that months later I am still feeling the reverb…because it was RIGHT IN MY EAR…

This was a talk, not a Q and A, yet she still managed to raise her hand to try to ask things. When they mentioned something, she would scream out a fact about the episode. When she wasn’t yelling to the stage she was talking to herself about the facts from the episode. She even corrected Dan because apparently he forgot something. No joke…

I know it seems like I’m judging this woman, and I espouse to a no judgement zone. And yeah…my bad…I am judging this woman just a little tiny bit…

Because what makes someone love something so much they have the need to learn every single detail about it?

What drives that passion?

I have enjoyed TV and movies and such. I am a wiz (is it whiz?) at trivia games. But I have never been that rabid a fan of anything since 1976 and my love of Met Lee Mazzilli. And oddly, I guess I wasn’t much of a super fan of his because I just heard that he vied for the Olympics in speed skating pre baseball, and I never knew this….Also, for the record, I love baseball but totally admit that the lockdown has been off my radar because I have so much else spinning in my head…

I guess I have that things that I enjoy, but I don’t think I will ever be so crazy about something where I learn everything about it and know more about it than the creators or the persons themselves…

Are you, or have you ever been a superfan of anything?

Travel miles for one specific thing?

Know everything there is to know about something?

What was it that motivated you to know so much about one thing? What was the switch that got turned on that made you go “I need more info NOW”?

Why does someone become a superfan?

74 thoughts on “Rabid

  1. The human heart is a mystery to me. (even my own) I feel bad for her husband. What causes someone to go from having a normal, healthy, curiosity about something into having a rabid obsession about it. I’m guessing deep down she’s trying to fill that empty void in her soul, all of us have.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I have no idea how someone becomes a rabid fan. There are a couple of people I know who get obsessed with things quickly. There are some tv shows I would probably like that I never watched because they talked about them so much the mere thought of the show annoyed me.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Well, Hell’s Bells Gotham Gal. You are far more courageous than me. Ten minutes into this rock ribbed display of upper midwest obsessive compulsive sitcom liturgical nit picking, I would have eyed, with suspicion , whatever tote she was packing, and promptly removed myself from, both.. her sight and range.

    Then again, in her defense, pandemics do have a tendency to make one seriously ponder.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know, I wondered if it was a pandemic reaction, but she said she has watched the show from the beginning…again and again and again…she might have already been a fan but heightened it during lockdown…but it was a tad annoying…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not a superfan of anyone so I can’t conceive how or why someone becomes one. A need for status? A need for a sense of belonging? A need for attention? Just a plain old nutter…? Beats me.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I can’t think of anything that I’ve ever liked so much as to live and breathe and covet every detail. I think DM was probably on to something, or Ally is correct that perhaps there’s also a screw or two rattling around. What a way to ruin an enjoyable evening.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We have made trips just for one reason – to see a singer a couple of times and all the way to Jupiter once to see Cardinal Spring Training. But I’ll take any reason to go on a trip. I’ve never learned all I could nor been so obsessive that I was rude at a performance. Perhaps she was trying to fill an internal void as one comment suggested. Also, sometimes in this world, I think we crave to be unique. There could also be an imbalance in her brain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. To be fair, I think people who set out to visit every ball park in America or see every national park are awesome. I think things like that are fun….however…this was more obsessive…it seemed off….

      Liked by 1 person

  7. OCD for sure . But it’s a pretty widespread thing. There are grown women (and men) who are still fans of The Backstreet Boys and they travel and collect and do all the things ! I have my own issues , but being a super fan isn’t one of them. 🤣

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’ve never been a super fan and choose to live my life not vicariously through a tv show, sports team, a super celebrity, etc. People who are so self-absorbed in something so trivial are scary. I would have contacted an usher and had her moved to one of her extra seats. Kudos to you for putting up with her

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t know about super fan but I identified so closely with Louise Penny characters in Three Pines I could probably relate a lot of minutiae. When I reread her books it is like going home for a visit and I find myself thinking about them throughout the day. I especially identify with Ruth Zardo.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I find this behaviour a bit over the top. I had a Japanese homestay student living with me for three years. A lovely girl and a brilliant student. She was obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera. She had seen 15 performances of the musical in Japan, Vancouver and London. She had the posters all over her room, bought a wedding dress similar to the one worn in the play and had various items in her room from the gift shops. I had never seen anything like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have never been a super fan of anything. Don’t get it. I super love Grace and Frankie on Netflix, but catch new seasons when I get around to it and I sometimes forget all about ancillary characters.
    And I’m from the Midwest, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only mention her location because she it’s half a country away….I get if someone drove in from Philly…it’s not that far…and to get on a plane just for this? I just didn’t get it

      Like

  12. To answer your questions: NO, NO, NO! What you had was an extremely crazy experience. (Full disclosure–I am overboardly fond of purple, but I don’t scream or sing about it. I don’t even seek it out because it finds me. 💜😉)

    Liked by 3 people

  13. That must have been so aggravating to sit next to her. Maybe you could have joined her husband in the balcony! I was 15 or 16 when I was obsessed with Rod Stewart and wallpapered my bedroom with his posters. I attribute that to my age at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m a fan and I do know some things about the people I follow but not to the point of your lady. My son can quote whole scenes from movies/tv shows (his current obsession is with Seinfeld) but I can’t spend that much time on one thing. It definitely would have gotten on my nerves.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I applaud her husband for being cool with her interest and going with her, however I think she needs to dial it back. In my teens when my best friend was going to ‘marry’ Taylor Hanson, I wondered if she ever meant him, if she would even like him, because she doesn’t actually know this teen idol. I imagine this super would be over this right quick if she had a negative interaction with anyone at the panel. It’s wonderful to be passionate about something, it’s torture to be obessed with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This person is a obviously a superfan, and I feel bad it ruined your experience. However, they might have been on the Autism spectrum, or maybe Schitt’s Creek is a coping mechanism for their depression.

    It touched a nerve with me is since I live with mental illness and know what coping mechanisms look like. And sometimes they might appear like overwhelming enthusiasm or what can look like inappropriate excitement to others.

    That being said, I’m sure I’d have felt the same way if I hadn’t have personal encounters with someone who is neurodivergent. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I hadn’t thought of it like that, as it’s something I’m not familiar with. Honestly I don’t have the tools to determine what was happening in her mind. But holly mentioned something that made me think of something else, which I’m going to write about. Thank you for giving me an alternate perspective

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m a super fan of real and fictional characters like, Sherlock Holmes, Jane Austen, Will Shakespeare etc. But, there’s a huge difference in being a fan and being rude and obnoxious in a theater setting. This woman was apparently obsessed to the point of not caring if her behavior ruined the show for others. I’d say that’s beyond being a fan. That’s just selfish and weird. I could tell you a million little tidbits about Conan Doyle’s famous consulting detective, but I wouldn’t shout out what I know in a crowd. That’s just plain bizarre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just picture your throwing your hotel room key to Sherlock Holmes. “My my, Ms. Kluchin. I can tell you’re a rare gem with great passion for equality and a tidyness of thought. Yes, we may venture to dinner. Curry, I believe?”

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Super fan-I am of Cold Play but would I fly miles, not I. I did enjoy the last concert of Amy Winehouse because I happened to be in the UAE at the time. Were her super fans there? Yes, they were and very interesting to view.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I agree with you, I don’t get it either. Sure I have actors, singers and authors that I really like but No, I don’t need to know everything about them! My husband passed a car that had a lifesize sticker of a someone famous on the passenger side of the door. Why??? I don’t care how much I love the person I am not putting a life size sticker of them up. But everyone is different, though if you are obsessed don’t be overbearing about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hmm. Well, there’s this local indie band based out of Everett, WA that Tara and I have seen play live seven times. Ended up on a first-name basis with the lead singer, too. Bought their merch, had them sign records for us. Sounds a bit like a superfan!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Gone With The Wind – probably because it had the first really strong female character I’d ever encountered at the time. Also Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods one summer when I drove all over town with my sister and her friend and her friend’s sister to see them perform.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. It may be an intelligence and maturity thing, really. At some point I realized I couldn’t answer the “What famous person would you have dinner with” question because *they* would hardly want to converse with *me.*

    Liked by 1 person

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