Can You Be a Fan of Yourself? I Say No. Discuss.

Music FansCan you be a fan of yourself?

I believe the answer is no. A fan is always in a different world than the performer. Part of what defines a fan in my opinion is the fan strives to be close to the performer. The fan wants to always learn more, know more about the performer. The performer is onstage, in the studio, backstage. The fan dreams about being onstage, in the studio or backstage with the performer. The performer always knows what is happening in their world, when they are touring, where they are touring, when they are recording, what the new songs sound like. The fan is always trying to dig up the littlest tidbit of information. As the performer you will never completely understand the world of your fans. As the performer you will never experience the joy your fans feel after waiting months to finally hear a new song. The thrill your fans experience in waiting months to finally see you in concert. The energy of being in the front row for your show.

As a performer you can be a fan of another performer, but you can never be a real fan of yourself.

What this means is that you may think you know what your fans want, what your fans like, what is important to your fans. Remember what it is like for you to be a fan of another act.  Without actually talking to your fans and listening to them you won’t know exactly what they want.


6 Responses to “Can You Be a Fan of Yourself? I Say No. Discuss.”

  1. Steve Mulry
    December 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    I totally agree with you Michael, you should obviously like what you do but you can’t be a fan of yourself.
    Having said that, if you can analyse your own behaviour & expectations in regards to those acts that you’re a fan of closely enough, you may get a reasonable insight into what you’re not providing for your fans that could make their fandom more special. :)


  2. @Ed_it_is
    December 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    When you first hear a piece of music of an artist you’ve never heard before you hear only the finished version. You may go on to become a fan of that artist. You may endeavour to find demos by that artist to hear how the music evolved. You may download their entire back catalogue. You might imagine what the artist ‘meant’ by the music. You might go and see the artist perform to feel a connection with them. What you will never do is recapture that moment when you first heard them.

    As the artist you can never have that. You know what motivated you to create it. There’s little mystery in it for you. You’ll never have that magic of hearing you own work for the first time in its complete form. You have a completely different view of your own work.

    The artist can be and, i believe, MUST be a critic of their own work. That is one of the things that spurs the artist on to create new work.

    What you can never be is a fan of your own work.


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