Whoosh! Issue 74 - December 2002
Letters to the Editor

To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to letters@whoosh.org. All letters received by the editor are subject to publication and may be edited. Due to the volume received, some letters may not be answered individually or receipt acknowledged and may be published at the editor's discretion. Letters received may be reserved for a later issue.

Dining On Road Kill: The True Confession Of A Reluctant Autograph Hunter
O'Connor in Macbeth
Losing Sleep
Bless Xena Fans

Letters To The Editor

Dining On Road Kill: The True Confession Of A Reluctant Autograph Hunter

From: Name Withheld
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 8:41 AM
Subject: Whoosh article comment

I found Catherine Michaud's "True Confessions of a Reluctant Autograph Hunter" very intriguing. I am a rabid autograph collector and enjoy my hobby, but I too have experienced the 'in person autograph let down' syndrome, and Michaud's personal epiphany about why that is for her was very interesting to me. I found a lot of truth in what she said.

For me too, there was almost always a let down when seeking autographs from people I particularly admired as actors, because I'm a theatre person myself. I understand the craft and the struggle of an artist, and expected to feel a reciprocal kinship with the actor because of it. I always wanted to connect with a fellow artist and, like Michaud, to see more than a hint of the characters I liked when I met actors. I was disappointed when, with a very few notable exceptions, it didn't happen.

I learned perhaps the hardest lesson of all when I selected a longtime source of personal adoration and professional admiration to be the subject of my dissertation. I had in my mind what she must be like in person, and I based that preconceived notion on her sensitivity, insightfulness into the human condition, and her unparalleled connection to her audiences when she performed. It was as if she reached across the proscenium arch and touched the hearts of each audience member with her own. I knew she must be an extraordinarily generous, compassionate human being in real life.

To my dismay, however, in working with (and sometimes at odds with) her on my dissertation, I found her petty, brusque, neurotic, bullying, egomaniacal, unkind, and downright mean on occasion (I was hesitant to do something unreasonable she wanted me to do, in large part because I had just started a new job and my mother was newly diagnosed with lupus and very ill at the time, and my dissertation topic said, and I quote "Don't bore me with your maudlin sh-t," and insisted that I do what she wanted me to do

I got my dissertation done with much effort, but I was pretty devastated for a while over the experience. Fair or not, I had expected there to be an instant and deep connection between us, because I admired her artistry so much, because she had influenced my life course to that point in large measure, and because I had connected so deeply to her work and to her performance persona, but there was no such connection with the woman herself.

I still admire skilled performers, my dissertation topic included, and I still collect autographs. And I have a special affenity for the ones I've collected in person, but I try to refrain from expectations about who the actors are as people anymore. Those expectations are pretty unfair of me, anyway. As Michaud points out, that actor doesn't know me, I don't know him or her, and experience has kind of taught me that there is a great chance we wouldn't like each other if we had a chance to get to know one another.


O'Connor in Macbeth

From: Amy Murphy
Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2002 11:12 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor (Reply to) O'Connor in Macbeth

I agree with everything Mil stated. Some people take it way too far and at times I wonder what Renee [O'Connor] is really thinking about the fans. I also feel badly for the people who still haven't met this actress and worry that the acts of these fans will effect her judgment on others. No respect was given and I was upset as well!!


What p----s me off more, is that all the negative things are posted left and right with no end in sight, and all the good things are forgotten. Believe me there are many, and they are barely blurbed. Why is that? Why is it better to point out the crap than to tell something good? I haven't read much about the fund raisers. How much money have fans gathered for causes? Or how about a prayer or two we pass along just because we care, many many things?? There is even a fund raiser going on to help Shakespeare By The Sea because they had a theft of their lighting and sound equipment. Why isn't this ever mentioned?

Maybe Renee would feel better about fans if she knew some of the good things?

No, it too simple to point out the bad ones while others who try to do things right and love Renee, get overlooked. Sad fact!

From: Bongo Bear
Thursday, November 14, 2002 10:46 PM
Subject: MiL's Letter to the Editor in Whoosh!

Thanks for publically expressing your displeasure at the rude Gab[rielle] fans at the Shakespeare production. Without a letter like that I really doubt that the fans who hogged all of ROC's time and ignored the theatre's protocols would have even realized how obxious they are. Self-centered XWP fans cast an undeserved bad reputation on all fans even if the majority are well-behaved. The problem is that rude fans are often encouraged by their peer group to think nothing of stalking and monopolyzing cast members' limited time with the public. When a person such as yourself, who is an acknowledged fan and therefore indirectly a peer, admonishes bad fan attitudes and behavior, the rest of us sitting on the backbench take notice.

Losing Sleep

From: Susan Solomon
Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 8:43 PM

I was brousing around Whoosh, looking for something, anything, about Xena that haven't read when I clicked on IAXS (right above Kym's tale of going to see movies with her son). Because I am a stereotypical fan, obsessed with every teeny-tiny detail, I noticed that IAXS is defined as the International Association of Xenaesque Studies, the International Association of Xenoid Studies and the International Association of Xenaoid Studies. So which is it? Anyone else losing sleep over this?

Bless Xena Fans

From: Amy Murphy
Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 10:38 PM
Subject: Bless Xena fans!

Recently several Xenites are gathering together for an auction for Carole Giorgio's daughter. http://carolegiorgio.tripod.com

I think probably the greatest pain on this earth is the loss of a child. I wish that on no one. Nicole is battling a form of brain cancer. Even through the surgeries, she still seems to see the rainbow beyond the clouds.

Most of us on our best day couldn't even do that.

I set out to try and lend a hand to CN and KC, the two Michigan women running the auction. I wrote so many letters it's not funny, CN and KC have been working their buns off. (That's just how they are. I know that for a fact with CN) Right now I'm caught in awe of things. Humanity's generosity.

Not only are Xenites giving and helping, so are the actors and writers we love, fell in love with from a show that not even the creators knew would have such an impact on lives.

I read e-mail's from lists and a few other places that like to point out how bad fans are. All the bad a small few do wrong, but we all get labeled with...

I sit here in tears looking at all this good. It's going to be one h--- of an auctions and it comes from Xenites. One huge oddball family that I'm proud to say I'm a part of. So to each and everyone out there. Be proud, feel good.

Thank you and Battle on!

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