Whoosh! Issue 25 - October 1998


IAXS project #601
By Sarah Eveland
Copyright © 1998 held by author
1525 words

Introduction (01-03)
Are You Famous? (04-06)
Who, Me? (07-09)
Will You Have Sex With Me? (10)
So When Do I Get My Private Plane? (11-14)
Ares' Minions Will Never Die (15-18)
Sap Up the Wrap Up (19-20)
Colophon (21)

A Star Is Born
Or Net Celebs And The XenaVerse:
How The Internet Has Transformed Ordinary Xenites Into Famous People

The 'fish' constellation is only visible in the Southern hemisphere.

There are more stars in the Xenaverse than there are stars in the Fish constellation.


[01] Xena: Warrior Princess (XWP) has evolved from a syndicated TV show into a world-wide phenomenon, heavily aided by the confluent growth of the Internet. Starting as a cluster of fans on MCA's Xena Webforum, the XWP Net presence has grown into a plethora of fan fiction stories, web sites, mailing lists, and chat rooms.

[02] The people who write the fanfic, maintain the Web pages, manage the mailing lists, and oversee the chat rooms have become celebrities in their own right, whose presence at Xena Conventions can cause reactions from "You're _____?!? Wow!" to "Can I touch your computer?"

[03] The responses I reference throughout this article were gathered from a non-random survey sent to people I recognize as celebrities in the Xenaverse. I sent out 33 surveys and received 23 responses, for a response rate of 70 percent.

Are You Famous?

[04] For the purposes of this article, a person is famous when you know his/her name even though you have never met him/her. When people start to introduce themselves to you, or turn around and point at you when they hear your name, or gather in a crowd around you, you are famous.

[05] The most famous Xenites are, not surprisingly, the Bards, the Xenites who share their creativity with us, help sate our need for more adventures with Xena and Gabrielle, and answer the nagging questions leftover from an episode.

[06] In addition to the Bards are the numerous "managers" in the Xenaverse, the people who house, organize, or review fanfic; create and organize space for Xenites to talk with one another; and, maintain pictures, sound bytes, articles, and interviews for everyone to access. Even the prolific members of mailing lists and chat rooms can become famous, or infamous, as the case may be.

Who, Me?

[07] There is a moment that all Net celebs will remember, when they first figure out they are celebs. For some, it is when fellow Xenites scream upon hearing their name. For others, it is when they become subjects of an impromptu photo session or become surrounded by people who want to talk to them about their work. For one celeb it was when she was contacted by a non-Xenite friend who had found her through a Web page that had been made in her honor.

[08] For many, it is the growing realization, as more and more people say: "You're _____?," that complete strangers know who they are.

[09] How did these newly-donned celebs feel? Most were slightly Shocked. Some said they felt like a deer in headlights. Perplexed, embarrassed, amused, and surreal were also high on the list of reactions. After the initial adjustment though, many celebs have settled into accepting their celebrity as simply a nice way to meet fellow Xenites and make new friends.

Will You Have Sex With Me?

[10] Any interaction between two Xenites where one fan considers the other a celebrity can be strange. But some reactions are more intense than others and those can fall into the weird category. Consider this list of varied reactions that have actually befallen Net celebs:


Sarah Eveland Sarah Eveland
In real life, Sarah Eveland (aka Spikus) is a graphic artist at an education association in Washington, DC. Before she became involved with Xena: Warrior Princess, she was a mild-mannered lesbian who liked to drink coffee, read books, and play with her cats. Now she is the Warlord of the XenaVerse listserv, spends too much time on the Internet, and has developed a liking for swords, leather, and uulation.
Favorite episode: THE GREATER GOOD (21/121), A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215), THE DEBT I and II (52-53/306-307)
Favorite line: Xena: "Monkey man, you bring her back!" FINS, FEMMES AND GEMS (64/318)
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST (01/101). But I realized I was obsessed when I rewound and rewatched DREAMWORKER (03/103) immediately after the first viewing.
Least favorite episode: GIANT KILLER (27/203), KING CON (61/315), KING OF ASSASSINS (54/308)

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