WHY GROUPIES PISS ME OFF
Anybody who knows me, knows I am anything but a groupie. Sure, I know a lot of artists, can hang around musicians without a second thought, and I talk with authors and writers all the time. Heck, Larry Winget even follows me on Twitter. Larry Winget, people!! But does this make me a groupie?
Since I was little, I’ve thought nothing of interacting firsthand with art and the artists that create it. I may or may not have been the seven-year-old who invented “acting out” (as in, acting out movies or TV episodes), liked to film amateur home movies starring Beanie Babies, and was there to watch a Nickelodeon spot featuring voice actors or animators every time one aired. I didn’t want to just create art, I wanted to BE the art.
Which is why I find it absolutely maddening that there are a throng of people out there waiting to hop on the I’m-with-the-artist-lifestyle bandwagon because it’s “cool” or it’s “fun” or it’s “what I do”. If you are an artist of any kind, it’s no secret that I will be one of the first in line to support you. But that is because I am also an artist, and I have studied a variety of crafts, and I know that the path of an artist is not all unicorns and rainbows (unless you are Aisha Thani, then it is partially about unicorns).
These kind of people have no fucking clue what artists do, and the worst part of it is, they act under the guise of “avid supporter” or “really big fan”. No, following an artist around does not make you a big fan, it just makes you a really creepy person. (For the record, I have been a creepy fan before. I once jumped up on the podium at a Comic-Con panel to get Tom Kenny’s autograph for my sister – and yes, it was really for my sister).
But the real reason groupies piss me off is they think they are special. Or cooler. Or that artists are super-human Gods or something. It’s stupid, we are all just people. Artists are people. I know it can boggle our minds because some of the best artists of the times are considered “famous” or “celebrities”.
Please don’t freak out and wonder if you are a groupie. You probably are. But you know you aren’t when your intentions are true. When you genuinely admire and appreciate the artist and their art. When your reason for attending their events is not to schmooze but to offer your support and presence.
I think that’s one of the reasons we look up to artists – especially indie artists – because they have the courage to live out their passions. But so do you. So do all of us. So do groupies, if they’d stop being groupies long enough to see it.
Tanya Marcy loves to work with emerging and independent artists to market their projects and reach their ideal audience. She blogs at stickTnotes, where she shares her ideas about being a creative artist in today’s changing world. You can find her own art at deviantART and sample her writing at Figment.