Last week, I received a thank you card from my student teacher. In it, she expressed her appreciation with everything thing she had learned during the semester, including the importance of laughter. Apparently, I make a lot of jokes in my classroom. Who knew?! One other thing she learned to appreciate was Duran Duran. I know. What does Duran Duran have to do with teaching? Nothing. Since I was her cooperating teacher, she had no choice but to learn about Duran. I played the entire Rio album, for example, on its anniversary. In order to test new equipment, I played some Duran videos. The band provided the background to grading semester finals.
She told me that she knew some of their music but was not super familiar with them. More to the point, what she learned about the band make her like the band more than she did. Does that mean that she is a fan now? I don’t know if the new appreciation will translate to that, but it might. I did my best or…could I have done something more?
At some point, I did a blog about which songs should be played to try to get new fans but now, after my student teacher and the book, “The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy,” I wonder if I went about it in the wrong way.
The book has an entire section entitled Resistance Is Futile: Converting Your Friends to Fangirls. Here are the suggestions the author listed and my thoughts about each one of them:
Ease into it.
The recommendation here is simple. Don’t mention the history of a fandom, that’s too intense, too intimidating. Instead, one should keep it fun by sending pictures or something light. What do I think about it? I’m not sure. On one hand, I can see why the history might be a bit much or make it seem like there is no way that someone could jump into the fandom right now. Yet, I think there is a way to acknowledge the awesome history but also showing that one can join. For example, I might say, “It is pretty cool. Duran formed in 1978, almost 40 years ago and have thousands of fans. Yet, because they are still writing new albums and touring, new fans can jump in at any point.” Then, I might send a fun live clip.
Play human recommendation engine.
The advice here is really easy. Suggest something you know your friend would like. In our case, if someone likes more ballads play that person “Save a Prayer”. If they like more rock, I might choose “Careless Memories”. It is important to know what the potential Duranie likes, music wise.
Discover something together.
The idea here is to find a fandom together. Okay. Cool. Not an option for me with Duran. Maybe another band? Although, I can’t really see me liking another band to the same extent that I like Duran. Goodness.
Make it a party.
The suggestion here is to have a party and invite a bunch of people. I do have Duran parties but would I really invite non-Duranies to it? I’m not sure. Would they be bored? Feel out of place? Wouldn’t that be just like the first recommendation where everyone else has a lot of experience and knowledge that the newbie(s) don’t?! Maybe I would do that if the person is now a fan but not quite to Duranie status to push them over to the dark…I mean Duran side.
Give the gift of fandom.
The author says that giving gifts about your fandom that you think the person will like can work. Okay. I have about 20 million copies of Paper Gods that I could give as gifts.
Don’t get defensive.
If someone doesn’t like your fandom, don’t get defensive. You can calmly explain that sharing a fandom does give a ton of fabulous experiences and friendships that you wouldn’t have otherwise. I think it is important to realize that no matter what you share with the non-Duranie, s/he might not ever become a Duranie. That is okay, too.
Overall, I do believe that it is GREAT to have friends who are Duranies. It definitely makes fandom WAY more fun and provides a great foundation to a friendship. That said, it can also be tough when a friend who was once a Duranie is no more or when someone you thought was on her/his way to being a Duranie changes her/his mind. Sometimes, that really affects friendships, even though no one wants it, too. So, word to the wise. Have fun with trying to create a new Duranie but don’t get disappointed when it doesn’t work or doesn’t last.