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Broken-Hearted Fandom

Posted on: January 14th, 2016 by Bri DeRosa

red-love-heart-oldThis week, the internet has been buzzing with sad news of the deaths of two major celebrities: David Bowie and Alan Rickman. The fervent response to the passing of these icons is a fitting tribute to their work, but also brings up questions about the meaning of fandom and the place of onscreen heroes in our everyday lives.

“It’s a human need to be told stories…we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible… A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.” — Alan Rickman

  • There are many famous people, but there seems to be a greater public outcry over the deaths of certain stars than others — for example, not only David Bowie and Alan Rickman, but also stars like BB King and Leonard Nimoy. Why do you think that is?
  • As a fan, what attracts you to certain people? Are there qualities you look for that separate people you “like” from people who inspire true fandom in you?
  • If you could enter the world of any book, movie or TV show, what would it be and why?
  • Can you be a fan of someone who is not an actor, musician, athlete or performer of some kind? What are some examples?
  • If you could invite any celebrity, living or dead, to dinner, who would you choose? What would you serve? What would you want to ask them?
  • After a celebrity’s death, people talk about their contributions — to their art form, to charitable causes or otherwise. What contributions do you hope to make to the world?