Guest post: The Fangirl Balance

Yay! First guest post of the new Guest Post series for this year! Today you’re hearing from the lovely Georgie. Georgie is 19 and attends University in Sydney, although she wishes she could devote her life to full time fandom. She really loves boy bands and has a Harry Potter tattoo. She plans on becoming an entertainment journalist, but if that doesn’t work out, she’s going to go into fandom academia (it’s a thing, seriously). You can follow her on twitter at @georgie_carroll or @frangiprincess, and read her blog at www.frangipaniprincess.com. Read on and enjoy! x

I have been a (crazy, hysterical) fangirl for as long as I can remember. When I was fifteen, I found out Joe Jonas was in Australia, and my mum wouldn’t let me get on the next plane to Sydney (because, uh, I was fifteen and it was a school night). I cried, and I cried, and I cried, and I tried listening to their music, but it made me cry harder so I threw my iPod at my wall and cried some more.

Just the other day I tried to write a post about Taylor Swift lyrics that have made me cry, and ended up sitting in bed and sobbing. I’m nineteen.

While I still cry daily when I think about One Direction, or watch Supernatural, or read Drarry fan-fiction, a major change has occurred in my life. I am now an entertainment blogger. While this means I get to go to screenings and events for free and interview some really cool people, it also means I have to be a professional (I even have business cards!).

So, what’s it like trying to balance being a hardcore fangirl with being a journalist?

  • When you interview people you really, really love you have to pretend you don’t really care. At Supanova Sydney, I got to interview the Knights from Merlin. Just being near them made me want to cry (I should probably get my tear ducts checked one of these days), but I had to convince the publicist that I was a grown up professional who could sit down and talk to them without babbling incoherently like many of the girls who came to the signing desk while we were waiting.
  • You often feel out of place. At the end of the day, I am first and foremost a fangirl. So sometimes when I’m at an interview, or a press screening, or the media area of an event, I can’t help but feel like a bit of a fraud. My fangirl nature often makes me feel like I shouldn’t be there as media, but I should be back with the crying fans.
  • The line between professional, fan, and friend becomes blurred. Being media means you get access to celebrities in a way regular fans aren’t allowed. This is excellent, but after sitting and chatting with a celebrity for any period of time it’s hard to then step back and remember you’re just a professional doing a job, and even though you guys have been talking about the deep mysteries of life, you’re not actually friends. I’m sure this aspect is much easier to deal with as a regular entertainment journalist, but as a fangirl, it’s one of the hardest parts of the job. Fangirls are not as insane as we’re portrayed to be by the media (thanks for that one, Directioners), and most of us want nothing more than to just talk to the people who are a part of what we love. As a journalist, I get to do that, but because I really, really love most of the people I speak to (unlike, say, a regular entertainment journalist who is just there because their boss told them to be), it’s so much harder to get up and walk away after that conversation.
  • You can’t actually tell the people you’re interviewing that you’re a fan. Do you know how painful that is? When you meet someone you really, really love and you get to talk to them, the first thing you want to do is gush about how much you love them/their show/their music/their movie/etc. But as a journalist, you have to remain impassive, separated from the world of the fan. It’s considered extremely unprofessional to do anything that resembles fan-like behaviour while on the clock as a journalist. That makes sense, of course, but it still goes against every instinct in my fangirl soul, which wants to just scream that I’m not like the others who are simply doing a job, I’m here because I really, really, really love whatever it is you do.
  • You have to ask basic questions and just want to apologise because of course you actually know everything. When writing, you have to assume that most people don’t have the (stalkerish) knowledge that a huge fangirl has, so you have to ask some (kind of) basic questions. This always embarrasses me because I just want to say “no but seriously I know all of this already, I’m an expert! This is for the others!
  • Sometimes you interview someone and they turn out to be not as awesome as you expected and it kind of breaks your heart. This hasn’t technically happened to me yet, but I’ve heard many stories. After all, they say you should never meet your heroes because you’ll only end up sad and disappointed. I know there’s a day in my future where I will sit down to interview someone I really love, and they’ll be way less amazing than I thought they would be, or quite frankly, they’ll be a bit of a douche. And it hurts. But at the end of the day, isn’t pain really what’s at the heart of being a fangirl?

I wouldn’t give up being an entertainment blogger for anything, but it’s always going to be a struggle to successfully balance professionalism and my overwhelming fangirl nature. At the end of the day though, I guess it’s a struggle I’m really lucky to have.

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