Alright, Wanderers, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this yet, but… well, no, I’m fairly sure you must have. Walk with me, if you will, through a simple hypothetical scenario.
Imagine you’ve just finished the last episode of the latest series of a TV show, for example. You’ve just watched the whole thing back-to-back for 56 hours and you’re at that stage of ‘tired’ where you lack the common sense to switch off your electronic devices and go to sleep. Instead, you think, what you need is more of this show. But there is no more! What’s the next best thing? Maybe there’s something with the same people in it…
So, you log onto IMDb and see what else the lead actor’s been in. You find their Twitter account and follow it, then track down a short film they were in at drama school and which is still freely available on the internet. While you’re watching that, they update their Twitter: ‘I’ve got a new song on SoundCloud!’. You don’t immediately notice this, because you’re busy sobbing at the unexpected turn the short film has taken. And what’s this? It inspired a short webseries, now available on iTunes?
While that’s downloading, you check Twitter, and notice the message about SoundCloud. So you click the link, and wow, you had no idea this person could also play three instruments, and sing. But now you know. While you’re listening your way through their entire page, you head back to IMDb and notice that one of the other actors was once in an episode of that show your little brother keeps telling you to check out. And he’s got all the DVDs, so…
Half an hour later, not only have you promised all your sweets to your little brother in exchange for the chance to see an actor you recognise walk down the halls of a fictional school for thirty seconds, but you’ve also got completely caught up in another character’s storyline from that show. So you watch the rest of the DVD and promise yourself that when the sun comes back up, you’ll borrow the rest. Meanwhile, wasn’t that guy pushing a mop around in the background in something else? Back to IMDb, then – oh, and that webseries has downloaded…
I could go on, but frankly it’s been almost 400 words and if I don’t get to the point soon the Editor will throw things at me. [I would never! -Ed.] Alright, she’ll get that awful disappointed look on her face and stop bringing me cake. [More likely. -Ed.] But let’s look at that little story again. I’m counting… Hmm, if we count the short film and the webseries as one thing… and the whole SoundCloud archive as another… then the series… well that’s three new things you might now be a fan of, straight away. And if our story had continued, we’re sure that actor was in something you’d seen before but also several things you hadn’t seen – and one of them probably sounds super-interesting.
This, dear Wanderers, is where all the time goes. Where our time goes, anyway. You might notice, for example, that there’s some overlap between things we ourselves have reviewed on this site. That’s because we’re a small team, and we find our new fandoms by obsessively link-trailing stuff we already like. And there’s nothing wrong with that! I wrote this article while listening to music I found because the guy who writes and records it also happens to be a really good actor. Then I switched to another former actor’s DJ mixes. And then it was on to a band whose lead singer was on TV with the first guy.
The music I was listening to when I wrote this isn’t good because it was made by people I already liked for doing something else, any more than the short film that had me sobbing into my hands at two o’clock this morning was heartbreaking because it starred the villain from another show I watch. But without being fans of those things, I might never have found these amazing works of creative genius. And that, I think, would be a terrible shame.
Eleanor Musgrove (is going back to the DJ mixes, those jams are awesome)
If you’ve found something you love through another fandom, let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @FandomWanderers!