April 5, 2013

Working for (Doctor) Who?

I almost half expected this to be a late April Fool's prank - seeing that the position for Executive Producer of Doctor Who was listed online.

Giddy, I had decided to engage via social media, suggesting that this was such an obvious position for me to apply for, with only two major disadvantages:
  • A possible move to Wales, which meant figuring out moving expenses and, of course, how to learn to speak Welsh in a timely manner; and
  • A question of "Do I really want to work in something that I'm a big fan of?"
Admittedly, being a "semi-professional fan" is a mixed bag; I don't mind organizing the local Meetup Group (which is pretty much a small bag of jelly babies in midwest Who fandom) and my work for Chicago TARDIS is proving to be an absolute wonder. (Details are forthcoming, but for right now, my lips are sealed). But I sometimes wonder....do I want to go "full pro"? Would I ever be willing to immerse myself not just in something that is tangential to Who (say, writing), but perhaps be part of the few, the proud, the ones who are able to turn their fandom into something that earns them some fame and fortunate....or at the very least, free drinks?

Admittedly, there are some setbacks - a feeling of competition around something that we love; that sense that maybe people are in this for the wrong reasons. In fact, too often I am seeing the Wizard World mentality creeping into various fandoms - the idea that "we're going to be the greatest, one-stop fan experience for  "Insert current pop culture franchise here", and that you can make big money from nerds....but the truth is that fandom for anything, first and foremost, comes out of love.

That's right - love. Not the kind of gushing, over the top obnoxiousness expressed through tumblr, but the kind of love that inspires people's creativity...whether it be cosplayers finding the right bow tie, or my pal Dave in Wisconsin, who builds working Daleks. (The photo that's included in this blog post? He and his pals make that stuff - it's rather awesome!). For me, it's the ability to bring fans together for great experiences that allow them to share their love of Who; it's getting complimentary DVDs to view and share my thoughts about; and ultimately, kind of be known as "the Doctor Who guy" in several of my social circles. It's not about being the end-all and be-all for everyone; it's creating an environment where people can share what they enjoy...and that isn't reliant on being "in charge."

So back to the premise of today's post: would I ever consider becoming a "professional fan"? I've come close, but quite honestly....it would depend on the job. Serving as Executive Producer on Doctor Who - probably not, because I'd be surrounded by Welshmen.

But pitch a story to Steven Moffatt? You betcha!

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