Fame is an odd thing.
Now I don’t consider myself a celebrity by any means. Sure, I am fairly well known comparatively on twitter, oddly enough, and I recently was given an honorary membership to World Anvil (thanks guys) for all the help I have given them, but I myself don’t think I am all that big a deal.
Perception, however, can be a different beast.
Years ago I wrote an article about how famous people handle fame, musing about my experiences with being thrust into concert after-parties, meeting some VG Cover bands such as Metroid Metal, The NESkimos, Bit Brigade, Armcannon, Danimal Cannon, and others. This occurred back at a festival called Nerdapalooza in 2012. That article actually connected me to now long time friend Travis, who was once known as Careless in the band Random Encounter. He currently creates the Liberty Comic series, Podcast, and soon a few other tidbits.
But now, with my own notoriety increasing, I start to wonder how it feels to be famous, to be known, and how others who are much more “known”, at least in the DND world, see it.
I asked a few of the more “famous” folks on twitter how they are dealing with it, and with their permission I will present their responses and my thoughts in regards to them, starting with the mistress of maps Deven Rue!
Click on the image to be taken to the thread, but basically Deven here doesnt see herself as famous. However, many people in the dnd twitter community, and the dnd community at large online do know of her. Does that make her famous? I say yes, even if she herself doesn’t feel that way. Perception is everything, both in how we view ourselves, and how those view us from the outside looking in. How about Matthew Mercer, the DM of the highly popular Critical Role and known Voice Actor? Here was his response:
Again, click on the image to be taken to the conversation on twitter. In this case, we can see that Mr. Mercer feels that he has lost some privacy, but gained the ability to inspire people. He also mentions the feeling of higher pressure and being held to a higher standard, which I personally already feel and I am no where near as large as he is. He also mentions, similar to Deven, that his fame is all part of the microcosm or community of DND Fans online. This is true. Its possible to become well know in a small circle online much easier now then it has ever been, but at the same time be a relative unknown outside in the larger world. Being a Voice Actor, Matt is not someone that say my parents would know, like they would Brad Pitt, but among my peers he is a fairly well known name, even among just video game players.
Lets take a look at someone that I personally am a fan of myself, and I am amazed all the time that this dude thinks I am cool enough to support: Jim Davis of Web DM.
Click on the image blah blah. As you can see, despite being part of a Youtube channel with over 83k subscribers and a highly successful Patreon page, he still feels he is just a normal guy. To others however he is a source of inspiration, much like Deven and Matt, and his advice (in my opinion) can help many a people. I am glad to call this guy a friend. You might also be noticing a pattern here, but I think Emmett hits the nail on the head here with this. Emmett, by the way, is a retired Star Trek producer and yet another DND fan.
Image, link, ect ect. You should know the drill by now. As you can see here, he enjoys the moments when he can just be another fan. He also points out that just because a person is famous doesn’t mean they are not a fan of someone else. And I think that statement alone points out the biggest thing to always keep in mind when it comes to fame, celebrities, and so on.
They are people. Just like me and you. That’s the pattern you can see here from each of these fine folk.
They might be more well known yes. They might be something others aspire to be. But they are humans. They like things, dislike things, play games, idolize others, have fears, ect. I know I sure do. I worry every day about what I say and how it might be interpreted, and it freaks me out when people rally behind me, like they did back during the Gatekeeping or Word of Mouth stuff. That level of influence, however minor it may be, is a sign that I am becoming more then I ever thought possible. It tells me that, like Matt, I need to be mindful of what I say. And I too feel like Deven, that I am just a normal guy, a dude hammering away at a keyboard. What makes me different at the end of the day from any of these folks?
Nothing really. I have the people I am a fan of (these four are excellent examples of that). I have fears. I don’t make a living off this nor do I expect I ever will.
Hell, my biggest dream, the moment I will say that I truly am “famous”, is the day a Con contacts me to be a guest on a panel and offers me hotel and airfare.
And even then I will not change who I am. And I hope everyone around me treats me as they do now: as a friend, a comrade, a normal every day guy who loves his hobbies. Just like these folks.
Fame is a weird thing. Perception is everything. The trick, I suppose, is to not let it change who you are at the end of the day.
And I aim to stay, well, me.
Stay Nerdy folks, and thanks for reading.