I Want You To Need Me

This week I guested over at L.M. Stull’s blog about platform building.  In part of the post I compared the fans I think we should want, to Bruce Campbell fans.  It was only a few sentences, so I decided to expand on that point here.  Story time!

A few years ago I was sitting in a movie theater, packed with Bruce Campbell fans.  We were all excited to be seeing his new movie, My Name is Bruce, but also because he was going to personally introduce the film.  Before the movie Bruce walked out to mega applause and after he thanked everyone for coming out, he opened up the floor for questions.  Like any celebrity, there are certain questions he’s always asked.  He knows they’re coming and answers them like a pro.

First question from a film student:  “Bruce, I want to cast you in my movie, will you read my script?”

His answer: “I can’t be in your movie because it’ll be TERRIBLE.  Seriously, you don’t want me in your movie.  You’ll fail your class.”

Translation: Bruce is flattered, but he’s a professional actor and a film student is still learning his craft.

Next question: “Can you say “groovy”?” (This is a catch phrase from his Evil Dead movies)

Bruce: “I could if I was your . . . monkey!”

Huge laughter while letting everyone know he’s not doing tricks.  And he doesn’t make the guy asking feel too silly about it.

Those are examples of the stuff he gets asked all the time.  Now for the random type questions.

Some girl: “Can you sign my tattoo?”

Bruce walks over to her and checks out the tattoo, which is a very detailed sleeve of his character from Evil Dead.  He’s impressed, grabs a sharpie and signs the spot she asks for.  Before he does this, he looks around at the audience and says, “This is the ONLY one I’m doing, so don’t get any ideas.”

More laughter.  The guy’s not here for a signing, it’s a movie premier.

Once the Q & A is over, he thanks the audience again and exits to applause as mega as when he walked in.

This is why I love the guy and want to support everything he does.  Did he have to go from city to city introducing the film?  No.  He could’ve had the dates on his website and bought ads in the right places.  Did he have to do a Q & A?  No.  He could’ve come out, said thanks and left the stage in thirty seconds.

After more than thirty years in the business, he’s never forgotten the importance of his fans and it shows every time.  It’s impossible for him to remember them all, but they remember him.  And he always leaves them feeling warm and accepted.  I want fans like this.  To quote Joss Whedon, my other man-crush, “I’d rather have a hundred fans that NEED to watch Buffy, than a million that just WANT to watch.”

When Bruce Campbell is up to something, I NEED to check it out.  It’s the primary reason I started watching Burn Notice.  And there are many reasons to love Burn Notice, but when Bruce is on screen, I’m a happy guy.

I want my fiction to be NEEDED because those fans will follow whatever I do as long as I provide them with quality entertainment.  And if they take the time to thank me or want to tell me how a story of mine affected them, I’ll do my best to let them know how much it means to me.

Who’s your NEED and why?  Have you met this person and if so, how does he/she treat the fans?

Info stuff- Follow my ROW80 progress every Wednesday and Sunday and be here Tuesdays and Thursdays for new posts on me, writing, superheroes, monsters, comics and any other geeky stuff on my mind.

And if you missed it, I guest posted on L.M. Stull‘s blog about platform building.  Stop by and get in on the discussion.  I’ll be waiting patiently for you to arrive.

11 comments on “I Want You To Need Me

  1. There are a couple of people that the very idea of actually meeting them makes me squee like a fangirl. I’m not telling who though.

    What a great story though! There’s more than one lesson in there. =)

  2. Bruce Campbell is awesome. I don’t know a lot about him, but he always seemed like one of those laid back kinda cool guys. I’ve watched Burn Notice a couple of times when I realized he was in it. I’m glad to hear he is as cool as he seems.

    I don’t think I’ve got anyone I’d consider a need. Asimov is probably the closest I get to that, but he’s been gone since I was 12 so I have no idea how he treated his fans. I just know he was infamous for writing. He was prolific. And he apparently even drove his family nuts because he’d work when they were on vacation, but the man had a lot of ideas and I don’t think he ever even managed to write them all down.

    • The character he plays on Burn Notice isn’t too far off from his normal fun loving personality. I also went to see him at a book signing and he told tons of great stories.

      I’ve never read any Asimov books, but your description of him makes me want to check him out.

  3. Bruce Campbell is a pretty cool guy… I really started liking him from when he did Hercules and Xena… and then discovered the Evil Dead series, which made me like him even more…

    Other people I need to see are, David Lynch (watch or listen to), and Alex Garland (writer of books and movies). Never met either of them though.

  4. If you like that stuff, you’ll like Burn Notice. He was also in a sci-fi western show called The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. It only lasted a season, but it was fantastic.

    I’m familiar with Alex Garland’s movies. Curious to see what his take on Judge Dredd will be. Don’t know much David Lynch, but from what I’ve heard, probably a interesting guy to meet.

  5. Groovy post ! It also could’ve been titled, ‘How to Handle Book Signings/ Meet-and-Greets the Bruce Campbell Way’, really useful because I’ve had some people come up to me at signings who crossed certain boundaries. Such as asking me to read their stories on the spot and asking personal questions, “Are you married?”.

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