Stars and Fans

Holley Replogle-Wong

in The Oxford Handbook of The American Musical

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780195385946
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Stars and Fans

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The article provides insight into the major elements of star-making. Star-making is a reciprocal project that is mediated between the star figure, the media, the mass audience, and the individual fan. These elements work together to create the star's image, which is the persona that the public sees and follows. A star's image is made up of media “texts”, including the roles and performances and also artifacts such as recordings, films, publicity pictures, and interviews. Fan practice and the relationship between fans and stars are intricate and varied. Stars are multivalent personae and they are people who work as actors who portray characters. Stars combine distinctive talents with recognizable looks and personalities that are perpetuated as an image. A star's image includes the voice, manner of speech, and patterns of behavior in addition to visual content. Their voices and personae are recognizable, and their abilities and charm are extremely impressive. Innovative technologies have bridged the gap between stars and their fans. Internet fan sites and discussion boards are important locations of community for fans, making ethnographic research over the Internet a useful way of engaging with fans from different geographic locations in dialogue within online communities. Some shows develop fan cults that track favorite performers across national tours and replacement casts.

Keywords: star-making; star's fans; star's image; publicity pictures; artifacts; patterns of behavior; online communities

Article.  7097 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Musicology and Music History

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