Why would anyone describe themselves as a “The Professional Fan”, well when you have been going to what averages to be about 10 concerts a year for the last 15 years you can call yourself a professional fan. Now what are the requirements to call yourself a professional fan? Let’s just start with having a passion for music and live entertainment, that type of love I consider energy. It’s an innate energy to be surrounded by the entire experience of being a fan, which starts with the mere excitement of knowing that your favorite singer or band will be performing. The anticipation of the event date, and all that is involved in the preparation for that date is somewhat addictive.
My Professional Fan story started when I was very young, where ever since I could remember I have loved music. When I was little and living in Puerto Rico, my birth place, my family would take me to “Las Fiestas Patronales”, which can be described as “the annual town fair” it’s an event that takes place in every town in PR. It’s similar to the St Jenairo Street Festival and the 116th Street Festival in New York City. Besides Las Fiestas having rides and lots of good food, there would also be the best singers and bands in the Island performing. The music performed would include traditional Plena (folk music), POP, Merengue and Salsa music; people young and old would be dancing in the streets and just having a good time. I was born in Mayaguez and the fiestas take place every February where as I child I remember my family taking my cousins and I. I would always looked forward to seeing the musicians I would see performing on TV shows like El Show Del Medio Dia, that was a midday show where such singers as Chucho Avellanet, Lucecita Benitez and El Gran Combo would perform. My mom is also a big music lover and weekend cleaning in the house could not take place without the stereo blasting with music from Tito Rodriguez to Pedro Infante, yea when I was little I thought Mexico was another town in PR, did not know that Rancheras and Cumbias came from another continent, if it was in the Spanish language in my four/five year old mind it belong to me. My love for live music comes from that time, I remember the anticipation my sister, cousins and I would have knowing that we were going to have a good time. I also had aunts that were in their early twenties, their love of music and listening to their music idols also became part of my life. My aunts introduced me to the Beatles, so even before I arrive to New York when I was seven, I knew how to sing in I Love You Yea, Yea in English though other than gallina/ chicken, pluma/ pen, which is a song you learn in kindergarten that is all the English I knew. All these experiences contributed to my “Professional Fan” life.
The since 1999 Marc Anthony has been my must go-see artist, he goes on tour and I go on tour. I have been a fan of his since he started as a Freestyle singer. I go as far as my time and money will take me, from Florida, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, and all the concerts in the northeast. I have even taken a second job as a beauty/skincare consultant to be able to finance my Marc Anthony tours. I have met thousands of fans and have had the most amazing experiences that can surely filled a book.
Now as I mentioned the preparation is the most important part of being “The Professional Fan”, it includes so many details. The preparations start with deciding which venues to attend, every year I like to take the Marc tour as an opportunity to explore a place I have never been to before, whether it’s Boston or Las Vegas (2013 it was right on my birthday, so cool). Securing the best possible seating for our money is the most difficult part as we are a little spoiled and front row and center is what we always strive for. This is where true “Marc Miracles” happen as I would like to call them as we may get lucky at the pre-sale or on the same day of the event, this is also where true fan energy is applied. I also have to contact other fans to find out who is willing to go with me. Most of the trips are by car which usually start with me going from New Jersey and me picking some of the other girls who live in NYC. During the trip we have the best girl time, and try to have what I call Thelma and Louise type of trips without the tragic ending. We catch up and chat on about everything under the sun, we sing to Marc songs and reminisce about previous concerts and trips. If we travel by air we have to coordinate everything from hotel to what places are we going to visit while in another state. We also coordinate meetings with other fans that live in those states and usually meet before or after for dinner and drinks as we must maximize our time and relax at the same time. Part of or preparation also includes selecting what we are going to wear to the concert, making sure manis and pedis are done, as if Marc was going to come down from the stage and check us out. Our hair and make-up has to be impeccable. After the concerts we hang around chatting with other fans and or members of the band, then it’s usually time to party some more before we head to our resting place, usually a hotel and if we are close to home we just drive home and chat all the way there.
Being a Professional Fan is exhilarating, as the preparation requires time and lots of fan energy to make it happen. I also attend local clubs to see bands play, dance and go to comedy shows. Being a professional fan is really a selfish act as the only person that I truly seek to satisfy is myself. It’s what I do for me, there is no partner or children involved, it’s my hobby and I love it. Other people go fishing, and golfing I go to concerts and experience live entertainment. I encourage all hard working and music loving people to get a little selfish and experience “The Professional Fan” life, it does not have to be an entire tour, but definitely do a road trip, get on an airplane, take several fun loving fellow fans, and enjoy your life.
*Please share some of your fan experiences.