Let’s talk about followers. Or rather, let’s talk about talking to followers. I like talking to followers.
First of all, it’s flattering that people want to follow me at all. It is. There are quite a few True Blood games across Twitter, which means that if you want to follow an RP you don’t have to follow me, because if you don’t like me you can go and follow someone else. Second, and this is the insecure author in me talking, but I find it a kind of validation that I must be doing something right if you want to talk to me. So yeah. I like talking to and want to talk to followers.
But, and I almost hate what I’m about to say, but I feel it’s necessary:
I am not Bill Compton. I am not a vampire. I’m not even a guy.
Let’s reiterate that people:
I am not Bill Compton. I’m not a vampire. I am a girl both in biology and gender.
Such a silly thing to have to point out, but it’s worth pointing out, because people seem to forget these rather important points. Why are they important?
Because sometimes people forget that there are players behind the characters. They expect you to be on 24/7. They expect things to go their way, and when they don’t, or when you do something that breaks the illusion, they get mad. Whether the offense is you refusing to bite them (and yes, players do get those kind of solicitations) or because the player actually has work and can’t attend to tweets all day, people get upset. They don’t care that you can’t tweet because you’re at work, they just know that they wanted something from you and they didn’t get it. If the player is lucky, they then get cussed out. Awesome.
There are reasons why players respond to requests the way they do. We’ll use the example of people who want you to bite them as an example. Two reasons you’ll never see Bill bite a follower.
1. IC concerns: You talk to Bill in an IC manner, you’ll get an IC response. Bill mainstreams. My Bill will continue to mainstream unless he gets in a situation where he can’t refuse to feed. You offering yourself is something he can refuse, and easily at that.
2. OC concerns: *points above* See that whole bit about not being Bill Compton? I’ve nothing against people hooking up in cyber space, and heck I’ve done some fairly graphic play on the TL and it wouldn’t bother me in the least to do something in DMs. But I don’t want to. Vampirism as a whole is meant as a metaphor for sexuality. I tend to befriend role-play partners and get to know them. They no longer “strangers” and that level of comfort is important to me. I just don’t have that with a follower whose just tweeted me for the first time. Or even the tenth.
So what I’m saying is – it’s not you, it’s me. Kinda. I’m not going to do something out of character or that makes me uncomfortable just because you want me to. Sorry. And so you don’t get any ideas – getting to know me for the sake of getting Bill to bite you won’t work either. See rule #1.
If anything, this whole experience has given me some slight insight into what being a celebrity, or at least what being one of the actors on True Blood must be like: the fan expectations and the disappointments of when you don’t meet them. It’s jarring to have someone greet you by your character’s name, or requests to be bitten. It’s almost like living a dual life, really: you have your private self, and the self that the world sees you as. I’m sure that all of the actors have built up a barrier between the two so that they can easily navigate the world as the persona that the world wants them to be and the person that they are, but it has to be hard, and there have to be days where they wish they could say something, but they can’t. They’re always on. They have to be on. They have an image to maintain – their own, that of the show and the network and whatever sponsors they have. Yes, some celebrities are still successful despite being assholes, but rare are the ones who can get away with, or get away with it for long. It’s so easy to turn people off, to go from being the next It Actor or Actress to appearing on Dancing with the Stars.
That is one of the advantage that I as a role player have that Stephen Moyer doesn’t: I can talk back. I don’t want to have to start talking back, but at least I have that option and I will exercise it. My Bill is not always nice. I am not always nice. I will use both these facts to my advantage, and I’m quite good at it. To be honest, I find it rather entertaining. You’ll know when I’m reaching the end of my patience with someone who doesn’t know when to stop. If they can’t get the hint, I’ll block them.
Really though, do me a favor and don’t make me go there. It’s better for everyone in the long run.
At the end of the day though, despite the reservations and despite odd conversations I’ve had, I want to talk with you and interact with you. Please, though, remember that Bill – or any roleplay account you may tweet at for that matter – has a human behind the curtain and respect that. Respect our limits, respect the fact that we do have a life outside of twitter and respect the fact that we won’t always do what you wish we would. It’s better for all in the long run because it means we’ll have fun.That’s why I play and, hopefully why you follow.