Anyone who spends a considerable amount of time on TV is likely to have fans. Admirers who appreciate and follow their work. Artistes, Presenters, and Actors all have fans who cheer them when they are doing well and lend support to them by way of patronising their work. And fans are quite powerful. By their sheer numbers, they possess the influence to determine how their subject of adoration is perceived. Popular people know this, and that’s why they never fail to acknowledge the crucial role their fans play on their journey to sustained stardom.
However, there are fans, and there are stans. A smart, modern-day celebrity will aim to gain stans and not just fans, and I’ll explain why.
Pop culture has evolved. These days, to prove your mettle as a true celebrity, you must devise a strategy to get your stan movement going as soon as possible. You need stans because stans go one further than fans. Fans will hail you and acknowledge your awesomeness, but they will remain docile or inactive at those times you are incommunicado or going through a rough patch.
Stans are different. They are the real definition of ride or die. Their loyalty is unwavering. They will be there for you and sing your praises all the time. They will form an army on your behalf and go to war when they perceive any form of slight on your person. They do not need any motivation to make their presence known and felt. They love you, they adore you, and nothing will change that. Not even when you do something untoward.
Now, how cool is that?
Where the work is, however, is in building the stan followership or converting the fans you have into stans.
For clarity, stanship is synonymous with obsession. A stan is an enthusiastic fan: someone who demonstrates an obsessive devotion to a person. Right now, a few reality show participants have figured out how to crack the stan code. Somehow, they have been able to amass a horde of followers who would rather forgo their meal than fail to vote them to remain in the game. Stans do not care how you look, they are unbothered about your street credibility or financial bandwidth. They have chosen to love you, and that’s all that matters.
Here’s what you should if you plan to enter a reality show in the near future and gain stans in the process:
You can achieve this in two ways. You could be naturally unassuming, in which case you would not have to pretend. However, if this doesn’t apply to you, you’ll have to feign it. Scheme all you want; be the devious manipulator who has every plan hatched and executed with the precision of an assassin. It’s allowed. What must not happen is for you to lose guard and get found out. Your potential stans must perceive you as harmless. They must presume your innocence in all matters and be ready to defend you to the ends of the earth in spite of what the facts say.
The most popular people in reality shows are those who get into relationships. Make a “ship” happen. Better still, one that is riddled with plenty of he loves me, he loves me not. If you are a lady, date a hot bad boy who keeps things interesting. If you are a guy, date an attractive, worldly girl who has no scruples with plenty of PDA. Soon enough, you’ll have a conglomerate of shippers who are ready to risk their reputation to support you because you are providing them with the premium content they yearn for.
Be a Marlian
You know what they say about marlians and manners? Great! You’ll need a huge dose of uncouthness to raise a stan army. The good boy or good girl script falls flat on a reality TV show. Viewers will get bored and vote you out before you can say “85 million naira”. The precedent proves this—the most unruly housemates have the largest supporters. Stans who insult other people in the virtual community because they dared to criticise their favourite. People who fall out with their friends for the sake of strangers they are yet to meet, and may never see outside of their television screens. So, go ahead, be the ill-mannered competitor who talks down on others, and earns strikes for disobeying rules. You can worry about the optics later.
Play the Poverty Card
Another way to get your stan-grooming game going is to present as a poverty-stricken, Nigeria-beaten fellow whose last hope of escaping the vice-like grip of penury is the platform providence has provided. To do this, you must constantly talk about your disadvantaged background, how you and your folks never had more than one meal a day for the past 600 years, and how you wore one trouser from childhood till you were 25 years old. You must make it believable—break down in tears while recounting the level of suffering you have had to contend with—continue to reiterate that you are out of options. The result: Nigerians will bless you with their stanship.
That’s it, folks! Desire to become the next big thing in the entertainment industry, and give established celebrities no choice but to welcome you into their fold? Make the tips above happen, and you’re well on your way.