/ Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life

Mickey Mouse SilhouetteWork is more fun when it doesn’t feel like work, and it doesn’t feel like work as much when co-workers are friendly. As I get the feel for my summer job and co-worker friendships begin to form, natural conversation-starters come into play. But, one threw me for a loop in a way I did not expect.

“So, Blake, what kind of music do you listen to?”

Oh, goodness. Had it reached this point already? I don’t think they’re ready. Our encounters have been limited to cleaning froyo machines and refilling candy toppings; it wasn’t possibly time yet to spill the beans about the Disney fascination. Fandom. Obsession. What should I say? The truth would be a good start, but that would probably prompt quizzical looks. “Well, on my way to work today I listened to some Carousel of Progress with a dash of Muppets Most Wanted. That comical number between Ty Burrell and Sam the Eagle… man, am I telling you!”

That’s not the way the conversation went. Instead, I went for a more generic route and, after a brief pause to collect my thoughts, just said, “I listen to a lot of soundtracks.”

“Oh, so like John Williams?”

“Well, yes, sometimes.”

“Who’s your favorite composer?”

“Probably Alan Menken. He does a lot of the Disney scores.”

Baby steps. Baby steps.

The conversation continued a bit longer to discuss other Disney musical feats like The Lion King and Frozen, but after the exchange was over, I was a little perplexed at myself. “Soundtrack” is a very broad term for the music I listen to most often. The genre is Disney, but I had been afraid to say that. Why? I wasn’t quite sure. It’s not a big secret. Maybe it was that I was afraid of an eyebrow raise on my second day on the job, but I think there was something beyond that. Typically when people find out I have a love for Disney, they ask the inevitable question: “Why?”

Not in a judgmental or condescending way but just out of understandable curiosity. “What is it about Disney that draws you to like it so much?” And it’s that question I believe I was afraid of answering, because I don’t have an adequate response, not unless my manager wanted all the froyo to melt by the time I finished talking, at least.

That’s where you come in. What do you say when people ask about your Disney fandom? How do you explain it? What is their reaction? Comment below, and let’s see if we can pinpoint that thing we love about Disney in a way that is easily conveyed.

(Image copyright Disney.)

Blake studies Electronic Media and Film at Appalachian State University. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade in Frontierland and then sprint to Main Street in time to see it again. You can find him on Twitter @olddirtyblake or at BlakeOnline.com.

6 Responses to "Finding Disney in Explaining Your Fandom"

  1. Peter A says:

    I normally start off with the Disney stuff, so they know what they are getting to start with. Quite often this may start off as “Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know?”, to which my answer will be “I probably know more about Disney than most people in the company”. This is normally great, as then I can talk openly about it to everyone when they ask, and normally find one or two people who are planning a trip, and I can help them plan – not quite as much fun as going yourself, but definitely cheaper!!!
    Peter

  2. Ken says:

    I know exactly what you mean!
    Being a Disney freak, it is a topic that when I overhear people talking about at work I tend to drift towards the conversation. Personally, I embrace my fanboy and tell anyone and everyone how much I love Disney. I currently have Pocahontas playing in my car and you would be surprised with how many people secretly say how much they love Disney too when they hear it playing.

  3. Hello! I hope this is okay to do – I wrote a very detailed explanation of why I love going to Disney World over at my Disney World blog – http://wdwstorybook.com/2014/04/27/youre-going-to-disney-world-again/

    Thanks!

  4. PittsburghMarc says:

    I explain that I’m a Disney Parks enthusiast first. Yes, I do enjoy all things Disney, but for me, it’s all about the parks.

    If I wasn’t in my current profession, theme park design and/or management would be my career path.

    History, music, design, ergonomics, technology, etc. it’s all rolled into one and it happens to be Disney. It’s my happy place.

  5. Richie says:

    My fandom began as a child in the 80′s; in NJ, one of our local TV station would occasionally air the old “Walt Disney Presents” from the 50′s and 60′s on Saturday mornings, and I’d watch old Davey Crockett episodes, lesser-known films like “Summer Magic”, Walt’s various Disneyland tour shows like “Disney After Dark”, and cartoons — I especially liked the Luwig von Drake stuff. So, I’m a classicist. Give me an old swashbuckler like “Treasure Island” or a Western like “Westward Ho! the Wagons” any day of the week…

  6. Tori says:

    If I am in need of a quick response I say “Why not love a company that celebrates happy endings?” No one usually argues with me as after all who wants to look like the guy who hates happiness! :-)

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