I Met Ezra
It’s been over 2 months now that I met Ezra Miller. Yes, our Ezra miller. Most fangirls would take to the internet immediately and start rehashing every detail, and considering I am the owner of his fansite (the first one ever on him) you would think I would be no exception, and probably the most excited fangirl ever.
The truth is that I am still processing everything. It doesn’t seem real to me. The situation was so coincidental and random that it really made me put a new perspective on Ezra, celebrity, fan sites, and myself.
I have been making fansites for a DECADE now, and one thing I realized is that the ‘myself’ category is rarely, if ever, there in this world. The webmasters (or webmisses, which seems to be the norm), rarely ever mention themselves in their posts, except to apologize for taking a hiatus. Their ‘job’ is to write down the celebrity’s every move, new photo, new project, new appearance, new quote, new rumor. They are always in service to this person, and the payoff (at least for me) has been the excitement of seeing these new career projects and appearances transpire, competing with other fansites, collecting photos (like Pokemon, you gotta catch ‘em all), and lets face it — living vicariously through this person.
Back in 2004, there was creativity, possibility, interaction with the fans like you don’t see as much today. Today it is too easy. Before you had to go to different sites and gather pieces of code and create something unique. Today you can set up the website in 5 seconds with WordPress, slab a few photos on pre-made templates, and call it your own. I have fallen very much victim to this laziness.
In 2004, you had to research the web high and low for ‘information’ on your celeb, had to go to your CVS and scan through all the teeny-bopper magazines, heart racing at the site of your him or her, then tear the page out when no one was looking and fold it in your Dickies purse in a way which wouldn’t bend it, scan it when the computer coast was clear, and then put it up on your site and call it exclusive. Now you can find said scans all over, and photos are reblogged, tagged, untagged, downloaded, uploaded, screenshotted, and photoshopped so much that nothing can really be ‘yours’ anymore. Fansites continuously steal from each other, when the original image belongs to someone who belongs to someone who belongs to someone anyways. The fun was in the finding, the searching, the creating.
But now the celebrities themselves tweet left and right and up and down and new photos and tweets come out several times a day. They almost normalize themselves to the level where you feel like they are your true friend, yet they are still revered and put on even higher pedestals.
There is almost something odd about knowing so much truth to the people that you idolize. Some things you don’t want to know. Sometimes you don’t want to know they are human. Sometimes you do … [really? You went to Oxford, you look fab in every picture, and you everyone likes you — can you please do something wrong? (well you’re actings only sub-par, but that’s besides the point).]
It’s come to the point where I’ve started to not like some of the celebrities I used to admire. There’s nothing interesting about perfection, and there’s certainly nothing exciting about a good role model (though it’s a good excuse to add legitimacy to your fan site, instead of just having one on someone you think is cute/hot/adorable/stylish/god-like). The more human these celebs are, the more likable they are. Anna Kendrick is probably one of the most likable celeb out there, and at the same time the most relatable, open, and honest. It’s as if she’s embarrassed about her celebrity. I met her after an episode of Craig Ferguson taping in L.A. where I was in the studio audience. I saw her after the show and blurted out that I ran her fan site (also the original Anna site )She was so nice and open, and genuinely excited about it. She said I could of course take a photo with her, but the planets were aligned in the wrong way and I realized that the security guards had taken all of our electronics away before we entered the set. Instead I hugged her and then ashamedly scampered away.
With Ezra, technology cursed me once again, yet the planets still aligned. I was literally having one of the worst days of my life. I was in New York city visiting with my boyfriend from out of the country. My boyfriend was doing touristy stuff, and we had just gotten kicked out of our hostel a day early, so I decided to go on a literary drinking tour of Greenwich village. I was running late and joined the tour at the White Horse Tavern, just as the woman was rehashing the infamous Dylan Thomas drinking story, where Dylan Thomas claimed he could drink sixteen shots of Whiskey before he passed out. On the way to the next venue, I trailed behind the group and took in the hipsterish Greenwich village. As a ‘webmiss,’ I am very aesthetically oriented, and make sure not to miss any detail. Greenwich village is sensory overload, and there is so much to look at in terms of parks, pooches, fashion, storefronts, subways, cafes etc that it got a little distracting. One store front had a sign that said PUPPIES. How the hell can you not stop? I stopped, fawned for a few seconds, and then when I looked up again, my tour group was completely gone. Instead, there were mobs of tourists, hipsters, new yawkas, and everyone else. I simply looked around and realized I was in the middle of a crowded city and didn’t know what the fuck i was doing or where I was going. I called the tour group and there was an answering machine. I called the bar and they yelled at me. I called my boyfriend and then my phone died. I wandered around and went to a park to sit in the grass and cry. Just as I was walking on the grass a lady jumped out and said I wasn’t allowed to walk on the grass. I didn’t know grass was just for looking at. I just wanted to be alone and so I ignored her and walked backwards on the grass in the opposite direction. She cornered me with her other old lady friend and they started yelling about how I wasn’t allowed on the grass. “Do you own this grass?” I asked. “Yes,” they said. I leaned down and grabbed some. “It’s just grass! Now leave me alone!” Then I looked up and saw the name of the park was the same as my last name — an old German name, pretty uncommon. Had to be a sign, right? I went somewhere else to cry privately. A quiet, colorful alleyway near a cutesy Mexican restaurant seemed perfect. That’s when I saw an adorable little dog and two hipsters sitting on the side of a graffitiied wall. I did a double take and looked at one of the hipsters — he was wearing purple heart-shaped glasses and had a mass of black hair with some white wisps. I recognized him before I asked the question, shocked — “Are you Ezra Miller?” He laughed and admitted that he indeed was.
“Wow, I wasn’t stalking you — I swear!” (I actually was surprised I wasn’t!).
Then I stomped my foot when I realized…
“Dammit, my phone just ran out of batteries.”
“Well, you’d be a bad stalker then,” he laughed.
With the threat of unwanted snaps out of the way, I believe he patted to a spot next to him and his friend and encouraged me to sit down. I could have imagined this, but someway or another I was sitting down next to them and we were all chatting. I’m usually a shy person, but the one exception is when i’m around celebrities. Even though I spend so long blogging about them, I can’t stop talking about myself when I’m around them. I told Michael Cera I was in lesbian with him. That’s another story. At any rate— i’m pretty sure I even interrupted Ezra a few times to talk about myself. He asked if I was really crying before I came there and I said yes, and told him the story about how I got here.
And then I knew I needed to admit that I had a fan site about him. And to tell you the truth, I was ashamed. Because, as I said, a fan site doesn’t require work like it did back in the day. A fan site now means I drool over photos of you and write about your every move. I didn’t want to scare him away, but I knew I had to tell him, because it wasn’t fair to pretend I didn’t ‘really’ know him. I prefaced it by saying there was someone thing weird that I had to say — but it wasn’t as weird as that one guy I read about in an interview that wrote to him about collecting his hair or whatever. They said whatever it was couldn’t be worse then what they were already both thinking it could be at that point. I hesitated, took a deep breath, and was about to admit it, when, conveniently, another tour group came by with some eclectic dude playing the violin and crying. Ezra said “Hey, I think I found your tour group. I assured him that that wash’t mine. I told him I had a fan site on him and there was what seemed like a long pause. And then he said “Which one?” and I told him Ezra-miller.org. He laughed and said “Oh, the organization?” And I told him a little bit about the background. He and his friend were both trying to quit smoking and told me they were dying for a cigarette (not sure if the craving was a total coincidence to the timing of my revelation). I asked him what he was doing lately and whether he fired his publicist because there hadn’t been any news or photos lately and he said no he’s just been taking it easy and enjoying his time off, but things will start up again soon with Madame Bovary promotion.
When I wasn’t shaking on the inside, I did manage to pick-up a few things that Ezra actually said. He said he thinks we (the fans) idealize him, build him up to be G/d like. That we should focus our energy on something greater than him. He thinks we made him up to be something that he never really can be. He thinks we (myself included) should focus energy on the real G/d or a greater form of art — why not make a cool personal blog? he suggested.
He said I should steer the conversation towards what he’d doing, and his campaigns (like with the Arctic). He wants it to be about his art, and what he believes in, but not about himself.
He said he didn’t want it to just be about girls gawking at how ‘pretty’ he was.
In many ways I completely agree. I told him that, even having a fan site on him was better than one for, say, Miley Cyrus, because it gets “kids” to look at his interviews and watch movies with a point, that they wouldn’t otherwise.
His friend assured me that my hobby wasn’t weird — if it made me happy, I should do it. I said I guess I thought it was weird because I didn’t know anyone else in person who made fansites in real life — just online.
Another fan spotted him from a few feet away and asked for a pic and he said no. She said he liked his work. He talked about how once one person notices him, it’s like they all did. I mentioned that his glasses were off now, and he put them back on. He said other celebs do the whole hat and glasses thing.
I asked about the fan site dilemma. Did he want be to take the site off? Did he want an official fan site (hey — it was worth a try!)
“No, no. I don’t want any of that.” He said to keep the sites, but respect his privacy.
(And I swear after my little boasting rampage of a story about how we met I will really start respecting it!)
He seemed to be very vexed about the idea of celebrity, and gave a great quote from Patti Smith’s memoir by Patti Smith. The problem, he said, was that the actors always wanted the fans and the press to concentrate on their work, but the fans and press always want to concentrate on the celebrities personal life.
I may have had tears in my eyes, he instructed me to pet his friend’s dog — that the dog was nervous. “Just cause she’s getting emotional doesn’t mean you have to also,” he comforted the shaking chihuahua mix.
Fangirl moment: SO SWEET!!!!
We talked about e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes. Ezra and his friend gave up on their 30-minute break and got some cigarettes from a non-suspecting passerby. I tried to tell him not to smoke, that us fans wanted him around for a while. I TRIED. For the record, I asked if he did hard drugs too (I was a little skeptical after the frog-in-the-pocket premiere look), and he genuinely said no — he was way passed that. He offered me his watermelon and coconut juice! (I said no, I didn’t want to contaminate it).
I told him that I knew he was nice, and everyone knew and was impressed by how well-spoken he was, but I didn’t realize how generous he really was. I am still in shock by it. [Celebrity or not, he really is an amazingly, sweet, generous, human being.]
I gave him my number on a dollar bill that I had. I didn’t have a pen in my purse so I used my favorite sparkly black eye liner. For a second I hesitated to use that, but then I remembered it was EZRA MILLER, and he had ASKED ME FOR MY PHONE NUMBER! (But just in case he needed to speak through the masses and get something across in some sort of fan-copalypse).
He said everything happened for a reason and everything was connected, and that I met him for a reason.
He said that now I knew him for real. I didn’t really know him before — I had (we all had) an idealized image of who he was.
Now I do know him for real, now I do know he is human — and I can vouch that Ezra, along with his friend are some of the greatest humans you will (well…I :p) will ever meet. They offered me comfort and companionship when I really needed it. They could have been weirded out by who I was and what I did (or not hid it so well) and treated me like the sub-human that I felt like. But they treated me like equals.
I will try and value Ezra’s privacy, and do my best to keep the site focused on his work and his campaigns. If you really love Ezra, you will do the same.
Fans, and especially fan site owners — I’d really be interested in your take on all of this. Please comment. Lets bring back the creativity, the conversation, and the community that there used to be in this ‘world’. Let’s focus on the ideas, and what these celebs bring to us through their art, not just swoon over their looks (but Ezra, I don’t know if you can really stop us from doing that at all, frog-in-pocket or not )