There are so many people around who talk about the importance of supporting stage plays by dropping money on tickets, merchandise and DVDs. Unfortunately, very few people have unlimited funds, and I personally know that it isn’t always possible to buy every single piece of merchandise or every super expensive special edition DVD from each show your favourite actor has appeared in. They have to keep working, and this comes with a never-ending supply of things you are pressured to spend money on in order to seem like a “good fan”.
But what if I said you can be a good fan without blowing your budget? No matter what anyone might say, it is very possible and not so difficult or time-consuming. Here are five ways you can support your favourite actor without breaking the bank.
1. Reply to their posts on social media
Most actors have Twitter, and if not, a lot of them have Instagram or blogs. Everyone likes it when people reply to their posts, and actors are no exception. Regularly replying to them will show them that you are supporting them, and they will remember you for it. It’s not true that actors don’t read their replies or that there are so many they won’t know who you are. One of my favourites knew my name the first time I met him in person because I replied to every single tweet he posted for a whole year.
A word of warning though: please be careful in your replies. Don’t say things in English that wouldn’t translate well into Japanese, or anything that would be deemed as inappropriate. Remember that your favourite actor is a human just like you. If you wouldn’t want to receive it yourself, don’t send it.
2. Write letters to them
As well as enjoying receiving replies on social media, actors also like receiving hand-written letters from their fans. They will often report on their social media accounts when they receive letters and gifts handed over at their shows, and I’ve never heard any of them state anything but pure gratitude towards those who wrote to them, and they usually mention how much power they receive from the words. A letter, unlike a social media reply, gives you the chance to say everything you want to say to them in one space and gives you more time to think about what you want to say.
Most actors have addresses listed on their agency profiles which you can use to send your fan letters. Alternatively, you can put them in the gift boxes in the lobby of their shows, or pass them on to someone you know is going to watch who can hand it over on your behalf.
I wrote another blog post about how to write fan letters, so if you want help then you can check it out here. Get writing and good luck!
3. Talk about them to other people
If you are anything like me, people would struggle to get you to stop talking about them, but this is important. It’s a fact that every single business relies on word of mouth to generate a lot of their popularity, and that works the same with celebrities. A person can never have too many fans, and if you can help grow their popularity by introducing your friends to them and their shows, then not only will you have someone who you can talk to about your mutual love of them, you will help your favourite actor grow in popularity.
The reason I enjoy doing my Oshi Interview corner so much is that I get to hear about so many other amazing actors. Even if I don’t end up becoming their fan, the next time I see a show announcement with them in, I remember their name and that once, one of their fans told me all about them.
3. Buy their bromides
This is something I have definitely done, as you can see above. For some fans, buying their favourite actor’s bromides is a big deal. I’ve seen people buy only their bromides, but multiple sets (they can go into their hundreds). There is a reason for this. Unlike other goods, the actors actually receive a cut from sales of their own bromide sets. This means that some of the money you spend on these will go directly to them. Not only that, bromide sales are a good way for agencies to judge the popularity of actors. The more sets they sell, the further their career could progress.
If you never buy anything else from the shows your favourite actor is in, and even if you don’t have much budget, the best thing to buy is their photos when you have the opportunity to. A bromide set will set you back between 300 and 1000 depending on the show and number of photos, plus any shipping fees if you are buying them through a proxy. This isn’t a huge amount, and you know you are directly supporting someone you love, and getting something nice in return.
5. Just keep supporting them
Don’t believe anyone who tells you that the only worthy fans are those who spend money on them. Although of course, your favourite actor needs to earn money and a lot of that money comes from the fans, they appreciate each and every person who supports them no matter how much or little they are able to physically spend. Think of it a little like the relationship between friends. Although there’s the possibility of helping each other out financially, a good friend wouldn’t leave you just because you can’t give them money. Friends, and actors, just appreciate the support given to them, it gives them power. If there’s anything on this list I want you to remember, this is it.
Did these tips help you out? What other ways do you think you can support the actors you like without spending a lot of money? Let me know in the comments!