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Colin Ferguson and Fandom Part 2 of 5 {Signing & Social Media]

§erenada: What do people normally get signed? [continued from here]

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Colin: Pieces of paper, which you have to be careful about, because some people collect them on index cards, but then other people are just getting the white index cards so they can reproduce your signature on on their own photos and resell them, which you don't really want to do, because...you don't want your picture so flooded out there that people are wondering, "What is this guy doing? Why are there ten thousand pictures of him, signed?"
And photos, that someone provides they're there at the table when you get there.

§erenada: So you don't get to [bring] the photo you like, "Can I sign this one for people?"

Colin: I'm sure you [could]. Mostly I don't bother, because it's in their [the organizers'] interests to have a good picture.

§erenada: But you've had some dodgy pictures from your show.

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Colin: True, but it's really funny—no one chooses that picture. Because usually what they do, the organisers put out a selection of three to five pictures, but I've seen people with twenty pictures to choose from and for some of them it's appropriate because they're all from different shows that they've done, and others it's just weird, it's just tons and tons and tons of pictures, so…. Some people are amazing at it—I'm not that way. Some people put together their own pictures with montages—they do really nice work, and they're beautiful. They do beautiful beautiful work. My focus is the interaction with the person—I wanna know where they watch the show, if they like the show, is it for them, is it for someone they know. That's more my focus than the pictures. I want to make sure it's not terrible, but I'm not going to go crazy.

§erenada: Do they [the organizers] control what can be signed, or can people ask for anything?

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Colin: Oh, I've signed everything—I've signed breasts, I've signed chests…

§erenada: Above the waist, though?

Colin: Yep, yep [laughs]. I have not signed below the waist! It's funny when you're standing with a guy and his girlfriend, and she wants her breasts signed. When you're signing a breast, you have to apply a certain amount of pressure because that's how Sharpies work. So, normally, when you're signing an object that has more give than other objects, you put your hand underneath [laughs] to, you know...I don't know what protocol is for those moments. I think I brought my hand up to support, but don't, because...it's weird, it's funny. I enjoy it, because talking about personal experiences, it's really—it's personal.

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§erenada: Well, I have to wonder, if a woman wants her breast signed, she's already at some point said "Hey, stranger! Touch my boobie!"

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Colin: Yeah—some of them are more sexually driven, and you see it right out of the gate, and that person it would probably be okay to grab their breasts and sign because that's a part of the whole experience, whereas other people find it just find it really funny. Some girls are just like "Sign my breast!" and you can tell that it's hysterical to them, and I'd like to keep it hysterical for them as opposed to feeling violated or weird.

§erenada: So...we've covered panels, we've covered signings—what other ways do you interact with fandom?

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Colin: Social media, being [on] Twitter. I used to be on Facebook. That got weird. The great thing about Twitter is the downfall of Twitter is that it's only 140 characters, so you can neither explain nor get yelled at, really, in any way that's gonna hurt you, so that's great. Facebook is hard—some people are great—I'd have long exchanges over years and it was wonderful. Other people would push, and if I didn't get back to them within a certain amount of time—and this is Facebook, not email—I'd be berated in some message with, "Who do you think you are? What did I do? You're just like all the others!" and the sort of stuff where you're going, "Really?" I've taken time out of my day to have what I thought was a lovely exchange with someone who seemed really nice and then just turns on you." I've had too many of those, and at a certain point I just threw in the towel and said I've stopped doing that, I'm just not doing Facebook anymore.

§erenada: So it's only Twitter?

Colin: Well, I have the Facebook account but I haven't been on it—I went on it the other day. I think I have 4999 friends and 200 unread messages [pointedly]. So if there's anyone out there who's trying to get in touch with me through Facebook, it's just too much of a minefield.

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§erenada: Instagram. The cool kids are Instagramming.

Colin: They are!

§erenada: You don't even have to take pictures of yourself.

Colin: Yeah, but I'm not visually...some people are so good at it, and they really should be on Instagram and it blows my mind. They're usually pretty girls and they take pictures of themselves and they have filters and they're showing off their ankle banglet or whatever. I'm not that guy. I wear t-shirts and I don't really have much [§erenada checks under the table] ...and shorts [laughs] and I don't really have much to take a picture of other than my son that I find enthralling, and I'm sure that would just get old for people.

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§erenada: And also perhaps creepy—depends on how you handle it.

Colin: Yeah, yeah—at a certain point where he stops looking like every other baby on the planet maybe I'll minimise how many photos I put out there of him. And people have been great for the most part. I've had weird exchanges—people have shown up at my house.

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§erenada: How'd they work that out?

Colin: It's easy enough to do, you can find anyone online.

§erenada: Clearly I'm not looking hard enough, then….

Colin: Yeah—I've had multiple people show up at my house.

§erenada: So I was going to ask—what's the most creepy/negative thing you've had fandom do to you?

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Colin: That one's a hard one. I don't show up at my friends' houses unannounced. It really freaks out my babymama who's in nesting mode with my son and so I discourage it. For anyone [reading]: NEVER SHOW UP AT ANYONE'S HOUSE. I've heard multiple stories from multiple people—Bruce Boxleitner tells a funny one about a bunch of German tourists who showed up at his house—they hiked and somehow got to his house. It's just weird. It's hard. It just puts you in a very weird position.

§erenada: Now you're not specifically in a fandom that's a...stalkery fandom.

Colin: No.

§erenada: But who would you say, on Eureka now, signed the most breasts, has the most weird things happen—would that be you?

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Colin: On Eureka? Yeah. From what I've observed, that would be...I was the face of the show, I was on all the posters and so even when people haven't seen the show I get a lot of "I know you!" "Yeah, I did a show, you may have seen the ad campaign." It was my face, so…

§erenada: But it wasn't your body.

Colin: [laughs] No.

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§erenada: That season 1 poster…people thought I was crazy, but that's not Colin's body I kept saying...

Colin: That was Blake['s], he works at Sci Fi. They shipped the jacket to him and then he pulled it out of a box and it was still wrinkled. That's Blake's shoulders, and they put my head on. The answer was that I wasn't famous enough to have my face [on the poster] so they just showed the back of my head, because I was an everyman. I could have been anyone. But then that by year 2, it was a[n established] show, so that my face could be shown.
It was in New York—they were in NY doing [the poster], and they didn't want to fly me out [there].

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§erenada: They can't have pictures taken in LA?

Colin: That would require planning and all sorts of things that...it's not their fault. The marketing department was given no money and no time. "We need this, we need this next week." So they said, "We can't fly him out, there's no way." So they made do with what they did, and they did a great job.

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Next instalment, we start to talk about Haven as well as more Eureka — I estimate 4 more instalments, hopefully.

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