No Picture For You! or Being Rude to Fans

This week I went to see a performance by a pianist / singer of whom I’m a fan. For this story we will call this person Sansa (maybe I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones?). I had never seen Sansa in person before, but I have a few records which I really enjoy. The performance was great – I liked the music and I liked her personality on stage. All in all I was having a great time.

After the show I waited in line with other fans to meet her. When it was my turn I told Sansa how much I liked her show and her music. Then I asked her if she would take a picture with me. She said “No.” Let me repeat: She said “No” to a picture with a fan. And then walked off. Granted, I was the last person in the line, but…I was, I AM, flabbergasted. Why did she say no to a picture?

First of all, that made me feel horrible. I was having a great time and enjoying her music; I wanted to meet her because I admired her. I wanted to have my picture taken with her because 1) I like pictures, 2) I like her, sooo 3) Let’s have a keepsake of our meeting! Why not? I think it’s very natural to want to meet the person when they’re off stage if you have enjoyed what they were doing ON stage. When she said no and walked off, I felt totally dejected. I had intended to come back and see the show again, but now I’m not sure I will, since I left with such a negative feeling.

And then, after feeling horrible, I felt upset.

My perspective on this situation is a little different because I know what it’s like to be in her shoes (to a certain extent. She is famous and much older, so I’m sure her perspective is different than mine). I know sometimes I am tired, or moody, or my feet hurt, or I just don’t feel like talking – but I think it is part of the job to get out among the people and be with them and share time with them. In my mind if people come out and spend their money to see me perform, I am thankful. I want to meet them and show appreciation. I can’t make music without a community of people who will come out and see my shows. I want to make people feel good while I’m ON stage and OFF.

Maybe I am being too harsh in my criticism of her behavior, but it really did hurt my feelings as a person and as a fan of her music. I don’t think I’ll be buying anymore of her records.

Has this ever happened to you? What do you think of it?

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27 Responses to No Picture For You! or Being Rude to Fans

  1. SPENCER HEALY says:

    Sometimes a NO is just a NO. Respect the decisiveness. How many artists (and fans) would have better lives if they could just say NO more often. You got to have tougher skin.
    Some other time she might say YES. That’s how I’ve found the loves of my life, more than once.

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    • Thanks for your comment. I did respect her decision – I didn’t take a picture against her will. I’m not sure I understand what you mean when you say our lives would be better if we could say “no” more often.

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  3. Norris says:

    So a performer puts on a show, is kind enough to stay afterwards to meet fans one-on-one, and then gets blasted for declining to pose for a photo?

    Shame on ALL of you for the negative commentary.

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  4. sean says:

    Controlling WHAT image? That she’s conceited or, perhaps, paranoid? Geez! Wasn’t Norah Jones, was it?

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    • No it wasn’t Norah Jones – I’ve actually never met her 😦 I’d like to though. In this day and age it’s almost impossible to “control” your image anyway. It’s always hard for someone in a “public life” to control their image. Too many variables. Thanks for your comment!

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  5. Joan says:

    I appreciate the friendliness you (and your band mates) exhibit, and I think it IS part of the job. I understand it is difficult – I work with local musicians who also have to do the meet-n-greet, so I see firsthand how tough that is after a set (and a long work week that may or may not have included heartbreak, family angst or any other ‘normal’ stress). The times I’ve seen you, you and your band have ALWAYS been gracious – which is how it SHOULD be. I sure hope that musician was having an IBS attack, because you didn’t deserve that treatment.

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    • haha Joan! Thanks for your kind words πŸ™‚ It can be tough sometimes, but being around the people always makes me feel good and happy.

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      • Joan says:

        for what it’s worth, here are my friends’ thoughts on your blog (they are all musicians, too):
        Rachel Schain What gets me is that she just said no. Gave no reason. I couldn’t personally do that. I’d probably over explain why I couldn’t take the photo. Not that I could come up with a good reason. But I would probably look for one.

        Rob Lindgren eek. why on earth…

        Nathan Surles .Apologizing and Stating a reason would be the polite thing to do. Like “I’m glad you like my music, but I’m super tired right now and don’t look my best.”

        Rob Lindgren Or you could just take the picture and call it a day

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  6. Pete Carma says:

    PS…..I think I know who it was…and she is one of the ‘Top Ten Sexiest Pianist’ on my blog?? But I wrote that before I knew all about her….

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  7. Pete Carma says:

    First of all let me tell everyone that YOU are one of the most courteous and friendly performers I know, and you have ALWAYS been a joy with me. You give me pics and videos, well we all know you!! As for Sansa, I would never support her again in any way, no matter how talented she is. Champian believe me there are some amazingly talented people that I gave up on because of their attitude. I won’t write about them, go to see them whatever, if they are not good folk, I’m gone.

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  8. I think that it’s terrible and my only comments is that I wish you’d tell us who it was — we deserve to know and she deserves any repercussions. Calling out someone when they misbehave is righteous.

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    • Well, I appreciate that. But I just don’t feel comfortable saying who it was. Although I will say, because it has been suggested a few times on Facebook, that it was NOT Diana Krall. I met her and she is very nice.

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  9. Martha Elkins says:

    I meant “might have at least said” – what happened to my grammar????

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  10. Martha Elkins says:

    She might have been nicer about it if her image was a concern. It’s a sad thing that looks are so important in the world of jazz now, that pictures are such a concern. She might of at least say, “I’m sorry, but no blah blah blah….” Sorry you got your feelings hurt.

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    • Yes, it was a bad experience. I understand that image is important, but I find it odd that a person wouldn’t want a picture with a fan anyway. There’s no way it could have been used for “promotional” purposes or anything like that. We were at a performance where she was presumably dressed to be in public. And personally I thought she looked good.

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  11. Trey says:

    Being a talented performer and having good social skills aren’t the same thing. I think you’re expecting someone you don’t know to behave in a manner that they may not be comfortable with. I don’t agree that it is part of the job to be among the people and talk to them. Any performer’s job is to perform at the best of his/her ability, and that’s all. Just my opinion.

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    • Thanks for your comment Trey. Well, if she felt that it was not part of the job to be among her fans, she could have stayed in the dressing room. I have been at a show where the performer never came out, and while I thought that was disappointing too, at least it was a blanket statement.

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  12. Hilary says:

    That’s such a drag! Who wouldn’t want a picture with you!? It’s not as though you were using a bunch of flash photography throughout the show or something. I am dying to know who it was, by the way! πŸ™‚

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  13. hush hush says:

    She gave no reason for saying no?

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    • She gave no reason to me, but when I discussed it with other people who were present they said she was “controlling her image” and doesn’t allow any pictures of her at anytime.

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  14. stephen says:

    maybe she thinks doesn’t need her fans.

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