This post was prompted by seeing fellow Michael Christian Martinez fans try to deal with their “admiration” of him, and this is my way of saying, “hey, you’re not alone.” Here’s how things look from my end.
I have never been the type to be starstruck. I see a celebrity, I take a good look at them so as to acknowledge their presence, then get on with my business. I’m not the type to run over to them to ask for an autograph or a picture. I always think that they’re people too, and I’m sure that they’d appreciate the space and not having cameras shoved into their faces all the time. Besides, I don’t like getting into a crowd and fight my way for an autograph.
Admittedly though, given the proper chance (read: I have a reason to meet up with them, I have an appointment, and I have the reassurance that we will be able to focus on each other [ie. treat each other like dignified human beings] for whatever given time), I would love to say “hi”, talk to them and express my appreciation of their work and how beautiful they are.
But exceptions have to happen at some point: cue Michael Christian Martinez.
I have been quite vocal about my support and admiration for the young man, and my Facebook wall and Tumblr dashboard have had a healthy splash of “MCM” in the past month. I have also been literally vocal about him, talking about him at every chance I get, discussing the way he smiles, he moves; expressing my amusement over his thick eyebrows and awkward smile; talking about how I find him adorable when he talks and tries to do some Zumba…
Then I talked about how I wanted to craft alcoholic drinks inspired by him: a cocktail named “Tropical Ice Prince” (a theoretical blend of mango sherbet, Absolut Citron, calamansi juice, topped with tonic and garnished with a slice of orange), and a shooter named “A Frick Move” (inspired by his Cantelever Spread, it’ll be a — still theoretical — mix of blue curaçao, Cointreau, and Absolut Citron; flames optional). A friend then quipped: “You are obsessed.”
I never really thought of myself as “obsessed”, but I do confess to getting something close to a tunnel vision whenever I really, really like something: a show, a new hobby, a book… I talk about it a lot, and I look for people with whom to discuss it with and whom I can bring with me into the fandom. I also feel the same whenever I have a crush, and it is just pure torture not to be able to express how I feel and I’m just thankful I have friends I can squee to and they’ll turn my woe into laughter.
I also never really thought I’d feel something like that for a celebrity, until Michael Christian Martinez came along.
First, I felt disgusted with myself (yet I still say that with a smile on my face, shaking my head and laughing). I still do. I’m 30 years old, and he’s 17. It just feels… wrong. I should be past the fangirly stage, and if I do fangirl over anyone, it would be more appropriate of me to do so over Evgeni Plushenko (or Liam Neeson, Charles Dance, and the rest of them who fuel my oyajicon). I also expect of myself to be cool: I see an article or an update about Martinez, read/look at it, nod and move on.
Instead, I “like” about 90% of the posts about him on Tumblr, I check my Facebook just an ounce more often for his latest updates, and I have taken to following his Instagram account because he takes damn good selfies and he’s just so CUTE XD♥ !!
= B R E E E A A A T H E S =
As a colleague-friend of mine (that I have infected with the MCM Fever) puts it: “I see his face, and I can’t breathe!” I wished to have been able to attend Martinez’s meet-and-greets, and even considered working out at the FitnessFirst branches in Mall of Asia and Megamall just so I won’t miss out. I want to fly to Pyeongchang in 2018 just so I can support him and toss him flowers and plushies after he performs. I want to fly to Carson, LA so I can attend Mr Noni’s Zumba classes and contribute to raising funds for him. I actually want to be able to meet him and tell him how much of a blessing and an inspiration he is to me, get an autograph and a picture, and then give him a big hug.
So, yes, I am obsessed. I don’t like it. I do my best to justify myself, blaming the “Celebrity Effect”, in which admiration turns into adoration, support turns into protectiveness, and curiosity turns into being drawn to the celebrity mystique and next think you know, you’re a moth dancing around their glass-encased light. Whenever I feel that he’s occupying too much of my mind, I start praying and I focus my energies elsewhere.
And yet thinking about him brings a smile to my face. Talking about him spreads his story and inspires even more people. I attend dance classes, and I’m able to maintain my smile despite the exhaustion and burning muscles, and I giggle to myself thinking how dorky Martinez looks while doing Zumba. I practice my choral piece and whenever I feel frustrated, I think about how Martinez falls on the ice and never gives up. I go online and see others being wistful over how they feel towards Michael. I can’t help but be sympathetic, and I just want to reach out and say that it’s okay, you’re not alone.
I might still roll my eyes and shake my head at myself for not behaving like a classy 30-year-old that I expect myself to be, but I’ll enjoy these positive feelings and make something good out of them. Regardless of our ages, Michael Christian Martinez remains a positive influence on people’s lives, from doing something as simple as making them smile, up to inspiring people to pursue their dreams. If my admiration (er, obsession?) with Michael brings on good things for me, then I’ll relish in these feelings, and I will come out a better person.