Beauty and the Beast Fan Club (US)

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You may be looking for Beauty and the Beast International Fan Club (Sharon Wells) or Beauty and the Beast Fan Club (UK) (Amber James and Joy Faulkner).

Fan Club
Name: Beauty and the Beast Fan Club
Dates: early 1988-?
Founder(s): Deb Hense
Leadership:
Country based in: out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, US
Focus: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
External Links:
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Beauty and the Beast Fan Club was a fan club that began in March 1988.

Publications

It issued a newsletter called Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter. The club also issued a scrapbook of article reprints and clippings. See The Scrapbook.

Hosted a Convention

The club helped bring Roy Dotrice to Iowa for a mini-B&tB convention within the January 1989 ICON, Iowa's oldest science fiction convention.

Some Stats

In March 1988, it had 100 members. [1]

In June 1988, it had 800 members. [2]

In August 1988, it had 1250 members. [3]

In December 1988, it had 1632 members. [4]

Connections to TPTB

As was common in fan club publications, various actors and showrunners were honorary members of the club and were sent copies of this newsletter. The club's third newsletter lists their names: Jay Acovone, Roy Dotrice, David Greenlee, Linda Hamilton, Ron Koslow, George R.R. Martin, and Ron Perlman.

This, of course, was no guarantee that TPTB noticed or read their offerings, but there are mentions in the club's newsletter that some of them did. One example from the third issue's editorial: "We have a request from George R.R. Martin; "Why don't you do a poll of your membership? Have everyone vote on their three favorite episodes, and their three least favorite episodes, use a point system and publish the results. The totals could be fascinating, and would give us writers an interesting measure of what the fans respond to..."

One example of how the fan club fostered a connection between fans and the show was the interview with one of the actors in the fourth newsletter. The interviewer asked: "Could you tell me about an incident or two that happened on the set that would give our members the feeling that they're receiving inside information that no one else has, perhaps something that will also teach them something that goes on behind the cameras as well?"

Sometimes the information offered to fans was reassurance about direction, casting, and characterization, things many fans were hungry for. These statements were almost always along the lines of official publicity. Fans were also given little details of things that occurred on the set, something that fostered connections between them and TPTB. From the fourth issue: "Word has it that Roy "Father" Dotrice is deadly with grapes. During a recent banquet scene on the set, Roy started a food fight between takes, with Ron Perlman was acting as lookout for Roy. David "Mouse" Greenlee was reported to have been walking around the set the other week muttering, "Mouse no die. Mouse got contract!" David has signed a contract to appear in fourteen episodes this year."

While "official" eyes and comments on this newsletter thrilled many club members, this coziness likely had a cooling effect on their comments. TPTB's attention and suggestion that fan comments directed decisions about the show also complicated things, especially later on when the show began to take a turn in ways many fans disliked. See The Classic vs. Season 3 Split and The Beauty and the Beast Wars.

"Your Club and How It Works"

From v.1 n.2 of the club's newsletter:

Your club and how it works:

This is going to be about your club and how it does and does not work. Please take the time to read it because it will answer a lot of your questions, and it will eliminate a lot of hard feelings in the future. This has been a busy quarter. We will have increased our membership from the initial 100 persons to over 800 by the time you read this. And it has caused problems — many problems.

First, we were not geared up for this type of growth. Our membership packages were the first to feel the crunch. Photos went on back-order. Then the pins ran out and had to be re-ordered also. All of which took a lot of time. So the club sent out the newsletters without the membership packages being included because we believed you wanted to have something in your hands rather than wait an additional four to six weeks.

But the memberships kept kept rolling in. The re-ordered stock was not going to be enough. We sent out over 300 memberships packages at great additional expense before our financial advisor called a halt. If we kept sending out the kits separately instead of including them with the next newsletter (June), we wouldn't be able to afford to publish and mail the December issue. At this point, I had to make a decision. Could the membership kits wait? And would the members waiting for them understand? Or should we just publish three times this year instead of the advertised four?

I chose to wait. If you wrote in and asked where your membership kit was, we either told you that it was on the way or would be included in your June issue of the newsletter. If you didn't write to ask, thank you for waiting so patiently. By now, everyone who is owed a membership kit should have it. If you don't have it yet, please write and ask us to double check our records.

In order to bring our expenses more in line with our income, we will now be mailing out the newsletters bulk rate instead of first class. This does mean it will take longer to reach you, but it does insure that the club remains financially solvent. And no, you cannot upgrade to a first-class mailing. Our bulk rates are based on a guaranteed number of pieces per mailing. If you upgrade, then we cannot guarantee that we will be mailing that many pieces each time. When we lose that bulk rate discount. Then we have to cut back in other ways—like only three issues a year (and smaller ones at that).

Increasing membership rates is not a viable option at this time, so don't even suggest it.

Now on to more mundane things. I am glad that many of you have written to offer your help. I know it is not physically possible for you to be here to help process the memberships, or to address envelopes, or to do all the driving around necessary to pull all the bits and pieces together. But, I have a few ideas on how you can help.

First, if you can draw, we are desperately in need of little filler art. You know, the stuff that can be tucked between a couple of ones in an article to separate major divisions. Or filler art that can fit into a little hole/corner of white space on a page of poetry. These pieces should not be any larger than two by three inches. And should be in ink. Please try to photocopy them yourself before sending them on. That way, you'll see where you need to do some darkening or reworking on your drawings.

Second, if you hear of any riddles or jokes about the B&TB, let us know about them.

Third, make up games/crossword puzzles/word searches/anagrams/tunnel mazes ... you get the idea. These are great little filler articles.

Fourth, write a review of your favorite episode. Make sure it is typed and well written. Get a friend or a teacher to look it over before sending it to us. Reviews should cover the good and the bad points in the episode being reviewed. They should also include the character names and the actors/actresses names who play them. All points must be supported by references to specific scenes in that episode.

Fifth, send in copies of articles that you find on the series. I personally don't subscribe to anything, so I miss out on a lot. (I'm a subscription junkie. Once I subscribe to one magazine, I can't stop myself; and I'll keep on subscribing to various magazines until I can't afford to pay the rent.) So copies are welcome! They are all placed in photo albums, and will be available for browsing at the various cons. Photocopies of these articles are not available!! I have heard some disturbing news about some of you. That news is that you are considered to be more of a fanatic than a fan.

Please read the article "Do you really want to be a 'FAN'?" It says what I feel admirably. If I am ever at a convention and I observe a club member exhibiting "FAN"anatic behavior toward a B&TB guest or treating the other attendees badly, I will revoke your membership on the spot and you will not receive your money back. The same revocation applies, if a member of the B&TB cast or crew complains about a pushy or obnoxious club member-you will lose your membership in the club.

Please DO NOT (I stress the DO NOT!) send the club your scripts or your script ideas. We can do nothing for you. We will not forward them on. If you want to get your script or script idea to B&TB for consideration, get a literary or Hollywood agent in Hollywood the production/writing staff cannot read your ideas or scripts unless they have been submitted through channels. And this means through an agent. This is to protect themselves from lawsuits. If you send them a script idea without going through established channels, and then later (because someone else came up with the same idea and went through channels) you saw it on TV as an episode, you would probably want to sue them for using your idea without paying you for it. You say they can use your idea for free? They've heard that one before too. So get an agent, and work through the proper channels. You'll receive proper credit for your ideas, and pay also.

To write to the stars, use the Witt/Thomas address that we have given you. Please don't send your letters to us. This will only delay your letter because we will forward it to the same Witt/Thomas address. If you are writing for free photographs, please contact the studio as we do not have photos other than what is included in your membership package. We do not have the stars' addresses, nor their agents. We work solely through contacts at the studio. They pass our questions and blank tapes and prepaid addresses to contacting them.

Don't even think about requesting copies of our interview tapes. No copies will ever be made!!! Bribery means nothing to the exec, committee on this issue because being the only persons to hear the tapes is our one and only perk. We paid for our memberships, besides working long hours to get the newsletters put together and mailed out to you, and we reserve this treat for ourselves.

Please excuse all the delays in answering your letters. We don't want to send you form letters. (Pat is disagreeing with this one.) So, please place your name and address on the outside of the envelope. We keep all the mail we receive and file it. The process slows down considerably when we have to stop and reread your letter or note and write your name on the envelope ourselves.

Why are we located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? Because Vincent lives in New York, and the show is filmed in Los Angeles, and we re halfway between both worlds. We also happen to be located in the middle of a ring of six of me largest mid-western cities. We are within a 5 to 6 hour drive of Chicago, St Louis, Kansas City Omaha Minneapolis/St. Paul and Milwaukee.

Yes, we are planning a convention of our own next year. Plans are very tentative at this point, but Roy Doltrice [sic] has said yes, he would like to be a guest of ours. Details will be published in me September issue. Please don't ask us for more information at this time because you will not receive it.

The Scrapbook

The scrapbook was a club production and contained article reprints and clippings from magazines and newspapers.

From the third issue of the club's newsletter:

Another modest proposal - because many of you wrote and asked for reprints of the articles from our scrapbooks (and we really don't have room currently in the newsletter to reprint them) The exec committee would like to make a one time only offer. We will reprint every single page in our scrapbooks one time only in booklet form. Cost will be $20.00. Current size is approx 120 to 150 single-sided pages. Orders must be received before November 1st, 1988. We will then take the books to the printers and have printed exactly the number of copies needed to fill the orders. Please realize that not all the copies will turn out readable or clear - as some of these reprints will be copies of copies, (which some of you have sent us) and others will be copies of colored originals. Hopefully we will have everything mailed out in time for Christmas, but knowing the mails at that time of the year we can make no guarantees.
From the seventh issue the club's newsletter:
The club's second volume covering the second year of the show is now available until December 1st. It will be slightly larger than last year - more than 200 pages! The cost remains the same as last year - $20 for U.S. Residents, $25 for Canadian and overseas - all monies must be in U.S. dollars.
From the club's tenth newsletter:
Years 1,2 and 3 are now available until September 1st, 1990. These scrapbooks represent all the articles dipped and sent in by the members of this club. They are each approximately 200 pages long - there are articles sent to us in foreign languages, and copies of articles sent to us by members in english speaking countries around the world. We will be printing them up in July and mailing them out beginning in August!

References

  1. ^ stated in issue #2 of Beauty and the Beast
  2. ^ stated in issue #2 of Beauty and the Beast
  3. ^ stated in issue #3 of Beauty and the Beast
  4. ^ stated in issue #3 of Beauty and the Beast