Beauty and the Beast Fan Club (US)

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You may be looking for Beauty and the Beast Fan Club (UK), run by 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:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
a flyer

Beauty and the Beast Fan Club was a fan club that began in March 1988.

At some point, the club's name became "Beauty and the Beast International Fan Club" (also known as BBIFC).

From their flyer in The Beauty & the Beast Buyer's Guide to Fanzines‎: "The goals of this club are to promote fan-to-fan contact and communication, to promote the show, and to promote the ideals and values of the show."

Leadership

The club was founded and run by Deb Hense until late 1990, when it was turned over to Sharon Wells. From the editorial of Shadow Knight #2 (January 1991):
If you haven't heard already, Deb Hense has handed over the reins of the "Beauty and the Beast International Fan Club" to me. I feel this is an honor and a privilege, and I hope that the Club brings many more of you together. For current membership information send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope, aka: SASE, to: "Beauty and the Beast International Fan Club, PO Box 9338, North Hollywood, CA 91609-9338." The joy of finding other fans and "Keeping the Dream Alive" is not to be missed, so even if you don't join the club, reach out, find people who love this show as you do, and watch as the hours fly by when you spend time together discussing your favorite subject!

Publications and Membership Goodies

Membership included a Membership Kit, a Winterfest gift, and a 24-hour information telephone service.

Publications included a quarterly newsletter called Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter, which appears to have become Beauty and the Beast International Fan Club Newsletter

The club also issued a scrapbook of article reprints and clippings. Its title was A Romantic of the Leonine Persuasion.

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.

Awards Sponsor

The club also sponsored the Beauty and the Beast Fan Quality Awards for fanzines which were given out at Tunnelcon I & II. A list of winners from Tunnelcon I can be found here. The nominee list for Tunnelcon II is on the image below.

nominee list for the 1992 Batb FanQ awards, click to read

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]

"Your Club and How It Works"

From v.1 n.2 (1988) 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.

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.

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