My name is Rosemarie Salvatore and I have been a
Beauty & the Beast fan from the very beginning. I watched the very
first aired episode on September 25, 1987 and had no idea then how this
amazing show would change my whole life.
I grew up in a very strict and traditional Italian-American family. They
did not encourage the two things that I loved: college and creativity. As
a result, I was very shy and having a difficult time getting along in life
when Beauty & the Beast premiered. The show helped to bring me out
of myself. I was inspired to try things I would never have dared before. I
consider it to have been a true spiritual awakening.
I identified so completely with Catherine, having lived a very sheltered
life and sharing so much in her goal of “learning how to be strong.”
Because of this, the third season was equally as devastating to me as the
first two had been uplifting. I don’t know how I would have survived if
not for finding Fandom, because no one else in my life ‘got it.’ I found
B&B Fandom through an article in the local newspaper right around the time
the show was officially canceled.
I attended my first Beauty & the Beast fan run convention in 1991 –
South of Oz in Orlando, FL. I have been to all the annual US conventions
since then. Fandom itself has had just as big an impact on my life as the
show did. Beauty & the Beast fans are a wonderful and supportive
group of people. I had a very strong desire to give back to the group for
all that I had received and so I had the honor of organizing the 2008
convention here in NJ and NY.
Career wise, I’ve gone through many changes since B&B inspired me to go
back to school. I worked in an insurance agency for 17 years while going
to school at night. While the people were nice, it was a field that I
found to be terribly boring. I dreamed of doing something more creative. I
majored in art for a time, but then thought I’d do better in English. In
2007, at the age of 40, I finished my BA degree and shortly thereafter I
was laid off from the insurance job. I put my new degree to work with
several short stints in the publishing field. I do love reading and
writing and thought that I was in the right field for a time. However, in
2012, I was again laid off rather abruptly from a publishing job that I
had been in for just under two years. I decided I once again needed a
change and am now studying for a master’s degree in Communications. I have
realized through all this that it’s more about the journey than the
destination. I have always loved school and loved to learn and may never
actually figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
This page was inspired by a recent research paper that I did using
Beauty & the Beast Fandom as a model of a collaborative organization.
But I will also be sharing with you some mementos from the “early days” of
Fandom – I hope that you will enjoy both!
September 25, 2014
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