Understanding Richard Armitage

The question of Richard Armitage has intrigued me for awhile. He played a great part in a mini-series and in several other tv series. But how many people would that describe? Several. Maybe not legions but several. He’s good looking. How many fit that description? A bunch more. He’s very masculine. Even more fall into that category. Oh wait he also seems like a nice guy. We like how he presents himself, and his co-workers like him. Yep, a few more are like that. And did I mention he’s smart? I’m going with my gut on that one. The guy is smart, and I completely trust my instincts about this — instincts that have rarely let me down when taking an accounting of someone’s grey matter. So is it that he’s “the complete package?” Maybe. But that’s still not quite it. I have actually known good looking men who were smart and talented in something aesthetic (read that: they were sensitive enough to be talented in something aesthetic) and also very masculine and nice guys. Yes, I’m telling the truth! I worked with a man for years who had played football at Michigan State, was brilliant, super good looking, helluva nice guy, could sing really well, and he had a great sense of humor. Sometime I’ll have to tell you his story — it’s a doozy — but not today.

So what makes Richard Armitage special? Let me rephrase that? What makes Richard Armitage special to me? I have mentioned before that I think he’s special? Oh I haven’t? What the hell do you think this blog is about?! Or does me saying that he’s special to me make you feel weird? I know it’s made me feel weird. It made me feel so weird that I had to find out why I thought it. Since SO is the love of my life (despite our ups and downs and all arounds — plenty of those) and having four great kids… yes, dammit, I’m biased; they’re great, and I don’t want to hear anything else :D…I did not understand what was going on in my obsession to watch Richard Armitage.

Of course some people have distractions like this, and I’m not going to say I’m above having a distraction like this. Not at all. But watching his stuff is not merely a distraction from all of the really tough things going on in my life. Yes, there are some really tough things going on in my life. No, you don’t want to hear about them, and granted, some of watching him has been a distraction from those things. I admit it! But that’s not why I’m writing this post. That’s not why I started this blog. I do have an obsession, or am otaku as my friend James describes it. But my obsession is not Richard Armitage. It’s something else, and I think Richard is obsessed with it too.

I’ve said several times I wanted to avoid getting in Richard Armitage’s head, but my friends, I can’t help it. I had to get in his head in order to understand. Since I wasn’t going to do anything invasive with respect to his privacy, because frankly, I would be very upset if someone did that to me, I decided to investigate some indirect evidence of what may be in his head. This required a look at the influences on his professional life. Of course Miss Pat and Pattison’s College were of interest. But it was too difficult to glean much without crossing boundaries. So I’ve consigned that experience to one that will have to wait for RA or some biographer to tell us a good deal more. I concentrated on LAMDA and some of the ways of thinking he was exposed to there.

As part of study at LAMDA, the students are required to have some proficiency in the history of the theater, its evolution into the modern theater and in part what we now think of as method acting, which I’ve learned can be a bit of a nebulous term. Since the term has become a little fluid, I went back to the sources that RA was expected to go back to. Namely Edward Gordon Craig, Constantin Stanislavski and Bertold Brecht. You may be thinking, “I don’t want to hear about those guys. I just want to know how Richard Armitage does what he does.” Go back and read this post from the beginning again because there is no way to really understand unless you know a little something about these people. And let me say that reading the works of these three guys and a handful of others was life changing for me. I don’t make a habit of throwing that comment around without good cause, so I hope you will respect what I’m saying here without knowing anything yet. LOL!

And I’ve written so much on this and don’t really want to edit, that I’m going to do the unforgivable and leave you hanging until tomorrow.

edit: I didn’t have time for Brecht. Will get to him later.

30 Comments

  1. This is really unforgivable… LOL!!!

  2. Intriguing – can’t wait for tomorrow :-) though I’m gad you have left it hanging – allows me time to ponder…..

  3. As a woman who regularly ends chapters of fanfic with cliffhangers, I haven’t a leg to stand on to complain. But this is indeed fascinating, Frenz. ;)

  4. arrrrrghhhhh! Did you just assign us homework Frenz? Alright then, off to google Craig, Stanislavski and Brecht. To be continued as you suggest. lol

  5. WOW, Frenz…..you’re amazing! I’m guilty of not understanding previously just how much thought you’ve given to Richard and his background in theatre. I really want to know more! And with all that is going on in your life, I now appreciate your blog even more than I did last week. I have great respect for the amount of time and effort you’ve put into research and thank you for sharing it with us.

    PS. I haven’t forgotten that you emailed me regarding a username to use on Twitter and I’ll email you what I’ve decided upon as soon as Fanstravaganza (I think that’s it?) is over. Thanks, Kathryn

  6. Very interesting post and point of vue. You make me want to know better Craig , Stanislavski and Brecht.

    I think that RA effect is a mix of many wonderful qualities he have :
    he’s talent and modest , cool and funny guy and hard worker , he’s seducive and he don’t understand it , he’s masculine but with sometimes a part of feminity. He’s next to his fans even if his career grow up…and he have The voice. Do you really know many others guys like that? (If yes I want an adress!!! LOL)

  7. Even though I’ve given up trying to answer “why RA?”, if there’s an answer out there, I’d still like to know what it is, so I’m looking forward to your next instalment with great interest. I’ll be googling along with gracie!

  8. Wait, that’s it…and I have to wait till tomorrow? Have I mentioned how impatient I am when I’m reading something cool? Because, yeah.

  9. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post, though I have a bit of an advantage with Brecht and due to RA did a bit of research regarding Stanislavski. ;o)

  10. Actually, I do want to hear about “these guys”. Lamda and RADA are wonderful schools. They provide marvellous education. The world is not all MBA and profit. (Is it?)

  11. I’ve been reading one of Stanislavski’s books recently – the first one I think. It’s written in a really interesting way I think. (I must add, I didn’t start reading it due to research into RA!) I think it’s a standard text for actors these days.

    Looking forward to the next installment!

  12. This is going to be good. I now have, as another blogger put it, some homework to find out more about these guys. Will stick with you until the end. Thanks so much for your contributions to making this week happen.:)

  13. Please give me more of this interesting stuff….(I ordered one of Stanislavski’s books “An actor prepares” three weeks ago since you mentioned it before, but haven’t started to read yet). I have the infallible feeling that you are on to something??

  14. As a Spartan, I’m interested about the gentleman from Michigan State you worked with. LOL.

  15. I am literally popping in for a moment; so back with more later. :D Snicker’s Mom, he would have graduateda about 1975 or 76. I’ll send you an email with his name.

  16. Usually I am the one who assigns homework and tasks!
    OK Frenz! Till tomorrow, then.
    However, it ‘s a been a pleasure to read your musings and reflections so far …
    This questions of “why Richard Armitage” is getting intriguing. I’m not sure we’ll find THE answer, but I’m curious to discover what yours is :-)

  17. You are such a meanie head making us wait!! But you know we will….

  18. [...] and history • judiang takes someone you don’t quite expect to her therapist • RAFrenzy on Understanding Richard Armitage • Siouxsie Sioux at Richard Armitage Fan Blog on crinklephobia • Traxy‘s holding out for [...]

  19. Giggles, Frenz,
    I love your pairing your mysterious cliffhanger essay with the tantalizing enigma that is the public persona of Richard Armitage. We are different selves to different people–including RA and his “selves”. I can’t wait to read your insights about RA!
    Cheers! Grati ;->

  20. Looking forward to reading more, both from the perspective of understanding Richard Armitage’s work, but also from the perspective of a parent whose daughter has just graduated from drama school. (She offered to give me her lecture notes, but I think I prefer reading your blogposts for the time being).

    Will drop in tomorrow.

  21. I can’t wait RaFrenzy!:)
    I think I understand him and already I know why he impresses me .

  22. I am waiting with baited breath.

  23. Sheesh, I even flushed pi out of lurkdom (?) :D

    I hope I haven’t created a monster here. Not you, pi, but this piece. LOL!

  24. Can’t wait for more details tomorrow.

    I also think Richard Armitage is special of course and he is not the only actor I’ve followed for a while so I’m not new to this fandom thing. I love to hear RA talk about his work and his preparation for a role and I’ve never heard any actor explain that as well as he does to a diverse audience or be able to convey it with such passion and conviction and intelligence. I’m really fascinated by that side of Armitage :)

  25. Looking forward to the next installment!

  26. Have you all seen those 2 interviews with Richard that David Stephenson put up on YouTube recently?

  27. I would call this a ‘teaser’ post! Looking forward to Wednesday!

  28. Excuse me Miss Frenz, but did you just cliffhang us? You’re worse than American TV shows :)
    Can’t wait for tomorrw!

  29. Trying to explain what makes Richard Armitage so special would be a 40-parter for me! ;) Looking forward to your post tomorrow!

  30. I’m going to put this here so I know pi will see. Today is pi day:

    http://visual.ly/visualizing-pi


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