I Keep Forgetting

I keep forgetting that all of you who read this blog are not part of the rabid fans like I am. Oh, I know some of you are exactly like I am and could write this blog — meaning you could keep it supplied with the information over which so many salivate. Case in point is Richard Armitage leaving the Old Vic. I’ve long since looked at the YT clip of him leaving the theater after the plays. I figured anyone who read this blog had already looked at it too. But I was wrong. I’ve had emails and Facebook messages asking me about any word on footage or pictures of him at the theater, so here it is:

I love the YT user’s name, smartandcleverlass. Yes, she is, and I appreciate her grabbing this candid shot for all of us to drool over. But as I started to drool, I have to confess I had some hesitation. I began to feel sorry for RA, and the crap he must go through. His acting is wonderful, and I’ve already said I would love to see him on stage. That would be the ultimate experience of his acting for me. But I really can’t see myself following him out the door to take a shot of him with my phone. Maybe I sound like a hypocrite and one day may prove myself a liar, but I know my gut would be screaming: NO, DON’T DO IT! leave the guy be. Or perhaps I’m just a coward.

But enough of my conscience rearing its ugly head. Oh hell, I would just like a chance to find out if I would have a conscience. It would be a dream to go to one of his performances, but ever lurking at the back of my mind is this question: would I wait at the stage door to see RA afterward? I honestly don’t know. As I think about it now, I would feel like a fool doing that. No, I wasn’t kidding when I said I have too much pride to posture as a fangurl in public. I just can’t see it, but then I might let myself get caught up in the hysteria and do it anyway. Man, I am a coward.

I was talking with a fellow Armitage lover this evening, and she asked if I would go to the stage door if she dragged me there, and I said, “Of course, ’cause then I could blame it on you.” :D

Sometimes I wonder if I should have named this blog ‘The Reluctant Fan.’ That really is the best description of me, but I think that domain name was taken. All I know is I have fought this from the beginning and still fight it. I mentally slap myself about once a week. So my post about still stopping is describing a frequent occurrence. Maybe I shouldn’t write this post, but I must do it to at least fool myself into thinking I’m still sane. Momma didn’t raise a fool, so I’m trying to make her proud, but then Momma would go to the stage door. LOL! Maybe I should stop fighting my genes? Either that or take up drink. No, that will never happen. I’ve been too up close and personal with alcoholics, and that, my friends is about as revealing as I’m going to be on this blog.

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com


  1. I confess I have been thinking of what my cousin who toured with Willie Nelson back in his heyday said about the man not even being able to go to the bathroom without someone following him in, wanting an autograph. Rock said he was glad of the success he’d personally had as a songwriter but he’d never want people to follow him around like that.
    I guess it’s something celebrities and public figures have to grow accustomed to dealing with. I don’t know how those kids starring in Twilight have dealt with the madness without going nuts themselves, frankly.

    I like to think I would behave myself in such a situation as the one above (and you know how much I want to see him on stage) and not do anything to really embarrass myself or him–but what a pleasure it would be to simply shake that broad, elegant hand and say, “I truly admire your work.”

    Of course, being one of those Nosy Journalist Types, I want to say and ask a whole lot more . . . and taking photos (with a real camera, of course LOL) is second nature to me at events. Where does the responsible reporter stop and the addled fangurrl start? Hmmmmmm . . . . I really should go to bed now.

  2. Blame it on dopamine!

  3. Frenz, don’t forget you are performing a public service here!!

    And perhaps you need to get over yourself and not feel guilty for being a fan…it’s OK to be one, honestly!

  4. Perhaps not “Reluctant Fan” but rather “Fan with a Conscience”?
    I’ve actually encountered celebrities on rare occasions in casual, non-working settings. I never approached them if they were with someone (in 2 cases children) and in one instance I just quietly told him I admired his work. I don’t ask for autographs in settings like that because it seems like an intrusion. In one case I didn’t acknowledge the celebrity I was sitting next to in a movie theater because I was afraid he would be mobbed.

    Now, the stage door after a performance? I would go to hopefully get a glimpse and tell the lovely Mr. Armitage how much I loved his performance (I would love it, no question) and to possibly hear that lovely voice in person. Ask for a picture with him if possible but not be aggressive.

    I think the stage door is somewhat similar to a red carpet, job related. I also believe that “fans” or “admirers” should conduct themselves like adults, keeping in mind that Mr. A is a person and should be treated with respect, kindness and consideration. He is very polite and considerate of the fans he meets from what I can tell and he deserves the same from us.

  5. Your blog has added to the creativity and uniqueness of RA fanhood. As they say; if you don’t blog about it, it wasn’t worth it…So in RA’s case: if we don’t blog about him, he isn’t worth it!

  6. I thank you all for the kinds words. I love blogging, and I’m not going away at all. Sometimes I just have to share how I feel about this. I haven’t posted a diary entry in a while, and that’s where most of my angst about being a fan is contained.

    Angie, can I take the pictures when you interview him? :D I’m actually a pretty good photographer. Got a nice little Rebel XT with some great lenses.

    Ann Marie, you made excellent points. They’ll probably come to mind if I ever really do get to see his performance.

    Avalon, Thank you. I’m glad you’re here too. I do read your blog. I just don’t comment as RAFrenzy. :D It’s rough trying to make two sets of comments. phew.

    Kap, yes, I need to get over myself. That’s really the point of this whole blog. LOL!

    Skully, I’ll take some of that. Does it keep for a few months? ;-)

  7. I think RA would be disappointed if no one was waiting for him at the stage door. It’s part of being a successful actor, or performer. I’m sure they have a love/hate thing about it, but as long as people are polite and they don’t turn into a mob, I think it’s fine. Part of the pact between actor and audience.

    I’ve waited at the stage door for ballet dancers, opera stars, and other actors, so I will certainly be at the stage door for Richard, should fate be good enough to give me the opportunity to see him on stage. Would be a dream come true to look directly into those blue eyes. (No camera flashing in his face though!).

  8. Excellent, excellent points. But I’m afraid I might have to get a picture. :D

    Now if he would agree to sit down and talk with me, I might nix the picture. ;-)

  9. I don’t know if it has to do with pride or shyness or both but I’d never be able to ambush a person I admire so much just to grab a photo of him or throw my admirations onto so that he “just know” or smth like that… For that reason I actually haven’t watched the YT vid of RA leaving the theater and I won’t. IIt’s smth about me, I just hate eeing my favourite actors surrounded by fan(gurl)s and behaving all polite and affably while feeling a bit awkward… or, in fact, any candid off-work pics and videos… I don’t need to see that, I feel like it’s more personal and has nothing to do with me.

  10. I agree with Musa! I have met many performers I admire, male or female, of different talents by waiting for them at the stage door. Following them around while they’re doing their everyday things is weird and a bit crazy though… =P

  11. (sorry fo the typos, I’m a tad unfocused) :=|

  12. cremix, I understand. I’ve kind of felt like you, but Ann Marie and Musa made excellent points. What’s great is that we can all do what’s most comfortable for us personally, and I’m glad this crowd is not the type to ambush RA.

  13. I think it comes down to behaving in a respectful manner suitable for the occasion. As Musa said, I suspect RA would be a bit disappointed if no one was waiting for him at the stage door; I mean, actors put themselves out there hoping their artistry will be noted and appreciated. Doesn’t mean they want to be mobbed, of course. Just–acknowledged and validated by the folks who buy the tickets.

    I truly appreciate it when fans of my newspaper stuff recognize who I am and come up to me at events or in public places–sometimes on the street– and tell me they like what I do. They are under no obligation to say a single nice thing to me and I recognize that. Same thing with those who comment on my fan fic.

    Now, if I were in a bathroom stall and someone were sticking their head under the door blathering on about that great piece on the Bataan Death March survivor I would be unhappy and most uncomfortable. ( ; Time and place, folks, time and place.

    I think you can be a “fan” and not be intrusive or rude, falling into the mob mentality.
    One of the many things I greatly admire about Richard is his gracious, polite and gentlemanly nature because I come from a part of the country where those qualities are particularly prized.

    I believe I would conduct myself in a similar manner if I am ever blessed enough to be in the presence of this individual I truly admire and adore on so many levels.

    And Frenz, if I ever get to do that in-person interview, I would be delighted for you to ride shotgun with your Rebel XT –a real camera, indeed!!–and serve as photog for the auspicious occasion. And would I want a photo of myself with Himself once interview was over? Listen, if the Radio One guys can pose with him, so can the Newspaper Lady from Alabama

    . Without loss of dignity, I might add. *grin*

  14. “Ambush” is a bit if a strong word I know, but I rather meant my own attitude towards fangirlish behaviour in general, not in regards to RA alone. I know that most RA admirers are a group of a much hugher order than many other actors’ – I was just mentally going over the times when I thought about my fant-status and the limits I would never go over and infered that I’m a very rigid fan after all.
    Some utopic thought recently occurred to me: I would love us to approach RA as a committee of fans (Army or civilians), much like for an interview or business meeting, for him to receive the feedback and be able to express his views on us and his off-camera freedom, and for us to be neatly represented and get a grasp of him in real life on more professional terms… the Union of RA Fans – URAF, how do you like that… my N&S craving has to be fed this weekend, I know. Sounds absurd huh? Not to me, at least the fleshed-out idea. But then being practical, we would never be able to form this committee anyway as there’s no ranking or criteria that might make it work. ;=)

  15. Cresmix,

    As to this: “my N&S craving has to be fed this weekend, I know. Sounds absurd huh? ”

    Uh, have you read my diary entries and the About page of this blog? LOL! You’re among friends. :D

    I hear what you’re saying. I have a code I live by, and I suspect many other ladies here share that code. We do not want to impose on people and least of all Richard Armitage. But I’m glad I wrote the piece because I needed to hear the points they’ve made. Makes me feel a lot less self-conscious if I ever do go to one of his performances.

    Angie, All you need to do is figure out what hat you’re going to wear. That ought to be fun. :D

  16. Oh, I have. And I’m proud in many ways to resemble you guys. ;=))) And I am in line with you regarding the fan-code stuff. Then again – you can never predict how your personality is going to react when facing the actual situation. I mean, if by any cosmic chance I happen to be near RA or within the scope of his attention – I literally could never know what I might do.
    I still think we should form a union though.

  17. I’m very conflicted about fan etiquette. As an RA “Fan Behaviour Watcher” I’m both fascinated and horrified by what I read and see on the forums. I’m also a little bit impressed, if I’m honest, by some of the extroverted nature of the attempts to meet him … it’s just not ‘me”. What is the correct way to express your appreciation of an actor’s work???

    Stage Door – I’m not sure I could bring myself to go and stand at the stage door waiting for RA to emerge. For what purpose? Would there be a chance of talking to him and saying how much I appreciated his performance? From what I’ve read about the Old Vic gala stage door – there was a positive rush towards him so that the quieter fans had a glimpse of the top of his head.

    Pre-performance: I understand it is not good etiquette to approach an actor before they go on stage. I read that a few fans tried to attract RA’s attention as he arrived at the Old Vic in the morning. This is a big no no as the actor is usually attempting to focus. I gather he was poilte but in a “hurry”. This may not have been particularly respectful of RA under the circumstances.

    Seeing RA live on stage …. all I can say is that if I spent family and personal money and time travelling all the way from Australia to see him in a play n the UK, I would have to seriously reflect on whether my sense of proportion was totally off balance. It is different for those of you who live closer. I’m kind of grateful (but envious) that I haven’t been put in this situation …lol.

    I would LOVE someone to ask RA what level of support from fans he would find helpful in terms of expressions of appreciation/ stage door appearances etc.

  18. Great post! I would be standing at the stage door, it’s a tradition, I believe, and I would drag you with me. :)

    I don’t care about taking a picture or a picture with him. I am just curious to see him in the flesh. You get a lot of information that way.

    I’ve been around a couple of huge celebrities at small events, and didn’t approach. I am content to worship from a distance. I don’t like to intrude. My friend did go up to one and tell him how much she loved his music. I was too hesitant.

    It actually would be great if at some point RA did state his preferences, cause it makes it so much easier to know how to behave in a chance encounter, etc.

    Oh, and for the commenter who said they’d probably end up seeing the top of his head; I wouldn’t! I have to fight crowds every day here, so I’ve learned a few tricks. It would be even better with an extroverted buddy who is shameless! LOL

    Frenz, perhaps deep down you feel shame/embarrassment about this. Perhaps for some it messes with an image of themselves, as if images are static and permanent.

    I think it’s all just great fun. And if I were loaded with cash, I would fly across the pond to be there just for the hell of it. Adventure is different for everyone. It really goes against my introversion, and against my type. But I want to do things that I feared when I was younger. It’s fun to realise dreams, no matter how crazy they seem to others. Of course, a lot of people are tied down with responsibilties and this is not their time. But one day it will be.

    Oh, and it helps to not care what other people think!

  19. Thanks, pi, and you know I would let you drag me and love every minutes of it. :D

    It’s not so much that I’m worried about what others think, but it totally messes with my image of myself. I am not shy. I might have been shy at one time, but it’s so long ago I don’t remember. Being assertive is second nature, so it’s not about timidity. Arrogantly, if I wanted to go to the stage door and turn on my charm, I could do it. But it’s nice to say to someone that I feel awkward about this, and also, I really wasn’t sure what is appropriate. What’s ironic is that I’ve met a lot of celebrities, but I didn’t seek them out and had a take ’em or leave ’em attitude.


    Obviously, I’ve been a bit conflicted too, but I think it’s good to hear what the others say, and they’ve made some good points. If I hadn’t written this blog and gushed so damned many times, I might not be conflicted. LOL! I am not a gusher doggone it! :D Okay, maybe a little bit.

  20. Just asked my younger daughter who is doing an advanced diploma in stage, screen and muscial theatre about the “Stage Door” meet and greet. She said that if the actor’s don’t want to meet fans, they will either leave by another door or really early so they are not caught OR leave last through the theatre foyer when everyone has either gone home or is waiting at the stage door…lol! Sounds like a game of cat and mouse to me …lol!

    MTA: She said the younger, less experienced cast members absolutely love people meeting them at the Stage Door. Here’s a fun article on Stage Door Etiquette: http://www.bwaybaby.com/1/post/2009/04/post-title-click-and-type-to-edit.html

    Also @pi, you were correct about ETT filming their plays. http://www.bwaybaby.com/1/post/2009/04/post-title-click-and-type-to-edit.html A film of the play would get me off the hook in terms of feeling conflicted about going to the stage door.

  21. Firstly, interesting blog, RAFrenzy. I wonder if the guilt we have also has anything to do with age. Is someone more likely to feel guilty about being fangirly when they have passed a certain age threshold that is considered ‘normal’ to be a fangirl. I’m in my late 20s, and sometimes feel that I may be too old for these sorts of things.

    I too am a coward, maybe some would call that pride. So, I don’t think I will openly gush or ‘throw myself’ at a celebrity. I am more inclined to stand aside, look and be envious of the more extroverted fans. He isn’t totally against the idea of fans approaching him, I have read about his generosity so many times. That said, I dont think we shoud take advantage of it either. But, as long as you do it tastefully, I don’t see why not.

  22. Welcome, Liz. You may be right about the age thing. But I think mine is more about my kids, which certainly goes along with the age thing. I have an image to uphold, so I can use it for assorted guilt trips later. LOL! I can’t have them finding out I’m a nut. :D

  23. When I saw that vid I felt somewhat bad for him when the huge flash of one of the cameras went off in his face, at the middle of the vid I think.Then other people had their cellphones right in his face too. I think that is too much, they made me cringe.

    If I could go to see a play I would certainly go to the stage door to wait for him, try to see him and probably say “hi! I love your work” and if I feel like taking pictures I certainly wouldn’t do it in his face.

    On the other hand in the vid he keeps smiling, a little embarrassed IMO, but he is still gracious. He might have gotten used to it.


  24. That’s the moment I became terribly uncomfortable. I felt like a voyeur when all these beefcake pictures have not made me feel that way. The difference is that he was not in control of that mob and he was in control of the parts he’s played.

  25. @mulubinba

    Oh, good! :)

    @Frenz and OML

    I wonder though. He knows what comes with the territory. I imagine that as much we may feel being embarrassed being all ‘fangirly’ (not sure what that entails), perhaps he just feels as embarrassed as much being the object of so much attention. Heh. I’ll have to write a post entitled, “A Study in Embarrassment”. This is rather novel!

  26. @mulubinba, that etiquette study sounds interesting, I never even knew a notion like that existed =) It’s only right to establish certain norms for fans to abide by. Too bad the majority of fans are not educated in taht matter at all.
    @Liz, can I second your post? You just took the words out of my mouth,I feel like I am your twin: in my late 20s, tend to stand aside, envious of others’ extraversion, either too proud or too cowardly to walk the line along with them. Especially, because that makes you be completely lost in the crowd of fangirlish faces, thus for the actor you are merely one of those fans fixed on grabbing a photo or yelling how much you adore them, nothing more. I like to preserve my exceptionality.

    I still refrain from watching that YT vid. I know it’ll make me feel bad for RA blinded by all those flashes, even though he accepts it with utmost tolerance and grace as he usually does. I don’t like to see him embarrassed.

  27. @cresmix hello twin, here’s to standing aside and sulking. We don’t achieve anything from it, but hey, we’re exceptional ;)

  28. […] well as a cell phone video of him standing in line to get on the bus to the after party. RAFrenzy writes about the latter, and, as so often, describes exactly how I felt. Like her, I worried about my hypocrisy. When the […]

  29. @cresmix, I love the idea of a union of Armitage fans. Maybe we could engage in collective bargaining, get an insurance plan, and occasionally demonstrate!

  30. […] Yes, that’s my way of saying, it’s not my thing. I’m still the person who wrote this. Share this:PinterestTwitterFacebookTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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