Richard, I Still Love, Love, Love, You

Okay, so I got that out of the way, or maybe not. I may have a fake fan letter in me before I quit this post.  But in the meantime, I have to say something again (that for strangers reading who don’t understand the magic of Richard Armitage fandom) is the massive key to the fandom’s appeal. It’s about the friends.  Oh make no mistake fandom can be a rough and tumble world. A bully or two exists, and sometimes there’s some weirdness, but all of that is eclipsed by some wonderful people, who don’t want to do anything other than be a friend.  Love, love, love that.  It is the stuff that makes the world go ’round.  And all you need is love, and then you can die happy even if you’re old and decrepit, and a lot of other things have gone to crap.  If you have friends whom you love and they love you, that’s enough.  It makes a person rich in ways money can never touch. Money can never touch it…money can never touch it.

During my time as a fan, I’ve had the great privilege and pleasure to become friends with some really fine people.  And if there is anything that I am thankful for the most in my time yukking it up with other Armitage fans, it’s these friends.  They are all unique, but they do share some things in common that I find highly satisfying.  Of course they all like Richard Armitage. Duh. They all love to laugh — a lot. They appreciate good food.  They all ponder much more than their frequent laughter would suggest.  They care deeply about their family and friends.  They all love going new places and meeting new people, so they are not afraid to talk to strangers.  And that’s where I came in.  They talked to me, someone whom they had never met nor even heard my voice. But we had a point of understanding in our being moved by the performances of Richard Armitage and his continued effect on us and why, why, why were we so affected?!

And we still discuss that today after years of knowing each other. I’m not sure we will ever get the answer, and I don’t know that we ever want to sum it up. It’s too much fun talking about it.  In that interest, one of the friends wanted me to see Love, Love, Love. I told her I her I would try, then I wasn’t sure, and then I told her I couldn’t.  I am a tightwad by nature. I don’t mean being stingy with others, but I learned at a young age how to say no. And so I said no to the Richard Armitage play.  I had a business to run and cash flow to worry about and yes, some horrendous medical bills to pay off, so I could not justify taking a trip to New York to watch Richard Armitage in a play — no matter how lovely the thought.

But one day back in the summer, Armitage Besotted called me up and asked again, “Do you think you will come to New York for the play?”  My answer was the same, and then she asked me what would keep me from it.  Most of it had to do with not being frivolous with money, and she said, “Well, don’t even think about it. It’s on me.”  I immediately said, “No, no, I can’t accept that. I appreciate it, but I can’t accept that.”   I was overwhelmed by this. Seriously.  It completely took me aback.  I was not expecting anything like this, and I didn’t feel I could accept. Then I remembered something my father said, “When a person is moved to give you something out of the kindness of their heart, and you know it’s not manipulated, accept it. To not accept it is an affront. It’s saying, ‘You’re not good enough to give me something.'” All of that ran through my head as she was saying this to me, and I was struggling with it because it was such a huge gesture. In fact, I’m still reeling from it and feel a great need to express how I feel about it all:

AB,

This fan letter is for you.

My friend, you will never know how much what you did moved me. I’m just sorry it’s taken me three weeks to talk about it publicly. I do want you to know that even if you hadn’t done it, I consider you a great friend. Whatever all this Richard Armitage stuff is about, I’m glad we know each other most of all.

And whether you realize it or not, God had a hand in it. I was able to facilitate the resolution of an issue that I didn’t even know existed until I was coming to New York. It resolved rather satisfactorily and in a way that I could never have anticipated it happening. God’s hand was all over it. So you and your big heart were a divine instrument. We can talk more about this later.

For now just know that it was a unique experience to be that up close and personal with Richard Armitage’s chest. And how could I not when I was this close to the stage?!

love_love_love-stage-roudabout_theatre

And thank you for making it possible for me to meet some other fans whom I’ve conversed with online on several occasions and some on many occasions. In particular, thank you for the opportunity to meet Abby aka AwkwardCeleb. We’ve known each other online for a long time but had never actually met until we had dinner before the play. Thank you, thank you! Abby is a sweetheart just like you, and as so many others were who were at our table. I enjoyed you all and wish I could have spent much more time with you!

Love,
Your friend and fellow Armitage admirer

For those looking at that photo, just know I was on the front row (pretty much center) and that the stage was about three feet from my seat, so that the edge of it was eye level, and if I had reached out my foot, I could have touched it easily. In fact, I think I did that just for grins.

I will give my impressions of the play in another post. I look forward to that! But this post is the most important to me.

I Have a Smile on My Face

Richard-Armitage-and-Marlise-Boland-iChat
Armitage Besotted called me several nights ago to say, “Get out of your sickbed and look at Marlise Boland’s interview with Richard Armitage!” I could hear a grin in Besotted’s voice, but I couldn’t watch the interview ’cause I was that sick. But the next day I loaded up the two videos, and then sat there with a smile growing on my face while I watched. It seems Marlise has figured out how to get our guy to be very at ease, and I base that on my impressions and some Besotted also pointed out:

  • He accepted her compliments about his performance in The Crucible without protest or deflection: “It’s the moment when you realize that you’re an actor.” “It makes you vibrate, and the audience feels it, too.” “It’s sort of the bit that happens between the writer and the actor channeling it, and it’s sort of somewhere in mid- air between you and the audience, and they catch it. It’s really the ___ (mumbles an indecipherable word).”
  • He spoke on his career and his recent film and theater choices as if he were sitting with a friend: “I’m an ensemble player, and I know it. I’m not a big entertainer, and I’m not somebody who likes to put their head above the parapet, above everybody else.” “I feel quite fulfilled actually.” “I feel like my career’s always been a slow burn. I’m a slow developer. I went to drama school very late. I’m not an impatient person. I’m very, very patient. Id rather have it when it’s right than too soon. As long as I’m fulfilled and it’s inspiring me, I’m very happy.”
  • He made a willing admission that he’s changing his behavior after visiting Brazil: “Show your emotions.” “Show how happy and excited you are.” “Show you have a feeling. I’ve got to say, it felt good.”
  • His voice and expression were soft and incredulous and intimate when he revealed the highlight of his year: “…the opening night of The Crucible.” Pause. “…it’s an amazing feeling when an audience gets to their feet.” (The smile on my face at this point was huge, and it thrilled me Meg was able to in some respects capture his reaction.)
  • He trusted her enough to flirt with her and give her openings:
    A: “Do you think you have one question that no one, no one would have asked?” M: “Thorin: boxers or briefs?” A: “Neither.” Pause, louder: “Neither.” Both giggle.
    A: “Thorin’s Box of Joy — sounds a bit rude,” said with a bit of a leer.

Besotted and I went on to talk about how proud we are of Marlise. Like her we are both women entrepreneurs who have run successful businesses and know how incredibly hard that is. It’s always hard to start with nothing or almost nothing and make something. Then to be out there on your own doing it over and over again without an institution or a machine is one helluva piece of work and requires someone to be sharp almost 24/7. Mostly it requires someone to have a personality that can inspire trust and confidence. I would say Marlise Boland has done that very well with Richard Armitage.

If I’m being really candid, I would say she’s done what some of us have longed to do — sit down and have a chat with Richard and one where he’s not just rattling off the standard responses. Oh sure, some of the things he said in this interview he has said before, but there was an ease and sincerity and a type of intimacy with Marlise that was striking.

And it should come as no surprise that I had a favorable reaction to Marlise’s interview considering what I’ve said earlier.

Marlise,

Thank you, and keep it up. You Go, Girl!

Signed,
A new fan

P.S. I should have written something about your first interviews with RA which I also liked, and these new ones are even better.

For those who may not know, I call these cyber letters of mine “fake fan letters” because when I write them, I usually have no expectation the addressees will see them. It’s merely another way to express what I’m thinking, and yes, sometimes they’re done for a laugh. This one is very sincere.

Note: very often in this fandom, I have refrained from reading or hearing what others think before I can take my own impressions of something. Of course nothing is ever assessed without any influence from elsewhere in my life, but I try to remain free for a time of other fans’ thoughts. I was tempted to read the take others had on this interview given the angst from quite a few months ago. I even momentarily clicked on some links and then immediately backed out. Now that I’ve said what I think, I will take some time to peruse other posts, and if our group is anything like in the past, I’ll agree with some, disagree with others, but I’m sure all of it will make me think.

I hope all of you are doing well, and I want you to know that I am grateful to those of you who kept reading my neglected blog and to those of you who sent me prayers and words of encouragement. It did encourage me. Thank you again!

edit:

For those who haven’t seen the interview, there you go:

and:

An Open Letter to Peter Jackson

November 3, 2014

Sir Peter Jackson
Wingnut Films
Wellington, NZ

Re: Kiwi Dwarf Cast’s Inclusion in the BOFA World Premiere

Dear Sir Peter:

This last weekend I wasn’t sure what to think about the BOFA premiere controversy concerning the Kiwi actors. Facebook pages and fan websites are not the most accurate places to determine what’s going on. Oh, they can be at times, but they aren’t always, and with something this inflammatory, I withheld an assessment until a more reliable source came to the fore.

Yesterday morning I read the NZ Herald, and it became obvious the powers that be at Warner Brothers have made a faux pas, and it doesn’t matter what has gone before. It doesn’t matter if these actors did or didn’t negotiate travel expenses for a trip to the final premiere, or whether WB ever intended to send them or not. The important thing here is there has been an underestimation of the will of the fans — that the dwarves are all expected to be at the BOFA world premiere.

We fans have not only been on this journey to see where the Hobbit movies would take us, but we have also been on an odyssey with this cast through the video logs you so graciously provided and the other tie-in materials which shared quite a bit of these actors’ experiences making the movie. Given all of that, it only seems fitting to end this trip as it began — with the cast being all together in a sea of welcoming fan love at the premiere instead of being shunted off to a dark corner now that their usefulness is done for Warner Brothers. A comparison to the marginalization of the dwarves in Tolkien’s classic will surely not escape the fans’ notice if the latter is done.

You may wonder why I’m addressing this letter to you. Given that you understand the significance of fan fervor, I believe you are the obvious choice to hear this fan appeal, and to in turn characterize it for WB. And perhaps you have already pled the case. Whether you have or not, I come prepared to lend some help that hopefully will yank this situation into perspective at a glance and bring others into the collective thought that it’s only fair to include all of the cast at the world premiere.

To wit (click to enlarge):

londonandbackagaininfographic

Signed,
A crazy fan who appreciates fair play

Infographic courtesy of my collaborator extraordinaire, Armitage Besotted.

A Little More About the Pinter/Proust Reading

I’ve been talking to Armitage Besotted about the Pinter/Proust reading (which I will henceforth call “the reading”). But first a little background. I’ve gotten to know Armitage Besotted well enough over the last several months that I think we can damn near finish each other’s sentences. But mostly we laugh a lot. I love that! I hope we can keep it up for a long, long time.

So about “the reading,” I was talking to Armitage Besotted about what went down and knowing what I now know of her chutzpah and humor, I believe this account, which I’ve sprinkled with my commentary:

Me: Did you at least get to meet Richard Armitage and talk to him?

Besotted: Hell, yes — I’m the one who got him to come out and greet us! Well, I’m not sure I’m solely responsible, but I’m taking full credit.

Me: ROFLOL!! What?!

Besotted: We were waiting in the lobby afterwards, because someone saw on Twitter (apparently, the source of all authoritative info now) that there was going to be a “reception.” Not quite. The “reception” was an invitation-only thing in a closed-off room for people who put up the money for the play.

Many of the fangirls were ready to give up and go home at that point. Geez, people, you need me to show you how to grow New York balls. I accept this self-appointed role for the fandom going forward, by the way.

Me: Teach me! Teach me! LOL!

Besotted: Let me finish! So I craned my neck to look in the reception room and saw a cocktail-party-like setup. Knowing Armitage hates that kind of crap, I thought to myself, I bet he would rather come out in the lobby and talk to fans if he knew we were here.

So I went back into the theater to see if there was anyone who might have backstage access. I chatted up a woman who was hanging around. I asked her if she would deliver a message to Richard Armitage, and she smiled and said “Yes,” so I said “Would you tell him that there are some fans out front who would love to meet him? 5 minutes. That’s all it will take, and we will not behave like assholes.” She laughed, and I said, “Please repeat that verbatim.”

10 minutes later, he came out!

I had positioned myself right at the door to the party room, so I had first shot at him. He had a bit of an I’m-ready-to-be-assaulted-now flustered look on his face, so I figured “he wants someone to take charge” (everyone does, this is the first lesson in assigning yourself the I’m-in-charge job), so I called out “Mr. Armitage, we would like to meet you over here.” He came over to me and my group.

I shook his hand and said, “Thank you for everything,” and I can’t even tell you what he said. He was in “rope line” mode — eyes darting around, murmuring niceties on auto pilot (“Awww, thank you,” “Oh this is nice,” or whatever), right hand hovering with pen. I wasn’t shoving a camera at him or following the formula, and I swear he was thinking, “Where’s your poster? Where’s your book?” Ha ha ha!

He stayed for 30 or 40 minutes, talked to everyone there and posed for pictures. He was very gracious. (And gorgeous. So gorgeous to look at for 30 minutes. Sigh.)

Notallwhowanderarelost2 reminded me of the best part in her post — there were no paid autograph seekers pushing posters over other peoples’ heads, no professional photographers, no people yelling “Richard! Richard! Look over here!”

Have you seen that 3-minute clip from the LA premiere where he just stands there posing, cycling through his various smiles, while photographers shout, SHOUT directions at him? It makes me cringe. I don’t know how performers resist rolling their eyes at that nonsense, but they have to or there would be pictures out there of them rolling their eyes. (Now that’s a performance.)

There was excited hubub, naturally, but it wasn’t overly loud and everyone behaved nicely. The fans helped each other with moving to the front of the line, taking photos, etc.

I’m proud of us New Yorkers. As promised, we did not behave like assholes, and a good time was had by all.

I wonder how quickly Richard Armitage will become a New Yawker? :D

Another Reaction to the Hobbit Fan Event

I’m enjoying these fan reactions. Whether they paint a complete picture of Richard Armitage or not, they’re still interesting, and in the interest of a little diversity (especially in light of the recent Esquire Magazine release), below is Armitagebesotted’s unabashed reaction to seeing internet crush Richard Armitage for the first time live (at the Hobbit fan event in New York). If you’re prone to Armitage Protection Mode, you may want to think twice about reading this. Why? Because you need to read the whole thing and not trip and then quit reading after the opening paragraph.

He’s just a guy — who looked anxious, and uncomfortable, and squirmed like a bug being examined under glass. He’s clearly an introvert (not shy, Google the difference) who hates these things. He picked at his cuticles,wriggled in his seat and ducked his head self-consciously to the point that I actually felt guilty for participating in making him miserable by being an audience member.

But that didn’t stop me from staring. Steadily. For 45 minutes. (I missed a lot of the movie stuff and totally tuned out Anderson Cooper.)

I’m sorry, Richard. Please forgive me my obsession. I’m besotted, and I can’t help myself.

Others have written good descriptions of the lines, security, etc., so I’ll skip that. These are my further impressions:

Meeting fellow fangirls was the best, but I found the fan event presentation itself a little…underwhelming. It was disorganized and unrehearsed, and that was painfully obvious. All three “talents” (Bloom, Armitage and Cooper) looked like they desperately would have liked some direction, but they made the best of it.

RA’s introduction was buried in clapping for Bloom (RA deserved a solo entrance!), and there was no “ending.” Bloom, Armitage and Cooper just popped off their chairs as the sneak peeks started and slunk out of the theater in the dark — all three of them. We didn’t get to clap goodbye.

But we clapped, hooted and hollered the whole time they were on stage, so really, what did they miss?

There was a substantial amount of dead air. Several times, while waiting for the images from the other cities to appear on screen and to sync up, we in the audience were entertained by the crawl of Twitter messages at the bottom of the screen, including our own. I prodded my seat mates to put something out so we would see how long they took to appear (only a few minutes.)

My favorite was: “LOOK my tweet is on the big screen!!!” Janine Pineo’s tweet got a major rush of recognition, causing the three on stage to look up like, “Huh? What are they clapping for?”

There’s a story in there about the existentialism of supplementing the actual “event” (live people on stage in front of you) with your own stage-ignoring activity (fumbling with a gadget) in order to “participate” in the event. Or does that mean WE were the event? I will leave that to others to analyze.

Often, the theater was kind of quiet while Cooper listened to whatever was coming through his earphone and Bloom and Armitage squirmed. I was thinking it would be entertaining to give Armitage a phone book and ask him to read out loud to us. Or a Chinese restaurant menu. Too bad I didn’t have the guts to yell that out. Instead, I’m lamely putting it out now, as if I actually pulled off a good joke.

Speaking of yelling, people were heckling Anderson Cooper — Anderson Cooper, I tell you! Out of over-excitement, boredom or antsy-ness, I’m not sure which.

Bloom and Armitage spent most of their time looking down at their monitor, which was below the stage, in front of us, so that provided another weird disconnect. We’re right in front of them, and they weren’t looking at us.

We were looking at them, though. Non-stop. With comments. Bloom loved it. Armitage hated it.

Richard only got to speak once, but, of course, he made the most of it and was wonderful.

He’s very thin again. Thinner than last month in LA. Lucas North thin. His jeans were loose. I thought he looked tired and, dare I say it, frail.

The images of Richard on screen, on the other hand, were fabulous — and drew cheers from our crowd repeatedly. He and Orlando stood in the back during the trailer that opened the show and today I read that they watched the scenes from the movie which closed the show from the back, also. RA had to be gratified to hear us scream wildly every time he appeared. Bloom got his clapping, too, but there was no mistaking that this was a Richard Armitage audience. The roar each time Thorin appeared was LOUD.

Gripe, gripe, gripe. Having unloaded all my complaints, I will also throw in a few compliments. I can’t imagine, but do appreciate, the technology and technical support behind pulling off this event. Actually, we got one clue; there were four semis with satellite dishes on their roofs outside our theater in New York.

The 20 minutes of footage from the not-yet-released film which Peter Jackson wrangled out of Warner Brothers was a true gift to the fans. I do like to see anyone best entertainment conglomerates, so “Go, Peter!” Please continue to prove that the “creatives” who invent the “content” are in charge, not the financiers and the promoters.

Ooops, is my snarky, skeptical side showing? The marketing element of this “event” was inescapable. We all signed waivers….

The best part of the experience was meeting other fans and connecting on-screen fake names with real people and real names (which will not be revealed here.) This fandom’s dedication is mighty impressive. When I found myself between a woman who had driven overnight from Michigan and two who had flown from Chicago and Idaho, respectively, I decided to keep to myself how disgruntled I was when my train ran slowly from Times Square to 68th Street, making my trip from Brooklyn take a whole hour.

Frenz’s reaction: Maybe a little APM kicked in on me. LOL!

Dear Rich,

What a pain in the ass to be present at an event that is not well planned and have a bunch of people watching me like a hawk. I probably would have picked my cuticles too and squirmed and just generally wondered when can I get out of here!

But no worries that we don’t love you as you can see how we completely take the organizers to task and never you. :D

The particulars of the event aside, it should be obvious that we all just like to see you in person. Mostly I think because some of us have a hard time believing you’re real and must see for ourselves that you are. You’re like a dream, Man. And if I stop long enough to really think about that, it makes me feel bad for you. That’s a helluva persona to carry around. Who could do that non-stop? Even your toilet joke doesn’t seem to detract from it.

I’ve said enough. Just know I still love you even if you do pick your cuticles.

Signed,
A crazy fan — of yours. A crazy fan of yours.

P.S. You do have some really wonderful fans. I thank you personally for that! I just hate I didn’t get to see any of them this time around.

Like Armitagebesotted, I appreciate the technology of the event and also the dynamics “the powers that be” were trying to accomplish. Maybe it was just too ambitious with not enough time to pull it off. If this is done again, I would bet it will be much better organized. Looking forward to that.

I feel a letter to Sir Peter coming on, so I’ll stop with that line of thinking, or this post will take forever to load!

Before I go, Armitagebesotted and I want to once again thank Library Girl for her graciousness and let her know we both feel ANYTIME we get a chance to see Richard Armitage in the flesh, is a good time!

I understand RA Central has more media and lots of it!

And I’m looking forward to TheQueen’s take on things. No pressure though, Queen, no pressure. :D

Now I’m really done.

A Very Good Problem

For those who haven’t figured it out yet, I didn’t attend the fan event in New York. I was very tempted and especially when Julie (Library Girl) who runs RichardArmitageCentral graciously gave me a ticket. Thank you for that very generous gift! You will never know how much it meant to me for you to do that! But when I reviewed my situation, and all that is going on here, I simply could not get loose to go.

For those wondering, it has nothing to do with SO. He’s doing well. I say he is well; of course it should be said more accurately that he is well for his situation, but we are always on alert as we never know what’s going to happen with him. For now, this week, things are good.

All of SO’s issues aside, I’m in the middle of running a business, and it’s going well enough that I could not take a break to do some fangirling. In fact, on Monday I had a key meeting with a potential client that I had been trying to get for a long time. And if I can get my foot in the door with this person, it could lead to some substantial work with others. As much as I like Richard Armitage and love all of you, I could not justify passing that up in hope the person would meet me at a later date. Now if I’d had bad ass Thorin helping me out, maybe I could have pulled it off!

Bad Ass Thorin

But never fear that my ticket went to waste! Library Girl graciously met Armitage Besotted instead, and I understand they had a grand ole time. Report coming up next.

Promotional poster shot snaffled from CrystalChandlyre’s tumblr

A Worthy Reply

Armitage Besotted has something on her mind, and it’s been niggling at her for a couple of weeks. By the way, I heartily agree with her sentiments.

It started with a post she saw on Armitage Confessions:

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and a comment on the post:

FireShot Screen Capture #128 - 'Richard Armitage Confessions' - richardarmitageconfessions_tumblr_com_post_51648348165#notes

And now Armitage Besotted’s comment:

Yes, listen to ceallaig1 and don’t be intimidated. I have a huge vocabulary which I learned on my own through voracious reading — anything and everything (since age 5), just as she says. Funny thing is, I’m great in writing, but I don’t know how to pronounce half the words I know, so I get self-conscious about using them out loud. See, we all have our millstones! I often get around that, by the way, by just putting it out there. I’ve been known to interrupt myself with “fancy word coming up which I’m not sure how to pronounce….” Then I try a pronunciation and look at my listener expectantly for help. You get to a point in life when you decide that what you know is enough and to hell with anyone else who would try to make you feel otherwise.

Frenz’s thoughts:

As I said, I heartily agree and also think the heady company does wonders for my vocabulary. But honestly, it can require a trepidatious spirit to navigate the verbal forest of RA Universe. :D

Sheesh that was a terrible metaphor. I pictured something prickly on my tongue. My rambling ought to make the author of this particular confession feel good right about now.

note: you have to have a tumblr account to make a reply to a post. Methinks Armitage Besotted may eventually cave to that. Oh, and I titled the piece lest you think that Armitage Besotted has become replete with hubris (someone slap me).

additional note: Would Frenz possessive be Frenz’s or Frenz’? Someone please, please slap me.