A Few Thoughts on Being a Fan

Richard Armitage as Thorin

I enjoy the work of Richard Armitage. Have I been absolutely crazy about everything he’s done? No, and really I doubt I could ever say that about anyone. But for the most part, I have enjoyed his work and obviously think he’s talented and look forward to his future projects. That’s one of the reasons I’m here.

The other reason is that it has been such a great time to talk to all of you and to hear your thoughts as well. Getting to know some of you a little better and becoming friends has been the best part of it. I have formed some really fine friendships in the midst of this craziness and for that alone, this has been worth it.

As far as anything else, I am not part of that class of blogger called a “professional fan.” I have nothing against professional fans. I think I’ve made it clear if people want to do that, go for it! Seriously. But I am not one of those people. I already have something I do professionally, and it has nothing to do with being a fan. In fact, it’s probably boring to most of you, so I won’t bore you with it. It’s probably a good thing I have never used this place to pay the bills ’cause I might not look on it with such lightheartedness.

I also have no desire to be a “big name fan” even though some people have tried to say I am. I am not. Gotten lucky a few times, but anything more is in the minds of others. Yeah, I’m saying I do not see myself that way and the thought is actually laughable to me. The way I see things is this is strictly a fun place for me. It’s an outlet, and I’ve no need of anything else. I’ll be really candid and tell you I’ve had so many awards and accolades in my life — enough to last a few lifetimes — I don’t need recognition here. Whether that sounds cocky or not, I don’t care.

And if I’m taking the bark off the tree, I will tell you I get weary of fans who have this maniacal need to be big name fans. This is not a veiled reference to anyone in particular. Not at all. So please don’t read anything more into what I’m saying. I’m just making commentary on something I’ve seen off and on during my foray into this madness. There are people who get carried away and want to be THE Richard Armitage blogger or site or whatever. When I say this, I’m not talking about people who get excited and post a lot. Hell, I’ve done that. LOL! I’m talking about an attitude, a haughtiness that makes me say, “oh brother,” and it makes me stay very far away from those people. The good news is they eventually burn out because people will not survive as a voice if they do not have the spirit of community. This is even true in business. More so today than probably at any other time because of the Web’s ability to facilitate it. The net of this for fan sites or bloggers is someone who comes with a proprietary attitude toward fandom will probably end up being ignored.

On the other hand, if someone comes in the spirit of collaboration and friendliness, it’s great. This is one reason I so heartily support RichardArmitageNet.com and RichardArmitageCentral.co.uk as major representatives of our fandom. I know the ladies who run those sites, and they are nice, very helpful and approachable and not here for anything other than the pleasure it gives them to provide information for all of you to enjoy their favorite actor. I’m sure there are others I should name, but I have to say thank you in particular to Ali and Julie. Thank you for keeping your heads and not letting some of the fan goofiness infect your views. Thank you for being consistent. Thank you for reaching out and fostering relationships with fans. I believe these are key reasons why you’ve been successful.

Before I go, please know that when I say community, I don’t mean we’re all in lock step. That is so boring. I have never liked it when people have absolutely no difference of opinion. There is nothing thought provoking about that. I like that we may at times disagree about something. I want to hear what you think and why. Maybe there is something I need to learn. That’s how I look at it most of the time. Yes, there are a few times when I think, “No, this is what I think, and I’m pretty firm in it.” But that’s not on most things.

Not sure why I decided to post this. It might have something to do with it being 4:00am as I type this line, and I’ve been up for an hour due to being unable to sleep.

Note: the photo above is not indicative of anything other than I’ve just always liked it. The man at work, all dirtied up and yeah, some chest hair showing. ;-)

Some fun coming up in the next post. :D

Edit: this is what happens when I wake up in the middle of the night and start cleaning out my in-box. o_O

Twitter Adventures

I’m so glad Kathryn shared her experience with us. Check it out:

Convent Capers

March 1, 2012 by kathrynruthd

So where is the best place to stay in York for five friends on a mission to have a weekend of laughing, drinking, and ghost hunting? Apparently it’s a convent. Yes, that’s right, a convent…and a working one too!

So where is the best place to stay in York for five friends on a mission to have a weekend of laughing, drinking, and ghost hunting? Apparently it’s a convent. Yes, that’s right, a convent…and a working one too!

The weekend was planned long in advance but trying to find a cheap place to stay for only one night is not very easy in York, so we opted to stay in the rather charming Bar Convent. It is, in fact, England’s oldest convent but in recent years they’ve started offering bed and breakfast accommodation and also run a cafe. My single room was very small, as you might imagine a nun’s cell to be, but it had everything you expect to find in a hotel room and was warm and comfortable. I would not hesitate to stay there again or recommend it and I don’t believe I have ever stayed anywhere so spotlessly clean. Before we arrived, there had been talk of packing wimples but actually, we didn’t knowingly see a single nun the whole time we were there!

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For those who don’t know Kathryn, she’s definitely a Richard Armitage fan, and she writes fan fiction too!

And yes, I’ve seen Sir Peter’s video. Commentary coming soon. : D

Encounters of the Misty Kind

It has to be apparent I love technology and have a special fondness for the Web. But it’s not just because it feeds this info junkie’s habit, it’s also for the people I’ve met. From the first time I participated in a bulletin board using 80 byte files that were appended and all in lovely monochrome display, I’ve been hooked on communicating with people who had a shared interest and wanted to talk about it, to offer some knowledge or glean some knowledge from others. For those who have never participated in something like that, they usually don’t get it. They usually don’t understand that it’s possible to form relationships where you are edified by others whom you never see or hear. I do hate that I can’t hear your voices, and that’s the chief reason I wanted to do voice as my subject for last year’s FanstRAvaganza. I’m deeply affected by what I hear. Much more than by what I see.

But even if I have never heard your voice, I am affected by what many of you have typed into your keyboards, and I’ve come to know some of you and know you’re real people with real lives which have highs and lows. I never forget that when I’m online. So when one of you goes away and there’s no clue as to where you went, it leaves a hole where you used to be. I’m never quite sure what to do with that. Part of me thinks I should adopt society’s demeanor and throw you away and move on, but I’ll never be able to do that, because I don’t want to do that.

Years ago I participated in a forum and one of the members who became an online buddy was a gentleman named Fred. He was a delight and had such wisdom. Everyone on that site loved him, and then one day Fred stopped talking, and for months we wondered what happened. Only one of the forum members had ever talked to Fred offline, and he offered to find out what he could. It was a long time before that member got a response and came back to tell us that Fred had died and his family sent us a message. I’m so glad they did that, and whether Fred really died or not (I’ll never know the truth of that), he was dead to us, and we could mourn him and not just throw him away in our minds.

That incident had such an effect on me that I’ve left instructions with my will that in the event anything happens to me, SO is to get online and say goodbye. When I told him about that, I thought he would laugh, but to his credit, he understands relationships whether online or not and knows how very important it is to gain closure. I’ve now worked with countless people who have experienced death of a loved one, and closure is imperative. If someone can’t say goodbye, they’re never over it. In the case of being online, I think it’s as important for the one leaving cyber space to say goodbye as it is for those left behind. So I hope our friend will at least give herself a chance to say it’s been fun, but I’ve got to go, and take care.

More thoughts on this later and in regard to Richard Armitage and his relationship with fans in cyber space and beyond. For now a close up of a fan’s encounter with RA:

[click to enlarge]

Spooks behind the scenes candid shot courtesy of KuchingGirl