A Hot Spur, If You Will

[click to enlarge]

FanstRAvaganza continues!

Please remember this is all part of a large conversation. Today’s Conversation found here.

Back later (yes, today) to continue my part of it.

I Think Therefore I Am a Great Actor

Continuing on with my contribution to FanstRAvaganza 3:

I’m not going to pretend I understand all there is to know about Richard Armitage. Someone said earlier it would take at least a “40 parter” for that. May I suggest the parts would be infinite. I believe that’s the case for all of us. We are all complex. Some just make themselves look simple and in the doing of that lose our interest. Just know that this series is my attempt to shed a little light on what I’ve learned about this fascination with Richard and his characters. Also, there is no way I can do justice to Constantin Stanislavski, Bertold Brecht or Edward Gordon Craig within the confines of a blog post nor even a week of blogging on them. But I can highlight some salient points with respect to our guy.

When I first became aware of Richard Armitage, I just let myself enjoy the sensations his performances created in me. My greed for those feelings had me watching some of his shows over and over and over, and it wasn’t uncommon for me to feel like I was taking a drug. I’m fairly sure I appeared slack jawed to anyone who might have observed me in the process or shortly thereafter. And each time I came down from the high, I would intensely question myself about it. A common question was: how old am I? Never mind. :D The point is that I was old enough to know better than to be silly about some actor.

After I passed the initial euphoria, I had to explain (at least to myself) what had created it. A good looking guy with a great voice in a romantic role? That was it? I’m not quite so air headed or needy for male affirmation that it would generate this reaction. So I went in search of others who had a similar reaction. I lurked the forums for months, and there were some wonderful fan writings about the impressions Richard Armitage had made. Many others were overwhelmed by what they were seeing, but none of them (at least that I read) captured what was niggling in my brain, and candidly, I became frustrated by some of the rhapsodizing. I wanted it to answer me, and it just seemed like some were the same things said about every other good looking or compelling actor. I did watch other actors I appreciate for comparison — Edward Norton in ‘American History X,’ Gary Oldman in ‘My Immortal Beloved,’ Sean Penn in ‘Dead Man Walking,’ Russell Crow in ‘The Insider,’ Daniel Day-Lewis in ‘My Left Foot,’ ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being,’ and ‘In the Name of the Father’ and even Jimmy Stewart in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ All great performances, but it was abundantly clear they all had great writing and/or stories to propel them. Even with that, none of them had quite the same effect on me as Richard Armitage in much lesser roles and with less adept writing.

And what was the effect? An identification with something so real it made me feel I was there with the character and seeing the situation through his eyes. Some of those roles above had moments of that, but none were able to make me almost continuously see the story through their eyes — feeling their pain or frustration or joy or elation — as I have watching Richard Armitage. The only thing that has frequently had this effect on me is reading a well crafted book where a character or a scene has gotten inside my head, and I’m with them and in them, and sometimes I have to read books or parts of books again and again to experience the thrill of that moment of connection.

The scene in The Sun Also Rises where Jake is in the church trying to pray and then steps out into the sunlight is one of them. If there was ever a scene that I consider orgasmic, it’s that one. It nearly took my head off. There are others which come close, but that one I can barely speak of without almost having a meltdown, and I even got misty eyed typing these last few sentences. But with Richard Armitage, I was taken to that place of connection with almost no words. It was in his action:

Action or rather movement was integral to Craig, “theatre has sprung from movement.” Notice he doesn’t say words were the impetus. He does give deference to writing as the body of a play but movement was so important that he suggested the need for an Uber Marionette (sometimes described as inhuman) as the perfect actor who could be controlled by the director of a piece in order to achieve its vision. Richard Armitage has spoken several times of the importance of movement and his body to his craft, and he’s even spoken of smoldering with his back. Anyone who has seen the first episode of Robin Hood Series 3 knows how effectively he can use it:

But it is Stanislavski who explains how he is able to use his body to such great effect:

“if actors really mean to hold the attention of a large audience they must make every effort to maintain an uninterrupted exchange of feelings, thoughts, and actions among themselves. And the inner material for this exchange should be sufficiently interesting to hold spectators. The exceptional importance of this process makes me urge you to devote special attention to it and to study with care its various outstanding phases.”

Through Tortsov the Director he goes onto explain about self-communion, which is a way of facilitating intercourse within yourself and specifically between your brain and feelings, and communion between individuals, which requires you to first seek out the other person’s soul and inner world. At the train station when John Thornton looked at Margaret Hale, I felt he was looking at her soul, her inner world, and mine too. He was getting in my head.

I’m tired, and I’ve still got more to say, but I bid you adieu for now. More of this later. And hey, I got some pictures in this one. :D

Today’s Conversation found here.

edit: the thoughts in this post continue here.

It’s All About Richard Armitage, Baby!

What?! FanstRAvaganza! Starts March 12th. Wait. You’ve never heard of Richard Armitage? He’s the guy on the header, and the sidebar, and here:



and also here:

Click on any of the pictures for more, and if that’s not enough, join me for Fanstra. Yep, it had to be abbreviated since I kept misspelling it, which I’ve finally figured out is due to almost every letter being typed with the left hand.

Okay, some of the posts this week will be about his fans, but it all leads back to him. :D

Screencaps and still from RichardArmitagetNet.com

Lovely Facilitator

I’ve been talking about the wonders of technology, and specifically what it can do for us. This invention has me thinking all sorts of possibilities for keeping my Richard Armitage obsession well fed but not in plain sight:

Facial Recognition Billboard Only Lets Women See The Full Ad

By Yi Chen on February 21, 2012

A new kind of outdoor advertisement is being trialled on Oxford Street in London’s West End. The interactive advertisement uses a high-definition camera to scan pedestrians and identify their gender before showing a specific ad. The built-in system has a 90 per cent accuracy rate in analyzing a person’s facial features and determining if they’re a male or female.

Read the rest here

I need one of these devices in several rooms of my home, and when I walk near, I see something like this:

But it would have to be sophisticated enough that when SO walks near, he would see this:

which would ensure he asks no questions about the awkward looking contraptions spread throughout the house.

And maybe there’s a workaround for Servetus’ difficulty:

The sensing unit mounted on the lectern with the display on the back wall behind the students? And perhaps with rotating images of Richard Armitage so she would not become dazed by her ogling. But of course if the students happen to look, they would see this:

The only downside I foresee is the students becoming confused by her spontaneous diagramming of Luther’s pants?

RA screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com. Other images in the public domain.

Can’t Get Off of This

I have a serious (no, it’s a semi-serious, oh heck, it’s a snark) piece about Lucas North. But I’m saving it for later after I’ve gorged my imagination on Richard Armitage and food. I’m also wondering if all of you have a favorite food you like to eat while watching him — animated or stills. Or perhaps you have a food for him animated and one for him in stills. Bring it on, and yeah, I’m going to tell you mine. :D

Actually, I have a food for each of his characters.

Harry — blackberry cobbler, which is sweet with a zing, and topped with some ice cream.

Monet — some sort of white wine, and does it matter what I eat with it?

Guy — a big chunk of devil’s food cake with lots of hot fudge slathered on top or a steak.

Lucas — blackened red snapper. Fish and chips don’t quite fit him.

John Standring — cheese (any kind) before the transformation and some pudding after.

John Porter — Masgouf and falafel on the side, which I can pop in my mouth as I watch all the episodes in one sitting.

John Thornton — beef stew and later some sort of cream pie (I’m not particular) at the finale.

Ricky — definitely fish and chips, and the greasier the better.

Alex — what else but orangesicles.

John Mulligan — dry toast with nothing on it. Maybe a little butter. And some black coffee.

Heinz — Not sure about this one. No German foods seem to really fit him. I’m at a loss. I did eat nachos and popcorn on my first viewing. Perhaps some German chocolate cake (it’s my favorite cake), or is that too lame?

Yes, I’ve left out a few. Have to think about them some more, but for now I’m thinking about the future:

Thorin — carne asada tacos al carbon. Oh yeah! And something later that’s topped with a chocolate mole. Or I could eat a 1/2 pound cheeseburger in honor of Peter Jackson.

edit: I meant to list one more! Paul — pistachio nuts ’cause they’re salty and a little sweet, and I can’t stop eating them even when I know I should.

Graphic courtesy of Teena via RichardArmitageNet.com

Widows on the Web

One of the ways I’ve connected to other Richard Armitage fans is through their fan fiction, and when I stumbled onto the GuyxMarian community at Livejournal in late 2008, a new addiction was born. :D I found a treasure trove of stories to keep me well occupied with the continuing saga of Guy and Marian, and the first Gisborne fiction I read was by Spikesbint (some of you may know her as Angelfish69 or the Admin of Armitage Daily or simply Angela). Little did I know how high she would set the bar with “Prisoners of Circumstance.” It is a tightly written story that resolves GxM in a way that left such a warm feeling when I first read it. Still feeling it after three plus years. LOL! But it was a story that became even more satisfying because it’s complete. Thank you, Angela.

Another one I read early on was “Fallout”*. Bookishy, the author, has done a great job capturing the Guy and Marian characters and potentially making them something else, and I would love to see how she develops them further, but the piece remains incomplete. It has not been updated since 2009. Maybe her imagination got distracted by something. I do give her credit for that possibly being the case. But dammit! I want the ending of that story, and I hope she’ll come back and take mercy on all of us and finish it. I’ve been waiting to say that for almost three years! :D

I wish “Fallout” were the only story left dangling or at least one of just a few fan fictions that remain unfinished, but there are many stories waiting for an ending. That frustrates me, and I’m not alone. A couple of years ago a friend of mine, who is also a fan fiction writer, posted her frustration about it on IMDb. I told her when I was starting this blog that I was going to save what she wrote and post it at some point. She was fine with that, and I’m not only posting it, but making it a permanent page on my blog. Not because I have an ax to grind with fan fiction authors. Not at all. I’ve loved witnessing people trying their hands at writing and have marveled at the imaginations and abilities of many of you. In fact, your efforts were part of the impetus for this blog. Which brings me to the real point of this piece.

I do not want my Diary of an RA Fan to be a widow on the web — something that starts but eventually goes nowhere. At one point in the life of this blog, I was thinking about scrapping my diary entries as they are not really conducive to publication and have to be heavily edited. I’ve pondered for a long time about finishing, and several of you have counseled me about that and several of you have sent me notes asking me for more entries. I thank all of you for your input. I started and I’m going to finish! But I need the fan fiction page to keep me focused.

As to fan fiction, I plan to say a lot more about it this year. In the meantime, some words of wisdom from broughps.

Graphic by Angela.

Vidders to Watch

Richard Armitage is now a channel on YouTube and boasting a few thousand videos. I was scanning the ones at the top, and there are a lot of great ones in the popular category; however, there are some you may not see unless you go through all 3,000+. I’m here to help. :D With this post I’m beginning a series called “Vidders to Watch”. It will be a periodic feature of videographers who often stand out either with their vision of a video, pushing the envelope with a technique, clean and sharp editing, or all of these. The series was born out of fans’ requests for lists of the best vidders. I’ve emailed lists numerous times and love doing it, but these posts will be for those who wonder yet never ask.

When I was deciding to run this series, one of the first vidders who came to mind was JulietD001. Her videos are usually clean and highly stylized. She also takes chances and is not afraid to provoke and possibly offend. One of her videos is on my Top 10. It’s in color, but I’ve become partial to her black and white pieces. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out her Robin Hood videos and all the others as well, and for more information about her, see Maria Grazia’s blog, Fly High.

I have more of these posts planned, but feel free to make suggestions.