Queue the Ride

I only know the basic plot of Into the Storm, and I know some of the characters damn near get blown away, and maybe some actually do get blown away. Whatever else happens, the cast is enjoying themselves:


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Everyone was smiling at WonderCon:

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And our guy most of all at times:


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He seems happy with what he’s doing. That sense of lightheartedness and joy has run through almost all of his interviews about Into the Storm, and it has made me rethink the movie. I have taken it way too seriously. Sure the subject matter is serious, but then so was the subject matter of ConAir. and somehow that was fun.

I could be so wrong, but Richard Armitage is a bit readable. I don’t mean about everything he does, but oftentimes he reflects the nature of what he’s working on, and with Into the Storm, I see him smiling a lot:

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I’m taking this as a sign we’re in for some fun times come August 8th. And Sharks be damned. :D

In the meantime, I really appreciate Heather sharing her work with all of us. She’s been a wealth of wonderful photos, and dare I say some iconic images of Richard Armitage. It does help that she’s a professional photographer. In fact, I have sometimes forgotten that because she is so laid back about it and just makes it look easy, and she happened to already be working WonderCon. Yay!

I told her I did not want to forget this time, and if you have never had the pleasure of seeing some of her other work, I created a gallery for you all to sample it.

The images above are also in large format (big mothers; I’m warning you, but they’re worth it). Click to access. The remainder of Heather’s photos for this event will be up at RichardArmitagenet.com later today or tomorrow.

Note to Heather: I could swear RA is looking at you in some of these photos. It does help that you’re tall. LOL!

edit: I was tired when I wrote this, hence the misspelling. It so happens I’m getting ready for one of the biggest meetings of my life. If I nail this client, I am going to have a slew of work. It has to go right!! Prayers and good thoughts welcomed.

Not About to Freak Out

Okay, so I skipped a few days in my A to Z blogging. So what. It seems I never got on the official A to Z board, so I don’t think they give a damn what I’m doing.

Do you want the truth of why I haven’t blogged in the last few days or a nice story?

Okay, a nice story it is!

I woke up on Thursday morning last week, and not only did I realize my income tax return was as close to zero as I’ve ever gotten it ($12.00) — yeah, that’s where I don’t have to pay, and the damn government doesn’t get to keep much of my money interest free — but I also made a trip down to the local convenience store where I purchased a lottery ticket. I have not done that in, oh never mind, I just haven’t done it in a long time. Last time I did it, I bought five tickets, and when none of them were winners, I stuck them above the radio in my car where they stayed for about three years so I wouldn’t be so stupid to pay a voluntary tax ever again.

Ever again came the other day and there I was buying a ticket, but this time I got lucky. Yeah, that’s right. I won some money. How much? Enough that I can do whatever I want now. I may even go to London to watch a performance of Richard Armitage in The Crucible. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled by that. And the good news is that I can buy like two weeks or maybe even a month’s worth of tickets in case he happens to get sick for a few nights while I’m there. Wait. That doesn’t sound quite right. Don’t tell SO I said that or that I just can’t stop looking at this:

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click for the big version

Rich,

I know you’re smiling just thinking about my coming to London. Yeah, c’mon, I know it. :D

But I have some bad news. I really didn’t win anything, and I haven’t been around because I’ve been sick as a dog. I’m not sure how sick dogs can get, but it must be bad ’cause this has been a real ass kicker.

Maybe I’ll be fit by the time Comic-Con rolls around — if you’re going. If you’re not, then I might get sick again.

Enough of my bellyachin’, I hope WonderCon was a kick for you. If that picture is any indication, it was. Oh wait. I happened to see a video that I may razz you about later. I think a few bloggers have already, but I may need to weigh in as well. :D

Signed,
A crazy fan who is not crazy about the flu.

P.S. I hope sometime in the near future I can smile like you.

P.P.S. I’ll bet the Crinkle Zone has wet their pants over this photo.

Candid shot courtesy of Heather (that girl needs a website. :D).

Getting Enough Thorin

SPOILERS

thorin[click to enlarge for a sweet screencap :D]

With the advent of Thorin Oakenshield, there are some new Richard Armitage fans. Ohmygosh. I’ve had email and messages aplenty of people looking for his works. They are smitten, and of course I can empathize. After five years of being a fan and three years of blogging about the man, I am still smitten by something about him, and the Why Richard? question is continually near my lips when I encounter new fans. But lately I’ve been asking the question of those fans who have been around awhile, so recently, I asked Heather and love her response:

His face tells a story, and I respect that he applies artistry to achieve this. As someone who makes it a business to convey messages with pictures, I was immediately drawn to that, and it’s such a pleasure to highlight it and in some ways make it richer in a fan video.

If you have not seen Heather’s videos, you need to do yourself a favor and check them out. As for me, I am so glad she chose that medium for expressing her infatuation of Richard Armitage’s talent, since that’s how I even came to know anything about him, and many others have found him the same way. Her videos have become so notable that they have been mentioned a few times in articles about him, but ironically, her most notable fan video is one of her least favorite. It was done as a joke, but she never thought the joke would be on Richard Armitage, who has been teased about it on occasion, most recently in a Glamour UK article, which I had to razz her about. She was mortified too, and said, “Oh God! If I could, I would say to Richard Armitage, ‘I’m so sorry! I was just kidding, but I never meant to embarrass you!'” Oh yeah, right, I know you’re really on his payroll, Heather. ;-)

And I absolutely have to do this whether anyone ever sees it or not ’cause I’m still not going to write a real letter to Richard Armitage LOL!

Dear Richard:

When I read the Glamour article, I wanted to scream what I’m about to say, but I’ve subdued myself. It’s taken me all these months to do so, but I think I’m finally ready to say this to you in a normal tone. Ahem.

You said you weren’t sure what to call those people. They’re called PR people. :D Yep, and the best kind of PR people because they want nothing from you when they express their fan love, if you will.

And I hope you know that Heather has many more videos besides Sexy Back, which is not even close to her best. Maybe you’ll check them all out sometime. In the meantime, a treat:

And if you can’t see this where you are, go here.

Sincerely,
One of your crazy fans who hopes you are glad for the opportunity to blush and be mortified. :D

Since the video is so big, please let the video load completely before playing, or you will probably have it stopping and starting. It also helps if your flash player is up-to-date, and for the one on my site, you should hav Quicktime up-to-date.

note: I’m counting this post as an April A to Z post even though I skipped B through F. So yeah, this is G as well as another post in the Why Richard? series. Man, I love killing two birds. :D

Screencap courtesy of my stash, and making screencaps has never been so sweet with blu ray.

I Finally Had a Richard Armitage Dream

Yep, I finally had a dream about Richard Armitage. Oh yeah, of course I did. ;-)

Last night I was dreaming I went to Comic-Con with hopes of seeing Richard there. In the dream, I envisioned myself interviewing people with an eye toward maybe seeing our guy. Heather, laden with camera equipment, was also with me and we were there trying to do our job — bringing reports and pictures to the fans. Then I woke up a couple of hours ago, and I really was there. :D

Seriously, awhile back I was invited by TheOneRingnet to come to Comic-Con, and thankfully, really was able to bring Heather with me. I want to take this opportunity to thank Larry Curtis for the invitation, and we will do our best to report as much as possible. Heather and I are also doing work for some other sites, and I can’t tell you how good it feels to do something you love as a job!

For those who read this blog, I will be over at TORn, so check there for reporting, and I may get over here some when I can. We’ll see. Right now the whole experience is surreal, and I’m trying to process exactly what is happening! But I adore a challenge, so stay tuned! :D

Note: I ask that you all understand I am not RAFrenzy this week, or should I say RAFrenzied. LOL! Tolkien and the creativity he inspires has put my imagination in overdrive. I told you all awhile back that I was going to do something else in the future, and I am. Creativity is a big part of that. But no worries. I will get pictures of Richard Armitage if I can get into Hall H and anything I get will be posted as part of TORn’s coverage.

Now That’s What I’m Talkin’ About

No Ringo Starr here:

Phew, those shades are growing on me, and I even like the tie now. :D

Obviously, this shot came from Heather’s stash. Her encounter and DiL’s will be up on RichardArmitageNet.Com with more pictures! LOL!

And I’ve learned a new word from Iz4blue — “squeegasm” Oh, yeah, that’s going in the lexicon.

The Vidding Empire

This post gets the public service tag. :D

If you’ve read this blog for more than a few pieces, you know how rabid I am about fan videos, which I’m defining as videos set to music and starring the object of a fan’s attention — someone or something. They got me started on Richard Armitage, and my love for them has become so intense that I’m wondering when these things will gain much more notoriety than they currently enjoy. For now they are not really acknowledged much by the mainstream media, and a good part of the reason is the history of their illicit nature. In my search on the web, I found one piece from a mainstream media source discussing the significance of fan videos, and that was from 2007. Maybe there are a few more, but the key word would be few. However, at some point soon I think fan videos will have more formal recognition. So far for most people who don’t peruse videos sites and are over the age of 25, there has been no awareness these things exist, but that’s changing as more and more people (even your grandmother) are starting to surf YouTube.

Heck, SO’s almost 80 year old parents get on YouTube regularly, and my mother, who by the way, is considerably younger :D, also gets on YouTube. So if you’re 60 and you don’t ever get on YouTube? What planet are you on? ;-)

Actually, I’m assuming most reading this are the choir. So why did I even say that? Maybe there is one out there among you who has not ventured onto a video site for fear it’s just stuff like this:

and you got your fill of this kind of thing on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Oh, you’ve never seen that show? LUCKY YOU. Really wrestling here with the temptation to go on a rant about why I hated that show when it was on, but one rant a week is enough. The show is still on?! God help us.

Of course this is a cute video, and it’s understandable why it’s in the top ten all-time watched videos on YouTube, but c’mon, after you’ve watched it 300 times, you would think it would get old. FYI: a few weeks ago this video passed its four year anniversary, and I can see its lasting effect with the eventual publication of How to Pay For College: The Advantages of Being a Mischievous Teether in the Digital Age by Charles Davies-Carr. ;-)

Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah, fan videos. Well, if you’re new to them, and I’m assuming you’re a Richard Armitage fan since you’re reading this blog, there is only one place to go, and my friends, it’s not YouTube. No, it’s a little place on the web hosted by one of the most intriguing fans, Elvira Sweeney. Here are some things I know about Elvira. She is artistic, prolific, a bit perfectionistic, and definitely industrious. Oh, and she likes RA. :D He was the inspiration for what I now think of as the RA Fan Video Empire, or just The Empire. So what is this place? It’s called RAfanvids, and if you have never been there, oh my are you in for a treat. Now the only proviso I will give you is that you must prep the storage on your computer so you can download to your heart’s content when you get there. You’re not sure about this downloading? No, you’ve got to change that notion. You can’t really enjoy some of these videos without watching a download. YouTube, Vimeo, et al will not give you the quality of a 1080 vid. You can only get the real impact of it by downloading and watching on your system or possibly your tv monitor.

Take this video for example:

You can watch it and love the music and the clips, but you can’t get the full effect of this unless you download and watch. It’s the eyes. You almost fall into them. Can’t get that from watching on YouTube — even in full screen mode. Oh, it’s better than the little window, but not nearly as good as watching your own copy.

Or consider this one:

Want to really feel like that leather is within arm’s reach, download! And of course the eyes are also compelling. By the way this video was done as part of Elvira’s “Vidding on the Cheap” series for all those people who think making videos with an old Mac isn’t possible. Guess again.

This is one of my favorite montage videos, and for good reason. I really feel I’m in the room with RA and he’s looking at me when I watch the download:

This was the video that convinced me I needed to watch everything I could from a download copy. Once I got this one on my computer and started watching, I realized that I had missed so much on YouTube, and if a video is not in a large format, putting the player in full screen doesn’t really cut it either. So I downloaded this one and was blown away. I also realized something about Elvira. She can read people. Anyone who puts as much emphasis on people’s eyes and expressions is focused on reading them. I would love to know what she really thinks of RA other than just liking him so damn much. LOL!

And the next two you haven’t really seen unless you’ve watched a download and especially in 1080. You watch these like that, and you will never be satisified with them on YouTube again.

If you still don’t want to download, you can just watch the videos on that site, and there are quite a few that are not on YouTube. So check it out.

One more thing. If you go over to RAfanvids, you may notice something is absent. But no worries, ’cause Elvira’s got it covered over here. :D (note: the link is an archive page and not all pages linked within it are available).

Candid shot from, uh, I’m not sayin’.

Good Vibrations

Continuing on with FanstRAvaganza. Hope you hang with me. There’s another surprise if you do. :D

Please click to see list of participating bloggers

I assume almost everyone who reads my blog is a fan of Richard Armitage, the actor, but occasionally people who are serious about politics land here looking for some bit of information on the guy who supposedly outed Valerie Plame. I’m sure other RA bloggers have experienced something similar. One visitor in particular, whom I’ll call Tory, was looking for an article about the U.S. State Department official and clicked on the ‘Who the Hell is Richard Armitage?’ post. Her first instinct was to back out, but curiosity got the better of her, and she ended up listening to clips from ‘North and South’ but never made it past those as she was so anxious to load it up on YouTube to watch the whole thing. She is now a fan. LOL! Eventually she sent me a note to share what happened to her, and several weeks ago I asked her to record something for me. She declined as she really is in politics and doesn’t want to make her fascination known. But she gave me permission to share some of her words:

I was just curious enough to press play on the first clip, and then he uttered, “I will be home to dress…” That was the moment I became fascinated. I viewed the entire clip but kept going back to the conversation with his mother. I have never been mad about someone’s voice, but I’m in love with his voice. I’m in love with him! When I knew I was ‘in the bag’ as you say, was listening to the radio play, ‘Clarissa.’ I cannot stomach the book. I cannot stand Lovelace, and I think I despise Clarissa more. Despite this loathing, I willingly sat through a four hour adaptation in hopes of hearing Richard’s Lovelace.

Phew! He does that whisper in his voice to perfection.

For those who have not read nor are familiar with Clarissa, it’s considered to be one of the first novels. Some say it was the first, but I don’t think that’s quite the case. I could be wrong about that. Perhaps one of our resident teachers/librarians will weigh in. Despite its standing in classical literature, I also hate that book! Clarissa is so put upon and silly that it’s hard to really root for her, and this goes on for around 1000 pages. Sheer torture. But as Tory put it, “The best part of the play is hearing Richard Armitage sing!”

When I first heard he was musical and involved professionally in musical theater and before ‘Clarissa’ was produced in 2010, I had been wondering if he could sing, and love or hate Clarissa, it was so worth finally knowing he could. One of the real benefits is that I became a rabid Radio 4 listener. I’m so sorry I did not have the pleasure before. More on this here.

Whether RA could sing or not, from my first introduction to him in early 2008, I wondered what quality it was in his voice that so fascinated me. It took me over a year to pinpoint. Thankfully, in 2009 I decided to stop writing all of my journal entries and record some of them. This helped me capture the thoughts that eluded me when I finally had a pencil in hand. I also quickly obtained some voice to text software so I wouldn’t have to hear myself while transcribing. LOL! Here’s an entry from August of that year:

It’s a wonderful thing about voices…. I was just listening to Sylvester, and I don’t even like those kinds of books….they’re boring, syrupy and talk about Mary Sue?….they’re replete with it. But you know (chuckle), I just love listening to it because of the range Richard Armitage has….It’s finally dawned on me what I really love about his voice. It’s the same thing I love about [SO’s] voice and my son’s voice……there’s a melody in their voices, a song, a possibility. They always seem on the verge of breaking into a song or making a joke……or something. SO can’t sing and my son can’t sing, and I’m not sure if Richard Armitage can sing, but they all share that song in their voices. I don’t mean they sound sing songy but rather the modulation of their voices gives an expectation. And…it’s usually hopeful. I love that.

Yes, I was a bit harsh about Sylvester, but my friends, that’s how I felt. That aside, it’s the expectation in his voice that makes me come back over and over again to hear him. If it were just the deep timbre of his voice, I really could get that from Alan Rickman and so many others. But it’s something way beyond his vocal register, and it was so interesting to hear RA’s take on how he thinks of music and the voice and how he actually used music and in particular singing to help him craft his characters for the audio books! From his interview for The Convenient Marriage:

I always love hearing him talking about his preparation! I also have a soundtrack in my head. Almost everything in life is put to music; it’s a rare day when I don’t put everything to a rhythm. I wonder if this happens naturally with everyone. I really don’t know, but I do know that sometimes this is a curse for me. I wonder if that happens to RA.

If you’re enjoying this, don’t forget to enter the Heyer audio book giveaway. Details here.

Oh, and Tory hasn’t heard that interview clip, and I don’t think she’s seen the picture either. So I’m sure I’ll be hearing from her later. LOL!!

And she and I have come to realize that we not only agree about Clarissa and our fascination for RA but have quite a few things in common including some people we know. It’s been such a treat to get to know her, and she’s far from the only person with whom I’ve been developing friendships due to RA. So many of you I’ve had such pleasure coming to know! One in particular is always so pleasant and encouraging, and her joy is contagious. I wonder sometimes if she realizes what a delight she is. Iz4blue (aka Sinjoor):

Yeah, this is totally cool, and it really is all about the love. So well put.

Iz originally hails from Antwerp, Belgium; we’ve just had the privilege of her being part of the U.S. for the last several years.

By the way, she really does know how to ferret out some of the best videos and fan fiction, and there are so many that it’s good to have a guide. She has worked with Eva over at Wattpad to create an Armitage Fan Club, and it’s a great place to find fan fiction. The best thing about it is how easily it can be accessed from a phone, and for those of us on the go (whether we want to be or not), it’s a boon. Iz has also started a blog where she can bring all of the other good vibrations to our attention easily. With the publication of Sexy Back 3, maybe a top ten of RA montage videos? :D

RA Audio clips courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com and RichardArmitageCentral. Thank you, thank you, ladies for all that you do! I could not have done this post without you.

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com.