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.

Bracing Myself, But Not Quite Yet

Since I’m up again at 3am and bored out of my mind, I come with a revision to a theory. About two weeks ago, I said that we would get news of Richard Armitage’s next project by the end of this month and a good chance it would happen by the middle of the month. I may be erroneously second guessing myself, but I’m going to revise that prediction to the end of September.

I’m changing the timelines because I forgot something key in how Richard Armitage generally does things with his work. And as he’s a creature of habit like most of us, I think he’ll stick to this pattern with his next project. I think an announcement will be more likely in September because we won’t hear anything until it’s something he is already doing or very near doing by the time we hear about it. That means it has to be after The Crucible ends. Yep, that’s what I’m thinking. Any thoughts on what this could be? I’ve been leaning toward the Uhtred role, but I haven’t been paying as much attention to what’s out there as I used to, so I’m curious what y’all think.

Richard,

I’d be happy for you to make a liar out of me and announce something in the next two weeks. Whatever you end up doing, do you think in all your negotiations that you could have mercy on the North American bunch and have a run in The Crucible in New York sometime in the next year? I heard there wasn’t going to be a DVD, so I’m really smarting and need a fix with a live performance.

Signed,
Your Crazy Fan who would gladly make a trip to NYC to see you. :D

P.S. I don’t care when the performance is. I’m just anxious.

Note: I love the pensive photo of Richard, but I honestly don’t know whom to credit for it or the enhancement to it. Help me if you know. Thanks.

Another Word about #VideotheCrucible – Now More Than Ever

Reblogged from Armitage Agonistes

I concur heartily with Perry’s thinking:

In response to this on Me and Richard, in which Servetus points out obstacles against a DVD or transfer of The Old Vic’s production of The Crucible, I have this to add.

The link in the blog was to a New York Post piece( something akin to the Daily Fail, but this was a serious article) about Arthur Miller’s daughter, Rebecca, who is the owner of the rights to Miller’s body of work, and as such, has the final say as to whether or not a production company can mount any of his plays. (Think the ownership maze that affected production of The Hobbit because of negotiations with the Tolkien family.)

In the article, Ms.Miller explains that she is selective about licensing rights to her father’s work.

The rest here

Dreams and the Passing of Time

I’m not quite as up on Google Alerts about Richard Armitage as I used to be, and really there’s no need since so many fan sites keep up. I appreciate that! Plus, it gives me time to do something I really love which is watching videos like this one below from my oldest kid.

She wrote this in a few minutes, taped it and sent it to me. And she’s got about 20 more, since she can’t seem to stop. This one is not perfect, but I love it. Not just because I think it’s a great song and has tons of potential but also for what it represents.

She is pursuing her dreams, which very definitely include a highly artistic facet — writing, photography and music, and who knows what else. It seems when someone is letting their artist flow, it just doesn’t stop. This interview with Viggo Mortensen speaks to the mentality and reminded me of how I really did think as a child — that there were no limits on what I could do or express.

But the kind of focus required for these endeavors has “real life” envious and continually trying to intrude. The ability to ignore real life then becomes paramount to the creative if they are ever to do anything significant. They must learn to hang onto the precious dreams of childhood.

SO and I did not have a great ability with this. We were forever trying to please our parents. Sadly, our parents and others preached such a conservative approach to life that it almost squelched the creative in us. It’s been a fight to keep it alive! Even my father who was fairly unorthodox and highly creative was very conservative when it came to my future. Don’t get a degree in music, don’t play in a band for a living, don’t go off to parts unknown to do photo essays, don’t, don’t, don’t, because (gasp!) you might experience some hard times. This was said incessantly. Guess what? I’ve experienced hard times anyway. Don’t we all?

With our children, SO and I have tried to take a better approach, tried to inspire yet prepare them for what they were getting into without demoralizing them. Don’t be stupid and still pursue your dreams is what we’ve said. Certainly, that’s hard, but anything worth doing…

This was also talked about, and thankfully, they seem to have taken it to heart. Two have ended up in New York to pursue their passions and one is on the west coast doing the same.

And who knows what’s going to happen. At worst, they will always know they tried.

© 2014

In the meantime, this child keeps writing as well as bartending in the city with her sister (they are middle and far right) and going to school (the “don’t be stupid” part):

rlatwork

What does all of this have to do with Richard Armitage? I’m getting to it. It’s been slow, and I’ve dithered around for a couple of years about my diary in the process, because it’s been hard to figure out what I should publish and what I shouldn’t. But I’m determined to finish. I’ve also talked to a lot of people (including all of the people mentioned in the diary), and almost all have said go for it. Even before I started, I had permission from those put in the most unflattering light, but I have still struggled with publishing. I’m very loyal to my family and never want to cause them harm. But I think I’ve come to understand that what I reveal is not harmful but a common reality and perhaps how it resolved in my life will help someone else.

Dateline: NYC — Into the Storm Premiere?

Into the Storm PremiereI’ve had some questions in email about the movie premiere (not to be confused with the general release which is August 8th U.S., August 22nd UK). I honestly don’t know where the Into the Storm premiere is happening or when. But there are some pieces to the puzzle, and I bring them for those who haven’t been paying attention.

  • Nathan Kress tweets about the premiere being in NY
  • The Old Vic having no tickets for sale on August 4th
  • The Old Vic being closed on Sunday
  • London being much closer to NY than LA
  • Richard Armitage having digs in NY

Here’s how it works out in my mind: a quick trip to NY on Saturday night after The Crucible performance, sleep on the plane, rest some more on Sunday, do the premiere on Monday (maybe in the afternoon; yes, they have movie premieres in the afternoon. Remember Captain America?), catch a flight back to London on Monday afternoon/evening, rest some more on the plane, no matinee on Tuesday (thank God!), ready for performance time on Tuesday night. Voila! a premiere done and only one Crucible performance missed!

Or the premiere could happen Sunday with a trip back to London on Monday morning.

Stop me. Someone please, please stop me. I have to get back to work!!

But aren’t you glad I have time to think about all of this for you. Not that this was too taxing, but I really am supposed to be working right now and here I am analyzing Richard Armitage’s schedule. *looks crosseyed* Hell, I bet he has a meltdown over his schedule at times, so I should not even begin to process this. No, no, I’m not really processing this. I’m just throwing this out for you to have something to think about, and especially for those who live close to NY or who can get there really quickly. LOL!

Truth: I do not know where or when this premiere is happening. Just wanted to say that again in case someone thought I really knew something. I don’t.

But if it were in NYC on Monday, August 4th or even Sunday August 3rd, I can dig it. Oh yeah. I happen to be attending a business conference there on August 2nd and 3rd. I was going to come back home on the 4th, but now I think I’ll stay an extra day just to ensure I don’t miss something. :D

Richard,

I can’t imagine anything sweeter than going to your movie premiere AND writing the plane trip off my taxes. So maybe you could talk to Warner Bros. and they could accommodate? Presumptuous I know, but really, this place wouldn’t exist if I weren’t presumptuous. I’ll stop with that thought as I feel a tangent coming on.

And I threw in that last detail about your digs ’cause if you’re like most people, you always rest better in your own bed. Man, you need all the rest you can get with that intense schedule.

Signed,
Your Crazy Fan

P.S. Could you also ask Warners if movie premiere tickets may be purchased by us regular Joes? I mean I think they could actually make a few bucks doing that, which would make for one helluva watch party. And you know your fans are well behaved. Of course those Nathan Kress fans might be a problem. ;-) But your fans won’t be. :D

Watch someone take me seriously about the comment on Nathan’s fans. For the record, I’ve met and interacted with quite a few of his fans, and they have all, to a person, been lovely. Impressive actually.

On an unrelated note: damn! Richard Armitage gives new meaning to ‘jobbing actor.’

And yes, that’s a lousy editing job on the movie poster. That’s what happens when I prepare a post in 15 minutes or less.

edit:

I think this is probably close to how it will go down:

Now I have to get back to my schedule. That was not a joke about working. I’m slammed.

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.