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

You All Are Great!

There have been so many lovely notes about the RAflash event. Thank you for that, and thank you to all who are participating! People are finding it very gratifying to write out their stories. Good! I hope that is a wonderful exercise for everyone. Who knows, we may get a blog or two out of this. :D

In the last few days I’ve received quite a few notes from people wanting to participate but unable to make the deadline. They have also sensed it would be gratifying. So here’s my response to them, screw the deadline. If you want to submit your Richard Armitage story, do it! Submission information is here.

And for those on the fence about it, you can publish anonymously to the RAFlash site, or you can publish to the RAflash site and link your blog. Some blogs are not a good fit for these pieces, so just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you have to publish there. You’re welcome to publish directly to RAflash. Also, if you have already written your story elsewhere, it can be linked from the RAflash site, or you can put an update on it and link the previous article or just republish. It doesn’t matter. It’s your choice. Just remember the point is for us to share our stories of what we’ve seen that’s moved us with some particular emphasis on what moved us initially.

There will be many more posts coming today and probably tomorrow and more thank yous on Monday to those who have helped pull this off, but for now I wanted to acknowledge readers and writers and possible writers.

And if someone slips in a post or two about the Pinter/Proust reading, I’ll probably give that priority. But the order of these posts for the most part doesn’t really matter. They are timely thoughts others can read and feel a good about what they see as well no matter when they read.

Speaking of feeling good, I would have loved to have seen this live!

Richard Armitage - Swann
[click to enlarge]