A Little Hair of the Dog

If you’re feeling a bit hungover from all of the FanstRAvaganza posts, I have just the thing for you. It’s an RA blog. No, wait, you’re going to love it (if you don’t already). It doesn’t require intense contemplation although some of it might make you contemplate intensely. It only requires you sit back and let it come at you. And it will come at you and come at you, and clear your head in the process. Or maybe not, but it does clear mine.

I saw the linked post about a year ago and have kept up with the blog since then. Of all the tumblr accounts which frequently post on RA, no one matches this one for frankness. It made me want to interview Caroline, its owner, and I finally got ’round to it.

We started off chatting, and I quickly realized Caroline is just as honest and direct in a conversation as she is on her blog. Along the way, she revealed some of what makes her her and also had some very interesting things to say about tumblr and its appeal that I think you might find interesting if you’re new to the platform. Even if you don’t want to do tumblr after this post is done, you may want to take the 30-Day Richard Armitage challenge she authored, and which has swept through a number of traditional blogs, and I think some forums as well as tumblr. One more word before you comb over the site; it is not always safe for work.

Frenz: I asked for the interview because you were one of the first tumblr accounts about Richard Armitage, and there’s an honesty to your posts that hits between the eyes. I love that. So why Richard Armitage as the subject of many of your posts?

Caroline: There’s just something about Richard, you know? Once you’ve been hooked, you can’t really get free of him.

Frenz: Yeah, I know.

Do you think Richard Armitage is honest? Or is that something actors can really be given that they pose as someone else?

Caroline: From what I’ve seen and read from him, yeah I do. He just seems like the type of person who despite wanting to hide, he will always be as honest as he can.

Frenz: Is there a role where he nailed a character so honestly that it still resonates with you?

Caroline: Probably Lucas North, especially in series 9.

Frenz: Any particular scene(s) that really struck you?

Caroline: The torture and hanging scenes in 8.4 were amazing, and his final scene in 9… I’m not even sure if these are synonymous with honesty, but his acting was absolutely brilliant.

Frenz: I’m not as partial to Series 9, but he should have gotten some sort of award for the acting in 8.4. Phew. With respect to Series 9 I think I was biased by the overall set up and not him so much.

Caroline: The final scene affected me pretty deeply.

Frenz: Why do you think that is?

Caroline: Just the whole ‘I am nothing’ speech. I could relate to that.

Frenz: This is what I love about you. Damned honest and cut to the chase. Yeah, that was a good speech. He has a way of making people connect with him.

Caroline: He really does. It’s the emotion and mental acting he does. Probably because I am a very emotional and mental person, a lot of his stuff resonates with me.

Frenz: Has any other actor had that effect on you?

Caroline: No, they haven’t. I guess that’s why Richard is special.

Frenz: I understand! Which role did you see first?

Caroline: Well, I would have seen either the Marple episode or the George Gently episode first, but it was S3 Guy who I really noticed, even though I had been watching the other 2 series of RH.

Frenz: There are so many people who becomes fans with Guy S1 or S2. I’m wondering what it was about S3 that was so different. But I think I might know. He was more of the odd man out in that one than he was with the other two series.

Caroline: Yeah. Plus the whole tortured soul thing. And the redemption arc. And his new costume and the hair.

Frenz: Yep, I loved the redemption arc, and I loved the hair. :D I think RA plays a lot of characters who have a redemption arc or have the potential for one.

Caroline: Yeah, he does it so well. I’d love to read some of his character diaries.

Frenz: You and me both! So you’ve been a fan for a year and a half, and I’ll bet there are some things you haven’t seen, but have you seen North and South? I ask because I don’t want to assume. So what did you think of it?

Caroline: I’ve seen most of his roles.

Frenz: Spoken like a true addict! LOL!

Caroline: But yes, I’ve seen N&S. I actually did a post about it today, as part of the 30 day challenge.

Frenz: I understand that feeling about N&S. There are so many other roles that deserve equal time. Changing the subject a bit. With respect to your humor, what do you think has had the most influence on you?

Caroline: British comedy, definitely. I think the two main comedy troupes I watched the most were Monty Python and The Goodies, who are both known for their ‘silly’ humour. Nowadays it’s more QI type comedy, which is more witty maybe? Almost any stand-up comic who has appeared on QI or other British tv show panels such as “Would I Lie to You?”, “8 out of 10 Cats” and “Mock the Week”, is likely to make me laugh. I also love sketch comedy, which has come from my love of Python.

Frenz: Have you ever blogged before, and what exactly made you do it this time?

Caroline: Well, I’ve been online since 1996, so I guess I tend to gravitate to whatever other people are doing. I have so many accounts at so many places! I’ve had online journals, and have attempted to blog, but I think that the traditional blogging sites and methods weren’t for me. I’d always start out with good intentions, but after a while I’d forget it, or run out of things to write about. So I don’t think that I’d go back to traditional blogging, now that I have Tumblr.

Frenz: What drew you to tumblr? You have mentioned your friend who runs Fyeah Raarmitage, but I was wondering if it was something else that you liked as a reader of tumblr, something that made you think, “yeah, I want to do that too.”

Caroline: At first it was just curiosity. There was this blog on there someone ran, and it was all a bit weird watching it from the outside. So I joined and started posting Richard, and people started following me. The thing about Tumblr is, which makes it different from other blogging platforms, is that it’s also social media, because you interact with the people you follow and who follow you by reblogging their posts, replying to their posts and sending messages in their ‘ask box’ or ‘fanmail box’. People on the outside tend to think it’s really confusing, but I think that’s because a lot of the time they’re only seeing one side of the experience. Tumblr users run their blogs from the dashboard which is where all the activity is. You see all the posts the people you follow make, newest at the top, infinity down the bottom. The only real problems I have with Tumblr is that it is extremely hard to avoid spoilers, gif seem to appear almost immediately after something has been broadcast, and the fact that you can’t control what other people post means you can see a lot of stuff which doesn’t really interest you (depending on who and how many people you follow). But all in all, you get back what you put into it.

I also love how visual Tumblr is. There are a lot of people who make amazing gifs and graphics. I like posting pictures the most, and the photoset feature lets me be a bit more creative about it by allowing us to choose a set of photos which will be grouped together in one post. Memes are jumped upon very quickly as well, which can be fun.

Another thing about Tumblr is that it’s become a place for fandom to gather. Richard’s fanbase there isn’t as big as some other actors, but it’s definitely grown since I first joined. I used to be the only person who posted on the Richard Armitage tag, but now there are quite a few of us, with our personal blog which may feature RA, and the specialty blogs, such as Richard Armitage confessions. My Richard Armitage Quotes have become popular as well. I don’t know exactly why I started making them. I just thought it would be a good idea to make simple graphics out of his quotes!

Frenz: I love the quotes! More cutting to the chase. Finally, you also mentioned how you love Australia. If you would, tell me what it is you love so about Australia. I would love to hear it. I’ve always been fascinated with it myself and LOVE to hear from the people who live there.

Caroline: I think I love Australia because it’s my home. I grew up here. I think we’re a quite laid back country. Australia is very beautiful, with our unique fauna and flora, but to counter that beauty there’s the natural disasters. Recently it’s been floods (I haven’t been affected, living on high ground), but before that it was drought and bushfire, and we get cyclones in the tropics. Australia has been called ‘the lucky country’ and in a way I guess we are, but Australia does have its problems which I won’t go on about here. In general it’s a great place to live, apart from the fact that it’s so far away from everywhere else!

I asked Caroline to provide a bio, and honest as usual, here it is:

31 years to talk about… I am an Australian living at home with my parents while I get my teaching degree. I hopefully graduate in a few months, and I ideally I would like to work in a preschool. I am the eldest of 4 children, and I grew up in the 80s and 90s. I have a pet cat named Persia and a family dog named Spike, who is a Jack Russell
cross something. I spend a large amount of my spare time online, usually. I watch a lot of Youtube. I also watch tv and dvds quite a bit. I also have mental health issues, and have been struggling with major depressive disorder and general anxiety for most of my life.

To find out more about Caroline and her fascination with Richard Armitage, check out her 30 Day Challenge. Begins here — scroll down for the first day. And since the interview, I’m noticing a little love for Fassbender too. :D edit: Caroline just replied, “Yes he has kinda appeared on there, but he won’t take the place of Richard!” That’s good although Fassbender’s not a bad runner up. LOL!

The rest of this week and next I’m going to catch up on my FanstRAvaganza reading and probably highlighting some of the posts. So stick around if, like me, you didn’t get all of your reading done in a week.