deRAnged Part 7: Stage Door Survived

As a final instalment of the deRAnged series – it really is high time to put it all to bed and return to sanity – I want to finish up with a summary of my three stage door experiences courtesy of Old Vic/The Crucible/Richard Armitage/the fans. Because I really had to put my successive SD experiences into perspective, and it was interesting how the experience changed from the first via the second to the third time. Jump to the various headings for a quicker way through.

Stage Door 1 – August 1st

The Stage DoorInitially I had huge difficulties with the SD. The lasting memory was one of embarrassment. So much so that my first blog post about it was an easily seen through attempt at irony. It seemed incongruous for my self-image to queue for any man, however famous and talented and coveted he might be. And the only way I could write about it seemed to be to make fun of it me. But I was quickly convinced that an honest recount of the experience would not be held against me, and so I admitted my embarrassment – and my eventual pleasure at having overcome my inhibitions.

Stage Door 2 – August 25th

With that in mind my second stage door experience was quite different. And in hindsight this is my favourite SD experience of all three. You see, once you have lost your reputation, you have nothing left to lose. Why does that remind me of Proctor? “Because it is my name” Hmph, methinks Proctor would not have risked his good name at the SD *ggg*. No, seriously. With a previous SD experience behind me, it didn’t feel difficult at all to decide to do it a second time. I had survived the embarrassment and even found some redeeming features in the experience. So when I was in London with Servetus, there was no question that I would suggest queuing at the SD, and to my surprise Servetus agreed. And yet it was a completely different experience even though the same ingredients were there – a long queue of admirers, a fast and modest RA, an efficient security guard, and a self-awareness that was still nagging and niggling. What made it different was the fact that I had nothing to achieve. I was only there as a companion. I didn’t want to see for myself, really. I was very happy to take on the job as designated photographer, and I happily snapped Serv with RA. Like before it was over in a flash – quite literally – and RA moved on to the next fan in line. But that is when the experience became meaningful for me, even though only as an onlooker. Because behind me in the queue stood a fan who took the time to quickly introduce herself to RA and whom he recognised. Instead of the automatic “Thank you” he actually looked up to connect the gaze and to say “Oh, it’s so nice to meet you!!! Thank you for coming.” None of that was directed at me, but it was just lovely to witness it. The fact that he remembered her, and the fact that he took the time to acknowledge that. It made me feel delighted for her and left me feeling all warm and happy, almost giddy. As if it had been me. And maybe I felt a bit happy for him, too, in the sense that there was something a bit more meaningful in it for him, knowing that this particular person had gone to the trouble of seeing him at the stage door? Not to discredit any of us unknowns, but there are many of us…

Stage Door 3 – September 3rd

i-have-survived-the-stage-doorStage Door #3 was different yet again. Because finally I felt such an old hand at this game that I could actually laugh about the curious glances that I noticed from a woman in a car that was queueing at the traffic lights. This time I accompanied Kathy and Linda60 to the SD, and my heartrate was even slower than the second time. Been there, done that. (Has anyone got a t-shirt, btw? Maybe we should identify ourselves with *that*? Oh cod oh cod, no, not another can of worms. I am just joking!!!) And I felt almost scientifically detached from the event a la “I wonder how fast he will be this time… Which phrases is he going to use… And will he look up?” I had no investment in this, so it was ok to lean back against the brick wall and just let the ocean fall over me. Of course there was giddiness again, but in the event it once again was so fast there was no time to think. I found myself so cool a cucumber, that I actually opted to “interact” and ask for an autograph on my ticket. And I had no camera in hand. Guylty truly left her comfort zone. Score!

So. Three different SD experiences. From excited teenager via happy fan to detached onlooker. And what was it like from RA’s POV? No way of knowing. But I am sure he’s learnt a great deal from the experience. Not least that his public life as he previously knew it may definitely be over? The early SD as it happened in London during the previews by all accounts must have been a special thing. I bet that most of us were kicking ourselves that we didn’t cop on to be there for the early shows – where interaction at the SD was unexpected, unhurried and relaxed. Well, that’s the benefit of hindsight. I suspect that that kind of SD will not happen again. It was the first time that Mr A had to deal with public interest in such a way, and that accounted for the experimentation with SD processes until it settled into a routine pretty quickly. They had it sussed out very nicely – all three nights I was there passed without incident, the atmosphere was happy and relaxed (if giddy), and everybody behaved according to the unwritten script. (Servetus described it in detail in a recent post here. )

There were a few accounts of the final SD on the last night of TC that sounded a bit unpleasant. (cf. the very detailed, interesting and thought-provoking post by Lyle Quillmark here. Masses of fans, shoving, shouting, demands. But frankly, I don’t think that we need to switch APM on. Armitage was well-covered by his security guys – and he must be used to this by now. Granted, in a way this was different from (regular) RA-fan interaction before as there had never been a need for a prolonged SD before. But it was also the same: The way the Saturday night was described by fans reminds me of the situation at the red carpet. Pushing, shoving, crowds surging, shouts. The only difference being that there is a barrier at the red carpet that holds the crowds back. So in that respect I think that RA is sort of prepared for crowd reactions to him. He has seen it before. The stage door at the Old Vic was, like the red carpet, a *controlled space*, i.e. what happens at the SD was determined by RA and his team themselves. They were able retreat any time they wanted. And they did. That does not mean I condone bad behaviour or pushing and overstepping the limits of polite, respectful interaction. But I trust that Richard’s babysitters security advisors know exactly how to interpret the situation and to act accordingly. That is what the reactions of “Ola” looked like to me – carefully ushering RA on, treating the fans respectfully and politely, and thereby setting the tone for the event themselves.

It’s been a learning curve – for fans, for RA, for venues. I still think RA is the bees’ knees for steadfastly facing gracing his well-wishers after each and every performance. He missed one evening SD when he had to go to the US for the ITS premiere. But otherwise: there without fail, even on the night when the performance was cancelled. Moreover, he gave credit to his stage door facilitator, “that-polite-security-guard” aka Ola, and sent other staff in the Old Vic flowers as a thank you. Honestly, the man needs to be stopped. He’s killing me with his kindness *ggg*.

“Thank you Richard, once again. I think you did splendidly, on- and off-stage. I hope you had a good time and that you took the SD for what it is – a show of support and appreciation, even if also laced with a bit of voyeurism and curiosity. We meant well. And from my POV you definitely deserve a medal. Or this t-shirt. (E-mail me your size and it’ll be delivered to you, pronto *ggg*. In organic cotton.)”

survived t shirt

So. That is the end of the deRAnged series which looked at my concentrated fangirling between the 25th of August and the 4th of September. A litmus test of fangirling if there ever was one *ggg*. You can catch the whole saga here:

Part 1 – An Unexpected Journey to London

Part 2 – The Crucible Second Time Round

Part 3 – A Reaction to Seeing RA Act

Part 4 – A Conversation with Richard Armitage

Part 5 – Fan Meetings

Part 6 – Wide Eyed Review

126 thoughts on “deRAnged Part 7: Stage Door Survived

  1. Wow, was für eine Persönlichkeitsentwicklung 🙂 Ich sach ja: üben, üben, üben. Und ja, diese Nettigkeit macht mich auch komplett abhängig. Ganz fiese Bondage-Methode 🙂

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  2. Two things:

    1). I’m not sure you can divulge this but I’m wondering who the fan he recognised was. It sounds like he recognised her name but didn’t know her by sight… Fascinating….

    2). If we are doing t shirts, may I request a scoop or v necked option as a round neck does my bosom no favours. My breasts may be the reason I have never owned a tour t shirt ( well that and good taste… 😉 )

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  3. I enjoyed this series very much and especially this post. So many insights into a fan’s conflicting feelings upon “giving in” to the lure of SD, which is full of potential joys and disappointments. I agree that it gets easier. The first time is fraught with so much anxiety and yearning and worry and envy and desire that it all gets in the way of reality. Once that is out of the way, it’s easier to truly enjoy the experience.

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    • I think you have described that mixture of conflicting feelings so well. Anxiety, yearning, worry, envy, desire – I would also add curiosity and embarrassment to the mix 😀 For the purpose of comparing I’d actually like to do the SD again with an actor that I am altogether *not* invested in. Just to see whether the general atmosphere of such occasions would still grip me, and whether I would have less qualms about taking pictures. Cumberbatch 2015? Where is the stage door of the Barbican 😀

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      • Hasn’t he already stated he won’t appear at the stage door there? I thought I read that somewhere. In any case, the fans are circulating that info.

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          • it certainly does 🙂 ie a stage door 🙂 David Tennant did plenty of those after Richard II , which i thought was superb! The Richard II, not the SD 🙂 i smiled in passing at the crowds from afar and accounts i’ve seen show him smiling non stop and doing the thankyou-thankyou-thankyou song in different tonalities 🙂 Apparently a nice experience people say. But i fear BC would have a whole load bigger crowd to deal with and apparently there was chasing down the streets going on when he went to see Hiddleston for Coriolanus or smth and they came out together. So maybe to prevent incidents he’s rather not do any SD? I think every person/actor decides what is most safe not only for himself but also for his fans, big crowds can be very dangerous and he might very likely be more concerned about anyone else getting hurt.

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      • Cumberbatch will have a huge crowd, like Hiddles at the Donmar. I’m sure it will be great, but not in the same way. More the normal excitement of celebrity-watching. For me nobody is SD-worthy except My Guy, because I can’t stay up that late, LOL! I missed out on Alan Rickman, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart because I would rather go to bed than brave the crowds. But for Himself it is more than worth it 🙂

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        • Well, it’s all about priorities, isn’t it? If we did it for *everyone* it wouldn’t be special anymore. So I think it is all understandable that you did not queue for those illustriuous thespians, saving that kind of commitment for Mr Hinds. I will probably only ever do it for RA. (Might visit *you* at the SD, though :-D)

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            • 😀 who are you telling. I am sitting here, wearing a fleece cardigan!!! You need a brolli!!!!! And wellingtons? Doesn’t look great with the little black dress, though… Maybe you’ll be lucky 😉

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    • I described the whole experience for my BMF yesterday and surprisingly he didn’t pronounce me mad but said that he could see from my own reflections on the experience that it was not about stalking or seeking contact, but curiosity and expression of appreciation. I like to think that is true, and that I maintained my sense of reality and of humour all throughout. I’m glad that I have it under my hat but I’m also glad it’s over 😀

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  4. Thanks for the series – fun to read!
    Am I too brisk to assume that any kind of recognition might also have been a reaction of politeness? Unless, of course .. I don’t know.But very interesting…
    He should wear that shirt! Definitely! (I can cope without … :-))

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    • I think there was an element of that, too, of course. But it went beyond the usual “thank you for coming”. The tone was just different to an automatic polite reply. Also, he instantly recognised the fan upon introduction. Anyway, sure I could be wrong. I may just *want to* believe that it was meaningful.
      He has definitely earned that shirt!!!

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  5. LOL Jetzt fragen sich alle, wer der Fan wohl war … (Außer cRAmerry, die denkt an andere Sachen. 😉 )

    Danke für den SD-Vergleich. Sehr interessant, die Entwicklung.
    Ich frage mich, wie ich es wohl gefunden hätte. Tja.

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      • Das habe ich mich auch schon gefragt. Wahrscheinlich wäre das eine komplett blutleere Nummer und überhaupt wäre ich dann garnicht in der Schlange. Ach ja verknallt: wie wahr 😀

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          • ich sag’s dir, es hangt alles von der Menschenmenge ab 😉 wenn es keine Massen gibt, kommt es zu netten Unterhaltungen, weil man ja personlich nicht sooo nervos ist und intelligenter ruberkommen kann :-p
            Wenn es viele Menschen gibt, dann lieber von weiter weg beobachten 🙂 Ich denk mir dann immer, dass sind seine Fans (die vom x, wer immer das sei) , die mogen ihn viel mehr als ich, also ist es netter fur jeden dieser Menschen neher an X zu kommen als ich, ich wurde da nur ungerechterweise den Platz von jemandem einnehmen, der viel merh von haben wurde als ich. Aber, ich fand es wirklich suss mir wieviel Freundlichkeit zB DT oder Jude Law (nach einem, wunderbaren Henry V) ihre Fans begrusst haben. Wenn man etwas Abstand nimmt und im Vorbeigehen zusieht ist da so ne Art Liebeswelle oder sowas die da zwischen dem x und den Fans des x hin und her wallt 🙂 Ich glaube die Xs die sich an die SD wagen machen es weil sie ihre Fans wirklich mogen oder wenigstens deren Gefuhle und Zueignung freundlich annehmen. Und diese gegenseitige Freundlichkeit spurt man dann.
            Denn wer mit sowas nicht auskommen kann, oder sich halt unangenehm fuhlt, kommt denke ich nicht zur SD raus. Mussen muss man ja nicht 😉 Und wer rauskommt weiss, dass auch wenn sich mal eine ganz winzige Minderheit mal daneben benimmt weil die Gefuhle und Impulse mit ihnen durchbrennen, die meisten da sind weil sie einen mogen, schatzen was auch immer und ein Danke sagen wollen oder mal den Idol von nahe sehen usw, also positives bringen. Ich denke im grossen Ganzen, fur die die es immer wieder machen und schon jahrelang, ist es ein allgemein positives Erlebnis sich so unterstutzt zu fuhlen 🙂

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                • Ich habe hier einen Enttarnungsanspruch. 😀 Außerdem hast du ja brav bei mir geliked. SEHR verräterisch bei der fast ausschließlich anglophilen Kundschaft hier 🙂

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                  • *ggg* ich lebe in London, bin nicht Deutsch, aber ging in die deutsche Schule, sozusagen 2. Muttersprache , bloss bischen aus der Ubung. Deshalb fallt English manchmal leichter. Bin aber nicht sooo aus der Ubung dass ich den zweideutigen Sinn eurer Kommentare nicht mitbekomme :-p Wie meine Oma immer sagte, immer annehmen es gibt nebendran Leute die alles verstehen was man sagt ..kicher 😉

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                    • Das sag ich dir… Ich muss das mahnend auch immer meinen Besuchern sagen, wenn die im Bus laut lästern. Es verstehen mehr Leute Deutsch als man annimmt 😉

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                    • i am evil! ich muss zugeben mein kleiner Teufel auf die Schulter lasst mich dann zuhorchen und meist kann ich mich dann nicht zuruckhalten eine Erklarung oder ein hofliches 😉 Kommentar abzuliefern :-p In den meisten Fallen fragen sich die Leute ja nur wo sie aussteigen sollen oder lastern uber die Buse in London 😉 Ich habe aber auch mal gesagt wieso sie alle zu Abercombie&F wollen und nicht lieber auf die Savile Row :-p

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                    • That is SO true. I had German friends visit me in ’98 at the end of grad school — they were making comments about a woman standing at the copy machine next to us in the library — she put up with it for a while and then turned around and gave it to them in fluent German. My BF looked at me and I said, “I did tell you this is a top ten university for German studies, didn’t I?”

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                    • Wie schön, dass sich dir die Untiefen unserer abseitigen Gespräche erschliessen. Ich sach ja, die meisten hier ahnen nicht im Entferntesten, was ihnen an sprachlichen Stilblüten und “hochqualifizierten” Kommentaren entgeht (manchmal auch zum Glück!!!!) 🙂

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                    • LOL. Hochqualifiziert…
                      Ich bin ja froh, dass hier kein eingebauter Übersetzungsbutton ist. UGW. Aber ich schätze es mittlerweile sehr, hier auch auf Deutsch kommunizieren zu können. Das macht unheimlich Spaß und tut meiner Sprache irgendwie gut…

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                    • Weisst du, was richtig schön ist? Dass ich dir das sogar glaube. Nachdem ich hier bei Euch im Kreis aufgeschlagen bin, hatte ich zunächst eine gewisse Hemmung zu kommentieren aus der Befürchtung heraus, so als deutsch daherquatschender Fremdkörper wahrgenommen zu werden. Das hat sich massiv gelegt 🙂
                      Und wenn es dann noch zur Übung der deutschen Sprache bei den Ausgewanderten beiträgt, ist meine Mission “ich kriege euch alle!” doch erfolgreich 🙂
                      Bin auf weitere Outings gespannt……..

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  6. I’m not sure if it is appropriate to form a judgment of a situation you didn’t witness first hand. I was there at Stage Door on September 13, I was right there at the corner of the building when the crowd rushed toward him, and I can assure you that the security would NOT have sufficed if there hadn’t been the escape back inside the theater. The situation was critical and I say that as an experienced safety engineer. If I were responsible for Richard’s safety/security I would not allow for him to get into a situation like this again (either give him more guards or physically separate him from the fans by some kind of barrier. So, please do not make assumptions from second hand accounts.

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    • Sorry, Silent in Flames, if I came across as if I was doubting the accounts of those who were present. That was not my intention. I was talking about the SD in general, the way I experienced it on three different occasions, with several weeks/days in between. So I have been there. I don’t see where I have been judgmental?
      What I am trying to bring across, though, is that RA has professional security looking after him. I trust that they know what they are doing. That is what they are paid for. I, as a fan, am neither paid, nor there to protect him. I am there to conduct myself respectfully and considerate of RA and my fellow fans, though, and to make sure that I don’t cross the boundaries of what is acceptable. So please don’t imply that I am downplaying something.

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      • Not judgmental, I talked about forming an opinion of something one hasn’t experienced first hand (in this case the particular SD on Sept 13). You said “Armitage was well-covered by his security guys – and he must be used to this by now.” Neither, from what I have witnessed on Sept 13, is true.

        I have been to SD in late June, during the previews, and that was a completely different situation. Again, as someone who has experience in the field and having been in the middle of it on Sept 13 (stepping away immediately as I realised what was going to happen), I say the security provided at this moment was NOT sufficient. I’m not only talking about Richard’s safety here but also that of the fans. People were pushed up the steps to the theater entrance when the crowd pressed on after him, and some tripped and fell to the ground.

        Whoever was assigned with RA safety, did not do a very good job THAT particular day in assessing the risk and taking necessary action. That is what I’m saying.

        Thank you for talking about conducting yourself respectfully and considerate of Richard and the fans, sadly on that day, not so many thought the same way.

        I apologise if it sounded as if I wanted to imply anything – implications are not my thing, I rather say out clear what I think, but the emotional aftermath of being there, seeing people crowd Richard and seeing his expression, face and body language, both of which was ALL DEFENSE, raised hands and asking folks to “slow down” and they didn’t – that really shocked me and the memory still scares me, I’m not dramatising.

        I have seen people playing it down (no, not you), I have seen people finding excuses for that and other behaviour (like cat calls from across the street as he worked the queue), and I just can’t bear it.

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        • Thanks for taking the time to reply in detail, Silent. I re-read my post and I think I can spot the sentence that set you off. I totally concede that I wasn’t there on the day it turned bad, so yes, I can’t form any judgment on that and I should’ve expressed myself more clearly (or not referred to the final SD at all).
          Since I do not work in the field, I also have less understanding of the issues of crowd-control, conceded.
          I guess I am a bit oversensitive when it comes to assigning blame to anything or anyone. I don’t know who is responsible for the mood of a crowd – they themselves? the security? the circumstances? It is unfortunate when 12 weeks of more or less orderly SD activity culminate in one night of disorder. And I completely agree that it must have been unpleasant (or worse) for anyone who was present. I would just hate for the whole SD activity to turn into a bad memory. Both for those who were there (on any given night) (including RA) as well as those who weren’t. It slightly devaluates my own experience, makes me feel bad, makes me feel guilty that I was there at some point myself. I suppose I want to keep it as a nice memory and not as something shameful or regrettable. (Not saying you implied that… it’s my own mind working). But yes, I guess your second but last paragraph makes me feel bad about my own participation in it. Not saying that so that you apologise, I am just trying to explain how some of the SD reports have made me feel.
          Hm, a bit jumbled – sorry, not sure if this is in any way productive of me at all… Thanks for adding your voice, though, and thanks for enlightening us with your view. x

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          • For clarification on the subject of crowd-control: it is hard, in some situations even impossible to influence the mood of a crowd as you put it, or its behaviour. Security’s job is to make an assessment of the overall situation, to anticipate (not control) how a crowd will react, and in the case of Sept 13 SD that would have included: check how long the queue is compared to SDs before, understand that this crowd was different from SD crowds before. Since a long queue had already formed BEFORE the play was over (and nobody left before it had finished, from my seat I would have noticed), I’d say 75% of them held no ticket.

            The person assessing the situation could have guessed that people that night would be more eager to get their autograph (or touch Richard!) than folks who line up after actually having seen the play. For everyone it was the last chance to meet Richard/get anything signed.

            These factors: 1. Last chance to meet him, 2. not the usual crowd but people who come exclusively to meet at SD, and 3. about twice as many people than any SD before (the queue went almost all the way to the entrance to the Pit Bar, and not single line, mind you!) should have been a warning to the person in charge. My personal guess is, there was no assessment of the situation, and hence there were no (additional) preventive measures taken, other than ONE additional guard, which was not enough. If it had been my responsibility I may have tried to convince Richard to not go out there at all, OR wait until more guards were available. (I can tell that there can’t have been much of a discussion, since Richard was out barely 10 minutes after the last curtain call.)

            I am very glad I have the wonderful memories of SD in June, when Richard took much more time with everyone than recently and we even had time for a little chat and for taking our photograph with him. I will always cherish that and keep it in my heart as a very special moment. 🙂

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  7. If I ever had reservations about hanging out at the stage door they were overcome by admitting to friends and family that I was going to London to see a play. Even if I was the general in the Arthur Miller Army. Once you have admitted that level of interest, ( obsession, derangement),going to stage door was easy,especially after all those tweets of happy fans getting pictures night after night. Was I worse than they were? Maybe, because I came from California, I took it to another level. But really, who cares? It was heartthumping fun. I loved the whole thing, especially standing there with you and Linda60. Even my husband got into the spirit and took a picture of my double autograph debacle. And during the trip, when in conversation someone would ask my husband “What brings you to London?” he would out me mercilessly and say “‘My wife wanted to go to a play.” Great reactions to that, But it was true. I never denied it and I don’t regret it. I would love to do it again, and I hope I get the chance. It was totally awesome, dude.

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    • Oh, we are not going to live down this thing for years to come… I am looking at weeks and weeks of being teased about it. But what they don’t realize – everytime they tease me, they make the memory come alive again. And not just of the SD, but of the play, of being in London, of meeting my friends. I’m perfectly happy to take those little digs because I get back so much more. Happy memories.
      (But I will say that I look forward to hiding the inside reflection from public view, again. I found that disconcerting. And I am unhappy because there is always criticism when one expresses opinions. I don’t deal very well with that. So Guylty Pleasure is locking up the fangirl internals and throws away the key.)

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      • Even as a lowly commentator, it is difficult to deal with criticism, so when you put yourself out there as a blogger, it must be a challenge to not take it personally or too seriously. It stings. You are right, criticism comes with the territory of expressing opinions, but sometimes, it kind of sneaks up on you when you don’t expect it, and it feels like an ambush. I just want to say go ahead and lock up your “fangirl internals”, but don’t throw away the key. Let them out once in while. They deserve their time in the sun, and are a wonderful contribution to all of us who read about them.

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  8. Thanks for the very interesting retrospective of your experiences. I’m very glad that you did it both for what you got from it and for the ability to get a peek into the process for myself. I’m not sure if I could manage it, but I guess I’ll have to revisit that if the opportunity ever arises 🙂

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    • You know – from the run up to Berlin, and to this – how I struggled with this, too. Thing is – if I hadn’t overcome the resistance at the first SD, I would have regretted not going, I am pretty sure of that. I am not saying that this is a must, and that every fan should do it. I totally understand if people have reservations. Or if the situation at the SD seems to be difficult (trying to emphasise here that I do NOT condone any physical pushing or other bullying at the SD, whether of fans or of star). Depends on the whole situation I guess. From my POV it was fun. But it’s not essential to being a fan.

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  9. It was something that I thought I’d never do, and then I did it every night I saw the play. The operative change for me was seeing him on stage — I honestly felt like once that happened, I was so electrified, and felt like that was the “real thing” that suddenly all the barriers to a potential stage door encounter fell away. I was never going to be “closer” than that and so the SD seemed more like a distance observation (which I have never had any problem with). I can definitely say doing this changed a lot of things about me — I definitely got a different look at myself and my reactions to things. (have 2 more to write about …)

    And thanks for being there, because I still think I would not have done it without you. It’s hard to follow the unwritten script if you’re there by yourself.

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    • 😀 I hope you didn’t feel pressured to do it. I just wanted to put it out there as an option for you to take or not take. And judging from my own first experience I knew that I wouldn’t have done it if I had been left on my own.
      I am still trying to reconcile certain vague feelings of having imposed or of having contributed to not allowing him his own much needed come down with my own selfish desire to “see”. I tell myself that it did not make any difference whether I was there or not, but yeah, I do reflect on the necessity of an SD…
      Ah well, no point. It’s done. Can’t be changed.

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      • Obscura had said before I left, won’t you regret it if you don’t try to meet him? and obviously I’d been thinking about the reasons for my inhibitions on the topic (which was hard, because I’d start to think about doing it and try to write a sort of rational examination of pros and cons and immediately get nauseated) but I didn’t feel pressured from her or you. Though as it played out it was definitely a sort of “I have this opportunity now, it will be gone in four seconds, if I even pause to think it will be over forever, just do it and you can turn it over in your head afterwards.” Which I have done some of, but the deeper level of it still makes me really nervous.

        re: imposition — I can repeat “he went out there every night of his own accord” but I agree it’s more complicated than that, certainly. There was a transactional aspect to it, for instance (if you think in anthropological terms about how gift giving works) and it had a lot of levels and he probably negotiated them differently, if unconsciously, every night. Seen in practical terms, every night I was there, anyway, he was done with it by midnight at the very very latest (and sometimes by 11:40). I can’t imagine that if his come down was delayed by doing that, it was delayed by all that much. I hypothesize that one element of it for him, given the regularity and conscientiousness with which he did it, was some kind of feeling on his part of needing to do it (for whatever reason). It wasn’t always entirely clear to me who was giver and who was recipient, in these encounters, or how he might have seen himself on that level. (more to follow on my own blog, re: Sat night)

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        • I look forward to reading your thoughts on this, Serv. It’s an aspect of the whole fangirling experience – SD or not – that will never stop worrying me. But it is simultaneously the issue that keeps bringing me back down to Earth, so as long as I reflect on it, I know I am still sane 😀

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  10. Thanks for sharing your SD experiences Guylty. I have no idea what I would do if given the opportunity so it is interesting to be able to read about the SD from other people. Especially in such an honest and humorous way. Thanks, Tree

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    • You’re welcome. It was really interesting to read all the different stories from different people with different perspectives, wasn’t it? I went through the whole spectrum of emotions with it – anger, happiness, envy, elation, jealousy, sadness, incomprehension, wonder, disbelief… Maybe it was a microcosmic experience, in microscopic detail? It’s been great, and it has certainly made a difficult summer much more bearable for me. Thanks for coming along on the ride.

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  11. I was trying to identify what it is about your deRAnged experiences that have resonated so deeply. It hit me just now: you write with the same qualities which I admire about RA. You are intelligent, have integrity, are self-deprecating, a little nervous, thoughtful, generous, a little silly, a little naughty, and have wonderful descriptive skills. I’ve enjoyed this series so much and feel a contented happiness for you – right down to my shoes 🙂 Thanks for bringing us with you to London :-))))))

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    • And lest I should appear ungrateful – no, I have learnt that refusing a compliment is extremely rude and devaluates the generous complimenter’s honesty, principles, standards and willingness to express an opinion. So thank you very much for those nice things you have said, and whoa – even likening them to “the man himself” 🙂 If only half of them are true, I am happy indeed. (I would agree on self-deprecating, nervous, silly and naughty 😀 )
      It’s been a pleasure taking you on this trip, and if the opportunity arises I’d probably do it again 🙂 It’s been fun for me, too, and the comments on my ramblings mean more to me than my waffling posts. Cheers xx

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      • Abflachen klingt so nach Ende. Sag lieber, du hast dich an die SD-Situation gewöhnt und in erster Linie an deinen Umgang mit dieser ganzen Gemengelage aus Freude, Erwartung, Begeisterung, Hoffnung, Angst, Panik, (fehlt noch was?). Das “Abflachen” zeigt doch nur, dass du lernfähig bist und nach und nach deine Erfahrungn gemacht hast. Abgeflacht ist doch sicher nicht deine Begeisterung (das habe ich so nämlich nicht verstanden) *schlussmit totanalysier*

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  12. Sigh… come to the end of this journey, i loved reading it so much, as it also bring back my own memories and it is so nice to read yours too. Feels a bit sad too. I’m glad you went 3 times, i think you’d have regretted it if you hadn’t. It is still an experience which unsettles a bit and i was pulled back and forth reading about SD and accounts, i think you described the emotions perfectly! But maybe we should just hold on to how we felt on the night, then and there! and not question it retrospectively too much ;-)) What a summer, what a beautiful summer! 🙂 Feel so happy to be able to share the experience with everyone 🙂

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    • First of all: Thank you for reading my ramblings, Hariclea. I am not overly fond of baring my soul on-blog, but in a way these posts were my my diary because I felt that the whole experience of this summer needed to be recorded. Primarily for myself (ever the selfish egocentric 😀 ), and secondly for discussion with others and insight of those who didn’t go. I have closed that chapter now, but I look forward to time’s passing and then maybe returning to it all next year and reading the whole journey again… Might be fun.
      Otherwise: I think you are right. Maybe we shouldn’t discuss it all to death and just take the SD as what it was: A slightly mad, but hugely fun enterprise, done with the good intention of expressing our admiration yet also out of curiosity.

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