Armitage Weekly Roundup 2016/38

The busiest weekend of the year. Tomorrow is the first of advent, which means that decorations have to be up – and copious amounts of traditional German Christmas biscuits have to be ready. Guess who is leaving it to the last minute? Yeah, me. So I am writing this with greasy fingers between the mixer and the fridge, while waiting for the shortcrust pastry to rest and be ready.

And then I get distracted by an interview of our favourite guy, which is causing a bit of a stir.  I read some people are very disappointed, being seen as a paying patron rather than an appreciated fan. It’s a tough one, isn’t it? Is his answer an admission that he is sees the SD as a calculated bonus to manipulate fans (into buying tickets)? And that he is going through the motions of it, motivated by commercial interests, rather than the sincere wish to meet his fans? Depends on where you put the emphasis yourself. When I read the passage in the interview, that wasn’t quite what I took from it. Rather than the “whatever it takes [to get people to pay the price of a ticket]”, what stood out for me was the sentence “You know, we’ve had people come from far and wide, which is great.” For me, that was the acknowledgment by RA that he is well-aware of the effort people/his fans are making to see *him* on stage, in New York, and the SD is a way of both showing his gratitude, as well as attracting the potential audience to the box office.

Those two things – SD to promote commercial success of the play and to reward the fans – seem inseparable to me, in any case. As fans, we *do* buy tickets. And since a SD attracts fans, it is thrown into the mix, even though it is not something that is high on the list of Armitage’s priorities and favourite things to do. Simultaneously it is an opportunity to give back to fans what they want – by creating a scenario in which they can “meet” him ever so shortly within the parameters that he himself is setting. I’ll be honest here for one moment. I did not have the impression that the SD is something RA hugely enjoys, but that he sees it as part of his job as an actor with a following, as a concession he makes to give back to his fans, as a duty rather than a pleasure. (This impression is based on the short duration of the SD and the minute star-fan interaction that rarely goes beyond signing a playbill and posing for a selfie.) Not sure whether he can be faulted for taking the SD as a professional rather than a private engagement, though. a) His success and bankability as an actor *does* depend on the seats his plays/films sell and b) his willingness to appear at the SD on *most* nights shows an awareness of celebrity culture and the role that fans play in the entertainment business. I don’t think that this professional attitude excludes genuine appreciation of the attention gifted to him by his fans. His way of showing appreciation may not be what we expect it to be. But if he didn’t care about having fans, he wouldn’t reply to fan requests or attend the SD. Personally and as a fan, I would of course like him to consciously enjoy meeting *us* as much as *we* enjoy meeting him. To see us as people not patrons. And I’d like him to express his undying love and gratitude for his fans more explicitly and frequently,  preferably to me, in person, and every day *grins*. But my expectations may be a bit high in that regard… I just choose to think that as a fan, I marginally touch his existence with my attention and my paying power. But I touch it, nonetheless…

After the pontification, here is the gratification. This week’s Tumblr Best. Enjoy and peace!

  1. Customary at this point: another picture summary of BS by drldeboer, this time episode 6
  2. Ausschweifendemotte has captured a heart-breaking stare courtesy of Daniel Miller in BS
  3. Ofgreengables has giffed a few intense Miller-scenes in episode 6, too
  4. Mezzmerizedbyrichard takes us back to Berlin. Without Station. But with a lovely scene of RA on the red carpet. He holds promises…
  5. Icy blue eyes in Chechnya. Guess who? Capped by ausschweifendemotte, too
  6. More intense Miller. Spied by kendaspntwd
  7. Another spy – but an entrance that remains unmatched. Lucas North. Circusgifs. Old but nice to remember
  8. Tight green jumper, layer look, tighty denims. Capped in a set by queenoferebor1204
  9. Domestic sweetness with Bagginshield, drawn and thought up by rutobuka2
  10. This Thorin watercolour by rutobuka2 somehow really moves me
  11. And here is something to cancel out selfish father Kenneth. Sigh – agent Porter makes me quake, but father Porter makes me positively SWOON. Another oldie but goldie giffed by circusgifs
  12. The controversial accent question makes richardarmitageconfessions this week. What is your opinion?
  13. I always love getting a look at other fans’ collection of RAvotionalia, or the decoRAtion of their rooms. Fizzy-custard allows us a glimpse of her majestic wall
  14. We’ve seen queenoferebor1204’s caps of Daniel before (see above), but this time she adds some quips. LOL. Apt!
  15. Note: rasexualfrustration has a new mod. For anyone who is looking for a place to publish their RA-related fics

Choose love, not disappointment!

Have a nice weekend,

Guylty ❤️

33 thoughts on “Armitage Weekly Roundup 2016/38

  1. In 3 is he emptying the water bottle to give the bottle to someone? Something was mentioned on the net. Thank you for continuing to provide this service even at the busiest of times.


  2. Mmm, so many goodies. All my faves from this bunch, interestingly, are not Daniel! #4 (soooo jealous that you were there that though it does mean I have those fabulous black and white shots ❤️), #7 (skinny Lucas… swoon), #11 (agree with you completely!). Thanks as always! By the way, I’m not allowed to do any decorating until Christmas Eve! 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not that I can’t physically do it (though I will have to see how it goes this year), it’s David wanting to keep Christmas non-commercial! So we decorate the tree and put up the greenery on Christmas Eve, and it then stays up until the whole canon of Christmas is over (so after 6 January when most people take theirs down). I actually love it and I’m always listening to the Kings College Carol Service on the radio as I do the tree. Do you get that broadcast in Ireland?


    • If I was limited to decorating for Christmas to the night before, my house might have a wreath on the door from Costco, and nothing else. I am a minimalist when it comes to decorating the house, but I could never do it in one night. You must have elves to help you.


    • Best possible outcome! First rile them, then console them 😉. But well, I kinda felt like noting down my response… Have read your SD notes, too – always interesting to see the other side of it. Will comment properly later (off to an event now).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thankyou for the shout out once again. Berlin premiere is one of my favourite things to gif, he looked so happy and gorgeous.
    Totally agree with your views on the SD discussion. I don’t have a problem at all with him taking on SD out of a professional sense of duty rather than for personal enjoyment (the alternative is no SD at all and he would then be subject to criticism for that too!) but at the same time, I don’t believe for a second that he takes his fans’ commitment and loyalty lightly. Would there be fewer fans perhaps making the trip to see the play if there wasn’t the possibility of seeing him afterwards for a photo and/or an autograph?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s be honest – the SD is a massive bonus. I won’t deny that I find it an added attraction even though I have never felt the SD experience to be *particularly* meaningful. I am perfectly aware that there won’t be any interaction with him. The moment itself is over in a flash. Literally. So my expectations are pretty low. But I like it because I like the buzz of excitement before and after. I am quite pleased that he provides that opportunity, though.


    • I have had the impression with this play more so than the Crucible that for some fans it is much less about the play and more about the SD. But I think that has to do with the fact that the play isn’t familiar or the easiest thing to digest. I’m seeing much less discussion of the play this time around, though.

      I personally would have gone either way.


      • You could be right. The transition from a play with comedic elements to the fun of a SD is much easier to make than from the drama of The Crucible when the audience is still affected by what they have just witnessed. In London, I found that contrast jarring – from the shock of Proctor’s choice of dying to the happy fangirling over the actor who played him. No such thing in NYC.
        As for less discussion of the play – I wonder whether that also reflects the quality of the play, though? It does for me – hence I haven’t been able to come up with a review of it. I just can’t marry the contradiction of enjoying the play yet perceiving flaws within it…


        • There, too, Armitage helps set the tone — I never saw him not smiling in NYC, in London he primarily seemed to be dazed. I agree with you about the contrast, though. It was emotionally exhausting to watch TC; I don’t feel that way about this play. There was no issue with watching two shows a day, which was “zermürbend” in London.

          I personally don’t think TC is that great of a play, so I don’t see it so much as a quality issue. (Yes, I realize I am in a minority on that issue.) I do think that the moral categories of TC are much more definitive; this play is more murky and it’s harder to know how to feel at the end of it. I also think it’s harder to review a play that many people have not seen OR read (part of why I’m creating the summary, both for myself, but also so I have a source document to refer to when I publish an actual review).


  4. Great recap of your feelings about Richard Armitage’s thoughts about SD as he expressed them in the recent Broadway World article. And I agree with you. He’s a talented and nice guy who does SD when he can with courtesy, grace, and yes, professionalism. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Grati – it’s just one fan POV of many, and I get why some fans feel disappointed by what he said. If I am perfectly honest, I would love some more interaction from his side. That would benefit not only his fans but also himself, I think – the SD draws attention. But it is what it is, and I think it is just honest to admit that the SD is part of the wider effort to get people into theatres and cinemas.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a Canadian/Scot so I’m fine with his accent. Unless it is one’s native tongue it is almost impossible to replicate an accent no matter how hard you try. And to paraphrase an old saying he will never please everyone! There is something about RA in a jumper – no matter what the colour. Lots of swoon-worthy stuff here for sure! Thanks Guylty! 😉


    • As someone “living” in a foreign language I can only agree, Teuchter. I gave up trying to sound Irish a long time ago – apart from pronunciation there are many other tell-tale signs when one is taking on a foreign language or dialect. His American accent mostly works for me.
      I like the informality of jumpers – perfect background for a cuddle 😉


  6. With all you have to do, I am in awe of you putting out a roundup at all. And a good one, at that. I think that even if RA doesn’t like doing the stage door, in the current venue, it takes so little time to go through the line, it shouldn’t be a huge burden. I think the payoff for the fans is worth it for them, and for him as well. He can market his play to his base, make most of them happy, and show his appreciation. It’s a win/win IMO. There are probably many nights (maybe all of them) when he might just want to get the heck out of there. But in real time, when I was there (total of four nights), his line “performance” seem to take less than five minutes. There was only one night,Sat., when there was a relatively large crowd and probably there were more disappointed fans than happy ones. There were too many people for all of them to get what they wanted from him.


    • Tonight (Sat Nov 26) there were only about 10 people, took less than a minute. He needs to walk that sidewalk to get to his car anyway, so really, this play’s “stage door” can’t be that onerous.

      Plus, from how that writer bungled “effusive” laughter—not “abusive”—I suspect she might have bungled his comments on stage door, too. I’m giving him a big pass on this one.

      What was she thinking, by the way? What the hell would “abusive” laughter be? I reacted defensively for myself and all New Yorkers, wondering “What now? The world has figured out something else to complain we’re too aggressive at—laughing? We’ve invented a way to laugh abusively?”

      Sorry, lady. You should have asked a clarifying follow up on that one.


      • The “abusive” laughter had me scratching my head, too. That was before I saw RA’s tweet that cleared it all up. Must have been his Brit accent on the phone 😂.
        Not sure whether the writer bungled his comment – although I am always suspicious when questions like SD or red carpet are brought up. I always have the impression that they are set as a trap – to see whether the celeb is going to come out with some honest but unflattering things about fans and the public. That makes me quite wary of such questions. I suspect he is wary of them, too. This was a new variation on the theme – and I don’t think that he would be stupid enough to deliberately rile fans.


          • There are just things in that play that I think aren’t funny, but at which we are meant to laugh, starting half way through act two at the latest — which is where I am in my summary at the moment, hopefully I will finish today. I think if we laugh at them we’re liable to the charge of laughing abusively or or certainly laughing at abuse. (I don’t have an issue with it, the play wants us to do that. But that label made sense to me.)


    • Totally agree that it is a win/win. That’s obviously how he sees it, too. He could really expand on it and get even more out of it imo, but as it is, it’s nice to have this opportunity at all. It was even enjoyable from a distance when I observed from further away. And exactly that experience also showed me that the whole procedure could be quite daunting. I am glad he takes his job seriously.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Serene Sunday! Richard Armitage’s Broadway World interview SD remarks viewed positively by Guylty, etc., November 27, 2016  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1006) | Something About Love (A)

  8. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about this but tweeted them this time in conversations (which was a mistake; will never do that again; what a time suck). This morning I was thinking about how much this discussion reminds me of a general argument that I often hear people making about creatives — “they do it for love anyway, so the other considerations shouldn’t matter” (people say it about educators at all levels, too — why are you asking for a raise? you’re studying / teaching something you love). Ironically, this is a piece of the argument that Kenneth and Sandra make about Rose (paraphrasing: “yes you’re broke but you’re doing what you love, so”). It seems to me both a simplistic understanding of human psychology to say “either he loves doing it or he hates it” (he probably has ambivalent feelings, likes it less or more some nights than others); or “either he’s doing it sincerely or it’s only a fake / obligation” (I have obligations that I don’t love but fulfill sincerely and I suspect most people do); and a simplistic understanding of economics to say “he shouldn’t care about money” (since even creatives have to pay rent and the fact that he is doing this play in the first place already demonstrates that money isn’t a primary concern for him, since I doubt he is breaking even on it and money from earlier endeavors or investments is probably subsidizing this for us — that is generally how it works in NY theater).

    I wonder whether there is something about the stage door after a play in particular (at least I had this experience in London) that makes the whole “need to be seen” aspect of fandom more acute for fans who experience it that way. In general I would say that I lead my fandom life separate from Armitage (less so now that we have Twitter, of course); I don’t seek his acknowledgement; I accept that my preoccupation with him is my responsibility; I would prefer him to ignore me. But he is really something on stage — seeing him in person definitely rewards the investment, so to speak, just in sheer exhilaration. I found that that feeling and the SD in London challenged a lot of my own fairly firm convictions about how I felt about myself as a fan — it made me want things that I don’t typically want. I didn’t have that same experience in NYC because the play affected me in a really different way, still strongly, but with a different effect. If you feel like your fan experience is not fulfilled without the chance to exchange a sincere word at the stage door with an Armitage who is there for you specifically, finding out the SD is not “that” could be crushing just because it really does seem personal. He is standing right there, after all. But then we’re back to this paradox of “you’re never further away from him than when you’re standing right next to him.”

    Hmmmm. I maybe need to blog about this after all.


  9. Also, briefly — I have no problem with being seen as a patron of theater (or of cinema) or as a consumer of popular culture. Since that is what I am in all cases. (And honestly, there are worse things to be seen as than as a patron of theater!). What bugs me about that is that sometimes, esp when it comes to popular culture, it seems like I get caught coming and going, i.e., I should buy all the Hobbit “stuff,” but then I read somewhere persiflage about fans who buy all the stuff. That annoys me. But that isn’t happening here.


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