Once upon a time, there was a little fandom. Let’s call her “Army”. Army was a faithful little fandom. She was a temperamental little thing – she loved being silly – but she was also curious and inquisitive, and she liked being creative. Not yet a teen, she had grown up through tough times. A true Millennial, she was a product of the digital era, being born on a BBC message board from hundreds of adoring mothers who had come together to extol the craft and art of her father, an actor on the verge of becoming famous. But the sheltered home was broken while Army was still in her infancy, and the little fandom was made homeless when the evil landlord evicted her from her home on the messaging platform.
Undeterred, Army soldiered on. She found new playgrounds on Wordpress blogs and Blogspot, discussion boards and social media, even e-mails and phone calls, carefully tended by her many mothers. Her father had had to make himself scarce, pursuing work and art, but keeping a fond eye on her from afar. Every once in a while he would send Army a loving letter, keeping her up-to-date on his whereabouts, and subtly helping raise her with well-meant tips and suggestions. Over time, however, his letters became more scarce, because he was so busy working. But whenever his work was shown, or he appeared at an event, his little Army would try to be there, to see him, applaud him, to wish him well, hoping he would recognize her and love her back.
Even when he almost vanished from the face of the Earth to work on the other side of the globe, little Army was his happy faithful fandom. She was content with even the smallest scrap of news – a wave or a wink, a little reference to her in an interview, a message at Christmas time. It simply did not matter that he was not around every day – because she was able to entertain herself. Army wrote fiction, she made videos, she edited pictures and gifs, she loved being creative, and she talked with herself. Even though she loved nothing better than looking at her lovely daddy in the many beautiful pictures and exciting films and shows he appeared in, or better still seeing him face-to-face at a public event, she was never bored when he was gone. She simply created the fun herself.
His career advanced, and while Army grew bigger, too, eventually entering her teenage years, her daddy had less and less time for her. Many challenging roles on stage and screen demanded his attention. He moved to a new place, and when he wasn’t inhabiting a role with all of his being, he was busy narrating books or promoting one of his past films. Although Army was busy and self-contained, having fun in her own little world, daddy felt he should be in touch more, and he got himself a Twitter account. And Army was happy – he tweeted often, sometimes enclosing a selfie of himself, and he entertained his little Army with witty tweets, promoted worthy causes or redirected the spotlight in his modest manner on his esteemed colleagues. So much did he tweet, that Army got all distracted. No longer did she feel the need to entertain herself with writing, crafting, photoshopping and creating – he had become a virtual presence in her life, and she eagerly absorbed every scrap like a sponge soaks up water. – They could have lived happily ever after, but when he went on an extended break from his multi-social media communication, Army suddenly felt keenly sad. “With him gone, has all the fun gone, too?”, she wondered…
Forgive me for this tangent
that took a big longer than I had planned. Really got into the storyline there. But here’s the deal. We used to write and make and exchange ideas all the time, and we created our own little virtual events when there was a lull. For Valentine’s and Christmas and birthdays and premieres and what have you. Wouldn’t it be fun if we did it again? I was thinking that now is the perfect time – it’s one week until Valentine’s Day, and whether you are a Hallmark apologist or not, it’s as good a reason to make a little concerted effort to create some fandom fun, as any. Just remember how much fun we had in 2014 with our RAworld Secret Valentine? It’s a bit late to organise something on that scale, but I was wondering whether bloggers, tweeps etc. would like to join in and commit to creating a Valentine’s post next week? It doesn’t have to celebrate the fandom, it can easily just be a love letter to our shared favourite actor. Or anything else that spreads a bit of love to your readers, followers and friends. I know that Zee is currently working on a Valentine’s drabble involving Sir Guy and Gen. And I was thinking of doing a little Valentine’s surprise, too, cos the oncoming spring which actually started in Ireland a week ago got my creative juices flowing.
The fruits of my creative labour involve the fabric that I have had printed. I’ve had great fun making a few bits and pieces, and I intend to do something about them on Valentine’s Day. In the meantime, I have had experimented with some left-over print-outs and some itsy-bitsy wooden frames. Spot anything in the picture above? Closer look:
Wow, that nose looks pointy. Sorry RA, must have been your pre-op silhouette. So anyway, just to say then, that I’ll mark Valentine’s Day with a little give-away, and I would love it if other bloggers/tweeps/fans would spread some love, too. If it helps, I’ll offer a prize to be raffled among all bloggers/tweeps who commit to a Valentine’s post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Great news on RA’s next project, btw. A European-based film, I suppose, directed by Julie Delpy (loved her in Before Sunrise etc.) and with German actor Daniel Brühl playing Armitage’s “successor” – as in “the new boyfriend of his ex-wife”. Interesting. (Not nay-saying, but here’s hoping that he won’t have to play the “bad” first husband…) For some reason, I always think of Daniel Brühl as decidedly younger than me, whereas I think of Armitage as my age. But well, I am sure the make-up artists can work their magic.
Making Brühl look older, of course. *coughs* I am eager to hear more about that project, as well as O8 (release dates? details on RA’s role?). And then there is Sleepwalker which opened to a couple of very encouraging reviews last weekend. I am a bit surprised that there haven’t been any reviews trickling down yet. Hopefully the film has attracted interest by distributors, though. I’d like to see it, not least because it sounds as if RA’s role in Sleepwalker may be considerably larger than his duties in O8. – Oh, and lastly, courtesy of @tannni3 on Twitter I have just seen that Pilgrimage will be at the European Film Market event running concurrently with Berlinale 2017. That indicates that the film is finally out of the editing suite and ready to go. Fingers crossed it gets picked up. It’s another one I really, really want to see.
Lastly, a quick word re. technical issues. It has come to my attention that e-mail notifications for my blog posts were not sent out last weekend – or arrived a day late. Weird! I haven’t changed any settings, but I have noticed that WordPress has been tweaking the platform over the last while. And every time they do, something inevitably gets f*cked up. Grah! So if you are subscribing here via e-mail, please check your settings whether you are still following me, and adjust if necessary. I hope the notifications will get back to normal, soon.