The Fan A to Z – #K

[New week, new me, new post]

K – Have you met RA? Where? Have you got a photo to share? And what did you say to him?

Have I met RA? Well, let’s just say I have been in the vicinity of the man. “To meet” to me implies that you actually exchange words in a meaningful way, and somehow I doubt that I have done that. So let’s just say that I have been lucky enough to encounter Mr A at a few events, standing in front of him, generally unable to speak, often hiding behind a camera. There are no photos of the encounters – because I have never posed with RA for a picture or a selfie. (And I do not know of any other pictures that may coincidentally contain me and RA in the same frame.)

So, occasions where I have seen Mr A in the flesh, not counting actual performances on stage:

There was the DOS red carpet in Berlin in December 2013, but I was slightly removed and ‘above’ the whole thing because I was stood on a bench taking pictures. See the evidence:

Next came my first SD after TC at the Old Vic. Once again I was completely mute, just mumbling a lame “thank you” after he had signed Pop!Thorin for me. (My companion that day actually had to make the request for the signature as I was unable to muster the courage… silly.)

A few weeks later I was at the SD again, repeating my previous performance with another highly unoriginal ‘thank you’ after he had posed for a picture that I took for another fan.

By SD #3 (still at the Old Vic) I had finally gotten used to the scenario and actually commented something like “Great performance, thank you”, and he politely said “Thank you” back.

Fast forward one year and RA turned up at the Leeds International Film Festival for UATSC. RA was very friendly – I was not. I just kept shooting pictures and otherwise shtum.

Another year later I happened to be in New York while RA was in LLL off-Broadway. There were three SDs during which I interacted twice. Unfortunately Mr A was not in particularly interactive mood during that phase (average duration of the SD: about 3 minutes), so the whole interaction consisted of me saying “Great play. Thank you so much.” He may have said hello. No photos – but a bird’s eye perspective video of the encounter. Note the high-pitched giggles.

So there you have it. I am a rude, uncommunicative German, clammed up and unappreciative of the opportunity to give RA my compliments. Or maybe I am just too nervous to say something witty. Or too realistic to attempt anything that might resemble a meaningful encounter. Don’t get me wrong – the SD carries meaning for me, despite the absence of interaction. But in the end, the best part of these encounters has always been the fun that my fellow well-wishers and I created ourselves around the event. And I have plenty of selfies with *them* to prove it.

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54 thoughts on “The Fan A to Z – #K

  1. Well I think just those opportunities to actually see him LIVE interacting with other fans away from the stage or movie premiere are wonderful. The video posted here is fabulous. Those women (looks like all women) seemed very calm and like it was no big deal having him sign and chat with him however quick it was. The one at the end of the video seemed to really engage with him. He did look very cute and young with the baseball cap and puffer vest and trusty backpack with him, reminded me of a schoolboy look. I’ve only interacted once with a celebrity-Robert Duvall who my boss had met and once with a politician’s wife Tipper Gore in 2001. She is an interesting bird to say the least. But both times I was very nonchalant and respectful. My boss seemed more gaga over her at the time. She is a photographer too and she gave him a book she was hawking at the time. I think with Richard if I ever got to see him LIVE first on stage then at the SD I would need liquid courage first then someone with me to hold my hand. I think I would be sooo nervous and self conscious (more than I normally am) that I would need a fellow buddy with me so that I would know this is REAL. Thank you for sharing your experiences with him. I think it is soo cool.

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    • Oh, the SD can be great fun. And there are plenty of fans here who are less clam than me. I am usually rather talkative (to say the least), and I have no problem chatting with people, celebrity or not. In fact, I have had very nice interactions along the way – the difference being that those other celebs were in no way connected to any kind of feeling on my part 😁. That makes it way easier – nonchalant, as you put it.
      There are plenty of SD accounts on many blogs, btw. Some of mine are here: https://guylty.net/?s=stage+door but if you google “richard armitage stage door blog”, you’ll find plenty of other experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think I am the one at the end. I am also the one with the high pitched giggle. Never before or since, have I giggled like that. I didn’t know I had that in me.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I absolutely will!! I just started back reading your blog because there are chunks that I do not know primarily references (ie Armitage Shanks) that I want to be in the loop for. I also enjoy your writing style and the comments.

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    • Wow!!! If he ever does anything in NYC I would definitely want you to be the leader and get us timid shy fan girls (or me if I am the only one fitting that description) the chance to at least say hi to him. I admit I wouldn’t mind a photo op with him esp if those arms came around my waist…

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    • Oh, I loved re-reading that, Besotted. That must have been one of the stand-out SD scenarios of all time. Wish I had been there. Or to have you at all future SDs present 😉

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        • I honestly can’t remember stage door runner. That whole wonderful adventure is fragmented in my memory. I just remember laughing a ton. Was runner when I impersonated RA stage door performances?

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          • Yes, we were all standing around outside the LLL theater one night that RA did not sign autographs after a performance feeling bereft. You saved the day by jamming on your ball cap and performing a simulation of his “performances,” running up and down the rope line signing things. For the same amount of time that he used to spend, say 20 seconds. It’s a short video.

            Liked by 1 person

            • That video is great too! The baseball cap, the jeans, the jacket-captured his look and the mannerisms: “oh thank you thank you” . Who is holding the “medal” and quivering hands opening it up? Then the other ladies there are compatriots here right? It looked like so much fun!!! Good for all of you!!

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              • The quivering lady is me. The other ladies are the fellow fans.
                The whole thing came about on one of the evenings when RA did not grace the SD with his presence. A small group of us kept hanging out outside of the theater. Not really because we had *any* hope of him appearing after all, but because it had turned out to be a bit of a problem finding a place in the vicinity where you could hang out with a group of people. So we were chatting and chatting outside until one of us got the genius idea of enacting the SD ourselves. You would think we were teenagers *rofl*

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                • Ah, I think it is just delightful, Kathy acting as him esp with the baseball cap and the gestures (ie taking the medal from you) and everyone else just falling into place and joking and it looked so fun and cool and relaxed. #teamplayers #greatSDreenactment #ohwhatanight!

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            • Oh yes I remember this well. For those that don’t know me I’m the grey haired one in the background and that’s my daughter next to Guylty. This was my first time ever meeting other fans and everyone was so relaxed and so nice and so much fun. It was a highlight for me. If there is ever another opportunity I will jump at the chance to meet up with these lovely ladies again.
              I was fortunate in that I did get to see him at the SD a different night. I don’t think managed the nerve to say anything to him except thank you but just the brief moment of eye contact we had when I offered my gift and he thanked me was bliss. 😍

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                  • Yes I would love to be a part of that meet up. I saw The Crucible recently on Digital Theatre and was just mesmerized by him as Proctor and the cast and even the audience sitting spellbound. One thing I like about both of these videos is to put faces to names esp since many comment so eloquently and articulately (is that a word?) here.

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              • It just never ceases to amaze me that you can have so much fun with such a diverse group of grown women. I loved meeting all the women behind the nicknames. Definitely a highlight for me, too.
                I think I haven’t even had enough courage to look at him whenever I met him at the SD…

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                • I agree with everything you said …completely. I felt so much more relaxed this time and it was great to feel a kind of sisterhood with a lovely group of women who share the same enthusiasm This was such a different experience compared to the Crucible SD. I didn’t know anyone in the fandom at the time. I was accompanied by a good friend who was not a fan of RA. (She came along for my sake) At the SD I was so nervous that I could barely squeak out my thanks for him signing my program. My friend offered to take a photo and he put his arm around me to pose and my friend couldn’t get my blasted camera to work. I could feel him drifting away to move along and all I could say was “sorry” but he was lovely and said ” bless you for coming”. My friend felt terrible but I said it was all good and I assured her that I was perfectly content with the fact I saw him perform live, got to meet him and got his autograph.

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                  • But on the bright side you had his ARM around you. I would have died right there, passed out. You even got a “bless you for coming” which would have been embedded in my brain foreva! Your friend was so lovely to go with you. Even if I paid for my sister’s plane ticket I don’t know if she would go with me. She likes younger men (actors) and SD no way would she wait in line with me.

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                    • Hehe, that WAS rather nice…at least I think it was as I was in and out of consciousness at the time lol. Yes it was so nice of my friend to support me and we had an amazing time during that trip. We also went to see Martin Freeman in Richard III that week.
                      Actually the wait at the SD is not really that long. They usually buzz through the line pretty quick. That might make it more appealing to your sister.

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        • Thanks, Besotted. I wish I could remember which encounter that was. I am not shy about Guylty showing the video, but I know some ladies might be. I would love to see it, I don’t have it in my computer. I need my memory refreshed.

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  3. *sigh* I love reading about SD experiences, not likely to have one myself. The closest I’ve come to Richard is when he walked past me, in what felt like almost within hand’s reach, at the Popcorn Taxi interview in Sydney in 2013 (gad, so long ago now) – we knew going in he wouldn’t be meeting fans. He literally took my breath away, so even if he’d stopped to say hello I probably would have crumpled into a heap at his feet from lack of oxygen, let alone the giddiness of meeting him. Better that I don’t meet him I feel, much less embarrassing for both of us lol!

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    • Popcorn Taxi was the first fan event I followed “live” online, from New York, in the middle of the night. First there were reports of fans flying in from other cities, then meeting for dinner before the event, then silliness happening at restaurant tables. Blackout during the event. Then, yup, chatter after. You don’t realize, until you experience it yourself, how little news you can hang onto and “feel like you were there.” My thanks to anyone who ever posts anything in real time (since I don’t). You make it happen!

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    • I agree, it is always really nice to read SD experiences – not least because it brings back own memories. There have been some really, really nice encounters over the years.
      I always hoped that I would eventually get used to the whole scenario, and develop a bit of ‘cool’ to be able to function, but it seems as if I haven’t yet learnt to deal with the SD, despite several attendances… Go on, Richard, we need more opportunity to practice! Give us another play somewhere so that we can develop coping mechanisms…

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  4. I think fans are forever grateful to you for the lovely pictures you’ve taken of RA during the years. 🙂
    I do know that I have said stuff to RA the two times that I have ‘met’ him but I can barely remember how I say things, I feel very shaky inside and I always feel like I must have been babbling and embarrassing myself. Better choice all-in-all to remain ‘stumm’ I think. 😉

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  5. Have you met RA? Where? Have you got a photo to share? And what did you say to him
    I met Mr. A at the stage door of LLL. I asked him to sign the DVD of The Impressionists which had already been signed by Julian Glover. He said he hadn’t seen the show in years and asked where I found it. I told him about meeting Mr. Glover. He signed the DVD. I gave him a gift. Had a photo taken with him which is now my Facebook profile photo. I’d post it but I’ve never figured out how to post it here. Then asked him if my friend from Budapest could have a photo with him. Yes, he said and he added that he liked Budapest. The next two days of shows the conversations were considerably shorter.

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