[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.