Who’s Afraid of King Con? – Saturday at #RDC5 [part 8]

[Last week I reminded Kate that it was already four weeks ago that we had been to RDC5. A few days later I said to her that I was tempted to end the whole RDC series before recounting day 2 and day 3. Not least because with Kate continuing her report with THIS post and concluding with THIS, as well as armidreamer recounting the story from her perspective HERE, and also finding yet another previously unseen account by a Chinese (?) fan on Weibo HERE (thanks to inkedgirl for sending me the link!), it seems as if everything has been said. That is *one* reason why I am so unmotivated. There is also this super weird feeling that, as long as you still keep some of the thoughts and experiences to yourself, it is not quite over yet. But hey, a joy shared is a joy doubled, as they say. I need to get this  over and done with. So here’s Day 2 (Saturday) from my perspective.]

WARNING: RAMBLING POST FOLLOWING

Photo Session

Queueeueueuueeue

This was going to be a busy day. The photo sessions were set for 10.30am and both Kate and myself had been scheduled to have our photo taken on the Saturday. As Kate explained in her post, the sequence of getting your photos or autographs was determined by ticket numbers. To potentially serve all roughly 650 con attendants, two photo sessions were on offer on two days, comprising shots with individual actors as well as group shots with Richard and Mads, or with the whole group of stars. I only wanted my picture with RA, and damn, it really forced me to leave my comfort zone.

If you know me then you are familiar with my policy of avoiding being caught on film pixel anywhere. Despite various opportunities, I have never wanted to have a picture with myself and Richard. I didn’t really want it this time either – not least because I had to fork out for it – but then I decided to do it because I felt that this was the least exploitative scenario in which I as a fan could ask for a photographic memento with my favourite actor. As in: This was not a nuisance request but it was actually a service on offer. RA was there to be photographed, and by agreeing to be photographed with paying fans, those who asked to be in the frame with him could not be seen as a nuisance who were encroaching on his privacy. In short: Pictures legitimately allowed. Oh boy, overanalysing much?

American Gothic by Grant Wood

I knew from other con images that I had seen over the years, that fans came up with elaborate scenes as to how they would like to be photographed with their favourite star. No simple, boring double portrait! There were props and costumes and whole scenes enacted, with the more approachable stars actually hugging and carrying and kissing their fans. That was definitely out of my comfort zone. But I didn’t want an “American Gothic” kind of picture, either. Luckily, my trusty photo bag not only holds marky Mark but always comes with my favourite travel companion. So last minute I realised that I should use Pop!Thorin in my picture. And not a second too soon, because the big long queue suddenly got much shorter when I realised that most people were queueing for Mads Mikkelsen – who was shooting in the same room as Richard. I took Pop!Thorin from his dark prison and continued moving quickly towards the destination. As I got nearer, I had to leave my bag on a table, then, about 10 people away from Richard, a helper informed me “no hugs, Richard doesn’t want to wear flower crowns either”.

This was a request that caused a good bit of discussion over the day – among the con attendants, on Social Media, between Kate and I. There was criticism that Richard was being stand-offish – arrogant??? – by refusing hugs, crowns and fun scenarios. But *in the moment* when the photo assistant actually said the words to me, I did not feel the slightest bit surprised or dismayed or cheated or disappointed. Quite the opposite. I remember a kind of “preemptive obedience”, with myself vigorously nodding my head and almost swearing on my mother’s life that I would not hug, touch or otherwise inappropriately address Mr Armitage. “Oh, of course, no question, of course, yes.” For me there was absolutely NO QUESTION that this rule was right, was normal and was to be obeyed. And it was a typical case of “Is there anyone here whose needs are more important than mine? Oh yes, there is Richard.  Please let me allow you to take precedence…” 😂

So I just moved forward until it was my turn. I remember standing at the side of the photo area, being the next person to take up my place next to Richard, inwardly squeeing, but at the same time trying to keep myself functioning. The whole thing was – and I am just saying this descriptively and not accusingly – a total conveyor belt. It all just took a few seconds, and I was in absolute convenience mode there. As in: “Let’s make sure that he is not inconvenienced by our *preposterous* desire for a photograph with him.” I remember that it was *all* about him, and not at all about the paying public as fans… I remember walking into the frame, taking up my place beside the black leather jacket shirt. I said something like “hello, thank you for coming” – and he said “hello” back. Because I find such situations *painfully* artificial, I thought I’d lighten the mood by mentioning Pop!Thorin. “I brought Thorin along”. But there was no reaction. There was a slight confusion because I did not hear the photographer instructing me to put my chin down because of the light glare on my glasses. So I got two and a half precious seconds longer with Richard until I copped on what to do. And then I just said thank you. I don’t think he said anything. I didn’t really look back, either – I just wanted to get away from there, not further inconveniencing the man. I am 100% certain that I did NOT look at him at all during these 5 seconds. And it wasn’t just because I was afraid I’d lose my shit if I saw him looking back at me – if I am totally honest it was because I didn’t want to see even the slightest hint of him being annoyed/judgmental/bored by the whole procedure. I just wanted to get that picture done and dusted. In hindsight, I keep thinking that I would’ve enjoyed myself much more if I could’ve just sat at a safe distance and simply observed him. But well, that’s probably even creepier than asking to be photographed with him…. So, yeah, the whole thing happens so fast, you hardly have time to register your own feelings, let alone make sure you remember the moment while not obstructing the rest of the people who are behind you and who want their own five seconds with the OOA.

So, you ask whether the picture turned out American Gothic? Well, Pop!Thorin did the trick.

Hey LoLo – see, I was wearing my Zox strap! Galaxy in his eyes and all that…

A Sermon on Expectation Management

I didn’t get to see the resulting photo until later that day. But pretty much as soon as Kate and I were through with the photo session (and while we didn’t have a Q&A to go to or stewarding to attend to), there already was quite a buzz about the con that there had been some disappointed tweets about Richard’s refusal to play ball. The thing was, despite my “built-in preemptive obedience”, I could totally see why some of the fannibals were disappointed. Kate basically says it all in her initial post on the topic. It was a case of expectation management gone wrong.  Through no fault of the fannibals themselves. Especially if this wasn’t their first con, they probably expected another actor who would go along with all the antics that the creative fans tend to get up to for the photo shoots. To find that Richard really only wanted to stand there beside them – as one does, in a regular fan photo – must have seemed disappointing. And how should they have known to expect something else? They weren’t necessarily his fans, and didn’t know that he generally appears to be rather coy and slightly reserved at any kind of promo event.

My own impression on day 1 of the con, *after* the photo session and *before* the first Q&A was that the whole thing really was NOT Richard’s cup of tea. Not only in the way he seemed to refuse to have fun with the fans nor assume funny poses – no hugs, no flower crowns – but in his whole body language. Observing him at the opening ceremony the night before, and at the photo session, his body language to me looked as if he was a bit out of his comfort zone. As in: “What the hell? I do not understand why everyone is behaving the way they do.” That attitude put a bit of a dampener onto things, for me, if I am really honest. It made me feel guilty. And yes, guilty with an i, not a y. His discomfort initially looked to me like an unwillingness to be there. And that reflected over to me in that I felt bad and guilty about wanting something that he did not seem quite willing to give. I almost felt like apologising for intruding into his sphere.

Dafuq????? Richard at a con???? Where can I buy the ticket?????

At the same time, I was a bit annoyed because I believed that that was not the way it should be. After all none of us there were requesting something out of the ordinary. Meet n greets, photos, autograph sessions – that is how a con works, and we were not doing anything that was off-limits. No doubt, I was overanalysing the whole thing, worked myself up into feeling slightly judged and had the suspicion that he initially was possibly even a bit judgmental about the scenario and the fans.

And yet, for myself, I was completely ok with what we got. I was not disappointed with only getting the absolute minimum. I had been as surprised as anyone else when he agreed to do the con, and wondered right away how involved he would get. Just judging on how I had perceived him at other events – always professional, but usually quiet, reserved, possibly shy, prone to slinking into the background – I didn’t think Richard was going to turn out the King of the Con. I basically expected reticence and that’s what was given. Totally fair enough.

However, Richard then pretty much slayed it with his first Q&A at noon.  This is what he is really good at – listening to what is being said, and answering with wit and intelligence. He was coherent, spoke beautifully, and very quickly made everyone fall in love with him again. With the trauma-inducing excitement of the photo sessions behind us, it only occurred to me when RA entered the stage for the Q&A that he was actually wearing the exact same outfit as the night before. I had to smile to myself when I realised that – “lazy bum”. It seems to be something that he does on a regular basis – he did the same back in 2015 in Leeds… And you know what? I like that casual attitude. After all, he’s just a regular bloke in the body of a gorgeous guy. He doesn’t dress as if he’s going to premieres every day. Anyway, unlike the other guests, RA got an interview with Sean (the Starfury organiser). Which on the one hand made the whole thing more structured but on other hand also regurgitated the same stuff that we have heard many times before. It also meant there was much less time for fan questions than what we bargained for. However, RA delivered, as usual – he expressed himself beautifully and answered the questions thoughtfully and originally. He immediately – and despite the photo debacle – was my personal King of the Con.

I’m a Stewardess

Not sure whether it is the same at all cons, but volunteering at a Starfury convention is called “stewarding”. I can’t tell you how gratifying it was for a stubby 5’6″ hag to finally become a stewardess! Straight after the Q&A I had to report for duty. I was deployed at the photo collection point: The photographs from the morning’s sessions were turned around amazingly quickly. Within 2 hours of shooting the prints were ready for collection. And I and a number of other stewards were there to hand out the photos from the stacks to the individual fans. It may sound like a boring place far away from the celebs to volunteer at – but I basically got to see all the pictures, talking to lots of people. Which I really enjoyed. But also found somewhat frustrating, as a fan of Richard Armitage. There was no mistaking, Mads Mikkelsen’s photos were the best. 100% fun – he actually did anything and everything. Hugging, kneeling, whole scenarios – brilliant stuff. So much fun. And well, this is gonna hurt but it’s the truth: it made him look better/funnier/more interesting/even more attractive than shy boy Richard. Do I have to point out here again that I am saying this from a position of love and admiration? So don’t get your APM on – I’m just saying it as it is. I don’t really think he was an intentional party pooper. By all means and intents the man actually has some party trick up his – erm – *slacks* that would get any party heaving with fun ( cf. 7:50 mins in this interview). But from the pictorial evidence it looked as if dear Rich just wasn’t ready to leave the boring corner yet and just let go… Leaving aside that it looked as if there was a cardboard cut-out in all those photos, I felt a bit sorry that *he* was missing all the fun, possibly failed to understand that the fans were trying to give him their  love and energy. I’d hate to think that he missed out on receiving the gift of his fans’ attention and admiration. But ok, I do understand that it must incredibly weird to have hundreds of people get up close and personal in a photo. Fan after fan after fan. The moment is unique and special for each of them. For him, it is hundreds of moments. I do respect his boundaries. But this is what happens at a con, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he will warm to the idea of this and do it again. That day he needed a while to warm up, though.

Undoubtedly blinded by the sun… eh… gorgeousness of the Armitage

Oh, btw, even though I already showed you my own picture above: Unbeknownst to you because I discreetly hid my mug away it turned out to be crap. My eyes were closed, which was a major bummer. But hey, my stewarding job turned out to be a blessing in disguise: photo peeps said I may get a second chance at a blink-free photo the next morning. Hello queues… The photo stewarding otherwise was an easy, cushy job, and I was able to leave after just one hour. (Kate had to work a full 3 hours btw). I was tempted to call it a day, head back to the hotel and do a bit of blogging, but then hung around in the lobby for one hour until I realised that I could actually listen to the other Q&As. Scott Thompson and Aaron Abrams were on – and boy, they were entertainment! The two of them were obviously really comfortable with each other. Two jokers – much like their characters on the show. They came out with some hilarious stories and literally had the audience in stitches. Including Hannibal novices like myself.

Guylty on autopilot for autographs

While all the hilarity was going on in the main hall, things were progressing quickly at the autograph sessions. No doubt because armed with a pink clipboard and the gold sharpie, Kate was being German and perfectly organised the transit of the autograph hunters through the combined Mads & Richard signing room. Originally I had been told that my badge number would not be called to queue for autographs until the next day. However, all of a sudden I saw my number being called on Twitter during the Scott/Aaron panel. Good thing I hadn’t wandered home yet. So I rushed over to the autograph session, packed with camera bag, Pop!Thorin, big folder of things to have signed. And boy, was I Ethelred the Unready…  Once again – much fewer people wanted Richard’s autograph *pats poor baby’s head reassuringly*. And so the queue for his table moved very quickly. There was already 1 picture included in the con ticket. And despite my advance decision to *only* get those free signatures and *not* spend money on more – yes, I caved again and I bought two more. I wanted to get one signed for Hariclea who had had to cancel her attendance at the con due to her mother’s sudden death, and I wanted another autograph for a future auction. And yep, that meant I forked out another 40 GBP. Thank goodness I had printed several of my own photos and also thrown a LLL playbill and a Crucible flyer in my folder. And luckily I didn’t consult with the powers that be whether my materials counted as “authentic” – as only official, licensed material was allowed for signing. Well, guess what, I licensed those photos to myself. There wasn’t much time anyway, because *boom* all of a sudden I was standing at that autograph table.

And *whoa* let me tell you. This was the closest that I have ever been to RA *without* having a camera to hide behind. And it was disconcerting! Richard was sitting behind a table, with a helper beside him who handed him the pictures and told him what to sign. As I rode up *cue gif of Sir Guy crossing the drawbridge of Nottingham Castle on horseback*, Richard was still chatting to the girls in front of me – two young fans from New Zealand. He sweetly exchanged a few words with them. Then it was my turn. I said “hello” and “thank you for coming to the con”. My cod, I am so eloquent and original. A firework of loquacity. He probably said hello, too. “Probably” because – as usual – my memory is as hazy as a November morning on a midlands lake. Honestly. I thought I am good at multi-tasking, but when in the presence of the Armitage it seems as if I can only either look OR talk OR listen OR remember. Pathetic! Anyway, the helper passed the first of my three to-be-signed images to RA. Richard saw the picture I had chosen for Hariclea. I think (hazy, remember?) he looked up at me, but I don’t remember looking at him. I probably scraped my feet restlessly like a coy little girl – or waved at him in Oliver Hardy fashion (see right 😱). Or not. He saw the picture and volunteered: “Ah, that’s in Leeds.” And I eloquently replied – wait for it: “Yes!” *head desk* So he signed the photo for Hari. Then a b/w picture was put in front of him, and again he kindly commented “And that’s in Berlin!” And articulate mistress of words that I am, I grumped back at him “Yes!”. Imagine this in the sort of tone all German soldiers bark orders in 1960s WW2 films. “Schnell schnell Schweinehund”. I mean, really?  He then asked me whether he should sign for Hari again, and I was kind of thrown and in the confusion actually decided to have my own name signed by him. *doh* Honestly, I don’t know where that came from. I already own several autographs. I didn’t want or need another. I wanted one to go into the auctions. But it almost felt to me as if he *wanted* me to want an autograph dedicated to myself. *shakes head* So yeah, that one’s for me. And then finally the Crucible flyer was passed on to him by which time he had given up on making any attempt at striking up a friendly conversation with me. “Just your signature please”. *scribble scribble* And then “thank you” and “bye”. I couldn’t get away from there fast enough.

No sooner had I left his vicinity, the roundabout of thoughts started gearing up in my head. For a moment I thought that, even though he had not been unfriendly in any way, RA had exuded a sense of distance and “PFO” there. Did he think it was all bizarre? Hadn’t I felt his awkwardness and that he was resolutely shy and politely reserved? No! I suddenly had this epiphany. It wasn’t him. It was *me* that had been the eejit – who needed coaxing from a shell, who obviously was completely out of her comfort zone, who was hopelessly uncool and inexplicably coy despite considering myself an extrovert and a people person. Yeah, my arse! I had totally blown the opportunity to make a coherent comment and say something meaningful to the actor whose work I have been admiring for seven fucking years. The nice man had actually done everything *he* could to make me feel comfortable. He’d given me the opportunity to speak *twice* when he commented on the photos, opening the conversation, waiting for me to say how much I had liked him in The Hobbit, how I was hoping UATSC would ever see the light of day, or how I simply enjoyed the events when I took the photos. I could’ve said a thousand things. But I couldn’t get my teeth apart and all that came out was a grumpy, humourless “yes”. Honestly, I am shaking my head here. How fucking stupid can you be?

The queue for Mads Mikkelsen

I had enough opportunity to think of all this and berate myself because I had joined the next queue – to get an autograph from Mads Mikkelsen. Which I decided to do, just because it was free and I might as well. It was a loooooong queue. I think I had to wait for an hour or so and I was among the last people that day, but let me tell you, it was worth it. And either because I had just had that epiphany about being too shy for my own good, or because it didn’t matter since I wasn’t a fan, it was such a pleasure to speak to Mads. I only had that one thing to sign – the free Hannibal poster that was part of our con pack –  but he really took his time to treat every fan with kindness and interest. He must have been signing for at least two hours at this point, but Mads was supernice. He looked at every single person who came up to his table, said hello, and made an attempt at a chat. He asked whether I wanted it signed for me and I said no, just your signature, and we had a quick little back and forth about “best hand-writing”. The short interaction with him felt unrushed and comfortable. Well – *he* came across as unrushed and comfortable, I suppose, and at the end he actually looked up and shook my hand. Mads did that with every single person who had an autograph signed that weekend – he shook everybody’s hand. And fan or not, I have to say that that little gesture really made a difference to me. I certainly wasn’t lying when I said to him that it had been lovely to meet him… And the experience put into sharp relief that my encounters with RA were chilly and perfunctory – because *I* was acting like a teenager and couldn’t get my act together… Richard was grand as he was – he made every attempt at providing a good experience to everyone. But if some people can’t overcome their own reserve, then that is hardly *his* responsibility.

Last Rounds

Luckily I didn’t have to dwell too long on all this. With a whole con going on around me, I finally bumped into Kate again whose shift as a steward had finally finished. We decided to get a bite to eat and headed to McD across the road before the evening’s entertainment – the costume competition. The costume competition was open to all, and I had expected a larger number of people to take part, but in the end the 20 or so costumes made up for the lack in numbers by the quality and work that had been put into the garments. Scott, Aaron and Jeremy were the judges, and they made a terrific decision when they awarded top prize to a young disabled fan who was “the flaming wheel chair”. I have to confess that I felt tears in my eyes when “Noah” was wheeled across the dance floor to thunderous applause – that moment encapsulated the whole con experience for me: You can say what you want about commercialised fandom experiences such as a con, but this fandom is special. Ok, disclaimer, I do not have that much experience with fandoms other than my own. But then let me look at the fannibals as an outsider and a non-fan. I loved that they were such a heterogenous group – in nationality, in ages, in backgrounds, in dis/abilities. There were people there who had made the trip all the way from the US, from Asia, from Australia. There was a general underlying goodwill and friendliness that also extended to fakes and frauds like myself. Even when I admitted to being there for Richard, really – I never once saw a raised eyebrow or felt unwelcome by the fannibals. In fact it felt incredibly inclusive and happy with people walking around exchanging little gifts, even complimenting interloper me on my Red Dragon flower crown. There were plenty of chats everywhere, and the general relaxed and easy-going atmosphere was simply a joy. I was glad I was there with Kate, and also had arranged to meet and hang-out with fellow fan armidreamer as well as hook up with Midori, but I have no doubt that it would’ve been easy to make new friends and experience the con with people I didn’t know before. I’ll probably come back to the fannibals in my last post in this series, but it can’t be said often enough: the Hannibal fandom rocks. Thank you for being so open, kind and fun.

 

Apologies for the ramble. I’ll get this done and dusted with a final post soon!

 

 

Advertisements

150 thoughts on “Who’s Afraid of King Con? – Saturday at #RDC5 [part 8]

  1. 1. It looks like you brushed his arm in your pic so good for you!!!
    2. Pop Thorin was your talisman there great idea
    3. Richard may have been overwhelmed and shy with 650 people vs Mads who is used to con life already
    4. King of Con: perhaps you have allowed yourself to observe and take in as Richard did so you both were first timers
    5. King Con poster is hilarious and brilliant-conceived by Armitage Shanks the irony is so clever
    6.Best of both worlds- shy Richard and outgoing Mads
    7. I started crying (what’s new lately) about your description of Noah- just so heartwarming
    8. The Armitage knew your pics of Berlin and Leeds so a win win there
    9. That close to him most of us would have passed out or needed mouth to mouth from his presence
    10. You went, you saw, you got, you met, you took a photo and you survived the King of Con

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1. Hm, have a vague recollection that I may have brushed that leather shirt thingie… ooops, totally crossed the boundaries *eeek*
      3. Absolutely right – it was his first con, so I am not surprised he needed to warm up. Hehe, so did I.
      5. I had such fun playing with King Con today… so much so that I neglected my work and now have to translate late into the night. Hmph.
      8. You know, I am wondering about that… he was awfully quick at recognising where those pictures were taken…
      And I really like your #10. Indeed. That should be the last sentence of my final post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Guylty at the end of the day The Armitage is human and hopefully he took as much as you took from his first time at the Con
        Take as much you want from #10
        I am honoured that you would consider that! 😘😘❤️❤️❤️

        Like

          • Yes it would. I would like to add just for record thank you for being an ambassador of goodwill for newbies like myself last year. I am immensely grateful than I can comment here and feel support and engage in friendly and amusing banter w so many wonderful commenters who are equally respectful and engaging.

            Like

              • Well I think being respectful and allowing all types of opinions, comments and all around horseplay here is a testament to the blogger herself. I’ve also thanked a few other blogger friends for always being kind and respectful toward me no matter what my mood is. Sometimes though reinforcing this sentiment doesn’t hurt.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. I laughed long and hard at your always fun and eloquent words—especially (and entirely lovingly) at your wry and self-deprecating account of your autograph encounter. It earned me one of these looks 🤨 from the man next to me on the sofa. I’m reliving it all over and over again and as much as I’m looking forward to the next installment, I too am reluctant to let go of RDC irrevocably—something I would not have thought possible a mere five weeks ago. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe, if you laughed, then I know it was good ;-). (And I love the mental image there of Mr Kate raising his eyebrows at the sudden outbursts of laughter/snorting. The little secrets we have, eh…?)
      As much as I was procrastinating over this post, it *is* actually nice to have finally written it. The reliving is actually more in the comments that in the initial post. At least for me. It’s when the detail comments and questions turn up, that I finally come to any proper conclusions…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well I for one am delighted that you have your favourite Berlin photo signed just for you ❤️

    Oh dear, obviously Mads is much more gregarious than RA… he (Mads) does sound a really good sport! RA did relax a bit later, I gather. But what a shame your encounter left a bit to be desired 😣

    Liked by 2 people

    • *chuckles* Yep, that photo is now mine, I guess. Ah well, at least he got my name right. (Which means I must have actually told him how to spell that… memory… hazy…)
      And yes, RA did relax the next day. He really needed some time to get into it. But you know, it wasn’t his fault that I can’t report anything better than a couple of friendly questions and two grumpy, monosyllabic affirmations – totally my fault for being stupid. I learnt my lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man, this is part 8! I’ve been missing out! I’ll have to go back and read the other parts (and read the ones from others you linked). I find these sorts of posts a lot of fun and I especially love your strike-throughs, hehehe.

    I’d like to say “I wish I could’ve been there” but honestly I’m not so sure. If you consider yourself an extroverted people person, I have no idea how I’d react as an introverted extreme non-people-person! The only celebrity-meeting experience at a con I’ve had was meeting Robert Picardo (I’m a Trekkie) and taking an impromptu photo with him during a signing. But in that case I wasn’t *that* big a fan (just a general fan, even though his character is my fave), and my sister and her then-boyfriend (who wasn’t a fan at the time) were with me. Honestly, having a non-fan around helps somehow, lol. He’s the one that asked if we could take the pic even though it was technically against the “rules”. It was surreal, either way.

    Anyway, if I was in Richard’s presence I really couldn’t guess what I’d do. What you did sounds downright fine by me considering a lot of us would probably shut down altogether or do something crazy, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL, don’t worry Angrboda – the previous parts are still available (and not that exciting anyway – apart from what Richard says, of course ;-)). But nonetheless, glad if you enjoy my subjective perspective on the con. (The strikethroughs are my favourite part, too 🤫)
      Introvert – extrovert. I am not a fan of those labels at all. And the con showed me way. By all intents and purposes, I am supposed to be an extrovert: I love meeting new people, I like chatting, I am not afraid to speak in public, I am a people person who thrives on communication and contact with others. And yet, when RA described how he likes to sit at home for several days, without any contact, without hearing himself speak, that totally resonated with me… I can easily do that, too – but how does that fit my extrovert personality??? Anyway, sorry, not really important. But yeah, if you are a shy person, this whole shebang of getting pictures and autographs from your favourite actor, is a bit of a dare… It’s just like you say, though – it’s easier when one doesn’t care. Or when in company of people who care less than yourself…
      So yes, it could’ve been worse, I guess. It’s only our own perception of ourselves that we have to measure up to. I definitely did not measure up to mine 😂. However, Richard did. In all respects.

      Like

      • Yes, I tend to agree on the introvert/extrovert labels being used too much. I’ve known people who are both, somehow, even if they seem to cancel each other out? Or maybe people can switch one off for the other? Lol, either way. And then to add to the confusion, there’s a difference between being “shy” and being “introverted”! I grew up thinking I’m shy, only to realize later that I’m apparently not shy but instead introverted! xD Oh well, labels are good for shorthand, at the very least, but overuse of them has become the norm. True of most labels, I think.

        Like

  5. Oh Guylty it was was wonderful seeing the con through your eyes (King Con brilliant!) Im so glad you were motivated. You summed up so brilliantly how the Man just stupyfies us in his presence. ( Perhaps, he was thinking the same thing each time, he he. ” God all I could think to say to her was, ” That’s Leeds, how lame”!
    I do love his reserve and distance. It shows sensitivity and it’s sexy. Empty vessels and all that. Not that Mads is an empty vessel

    Liked by 3 people

    • LOL – oh, I loved the way you turned around the experience, suggesting that not only the fans berate themselves for being tongue-tied, but RA might actually feel bad for not getting a chat going, too. (For the record: Of course I don’t think he does, not was it his responsibility to get a chat going, anyway.) ROFL, since he is such an empathetic guy, maybe he sensed what was going on??
      You are right about reserve and distance – and how that stands for sensitivity and sexiness. It’s definitely a bit mysterious – he keeps us guessing and wanting to know more. That’s a good reaction to evoke in one’s fans…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks so much for sharing your experience Guylty. I can honestly say that I have rarely been more interested when reading an account from someone who has been at an event with RA as this one. Your honesty and thoughts about the event and RA himself are what makes it fascinating for me. It’s a breath of fresh air to not simply read a gushing, ‘oh he’s so perfect!’ report. I’m past all that, I want truth even if things were not perfect or did not live up to expectations or hopes, it’s in those situations where he may be a bit out of his comfort zone that we can see glimpses of the real man and not the standard ‘working’ persona.
    Thanks again x.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, austoz, I am there with you. I am past the perfection, too. I totally love all his positive characteristics, they are why I am still interested after several years. And they will also balance out the little niggles. But a description of the con wouldn’t have been truthful for me if I hadn’t mentioned the critical points, too. It’s not as if those details are a turn-off. They just explain something about the man. It simply completes the idea we have of him….
      I think you put that really well – when he is out of his comfort zone we may see glimpses of the real man… That’s the impression I had. He was totally professional, and he did a job there. But he also (involuntarily) let on to his feelings… and that was interesting in itself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Totally agree with Austoz. I prefer to know the truth, rather than the fantasy. It’s the occasional glimpses of the “Real Richie” inadvertently caught off guard, peeking out from behind the professional persona, that help sustain my interest in him.
        I’ve so enjoyed reading about your experiences at the Con and your thoughts/ perceptions on the real man. Thank you for sharing. Xx
        Ps. Really enjoyed the link to the radio interview – never have guessed RA was a party flame thrower?!!

        Like

  7. Ohh i’ve been waiting for this! Thank you again for sharing your experiences. I think given with such a cramped time limit it is hard to come up with something interesting to say (and without overthinking it too much) I’m so surprised he remembers where the photos were taken… but forgot his dwarvish line? Heehee, just teasing mr. Armitage!

    I do understand the grumbling that was seen in twitter when RCA didnt want to do hugs, but it did seem short lived, and people loved him for his Q&As. I’m also glad fannibals were also nice and respectful of people’s boundaries. Let’s just hope if he goes again next year, he’d be a little more game to at least put a flower crown on 😀

    Like

    • I really enjoyed reading all the different accounts, too. Whether you were actually there or not – it is almost as if you can see everything happening. And that’s fun.
      As for him pinpointing the photos – tbh that surprised me, too. IDK, either he has seen my pics before (which he actually *has* because I sent some to him before, asking him to sign and send them back – and he did), or he has a great memory for outfits, hairstyles and general surroundings… If I hadn’t been so tongue-tied, I should’ve asked him how he knew…
      I’m going to address my “prediction for future con attendance” in the final post, but just to say – yes, I think he eventually got into the swing of things.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Aw, this was such a great write up, Guylty. You describe your experience with such honesty, humility and humor -it’s just lovely. As far as the autograph session goes, I think a high percentage of RA fans would slip into involuntary “zombie mode” if they stepped into your shoes and stood in that moment as you did. I know I certainly would and (have done twice in the past) want to kick myself after. There’s no denying he has a powerful aura that just oozes a magnetism that induces unabashed giddiness. It just needs practice to rein it in, I think. Just look ahead to when you attend his next con -no worries- you’ll already be a seasoned veteran, wiser and more relaxed – and with a little luck he will be too. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zombie mode – that hits it, D! I really was a walking dead… the man simply kills me. And come to think of it – I have encountered him in autograph scenarios a few times before, and was similarly tongue-tied there. It looks as if that is simply what I am like when faced with my favourite actor. Ah well…
      Or maybe I need to practice this. My 2nd class teacher once wrote into my end-of-year report that I enjoyed acting… I should simply study the role of the “eloquent fan” 😂

      Like

  9. Ramble away, I’m loving every single moment of your funny, detailed and insightful post (especially the strike -throughs!) *mwah*

    Like

      • At Popcorn Taxi he passed by me quickly at what seemed to be just out of arms’ reach, and yet he literally took my breath away. Breathing stops -> lack of oxygen -> brain freeze -> incoherence/inability to speak The fact that you were much closer to and interacting with him, I don’t think you should be so hard on yourself. 😉

        Like

        • I know what you mean, Mezz. That is the crux with being a fan. Or at least for me. Because that whole carrousel of thoughts and analysis never stops… Having to be outwardly calm while squeeing inside essentially paralysed me. Duh. But well, I do find it consoling that I am not the only one who has that reaction to RA.

          Like

  10. Thanks for your honest account, it is hard to put into words how his presence effects me , the first time at a Bafta event I screamed his name to such an extent friends still remember and can still embarrass me with the recall and at the stage door at the Old Vic I look terrified by his closeness (photo evidence as proof, that will never appear on the web)
    Normally I am a rational being in fact my husband says I am hard hearted but RA somehow pushes strange ‘buttons’ in me.lol

    Like

    • LOL – is there a recording of that scream , Yve? Which year was it?
      I agree with you, though. It is totally irrational to be so in awe of that man to actually lose the ability to speak. Not my usual MO. And it really is just him who does that. Secret ingredient…

      Like

      • It might have been 2008 definitely during Spooks we had been to the Globe and the play had finished in time to make a mad dash along to the Festival Hall so my embarrassing behaviour had plenty of witnesses! I got chatting to a Scandinavian girl about Richard and often wonder if she started to follow his career she seemed keen lol

        Like

        • That’s dedication, Yve. And a RL oymoron: Theatre – and then celebrity ogling at the red carpet.
          Was 2008 the year he turned up in a suit but with Guy of Gisborne mullet? Most important though: Did Richard hear you shouting? Did he come over to you? Did you talk to him? Did you get an autograph?

          Like

          • He was a small dot in my photographs, and unless he has the hearing of a bat I doubt he heard me. I think the Mullet was much earlier.
            My two autographs came from The Hobbit premiere in Leicester Square when I waited 6 hours in the freezing cold (it was December) and the SD at The Crucible.
            If he does do another convention within a reasonable distance of me I reckon I will” screw my courage to the sticking place ” and go, but from your comment about the organisers summoning people by Twitter I wondered how you would know when things were happening if you weren’t on Twitter!

            .

            Liked by 2 people

            • Yve, thank you for saying that comment about how would you know badge numbers called if you were not on Twitter! I was thinking the same thing and I would have been totally screwed!
              “unless he had hearing of a bat” hahahaha very good!!

              Like

            • Truth be told, you will not be able to successfully navigate this type of con without a smartphone. It can’t be done. They post the approximate estimates of what’s happening when on big signs around the hotel, but there simply is no way to predict how fast a line will move or how many people will want how many autographs or pictures from a particular person. The only way to update that info is on the fly as it happens. I stewarded the autograph sessions on boht days and even I could not foresee that G would be able to get her autographs the first day. It was really unexpected. They also used an event app (Gather) to make the schedule and schedule changes available. If you did go to a Starfury con, I would recommend getting Twitter for that time and subscribing to their notifications. You don’t have to use it for anything else and can delete it afterwards. But they really have no other way of updating the schedule as they go along.

              Liked by 1 person

            • “hearing of a bat” 🤣- But aw, what a pity… He probably was still a bit more talkative on the red carpet in those days…
              And yes, you need to be on Twitter if you are attending one of the Starfury cons. Or need a friend who is on Twitter 😉

              Like

  11. Lovely juicy account, Guylty, thank you! You give the full con experience, all the highs and not-so highs, and even the embarrassing bits. I read it all avidly, and it would have been fine for me if you’d gone on even longer. For instance, you never said what you ordered at McD’s. 🙂 It doesn’t matter at all if there are other equally detailed accounts out there. Each one is as different as the bloggers themselves, and the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. *happy sigh*

    Personally I think you did good in your Close Encounter of the Armitage Kind. I mean, you got out actual WORDS. I’d have just gaped like a loon — supposing my jellified legs would have got me that close in the first place.

    And the poster was genius., especailly the Armitage Shanks. 😂

    *Waves to fellow Trekker, Angrboda.* Was Mr Picardo there in actual body, or was he a hologram ?

    Like

    • Hehehe, your McD quip, Jenny… Glad you enjoyed the whole convoluted story of Day 2. (Psssst: There are more embarrassments to come for Sunday… oh cod, honestly, I do wonder how a grown-up woman can be so stupid and so silly… *head desk again*)
      LOL and yes, I managed to string a couple of words together. Although not particularly impressive. But well, it was enough to get what I wanted, i.e. the autographs. (I would’ve preferred a proper conversation, too, but well…)
      The King Kong poster was such fun to make. I wasted at least an hour on that yesterday… did you spot the mini flower crowns?

      Like

  12. Hach, es macht einfach einen Riesenspaß, all eure Berichte zu lesen. Als wären wir live dabei… Da hat sich das Warten auf deine Fortsetzung ja gelohnt. An deinem Kasernenton musst du aber noch arbeiten, schließlich ist er nicht aufgestanden und hat salutiert 😂.
    Aber es ist echt erstaunlich, dass er auf Anhieb wusste, wo die Fotos gemacht wurden. Respekt.
    P.S. Ich bewundere deine Mappe(?). Sieht mal wieder echt toll aus.

    Like

    • Puh, wenn es dir gefallen hat und du noch nicht völlig genorven bist von meinem Endlosbericht, dann ist ja alles gut. (Meine deutschen Leser sind immer meine ehrlichsten Kritiker… ich fürchte – und respektiere – euch *grins*)
      Jawoll, je länger ich drüber nachgedacht habe, desto schwummriger wurde mir bei dem Gedanken, dass er wie aus der Pistole geschossen mit den Kommentaren zu den Fotos rauskam. Ich sag ja immer, dass ich nicht glaube, dass er auf Blogs oder Twitter mitliest. Glaub ich auch wirklich nicht. Aber wie weiß er das dann so schnell? Kann er seine Frisur und den jeweiligen Zustand seiner Gesichtsbehaarung immer sofort einem Event und einem spezifischen Ort zuordnen? Rät-sel-haft! Und bevor hier noch einer glaubt, dass ich mich geschmeichelt fühle, dass er die Fotos kennt – ich bin ja immer eher so für die Anonymität…
      Oh, und dass dir meine Mappe gefällt, das geht mir jetzt aber richtig runter wie Öl, Nordlicht. Weißt du, was das mal war? Das war eine Pappverpackung von Amazon, in der die Bücher verschicken. Ich hab das Ganze dann mit meinem gesammelten Papier vom Junk Journaling verschönert. Leider habe ich im täglichen Leben nur wenig Gelegenheit, eine Dokumentenmappe zu benutzen. Aber für die Con und die Mitnahme der Fotos/Autogramme bot sich das dann richtig an. Anyway, mit dem Kompliment hast du mir jetzt richtig eine Freude gemacht 😘

      Like

      • Jou, wir Deutsche sind ja schließlich überall in der Welt dafür berühmt, besonders viel zu meckern 😂. Und ich hab mich wirklich angestrengt, was zu finden – leider vergeblich 😉🤣.
        Echt eine Verpackung von Amazon?!? Auf die Idee wär ich nie gekommen. Du hast aus dem öden Pappteil dann aber wirklich ein Kunstwerk gemacht. Und eine bessere Gelegenheit, die Mappe zu nutzen, hätte es doch wirklich nicht geben können.
        Ja, das mit den Fotos ist schon mysteriös. Ich fürchte, du musst da bei der nächsten Gelegenheit nochmal an die Front, um weitere Erhebungen durchzuführen 😉.

        Like

  13. thanks for the write up 🙂
    it’s great hearing about the experience from different people
    love the photo you got signed-he looks so beautiful there
    just reinforcing my boyfriends view that Mads Mikklesen is super cool, lol
    definitley not jealous of your experience….
    nope…
    not one jot….
    😀 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Berlin was just… IDK… he was at the height of his attractiveness there, if that makes sense. I think it must have been a time when everything was just great for him – and it totally reflected on his looks. We always use the word ‘gorgeous’, but there he *really* was… (And I missed it all because I didn’t look at him but only at my camera 🤣)
      And your b’friend is 100% right. Mikkelsen is really cool. I’m saying this with love (and an inner bond because I am the same), but RA is not as cool as that. There is, in fact, a tiny bit of uncoolness there (which I can relate to – and which adds to his attraction, actually) whereas Mikkelsen is easy-going with fans thanks to his confidence. His coolness did not translate in arrogance btw. Interestingly, it was the aloofness/lack of confidence displayed by RA that could’ve been misconstrued as arrogance…

      Liked by 1 person

      • yeah Mads is awesome, it definitely exudes from him-i’ve been following a twitter feed called Mads Mikklesen doing things for a while and there no self consciousness there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interested to know how his perceived lack of confidence manifested itself; was it that observable at the Con? Or did you glimpse it when the mask slipped so to speak? Did you get the impression that RA is naturally quite highly strung (and that is not meant as a criticism in any way)?

        Like

        • It was certain things he said and also the way he behaved at the con. But of course, it is all just *my* interpretation of those insights. For instance, the way he has this near pathological need to slip into the background, to me indicates a certain amount of lack of self-confidence. Letting others take up the space in front also means that he assigns them more importance than himself. The body language on stage and in the photo shoots, was another indication: hands in pockets, shoulders pulled up – kind of making himself small. And then the whole thing about not ever looking into the mirror at home – which kind of plays into what he has so often said about himself: that he thinks he does not look attractive, or that his face is not made for smiling and rom coms…
          As for highly strung – no, I don’t think he is. He actually comes across as really calm, and quiet, not hyperactive. And again, just from what he has said over the years – he likes to just “be” when he is on his own, doesn’t need company, doesn’t need to talk, doesn’t tidy up, is happy on his own – that to me doesn’t sound like an overexcited, highly nervous personality but rather a slightly stoic, self-centered (not necessarily selfish!!!), quiet personality.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Hard agree on the body language. It indicates to me that he doesn’t want or need to be front and center. I’ve always felt that he got any desire to be the center of attention (if he indeed has any at all) out through his acting and doesn’t have need of it in his personal life.
            As for being self-centered in a good way, this is one of the occasions where German has the perfect expression ImO: in sich selbst ruhen. To be at peace with oneself without the need for interaction with or approval from others. It’s actually a beautiful thing if you can pull it off.

            Like

            • What a beautiful expression indeed – to be at peace with oneself. Sure, I think that applies to him. And I concede that apart from a certain lack of confidence there is also that lack of narcissism. And the latter is what makes him so adorable and attractive.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Oh yeah I don’t think he is narcissistic and I lived with one! I truly hope he is at peace with himself as a great guy and loyal person. Again maybe he just needs time to warm up to people in public, outside his comfort zone. I can totally relate to that as I am sure many of us here can.

                Like

                • Definitely needs time to warm up. And still is shy even then. Maybe he needs to bring out his little notebook and start writing for a fictional Richard Armitage who is all ‘Rampensau’ when it comes to dealing with media and fans 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Jou jou Guylty I wondered with the IG pics and his character development if he had a notebook and kept a diary or write up so absolutely I agree with you. I like his shyness or whatever it is.. I think it is sexy and part of his charm for me, relatable and human if you will.

                    Like

                    • Shyness is definitely endearing. That’s how I fell for my Mr Standring. Especially because I am a bit of a steamroller in social situations with shy people. (Poor Mr Guylty…) However, I have to say that that shyness thing gets a bit old after 20 years…

                      Like

                    • Guylty, I will say I would take shyness over a narcissistic twat any day. And 20 years in he must be doing something right.. bravo to you for “in sickness and in health, til death do us part”

                      Like

                    • 25 years *fucking hell* 😳😬😄Well, two kids. Kinda keeps you tethered. Now the kids are growing up. It’s suddenly slightly more difficult than before, that’s all I’ll say.

                      Like

                    • Well you committed and I commend you for that. Within a year and a half of mine I wanted O-U-T. I will also say that my parents have been married 53 years this Sept and it has been up and down for both of them but I thank whoever is above that my dad is there for her right now and literally “in sickness and in health,” applies. But I hear ya. I really do,…

                      Like

                    • Yeah, I guess both me and Mr Guylty come from happy homes. Both our parents stayed together, no divorce. I am an only child, but Mr Guylty has 4 brothers. Who are all married (most of them as long as Mr Guylty and me) and not a single divorce among them. So yeah, I guess we are stubborn and unwilling to give in. Probably also something about the “stiff upper lip” – I am a Northern German proddy, and my OH has an English mother and an Anglo-Irish father. People like us kind of “stick it out”. A divorce would feel like “giving up” to us 😂. But hey, I am definitely aware of the challenge it will be when the kids have left the building… which is soon…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yep my mom is an only child and my dad is the oldest of three, younger brother and much younger sister. His dad died when my dad was 12 so my dad has been on his own taking care of his mom and siblings. They are definitely of the adage “sticking it out”. My mom is German and my dad is an American w an Irish born pop and a deep South born mum. I get it I do. My mom has cats now to cope with empty nest syndrome..

                      Like

                    • OOHHH you are not teasing here are you?? I thought you were in the cat dept (mind flashing back a few months to the cat vs dog discussion) Jade right? What kind of dog are you thinking about?

                      Like

                    • Nope, not a cat person per se. We do have a cat but that is because we just couldn’t have a dog while we were still travelling en famille on a regular basis. But soon the kids won’t travel with us anymore, which means that there is someone to sit the potential dog… I mean, no disrespect to Jag (our tom-cat), but he’s typical feline – aloof, distant, demanding, self-reliant, independent. But I would love to have a pet which actually is delighted to see me day after day.
                      Since we live in the city centre, I don’t think that would be fair to a large dog like a retriever (my preference). I don’t like lapdogs, though, so a middle-size would be nice. A cocker spaniel is top of my list.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Ah cocker spaniel yes, my Max is middle size but built like a tank, like a footballer but a love bug. Well as a dog lover I say go for it!! Jag does give you love though right? He was with you this past week when you had the bandaging on? I thought you wrote he was at your feet or between your legs when you were blogging?My pups have been a life saver for me. I know my sister’s cats are her babies and many commenters here speak so fondly of their cats (predominantly).

                      Like

                    • Yep, Jag is around – when he likes to be *grins*. That’s how cats are. And he seemed to be very nice recently, cuddling up to my “sick leg” all the time. But he doesn’t really like to snuggle.

                      Liked by 1 person

    • LOL – I think everything actually depends on us not figuring out anything related to RA. The man, the mystery – the attraction. I’m happy with that. As you said – don’t care.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Richard Armitage tangentially related | Me + Richard Armitage

  15. Nice report, Guylty, thanks so much for sharing! And ah, there’s the picture! Nice that you got Pop!Thorin in there. 🙂
    The two times I have met Richard I got this vibe of shyness from him. Friendly and professional but shy, so I don’t think it’s only down to you that you didn’t quite get the interaction that you may have hoped for. Speaking from personal experience, even if as a fan you are able to say more than hello, yes or no, the man does not tend to speak a whole lot in one-on-one interactions. He’s very sweet and attentive but not extremely loquacious in those situations. 😉 And yet, that’s fine by me, maybe adds a bit to the mystery?
    I love that he recognized where the pictures were taken and to have that beautiful b/w photograph dedicated to you personally is just something extra special!
    And Mads sounds delightful.
    All in all, I think you had the full con experience and so lovely that you had such a good time!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Pingback: Catchin’ up with Rich | The Book of Esther

  17. Pingback: RA Pocket Shrine 179/? – A Thank You Spook | Guylty Pleasure

Leave a Reply to Guylty Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.