Thank you, Lucas North!

So trying to get out of bed this morning – UH OH – my back is killing me! There goes my plans to visit the Bronx Zoo with one of my friends. What to do? I know! Need some theRApy! What better than binge watching Spooks, which I haven’t watched in ages. I always watch Season 7, so I decided I should give another look at Season 8. Yes, I know, Sarah Caulfield. But also, lots of Ros and then there’s the strip club…

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Sexy, sultry, disturbed, Lucas North

I have seen so many pictures of Lucas, in addition to having watched all the Spooks episodes he was in, that I thought I would be immune to watching the show on tv again. I was wrong.

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Lucas North must be the sexiest man on tv ever. Sorry Sam Heughan/Jamie.

So, what did you want to liaise about?

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Lucas is the one character that Richard Armitage inhabited that I feel regret that I didn’t follow him on television. Some of my online friends brought him to my attention, but I didn’t follow through. Ehh, a spy show, I thought. I couldn’t have been more wrong!! Yes, ehh a spy show but, WOW a SPY NAMED LUCAS NORTH!! Wow wow wow wow!!

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Addendum: Hugh Jackman. The River. Yes, I Gave Up. (Again)

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So I got a text message from my friend this afternoon: Do you want to go see The River in front row seats for $100?

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I spent a lot more for a not-front-row seat. How is it that we can get front row tickets for almost 1/2 the price??

Well, apparently the Circle in the Square theater has benches with backs for the first two rows which encircle the stage. YIKES!

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So, in addition to seeing The River on November 1, I will be seeing it from a front row seat in December!!

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Seeing Richard Armitage AND Hugh Jackman LIVE from front row seats both in the same year is amazing. AMAZING!

I am a very lucky lady.

HJ RA

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When Fandom Collides

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Today I am struggling with my determination not to judge other fans. I am committed to the theory that all fans have the right to express themselves in whatever way they see fit, except if it is to harm the object of our affections.

There is a segment of the Armitage Army who felt it would be fun to tweet pictures of themselves in fake beards to Richard Armitage. They apparently hope to get a reaction from him. Not sure really, what they hope for.

For me, and some other well-wishers of Richard Armitage, it seems like a dopey idea. I hate spam. When I get tons of tweets/emails/whatever on a particular topic it doesn’t make me happy. I hate coordinated marketing campaigns. But that’s just me. Maybe Richard Armitage will be charmed by this spamming of bearded women.

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Oh well. Why they would think that is unfathomable to me.

The point, though, is what is to be done when you are part of a fandom, and another part of the fandom takes public actions that you think are stupid on behalf of the fandom . I don’t want to judge other fans! But when they present themselves as the *fandom*, that includes me. If I don’t choose to  be part of those activities, what choice do I have? I will be associated with them, willy or nilly.

Yet, if I tell those fans that I don’t agree with their activities, I am accused of having no sense of humor, of trying to be *the boss* of those fans. I truly am NOT! They are the ones who are representing themselves as the boss of me!

If fans wish to to play with the celebrity of choice, God Bless America. We are free to do what we wish. But is it right to represent your individual actions as being part of *the fandom*?? Like someone calling themself “(fill in the celeb name__US)”. Who made YOU the boss of me?? I am a fan in the US. If you call yourself “XX__US”, you are saying you represent me. You DO NOT have that permission! But how do I stop you??

I guess it doesn’t matter in reality. Does Richard Armitage care about any of it? Probably not. It’s just a matter of my feelings.

Good bye, my friends. Enjoy your RA fandom.

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Why I love Richard Armitage. You Can’t Stop the Power.

Yes, he’s TROUBLE!!

The man has energy that’s OFF THE SCALE!! Yes!!

John Porter. Sex Bomb. Indeed.

This is for all those who are suffering The Crucible withdrawal. A reminder that there is Richard Armitage yet to be, beyond John Proctor, John Porter, Guy of Gisborne, Thorin Oakenshield, etc. Can’t wait to be turned on by the future!! *__*

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The Summer of The Crucible: A Personal Fandom Wrap-up

RA Crucible Autograph

Yes, The Crucible is over. Above is my souvenir of my fandom experience of seeing the play and going to the Stage Door.

I can’t quite believe this massive RICHARD ARMITAGE FANDOM experience is over! All summer long we knew where “our man” was and could go see him if we had the means and time. Wow. That’s not likely to happen anytime again soon. I am so grateful that I got to see it once. Those who were fortunate to see it more than once, well, okay.

There’s been a lot of chatter about “how many” times someone went to see the play. Sorry to be boring, but my frame of reference is of course seeing Hugh Jackman in The Boy from Oz. I went to see it 15 times. It was over the course of a YEAR of course, not 3 months!! Everything is relative! Still it was A LOT! The other thing is that TBOZ was a musical, not an intense drama. It was FUN. Hardly what you could call The Crucible!! Watching someone spill their guts several times in a week, versus watching someone play a sexy entertainer? No contest. I’d go for the sexy entertainer. Not sure I could endure watching The Crucible multiple times in a row. But that’s just me. Which brings me to my next point.

JP at the end my namee

“Judge not, lest ye be judged.” How many times someone went to see the play is a matter for them to determine. None of us has the right to judge. Our experience of a theatrical event is personal. We don’t know why someone was so obsessed with a play that they needed to see it so many times. And “what’s normal for a fan”, indeed. There is no “normal”. We all have our own reasons. Is more than once “obsessive”? Is FOUR times? Is EIGHT times? Who can judge??

The thing I objected to was the weirdness about being truthful about going to see the show. Some people seemed very reluctant to be honest about how many times they were going to see the show. Why? Who cares? Go see it as many times as you want. The weirdness to me comes from being secretive. As if you were being “special” by seeing it so many times. None of us is special. Maybe The Anglophile Channel. LOL! Marlise is clearly a “special” fan because she can communicate with RA and help him get his messages out to us. Bravo!! (P.S. I think she only saw TC once?)

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John & his wife

I also want to give a shout out to the ensemble of The Crucible. I thought they were all exceptional. Richard Armitage, while being the headliner and having the Stage Door folks all queued for him, was really part of an ensemble. I was very happy to see the RA fandom acknowledging their appreciation to all the members of The Crucible ensemble, as well as to Yael Farber and all the supporting behind the scenes participants. YAY!!

What’s next for RA fandom? Who knows? The only sure thing is the publicity tour for The Battle of Five Armies. Then the premieres. NYC December 8th! Will I go?? <sigh> Not sure at this time. Check back later.😀

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all the RA fans who shared their experiences of the play, the Stage Door, and their adventures to London. I hope we hang on to that shared fandom and don’t start our internal dispute nonsense now. Richard Armitage did a masterful job in interpreting an iconic role for the stage. He has something very much to be proud of coming out of this experience. Let’s all be proud of that, and wait for his next amazing career experience to reveal itself. Hope you get a little rest, Richard, and continue to amaze us!

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Hugh Jackman: The River. Yes, I Gave Up

So, I bought a ticket to see Hugh Jackman in The River on Broadway.

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“A remote fishing cabin, a man and a woman, and a moonless night. THE RIVER asks: when we find each other, are we trying to recapture someone we once lost?”

My only interest in seeing this is Hugh Jackman. (No surprise to anyone who reads my blog!) However, I did see Jez Butterworth’s “Jerusalem” production on Broadway with Mark Rylance. I wasn’t that impressed with the play itself, but was wowed by Mark Rylance. I’ve seen him in a few different plays now, and he is always a WOW!

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I’ve seen Hugh Jackman in more that a few things. I’ve seen him in every Broadway play he’s done – The Boy from Oz (15 times!), A Steady Rain with Daniel Craig (just 3 times), and Back On Broadway ( 2 times). Also saw him in Carousel in concert (on bootleg video). So how was I really not going to see him in The River?

Well, when I first looked I found tickets for the shows I wanted to see at $250 a seat! I decided to decline. Thinking about it recently, having seen Richard Armitage in The Crucible and spent thousands just for the privilege (money well spent), I thought to myself that a couple hundred to see Hugh Jackman wasn’t excessive. So I bought a ticket for the matinee of November 1, which is the second show of the run. It starts previews on October 31. <sigh> I hope I hate it and don’t want to spend a lot lot more seeing it more and more times. What do you think?

swordfish-13aWell, I wonder if he takes his shirt off in The River??

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I Still Love Richard Armitage!

Yes, even though, I have “come out” as myself, Pat, not Marie, and had a mixed reaction to the Stage Door Event at The Crucible, I find myself still enthralled with Richard Armitage. I kind of wanted to say, oh, well, bye fandom. I am so longer “obsessed” with Richard Armitage, so I don’t have to blog about him anymore.

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Yes, I am using a “meme” to illustrate my feelings. See that, Richard! You taught me something about the internet! I didn’t know what a “meme” was either!

OK, so today was the charming Q&A at The Old Vic with Mr. Armitage, interviewed by Matt Wolf. It featured, unsurprisingly, honest, direct, and visceral responses by Mr. A. Thank you to The Old Vic for live tweeting, as well as those others who filled us in on events as they developed. And thanks to Ali at richardrrmitagenet.com for a remarkably quick post of her remembering of the convo. And RACentral for putting it all together for us quickly as well. And to those who were there and shared their feelings and thoughts so quickly with those of us who couldn’t be there. And then we find out a Twitter Q&A on September 12? Wow!

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Still, it wasn’t the Conversation that reminded me of why I will continue to blog about Richard Armitage on my Obsessive Behavior blog. All through my struggle with my “fandom” these last days/weeks I have been aware that I continue to think A LOT about Richard Armitage! Even when I am feeling dissatisfied with fandom in general, and my place in it, there he is. I find myself thinking this and that about him from time to time every day. He is never find from mind.

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I still don’t understand it. I don’t understand why someone I don’t know, will never know, can have taken so much control of my thoughts!!

Last night I had a hilarious dream, where Richard Armitage was in my parents’ house having a convo with my Mom. I was working, there in the house, but the house seemed to be somehow connected to my workplace. I kept having to WORK when I wanted to talk to RICHARD! It was a comedy of blocks to my being with him. I was in a room where there was no exit, except to crawl out on a ledge! LOL! Then one of my friends stopped me to discuss something. Then some family members stopped me to show me some family pictures. I wanted to be polite, but RICHARD was chatting with my Mom in the kitchen!! He had a Leica camera with him and was taking pictures of interesting posters, with autographs!, that he was quite interested in. I have no idea. You know how dreams are.

Anyway, I recall at one time calling him a klutz (Urban Dictionary: A person who is never without a scrape or bruise. Always finds a way to trip, bump into things and people.) Now, we all know that would never apply to RA! It was ME who wanted to get close to him and so was bumping into him all the time! HILARIOUS!

So, here I am. Continuing to struggle with fandom. Continuing to be interested in this uncontrollable feeling of admiration for someone unknown to me personally. I will continue the journey!

they'll take the kidney!

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London Calling Part 4: My trip to London!

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I had a great time in London. A really fantastic time.

As soon as I was in the car driving to the hotel, looking around at the London streets, I felt an onrush of Anglophilia. Bookstores, theaters, Indian restaurants, a cinema advertising a special presentation of the premiere of the new Doctor Who show. Charming residential areas. I felt a big smile creep across my face. And somewhere nearby, Richard Armitage was preparing to go on stage at the Old Vic.  I would be meeting two of my twitter friends for the first time. I was very happy.

When I got to the hotel in Camden Town, there was my friend! YAY! I immediately felt as comfortable sitting and chatting with her as if we were friends all our lives. I felt the same with my other friend when she returned from an evening at the theater. We made our plans for the next day. Instead of running around London sightseeing we opted for a day spent on the Regents Canal and Camden Lock, which was right outside the hotel.

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The Canal trip was heaven. It was a lovely summer day. Just perfect – not too hot or humid. We drifted along the canal, enjoying the lovely scenery and waving to other boating parties floating along.

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Then back to Camden Lock to pick up lunch and shop at the many stalls there.

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Then, back to the hotel to change for the theater.

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I made it! Here’s the lobby, where you can buy programs and posters.

I wrote about The Crucible HERE. The Stage Door Experience was not great. When I failed to capture RA’s attention for a picture, I followed along behind him as he worked the SD queue. Could I get a moment? My friends were trying to catch his attention as well to give him the presents they brought. No luck. Tried to get pics of him. No luck. He got almost to the end of the line and then turned and said Thank You and went back to the theater. <sigh>. No pictures.

Here’s the truth. I wasn’t upset that I didn’t get a picture with RA. I was unhappy with myself for trying. I, me, myself, didn’t care if I got a picture with him. And yet, I followed behind him like a lunatic, trying to get his attention for a picture! EWWW! It was solely to have something to bring back to my pals online, many of whom had gotten pics taken with him. I “should” have a picture with him, right? Sad sad sad.

At the end of the day, I got a lovely autograph on my program. I got a “thank you” for the book I gave him. That’s it. And it’s enough. Marie no longer cares about scrambling for Richard Armitage’s attention. If the time ever came that I could have a convo with RA, that would be nice. Really really nice. But scrabbling along after him on a Stage Door line, or Premiere gathering – nahh, not happening again for me. I was not successful and I don’t even care.

Writing this blog post made me realize that “I” am not “Marie”. I am Pat. Hi!! Hope you continue to read my blog!!😀😀

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MARIE is Gone! PAT is here now!

How weird is that? I have given up my alter-ego Marie Astra to become my real blogging self, Pat S. or nycpat838@gmail.com.

WEIRD!       shock

 

I looked at myself on the Stage Door queue for The Crucible and realized that Marie was weird, but Pat, as myself, an admitted Richard Armitage fan, was not weird, was, in fact, a person who was an admirer of Richard Armitage, but a person INCLUSIVE OF that identity.

Therefore I have decided to delete MarieAstra and take back myself. A REAL person who is an admirer of Richard Armitage for sure, but who has also been obsessive about LOTS of other things, not just RA!! And, who, hopefully, will continue to be obsessed by things other than RA!

My anger at another blogger who took a position and then secretly went back against that position was a fabulous catapult to this decision. I realized that I cannot be two people – fan and real self. I have to be me. So, thank you, Servetus!!

And THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all my friends who have followed me on this journey!! I love you all, truly!

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Being A Fan; What’s “Normal” for a Fan; The Crucible Stage Door Experience

I was writing a tourist visits London post, when I realized that this blog is not that. It is meant to strip aside the polite conventions of blogging to reveal the real, palpable emotion of being a fan in the midst of “obsessive” behaviour. The whole purpose of my blogging is to try to understand why I have these obsessions. Why a person/place/thing can make me so happy that my real life issues seem insignificant.

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Beautiful, beautiful Lucas!!

The trip to London has made me reassess my “fandom”.  I saw myself acting in a way as a fan that in my real life I would be horrified at. Why did it become so important to me to get a picture with Richard Armitage?? It doesn’t mean anything! Yet, in those minutes I felt compelled to get that darn picture! I had to show everyone I was there – I got a picture! Why? Would it have made me happy? Probably not.

I am very sad, but I think I must end Marie. I hope to keep my friends who’ve I’ve made in this fandom. You know who you are. If anyone needs to get in touch in touch with me, you can still email me at marieastra8@gmail.com. I won’t delete the account. I won’t be blogging or twittering anymore as Marie, though. Thanks for your interest and support in my blog. I need to rethink things.

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London Calling Marie: Part Three, The Crucible

This is not a “review” of Yael Farber’s production of The Crucible. It is my impressions as both a Richard Armitage fan and a lover of theater. As you will see, those two designations sometimes come in conflict… SPOILERS AHEAD

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Yikes! Scary John Proctor!

The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a scary play. People in this play act in ways totally relatable to current times, which is to say, in scary ways. In irrational ways. It’s central protagonist is John Proctor, a farmer in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony.  In this production of the play, John is a strong, hard-working, PHYSICAL man. He has strong emotions. He loves his wife and children. He lusts after Abigail, a young woman working in his household. Abigail fancies him too, and is happy to oblige when John takes her in the stable. Abigail, in her innocence, thinks he loves her. Sadly for her, and for the town of Salem, that was not the case, or at least, not in the way she thinks he does. John is bound to his wife, his family, his home, his place in society. That kind of bond is not easily broken, least by a quicky in the barn with a household maid. Abigail accuses John of “thinking softly” of her, of wanting her, to the point where he would go to her home and look up at her window. He doesn’t deny it. Men do those things. Many of us have had that experience, where a man who has had a taste will show up…sniff around… all the time…. It must be part of male programming??

Proctor & abigail

Then we go to the Proctors’ home, where Mrs. P. is working and waiting for her husband. She doesn’t expect anything extraordinary to  happen. She lights the fire. Puts out a basin of water for him to wash up in. Checks his dinner. Kneads the bread for tomorrow. Puts it away. Where is he? She leaves the kitchen.

John comes home. Checks out the dinner. Stew. Tastes it. Ehhh. Puts some salt in it. OK. Better. Goes to the basin to wash up. Takes his shirt off.  At this point I split into Theater Goer – Fangurl. With half-naked Richard Armitage in front of me, can John Proctor survive. No. See Part Two. John Proctor eats dinner. Mrs. P. comes back in.

Wham! The Proctors’ dance begins.

John & his wife

It is a dance. Pushing. Pulling. Who is in control? Who is the righteous one? Who is justified? Cold/Hot/Angry/Loving

All becomes for naught when the Sheriff comes knocking to take Mrs. P. away. Accused of being a witch. By Abigail. John breaks down. All is lost.

Mary Warren, another helper in the Proctor household. is part of Abigail’s “gang”. She knows that it is all a sham. That the girls are following Abigail’s lead in accusing innocent people as witches. Her boss, John Proctor, knows that Abigail is faking it too. If only they can let the authorities know, all will be well, right? Not so much.

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The Prosecutors.

The bad guys have other ideas.  Solid John Proctor and his friends are no longer the pillars of society in this topsy-turvy land. Abigail says they are bad. That they walk with the Devil. The bad guys are invested in believing her and her pals. Based on their evidence, the prosecutors have condemned people to die. When John Proctor comes to say the emperor has no clothes, how can they believe him??

JP at the end my namee

They can’t. They don’t. John Proctor winds up in prison. Condemned to hang. His only chance at “salvation” is if he confesses to have consorted with the Devil. To stay alive, John must confess to something that isn’t true. In a truly remarkable scene with his wife, he decides he wants to live, even if he must tell a lie. The Prosecutors want him to lie, desperate for someone to show the Townspeople that the girls’ accusations of their neighbors consorting with the Devil are true. If John Proctor, upright citizen and family man, confesses that he sold his soul to the Devil, then hanging those other folks makes it okay. Proves that the Devil is in Salem. John knows that by signing a paper saying this, the Prosecutors will use it to show the Townspeople. But John is only trying to save his life for his wife and family. If he doesn’t say he saw the Devil, he will hang. If he says he saw the Devil, he will live. John doesn’t want to sign a paper, because he knows the Prosectors will use it to prove they are right. John cannot agree to let them use a lie to save themselves. So, in the end, he hangs, rather than sign something that will allow the Prosecutors to get themselves off the hook. It is his NAME!

Richard Armitage as John Proctor is amazing. He is a loving husband, a lusting man, an upright citizen, a broken prisoner, a willing martyr. I never doubted for a second that he was John Proctor. Okay, in the performance I saw on 23 August he was a bit shouty towards the end. No nuance, just Thorin shouting and growling at the injustice of the world. I kind of lost John Proctor for a while.  As Marie, the theater-goer, I can attest that actors are not always dead on perfect at every performance. Some performances are better than others. Sometimes the actor is tired or distracted for personal reasons. My friends that I was with felt it was not as great a performance by Mr. A. as the one they saw in July. Understandable. I am not complaining. What I saw was truly remarkable, even with quibbles.

As far as the other actors go, there was not a bad performance among them. Samantha Colley as Abigail Williams was intense, confused, defiant. Ann Firbank, as Rebecca Nurse, was consistently, believably a God-loving woman. William Gaunt, as Giles Corey, was heart-breakingly honest and loving. Natalie Gavin, as Mary Warren, was perfection as a young woman who wanted to be with God, but was persuaded by the bad girls that she should be with them. Sarah Niles as Tituba was compelling and believable as someone taken from her homeland and longing to be back with her people. Michael Thomas, as Rev. Parris was despicable and hateful and weak. Well done! Jack Ellis, as Deputy Governor Danforth, who signed the paper condemning innocent people to death, was incredibly scary as an irrational/rational man acting to fulfill his duty even when it was clear that he was off the track. Adrian Schiller, as Reverend Hale was a marvel. He was so convincing as the Reverend seeking to outwit Satan, and in the end, convinced that he was so so wrong, but how to put the Genie back in the bottle?? Lastly, Anna Madley. I cannot say enough about her masterful performance as Mrs. John Proctor. She communicated without shouting. Without any sort of histrionics. An ordinary woman forced to deal with extraordinary circumstances. She loved her husband. She loved her children. What to do when her husband strayed? In the end, their love for each other ruled the day. Poor Elizabeth Proctor. Good thing you had Anna Madley portraying your grief. Good job!

I am so glad this show has gotten the raves it deserves. The performance as a whole is so visceral. So PHYSICAL. The theater smells like a Colonial house. The lighting is the same. The sounds are haunting. Ashes rain down at some point. It is a PHYSICAL production. Enveloping.

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London Calling Marie – Part Two, In Which Marie Sees Richard Armitage On Stage

WARNING:  Richard Armitage Objectification Ahead! Warning! Warning!

Look, I know that you all don’t really care about my thoughts on how great it was to go to London and meet Twitter friends and see The Crucible. I know you really want to know what it is like, as a fangurl to see Richard Armitage on stage with his shirt off. I am happy to oblige.

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Yes, this picture is of John Porter’s chest. Well, guess what. John PROCTOR’s chest looks EXACTLY THE SAME!! Yes, it does. Maybe not as sweaty. But chest hair there, not a lot, but there.

Where to begin? Anyone who reads my blog or my twitter knows that I decided to spend a lot of money to occupy my pre-bought seat to see The Crucible once I realized that said seat was right in front of where John Proctor takes his shirt off to clean up before dinner. I don’t deny it. I couldn’t resist. Richard Armitage makes me feel like a “natural woman…oh yeah”. Hmmm..

Anyway, back to The Crucible. Without going into all the detail I should in order to give The Crucible the respect it deserves, Richard Armitage is, no joke, John Proctor in this play. From the moment he is on stage until the moment he leaves, “Richard Armitage” is not there. He is transformed into John Proctor. I can give no stronger praise.

Now, back to the bathing scene.😀

Then there are his muscles. His arms, his chest. Muscled. Beautiful ripples. His back.  I failed to see his underarms. Curse me for missing that! I was mesmerized by his biceps.

Also, I noticed that he is not a “hard body”. His body is slender, but soft. Cuddly soft….

Then he put his shirt back on. NO NO NO, I wanted to shout! Not yet!! But, alas, John Proctor was hungry and went to eat his dinner.😦

The other thing I must mention is that, when he took his shirt off, the thought that crossed my mind was “I spent $2,000 for this”. LOL!! I started to laugh at myself, but had to keep a straight face because, well, he was right in front of me!!

Final objectification confession. The scene where JP is distraught that his wife has been taken to prison. He sits at the table, bent over crying, his back to the audience. And his shirt rides up just enough to give a nice view over the top of his pants. A nice view of his lower back. Not like a plumber showing off his butt (unfortunately ;)), but some bare skin. OMG. That’s all I’ll say in public.

I feel bad already for this post. I know these are the details you all  are dying to hear, because, indeed, I was dying to see them for myself!😀   Don’t hate me!

Note: This post has been edited as of Sept. 15.

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London Calling Marie – Part 1, In Which Marie Sees Richard Armitage Again!

I am a very lucky fan of Richard Armitage. Saturday, 23 August, was the FOURTH time I got to see him in Real Life. Wow. That means a lot to a well-wisher of the man. Some of us will never get to see him “in the flesh”, as they say. And yet, I’ve managed to see him four times. Each time exciting, but always with a little bit of disappointment thrown in. I am starting my report on my London Weekend with a look back, to put it all in perspective. There are so many layers and thoughts to share about the weekend. First, traveling to London for such a short visit, with all the difficulties that involves. Second, meeting Twitter friends I met through the RA fandom. Third, seeing The Crucible. Fourth, a fangurl seeing Richard Armitage.

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So let’s start with a perspective on seeing Richard Armitage in person four times. The first was The Hobbit Live Event (above). I sat in the second row. That is my blonde head right in front of The Hobbit poster. What an opportunity! Yet, I couldn’t get over how thin and tired he looked. Plus no opportunity to interact.

RA as Swann w Odette

The second was the Pinter/Proust play at the 92nd St. Y in NYC. Saw him onstage, but missed out on the fan interaction afterwards.

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The third was the Into the Storm Premiere, held in New York City. Just a brief sighting before and after he went into the theater. I did get an autograph, and some nice pictures of him signing autographs. Problem was that it was SO brief! Am I a bad person for feeling that way??

RA Crucible Autograph

And the fourth sighting was seeing The Crucible on Saturday. Above is the evidence of my encounter – an autograph on a lovely photo in the programme. Also, I did get to give him a book I’d brought for him and he said, “Thank you!”.

Whew! Am I lucky, or what?

I have lots more to say on that subject in Part Two.

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Countdown to RA! 4 Sleeps!!

Dude!

Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night…and Saturday night I will see him!! Meanwhile Friday I will see my friends Ann and Michaela, which is just as good to me. And I will see LONDON! For the first time in more years than I care to count. I went to London, my dream city, with 3 of my high school friends after we graduated and were in college. It was a cherished dream of ours, all Anglophiles, to visit our spiritual homeland, England.

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Unlike this trip, I spent two weeks in London. Unlike the two days I’ll have this time. Travel Friday and Monday. Sightseeing and RA-seeing on Saturday. Exploring the city on Sunday. I am incredibly grateful. And time with my two new friends as well as seeing RA. What riches!!

I’ll tell you a secret – I hate air travel. I am terrified, but determined. I will not give in to my fear of flight. Turbulence makes me convert to every religion I ever heard of. I’ll pray to any god to save me! I remember Guylty describing her focussing  on RA when she was in some bad turbulence! I will think on that while I’m traveling as well!!

RA as Swann

 

 

 

 

Richard Armitage as Swann in Pinter/Proust

I watched Richard Armitage on stage once before, in the Pinter/Proust production performed at the 92nd St. Y in NYC. He is an amazing presence on stage. He is centered, focussed, still. He holds your attention. He didn’t rage and storm the way John Proctor reportedly does. And yet I couldn’t look away from him.

I can’t wait until Saturday, when I will see him embody John Proctor.

I saw my 21 year old niece, English major at Boston University, on Saturday. I told her about my trip to London and what I am going to see. She said, “He’s playing John Proctor, right? He’s the sexy one!! ” LOL!  Yes, he is.

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Pretty Pictures of Richard Armitage

I’ve been enjoying looking at many pretty pictures of Richard Armitage while I am looking forward to seeing him next weekend in The Crucible. Here’s a mixed bag of pics, some of him, some of his characters. All pretty!

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RA greed shirt??

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OK. I’m fainting now. What about you??

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ONE WEEK UNTIL I SEE RICHARD!!

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YES! One week until I see Richard Armitage as John Proctor in The Crucible.

Wait, is it one week? It’s Friday and I’m seeing the play next Saturday? LOL! Whatever! I’ll be in London next Friday! Meeting my friends Ann and Michaela!! Wow!!

I have my “Stage Door” experience planned out in my mind. Give him a present. Ask for a picture. Ask for an autograph. Gulp! Do you think I’ll be able to have enough presence of mind to follow though?? I think I will totally FREEZE! <sigh> Finger crossed!!

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Into the Storm NYC Event Was Great Fun!

Well, after all the waiting, it’s over. A group of Richard Armitage fans met up in New York City and went to see Into the Storm. A great time was had by all! In fact, we are thinking about another meet-up, even without an Armitage film to see!!

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The real Star of the movie: BIG TORNADO!!

I won’t pretend to give a real review of the movie itself. I will just say that I am sorry the trailers revealed the entire movie! With very little left out, if you have seen the trailers, you have seen the movie.  Or the best parts of the movie. There is other stuff in the movie that is tedious and dopey. And sadly, I must say this is not the movie to show your friends as an example of why you are a Richard Armitage fan. He needs to get a lot more comfortable with the American accent. Not that he did it badly, just seemed very uncomfortable with it. Or maybe it was just the dopey dialogue. Of which there wasn’t a lot for him.

There were some nice close-ups of his face that I hadn’t seen in trailers or stills from the movie. They will make nice screen caps someday.

But the really fun part of the day was sharing it with other fans! We all enjoyed sharing stories and laughing at the silliness of it all. I am very glad I decided to pull this “event” together, and I thank Gratiana Lovelace for coming up with the idea. I hope the participants in the Chicago Event had as much fun as we in NYC did!

Here’s an illustration, thanks to @armitagebesotted!

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NO! Richard Armitage is NOT Hugh Jackman!!

Also, there was a review that I can’t find right now which called Richard Armitage “the poor man’s Hugh Jackman”. Seriously?? First of all, Richard is every bit as good an actor as my dear Hugh Jackman. (Actually better, but, shhh don’t tell Hugh I said that!)

Plus, I started this blog with the express purpose of showing that Richard Armitage is NOT a Hugh Jackman wannabe, clone, lookalike, whatever. Maybe type. They are both 6’2″ men who dance. You can read about it here.

Richard Armitage is 100% himself. He is unlike anyone else. PAY ATTENTION, stupid reviewers/reporters!!

 

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Into the Storm Premiere NYC – I Was There! Part Two

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Marlise Boland of The Anglophile Channel

Before Richard Armitage arrived at the Red (Black) Carpet, Marlise Boland and her family arrived. To us Richard Armitage fans, Marlise is practically royalty! She had a 45 minute interview with him, to give him The Anglophile Channel’s 2013 Favourite British Artist of the Year Award. Since then Marlise has been “one of us” – a committed Richard Armitage fan!!  It was so exciting to meet her, and I got lovely hugs from her!! Her daughter filmed Rebecca Clark and myself gushing about The Anglophile Channel and seeing Richard Armitage. You can see it here. Don’t hate me.😀

When Richard Armitage’s car pulled up, my mind went blank. I forgot what I was doing. I started snapping pictures.

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Then he moved to go into the press tent.

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And then he responded to our screams to please come over here, Richard!!

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Such a lovely man. Made even more lovely by the makeup he was wearing! It was the first thing I noticed! Of course he has to wear makeup for the photographers, but it surprised me.

I don’t know what was going through my mind, other than, take pictures and at least get an autograph! I had something I wanted him to sign, but it would have taken an explanation, and I was carrying some postcards around and I had the idea of having him sign one of the postcards. He did! He didn’t look up at all. No opportunity to say anything. He just signed, signed, signed and turned away. I think he did say a few words to the three or four people standing in front. There were maybe three of us standing behind them. Others were standing further around the corner and he never even looked up to see them. (Don’t feel bad – they saw him later, and even got pics with him!)

When he turned and went into the press tent I was numb. That was it. I stood there with my friends and we were like, OK what now? Should we try to get pics of other actors? There was the little girl who was waiting to see Nathan Kress, so we decided to help her get his attention. Soon after he arrived in a car with Max Deacon.

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And he came over! The little girl was delighted!!

That was it! At that moment, one of my friends said, Is that Annabel Capper? I looked where she was pointing and I saw the back of a woman walking away from the theater, talking on the phone. Didn’t think it looked like her. But, guess what, it WAS her! Someone got an autograph from her inside the movie theater. How lovely that she was there for Richard!

After some consultation, we (the maybe 15 people who had been hanging around the theater since about 3:00 PM) decided Richard would be coming out very quickly after the movie started at 7:00, so we moved from the corner to the side door of the theater. This was about 6:30. Lots of thin, dressed up, heavily made up people with tickets started to go in. Lots of ordinary, local, elderly people started to come OUT of the theater, leaving after the movie they were there to see was over.  Many of them came over to me and asked what we were waiting for. After having spent two hours saying Into the Storm with Richard Armitage and having them give me a blank stare, I decided, after consulting Twitter, to say “Richard Armitage from The Hobbit”. That got a positive response! They said “Oh!” and walked on.

Richard’s SUV was revved up and ready to roll as soon as he left the theater. Unfortunately, my cell phone battery died right then, so no pictures. The security guys were anxious that we not stand behind the car and get run over, or stand on the sidewalk and block pedestrians, so they herded everyone behind a barricade. I was in the street behind a barricade behind the vehicle. They left me alone, so a couple of others (Grace and Cathy) came and joined me. Grace had a letter to give him. Sadly it didn’t work out for her. When he came out the side door, he did go over to the people waiting behind the barricade. He took some pics with some of them, signed stuff and ran off to the SUV. @armitagebesotte gave him her sign which said “No Circus Questions Here!” He took it! Grace tried to get her letter to him, but the car pulled away and he was gone.

All in all, I was not surprised or disappointed at the experience. Having weathered many, many Stage Door appearances of Hugh Jackman, I know that sometimes you click and most times you get a scribble and a wave. I was very lucky I got to interact for about 30 seconds with Hugh. Maybe in London when I go to see The Crucible I’ll get 30 seconds with Richard Armitage? A picture? 20 seconds? LOL!! Two seconds look into his eyes? LOL LOL LOL A girl can dream….

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The moral of the story is: EVERYONE, EVERYONE WHO READS THIS BLOG MUST GO SEE INTO THE STORM THIS WEEKEND! If you live in NYC, we are meeting up and going to see the 4:25 showing at the Lincoln Square 13 Cinema where the premiere was held. See my blog about the details HERE!!

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Into the Storm Premiere, NYC – I was there!! Part One

IMG_0074Here he comes..getting out of the car…

OMG! It’s RICHARD FREAKING ARMITAGE!!

Yes, I was at the NYC Premiere of Into the Storm, starring Richard Armitage (from The Hobbit). I add that because I quickly learned that was the way to explain to passersby why I was standing in the middle of the street outside a New York movie theater which was showing movies all day, with people leaving the theater, only to be confronted with US standing around waiting for something. What’s going on?? Who’s in this movie?? Why, Richard Armitage, from The Hobbit! Ohhh, they said. And walked away.

My Into the Storm day started at 3:00 pm when I got to the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 Cinema. There was a white tent covering the front of the theater. Hmmm. Went past the theater to the other side, West 67th St. There were security guard looking gents, a line of people standing by the side door, and various other folks wandering around. Well, those other folks were all, not mostly, ALL! Richard Armitage fans!! We were all there to see the man himself!! Only one Nathan Kress fan showed up. Otherwise, we were all there for Richard.

At 4:00 I went to the Starbucks on Columbus Ave. & 67th St. to get an iced coffee (it was hot!) and to meet up with @awkwardceleb and @saraalizecross, who had press passes from Warner Brothers to be in the press tent to interview Richard Armitage himself!!  They were preparing for the event so I left them and went back to the theater, where I met up with Twitter friends, @armitagebesotte, @rcny13, @faboamanto, @nancyjohnson1 and some new friends, who I don’t have Twitter names for. We stood around on the corner of W. 68th St & Broadway, where the limos were supposed to arrive and let there passengers out. It was a very short walk from the open limo door to the door to the tent, and nowhere for fans to stand! We were kind of shoved off onto a corner. I staked out my position on that corner, and even though a NYC street garbage can stood in my way, I was determined to get pics of Richard Armitage as he came out of the limo!! As it turned out, I was in a good spot.

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Getting out of his limo, about 6:10 pm

So shortly after 6:00 PM, Richard Armitage arrives. Before the other actors. Eeeks! We started snapping pictures and calling “Richard, Richard, come over here, please!” He was about to go into the press tent, but came over and started to sign stuff. There was a person who wanted to give him a present, and I heard him say, “Aww, I’m so sorry there’s nowhere for me to put it!”, so couldn’t take the present. He sounded sad, really!

Meanwhile, he signed photos and stuff people held out to him, like The Hobbit book. I only had a Greetings From New York City postcard in my purse, which I stuck in front of him, and he signed. He didn’t look up.

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Not looking up.

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Yes, still not looking up!

It is such an intense experience for those few seconds when you have the opportunity to see Richard Armitage right in front of you. I really wanted to say something but so does everyone else. And then he’s gone!

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Bye, Richard!

After Richard left I waited for a bit to make sure that the little girl who wanted to have Nathan Kress sign a picture she had. So when he got out of the car, we called him over.

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So that was done and I left the corner of excitement. My chance at interacting with Richard Armitage was over for the day.

I have more to say, but I’ll write it later.

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Being a Fan

Porter from Tumblr

John Porter as portrayed on Tumblr

I recently had a conversation with one of my best friends about fandom. Her 12 year old daughter has been really anxious to see this blog, because she can’t believe her old auntie would be writing a blog! She doesn’t believe that anyone over 30 could understand social media! <GASP>

So recently, my friend showed her my blog. Daughter was confused. “It’s all about this GUY?? All about the same GUY??” Yes, my friend told her, it’s all about this one actor. (Which isn’t true! I maintain adamantly!) Anyway, daughter says, “Auntie is crazy”.

So there you go. To a pre-teen, my obsession with Richard Armitage is “crazy”. LOL!! I’m sure my little friend is not alone in making that judgement!! Happily, I’m not influenced by those who hold those opinions, and will happily continue pursuing my chosen fandom!

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<sigh>

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Into the Premiere Storm or Into the Storm Premiere?

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So, guess who got a ticket to the premiere? That’s right! ME! I got a message this morning from one of the contests I entered informing me that I was NOT a winner. Gee, thanks.

Then, this afternoon, a Twitter friend let me know she WAS a winner, and had an extra ticket, so did I want it. Of course I said YES!!

Here’s the problem. I want to see Richard Armitage WAY more than I want to see the movie. I am going to see the movie anyway on August 9th at the Into the Storm NYC Fan Event. Most likely won’t see much of Mr. A. in the theater at the premiere. If I were him I would leave the red carpet as soon as possible and not sit through the film, but get myself to the airport and back to London ASAP on Monday!! He has The Crucible to get through on Tuesday, after all. He needs to rest up!

So that means I have to be OUTSIDE the theater to see him, not INSIDE. I’m not sure what to expect, and welcome advice from anyone who has gone to the premiere of a film. I am told that there were more passes distributed for the movie than there are seats, so first come first served. Decisions, decisions! I am very grateful.

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I have no idea what the setup will be, but I’ll get there early to scope it out. As promised, I will run to my computer as soon as I get home and report here on what happens. I am particularly looking forward to seeing many of my Richard Armitage fan website repesentatives with press passes issued by Warner Bros. Studios get the chance to ask Richard Armitage questions that the pros never manage to. This should be an unforgettable experience!

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INTO THE STORM NYC EVENT – August 9th JOIN US!!

PLEASE NOTE: 4:25 SHOW IS SOLD OUT! WE ARE GOING TO 5:05 SHOW!

RSVP IF YOU ARE COMING TO THIS, PLEASE!! MARIEASTRA8@GMAIL.COM. THANKS!

 ITS movie poster

The New York City INTO THE STORM FAN EVENT will take place on Saturday, August 9th. We will be meeting up at the David Rubinstein Atrium, which is at 61 W 62 St (entrance on west side of Broadway between 61st and 62nd streets), between 2:00 PM and 3:30. There is a sandwich shop there, so if anyone wants a sandwich/snack/coffee/whatever, we can get it there. Please buy your ticket to the 4:25 5:05 Into the Storm show at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 Cinema, which is at 1998 Broadway, corner of W. 68th St.,  BEFORE you come to the Atrium.

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We will be going to 4:25 5:05 pm show of Into the Storm. We plan to get to the theater at 68th & Broadway about 4:00 pm. If you want to meet us, but couldn’t meet earlier, we will be on the corner of 68th & Broadway at 4:00 PM. After that we will go into the theater. After the show, we are planning to go have dinner at a diner or pizza place, depending on how many people want to go. It will be great fun to meet up after the show to talk about the movie!

Note: Please remember to buy your movie ticket ahead of meeting us at the David Rubinstein Atrium or at the theater! ANY questions marieastara8@gmail.com. We want to meet you!!

 ITS RA and

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Richard Armitage with Dogs, Cats, and Children.. and NO BEARD!

A break from The Crucible!

Richard Armitage has such different personas that he portrays in his various roles. Many times he is the “alpha male”, tough guy, leading the good fight. I love those roles. I also love when he shows a “softer” side – a Dad with kids, and pets. Awww.

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Richard famously said he prefers a dog as a pet, rather than a cat. Still, he looks good with a dog!

Here’s the latest picture of Richard Armitage in Into the Storm, with his family dog.

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RA and cat

And Richard with a kitty! Photoshopped, of course, but, oh so cute!! Looks good with a cat, too!

thorin and horseRichard as Thorin with his “pony”. They had a “thing” going with their “hair”.

And then there’s Richard with a frog:

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And, my favorite, Richard with his “children”:

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I love seeing pictures of Richard Armitage as John Proctor in The Crucible, but I have really been feeling like I need a break from that intensive beard and angry man!!

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That’s more like it!

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Waiting for Richard

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It’s been a while since I wrote anything here, and I am feeling like I really want to share what’s been happening. I must be getting into this blog writing thing! I never considered myself a writer, but I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts and feelings here.

I have been “obsessed” these last weeks over many things, the first being the sale of my house in New Jersey. Praise the Lord, the house was sold on Friday and I am now happily burrowed into my former home, an apartment in the East Village of Manhattan, NYC! It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get this done, but luckily no permanent damage was done! Anyone who has had the blissful (not) experience of selling a house will, I’m sure understand!!

This weekend some of my friends went to see The Crucible. I will be going to see it with them in August. Others of my friends saw it in June and earlier this month. As I hear their stories of how incredibly impressive the play is, and how unforgettable their experiences of a brief encounter at the stage door with Richard Armitage was, I am champing at the bit waiting for my turn to *fingers crossed* hopefully have my own brief encounter with the man in August.

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Well, my brief encounter with Richard Armitage won’t look this good, for sure!!

One possibility is keeping me excited that I won’t have to wait until the end of August to see the man in Real Life. Into the Storm, the tornado movie starring Richard Armitage, will be having it’s premiere in New York City on August 4th. I am hoping to be able to do the fangurl, red carpet silliness then, and possibly spot RA in the flesh one more time before going to London at the end of the month. Yay!!

In preparation for London, I have been, as is understandable for an obsessive fan, continually scripting my stage door encounter with Richard. Should I say..this? Or…this? Haha! Smile, laugh, say something funny! Make him say awww, bless you, or make him laugh? I should be so lucky! This will keep me entertained for weeks to come. Not complaining!

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What can you do??

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Richard Armitage Takes Less Than a Minute to Kill an AArmy!

Esquire Magazine Photo Shoot of Richard Armitage

This little video, a mere 43 seconds long, expresses more than many full-length movies do, in my opinion. Richard Armitage absolutely nails the role of “Sexy Man Get Ready to Go Out”. Yes, he knows he’s sexy. He’s confident and looking forward to the evening to come. Where is he going? Who is he going with? He inspires fantasy with every smooth move and lifted eyebrow.

I can’t stop watching it. I want to see the full-length movie. MORE PLEASE!

Praying hands and paws

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A New Into the Storm Interview!

http://www.tv3.ie/entertainment_article.php?locID=1.803.874&article=139449

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Celebrity or Actor?

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I’ve been involved in a discussion about the Sunday Times article with the headline “I Know What I Am Selling”  http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/culture/arts/article1429089.ece

The author appears to be disparaging Richard Armitage because he has taken roles which are less than, shall we say, intellectual? Roles which reduce him to the role of male “totty”?  For USA readers, that means someone who is appreciated solely for his/her physically appealing characteristics. Which most Richard Armitage “well-wishers” know is true/not true. We know he has taken roles which are less than challenging at his level of acting expertise. Still, he does know “what he is selling”. You sell what the market wants. He has the handsomeness to sell. Why is it wrong for him to sell it??

In recent interviews he has explained that his career in television and movies is what got him to the point of being considered for the role he has long coveted – John Proctor. That role has garnered the most positively exciting reviews of his career! He reportedly puts his all into the role, which he has always done, no matter the trivial nature of the role. I will see the play in August, so I hope to report this from direct observance. This role is a worthy one. Full of  psychological and emotional complications,  the role of John Proctor demands all of Richard Armitage’s skills. Physical, psychological, emotional.

Thanks to this role, Richard Armitage has truly become a star. A verifiable star. An actor who has been judged admirable by major publications, according to United Agents website:   The Arts Desk showered the production with praise, enthusing: “Armitage makes a fine job of John Proctor – a roaring, contrarian beast of a man who shouts because he cannot be heard” whilst The Telegraph applauds: “[he] proves an exhilarating stage actor, with blazing eyes and a righteous fury about him, as well as his manifest decency. His deep guilt about his brief affair with Abigail is powerfully caught, and his final reconciliation with his wife, beautifully played by Anna Madeley, who admits her own part in their troubles, proves extraordinarily intimate and moving.”

Should he be ashamed of his past work? Are you kidding? Those of us who have become his fans, or well-wishers if you prefer, have done so because of his past work. Are we “innocent” as per the Sunday Times article? Are all the publications who gave the production and his performance FIVE STARS innocent deluded by his “handsomeness”?  I think not. Richard Armitage is an ACTOR, not a celebrity. Get it right next time, Sunday Times!!

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A Preview of Sunday Times Article on Richard Armitage

‘I know what I am selling’

Richard Armitage is not just top Hobbit totty as Thorin, he’s almost a Hollywood star. Now he’s taking on his most challenging role to date, in The Crucible

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‘I am a worker’: Richard Armitage (Francesco Guidicini)

Last night, Richard Armitage had the naked dream again. “I am in bed,” he says, “and everyone is waiting for the next moment, but I’m naked, so I can’t do it. I think ‘F*** it’, and I do it — but I’m naked.” He thinks he might have sleepwalked, looking for towels. He does not say this in a — well, the word is surely suggestive — way. He sounds anxious.

Armitage is almost a Hollywood star. He is Thorin Oakenshield, the moody and overdressed dwarf king in The Hobbit, the third instalment of which, The Battle of the Five Armies, arrives in December. He is also the leading man in the forthcoming schlock disaster movie Into the Storm, in which weather kills people while the audience eat popcorn. (Do not sneer. Philip Seymour Hoffman, the greatest actor of his generation until drugs killed him, appeared in the preposterous 1996 tornado movie Twister.)

I’m sure we will get the whole article tomorrow. Meanwhile, YES, naked Armitage dreams?? He’s certainly made it to the big time now!!😀😀

I am so so happy for him!!

P.S.  You can read the whole article http://did-you-make-these-bunssss.tumblr.com/post/90892426912/ra-in-the-times-again

Although, I must warn you that it’s a hating article that assumes Richard Armitage is one of “those” empty-headed celebrities the author clearly has contempt for. BE WARNED!!

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Richard Armitage FINALLY Gets the Reviews He Has Always Deserved!

The Crucible - After Party

Samantha Colley & Richard Armitage

Thanks to http://did-you-make-these-bunssss.tumblr.com/ for the following:

The Times review (5 stars!!)

Rated to 5 stars

I’ve seen Arthur Miller’s great play many times before, but it has never mesmerised and moved me quite like Yaël Farber’s revival manages to do here. This South African director won worldwide acclaim two years ago with Mies Julie, in which she relocated Strindberg’s classic to her homeland in the present day. Here, she stays faithful to Miller’s text and to his setting of the Salem witch trials in 1692 Massachusetts.

Yet she makes us feel not so much that we are watching the play but that we are part of it. “A drama cannot merely describe an emotion,” Miller wrote in his autobiography, “it has to become that emotion.” And Farber makes palpable these settlers’ paranoia and power games but also the deprivation and repression from which they spring.

The Crucible starts at a fever pitch. Accusations fly as teenaged girls are accused of witchcraft. The audience sits on all sides of Soutra Gilmour’s spare, in-the-round set as black-clad characters speak testily in northern accents (American accents were yet to be invented). There are droning sounds, dim lighting, plenty of smoke. The mood is unrelenting, properly Puritan, initially rather testing. It’s grim up North America.

Yet after Richard Armitage’s gruff John Proctor has clashed with Samantha Colley’s scheming, spurned Abigail, his former servant and mistress, Farber’s production has done the heavy lifting it needs to do. It has made hysteria tangible. And from then on this Cruciblegets ever more intimate and intense and insinuating. Yes, it’s long, at three and a half hours. Yet Miller’s perfect plotting and some precise, physical acting draw us into a world where innocence is no defence, where the only way to defend yourself against the system is to join the system.

Miller was spurred to write this 1953 play as an allegory of the McCarthyite paranoia of the time. Yet as first Adrian Schiller’s punctilious Reverend Hale and then Jack Ellis’s casually invincible Judge Danforth prod for any signs of dissent — two entirely different but equally powerful performances, flecked with wit — this speaks volumes about any absolutist regime. There are no entirely good or entirely bad characters here; just people striving for status or survival.

Armitage leads with passion as Proctor: it’s big acting, but Farber gives him the context for it. His scenes with his wife (Anna Madeley) have a repressed passion whose eventual release is overwhelming. There is fine support too from Colley as Abigail; from Natalie Gavin as the Proctors’ maid, Mary, and William Gaunt as an endearing Giles Corey. The entire ensemble of 24 ensures that Miller’s historical masterpiece feels entirely present-tense. Box office: 0844 871 7628, to Sept 13. The production is sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The Crucible - After Party

There have been many other raves about the production and Mr. Armitage’s performance. But here in NYC, the only review that REALLY matters is one by The New York Times. I’m imagining that in London The Times is of equal importance. In which case, FIVE STARS??? OMG!! I am so happy for Yael Farber and the entire cast & crew of The Crucible. I can’t wait to see it in August.  And Mr. Armitage?? I wish him many, many more nights like this one. Blockbuster to come Into The Storm and, of course, The Hobbit! Lots more to look forward to in what is turning out to be a stellar year for our beloved man. Well deserved!

 

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In Awe of Richard Armitage

Ok, I was not going to post this until I had the chance to experience it for myself, but after so many nights (when did the previews start?) of The Crucible and Richard Armitage patiently waiting to see each person queued at the Stage Door, I must comment.

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My friend Valentina with Richard at the Stage Door.

Night after night this man has performed a grueling, emotional, intense role as John Proctor in The Crucible at the Old Vic theater in London. And night after night he has stood at the Stage Door after the performance, spending time with each and every fan waiting to see him there. Unlike Broadway, the narrow sidewalk outside the Stage Door doesn’t allow for crowds. So, unlike Broadway theater goers, fans just line up, waiting for the star of the production to come out. And he does. Every night. He just kindly spends his precious time talking to each person who wants to talk to him. He takes pictures. He listens to awkward professions of admiration. He signs programs, books, pictures, tickets, whatever.

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The Stage Door queue.

I have literally never heard of an actor doing this. Maybe they have, but I have never heard of it. To me, it is an amazing act of kindness by a very special person who values each and every other person who expresses admiration for him. He is my hero. I want to be that kind of person.

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I’m Going to London!!

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Richard Armitage as John Proctor in The Crucible

When it was announced that Richard Armitage was going to star in a London production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller, I was incredibly excited. I assumed I would be able to go see him – London isn’t so far away. The timing though, turned out to be bad for me, because I am moving in July and have a lot of expenses. So spending a couple of thousand dollars just to go see Richard Armitage in a play didn’t seem like a good idea.

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Well, I am someone who loves theater. I regularly go to Broadway to see shows that interest me. I am looking forward to seeing more NYC theater once my move is complete and I am living in NYC once again. Anyway, I decided that I would go to London. Plus I thought, wow, I can meet up with some Armitage fans who are also traveling to London to see the show. So I bought a ticket to the show and then started looking for flights and hotels. YIKES! I was horrified! The prices were astronomical!! So I decided not to go.

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Then, The Crucible began previews. The reports came in. Intense, amazing, overwhelming. Then Richard decided to see all the fans who waited at the Stage Door. Oh my goodness. Could I pass this opportunity up? Well, dear readers, no. I couldn’t. Therefore I WILL be going to London in August to see The Crucible and to meet up with some dear friends. I am incredibly excited!!

John Proctor Abigail and girl in bed

Well, maybe not THAT excited!

 

My seat is front row. I am a little scared at being so close to the action. Normally I hate front row seats, but for this production, I think it will make it most exciting.

I can’t say I have any great knowledge of Arthur Miller, or the McCarthy hearings on which the play is based. I know a little bit about Salem and the witch hunts from my visit to Salem, which I wrote about previously. I have read the play and seen the Daniel Day Lewis version in the film. The pictures I have seen thus far of Richard Armitage as John Proctor look nothing like what I imagined from seeing those. He looks more intense, more emotional, more knowing than anything I imagined before. I think the Director of this play Yael Farber, knows what she is doing. And I can’t wait to see what she has cooked up.

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For Christine: Bellydance to Song of the Lonely Mountain

This is special!

 

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The Crucible: First Preview a RAVE!!

Valentina & RA

Valentina with Richard Armitage at The Crucible stage door

This picture says it all for me. Even though Valentina didn’t get to see the first preview performance, she stayed at the stage door from 4:30 until almost midnight, just for the chance to see Richard in person. And she did!!

By all reports, The Crucible is an amazing production, leaving the audience in tears. Richard Armitage must be just busting with pride! The fact that he spent time with his well-wishers on his way out of the theater makes me love him even more, if that’s possible.

I have been, of course, opining on my exciting experiences with Hugh Jackman outside the theater where he was performing The Boy from Oz. Based on that experience, I expected that Richard Armitage would rise to the occasion and be just as generous to his fans at the stage door, and I am VERY relieved to see that he was!!

I am so happy for all who got to experience tonight’s performance, and those who will experience the future performances. I am extremely sad for myself that I can’t go to London this summer, but I am happy to share in others happiness. Enjoy and please continue to share your experiences!!

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Stage Door Fans

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Some of Richard Armitage’s fans are very excited at the opportunity to see him live, in Real Life on stage and at the stage door. Maybe more excited than seeing him in person rather than actually seeing him perform in an exciting theatrical experience. This is understandable, but not necessarily a thing Mr. Armitage would welcome, I think. I’m sure he would prefer that his fans appreciate his performances rather than his appearance. As a person, Richard Armitage is very private and not really looking for fans to be following him around or interfering in his private life.

So is the “stage door” private life, or part of his work? I believe it is part of his work. When Richard Armitage goes to the theater to work, he is Richard Armitage the actor, not a private citizen. So I think that fans who see him there should expect that he will be in “Richard the actor” mode, politely interacting with his sometimes crazy fans. He’s been there before!

As a fan, I have to say that the opportunity to interact with Richard Armitage at the stage door is a very attractive opportunity. You may/may not have that opportunity. He can choose to say hi, or wave and go directly into the theater. He is under NO obligation to talk to anyone/take pictures/sign autographs. It is HIS decision. But if he does – YAY!

When he is actually ON THE STAGE, however, there are RULES! One doesn’t interrupt a performance. No one with any respect for the actor/production would do something like that. So ANY interruption of Richard Armitage at work on the stage, in character as John Procter, would be very very rude. So any fans/well-wishers who think this would be a good idea should think again. DON’T DO IT!!

Just my two cents, as they say. I can’t stop anyone from doing anything. But I do hope fellow RA well-wishers will use some sense in how they behave in the theater. Outside the theater, well, good luck!😀😀

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New Crucible Poster! OMG!

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Apparently, The Old Vic has announced the posters will be on sale!

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What’s On Your iPad, Richard?

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This is armitagefan’s screencap from An Unexpected Journey that was posted on Tumblr. I wanted to share it, because of …..reasons. As they say.

This has always been one of my favorite images of Richard Armitage. Haunting. Like, what is he looking at on his iPad? Reading the newspaper? Reading blogs?? Answering emails? He looks like he knows what he’s doing! But very serious. Mmmm.

Thanks, armitagefan! And thanks to whoever took this photo!

And here are some more pics from richardarmitagenet.com from the same time frame. Or at least, with the same beard. Kind of like John Proctor?

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And here is Jassy101’a Tumblr edit of John Proctor’s pic from The Crucible:

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So WordPress is not = Tumblr! Pics of RA that I love.

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RA as Swann

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RA Strike Back smile

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OK. I know that a blog is not the same as Tumblr. But I just felt like sharing a lot of pics of my dear Richard Armitage on my blog. Hope it’s okay. I love these pics. Among others!

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The Normal Heart: Including Mine (Warning: Not a Fan Post)

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Matt Bomer & Mark Ruffalo in The Normal Heart (HBO)

Note: I am posting this although somehow I am scared that people will hate me. Is that crazy or what??

I am just watching The Normal Heart on HBO. I have avoided it for years. The time depicted, 1981-1984, before we knew about HIV, when friends were developing strange diseases and dying, was a time I had no wish to re-experience. I have known about The Normal Heart since it appeared onstage, but have not wanted to see it, because the topic is so personally painful for me. I have seen many other depictions of the time. Angels in America, The Boys in the Band, Falsettos. And there are many others. Somehow I always avoided The Normal Heart.

In 1981 I was working for Harper & Row Publishers. I was very young. I grew up in one of the NYC boroughs and was kind of insulated from “the world”. I sang in a choir. What did I know about the struggles of the gay community? As it turned out, I knew someone who was part of it. When I was 16 I got a mad crush on one of the members of my choir. He was so funny and handsome! I was a budding song writer. Since I never had guitar lessons, but was determined to play, I wrote my own tunes. My friend in choir, who I’ll call Tony, was a poet. He and I collaborated and I set his poems to music. Since he was quite a few years older than me (maybe 9?) my Dad was not happy. He thought there was “something” odd about Tony. Nevertheless, Tony and I stayed friends.

By 1981 Tony was living with his (male) lover in Greenwich Village. I was working, as I said, in book publishing. I had a (married) (don’t judge!) lover, and Tony was trying to make it as a playwright. In 1982 I brought my lover with me to see Tony’s new play. It was produced off-Broadway. It was hilarious! Tony’s family was very impressed with my companion. They teased me about when was I getting married. (Never!) Tony was in ecstasies about the review of his play.

Then Tony got sick. Then he was dead. Yes, it was HIV. AIDS. I was horrified. Then my friend Skip got sick. He told me about getting shingles, and sarcoma. What could I say? Then he was dead. Then I read in the newspaper that my acting workshop teacher died of “pneumonia”. He was a 40 yr. old Franciscan brother. So young. Then my co-worker, who was a part-time choreographer and incredibly lovely person, died. His funeral service was amazing. Lots of video of his work.

Yes, my friends were dying. We were scared and confused. My other gay friends, of which there were a few, working in book publishing, were scared. Some of them made it through.

I can’t claim that I did anything noble at that time. I gave support to my friends. I didn’t get involved in any political action. I later participated in many Gay Men’s Health Center events/walks/whatever. I fought against people who discriminated against gay people because of AIDS fear. I had a heterosexual friend whose parents died from AIDS due to blood transfusions. Unbelievable.

I still have many gay friends. They survived. A couple have HIV, which is controlled with medication. I love them. I wish this disease was eliminated, but I am grateful it can at least be controlled.

With the increased violence against homosexuals that we have seen in NYC, it is a frightening time. Even though my friends now have the right to legally marry in state after state after state, there are still those who hate them. It scares me. How, in, NYC, can anyone be beaten because someone walking on the street nearby thinks they are gay??  I am very sorry for you, if you think gay people are wrong, evil, or twisted. You can stop following me now, or never read anything I write again. I guess I am newly energized by watching The Normal Heart.

Just one fangirl note: to anyone who decides they should gossip about someone’s sexuality, whoever they are, SCREW YOU! Sorry/Not Sorry . Everyone has the right to their private lives. This is real. Our hearts are normal, no matter our orientation.

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Lying to Yourself: Condition of Fandom??

Richard Armitage in the studio working on Hamlet

I heard an interesting program on WNYC radio yesterday. On a program called “Radio Lab”. Radio Lab investigates different things in a humorous way. The show gives you the opportunity to  challenge your assumptions.

The program I listened to yesterday is titled “Deception”. You can find it HERE. It explores the various ways that people lie, and examines why some people are better than others at it. The part that interested me was the experiments testing people who are good at lying TO THEMSELVES! Self-deception. They interviewed psychologists who tested whether people who were better at lying to themselves were more successful than those who thought of themselves more truthfully. A lot depended on the ability to hold two opposing beliefs in your mind at the same time. They found that athletes who believed they were GOING TO win because they were THE BEST did better than athletes who more realistically assessed their chance at winning. So lying to yourself, i.e., believing that you ARE THE BEST, actually helped athletes to win. Hilarious!

RA AWARDS

This made me think about Fandom. I have often thought about why I am a “Fan”, while others of my friends never are. Why is that? I have seen that my friends who are not fans are much too realistic. They see the human flaws in the object of my adoration. They cannot let go of the fact that we will probably never have a true personal interaction with the person of interest, so what’s the point in adoring someone who you will never really know?  This Radio Lab program about Deception explains this to me – that I am HAPPIER than my friends who are not fans because I believe something without needing to know if it’s true in “reality”. I choose to believe that Richard Armitage is charming, handsome, talented, funny, intelligent, geeky, dorky, sexy, polite, a family man, athletic, graceful, generous, and just plain attractive, without any real personal knowledge of the man. All of these qualities I ascertain from his pictures, performances, interviews, very limited real life viewing, reports from others. The sum of all is that he makes me happy. I am happy to see pictures of him, to watch his performances, to hear his voice. Even though I don’t know whether any of it is “true” about him. Even though I “know” I will never, in reality, have the opportunity to find out if any of it is true.

RA smiling at wondercon

Guess what? I am HAPPY in my possibly self-deception about Richard Armitage! I would never want to be like my friends who are more “realistic”! Life is tough. Happiness is worth finding wherever you can find it. <steps off soap-box>

 

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Richard Armitage in The Crucible: An Apology

The Crucible

The Crucible: Starring Richard Armitage

I feel compelled to write this blog post. All of my dear Armitage friends who are going to experience seeing Richard Armitage in The Crucible this summer are going to hear a lot from me about my experience of seeing Hugh Jackman in The Boy from Oz on Broadway in 2003-4. I know first hand how exciting it is to see a wonderful performer LIVE on stage. It is incredibly energizing and, dare I say, likely to become an obsession!

To any Armitage well-wishers trying to decide whether to get ONE MORE ticket to the play – GET IT. You will not regret it. I am not ashamed to say that I saw Hugh Jackman in The Boy from Oz on Broadway from 2003-2004 FIFTEEN times!! And, believe me, I was far from holding the record of number of performances. Barbara Cook, the renowned Broadway superstar of many Broadway shows, saw it at least that many times. I went to see the final performance in September of 2004, and among others, Barbara Walters and Matt Damon were invited on stage to participate! It was hilarious! And Hugh Jackman, in a New York Daily News Q&A said that the last night was the highlight of his career.

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Hugh in The Boy from Oz

I can’t even imagine how wonderful it will be to see Richard Armitage on stage. Well, I guess I can imagine, since I saw him in the Proust/Pinter play!

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Richard Armitage being all intense and steamy on stage. <FAINT>

When I got my first ticket to see Hugh Jackman in The Boy from Oz I didn’t know I would fall in love. I took my Mom as a treat. We had tickets in the second row, on the right. I looked right up at him when he was on that side of the stage. Before that moment I had never seen him in anything, but I heard him sing as Curly in Oklahoma in a London production. After that first experience of seeing him on stage I took out every DVD of every film I could find him in. From (dear departed) Blockbuster. The cashier said, “You like Hugh Jackman? My mom loves him!” I told the cashier “Don’t know. That’s why I’m taking out these DVDs!”.

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Hugh in Someone Like You (2001)

See, I like Hugh Jackman much more the way he was pre-Wolverine than the super pumped up version we see now. He had a great body before. Wolverine now looks like a monster to me. (Just my opinion!)

I am so deliriously happy for the Armitage well-wishers who will get to see Richard Armitage in The Crucible this summer. It is an incredible experience to see an amazing person who is also an amazing actor on stage LIVE. And maybe have an opportunity to interact with him off stage. Maybe!😀 Good luck!!

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Fandom, Again.

RA berlin wow

This is beautiful.

I’ve been reading some blogs that suggest that someone can take your happiness away because they say something that denigrates your happiness in being a fan. There have been several blogs and tweets about the IMDB Richard Armitage board and the “trolls” who are harassing people there.

Me, I just stay away from places like that. I just leave a website that is expressing a viewpoint that makes me uncomfortable, or that I really disagree with. Maybe I’m shallow. If a Tweeter I follow is acting in a way that I find brings me down or makes me uncomfortable, I unfollow. I just do. This is a “hobby” for me – blogging, tweeting, tumblr, whatever. I look for the happy. I’m not looking to make a name for myself, or get a lot of follows or followers. If you like what I write, that makes me happy. I suspect more don’t care about me, which is fine. I have a bunch of people who do care about me and I care about them.

I watched William Shatner’s documentary that he directed “Get A Life” (2012), about the Star Trek fandom. Shatner started out thinking Star Trek fans were nuts, but this film illustrates the richness that fans create from their love of a tv show/film/actor. It’s a beautiful thing.

Life is full of ugliness. A simplistic way of looking at Buddhism is to say that misery is unavoidable, so why be miserable? We can’t silence the trolls. We can only ignore them. I know that some will disagree with my opinion. Which is fine.😀

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More beauty!

 

 

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Sleeping Naked? Grab Mom? I love Richard Armitage!

I know that most Richard Armitage fans have seen this delightful interview of Richard Armitage and Max Deacon at Wondercon this last weekend, but I just have to put it on my blog with my two cents. I couldn’t love them more!

My two cents:  I love the easy relationship between Richard and Max. They interact in this interview like people who trust each other and are backing each other up. Just like a son & dad should do!! That made me happy.

And then there were his answers – he would save his Mom and grab his underpants if a tornado was on it’s way? Don’t sleep naked? How does he think of these things? I just love it.

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Then there are the stunningly gorgeous pictures of the man that are appearing. There are too many, each one better than the next. How does he do it? Look at the eyelashes in the one above! He’s amazing.

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And then there’s Mr Dorkitage and Mr. Long Fingers Armitage

There are so many! I am looking forward to The Crucible. New pics of Richard EVERY DAY! Reports on his performance EVERY DAY! Phew! How will we survive the hotness??😀

 

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Richard Armitage at WonderCon in CA

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Richard Armitage at WonderCon in Anaheim, CA

This is my favorite picture of Richard Armitage at WonderCon so far. There have been lots of pictures posted, but this one..!

I am so happy for Mr. Armitage. This was a big deal. Lots of big names attended the Con to promote their movies, including Gary Oldman and Sean Bean. Two of my personal faves. Also Andy Serkis! Seemed like there was not a “The Hobbit” presentation at the Con. Richard was promoting Into the Storm and Andy was promoting the latest Planet of the Apes installation. The One Ring. net presented a panel about The Hobbit, but Warner Bros. apparently did not.

RA at WonderCon

What question could he be answering here??

My thoughts following the WonderCon? Sounds like Mr. A. had a great day. Lots of fans expressing their excitement at seeing Richard Armitage in Into the Storm! He is a STAR!! Whoever the industry peeps were who were watching – keep an eye on this guy!! He’s got IT!!

When Hugh Jackman appeared for the first time on Broadway in The Boy from Oz, he had some reputation from the first X-Men movie and a critical approval and a theatrical community buzz for his appearance in the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s revival of “Oklahoma” in London.

Great Performances

Hugh Jackman as Curly in Oklahoma

His next move was to appear as Peter Allen in the Broadway musical The Boy from Oz.

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Hugh Jackman as Peter Allen

At that time, 2003-4, Hugh was far from a global star. Most people (outside of Australia) had never heard of him. Very similar to Richard Armitage, who until The Hobbit was known only to British television fans. When Hugh Jackman appeared as Peter Allen on stage in The Boy from Oz, though, all that changed. He was such a dynamic force on the stage that the industry took notice. Every night of the show there were celebrities and industry executives watching. I heard many stories where executives went to see him  on stage and came away with the idea that they had to cast him in….something. He made a great reputation for himself.

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RA at WonderCon

I think that this year could be RA’s year. He has the, so far so good, movie Into the Storm coming out in August. He has The Hobbit: There and Back Again (or whatever they decide the name should be) coming out at the end of the year in December. He is appearing on stage in The Crucible from June through December in London. That opportunity can prove to be his boost to superstardom, as The Boy from Oz was for Hugh Jackman. The press was amazed at what a force of nature HJ was on stage. I’m hoping The Crucible will provide a similar platform for RA.

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Salem, MA : The Crucible

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Shane West in the new WGN-TV series “Salem” starting April 20

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Daniel Day Lewis as Proctor

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Liam Neeson and Laura Linney in The Crucible

While not an obsession, I have a great interest in Salem, Massachusetts. A couple of years ago my niece was ready to start looking at colleges, so I took her up to Boston. A college town if there ever was one! While we were there we made a side trip to Salem, which is very nearby. I was amazed at how focused the town is on it’s witchy heritage!  In light of my current obsession’s (i.e., Richard Armitage’s) upcoming star turn as John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, more info HERE, I thought I would gather my thoughts on the town and it’s heritage. I know that Arthur Miller’s play is meant to convey a message about the U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch hunt” for Communists, it is still set in the time of the Salem witch trials.

When my niece and I got to Salem the first thing we went to see was the Salem Witch Museum, of course.

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And there’s a gift shop!

The museum has two sections – there is a dramatic recreation of the trials by means of light up dioramas with a narrative telling the story, plus there is an actual museum illustrating the evolution of the portrayal of witches over the years.  It was a lot of fun. (Especially the gift shop!)

You can find more info about the witch trials HERE. Here is an excerpt from the site:

“As years passed, apologies were offered and restitution was made to the victims’ families. Historians and sociologists have examined this most complex episode in our history so that we may understand the issues of that era and view subsequent events with heightened awareness. The parallels between the Salem witch trials and more modem examples of “witch hunting” like the McCarthy hearings of the 1950’s, are remarkable.”

Another witchy Salem connection to Richard Armitage is, of course, the book “The Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness. Many admirers of Richard Armitage believe that he would be perfect for the cinematic role of Matthew Clairmont, the vampire who gets involved with a witch, Diana, who is a descendent of Bridget Bishop, the first woman hanged as a witch in Salem. More of ArmitageforClairmont can be found HERE.

One more bit of info of modern Salem, Massachusetts. It has really cool stores with all this new-agey stuff and witch paraphernalia!

street in Salem today

I highly recommend a visit to Salem if you are in the Boston area. It was great fun and lots to learn about it’s history, which includes it’s maritime history. And there is an EXCELLENT chocolate store there! YUM!!

Harbor Sweets

 

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I’m Happy!

RA soft eyes DOS

I look at this picture of Richard Armitage and think of puppies. He looks so cute!!

Well, that’s nothing new. He looks cute all the time, right?

Still, thinking of Mr. A’s career, and all the rumors circulating right now. Peruvian film? London theater? Game of Thrones? So many exciting projects! To say nothing of the Doctor Who rumor. RA as the Master? LOL! I can imagine that if Peter Jackson does indeed direct an episode of Doctor Who as rumored, then perhaps RA would appear. Otherwise, not so much.

Still, I’m happy that Mr. Armitage seems sought after. That is great! He should be! I have no preferences personally. Whatever he wants to do it fine with me. Of course, Broadway would be my very favorite choice, since I could see him lots of times! Don’t want to deprive my European pals from their shot, though, so if he’s on stage in London, good for them.

I hope there are many many more opportunities for Richard Armitage to come to the attention of an appreciative public. We love him, and we know that if he had the right opportunities he would charm the rest of the world. Fingers crossed!

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Richard Armitage: Urban & The Shed Crew/Desolation of Smaug

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Richard Armitage as Chop in “Urban and the Shed Crew”

The color of the mound of bricks in this photo of Richard Armitage in the movie he is currently filming reminded me of another of his movies. Don’t the bricks have a similarity to the gold in Desolation of Smaug?

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Bilbo in the Dragon’s Lair with GOLD

Just made me think. The gold in Smaug’s horde in Erebor is very similar to the rubbish in Chop’s environment. What a contrast – wealth vs. rubbish! Says a lot about the difference between Thorin and Chop!

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Richard Armitage at Jameson Empire Awards

There are so many wonderful photos of Richard Armitage at the Award show today! It’s a lovely way to spend a Sunday! I thought I would put my favorites up. Looking forward to more Armitage goodness tomorrow when he is on ITV in the morning.

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RA at Jameson Empire

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RA signing at Empire Awards

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Lovely suit, Mr. A.! Sorry you were uncomfortable with your ponytail, but believe me, your Army LOVED it!

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Richard Armitage is Into the (Media) Storm Now!

I must admit it – I love disaster movies. Since I saw Airport and The Poseidon Adventure, I was hooked. Most recently, The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact, and Dante’s Peak have been my guilty movie pleasures. Lots of death and destruction with just a little pathos from the family connections. So how does Into the Storm shape up so far in this respect? Well, I LOVE it so far!

The airplanes in the trailer – LOVE! The fire tornadoes? LOVE! Admittedly not much to see in the way of family pathos so far, but since Richard Armitage is in it, I absolutely believe there will be a human element to it. Some storyline that will make the death and destruction more meaningful. I don’t ask for a lot. Just something to hold it together.

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Richard Armitage at CinemaCon

And then there is the CinemaCon publicity. I LOVE the look of Richard Armitage in this publicity push for Into the Storm. Although he is in the guise of Chop, the character he plays in Urban and the Shed Crew, the film he is shooting right now in Leeds, England, he still looks his handsome self. I, personally, am not too crazy about the moustache, but I understand it’s for the character.

So what about The Hobbit? There and Back Again is the last installment of the trilogy, scheduled to come out this December. I must say that I totally forgot about it when information on Into the Storm was released. Sacrilege! I am a life-long Lord of the Rings obsessive! <sigh> I guess Desolation of Smaug did me in. Although I liked the movie when I saw it in the theater, watching it on my television is, well, meh. I am so not crazy about this film.  It’s just striking me as kind of dopey right now. Thorin fighting the dragon with melted gold? Really? Just not that interesting.

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Thorin Looks Suspiciously at Bilbo

Peter Jackson is reportedly busily editing the final film. I’m sure it will be heart-breaking, even if Desolation of Smaug was not that compelling to me. I can’t imagine not being moved by the final madness and end of Thorin. If I found the Desolation of Smaug less than compelling, I never found that to be true of Thorin. I think Richard Armitage, with the help of Peter Jackson, brought such intensity and majesty to Thorin that it’s hard to take your eyes off him when he’s in the scene. I’ll be bringing a box of tissues to There and Back Again for sure!

Marlise from The Anglophile Channel

New Armitage Army member Marlise, who runs The Anglophile Channel and who interviewed Richard Armitage when he won their Favourite British Artist of the Year Award, attended CinemaCon and ran into Mr. Armitage. As you can tell from the video above, Marlise is doing us proud as an AArmy member. She even remembered to smell him this time! LOL! She notes in the video that Mr. Armitage’s suddenly long hair was, well, enhanced. I wonder if she asked him if his hair was REAL, as he asked her in their interview! LOL! I was touched that Mr. Armitage wanted to know about how the fans felt about the interviews. I hope this is a sign that he will be communicating with us a little more than in the past. Marlise seems like a good conduit for that kind of communication, at least until he gets that Twitter account!

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Into the Wet Shirt?

I also want to note another good development for Richard Armitage’s online well-wishers. RichardArmitageNet.com seems to have made a good connection for information about Mr. A. She had the info that he was going to be at CinemaCon for the Into the Storm publicity before Todd Garner, producer of the film! Excellent news! Hope that connection keeps going strong!

And even MORE media promotion for Mr. Armitage to look forward to – he will be on ITV This Morning on Monday, March 31, and he will be doing an #AskThorin event on Hobbit Movie UK Twitter account, and The Hobbit Facebook page has announced Richard will be answering fan questions on video for their page. Forward Into the (Media) Storm we go!

All these new images and information have made me happy this week. For some reason I keep thinking about the CinemaCon images. I don’t like the moustache, but the whole look with the long hair and the energy he is projecting in these pictures made a big impression on me. Glad to hear he is enjoying his work filming Urban and the Shed Crew. It shows!

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Me & Richard Armitage: Why I Love North & South

ns2-thornton open arms

My job is hard. I am head of Labor Relations for a Corporation. That means that I am North & South‘s Mr. Thornton and Margaret Hale rolled into one. I have to keep in mind the goals of the Corporation while I am keeping in mind the needs of the employees. I am often reminded of Margaret Hale as I explain to a manager why violating a collective bargaining contract is not a good idea. Hiring Irish workers to break a strike? Not really a great idea. Working with the union to set up a training program for workers whose jobs are becoming redundant, much better.

Mr. Thornton (pre-Margaret) is typical of many managers. His mission is to get his products produced and shipped, in the fastest, least expensive manner. Certain employee rules make sense – no smoking on the premises is one. It’s in no one’s best interest to have the mill go up in flames. But kicking and beating said employee….. maybe not a good idea. Although I sympathized with him. My reaction to that scene – Yeah, kick him some more! I didn’t really like Margaret at that point. I identified with Thornton.

ns1 beating man

I’m not really planning to write an analysis of North & South. I just wanted to whine about my job. I’m tired. Today I met with a union that is trying to get into our construction contracts; I settled a dispute with the engineers who are responsible for solving problems in the cooling and heating equipment; settled some payroll issues; wrote a policy for disciplining security personnel; researched a staffing issue that one of our unions is laser-focussed on; listened to the complaints of my secretary….and on and on and on. But then I look at pretty pictures of Richard Armitage and YAY, I am transported to Wellington, NZ, thinking of him inhabiting the role of Thorin once again, in the company of friends he apparently loves working with. Seeing that RA went out to a concert with Peter Jackson and Lee Pace was thrilling. So happy he is happy.

RA wellie

Anyway, back to me. This job is the equivalent to me of RA getting the role of Thorin. You don’t think you will ever get a chance to show what you can do on a big stage, and then all of a sudden, you can. You have the opportunity to prove yourself. All the years you worked to keep yourself at the top of your game and then it pays off – you get that job that is an acknowledgement that you have achieved a certain status in your field – that those who matter think you can do the job – even if you yourself don’t think you can!

RA Thorin in front of cameras

I have been incredibly lucky in finding people who think I can do the job. If it was up to me, I would never have gotten anywhere. I am so glad that Peter Jackson found RA. He is the director who is able to bring out the best in RA, who gave him the confidence to realize that he absolutely brought Thorin to life. You can see it in all the interviews RA has given since TH. He has a confidence and happiness that isn’t as apparent in earlier interviews. He says that he kept his bags packed for three weeks when he arrived for filming, thinking he would be sent away. That statement really hit me. Not only because I think he’s mad, as in crazy, for thinking that he wouldn’t be able to inhabit Thorin as he  has so many other characters. But it hit me also because that’s the way I felt when I got my job. Like it would just be a matter of days when everything would come crashing down and everyone would know I couldn’t handle the job.  Well, 9 months in, and it hasn’t crashed yet. Not that it makes me feel any more confident. It’s still a REALLY HARD job!

RA Thorin roaring

So Richard Armitage is a mirror for me, as he is for so many of us. We see ourselves reflected in what we know about him. I relate to his commitment to his work, his (sometimes too) candid responses to questions, and to his treating everyone with respect. And his love of theater. And his love of LOTR. And his not spending a lot of time on his appearance. And…so many other things! I’m sure you see a lot of things you relate to in him as well. Or at least things you admire about him, aside from his gorgeousness.

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Back to Mr. Thornton. When Margaret impetuously pushed Mr. Thornton out to confront the angry workers and then ran out herself to yell at those workers, I loved her. I so related to her. Before I worked for management in labor relations I worked on the union side. And being hit in the head by a rock thrown by the people you were trying to help. Labor Relations is a complicated world!

ns2 margaret on balcony ns2- margaret hit

Sadly, I never met Mr. Thornton in RL. I did not inspire any tall, handsome, manager to change his evil ways to please me and then kiss me gently and passionately in a train station. <sigh> I will have to make do with watching Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe have one of the best afternoons of their work lives.

ra kiss

Thanks RichardArmitagenet.com for the pictures, and The Armitage Effect for the Wellington newspaper photo.

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Not Just a Cyber-Human

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Richard Armitage (RA) in Real Life! But is he real in Cyber-life?

Richard Armitage’s foray into the blogging world has ignited a virtual firestorm of posts in the blogosphere. I’ve read some really interesting ones. For example, Nowhere in ParticularRAGuyltyPleasureRAFrenzy. Here is my humble contribution to the conflagration.

First I will summarize what I think Richard Armitage said here in his post on The Cybersmile Foundation blog.  Cybersmile says Armitage’s post is “an exclusive insight into thoughts on social media use in our ever-digital society”. So, it is Richard’s thoughts on social media use. I think his thoughts as expressed in his post are not particularly easy to follow, more stream of consciousness, but I also think the overall message is clear:

Be aware that someone, a human being, is reading what you wrote online. He, whom we often call “RA” online, is actually a real person. All of us who participate in social media, whether from Texas or China  or wherever, are human. We like different music, art, speak different languages, eat different food, have different levels of education. So how does one communicate freely without making others feel bad? “Watch the destination of our words”. That is, no matter what your background, we are all human.

In other words, I think he is saying – Look, I am an actor, I want to use social media like other people, but the level of negative comments made about me and towards my fans by others is disturbing and unnecessary. It makes me think about how horrible it was in my younger days when I felt like people were laughing behind my back. I don’t want to feel like that when I’m using social media. I want it to be a comfortable place for everyone to be able to have fun and share.  While some people are just deliberately being disruptive and antagonistic for fun (block and mute) there are some who don’t realize that what they are writing is being read by others and they need to be careful in what they say and how they say it. It’s not always what you say, it’s often how you say it. (Use the dictionary!)

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Sorry, Mr. Armitage, if this is not what you meant! But anyway, it’s what I got out of it, and I think it’s very wise and a good message for all of us.

I myself would go a step further. I think some people enjoy criticizing a little too much. It’s not really necessary to point out someone’s flaws or mistakes online. It’s hurtful to the person it’s directed at and what’s the point, really? And I say this as someone who has done it myself, so mea culpa. There is always room for alternate view points and correcting someone’s errors. I have made errors here and on Twitter, and when they were pointed out to me I was grateful and corrected them. But to be sarcastic and accusing is never necessary.

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Which brings me to why the heck do we get so crazy about things in the fandom? Wow. I am a really nice person in real life and I get along with just about everyone, but here, I feel like I’ve alienated people and there are factions, and I’ve been mean and people have been mean to me and I’ve blocked people and they’ve blocked me. I mean, why? Over what, really? Just the other day a post got me so angry I wanted to smack the person in the head. That is really not like me at all. I don’t know why I’ve given one person so much power that she has prevented me (in my head) from feeling comfortable blogging because I’m afraid of her. Yes, Richard Armitage, there are others of us who also felt that people were talking and laughing about them behind our backs when we were kids. It’s a really bad feeling. I know it well.

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I hope that Richard Armitage continues to share his journey with us online and isn’t discouraged by the negativity that, despite his best efforts to control, I’m sure will continue. I am so happy that he showed he cared and that he is concerned. I love the fact that he tweets and I look forward to his tweets anxiously.

Mr. Armitage, in case you are reading this, you are a unique, lovely, funny guy and you bring joy to many people by sharing your life with us through acting and, yes, through social media. Please don’t stop. 

Love who you are.

 

 

 

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NYC MEETUP DECEMBER 21 TO SEE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
December 21

>Open invitation to anyone who would like to view the movie with a group of fan friends. All are welcome. There are at least 5 of us signed up already Please rsvp to NYCPat so we know to look out for you: 

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Reflections on the Final Farewell #OneLastTime

So I finally watched the Billy Boyd video. Wow. I am surprised at how strong my feelings of sadness are at being at the end of Peter Jackson’s tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. So nostalgic! I remember every moment of this video. Yet to see the final installment, but luckily, thanks to my pal Deejay, I have a ticket to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies screening and Question & Answer session to be held in NYC on Thursday December 11 with Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Luke Evans and Orlando Bloom.

Like he was for Richard Armitage, J.R.R. Tolkien was a huge influence on me and obsession through most of my life. I was 12 when I read The Lord of the Rings, which I read before The Hobbit. The themes of The Lord of the Rings struck me hard. You can’t know what the future holds. Sparing someone’s life may be the right thing to do. Sometimes the smallest contributor is the most important. Greed is bad. Love your children. Women can be strong! Love is not just for women/men – love is universal – elves/dwarves, hobbits/ents, men/elves/dwarves/women/wizards/ents/???? YES!!

Lee and Richard

This photo makes me happy. Richard Armitage and Lee Pace. The two most handsome men from The Hobbit, in my opinion! I was never a great fan of Lee Pace, but since his involvement in The Hobbit I have grown to appreciate him. He looks like a MOVIE STAR!😀

And Richard Armitage!! WOW!! Since he’s been on Twitter I have seen a different side of him. He says he is anti-socialite. Don’t believe it! He is completely confident with fans and reporters and everyone now. Maybe in the past he was a little uneasy – biting his cuticles and all – but now – he’s a Move Star too!!

RA BOFA

I am looking forward to reporting on my adventure on Thursday – screening of the movie and Q&A with 4 handsome men – Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom & Luke Evans!! Can’t wait!!

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Hamlet:A Novel Best Audio Book of The Year 2014 !

Really well deserved! Great story, great performance!!😀😀

Armitage Agonistes

here  We knew this was great! Congratulations to A.J. Hartley, David Hewson and, of course, Richard Armitage.Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 12.47.39 PM

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Yaël Farber Posts Vid of The Crucible Premiere

If you have the opportunity to see this – YOU MUST!!

Armitage Agonistes

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Who’s up for an STL side Challenge? Let’s *sock* it to ’em

If you are thinking of sending socks to Richard Armitage – think again. Here’s an alternative!

SpReAd The Love

It seems that I can’t resist and opportunity for a good (or bad) pun, but I have a proposition for everyone.  In a recent appearance on Good Morning Britain, Richard Armitage gave us a peek at his funky fun socks…

Socks Rock! Original Source Socks Rock!
Original Source

He also mentioned that he would like to get some socks for Christmas (I wonder if he’s prepared for the deluge of fashionable footwear that’s likely headed his way?)  A funky or festive pair of socks can be a surprising energy booster.  For instance…today is the last day of classes for the fall semester and I celebrated by wearing some festive holiday socks.

wpid-cam00460-1.jpgNo one else can see them (It’s cold…I’m wearing boots!)  but I know that they’re there and the thought of the sparkly gifts (there’s a little dog at the top cuff too) makes me smile throughout the day.

On the subject of…

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North and South

As a Richard Armitage fan who first discovered him in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, his performance in North & South is beside the point. I heard his voice in AUJ. That is all!

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However, I have since seen North & South, and I have to say – Mr. Thornton rules. Sorry, Thorin!! For me, Mr. Thornton is so complicated, so tender, so human.

ra kiss

Woops. Yes, Thorin, you  are not human. You are a, I forget how tall, hairy Dwarf. <Sigh> As I am a tall female human, a small hairy Dwarf, no matter how masculine, can’t compete with a tall, handsome human, even if he is wearing a ridiculous top hat. OK, now I’ve admitted it. I know Thorin is hot, especially in his Battle of the Five Armies armor. I have dated men shorter than me, no problem. Not sure about Thorin for me though. I admit I have a problem with his height. You petite, hobbit-like fans (you know who you are!) may find Thorin just your size, but for me, not so much.

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OK, maybe I’m changing my mind??……

Wait, wasn’t this post about North & South??

RA ns

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