My deficiencies as an Armitage fan

I’ve been amused lately by Natalie’s confession about swathes of Mr. Armitage’s oeuvre that she hasn’t seen, and the resulting discussion of Armitage equipment that she’s going to put in her Armitage shrine. RAFrenzy was talking about this as well, as she not only conceded having spent hundreds of dollars on his work, but also having purchased a region-free DVD player and to top it all off, the absolute corker: a Guy of Gisborne action figure that she can now no longer find.

As I said on Natalie’s blog I don’t think there’s any competition involved here. One of the neat things revealed by the comments is the variety of work that different segments of the fandom consider most vital. The advent of the region-free DVD player was a turning point in my life, too. I am not planning a Richard room (I have a two room apartment and actually would like to downsize), but the top of the TV is a Richard shelf of sorts, since almost the only DVDs I own are of Mr. Armitage’s work. Oh, yeah, and then there’s the glove compartment of my car, which is where the audiobooks live. I’ll admit that I am more likely to buy media than accoutrements — I’d rather have a DVD of his work than a Gisborne key ring — but I don’t think you need to own everything he’s done or even to have seen everything he’s done to be a great fan. I referred briefly yesterday to my perception that a certain sort of fan dogma surrounds Armitage — and a resulting orthodoxy and heresy — but as I have taken the name of a Trinitarian heretic as my blogger alias, you can imagine where I stand on many of those questions.

So, although I don’t feel guilty about this, and although I have all of his audiobooks now and most of the DVDs that document his work, I thought I’d confess today that a key piece of Armitagiana that I don’t have is: an autograph!

Is this bad? Does my failure to have done this reflect a character flaw? A disloyalty to the banner of Armitageworld? Have I missed a vital human experience? Traxy lists requesting an autograph as one way to know you’re a fangrrl, but doesn’t say whether it’s necessary or only sufficient.

It never would occur to me to write to him to obtain his autograph. But I discovered a whole webpage of people who not only did this, they posted pictures of the autograph, the autographed object, and even the envelope on the web. There are discussions of his promptness (he seems unusually prompt to me, frankly. One imagines him spending time doing this every weekend). You can see some of these here. If you click on “view result” you can see a photo, and even discussion of the signature / handwriting.

I think it might be different if I ever actually met him. Then I might ask him in person for an autograph as a souvenir of the experience. Then again, I might not. I usually find that memories are better by themselves, without objects to anchor them.

[The visual above is an autographed photograph of Mr. Armitage donated as a raffle item to the Center for Complementary Care in 2007. For comprehensive directions on requesting an autograph, consult Richard Armitage Online.]

~ by Servetus on August 31, 2010.

36 Responses to “My deficiencies as an Armitage fan”

  1. Servetus,

    The same Unbelievably Understanding Man who gave me the Mrs. Richard Armitage keychain (and yes, I use it everyday) also gave me an autographed photo of the Lovely One for Christmas last year. He found it on eBayUK and apologised because it doesn’t have my name on it (“I tried to go that route but it was going to take too long”). I was just so thrilled to have a piccie of him with his signature, it didn’t matter to me whether “Angie” was on it or not.

    It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture and yes, I do prize it. But I prize the fellow who gave it to me even more.

    (And I do have all the audio books and pretty much everything he’s done on DVD and my wonderful region-free player–also a gift from the IUM)

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  2. I have just realized I really, really want to give my husband a big, sloppy kiss. Damn you, staph infection!!

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    • I hope it is not much longer.

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      • Me, too. ) : I was in there for a while earlier just visiting, and the good news is the knot that was under one spot has gone down–hooray!–the bad news is there are several places that look like insect bites that are getting infected (“Please don’t use the word ‘infected,’ Ang”) . . . but he isn’t itching, really, so—we don’t know.

        He told me he was really missing all the kissing and cuddling stuff, too, bless him. He’s just so tired of the staph and I am tired of it for him.

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  3. I don’t have an autograph either, nor have I asked for one. Uh-oh… one more thing to add to my “confessions” list. haha. 🙂

    If I were to meet RA in person (and didn’t freeze or turn into a babbling idiot who caused him to run away in fright) I’d much rather have a picture taken with him than an autograph!

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  4. servetus, you are being waaay too creative in posting just now. Can’t keep up with the posts!

    I just want all the DVDs (or British broadcasting) before they’re readily available here. Oh well, Netflix is about to invade in a month. Or two. That should shake up our country’s broadcast world!

    Think I’ll pass on the Photo With Richard OP. Head just about comes level with his shoulder. Bad optics. Too embarrassing.

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    • beginning of term, lots of time for creativity.

      Though those pictures of him with short fans are really cute.

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      • The one with the little Asian gal outside BBC Radio Studios where he is wearing his John Porter leather jacket is darling. At this point I’m not sure I will ever be able to wear heels again, but I’m 5’6″ so he wouldn’t dwarf me in the unlikely event we got our photo taken together . . . well, a girl can dream.

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        • One issue I have is (a) you’d want a picture but (b) you’d be tempted to share it with the rest of Armitageworld. So you’d have a picture of relative significance to you that you want to share with the entire internet? That then fixes you in time and appearance?

          I mean, that’s a sweet picture, but it has now spread well beyond its original nexus of meaning …

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  5. I have not got an autograph. I worry about what I would do with it, where I would keep it, would I need to hide it…etc etc and it just seems easier not to go there (at least at the moment)…although I was thinking of sending my copy of Strike Back to him to autograph…oh dear. Maybe a keyring though…

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  6. I agree that an autograph would be more meaningful if it was received in person AND a photograph with him would be soooo much better! [Proof!] But Angie! Your hubby is certainly a keeper! What a thoughtful present to give you! I would treasure it too, perhaps more for the circumstances of how it was received than for the actual thing itself!

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    • Absolutely. A husband who obviously is not insecure. A great thing in a man.

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      • A man with quiet self-confidence, who is intelligent and gifted but does not feel the need to show it off, is very, very sexy to me. And that’s the kind of guy I married. And it appears that is the kind of fellow I adore from afar. Wow, I have good taste! *grin*

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    • Well, that’s it, Phylly. The old saying about “It’s the thought that counts.” How many guys would have gone out of their way to find RA stuff like that for their wives/girlfriends? Trust me, the womenfolk in my family all adored/adore him for good reason. He’s definitely a keeper (celebrated 25 years in June).

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  7. Well, being middle-aged, I don’t aspire to “cute”. Cute, sort-of, when you are young, sort of – cute, had its uses… but really, while I’d love to meet the man, and love the interviews behind? the actor, it’s the progress of the career. Not that I’m immune to the physical/voice attributes. At all. Far from it.

    As the big sister of an editor and published writer, I’m very conscious of the role of royalties etc. And for actors, does RA have some franchise/copyright/return on key chains or figurines? Just a boring Capricorn thought …

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    • Good question. I know AmazonUK has a bunch of items (most of which cannot be shipped to the US, which is probably a good thing in my case) including key chains, coasters, framed photos (including the Cold Feet shots) mugs . . . I would hope he does get a piece of the pie. That’s where I got my glossies of Lucas and Guy, actually–those they will ship here. At one time there was a teddy bear with a photo of smouldering Guy on the front–made me giggle to look at it!!

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    • in theory, he would maintain control of his own image, at least, but in practice it’s very hard to protect those rights unless you have a lawyer on retainer who polices the use of your image very strictly. Also, at the beginning of his career it would have been of use to have a sort of black market in images of him — would have helped with publicity. So it’s not entirely clear what you want to do in a situation like that as an aspiring actor, and he’d have to make a lot more money than I suspect he does to keep a lawyer at work chasing down copyright infringements.

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  8. I hope his advisors have sorted that out.

    If I were a boring accountant,instead of a boring Capricorn, who can just about add/subtract (with a pencil – and fortunately DVD VoD notwithstanding, no constipation problem yet), do add and subtract with pencil and paper. Slow, but it does work it out…

    I really do hope Mr. A has good advisors, because his profession is not really pensionable.

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    • Oh, me, too, @fitzg. Seen too many performers who have ended up rags-to-riches-to rags again because of mismanaged funds and bad investments. Hope he has people in place who are smart and trustworthy. There I go again, clucking like a mother hen over the lad. And I definitely do NOT feel motherly towards him. *wink*

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    • He does have the advantage of living in the UK. So potentially he wouldn’t ever be homeless unless he wanted to be.

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  9. I don’t have an autograph and I don’t really want one. If I every meet him in person I’d rather just have a single picture to help remember the moment.

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  10. I doubt that any of the RA memorabilia available on eBay or elsewhere gives him or anyone a royalty. He can’t copyright his name or new artwork of course but any photos would be copyright if used for something (eg mug, pillowcase etc). I may be wrong.

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  11. I don’t have an autograph either, nor really interested in getting one, unless he gives me one in person.

    OML 🙂

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  12. How sad is it that my first reaction when seeing the picture at the top was “aww, AND he’s got really sweet handwriting”? *cough*

    I’ve not written to ask for his autograph either. Would be kinda nice to have, I suppose, but at the same time, I’m way too shy. Maybe if I saw him in person. Like THAT would ever happen…

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    • I thought it was sweet, too, Traxy. I looked at a lot of images of his handwriting yesterday when clicking on the link above, and I found myself thinking:

      a) sometimes he still has an initial loop in his capital “R”. Result of early handwriting training? (I learned Zaner-Bloser in the U.S., and it has an initial loop in most of the capitals)

      b) love that long looping “e” at the end of Armitage that almost looks like an “l”.

      c) wondering if the formatting of the “d” reflects the need to economize time, strokes when signing a lot of photographs (ending the “d”) at the top of the stroke instead of coming back down to the baseline

      [handwriting has been on my mind a great deal this year as I taught a grad student historic German hands this summer]

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  13. […] conducted at the computer screen so I don’t have any physical photos, any keepsakes, autographs, etc., etc. I think I only have one printout of a photo for travel emergencies. I mentioned to her […]

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  14. […] at a stage door, or on the street anywhere; I don’t want to have my photo snapped with you. I don’t want your autograph; I don’t want to write you a fan letter. (No offense to anyone who wants those things, […]

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  15. […] piece on fan reactions to receiving a requested autograph that just makes me melt inside. Although I’ve never requested an autograph myself, seriously, Mr. Armitage, the first thing I expect you to do after several months away from home on […]

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  16. […] auction, I will. I wonder why I want a scrap of a piece of clothing that Richard Armitage wore, but not an autograph. I turn off the computer and go to […]

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  17. […] did feel guilty. I occasionally wondered whether this failure was yet another sign that I’m not a good enough fangirl. Or evidence that my interest in Armitage was […]

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  18. […] not in search of an autograph, as I’ve said before, but like many fans last fall, had wondered why anyone would pay for an autograph of Richard […]

    Like

  19. […] really do not know what is up with this because honestly, I would still not ever write Armitage to ask for an autograph, although it turned out that I got one in London (sort of for lack of a better strategy for seeing […]

    Like

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