The Bubble Rule bursts (sort of): August 26th, part 3

Continued from here. Warning that some things I say here may be controversial from the fan perspective.

Act Three and Four

3870831d[“Is the accuser always holy now?” Richard Armitage as John Proctor and William Gaunt as Giles Corey. It’s actually a line from Act Two of The Crucible, but I like this picture a lot and it substantiates my point about use of hands being Armitage’s iconic characterization gesture for Proctor. Source: Rex Images]

We return to our seats and settle in for the second half, which is as gripping as the first, despite what I feel are tempo problems created by the script, particularly at the beginning of Act Four. My notes tell me that I was particularly enthralled by the moment in Act Three where Proctor admits his adultery, as well something at the moment unintelligible to me about the way he was breathing as a means of reaction to Danforth (Jack Ellis) while observing the interactions in the courtroom scene. I also see the notes that started a series of ruminations about Proctor as status player, but that would be too complicated to go into just now. There’s my reaction to the first time I saw the accusing girls possessed. And I remained preoccupied by Armitage’s absolute, complete absorption in what he was doing, right up till the bitter end. Although he did not manage to cry in Act Four, I certainly did — I was mesmerized starting with his entrance by his limping, tortured gait and astounded by his ability to exchange lines with Danforth.

3870831c[Proctor (Richard Armitage) and Rev. Parris (Michael Thomas) observe the bewitchment of Abigail (Samatha Colley) and another one of the girls (Susannah Walcott / Daisy Waterstone?) as Mary Warren (Natalie Gavin) tries to shake it out of her, in Act Three of The Crucible. Source: Rex Images]

But that’s not really what this segment of the Servetus experience report is about, so I’ll save detail on those reflections for now and incorporate them somewhere else.

The cast did not get a standing ovation for this performance, although it did many or most of the performances I attended. Speaking from the perspective of the week — there’s no regular relationship between the level of the performance and the applause the actors are getting. There’s such an dislocation at the end of the play — I always heard a few people around me crying, and sometimes I was crying; and there was nearly always an “early applauder” so enthusiastic that s/he clapped through the natural beat or two of silence after the lights dimmed. A lot of people, I think, are still shocked enough by the play that they’re not rising afterwards; that is to say, sitting is not evidence that they didn’t find the play amazing, because they’re pulling themselves together. I say this because after the first performance, I kind of didn’t know what to do with myself — I wanted to stand and applaud but I was so wrung out. It’s true, too, what Linda60 has reported: that the applauses in general were all much shorter than anywhere else in the world I’ve gone to the theater (is this an English thing?).

3870830g[Another moment of Act Three I like — since there are no images from Act Four: Proctor (Richard Armitage) accuses Danforth of fraud. Source: Rex Images]

In any case, on this evening, the final applause was interrupted. As has been reported elsewhere, after Armitage had turned around and was exiting the stage via the rear exit, a young woman (I would say, college age) rose with a small bag in her hand, and ran across the stage after him. We all stopped clapping and gasped / stared. She was seated one seat over from me (F17 stalls). I had talked to the people on either side of me, but not to her. An usher intercepted her well before she made it to Armitage, and I’m not sure he even noticed her. I saw her emerge from the stage door later and put herself in line with the rest of us.

Servetus goes to the Old Vic stage door

Old_Vic_Theatre,_Waterloo_Exterior_Stage_Door_2Guylty crossed over the stage; we struck up a conversation with some people who’d been seated next to me, sparked by the odd moment with the audience member who’d run across the stage; we all gushed together about the play; and gradually, without a whole lot of discussion, all of us drifted toward the exit closest to the stage door.

Where, in the course of the next half hour, I met, very briefly spoke to (two short sentences; the first, declarative; the second, interrogative), and was photographed with, Richard Armitage.

Yeah — don’t fall out of your seat reading that. You can’t imagine the effort it took me to do that, let alone write it down here.

The next piece of this post is me trying to explain what changed between Tuesday night and Monday, when the proximity issue was making me so nervous I couldn’t eat, and learning that Armitage had been signing autographs in the bar made me tremendously happy I’d left and gone back to my hotel room.

I should add right now that although I had not anticipated doing so before going to London, I ended up going to the stage door the other four nights I was there, and I sought to make a brief contact with Armitage, and did so successfully, on the two other occasions when I tried. (Summary: Five nights when I saw the play; three successful contacts; two nights observing.) I’ll tell you those stories where they fall in the narrative, because they’re significant to how I processed the week and what I learned from doing this, but I wanted to mention that how I ended up feeling about this episode was conditioned by later experiences that I can’t describe here because they’d distract from the narrative of this evening. And this is where it gets tricky, because I can tell you more or less how I was feeling then, and I can recount what I observed — but I don’t have a good take, even now, on how to contextualize that night, and the experience that came from it. That’s why I waited several days to write these posts — because it’s always easier for me to come to terms with my perceptions than it is with my emotions — but I still haven’t come to very many firm conclusions. So I am going to ramble for a bit.

Contrary to what’s been said of me recently, I’ve never been an opponent of the stage door experience in general or of attempts by other fans to meet and be photographed with Armitage insofar as these occur in accepted venues. I hope that my extensive discussion of the selfie question, though unfinished, substantiates that point for anyone still in doubt. But I was always, always leery of the stage door for me, and it was interesting to me to reread my first, lengthy ruminations over that, in which I argued that that Armitage the person might unacceptably interfere with my conception of Armitage the fantasy. I think I’ve moved on from there — that is, I have fully accepted that fantasy Armitage is related to but not congruent with real Armitage. Other fans have said things about the role of status issues in making personal encounters undesirable, and I think I am closer to that now. Guylty and I talked about that during the afternoon. Why did the possibility of talking to Armitage, however briefly, suddenly make me feel so small and insignificant? Only, of course, because of the feeling I attribute to him myself. And because he’ll always be way more significant to me than I could ever be to him.

And there was one final issue, which I haven’t ever discussed explicitly. I have a significant physical reserve. A polite way to say this is that I’m not a hugger. More accurately: I rarely touch anyone spontaneously beyond a handshake, even women, but especially not men and certainly not total strangers. (Ask Obscura — I think we had met four or five times before we hugged.) In January Perry asked to take a picture of Armitage at Pinter / Proust and he insisted she be in it, and he grabbed her waist. That kind of thing fills my heart with fear. I don’t like people touching me, even people I normally know and like, and I have better reflexes than is good for me. It’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, and a handshake is the most a man I’m not related to or sleeping with ever gets from me these days. The Hasidim I spent my sabbaths with are rubbing off on me, I think, but it only reinforces a natural tendency. Without me having told her, Guylty mentioned this the next day, saying that when she took the photo, she wanted to tell me to get closer. No thanks — I was absolutely as close to Richard Armitage physically as I ever wanted to be. Closer. I loved being so close to him on stage that I could see his eyelashes, but the fourth wall was still there.

But what changed? What made something that I had dreaded the possibility of, that made me feel shocky even to contemplate only hours before, suddenly okay?

Two things occur to me now about that night.

First, something changed in my conception of the “real Armitage” that made the stage door version of him I was likely to encounter seem less inviolate or even less special. Once the distinction around the notion of the “real person” Richard Armitage as distinct from what he did artistically had evaporated — once I’d had the reaction, seeing him on stage, that I would never meet a version of Richard Armitage more authentic than the one I was already seeing, than the Richard Armitage embodying John Proctor — the fear around meeting Armitage in his civvies lessened considerably. Once I’d “met” him in that way, in the way that turned out to be most important to me on this trip, meeting him in other ways seemed less fraught, less freighted. I’d already met the most important version of what I’d wanted to meet, and it had been okay. Life-changing, I felt, and feel. I had experienced the transcendent Armitage already.

Second, something changed in my own self-concept. The stage door experience made me feel much more akin to other fans than I have felt for quite some time. I sometimes feel I share little with other fans, or think I’ve been made to feel that I share little with other fans (an important distinction), although there is some overlap — but there, standing at the stage door, I felt like we were all there for the same purpose and we all had the same status (apart from some people standing higher in the line than others) as fans seeking something — a word, a photo, an autograph, a glimpse, a little bit of notice. I’ve always felt a certain amount of tension around writing Servetus, but in the line that didn’t matter because no one except Guylty knew who I was, and Richard Armitage, when I saw him, showed absolutely no sign of knowing who I am (pace the attempts of some fellow fans this spring to out me to him). I was just — another fan, like every other fan who wanted a little glimpse of, a little contact with, transcendence. This was really comforting.

Servetus gets her picture taken with Richard Armitage

stage-door-capSo this is how it went.

We wandered out the side exit, and stood in line — even though we’d been in the theater for about ten minutes or so, we found a place right near the fire exits, so halfway down the length of the line. Guylty and I got involved in a discussion in German about the plot of the play — I was still overwhelmed by the entire experience and I’m not sure what I said made any sense. Other actors from the cast emerged from the stage door and left — I thought it was odd they were not cheered or acknowledged by the waiting fans. But the line was relatively short (in comparison to other nights — perhaps forty people) and very quiet. The security people came out and asked us to stay back against the wall, single file, to have our cameras or autograph materials out, and to realize that Armitage might not be able to give everyone everything s/he wanted. We were told that he would come down the line and eventually go back, and once he re-entered the theater, he would not come out again.

Richard Armitage came out, and I think the charitable way to say it is that he looked dazed and a bit breathless to me. (He seems to have confirmed that mood after work in his “conversation” at the Old Vic this week, and it’s not surprising — I think it would take much more than any human has to be able to shake off the remnants of that performance in the fifteen minutes between his exit from the stage and his appearance at the stage door.) Immediately, people approached him excitedly, and he started signing autographs and taking pictures. I very much had the impression that he is aware that that most people don’t need very much from him in this setting, and so the fact that he has some kind of shield on that allows him to smile, look into a camera intensely, sign things, say “thank you” and “bless you” and be photographed with fans is fine because most people are not expecting a substantive interaction (or even if they want one, they realize it’s not possible). It’s really smart — he lets the fans supply the energy as much as possible, and in that way, we attribute their own meaning to it and are delighted. (Keeping in mind that on this night, he made it all the way through the line of waiting fans before returning to the theater, which was not the case on other nights. Disappointment is also a real component of this experience for a lot of people, which I’ll discuss in a subsequent post.) We saw in other encounters that he was certainly capable of words and conversations, but they were always brief ones. His motion was steady in our direction, and soon he was about three steps from me.

It probably helps me, frankly, that I am accustomed to being a woman in authority. I have a low voice, a solid physical presence, a firm self-assured tone, and after years of being a professor I communicate a certain expectation to people that they will comply with my requests. I also had boots on that made me two inches taller than I normally am. As he came my way, I smiled, looked him in the face, and said, “You were really great tonight. May I have a picture with you?” He looked at me, did the shy smile thing, enhanced by the fact that he was looking down at me (despite my boots — he was wearing sneakers!) through his eyelashes, managed to appear to be genuinely flattered, and said, “Thank you! Is that your camera?” His voice was somewhat hoarse but not, I thought, showing signs of overstrain. Gosh, the man is handsome, although in my memory I have essentially two flashing glimpses of him, looking toward me and then looking at me. (This is a problem with this whole experience — you can either request or observe, but it’s hard to do both at the same time. A lot of people who’ve had pictures with him can’t tell you what he was wearing apart from having seen themselves with him.) He turned his back toward the street so that he was standing toward Guylty, my photographer, and I turned the same way and tilted / leaned slightly toward him. As Guylty noted later — without touching him in any way.

I couldn’t have done this without Guylty, not just because she’s a photographer — all she had was my lousy Nikon Coolpix, the kind of camera she probably laughs about in secret — but because she’s so calm. Referencing her North Germanity, which made me feel so heimisch, I have to say that her extremely phlegmatic demeanor meant that I was never in a situation where anything she might have been feeling herself bled over into me. Guylty took the picture, and said, “Okay,” and I said “Thank you so much!” to him, but he’d already turned. Guylty handed me the camera, saying to me, “Keep it safe,” and Armitage moved on to the people we’d walked out of the theater with, and had an encounter with them.

I had done it. And realized that I hadn’t felt nauseated in the least. I also — and I think this is key — felt that I had met him and the Bubble Rule still had not been broken. I’d asked for what I wanted it and gotten it and strangely, I didn’t feel like any of the reserve I’d built up around the fourth wall was eroding. (I did eventually start to feel a bit of that, but it was later in the week, relates to other events, and belongs to a different part of this story — when I tell you about the other two encounters.) Or maybe the meaning of the Bubble Rule had changed? Because what I saw on stage in such close proximity to Armitage at work seemed then, and seems now, much more intimate and personal — a much greater gift to me — than the result of this picture-taking exercise and yet no boundaries had been breached there. Or maybe it was that Armitage’s bubble in this situation was so transparent but so robust and impenetrable that I was never really at risk at all. Because no — I didn’t feel like I met the unmediated Armitage at the stage door. I saw pieces of what I assign to the idea of the unmediated Armitage on display there. But the real Armitage? I met that man in the theater.

In any case — this was not the component of the week that made me feel like I am at a different stage in fandom now, as if my life has been changed — that was seeing the performance. I don’t feel like I’m a more complete fan now because of this stage door experience. I was thrilled, though, that I could actually do this calmly, and that I got over my fears and the horrid feeling that coming into contact with Armitage as me would make me self-combust in an unpleasant way.

Not to say that the meaning of this experience is entirely coherent to me. For I haven’t been able to make myself look at the picture, although I know it exists and I have a few backups of it squirreled away for safekeeping. Guylty’s the only one who’s seen it. It was not so much about the picture, I think, as about overcoming my fears about doing the stage door thing, which came to seem like a negligible matter after experiencing a manifestly immanent Richard Armitage in his work.

“I met Richard Armitage!” I said to Guylty, afterwards. “I met Richard Armitage!”

“And the play!” Guylty said. “The play!”

“Indeed,” I said. “The play!”

The end of the evening

The fans who’d met Armitage just after we did were kind enough to explain to us when they heard us discussing beer that it would be hard to find a drink anywhere but in a hotel, and generously invited us to theirs, so we walked with them. I don’t remember much of this walk, except that I was sunk in thought and had to be asked if I was all right. I probably nattered on about something but I don’t remember what, exactly. We walked along the Thames and I saw the Houses of Parliament lit up at night and had a wonderful memory of mom, visiting Westminster Abbey, which is right across from them, on Easter morning, 2007. They bought us drinks and we sat for quite some time, talking about the play, about Armitage, about the fandom, and the future. I remember a lot more of that conversation — it was extremely warm and again I felt a kinship with fans that I hadn’t experienced in quite a while. We left them quite late, although I couldn’t have told you when, and took a taxi back to my hotel, where we pulled out the sofa bed for Guylty and chatted a little and tried to find out what had happened in Armitageworld during our evening. Someone published an account of the stage door (that I can’t find now) that more or less made the opposite observation of what I’ve written above — how personal and alert and uniquely present Armitage was in his encounter with her. So you can see how fragmentary and arbitrary my observations above are.

It must have been 3:30 by the time we fell asleep.

***

to August 27th

~ by Servetus on September 6, 2014.

50 Responses to “The Bubble Rule bursts (sort of): August 26th, part 3”

  1. […] to part 3. […]

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  2. “I sometimes feel I share little with other fans, or think I’ve been made to feel that I share little with other fans.”

    For whatever it’s worth to you, Servetus, I feel that I share quite a lot with you as a fan.

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    • I feel that way about you, too! Hugs 🙂

      Thinking this morning about what made me write that — I probably need to expand on it a little. I think as a blogger one is exposed in an odd way, just structurally, and I’ve exposed myself more fully than that (and taken the consequences for it). There’s this constant dynamic in fandom, I’ve learned, of talking about the location of the boundaries to “normal” (odd, since being a fan is usually already defined as a “not normal” experience) and I’ve felt like I’ve been on the negative end of that a lot in the last year or so. What’s odd is that I don’t think, looking at the larger world, that I am actually all that odd as a fan. Maybe I admit to too much. But I had serious doubts about being Servetus in that line — and it turned out in the line I wasn’t Servetus but just another fan of Richard Armitage. Which felt really good.

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  3. Me too. I think that in some ways me+Richard has become a magnet for those of us who see things a little differently at times.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your observations – many thanks for publishing them.

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  4. If this was a story now would be a perfect time for “And she lived happily ever after” …

    🙂

    Ich bin sehr gespannt auf deine weiteren Gedanken und Erlebnisse.

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    • She did — and she would have done so at this point. I don’t know that the rest of the week gets better (Thursday was kind of a bad day) as much as it reinforces a lot of what had happened up until this point.

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  5. You met Richard Armitage ! 🙂

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  6. …and saw The Crucible.
    I also truly enjoy reading your observations. Thanks for sharing.
    “The real Richard Armitage? I met that man at the theatre.” It says it all.

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  7. I was holding my breath as you got to the meeting! Thank-you for letting us live it vicariously.

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  8. I agree

    with your comment about arbitrary observations of others until I heard yours and read guyltys account I thought I had observed something completely different. It was not until I heard him say what he feels like when he gets to the stage door could I put my own experiences into perspective. Seeing him again following the conversation which he is dazed and not quite in the present he says himself he hears people’s voices but it seems distant. He still has Proctor inside.
    This probably accounts for some if the hit and miss experiences. If he picks up on your voice he gravitates to you. It happens quickly and your right you can either observe and see or participate and not see. I still can’t believe I’ve had him standing next to me twice but it still feels not quite right?

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    • I think (based on some other things I observed) a lot of him is operating on reflex in this situation — especially the responses to the request for the pictures.

      And I agree about the “can’t believe I was standing next to him”. I think one of the structural problems in this situation is that there a lot of people there who would be happy to do only that. But it’s not really easy. You have to have a request in mind or you’ll just be passed by.

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  9. This series of impressions has been most moving. I look forward to more (and more) excerpts as you continue to assimilate the experience.

    Cheers!

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  10. I don’t know what to say, I feel all queasy! Congratulations on going to the Stage Door, I too feel it would be hard to do for various reasons. I am relieved it worked out for you.

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    • I think I was in a more or less constant state of queasy for a lot of that week — it’s interesting how little I ate (and when appetite came). Part of that is normal for me; transatlantic flights kill my appetite for two days. But a lot of it was nerves. It got a lot better after this, but the theater still remained a really nervewracking (in a good way) experience.

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  11. I have to admit that i’m reading your page almost everyday and honestly what you’re saying is so close to what i feel for our Richard and that makes me feel happy because i won’t have the chance to see him on stage, so with you and your comments i can truly imagine what it would be! I’m from France and almost no one knows about him here (or so few) so thank you very very much for sharing!

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  12. So great to relive that experience through your eyes again, Serv. Your calm exterior belied the turmoil that must have gone on inside your head. I only realized that afterwards, when you were floating back to the hotel ggg. BTW – I never really checked the photo I took properly. I have a vague idea that it was all good, but I couldn’t even tell whether you both had your eyes open ggg.
    Now I am really, really curious to hear about all the SDs that happened without me 😀

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    • You didn’t notice the four times I went to the bathroom that afternoon? (lol)

      I’m very invested in self-control, I think — it was never more apparent to me than during this week when my emotions were so often warring against what I was willing my body to do (be still).

      I guess we’ll find out what the photo was like in a few years or so 🙂

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      • Haha, no, didn’t notice that. Truth is, when I am nervous, I have to go to the loo much, myself, so it probably didn’t occur to me as unusual…
        And yes, I am a stickler for self-control, too. However, at the play (particularly shortly before and during the interval) I lost my battle for it. Not sure if you noticed, but I was shaking while we were outside… And not really for the damp evening…
        What a nice surprise it will be to look at that photo a few years down the road! Good plan 🙂

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        • I did notice. You were sort of shivering back and forth — and I was quivering all over the place. That was a special performance.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I loved this part, Serv, and enjoyed that both of you were there…. is there some particular reason that it will take a few YEARS to see how the photo came out?? Did I miss something? 🙂

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          • Only my personal trauma around photos. it’s entirely possible that I’ll delete it entirely before I ever look at it. I’ve made a lot of backups, like eight, maybe, because I know how I am. I’ve put them in safe places but I’ve already deleted two of them unopened as well.

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          • That is funny, because I drive my own family nuts with how I hate to have my picture made, & always have.

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            • Ex-SO was a big photographer and that contributed to the problem but it is probably bigger than that and also probably exacerbated by the fourth wall issues I’m experiencing in the wake of all of this …

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  13. I have enjoyed reading your story so far. It did take me a couple days as last night I keep falling asleep ( the first week back to school and if it could happen it did, even a pretty bad storm as the kids where getting to school on Thursday morning leaving my school and 2 others without power for 3 hours. I was drained last night)

    Thank you for your feeling and thoughts on the play and Richards acting. I had the feeling that he gives his all when doing his job. I am happy that you where able to go the the stage door. I have said so many times that unless you are in those shoes you really don’t know what you will do and that goes for everything. I still don’t think I could do that but then I really don’t know for sure.

    I look forward to what you write next of your London trip.

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  14. Ich habe alles auch nochmal durchlebt: Besten Dank. Und ich verstehe deine Scheu, jemandem ungefragt “an den Hals zu gehen”. Als ich da stand, hätte ich mich nicht gewehrt, wenn ER sich getraut hätte, freundlichst den Arm um mich zu legen 🙂 aber von selber hätte ich ihn nie komplett angefasst. Da sei mein Restanstand vor! Wir kennen uns schliesslich nicht persönlich. Und trotzdem wollte ich irgendwas im wahrsten Wortsinne festhalten. Und das Gefühl seines Sakkoärmels an meinen Fingern ist tatsächlich immer noch abrufbar. Sorry, wieder nur selbstreferentielles Geplapper…….
    Es war auch hoch an der Zeit, dass nach all der jahrelangen Theorie jetzt endlich mal ein Praxisteil für dich folgt. Ich denke, das fügt dem Bild RA neue ” körperliche” Facetten hinzu. Selbstverständlich auch ohne ihn angefasst haben zu müssen 🙂
    Ach ja, was hat er denn angehabt? Nicht die Button-Trouser, oder? 😀

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    • I’ll talk about this a little more in the next post — but I don’t have anything trivial to say to Richard Armitage. I’m not bad at small talk but the stage door isn’t the place for that either.

      I didn’t notice what he had on — so I’d have to go back and look at the picture for that night.

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      • Small talk ist auch wirklich nicht angesagt dort. Falsche Aktion am falschen Ort 🙂 Ausserdem sollten beim Small Talk beide entspannt sein. Naja er kommt aus einer kräftezehrenden Performance und du/ich/werauchimmer aus einer ebensolchen als Zuschauer/Fan/wasauchimmer. Entspannung ist hier eher nicht das Thema, würde ich sagen.
        Dann prüfe mal die Fotos. Ich wünsche dir ein ebensolches Aha-Erlebnis, wie meines mit der Button-Trouser 😀

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  15. Wonderful!

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  16. I waited until I could give some undivided time to read about your experience. Friday I was out of it and recovering yesterday.

    I am finding myself truly touched by your writing. I have read all the posts up to this in a row and am a little emotional about it all. I can’t even fathom what it is like for you experiencing it and then putting your thoughts and feelings to paper. We are so fortunate that you are willing to make the effort. I am going to take a break and settle down before I read more 🙂

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  17. […] from here. You'll have read Guylty's "day after" reflections from that […]

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  18. […] me least of all. But in the wake of all the inspiration I was exposed to in London, I was wondering what would change for me. Because I felt changed. I remember waking up on Thursday morning and seeing that someone had tried […]

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  19. I’ll get into the stage door thingy separately as i only went 1 but had one of the loveliest experiences in memory of all stage doors i’ve passed by ( though my previous ones had nothing to do with theatre), but it’s an interesting discussion. I think your experience is lovely and i am glad you were able to enjoy it in spite of initial concerns.
    I’m so with you in any case on the fundamental dilemma, what does one do if not keen on autographs and photos ( yes you are not alone ;-)) but nevertheless we still want to see the OOOA close up? I say it’s perfectly fine and it doesn’t hurt OOOA’s fingers (which must be sore from signing) nor does it hurt his eyes with more flashes, so no harm done in looking 🙂

    As to applause, ah, yes this is London! we love artists loads and this is why applause is intense. Standing ovation is a very rare thing, do not underestimate the importance of the standing ovations for the Crucible! It’s so rare it’s precious 🙂 But people have trains to catch and also we believe they’ve done a good job, we applauded and now everyone is allowed to go away and do what they want. Actors deserve to be able to get a meal and a drink if they want after a show and time window in London for that is small. I like it, it’s a way of saying we like you, love your work, but we know you are human so we let you go about your business 🙂
    Otherwise it becomes more about the audience than the actors, who can clap loudest and longest and where do those people come from, some fans have more stamina than others etc. If it is good they’ll know it because the show will sell out and people applaud, let’s not get too carried away :-p (the British way 😉 i still get people you calp their hand over their ears if i shout Bravo at applause and i get funny looks for getting too carried away 😉 I like intensity, but i don’t like too long applause, because we all have to go places and do things,

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    • well, I have to say that from my experience in the U.S., the applause at the shows I was at was NOT what I would call especially intense, but obviously perceptions will be different. Maybe that’s part of what seemed odd about it to me, standing applause is not all that common in the US, either but it usually happens not right away (as often happened in London) but after a round of regular applause.

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      • yes, i think you are right, it’s how i’ve seen things happen here usually too, applause and then people get up. May be that fans knew about the standing beforehand and were more enthusiastic straight away? But that is also not always the case, on 2 nights the people around me were not fans of RA , mostly older gents who had been riveted and jumped up into enthusiastic standing ovations ( and made my heart flutter with pride :-)) ( sorry not stalking you with quick reply, i swear. Reading back still, trying to cheer myself up between the worry about the referendum – lived in Edinburgh for a number of years and emotionally attached – and still on the up and down from the end of C and the up from this morn’s photo, missing RA… hope i’m not sounding too soppy..)

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  20. […] that was — I think the memory will always leave me a little trembly. Then there was stage door Richard Armitage. Richard Armitage(s), I should stress again, perhaps? I still haven’t managed to make myself […]

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  21. […] I don’t want a photo or an autograph as I’ve obtained those things, no matter how I feel about them (at that […]

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  22. […] In principle, this was highly sensible advice. In practice, I knew there would be certain restrictions; I didn’t have a smart phone for a selfie and wouldn’t have had the guts to ask a stranger to photograph me with Armitage, and the only person I knew who I was planning to meet at the play was Guylty, so I knew if it were to happen at all, it would have to happen the evening we were meeting, which was supposed to be the second one. However, the issues with the Old Vic roof meant that I didn’t have a first night to scope things out and figure out what I was comfortable with — if I was going to do it, it had to be the night Guylty was there, which was my first night. What happened, from my perspective that night, is described here. […]

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