Fan A-Z Challenge
E.) Which of RA’s audio chARacters do you think he should play in a film adaptation?
F.) Name a play that you wish RA would do.
G.) How long have you been in the fandom, and how has your attitude to the fandom changed during that time?
I started lurking in this fandom in January of 2013, before starting this blog 4 months later. I announced my decision to stop blogging about Richard Armitage in late August of 2016- only to go against that decision and create a temporary blog to work through my confusion. I deleted that blog and moved those posts to my Getting Caught Up In The Mechanism blog, where I now blog about actors and fandom, among other things. even after I stopped blogging about Richard regularly, I still kept a toe or two in the fandom by continuing to lurk in a few places. so I’ve been a part of this fandom for 5 years, a ‘superfan’ for 3. truthfully, I started wavering during year two but something kept pulling me back in.
In the beginning, fandom was a dream come true for me because talk centered around one subject above all others and pretty much stuck to that subject throughout. I’ve gotten to know many of you through discussing Richard. sharing our experiences in relation to storylines, character traits, aesthetic preferences, etc. this is how my brain works, I learn through story telling. give me a text book and I will fall asleep after page 2 but give me a movie/book/song that is fiction-based-on-fact, and I will eat it up in record time. I had been a member of 2 small groups in 2 different fandoms before this one, so I just assumed I would do the same within the RA blogging community as well. except the community reached farther than I thought it did. there were more blogs to read and comment on, more content to catch up on, more opportunities to interact with other fans…more frustration when the community became distracted by personal issues, opinions, and opposing methods of dealing with conflict. I didn’t sign up for that. I had a lot of positive experiences within the fandom too but the negativity seemed to dim their light. I am highly sensitive to underlying tension. some fans are able to shake that stuff off, ignore it if it doesn’t touch them directly; I am not one of those fans. I feel it in every wink and eye roll. I try to escape it by finding greener pastures, only to step into it again.
All of this was a constant push and pull to me, then Richard jumped into fandom himself, affecting a significant part of my fandom experience. I struggled with how big of a part that was. fandom was fandom and Richard was Richard and never the two shall meet. when they did meet? I cannot put into words how much that confused me and threw me off kilter. I could no longer separate Richard from fandom. when I finally came to terms with it all, observing from the outside instead of participating from the inside, the good memories overshadowed the bad and I was able to let the bitterness go. but that part of me that was damaged by not being able to separate Richard from his fandom never recovered.
I have such happy memories of my interactions on this blog. the silly captions and all those reaction gifs, the sometimes deep and sometimes shallow but always enjoyable discussions in the comment section, the familiar avatars of my readers and the warm feeling I get when I still see them on Twitter. it’s easier to let the hurt go now that my fangirl heart has fallen for someone else. I don’t regret this blog, I don’t regret the fandom friends I made, I don’t regret falling for Richard. it’s shaped me and helped me grow as a person in ways I didn’t anticipate but greatly value.
and since I live my life in song lyrics, I have a playlist for all of this. it starts with how fandom first felt for me in the beginning as I fell for Richard, moving into the yo-yo of emotions I went through as my feelings for both the fandom and Richard changed. then it touches upon the reluctance I felt when I left and my eyes became focused on someone new, ending with how I opened myself up to a new crush and let myself be happy again. some of these songs were part of my original RA playlist, while the others I turned to often as a reflection of my mood(s).