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 (Richard included). even after I stopped blogging about Richard here, I still kept a toe in the fandom by continuing to lurk on other blogs. 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 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 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 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 I’ve opened myself up to other actors. 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.
❤ ❤ ❤
11 thoughts on “and everything changed”
Yep, that was definitely a turning point, Richard starting out on Twitter. I had episodes of doubt before that, too, but those seem to have multiplied since then. It’s probably due to the fact that his own communications mean that I have to say bye-bye to the fantasy Richard I created in my mind.
Your post reads like a bye-bye, too – or are you going to keep the blog going?
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yes, the thing about being too secretive about your private life is that it leaves it wide open for speculation. I really liked that Richard wrote letters to the fandom, although that was mostly before my time, but when he joined Twitter he let us see him more…and that didn’t match up with the version I had built in my mind. if I was new to Richard now and followed his Twitter use, it wouldn’t bother me- he’s not a jerk or anything, it’s just that knowing him prior to that, his insecurities stick out like a sore thumb in a way that’s not particularly attractive to me. sometimes insecurities can be cute, funny, or even alluring, but Richard’s brand seems indecisive and people-pleasing.
after I finish this challenge I won’t be blogging here regularly but I do want to keep it open for instances like this. I do mention him sometimes on the other blog, so it’s not like I’ve vowed to never blog about him again. he’s still a part of me, I still enjoy his work and his interviews, etc. I’m just not ‘obsessed’ with him anymore.
That’s exactly how I feel, too. The ideal would be a middle ground – which social media actually is the perfect tool for (but which RA doesn’t use properly, imo). I.e. keeping tabs on his private life, but allowing glimpses into his life (even if only his working life – that is really all we can ask for) by posting on the issues he is personally interested in or by sharing images that provide context. As it is, I find his Twitter use inconsistent. It’s like an afterthought, as if he occasionally remembers he has a Twitter account. I’m not even gonna go into the tweet/delete behaviour, but the effect is as you describe. At least for me. And that doesn’t match my (no doubt false) idea of him. Essentially that’s *my* problem, not *his*, but it’s a dampener, in any case.
Glad to hear that you are keeping the blog open even if you are not blogging on a regular basis anymore. Whether you do or not – it’s nice to keep it as a record of interesting conversations and all the fun we also had.
Btw, my ‘obsession’ has waned, too, to the extent that I can neither bring myself to write a review of his latest stuff (audiobooks and Ocean’s 8), nor enthuse about the (really gorgeous) latest photographs of him. I don’t even feel like finishing the fan challenge that I put together myself. Probably time to step back and let it all settle.
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from what I’ve seen he does a little better using Instagram than he does Twitter but I imagine using social media for promoting, even if it’s just a constructed version of himself, is hard for him. it’s hard for me! I love when people post pics of things they encounter without going into detail about where they are or what the pic is of. Dan Stevens is really good at that.
I’m not sure I’ve actually been excited about one of Richard’s projects since Hannibal. I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel before that but then the complexity of that character pulled me back in. and as I said above, audio books really aren’t my thing so it was hard to get excited for those too. it really sucks that I don’t enjoy audio books b/c Dan has recorded a bunch of them. one of which is Chris Ryan’s Strike Back; fandoms colliding!
when I go on trips or have been really busy with things offline, I find that it takes me awhile to get back into an online groove again. so since you’ve been traveling and working so much lately maybe it’s something similar for you.
IDK, I suppose my approach to social media would be – if you don’t enjoy it at all, then leave it. Or let your agents organise it, if you need it for promotional purposes. Ideally, something like you describe DS doing, is a great solution – giving fans insights, remaining visible online, yet keeping control over what goes online himself. (BTW, next time I have an audible credit, I might give DS a try. I always like listening to Brit accents.)
As for the projects… well, I’m trying to think what I was excited about. I was initially very excited about BS, but that was my German perspective. And unfortunately the show didn’t deliver what it seemed to promise. Disappointed. Pilgrimage excited me for the Irish connection, but again, not really my thing. Veil of silence over everything else. I’m interested in the Julie Delpy piece, though. Interested, not excited…
Yeah, the settling back into the routine after the holiday probably adds to my disenchanted feelings at the moment. It’s silly season, too… and Ireland is actually in a heat wave. (77 F 😂)
I forgot about Pilgrimage. I really liked the beginning of that one but then it got really violent and I was so disappointed b/c I thought it had real potential. I never was interested in Brain on Fire, although now that it’s on Netflix I should watch it, just b/c Richard does look good in it…the same reason I continued watching Berlin Station after I decided I didn’t like it!
I agree about letting someone else handle the Twitter account. I’ve heard of other celebrities doing that so maybe Richard does actually like it, IDK. Dan doesn’t use his Twitter very much but he does the Instagram thing a lot. he posts some fan art in relation to his Legion tv show but I think he’s a bit of a budding photographer b/c he posts a lot of nice personal shots too. for Father’s Day he posted a B&W pic of his kids hands- his hand was on the bottom with each kid following by age, with the littlest one on top; very cute!
we Americans like to snicker when you guys complain about your ‘heat wave’ but when I was in Scotland it hit 80F the day I had to go shopping for clothes b/c we lost our luggage, and those little stores get rather stuffy when there is no air conditioning! just like after our bus crashed and the driver turned off the bus and left us in there while he helped clear the road. we lasted about 10 minutes before we mutinied and escaped.
I didn’t really like Brain on Fire much, but with a bit of fast-forwarding I might watch it again.
I had a look at DS’ IG and the first thing I see is a picture of Newgrange. Well, that endears the man to me. (Wonder whether he was there this summer, or whether it was a ‘stolen’ picture…) But you are right, he’s got an eye for unusual shots, and I like how he documents what he sees and thus mixes his IG with promo pictures of himself (and his projects) and his personal observations. Good use of IG! Subscribed!
As for the ‘heatwave’ – I am laughing with you. I consider 77 F as perfect summer weather – not too hot, but warm. But that’s easy for us to say, coming from places where summer temperatures easily reach 85+ F.
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Ah you. Well said. It seems the fandom changed when he joined Twitter. Changed much.
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kelly, that’s why I don’t do Twitter. I like my fantasies. repeating Zee, well said.
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I’ve been a fan of RA for a while but really wasn’t part of the fandom until some time after RA came onto Twitter (which I’m not on anyway). Im glad you continue to be around, whether blogging about RA or DS or whatever. Now, to think about my answer to this question…
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His instincts (after the first eighteen months or so) were to keep separate from the fandom, but it seems like his “team” talked him out of that. He should have gone with the instincts, frankly. His decision to be part of his own fandom was massively destructive. The bloom was long off the rose for me by then in terms of the fandom, but my issues with the fandom seemed limited to a very small group of people at that time, whom I never thought were representative. His tweeting brought out a lot of things that were there but never so prominent before. I also think that his clear position that he knew better than we do how to be a fan triggered a rancor that has not entirely disappeared, even if he preaches much less now than he did a few years ago.
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