When the file sharing site, Photobucket, recently changed it’s terms of service to restrict posting photos by sharing links, I decided it was a good time to clean house. I had so many images linked to previous fandom’s fan-forums, that were essentially worthless now (grr!). I thought I might look for a new place to store them, even though there really wasn’t much of a need anymore. Whatever pics I post on the blogs, are uploaded and stored there, with a few of my favorites that I keep on my own computer for easy access. So I downloaded the individual albums that I wanted to keep, placing them in a folder to deal with later. Fast forward a few days to when I was deleting all the outdated install files on my computer, and I accidentally deleted the Photobucket files in the frenzy (label your folders, people!). Not only that, but I was in such a cleaning mood that I also emptied my recycle bin. yeah. I didn’t mind losing all that stuff, it really was clutter that I could do without. All the good stuff has been uploaded to the blog libraries, though it’s not exactly the best set up for browsing. So, what does all of this mean? It means I currently have 6 images of RA at my fingertips. six. S-I-X. time to start over…
Fangirling over a celebrity can be like a courtship. first comes puppy love, then the realization of something deeper, which cultivates into a commitment of sorts. the “falling” eventually runs it’s course and you settle into an existence. as time goes on things change, because people change. we can either evolve and move forward, or veer off onto a path that takes us somewhere else. we can’t move backwards. while you may tell yourself that if you just stay still then everything will work itself out, you risk sacrificing your happiness to do so.
When I first started this blog, I was firmly in the puppy stage. I wanted to gush about Richard until I was out of breath, take a hit of oxygen, and then gush some more! then I moved into the “something deeper” phase and found myself exploring the hearts of not only the characters Richard portrayed, but the man himself. once I settled into “an existence” though, it became harder and harder to come up with fresh blog post ideas. in the beginning, it was effortless, but now that I’m three years in I have to work at it. I don’t like forcing it and I don’t like not posting either because it feels like a white blank space that blinds me. so after much thought, I’ve decided to hang up my blogging hat. I’ve had a good run, have so many good memories to keep with me, and so I think it’s better to sign off now while I still feel that way.
Do I regret any of it? no, not even a little. this blogging experience has shaped me in ways that I never imagined; good, bad, and everything in between. I’m not sure I could have done it with any other crush or any other fandom. but while I may be done blogging about Richard Armitage, that does not mean I am ready to quit being a fan of Richard’s or leave the fandom altogether. I’d miss you guys way too much! (and him too, but whatever)
To mark this transition for myself, I’ve picked a new look for this blog but the memories we’ve shared here will remain. I wouldn’t have had as much fun as I’ve had, without all of you, and so I want to be able to revisit those times whenever I feel the need. I hope you will stop by and browse back through them as well when you need a pick-me-up. I’m not sure where the next chapter of my fangirling will take me, but it soothes me to know I’ll be among friends. thank you for sharing the last 3 years with me, “the ride with you was worth the fall”.
I’ve been lurking on Twitter and Tumblr, reading fanfiction and doing some early spring cleaning, both metaphorically and physically.
a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
during my cleaning frenzy, I was going through the downloads on my computer to scale down the pics I had saved there. I whittled it down to 10 of Richard, 7 of Jamie Dornan, 2 of Christian Bale, and about 15 various nature pics. that seems reasonable, right?
while looking through all the clutter, I stopped at a certain pic of Richard and… got distRActed.
there are many things about it that still pull me in, and I thought “there’s something there, something unexplainable that’s all him”. as long as Richard continues to be a mystery to me, I’ll enjoy chasing the answers.
Here’s to the power of photographs and what they mean to each of us
As I tried to break free from the mundane mood I’ve been in lately, I took your suggestions to heart and started revisiting some of the gems that brought me here in the first place. Guylty suggested rereading themessages that Richard has written to the fan base. I’ve enjoyed their lightheartedness in the past, so it seemed like a good place to start.
I’ve talked about the fan messages before and how I appreciate seeing the silly side of Richard that shows up in many of them, particularlyduring the filming of Robin Hood and Spooks. This time around though a different angle grabbed my attention- the progression of a newly recognized actor, as he moves through the frustration of celebrity, into a more balanced individual.
The messages start with short, postcard type snippets of what Richard was working on at the time. it didn’t feel like promotion, but a casual and warm way of relaying what had been occupying his time. soon an undercurrent of apology ran throughout that picked up speed as the messages went along. apologies for not churning out notes of thank you and requested signed photos at a fast enough pace, apologies for the aesthetic look of characters he was portraying and the quality of programs they were part of, even an apology for his charity doodle not being up to par. I suspect some of this was due to inherent insecurity but also a result of fan reaction.
As time moved on correspondence, while often humorous, also seemed to reflect frustration. poking fun at the lack of timely communication with the “fan abandonment” theme, walking the fine line of what to say and what not to say by using a fictional “spokesperson”, and touching upon skepticism about the author of the messages with self-depreciation. the signatures also changed from “Richard” to the shortened “RA, with some messages not including a signature at all.
The messages were regulated to once a year after that, which isn’t surprising considering the filming of The Hobbit and all that entailed. the Richard that appeared in the messages that followed seemed more contemplative, and possibly wiser, as he pulled back from making himself openly available in that way. soon he switched over to Twitter, where communicating in 140 characters and photos has it’s own set of challenges.
I find the earlier messages endearing in their postcard simplicity, and the later messages interesting in their contemplative depth, but the middle ones resonate with me the most. on the outside they’re humorous and creative, yet underneath they hint at struggle (I may have just described myself…). I find that comforting because it says to me that my struggles with similar issues are not a beat-yourself-up weakness. and that’s okay, because Richard has been there, done that too.
No matter which way you view the messages, I think we can agree that they’re special in the glimpses they provide into who Richard was before. from that first contact post in relation to the BBC North & South message board, through the ups and downs of fandom praise and disagreement, to the checking-in-with-old-friends quality over quantity.
I’m reminded of the end scene from the movie Field of Dreams, when the Kevin Costner character sees a younger version of his father walking across the baseball field, and remarks:
Look at him. He’s got his whole life in front of him and I’m not even a glint in his eye.
The messages Richard wrote to his fanbase not only give me a peek at who he was before I knew of him, but they also remind me of who I was when I first read them- a newbie with no boundaries or expectations.
“Hey, is this Heaven?” No, it’s Richard Armitage fandom.