I do believe I have finally moved past The Crucible. Dreaming of Lucas North must have helped. I almost didn’t post anything about my final stage door encounter, but then I thought maybe someday I’d like to look back on it, so for posterity…
Friday Sept 5:
I DID intend to leave Richard Armitage alone after showing up at the front of the line on Monday evening. My reason: at this point I felt vaguely guilty, hearing via the Conversation that Act 4 wreaked such havoc on his system as to occasionally cause him to vomit and pass water, and having on three occasions witnessed for myself the dripping nose and the tears. He’d shared by then that the Stage Door was always done in a daze for him, and I knew I had not one but two photos with him, as well as a signed poster and a signed program. So I felt I had no business there, and I knew there would be other fans who hadn’t done Stage Door who deserved the gift of his time more than I did.
Nevertheless, Friday was my last night in London, I was all packed and had nothing much to do at 10:50pm, so off I went again. Mom and I had spent another day at Kew Gardens, and her “dogs were barking” (as we like to say when our feet are sore), so she stayed in the room. My dogs were barking, too, but that was the day we all found out the very best news, that there would be a Digital Theatre recording, and that really did wonders for my feet! And for my outlook on life, in general. Anyway, I wanted to take my final opportunity at The Old Vic to buy the poster with John Proctor looking down, but I didn’t intend to bother Richard. I was just going to chit-chat and share in the delight of the Digital Theatre news with fellow admirers who might already be in the line, then move across the street to observe. Very sadly, the poster turned out to be sold out. And I never moved across the street.
A very sweet lady from Munich was right ahead of me, and two professional autograph hunters were lined up in front of us. We started visiting, and when I reported I’d been to the Stage Door before, she smiled and said she already knew this, which was how I learned that the photo I’d tweeted Monday night had turned up on Servetus’ blog. Wow- recognized at the Stage Door- that was a little disconcerting! Another man arrived and it looked like he was going to cut right in front of us, as he went over to the professional autograph hunters and they all spoke to each other. One reported that Martin Freeman didn’t do stage door again, confirming our suspicions. The third guy exchanged a little more conversation with the others, then at least had the grace to move behind me in the line, where he started pulling out glossy Guy of Gisborne photos from his satchel. The lady from Munich and I looked on. He noticed, then asked if we had met Richard. We both said we had, and he stated he hadn’t ever seen him, then claimed he was there “on behalf of me mum” to which I politely said, “Bless your heart!” (Anyone not from the Southern USA may not realize that is Southern code for “Why, you little toad!”) My Munich friend just gave me the universal raised eyebrow, so she may have thought I was actually fooled by his statement. We resumed our conversation, and at some point we did discuss the professionals and we were both curious to see how Richard would deal with them. Meanwhile, I had offered to take a picture of my new friend with Richard, thus conveniently committing myself to stay in the line.
So, out came Richard Armitage pretty soon, and there I was with my cell phone and my new friend’s camera. That evening, Richard was flying down the line looking pretty sharp in his white button-up shirt and grey suit jacket, and I think maybe he had somewhere else to be, because he was faster than ever and if he noticed the pros surrounding us, he didn’t comment, just signed the top page of everything and took a few photos for those who were ready. Despite our practicing with her camera, he somehow managed to pass us by without my friend from Munich getting a posed photo with him. I did manage to take a few pics of him signing autographs using her camera, but I felt sorry that we were unsuccessful there.
After he passed our position, I returned her camera and snapped one of him using my cell phone. I got a gorgeous picture, considering how fast he was moving and how poorly my cell camera usually performs at night. I thought it funny that it resembles the very poster I was hoping to purchase just a few minutes before! Richard only did maybe 3/4 of the line that evening, then went in. My friend from Munich thought he did that as a result of becoming sort of surrounded as the people in the front of the line would move along with him, trying to get photos. I’m not sure if that was the case, or if he just had a pre-ordained stopping time, but there were a few people in the back who didn’t get to greet him.
I’m glad I went, just for the fact that I got a picture that shows that beautiful profile, and I met yet another lovely Richard Armitage admirer. I also proved, yet again, that my self-discipline concerning Richard Armitage is dodgy, at best. =)