Maybe the honeymoon is over . . . Fedoralady, RA & the fandom

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I used to experience many more highs and lows when it came to my participation in the RA fandom.

I would be giddy with anticipation awaiting any new project, gleeful when new images (or old images new to me) surfaced, glum when we went weeks, months without hearing or seeing much of anything concerning my favorite actor, desperate for some small bone to be thrown the fandom’s way.

I wept with frustration when my not-so-high-speed internet connection didn’t allow me to properly watch live streaming from various premieres and other events. And to be perfectly honest, I was more than a little green with jealousy when others got to see him perform or be interviewed in person, got to meet him, feel his arm around their shoulders, or just bask in the glory of his presence. Don’t get me wrong; I was also genuinely happy for those fortunate fans, too.

Still.

Something has happened to me in regarding how I view the fandom and Richard himself. I am not completely sure why.

Maybe part of it is I am tired of the squabbling amongst various factions of the fandom over things that just don’t seem all that important to me, and weary of efforts to police other fans, which I find abhorrent.

Maybe it’s Twitter and Weibo and other social media making him more accessible and thus, the mystique I always appreciated about him has been encroached upon . . . again, I really am not sure.

I just know there have been internal changes as far as I as a fan am concerned.

I went to my Pinterest board for RA a little earlier and changed its title. It used to be “Richard Armitage Owns Me *sigh*” and now it’s “The Armitage Effect on Pinterest.” I guess I just don’t want to be owned anymore? Go figure.  I haven’t really wanted to make a fanvid, create fanart or write fanfiction in a while. I still do and (enjoy) video/photo editing and writing, only now it’s for our production company and for the newspaper.

I still admire, respect and love Richard as much as I can anyone I don’t actually know, will never know or have as a daily presence in my life. Not in the same way I know and treasure my husband, pets, family and friends, both in real life and online.

I think Richard is well-intentioned and a truly kind person at heart. He’s a bright, wonderful, versatile talent with the gifts and the drive to go far in his chosen profession. And I will always be grateful for the creative inspiration he and his ChaRActers brought into my life and the difficult, dark waters he helped me navigate.

Perhaps, I have moved through the blazing bonfire of infatuation/obsession and on to a sort of low, slow, steady burn that comforts rather than ignites?  I can’t speak (and have never pretended to speak) for any other Armitage admirer. I can only tell you what I am experiencing.

I will keep you posted.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

45 responses »

  1. Admittedly I have learned to avoid some of the more spatty parts of the fandom but I honestly don’t think it is any worse than it ever has been. I suppose that is the tricky thing about the World Wide Web- you and I could be looking at totally different bits and seeing different things. I often suspect I miss a lot of the best bits! But I remember being quite astonished at some of the things people got irate about even when I first joined this community.

    Speaking personally, i am finding it hard to maintain an interest in RA at the moment due to Hannibal. I realised a couple of weeks ago that I’m really quite cross with him for being associated with something so violent, especially as he had said he wouldn’t do horror. And once I realised that is my ‘stuff’ i knew I needed to sit this one out and hope the next project is more palatable ( no pun intended).

    • Sometimes the man is a bundle of contradictions, isn’t he? Re the whole horror thing. I admit I haven’t really been able to get excited over this role and I am beginning to wonder if I will ever get to see some of these smaller films he’s shot since putting the Hobbit trilogy behind him. I’ve been a fan for eight years and I’ve seen things I thought were silly or strange for fans to get irate or upset over, but it seems to me to be getting worse. Maybe I should stick my head in the sand a little more firmly, Bolly. It really is wearing me out.

  2. It sounds like your ‘over’. I have been ‘over’ for a while, because I think he makes a terrible choice of pictures to act in. Hannibal…..YUCK!!! Mame

    • But isn’t liking an actor a bit like following a band? Occasionally they’ll come out with a song you don’t like but that doesn’t stop you from enjoying their music overall?

      There are some brilliant actors who have done some rubbish stuff (Colin Farrell in Alexander springs to mind) but that doesn’t mean that they won’t go on to do something wonderful later.

      Perhaps Richard might have been advised to take this role because of the exposure it would give him (just my conjecture). Hannibal is pretty big worldwide!

  3. So it’s not just me then. Maybe there’s a particular level of intensity that cannot be sustained for longer than a certain period; maybe it’s just ennui or, as – it may be in your case – a growing reluctance to be associated with what (an element of) the fandom appears to have become.

    It’s not so very long ago that I enjoyed the freshness and newness of the fandom. Lots of clever, fun, creative people to – virtually – hang out with. Friends were made. Views were exchanged. Things other than Richard were discussed. And the one unifying factor: our admiration of Richard.

    I’ve met him twice; I was there for the “In Conversation” at the Old Vic; I’ve seen the Crucible twice; and I have a wonderful photo of him hugging my daughter and her best friend. And if he is ever on stage again anywhere in the UK I shall be at the front of the queue for tickets and I shall watch every last thing he does for TV and film. I shall even continue to follow a couple of blogs (*ahem* given that they continue to be published).

    But. However nice he is (and I’m so happy he is), he’s a professional entertainer. It’s gratifying that some of his views coincide with mine and it’s encouraging that he appears to want to make a difference for the better. But, do I care if he’s doctored his selfies? Will it make my life any better if I know where he is at this moment in time? Do I really need to know his every utterance the moment it’s uttered? Is it any business of mine with whom he has (or hasn’t) a relationship? Is it my place to criticise?

    Have I just (belatedly) grown up? Or is it “them”?

    • I’m in the same boat with you lovelies. I think fandom is like many other things: it comes and it goes, rising and falling with the weather and your personal circumstances. I had a huuuuuuge fancrush of long duration on a Bollywood actor, then – *poof* – overnight it was gone. Nothing he had done or said, I just didn’t need what I got from watching him anymore. Then, just this last week… literally, last week… *poof* and the fascination is back. I even dreamed about him a couple nights ago, I was in a commercial he was filming and we went for coffee after the shoot was over. lol So I’ve simply released my grip on Mr.A for the time being. Who knows? He might come back, and if he does, I hope it’s in my dreams. 😉

      — Oh!! And I’m not surprised if he doctors his selfies. I’d be more surprised if he didn’t!! He works in an industry where appearance is everything, beauty is a god, and a bad photo can really negatively impact your image. It makes perfect sense, therefore, for him to control and manage his image in the place that he absolutely can – selfies!! And I always think the alterations entertainers request in their images reveals more about the star than the original news item/magazine shoot/whatever does. 😀

    • I wish there was a LIKE button for your comment, wydville.
      (PS: I think of you every day, literally – using the cotton bag you gifted me last year 😉 )

      • And you are exactly one of those clever, creative, fun people I was referring to; it was a joy meeting you last year and I very much hope we have the opportunity to do so again. Let me know when the bag is showing signs of fatigue: a replacement may be procured!

        • 🙂 You are so sweet – and I’ll be happy to return the compliment! Mutual! I expect that we coordinate plans if there ever was a repeat of last year’s “summer of love” (i.e. a stage run/public speaking event) !!! ❤

    • Hello, lovely Wydville. You are certainly one of the people I’ve met online whom I treasure so much. Yes, he is a professional entertainer, and not, as I have said before, someone who should be put on a pedestal (personally, I don’t think any human should be—we are far too fallible for that). Somehow the level of obsession with every aspect of his life some have displayed makes me uncomfortable . . . this attempt to control and to suppress any view that is not totally 100 percent in favor of everything he says or does. It wears me out . . . and those who claim it’s “attacking” Richard to display any opposition to his words or actions, I just don’t see it that way. *wearily shrugs shoulders*

    • I’m with Wydville here. I have developed an allergy to certain elements of the fandom, and I pick and choose where I put my time and attention. Some things are as important as they ever were, but others, not so much.

  4. Your post gave me a bit of a fright, Angie. That is not meant as pressure, just as a sign that I have always enjoyed your blog and your contribution to discussion elsewhere, and that I would miss you if you were to stop posting. But we have to do what we have to do, and if the lustre is off, well, it is off. I haven’t been a fan as long as you, but even in my three years as a fan, I have felt as if I am on a rollercoaster when it comes to my enthusiasm for Mr A. The downs, although quite steep, are still always followed by an up. Not necessarily to new heights, though. It’s more like a plateau that I return to. My own way of dealing with it, is to be firmly blinkered. I am shallow that way. And selfish, by concentrating only on that which raises my spirits. But well, we all have our ways of dealing with things we do not like. Whatever you do – I will always be grateful that you made me come out from the shadows and post my first ever RA-related comment. And yeah, I insist that I also thank Mr A for somehow facilitating my meeting and getting to know so many interesting, creative, warm and funny people in his fandom.

    • Right now I am so glum (and a really rotten headache isn’t helping me) that I just about feel like chucking the whole thing. I have always appreciated your support and encouragement, Guylty and I will always be grateful for all the cool people I have met here and hope to keep as friends no matter what transpires.

  5. Angie I’am having to agree with you here. Your blog has always been one of the ones I come to regularly. I certainly haven’t lost my appreciation of Richard but I have to say it has waned. I also agree with bollyknickers the Hannibal thing has really put me off after all he said some years ago.But I understand to promote himself he does some things not all of us like. The fandom isn’t the same as it used to be. Richard obviously wants a film career and I understand to do that he moved to New York. My perspective of him has changed since he moved to America and I don’t like it. I really miss not seeing him on British TV but I understand to gain worldwide appreciation of his brilliant talent America it has to be. It will be twelve months next weekend since I saw him in The Crucible he was wonderful and my memories of that I will hold very dear. I will always love this brilliant actor and will still follow his career but not with quite the same gusto as I used to.

    • Hey, AJ and thanks for coming here. I wonder if his desire to work with Bryan Fuller overcame his previous discomfort re horror roles? Someone mentioned somewhere he often attaches himself to projects where he particularly admires the director/producer/showrunner. Ah well he has his reasons. And of course, everyone’s allowed to change their minds, I reckon. I just haven’t been able to get all pumped up over this in the way I did about other roles . . . and watching the first few eps of the show hasn’t made me feel better about it, either! LOL

      The one thing I am excited about re Hannibal is being able to see him on American TV without having to do anything slightly dodgy to watch it in a timely manner as I did back in the RH/Spooks/SB days (I now have the complete season five of Game of Thrones on my laptop but didn’t subscribe to HBO—don’t ask, don’t tell) . . . Yes, I will always be a fan, I just think it will be with the same gusto as I used to have, either. C’est la vie, ma cherie.

  6. I feel much the same way. You and I shared a great deal early in our admiRAtion. We were both working through some dark times and RA and the fans truly helped us both. The fun and creativity helped pull me back out of some pretty dark places. But I agree with so many…the fandom is less fun and more obsessive in many ways now. It was so lighthearted and cheerful all those years ago and much of that innocence and sweetness has been lost. We could play silly games of imaginings without too much fear of judgement. I still love and adore so many friends I have made through Richard. I will always have a soft spot for Richard himself and will watch everything (almost – no Hannibal for this chicken) that he does. I am eternally grateful to you and others who pulled me out of my darkness and helped me find my love of all things pink again. I don’t know if I would have stuck around the fandom and found those things if the atmosphere were what it is now. Not to say it was perfect….I remember a particularly vicious set of interactions that left a bad taste in my mouth between Team Robin (ick) and Team Leather but that was not WITHIN the RA fan base. I have never been one to stick around for internal bickering in groups. I am so glad I found some now very dear friends in the cyber world and you are at the top of the list!

  7. Hey, Becky! 😀 For some reason that old song popped into my mind: “Those were the days, my friends, we thought they’d never end . . .” Little did we know. 😉

    I am not so sure I’d be in the fandom if I hadn’t discovered RA until much more recently–I think I would still admire him as an actor, certainly, having the Good Taste Gene 😀 but I would not have jumped into it as deeply as I did and been so creative in my endeavors. I am not a general “fan gurl,” I guess, Richard’s being the only fandom I have really followed with any sort of regularity and great enthusiasm.
    I hate bickering, have never liked it and try to avoid it when I can. It stresses and it tires me out. Ain’t nobody got time for that! 😉

  8. I really liked your posting today. I feel very much the same, yet I had felt slightly guilty about it. Like I was somehow letting him down. I realized the same thing, though. I still admire his talents, and the kind and generous person I believe him to be. Just as he grows as an actor, so we grow in different directions in our own lives. That doesn’t diminish the past enjoyment that we received from following, and probably will follow, his career and updates. It just means the first “flush” of fandom (or slight crush) has been replaced by a more distant admiration for his abilites. I did enjoy your past videos. I wish your family and you well.

    • Tamera, if it’s been helpful to you, I am really happy. I have also felt a certain twinge of guilt, but as my husband says, it is so easy to make me feel guilty about almost anything. And being a people pleaser myself, it has taken some guts to speak out about certain things. Yes, I am so glad for all I have gained from being in the fandom, but I do feel tugged in other directions now in my life. Distance, yes—I feel more removed from it all now. The admirer from afar, if you will. It’s all somewhat ironic, as in physical terms he’s actually been closer to me (on American and Canadian soil) much more than in the early days of my ardor. I am not completely discounting making another fan vid by the way—but if I do, it will be very cheeky and irreverent so everyone should be warned.

  9. I’m with you on the “it’s getting worse in the fandom” thing, and that’s as someone whose feelings about Armitage have not really waned in intensity. It’s not something I care to comment on in detail in public because of my rules about policing speech, but it’s not our neat little creative, thoughtful world of 2010 anymore. Then again, maybe legacy fans who predated us felt that way back in 2010, too (shrugs).

    • Well, I am glad it’s not only me. It just doesn’t feel like the same place that I knew a few years ago. And I am sure for some of those who go back to the first airing of N&S (and I know he had fans even before that), things may have already felt in 2006 or 2007 as if they were shifting in a direction they didn’t care for. Hey, I know there are fans who despise Guy, and yet he’s the character still dearest to my heart. Some people may find Francis Dolarhyde their new anti-hero—who can say?? I am really wistful when I think about how it used to be in the fandom—or at least, how I perceived that it used to be. I have more to say but that will be another post. I am working on music videos for the dance production now. And remember you can always email me if you need to do so.

  10. Funny, isn’t it. I had plenty to say about the Charleston massacre. I also wanted to defend E L James. And yet, of all things, it’s today’s post that’s really got me going.

    19bt80: you’ve got it just about right. We’re here for a little escapism and fun and when those go…

    Dearest Angie, you sound as if you’re on the brink: I hope you don’t topple over it and deprive us of your wonderful talent for words, your wise opinions and sparkling creativity! Of all places in the fandom, I find this to be the easiest and friendliest to be in. Look at all of us here today! But you must do whatever feels right and know we are all behind you.

    Now. I’m going to put it out there.

    I personally applaud Richard for doing Hannibal. No apologies. Daughter and I, in preparation, have watched Seasons 1 & 2. It’s certainly not my standard fare and I have spent a lot of the time clutching a cushion to my face; however, it has to be said that Hannibal is a production of immense brilliance and I believe that Richard is privileged to have been cast. I mean – forgive me if I’m wrong (and I can’t be ar**d to check) – but did not Ralph Fiennes, one of the most outstanding and respected actors of this century, also play Dolarhyde?? And, as for Richard going back on his assurance that he would never do horror (new one on me), how many of us have said, “I will never…” from the lofty position of ignorance and inexperience?

    Oh, yes, E L James: it just so happens that one of her sons and my two children go/went to the same school in London; she’s also been a customer of mine. She’s a suburban housewife, bubbly and funny who, I suspect, knows she can’t write and (when I first met her) could not quite believe what had happened. She was over the moon that she could finally fit a new kitchen. (She can do a lot more than that now!) If people are prepared to pay to read/watch sh*te, then strength to her arm. I’ve got time for her.

    • The Charleston massacre still weighs on my mind and I suspect it will for a while. :/ Such an ugly, needless act . . . by a deluded creature trying to start another civil war in this country. I want to think we’ve moved beyond so much of this hatred and bigotry, and yet—

      I am still going to be around, only perhaps in a slightly repackaged form. Everything changes, it seems, and I have to confess I am not altogether the same person I was when I started in the fandom or later started my blog. I’ve endured personal and professional setbacks, lost loved ones, had periods of depression and real struggle. I can personally attest to the fact chronic pain and fatigue do change you over time. All I can do is the best I can, one day at a time.

      Regarding James, she certainly has some faithful and loyal fans of her writing and apparently she’s doing something right as far as they are concerned. *shrugs* I have never said she was an awful person. I just think she’s a pretty awful writer. And I suppose it bugs me that much better writers struggle to get established and sell some books . . . but that’s just my opinion. *repeats shrug*

      Yes, Fiennes played the character in the film “Red Dragon” which I haven’t seen but he’s not one to turn in a bad performance, anyway. I did like the film “Manhunter,” which was also based on the Harris book and is a less-known film from the mid-80s. I have no doubt RA will be great in the role; maybe I just don’t want my poor heart broken again, that’s all.

      • Tragically and regrettably, hate will always exist and ways will be found to express it. From one viewpoint (one strongly held this side of the Pond), however, Roof would not have been in a position to exercise his particular form of hatred in the way he did if he did not have a gun in his hand.

        Whilst I defend E L James herself, I inwardly groan that her stories appeal to so many. What an indictment!

        Don’t care what you do to the packaging, so long as the contents remain the same.

        I’ve imbibed a glass or two too many so perhaps I should quit now….

        • Yes, it will. Human nature. Best not let you and my hubby get into it over guns (lifetime NRA member, but also one of the kindest and gentlest men you could ever hope to meet). I personally can see both sides of the issue . . . the curse of being a Libra raised in the south, I guess.

          Just saw that Hannibal has been cancelled at end of this season—so at least those of us who will watch will get to see RA as Dolarhyde. It would have stunk if he’d worked so hard on this character only to have his eps not get broadcasted. :/

          I may give the blog a new name and a new slant, so some of the contents will be the same and some will not. We shall see . . . have a good rest and not too much of a headache in the AM!

  11. Yep. I get it. I’ve been a “slow burner” fan for the past few years. Still love Richard, but not obsessed with him or blogging any more. Whatever fan phase you’re in… it’s okay. 🙂

  12. I can understand how you feel, Angie. But I hope you wont give up altogether. I have been a follower of Richards for a little over 6 years now. My feelings for him have not changed at all. I still get the smile all over my face when I look at him or listen to him. I still get a thrill from whatever he does. With a new grandbaby, real life has gotten in the way at times, but I have to have my Richard time.I learned a long time ago which board not to read. I do think it’s gotten worse in the fandom but it has been going on since I first ‘discovered’ Richard. I don’t get involved in it other than to comment with a dear friend I have ‘met’ thru Richard. We only comment to each other, privately, via email. Otherwise, I stay away from it. I refuse to let it interfere with my great joy in Richard. It has been a roller coaster ride from day one, with highs and lows, going without information for months to having non stop information. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    • Thanks, Carolyn, and I am not planning on giving up–I just feel a bit battle fatigued right now, I guess. The funny thing I don’t even go to those boards you referred to, although I hear about them through a fellow fan. I quit going to blogs where I didn’t feel particularly welcome quite a while back. I am rarely on Twitter. I just don’t seem to get the satisfaction out of it all that I once did. Maybe that will return, maybe it won’t. But life goes on and we make the best of it.

      • If we’re talking about imdb — honestly, at least half of those people, I would not call fans. They’re just trolls who live there to annoy the fans. imdb has no rules against that, however.

        • You know the only thing I go to IMDB for is to read about various films I’m watching (usually on TCM) . . . not the boards. People on their message boards in general tend to be snarky, rude and combative and I don’t have the desire to get into that. They just seem to exist to argue and belittle other people. So I am sure you are right about that. I learned that was a place I didn’t want to be a long time ago.

  13. I am also feeling the same way but this happen in 2013 when my dad was at the end of his life. Some how it just happened no idea when other than it happened over time. I started to be spending more and more time with an old comfort zone from my childhood, music. I still like Richard and still stop and read the blogs I enjoy just don’t spend the time I use to. As for Hannibal I will not be watching, first it’s on US tv and I don’t watch US tv unless someone has the History Channel on and I don’t do this type of show at all. There is also the upside to the whole fandom thing and that is all the great people I have met. I at first choose not to comment anywhere for the first year and a half and almost didn’t do to how nasty people can be to others, but over all it’s been good. I will still be around just not as much for now.

    • I know that losing your dad was a hard time for you, cause I have been there, Katie. *hugs* I feel as if this change in me didn’t suddenly happen, either, it has been over a period of time. I sometimes think the very BEST part of the fandom has been the friendships I’ve made through it, people I would have never gotten to know were it not for RA, and all the wonderful talent I have discovered out there other than Mr.A’s And I hope you will always feel as if you can comment here, Katie.

  14. I’ve been sitting on a response to this for a couple of days, trying to figure out just where I’m at wrt my RA crush, now a few years down the track. I still get excited when a new pic or interview comes out, the sight of him still makes my heart flip, and I’m still happy to talk about him until the cows come home. I still adore him, but I think maybe the intensity, the obsessive need to immerse myself in Armitage Activity has waned a little. Probably just as well, there’s no way I could have kept the momentum going. To some extent, RL was taking a back seat to my online activity, and once the flurry surrounding The Crucible release passed I had to look at how I was spending my days – and nights (my sleeping habits were all over the place). I still spend more time Richarding than I should on some days, but I like to think I manage a better balance now. Until our man makes his next appearance at least. 😉

    I was disappointed that he took on the Hannibal role, because of what he’s said in the past, but if this is going to further his career and he’s happy with his choices of the violent storylines to come, good for him. Ultimately my problem is that I don’t like the idea of missing out on seeing him in a role. I’m greedy like that!

    I think any shift in my feelings probably has more to do with the fandom than anything else. I wasn’t the only one who had mixed feelings about The Hobbit propelling Richard onto the world’s stage – he had been our much loved and admired “secret” for so long and then the time came that we had to share him with the world. I was excited for him to finally get the accolades and recognition he deserved, but worried about how the fandom would change. It has, and not for the better in some respects IMHO. I’m all for Guylty’s approach. I try to ignore what I don’t like, steer clear of the spats and angst, and concentrate on Richard. I’m selective about the blogs I follow and the topics I comment on. I continue to hang on to the joy this beautiful man brings to my life, and the fun I have with the lovely people I have been fortunate enough to get to “know” online.

    No pressure either from me, but I do hope that you continue with your blogging, Angie, RA-related or otherwise, even if it’s sporadically, as I have always enjoyed coming here to read your thoughts and of those commenting. 🙂

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