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On why I think US RA Admirers have a great big Pair!

What a week it’s been!

The Armitage Birthday Countdown was a success, if you don’t mind me saying!

It was a great lead-up to Armitage Day!

It really makes me want to come up with another RA admirer appreciation event 🙂

I had so much fun on Twitter yesterday, I literally had to put myself in time-out!

The fun isn’t over though, as King Richard Armitage Week has started.

Although I’m not participating, it has my absolute support, and I can’t wait to see what my lovely fellow bloggers come up with.

I hope I learn more about Richard III, as my British History college professor would be ashamed of my lack of knowledge on the subject.

One thing’s for sure!

It’ll be a blast!

Warning: This post contains generalizations 😉

It’s been a gReAt week for the fandom in more ways than one.

We’ve been spoilt by reports (some very detailed and yummy) of fans meeting RA on the set of his new movie.

You can find them Here, here, and here, to name a few.

Of course, each time new info hit the internet, I was overjoyed, dancing around like a right prat 🙂

My sister asked a very valid question, though.

Why is there so much ‘RA meeting fans’ news, when, apart from official events, we didn’t hear a peep when he was in NZ?

My immediate response:

Because US RA fans have great big cojones!

Bear with me as I explain my answer.

Firstly, US RA fans had a vision to travel to the set, not really sure if they’d be welcome.

I love a dreamer, and these ladies really turned the fantasy of meeting Richard into reality!

They showed up, some bearing funny signs, knowing full well there was a chance they’d be shooed away by security, but they took that risk.

They didn’t feel silly, or embarrassed.

Taking family with was a brilliant touch!

I hate to say it, but we all look a tad less RA crazy or threatening when there’s someone younger (like our kids) or older (like an in-law) accompanying us.

They were extremely polite to the crew, waiting patiently for their chance to meet Richard.

Let’s me honest, if the first RA fan had been rude, or in any way inappropriate in her behaviour, Richard would have informed security to get rid of any other admirers hunting for a picture with him.

And yet each and every time a fan showed up, he went out of his way to say Hello!

I think it says a lot about how wonderful Richard is, but also about the wonderful conduct of Armitage admirers.

The exemplary behaviour of our fellow RA lovers is what I’m the proudest of!

It couldn’t have been easy staying cool and collected in the face of sex on sexy legs 😉

I feel like you’ve paved the way for other fans to meet Richard.

These encounters have changed the image of that weird RArmy of strange obsessive fans lurking in the internet shadows, and shown that we’re actually a group of very nice (and sane) women, who just happen to have great taste in British actors.

Last, but not least, they had the b*lls to share their stories with the rest of us.

As I’ve said it before, I wouldn’t blame anyone for keeping a lid on such a story, or sharing it with a selected group of friends.

Recent unfortunate events in our fandom have taught us that sometimes online animosities find their way to RL, with very distressing results.

It would be easier to ‘fly below the radar’, and yet you had the great big pair to share 🙂

I really hope you don’t regret your decision, and that fellow RA admirers have proven themselves trustworthy and respectful!

Thanks to you we know that:

Richard smells of soap

The character in the new film won’t be called John

He will be using an American accent

He’s great at holding up cute silly signs in pictures

He’s more gracious and gorgeous than any of us could ever have imagined

US RA admirers!

You have great big melons!

And we are very thankful for that!

All images:  RALover and ItsJSforMe at RANet


About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

96 responses »

  1. You’ve put into words what I was thinking, too – that the US ladies obviously have charm and decency, not to mention what you called *balls*. It’s been a great week in terms of RA news and I look forward to hearing more.

    • Thanks Guylty, I wasn’t pointing a finger at any other nationality, but the US branch of RA admiration deserves our praise, as they’ve made the past few days super special 🙂

  2. Well said Agzy. I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

  3. I loved reading this! I’m the fan who dragged my poor mother-in-law to meet RA on Tuesday. It was a dream come true and I can’t imagine NOT sharing it with the fandom. Cheers!

    • I know, and I really am so grateful! You did us proud representing RA admirers worldwide! You really did! We’re all thinking it, but I felt in just needed to be written down!
      BTW, I liked your description of your mother-in-law being like Mrs Thornton. She happens to be one of my most favorite N&S characters, so I bet it didn’t hurt to have another pair US b*lls on the expedition 😉

  4. I agree with you wholeheartedly Agzym!:) Thank you very much my American fR(A)iends!<3

  5. I very much like History and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot of things about Richard III this week. Like you my knowledge of British History is not terrible. Here we learn French History at school.
    The encounters were so refreshing and I’m proud of RA admirers. Eh oui we are not at all insane silly people. I try to forgot the sad events of July but it remains hard to swallow. It made me really sick.
    Long live King Richard !!!!!

    • to forget ..

    • The funny thing is, I really like British and American history, much more than that of my own country, which I know nothing about. I’m a fan of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, but somehow Richard III has never caught my fancy. Not like the other King Richard we know… 😉
      July was very weird in the fandom, and unfortunately it taught us a few very painful lessons on how horrible, dangerous, and misguided some poeple may be. It’s that much harder to swallow, as we are a community of friends, who just happen to be RA gaga. Realising that there is someone lurking blogs who wish us harm was a rude awakening. The thing is though, you really can’t keep us down! And here we are again, stronger than ever, even though a tad scarred.
      Happy King Richard Armitage Week to you!

  6. I’m a 36-C, but I’ll take the “big melon” compliment any day on behalf of all American women, everywhere.


    This was a fun post, and I have had fun reading the women’s blogs about their visits. He does seem to be genuinely gracious and gallant, and we knew that all along, didn’t we?

    • I use the word melon here in the context of ‘balls like melons’, which I usually accuse my sister of having when she’s driving 🙂 Although it’s good to know that US RA fans are stacked up top too!

  7. I envy these ladies for being brave to go there and try to meet him. I know myself I wouldn’t even try!! ;-(

    • That’s why we need to be more ‘AmeRicAn’ in our thinking 😉
      BTW, I haven’t got an email with your address yet. When you have a moment, please email me, as I’m heading out to the post office tomorrow to send them all out 😉

  8. Great post, Agzy. I have been very proud of the patience, determination and fortitude displayed by fellow American fans of RA. It was so uplifting to read each of these accounts and to have a vicarious visit of our own to the set to meet the lovely Richard.

    Sadly, as an individual who was directly victimized by the maliciousness displayed back in July, I fear if I had been able to meet Richard on the set (I live a considerable distance from Detroit–it’s a BIG country LOL) I would have been the fan who kept it to myself and a few trusted friends. Once bitten, twice shy. And it’s a damned shame.

    Anyway, thanks to everyone who has shown Richard he has very supportive fans here in the US and been willing to share your stories with us. It is much appreciated. So much for the image of the “Ugly American” and so much for the image of Richard as someone too shy and/or disdainful to participate in encounters with fans. Looked to me as if he was having a pretty good time of it. 😉

    • Fedoralady, I am so sorry about what happened to you in July (I don’t know details but I remember discussion of it.) Truly unfortunate that a person (or persons?) could be so mean and act so maliciously.
      Should I be concerned? I’m not in the RA blogosphere much (more tumblr) but now I’m wondering if I could be a target IRL?

      • Honestly, I don’t think you have anything to fear–I think this individual would have already made her presence known to you and to the other ladies if she was going to try to kick up a fuss. Her animosity towards me goes quite a while–there is truly no justification for it, but then people are haters for no good reason sometimes, right?
        Thank goodness she is one of a very, very small minority of “fans” who behave in this manner.

        One thing that delights me about these encounters is the fact Richard is obviously willing and ready to participate and, as I said, looks to me as if he’s having a great, great time of it.

        Every fan has behaved in a polite, good-natured and very sane manner, in sharp contrast to what this individual would have you believe about many RA fans, including myself. It’s ALL good! 😀 And once again, I am thrilled this happened and that you were willing to share your wonderful experience with us. I really appreciate all the little details we learned!!

      • I was thinking about this, too, and I agree with fedoralady. Almost everyone who’s had a serious problem with that person (and there are many) had a “warning” episode with her. I also think she’s more easily triggered by fans who are mostly focused on writing as opposed to graphics, for whatever reason. Above all, if we spend all our time worrying about what could happen, it’s very hard on our creativity.

        • That’s a good point, Serv. It was my fanfic that got her started on her diatribe against me, so writing seems to possibly be the key to triggering this behavior. And you are absolutely right–if we spent all our time worrying about what someone else was going to think or say about how we choose to live our lives, we’d never get anything accomplished.

    • Coincidentally, while having dinner with some of my family last night, my granddaughter who with her husband had been at a Comic Con in Alberta Canada, suddenly turned to me and said, “How did your friend’s trip to Comic Con go?”, so I told her a little of what had happened to you and others and she was really, really shocked!

      • I’ve told ‘civilians’ about what had happened, and they were truly shocked. It seem it was a terrible thing to do, when judged from within our RA community, but also from the outside.

  9. I’m going to step in with a qualification, I think, which is not so much to argue with you as to talk about cultural factors, that also involve generalizations. People talk about the northern US as an “ask culture,” i.e., in the northern parts of the U.S. (and the coastal areas, and in urban areas) the underlying vibe is “don’t ask, don’t get,” i.e., people are very open with requests (with the assumption that they may be turned down and that’s just life). Some people would contrast this to a “guess culture” in the south (and in many rural areas) — where the assumption is that requests appear in a net of shared social expectation, you think a lot before asking for something and put out delicate feelers instead because, since problems are created by refusals, you’re more likely to get what you ask for (but you ask for less, and you risk the person being put out but not being able to say). It’s a huge generalization but it has some applicability in this case, insofar as I experience Michigan as definitely an “ask culture” kind of place when I’m there. And I suspect, given what NZ fans have reported about their culture, despite what we sometimes perceive about NZers as being brash (there may be some bleedover from perceptions of Australians, too), NZ may be more like a guess culture in that the shared social expectation of privacy or “leave him alone” operates more strongly there. In any case, getting to meet Mr. Armitage in a setting like this is a goal definitely facilitated by participating in a stronger “ask” culture, which makes the very request legitimate in a way that it might not be in other settings, because the assumption is, well if he doesn’t want to he’ll say no.

    I also think that the information politics on the Hobbit set were probably much more stringent than they seem to be on this one. He may feel less concerned about giving away info he’s not supposed to reveal.

  10. Terrific post, A! 🙂

    If I may add my thanks to those three intrepid ladies, who managed to bring nearly permanent grins to the faces of our little community. Living vicariously through someone never made me feel this good! 🙂 <– See, the grin is still there. So much *positive* energy flowing. Thanks for that.

    I have to agree with Angie … in those pics, he sure looks like he is having a wonderful bit of fun, joking with y'all, suggesting photo ops, getting the assistant to take pics. In the one pic with ItsJSforMe, he looks positively mischievous. 😉 He certainly didn't come across like someone who doesn't like to interact with his fans. Thanks for that, too!

    🙂 <– Yeah, it's still there!!!

  11. Well said Agzy! Such fun! I enjoyed reading all this reports, whereas being a bit jealous myself and a bit disappointed to be too far away again for further ventilations! 😦
    For some time I’m reasoning, that playing this new role in „Black Sky“ is maybe not as demanding for RA as it had been with SB or with playing Thorin. Certainly filming in NZ was highly shielded from the outerworld, as it is such a mega thing. For me he seemed almost liberated from heavy costumes and therefore more moveable and not so deeply immersed into his role. Not the way he’d been playing Guy or JP, as he’d repeatedly stated in several interviews. Or is it he’s just playing a more lighthearted guy??
    Those ugly things happening in July had unsettled me a lot. I really feared for our little (or not so little?) community!! These nasty feelings inside were rather crushing. Nothing compared to what happened to Angie and others, but nonetheless very painful as one virtually doesn’t know how to handle them and because they hit midway through the fandoms’ heart!

    • What gave me serious pause and no little nausea at the time was that they were happening just as Armitage was under the spotlight himself. Watching him at ComicCon was supposed to be a thrill, a triumph, for us, as well, and it was clouded with all that crap, which happened in the most visible possible setting. Honestly, someone who really wanted to hurt his reputation and ours couldn’t have picked a better moment.

  12. I think the real reason there were no fan reports for Hobbit is because security and crew would have never let strangers anywhere near the sets, not just because of secrecy, but because that’s the way most productions are. I have to admit I’m rather shocked that 3 (or more) fan encounters have happened in one week on this production. It would never happen on an Los Angeles production. In Hollywood, it’s an unspoken, and sometimes clearly spoken, rule that the crew not ask actors to deviate from their plans to deal with fans. Yes, sometimes when they see fans standing off to the side they may decide to go over, but the fact that this crew asked Richard to walk such a distance for at least one of the fan encounters speaks as much to the inexperience of the Michigan crew as it does to the generosity of Richard.

    I also suspect any fans planning future set visits may find the crew less accomodating. I base this off a comment the third fan said when the AD said she should have checked with her boss first. That makes me think someone is a bit frustrated by the interuptions. It may be the 1st AD, or it may be Richard himself. But I would not be surprised if fans are told no by security in the future. Maybe they won’t be told no, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. I know Richard has been very nice and accomodating to these fans this week, but I suspect this is a very unusual circumstance for him on a film set. He’s such a method actor that I can imagine this is a bit distracting for him. When Quickbeam was on the Hobbit set for several weeks, he said he never got a chance to chat with Richard because he was always in “Robert DeNiro” mode. So, yeah, don’t be surprised if the next fan report says they were told no.

    Having said that, I am very happy that these lovely people got to meet him, and that they restrained themselves so admirably with all that temptation in front of them. 🙂

    • Oh, I really hope that’s not the case, both for those heading to the set to meet Richard, and for all of us at home waiting for news!

      • I was really surprised at how close those fans got to the set to begin with. I’ve been on sets for small productions where security was more cautious than the TSA screeners at airports. I’ve never been on any LA set where I didn’t have to have passes or staff ID just to get to the parking lot. I think these Michigan crews don’t have a lot of experience doing bigger productions yet, which is why their security is more lax and their crew still feels comfortable asking actors to interact with fans. LA crews are more jaded and more cautious.

        I would just hate to see a fan decide that since Richard was gratious enough to give up a few minutes of his downtime to meet a few fans, that other fans are “entitled” to the same attention from him. He’s there to work not to pose for pictures. It’s bound to start annoying him eventually.

        • I’ve been reading fan reports of meetings with Richard Armitage for almost three years now, and I’ve *never* ever heard of a fan acting entitled to anything from him in a situation like this. Maybe a fan wouldn’t report it — but I suspect if that was a standard behavior, he wouldn’t be so friendly to fans in general. In my experience, fans in this fandom are pretty much adults and know that other adults have to work. They love Armitage’s work and very much respect what it takes him to get it done. They know they take a risk when they hang out in a situation like this that they won’t get the response they want. RA fans do not generally, and have not in the past, behaved like paparazzi afaik.

          • Unless I am badly misjudging the situation and the indviduals involved, I really don’t think any of these people would have caused a ruckus if they had been denied access. Sure, they would have been disappointed, but I think they would have been grownups about it all.

            In spite of what some people may think, we are not just a bunch of crazed women besotted with a hot guy and ready to tear down fences to get to him. We actually respect and admire Richard for his talent, intelligence and dedication to his craft (all that gorgeousness is the delightful bonus).

            I have said at my own blog that things will surely change somewhat for RA as he becomes better known, but I do appreciate his willingness at his point in his career to be accessible to his fans as his shooting schedule allows him to do so.

          • another thing is that I’ve been reading my own search queries on the blog for several years now. People regularly search word combinations that indicate they’re looking for evidence of Richard Armitage behaving badly in public or behaving badly toward fans. (Don’t ask me why this is the case, but I see the queries). I think if there were evidence of this, we’d be well of aware of it by now. I’ve heard, I think, one story that might have indicated a “disappointed” fan, but it seems like that if tons of fans were behaving as if they were “entitled,” if he had been disappointing them, and they hadn’t been willing to get up, and had worked themselves up into self-righteous anger, there’d be evidence of that left by people who made a fuss about it somewhere in the Net — if they were so angry as to want to justify their “entitlement.” And that evidence is just not there. Everything written about him that can even vaguely be construed as negative — of which there is extremely little, and even that stuff, IMO, is hardly negative — is located on unmoderated boards where anonymous people spread rumors to troll fans.

          • Once upon a time I tried to find something bad about him, back in those days when I was trying to understand why I found this particular actor so compelling, so fascinating, trying to wrap my head around the extraordinary effect he had on me. And I have not yet run across anything I personally find fits into the “bad” category. He’s a fellow human being, so he is not perfect; but there’s a lot to like and admire there.

    • If he’s frustrated or distracted by these encounters, he certainly isn’t showing it — there’s really no evidence to indicate that in any of these stories. On the contrary. And in several of these situations he could easily have said “no” via the staff in between or simply declined to appear, and he wouldn’t have had to confront a fan or disappoint him/her in person, and there would have been no hurt feelings. Class act Armitage, as usual.

      • I am thinking it’s not a bad publicity of sorts for this film. This very attractive British actor, one who is forecast by a number of media people fo be one of the next big things, about to appear in a HUGE blockbuster playing a leading role, and he’s such a sweetheart to his fans . . . if I got wind of this guy, I think I’d want to learn more. Just a possibility.

        • I know what I’d be advising him to do, if I were his publicity advisor. I think it’s problematic to consider these encounters if this is just a sort of clueless Armitage who wants to be a nice guy and isn’t considering the consequences of his behavior. That might have been true three years ago, but it’s hard to believe it possible now. His mgmt in the US is now one of the higher profile firms and he’s being coached in how to deal with the hype by very experienced people who know exactly how to achieve the results they want. There’s no way he isn’t aware that, when he has his picture taken with a fan and chats with her for five minutes, the photo at least and maybe an account of the encounter will go viral in the fandom and beyond. It would be hard to argue that this knowledge isn’t influencing his behavior.

          • Exactly. He’s not stupid or young and inexperienced; he has people to advise him. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing. Does he not want to raise his profile in the US? Doesn’t social media allow such information to quickly spread? Hasn’t we always believed him to be a gracious individual? Well, there you go. More power to him.

          • Haven’t we complained only two months ago that his invisibility is harming him and that actors that are great with fans might steal the show? I give him credit for just being his usual self as reports about meetings on set have been the same since the first turned up six years ago (yes, I remember that, I have been around almost as long as the dinosaurs) but I bet he is very much aware that being less than sweet and charming with a fan might turn into very bad publicity.

          • Yep. Let’s face it, with social media, the good–and the not-so-good–that you do will soon be heard ’round the world. A celebrity has a temper tantrum and throws a cell phone at someone, we know about it five minutes later. It seems to me it’s Richard Armitage being Richard Armitage–polite and gracious and good-humored– on a set where it’s obvious the more severe restrictions of TH shooting are not in place, at least not yet.. LIke I said, more power to him and I am glad it appears to be a win-win situation all around.

    • I totally agree with you there. Mrs Darcy. I too was very surprised how easy it was to have access to Richard on the Michigan set, even more surprised to find a crew had actually gone to get Richard to come out and meet the fans. I have been on the set of Spooks a few times and depending on the circumstances, you might get to see Richard or you might not. And if you are really lucky, you get to see and speak to him when he’s free. Security was definitely tighter but not so tight that seeing Richard was out of the question. So it definitely depends on the film set, the people involved and whether Richard is happy to meet the fans. I’m very happy a few fans had one of the best days of their lives on the Michigan set. And I’m hoping it will continue even when Richard becomes a mega-star. And I know Richard will try to interact with his fans if circumstances allow him to do so, that’s how lovely he is !

    • Hi there!
      I appreciate what you wrote, and I think that all fans visiting a movie or tv-show set need to manage their expectations…. the “star” they want to meet may not be there that day, or they may be too busy to take a minute, or whatever.
      However, having visited many movie sets, including several in NYC, it really varies how tight security is from set to set. In NYC, for example, they usually can’t cordon _everything_ off completely when they’re filming on a street – the trailers or whatnot will be around-the-corner from the set itself, and real pedestrians etc. are using said street/sidewalk to get to and fro.

      I’ve always had good results being polite and honest about my intentions..have often (not always) been successful…. and looking at the blog, it looks like many other fans do too, every day.

      Bottom line is this: celebrities & their fans have a symbiotic relationship. Being nice & respectful and ACTING LIKE AN ADULT will get you a long way.
      (I did a comic as a guest-post at onlocationvacations – “Meeting a Celebrity? Read This First!) that was kind of an offbeat take on what I have written above… and yes, RA is featured in Panel 4!) It is here:

      • I certainly don’t wany you or the other two fans that reported your meetings to him to think I was insinuating you did anything wrong. You were all very polite and understanding and were rewarded for that. I also don’t want people thinking I’m saying that Richard is going to suddenly cease to be generous and friendly with his fans because of their attention, because that is NOT what I said. I was merely trying to comment on the ease of access to him. I was surprised. Security and the AD department for this film were operating very differently from the way the vast majority of film sets in Hollywood operate, in my experience. That is all. 🙂

  13. Hi Agyzm/Pin Up!

    I agree. Richard Armitage is one classy and gracious fellow. And of course, each of the ladies who met him were ladies and polite. Snap! No yelling his name at him like he gets from photographers and fans alike when he is on the red carpet.

    I had to giggle when you said US ladies have a great big “pair”. Because darling, my “pair” is somewhat North of your suggested location. Ha!

    Cheers! Grati ;->

  14. Hmm….didn’t the fan reports all start the lovely NZ fan’s Catherine and NZfan at Sir Ian’s fundraiser in Wellington?

    • Yes, but that was an official event for charity, so based on the criteria I have adopted, it was wonderful to hear about, but it’s not the same thing.

  15. Hi! I’m RAlover and am relatively new to the blog world. I’m usually on the AA forum, and an AA member forwarded your blog for me to read. Thank You, M.

    I was surprised to see so many of my photos and I LOL to find out I had ‘great big cojones’!

    I think I was the ‘first’ fan who met Richard holding (as accurately described by RA) a “Rubbish Sign”. I was surprised I met him too! First, I think because the film set was on a University campus and the security may not have been as tight, and the inexperience of the Michigan film crew may have had something to do with it, I don’t know. All I can say is I felt truly blessed that day to meet RA!

    I didn’t ‘expect’ to meet him. (I was initially told he was not there.) I just had to take this opportunity to SEE him in real life…perhaps filming or walking around. The A.D. did text him asking if he had the time to meet me.,,I didn’t ask her to do that. I had no intention of distracting him or disturbing him in any way. I don’t want to leave the impression I was some aggressive, bullying, crazed American fan pushing my way in to see him. I just wanted the A.D. to inform him that a true fan was there hoping to see him (and I could stay till the end of the day if necessary.) He was the warmest, kindest, most down-to-earth man who immediately put me at ease (as I was an emotional wreck!)

    I had, at first, intended only to share my story/pics with my AA sisters. But things quickly got out of hand and everyone wanted to share my story further than the AA forum. I (perhaps naively) said OK. We ALL love RA, don’t we? And I know how much enjoyment I’ve had reading of others meeting RA in the past. I was disturbed reading fedoralady’s comment here of some trouble she has had, but I’ve encountered nothing like that. Everyone has invariably been kind. But maybe that’s because I’m not aware of anything negative as I’m not into blogs so much. The AA forum is rather insular and a general Armitage Love Fest! LOL

    Anyway, I don’t regret anything I’ve done…..what I WOULD have regretted was getting discouraged and walking away and NOT meeting Richard.

    • Debra,
      I am really glad you this opportunity and made the most of it and were willing to share with the rest of us. As I told the other fan, honestly, I don’t think you all have anything to worry about in terms of repurcussions from the individual who targeted me (and several other people over a span of time).

      Trust me, if she was gonna do something, she’d have already done it. And you’d know about it.
      If you are not a writer–either fanfic or blogging–you don’t seem likely to ever be her target.

      I am not involved in AA, so I have no idea if she’s ever trolled there. Thank GOD people like her are very much in the minority in this fandom.

      I salute you for believing in carpe diem and taking advantage of this chance to meet this wonderful human being we all so deeply admire. We all appreciate you sharing your experience with us. And you have NOTHING to regret. 😀

      • Thanks for your kind response, fedoralady.

        It’s a shame you’ve had some bad experiences. I think if someone like that (and I don’t know the circumstances) had come on the AA, they would have been quickly driven away as we don’t tolerate bad behavior toward other members OR Richard. It’s a very respectful, loving forum. In fact, it’s the very first forum I ever joined and I’m so glad I did!

        • The point isn’t that blogs are dangerous to fans, it’s more that on blogs you largely don’t have people determining in advance what acceptable behavior of any kind would be, as you would on a forum. This has advantages (more discursive freedom) and disadvantages (easier to encounter trolls).They are really two different animals, but not because one is safer than the other — because the rules for speech are different.

        • To be more exact — this was a situation where the person in question decided that she alone had the power to decide what bad behavior toward Richard was. If you disagree with her in public, you’re liable to consequences.

          • Oh, I didn’t mean to imply blogs are bad or dangerous, servetus! Far from it. I’m 100% for freedom of expression. And I’ve enjoyed the blogs I’ve seen (and subscribed to some)….I just don’t have a lot of experience with them.

            Not necessarily with blogs, per se, but a few places I’ve been in the past the comments about RA have been what I would call ‘negative’…as on IMBD. I have a tendency to get very agitated over cruel comments and think they’re totally unnecessary. I want to argue with them and it doesn’t do my BP any good! LOL I mean, why rain on someone parade?!

          • Yes, I agree absolutely. Why rain on someone’s parade? But sticking to a forum to exercise one’s fandom wouldn’t have prevented this incident. Unfortunately.

    • Hi Debra, I am so glad you shared your story as it inspired me to get up the courage to visit the set & meet Richard on Tuesday.

      Re the rubbish sign remark, I pinged my British friend for an exact definition of ‘rubbish’ in British English and I loved her reply – wanted to share it w/you:

      so can you please define once and for all “It’s rubbish” in British English?
      it does not mean trash, correct?

      British friend:
      it does
      but not always
      it can mean
      it’s pathetic
      it’s poor
      it’s utter crap

      OK. Got it. LOL

      British friend:
      depends on the tone

      • LOL!!! Well, my sign could have qualified as any of those last 3 definitions! Pathetic, poor, and utter crap! Ha-Ha! I just scribbled his name on a poster board late on the night before I went to OU. I think you had a excellent sign! And I’m so happy you got to meet RA. I have to give you props on being able to converse with him! (I was hardly coherent!! LOL) You had a great story!!!

      • LOL I think I can safely say in this instance it means ‘it’s pathetic’ but in a jokey good way. 🙂

    • Hi Debra,

      Please allow me to add to the chorus of cheers and gratitude for allowing your pictures and story to be shared to a wider audience than just those @AA forum. I’m not an Armitage Army member myself, but I do SO ENJOY the talent that is in overabundance in Armitage world (I also enjoy reading of Tom Hiddleston’s Fan accomplishments, although he seems to have an “Armed Forces”, and not just an ‘Army’!) So I honestly loved that you met ItsJSforme in person on the day just as much, if not even more!!

      For me, your photos (or rather, your husband’s photos!) were the first to capture proof of the demise of the Beard (and RichardsBeard on twitter had been demanding visual proof of its demise!) 😉 So I was excited to just see THE PROOF – although I do really miss Richardsbeard’s pithy tweets!

      Once you shared your photos and story on C19 – it was really just a matter of moments before the notification system of the blogging / twitter universe would rapid fire alert – across the world – the arrival of the PROOF. Also, of course, everyone got to read and revel and vicariously LIVE through your day’s adventure – thereby multiplying the LOVE exponentially by having it shared with others. I also loved that you had family members in attendance to support you, and this is what made it all the more delightful for me as a reader.

      So thank you again for allowing your encounter to be shared, it was the ‘beardless shot’ heard around the world. 😉

  16. I can only add my gratitude to you as others have already done. Not only did all you ladies share your experiences with us but you also shared your pictures. The vast majority of us will sadly never have the opportunity to even glimpse Richard in RL never mind talk to him, so through your kindness and generosity we have been able to enjoy a little of that. Thank you.

  17. I want to weigh in a little on what happened in my and Heather’s situation. I’m not going to tell everything because I can’t, but I will tell you that a stalker was involved and the things done by this person are illegal. ,For the record, I have reason to believe that it was not the same person who hassled Angie, so yeah, there are two of these nuts out there. As if that’s not bad enough, I had to put up with a crazy fan at the event, and that my friends is all I’m going to say about the negative part of Comic-Con. At some point when the sour taste in my mouth is gone, I will tell you how lovely Richard was the few moments I interacted with him.

    • Frenz, that is so terrible, but it’s good you mentioned that it has happened. I respect your decision not to go into details, as remembering and writing about it must be highly unpleasant!
      Can I just ask if it was the same person who harrased Heather?
      What is wrong with people?
      Seriously!!! WTF?!?

      • I don’t think my crazy fan was the same one who stalked Heather. I could be wrong about that, but that’s my conclusion.

        • That’s bad news if there are more of them out there! Very bad news, as we’ll reach the point when the RA community will go underground just not to be hassled, and to feel safe. Very bad news!

          • I mourned it for about a month and Heather was bummed too. I hate that people like this can have that much effect, so we’re both moving on.

          • It ripples too. I can never pretend I can know how it felt for you, Heather, Angie, or Servetus, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect all of us. We really do feel hurt on many levels, mostly because you start regarding people as friends, and it gets personal. Then there’s that simple human emotion of seeing injustice being done, and not having the means/tools to deal with it.

          • I want to emphasize that the problems I have experienced have been verbal — that is, the people engaged in the harassment have never ventured onto the terrain of my real life. So I tend to think of this stuff in my own case as the cost of doing business — I take responsibility for the fact that everyone doesn’t love what I write, even if it is painful to read what gets written about me sometimes, or to lose friends over certain things. It would be a lie to say that it doesn’t get under my skin or affect how I feel about writing or the fandom or whatever. Blogging for me is an identity exercise and that means that both freedom to speak — and restrictions people attempt to place on my and others’ freedom to speak — tread onto the terrain of the personal. But freedom of speech is freedom for everyone to speak — even to say painful things or things that cut me to the quick. Else it doesn’t mean anything.

            If this stuff *were* to creep into my real life, however, it would be a different matter. I don’t see myself as a victim in that sense. A good rhetorical strategy for dealing with trolls is very different from a good legal strategy for dealing with harassers. If I were a victim in that sense, which I have not been, I would defend myself more aggressively against such behavior than I have against painful commentary on the net.

          • My family was very upset on my behalf, Agzym. Everyone who had supported me in this effort was hurt by her actions, too. I think I felt almost as bad for everyone else as I did for myself. There was this sense I had let the community down, and that was painful.

            It’s one thing to have people say or infer nasty things about you in the Internet, People did at the newspaper website, too. I can deal with that. But it’s another when, as has happened to some of us, an individual actually starts contacting people’s potential or current employers, contacting police in another COUNTRY in an attempt to sabotage their lives. That is just going too far.

            I have to say was determined to enjoy all the news from Comic-Con as much as possible in spite of it all, and I did. I was not going to let this spiteful person rob me of that, at least. And I do rejoice in all the happy encounters we’ve read about of late.

    • Frenz, I understand how you feel because several years ago, I was also the target of a jealous individual. It put me off sharing my experiences with the RA community. It’s awful and very sad that the actions of a few individuals are spoiling it for so many other fans.

      • Lena, I am sorrty to hear you had such worries, too. Jealousy, envy and malice are what a great deal of this behavior boils down to. This individual who targeted me and Servetus and several other people can’t bear to think of someone in the fandom getting an opportunity she might not get, having a following she might not have (or having an opinion that doesn’t mesh with hers, for that matter).

        And I think that’s true of some of these other people we know are causing trouble within the fandom. Intellectually, I have enough understanding of psychology and human nature to understand why they do the things they do; emotionally, in my heart, it’s very hard for me to grasp this behavior. And any way you look at it, there is no justification.

  18. One more thing before I move on. I have absolutely loved reading the accounts of others who have met Richard Armitage and really appreciate the sharing. It’s sweet.

  19. There’s no question there will be disagreement amongst fans, and obviously some of us have disagreed. I would hope we can always do that even when we’re passionate about what we think. But taking that to the lengths of pursuing someone privately is definitely over the line, and when that happens, the defensive posture certainly has to be more aggressive.

    I can tell you this much about the situation I referenced earlier. The parties on this end of things are prepared to deal very swiftly with the person who tries something another time. Since the person violated a federal statute, that means FBI involvement and there are also private resources to help the authorities if necessary. I hope understanding this would make the perpetrator think twice about being so foolish again.

    And honestly, Angie, KiplingKat has skated right up to the line of breaking the law. Some courts might even see it that way. Ironically, for all of her intelligence (and I certainly believe she’s intelligent), she rendered herself stupid on the incident with you. If she does anything to you like that again or to anyone else, she can be very easily deemed a stalker by the authorities.

    • To make myself clear, I have no knowledge that KiplingKat was the person involved in the incidents I referenced earlier. I refer only to her incidents with Angie.

      • And we KNOW it’s KK in my case because she’s gone on public sites and freely admitted it (although my guy told me it was her before I ever got firm proof). Those comments of course were captured before their sudden removal. Sadly, there are two or three people involved in this type of activity. Two or three too many.

        • Yep, that she admitted publicly, and in detail, what she did may be her downfall if she keeps it up. Doesn’t matter how “good” her case may be in her mind. If the pattern of aggressively pursuing people is established, then it’s not too many steps to stalker under the law. Frankly, the incident in the UK is muddied by the fact the blogger exhibited some aggressive behavior toward KK, and it’s overseas. Much tougher to deal with in a U.S. court case. But KK needs to lie low if she’s as smart as she appears to be or thinks she is, but we’ll see.

          I only wish the person in the incident I’m referring to was dumb enough to spill their guts. However, there has been some evidence collected and some legwork that’s been done to establish a trail, so if the person does it again, they are in for it.

  20. Okay, that’s all of my legal mumbo jumbo. Back to enjoying the ladies and their wonderful stories — cajones and all. 😀

    We can talk offline if you would like, Angie.

  21. Pingback: me + Richard Armitage fan selfies: musings on self, presence, and the proximity quest, a beginningion | Me + Richard Armitage

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