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Richard is

28 Mar
[The ‘Yours in Armitage’ series is a collection of posts documenting my changing perceptions about my celebrity crush on Richard Armitage, using excerpts from past correspondence to help me come to terms with the uncertainties. I’m sharing this writing exercise in order to illustrate the highs and lows a fan can go through]

 

January 27, 2013- Richard is well-mannered, genuinely nice, a bit shy & reserved, but passionate about his acting. he’s all around lovely and he makes me smile a lot.

 

 

I wrote that to a friend at the very beginning of my crush on Richard Armitage. it still holds true for me, most days. I think I’ve always known that I wouldn’t be able to get back to those early ‘struck by lightening’ days of crushing on Richard, but part of me still held out hope that I could find my way back there. that’s why I started these posts, to get past the roadblocks that were keeping me from that place. along the way I’ve identified some of my issues and have been able to move past them. they’re not gone, but I’m aware of them now and can better navigate around them. the sun didn’t suddenly appear and light my way but I feel less confused, less pessimistic than I did before.

I’ve opened myself up to the concept of picking & choosing what I like and leaving the rest by the wayside. I’ve not really done that in fangirling before, not really. I’ve tried the ‘less I know the better’ route but it’s hard to reign in my natural curiosity. in the end, I always end up feeling like I need to like everything about the actor, or at least be able to convince myself that there was a good reason for the negatives that I couldn’t seem to ignore. when too many excuses pile up, I move on rather than admit to them. once I’m invested in a new crush, then I can be honest about the old ones, but not until then. Ewan McGregor’s confidence can be a turn off, Christian Bale’s intensity can be intimidating, Robert Pattinson’s youth works against him… I still follow the careers of past crushes and rejoice in their well being, I just don’t follow as closely as I once did. I no longer invest myself, because I no longer identify with them.

I find something in these actors that resonates with me, I see traits that we share in common, I live through them in various ways. this is why I hold them to such high standards because I see them as a different version of me, a better version. when they embody the worst of me, well, I don’t want to admit that we share those traits too. it’s like hearing my recorded voice played back to me or seeing myself in home movies. no, thanks! we would all rather see the best of ourselves on display. I’m not sure I can remove the identity issue from my fangirling but I want to give it less power. I want to be a fan of Richard Armitage, but I don’t want him to define me.

I’ll never be able to recapture those early days, and that’s okay. I’ve realized that the valleys are satisfying in their own ways, maybe not as intense as the highs, but longer lasting. this crush has certainly taught me more about myself than any of the others, and I like that. I want more of that. to thine own self be true.

Yours in Armitage,

Kelly

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13 Comments

Posted by on March 28, 2017 in other

 

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13 responses to “Richard is

  1. Servetus

    March 28, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Huh. I want to give it more power.

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    • KellyDS

      March 28, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      you want to see more of yourself in Richard?

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      • Servetus

        March 28, 2017 at 5:50 pm

        I think I learned a lot by building a picture of Armitage via fangirling — it taught me valuable lessons about myself. I think it’s more that I created a picture and then thinks about it analytically — one “sees” similarities or differences and then they have to be queried. It’s been a bit quiet lately (although that has something to do with my internal resistance to looking very closely at Francis Dolarhyde, no doubt). But I would be open to, indeed would seek, an intensification of that process.

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        • KellyDS

          March 28, 2017 at 6:25 pm

          I’ve not really connected with Daniel Miller. it really affected my fangirling, made it feel flat. so I’m anxious to be introduced to another character soon.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • Servetus

            March 28, 2017 at 6:26 pm

            There was a lot of beautiful exterior there, but it was hard to figure out what one should be connected to, exactly, I thought.

            Liked by 1 person

             
  2. SueBC

    March 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Interesting. I think I see things I don’t have, that might balance out. Like he seems to be a much nicer more patient person than I am. Something I should strive for.

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    • KellyDS

      March 29, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      I thought that way too for awhile but then it made me feel bad about myself, like I wasn’t good enough. which then made me angry & defensive… it was a whole confusing cycle :/

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      • SueBC

        March 29, 2017 at 3:36 pm

        Yes, I know what you mean. It’s funny… when I was first interested via N&S, I hadn’t seen some of the more humanizing things. Like watching Strike Back and hearing RA swear! Strangely shocking at first. Then seeing pictures of him smoking behind the scenes. Again, a jolt at first. But those are the things that make me say that he’s got some rough edges. And then I can adjust the image and maybe see myself more clearly too.

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        • KellyDS

          March 29, 2017 at 5:13 pm

          it’s funny how we can have similar experiences but in opposite ways! with me, it was the rough edges that I related to. but when I’d see a more upstanding version in interviews and appearances, paired with all the ‘St.Richard’ advice, it made me feel like I wasn’t sophisticated enough (my own insecurities, clearly). being multi-dimensional is a good thing but it seemed like two different personas to me. I wasn’t sure if he was just maturing or if he had exaggerated in the past/was exaggerating now. it was confusing. and yet, others often tell me that I’m confusing, that they have a hard time ‘pinning me down’/categorizing me. I always joke that if I knew me, I probably wouldn’t be friends with me 😉

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          • SueBC

            March 29, 2017 at 11:27 pm

            I like the rough edges… They’re probably still there in his personal life even with his maturity, making him relatable. He is, after all, a very good actor. So, what we see in interviews is probably the public persona. I know that I am very different when I am speaking at the front of the room to a group of people. I would hope I seem very professional. But when I am not “playing a role”, I have more rough edges.

            Liked by 1 person

             
  3. Cill

    March 30, 2017 at 12:42 am

    This post has made me think about what I look for in a crush. I don’t think it’s a reflection of me exactly, either a better or worse one. I think that it’s someone with whom I could be friends in real life. This means shared opinions and characteristics etc. Some ‘rough edges’ actually made a crush more attractive to me (eg., RA swearing or his sense of humor), others are a turn-off (smoking!, ski-mania).

    I think that one of the issues in RA fandom is that so many fans want RA to be *exactly* like them or a sort of boy-scout ideal. The latter seems to me to be more prevalent than in other fandoms I’ve been in. (Eg, Elijah Wood may be super polite, but his fans have to accept that he smokes, swears and loves reallly gross horror movies). When I first entered RA fandom , there doesn’t seem to be room for a 21st century RA in some fans’ view of him. You’ve hinted at this here. I hope you have more to say about it.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • KellyDS

      March 30, 2017 at 9:59 am

      you bring up a relevant point for me, the “friend” factor. I find my celebrity crushes attractive, of course, and I do join in with other fans in recognizing their physical attributes, but the ‘lust’ level doesn’t seem to be as strong for me. it’s more about their personality, their character, their acting/singing talent, and would I be friends with them in real life? the daydreams don’t center around intimate physical scenarios but intimate conversation instead. I want to connect with them, be peers with them. I know other fans feel this as well (as proven by your comment) but ‘ogling’ seems to be the law of the land when it comes to fangirling. I often wonder if this difference stems from the fact that I’ve been ‘crushing’ on actors since I was a preteen, long before sexual desire was even a factor. back then, I was drawn to different fictional characters b/c I wanted to befriend them, or save them. and so by extension I was drawn to the people who portrayed them b/c I felt that they had to have pieces of those characters inside themselves in order to be able to portray them so well.

      as for the ‘Thornton complex’, the idea that Richard is as upstanding and moral as Mr. Thornton, that concept was never really a factor for me. I came into the fandom b/c of The Hobbit, and the ‘research’ I did in order to create a view of who Richard Armitage was seemed to center around Spooks/Robin Hood days. I didn’t actually see North and South until I was well into my crush already. so the RA that I saw smoked, swore, claimed he had a temper, wore clothes that he picked up off his bedroom floor, heated eggs in the microwave and ate macaroni salad b/c he was too lazy to cook. that was the Richard that I knew coming into this crush, he was the one that I fell for.

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  4. Cill

    March 30, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Ogling and lust come into all my crushes. 😉 Otherwise I’m just a ‘fan of’ 😉

    However I only want to find out more about the actor if there’s something to find. (Hence my relative lack of interest in Mr. Bloom). RA showed evidence of intelligence and having a mind of his own, etc.

    When I came into the fandom in a way that led me to research RA, it was as a fan of grouchy, grumpy, obsessed Thorin and the actor who played him. My next favourite character ws Lucas North, who is not exactly easy-going and untroubled. This probably led me to be more accepting of rl RA’s ‘faults’ than people who saw him first as Mr. Thornton and read a lot of the early press and early interviews. It would be an interesting exercise in fan anthropology to see whether people coming into a fandom at a particular time view the actor through the lense of the role, or the public persona, or the private persona revealed through interviews and articles.

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