Richard Armitage and Pinter/Proust: Cast Party

[Sorry, been nursing a head cold.  Those NYC germs are aggressive.]


Courtesy of MyKdsRllyEatThs

As soon as we crossed the party threshold, we fell down the rabbit hole.

It wasn’t that we couldn’t handle this extraordinary and unique opportunity.  We were both women of a certain age, trained in social etiquette, common sense, adept in making quick judgments calls.  We bound and gagged and our Inner Fangirls and entered as theater-goers/patrons.  It was after all,  basically a cocktail party, so we conformed accordingly, mingling and chatting with guests, and enjoying ourselves.  Zan gives a better account here about who said what.  Some of the younger cast member were quite charming, brimming with youth and euphoria, eager to talk about the stress of the production and or when they could be seen on PBS soon.  All of them lit up at the news that the production was well received, and hoped it might be a springboard to a bigger Broadway run.  I soaked up the energy and purposefulness and contemplated where I could go with my own creative endeavors.

Here’s where the surreal part began:  as we slowly worked our way among the cast dotting the room, we pondered the 6’2″ question holding up the bar.  What were we going to do about Richard Armitage?  Indeed.  What do you do when the only person in the room with whom you’d like to chat know you’re his fans?  Although we’d discarded that role at the door, his certain knowledge still restricted options for both us as fans and him as the star.  Had we not participated in the lobby, we might have felt more at liberty chatting with him, and he with us, but that’s not what happened.  A tiny voice whispered in the back of my mind: watch it, you’re representing to him and everybody in here, – knowing technically I was only responsible for myself.  Calm thoughts, eh?  Still we had to discern the appropriate thing to do.  A few glances showed him chatting animatedly in group.  No problem.  He’d given us his time in the lobby, so we would leave him alone to talk with friends and colleagues.  Problem solved.

But not quite.  Zan murmured that he’d glanced our way a few times, so I glanced over – only to meet a pair of blue eyes.  He’d catch us looking; we’d catch him looking.  There was nothing hostile or negative in his glances.  Suddenly, he’d turn his head and regard us with open curiosity.  This was a bit disconcerting.  I’m a watcher; I watch other people.  I wasn’t used to being observed by others, especially by somebody like him.  Good grief.  He continued looking our way the rest of the evening, even after we established ourselves as polite, sociable and nuisance-free.  What was he thinking?

As the crowd thinned, Zan and I needed an exit strategy.  It would have been quite obvious to him that we’d chatted up everybody but him. Seeing only one person left with RA, Zan suggested we congratulate RA and leave.  Ah, perfect!  His head swung towards us expectantly.  As she said her compliments and thanks, he lit up like a Christmas tree.  His almost “oh gosh” reaction so tickled me that I looked at his lady friend; her eyes twinkled too.  He turned to me, eyes still gleaming, and shook my hand.  I think I murmured agreement as his glow nearly blotted everything out.  My goodness.  He turned to his friend, still beaming and we exited.   Later I wondered if he wasn’t lit up by wine, but from the warmth of his smile and handshake, I think he appreciated us.

Zan and I chatted until the wee hours trying to wrap our minds around the whole thing.  In all my years in fandoms, I’ve never had an experience quite like it.  It will definitely be something I’ll remember for a long time.


22 thoughts on “Richard Armitage and Pinter/Proust: Cast Party

  1. Maybe he thought you three were some of the “patrons” he was supposed to be chatting up, and he was feeling guilty, or nervous. Did you ever think of that, huh, huh? It was your duty to talk to him and put him at ease. He welcomed that final chat. After that, he could go home and relax. As for the rest of us….

  2. Hope you are feeling better?.. It’s all because of the temperature moment you’re standing next to the furnace πŸ˜‰ few moments later you’re freezing in New York..very unhealthy.
    Great reading, Judiang. I’m happy that you decided to go, thank you πŸ™‚

  3. “Oh gosh” indeed.

    I’m swooning at the thought of being the object of RA’s attention in a bar.

    Who cares why he was looking over! To paraphrase the lovely Anna “he,s looking at you!”

  4. You two handled it well! A girlfriend and I were just talking about this on Facebook (not this specifically but how people react when they meet celebs) and all three of you represented like Rock Stars.

  5. Hope you get well soon!!! So, what was his handshake like? Nice and firm I hope? I always figured that if I ever were lucky enough to shake RA’s hand I’d automatically curtsey like Alice in The Vicar of Dibley upon first meeting Harry. LOL

  6. “We bound and gagged and our Inner Fangirls…” (my favorite)
    “…we slowly worked our way among the cast dotting the room, we pondered the 6’2β€³ question holding up the bar.”
    “Good grief. He continued looking our way the rest of the evening, even after we established ourselves as polite, sociable and nuisance-free. What was he thinking?”
    “…he lit up like a Christmas tree…he turned to me, eyes still gleaming, and shook my hand…as his glow nearly blotted everything out.”

    It has been a morning of laughing, then crying. What a great way to start a day. Thank you so much for this.

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  8. Oh, what a beautiful end to your story. Thanks for putting it up here, Judi. It was great to virtually hear the inner monologue going on in your head. And it is nice that he seemed to recognise you and appreciate your presence – or certainly not feel disconcerted by it. Not that it should have, anyway. Good thinking to actually say good-bye to him. Nice touch!

  9. Fantastic account is FANtastic. Well done ladies. We who were stuck on the other side of the dreaded “private party” rope were well represented! If I had more cash I would have tried to “donate” my way in! lol…

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  11. Wow, Judiang!
    What a lovely evening you had! Considering RA kept looking at you two all evening–and a security guard didn’t escort you out (Ha!)–maybe he was just wondering when you would get around to him? I think his beaming smile that you mentioned might have something to do with that. Sighhhh! And it was so sweet that your last memory of the evening is of chatting with Richard Armitage. I can’t stop grinning I’m so thrilled for you!
    Cheers! Grati ;->
    P.S. Hope that your cold is now history and you’re on the mend. I’ve posted your part two link in my Sunday reblog of your part 1 adventure.

  12. Is it possible that he didn’t know exactly who you were? I mean I know you met outside as well but he talked with a lot of different people so perhaps he was looking over so often trying to figure out who you were exactly. Then you came over and made his evening with your praise.

    It doesn’t matter really because you had such a wonderful time and your comments to him obviously meant a great deal to him. You talked with other cast members which I think was very important as well because obviously most of you were there for Richard but it was an ensemble thing and they worked hard as well so how wonderful to have theater goers come in and talk to them and tell them how much they enjoyed their performances as well.
    I am very impressed by all our people who went and how beautifully they handled it because it isn’t easy is it being that close. I envied you but apparently in other blogs we have heard about jealousy and I think that is just nonsense. I may envy those who got to go but there is no jealousy there. I think it was wonderful that those who could go did go and you all shared with those of us who couldn’t be there. I know that the majority of us appreciate that so much and we’d do the same if positions were reversed. I think you all got to do something that will never be repeated really. If Richard does do a play eventually you can be sure that there won’t be anything like this happening again so this is something to treasure forever.

  13. Love love love your account of your encounter…so pleased you got to shake his hand. To be able to compliment him and shake his hand seems to me to be particularly special, especially as he appeared to be so flattered. There is no better feeling than knowing you put a smile on someone’s face, and it being such a handsome face must have been a wonderful bonus πŸ™‚

  14. What a great night! I am so happy for you both — for everyone who got to go & see RA do his thing & get to meet him however briefly. What a treat! πŸ™‚

  15. Love the “6’2″ question holding up the bar”! I envy you and Zan your ability to stay cool and calm, I’m feeling seriously weak at the knees just reading about being the object of RA’s attention. πŸ™‚
    Hope you’re feeling better!

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