RA Challenge ♡ #18: Top 3 Things When Face To Face With RA

Oops, a little late today – I was busy with a fan encounter of a different kind, actually. No, not the OOA! We are on day #18 of the RA Challenge, and it might be useful to see the full list of the questions once again:

The Top 3 Things On My To-Do List If I Suddenly Found Myself Face To Face with RA

The fact that the question mentions the word “suddenly”, implies that this is not an occasion that is a planned, organised star-fan encounter. I am interpreting this like a chance meeting, outside of the usual context of fangirling activities – so no stage door, red carpet, interview, film set visit. Haven’t we all played this scenario through in our minds? The coincidental encounter, away from the performance pressure and the regime of a premeditated interaction between a star and his fans. Various scenarios come to mind – being upgraded on a business flight, I find myself sitting in First Class next to…; I have been invited to a dinner party by my movie business relations and *he* is among the guests…; wandering aimlessly around in Berlin/London/New York, I literally bump into *him* in what turns out to be his neighbourhood…

#1 – Discreetly and swiftly remove all outward signs of my fangirling (badge, Pop!Thorin, iPhone cover)

# 2 – Totally not let on that I know as much about him and his career as I do; feign ignorance

# 3 – Ignore show biz topics and totally engage him in a conversation about Brexit

Who? Never heard of you in my life! What did you say you played in?

There’s an underlying theme here. I don’t want to be identified as a fan. At least not from the outset. Not because I am uncomfortable with my activities as a fan or my affiliation with a fandom, but because it would be a total conversation killer. Loaded with *presumed* expectations. And creating an imbalance of power that I am not willing to engage in. I do not want to be on the back foot, or prejudged, or viewed with resentful caution. I want to engage in an open conversation between equals – just like I do with anybody. Anything else would be formulaic and boring.

Funnily enough – RL RA encounters are not really top on my list of favourite fantasies. If I am fantasising, I might as well go full-on fictional. And so I tend to dream about characters, preferably John Porter, occasionally John Standring. (I am not really imaginative enough to place myself in the 12th or 19th century respectively to find myself in a face-off over trade union activities with Mr Thornton, or bump into Sir Guy while perusing the stalls on Nottingham market.) The balance of power is always right with them – there is no fan baggage with them, and they are generally appreciative of any female attention for themselves.

Top 3 things to do when finding myself face to face with the likes of Porter and Standring? #1 Pull up bra and widen cleavage. #2 Clumsily fall over right into them, reaching for the front of their shirt where it meets the waistband, and while steadying myself discreetly and as if by coincidence touch that magic spot where groin meets loin. #3 Apologise profusely for klutzily invading their space and beg them to let me buy them a drink. That scenario *always* works in my imagination… I wonder why…

So what about you? What’s on your list?

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46 thoughts on “RA Challenge ♡ #18: Top 3 Things When Face To Face With RA

  1. My mind is totally blank, I just wanted to compliment you on the phrase “where groin meets loin” -brilliant. You are so funny!

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  2. 1. Gush and thank him profusely for his work. – I have absolutely no interest in autographs. I just don’t get the point of having a scribble by someone famous…

    2. Admit to membership in the Army. – If we become friendly (in any way! oh please oh please fall madly in love with me!!!) I don’t want to have to tell him later and possibly be perceived as deceitful.

    3. Engage in conversation about music. – Music is my guiding force. I can’t imagine not being able to listen to it. I quite literally squeed in delight when it was 1 of his Love, Love, Loves (even though I already knew that.)

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    • That would be the more natural approach to a chance encounter. Weirdly, I cannot bring myself to staying in my fan persona. I always feel detached at such occasions.
      BTW you are right – it’s never good to lie. Better to be up front about it.

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  3. I know this is supposed to be ‘what if,’ but this actually happened to me when I went to see The Crucible on Aug 25, my birthday, the infamous “plumbing cancellation night.” I was slogging through the hard rain with a tiny umbrella a half-block from the Old Vic when a tall bearded man in a black cap caught my eye…he nodded at me and smiled, (THUD!) then crossed the street walking AWAY from the theater…toward a row of residential dwellings…and it dawned on me, “That’s RA! Why is he walking in that direction?” In that split-second, I could have called out to him and said, “HEY! You’re gonna be late!” or some other stupid blurt-out but I didn’t…and after wanting to cry at the refund desk, and after drinking my complimentary cocktail at The Old Vic, I slogged back to the hotel, only to learn that RA had returned and was greeting fans. I was too soggy and tired to return, dammit! What a waste of an opportunity, and what a weenie I turned into! Thankfully I had tix for another performance later that week…(sigh).

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    • Thanks for sharing that story, Monica – I remember that night so well, watching it unfold on Twitter and feeling so sorry for the people who had hoped to see a performance that night. But no, don’t beat yourself up over this encounter – we hardly ever have the wherewithal to react quickly to unexpected incidents. Heck, *I* don’t even have the wherewithal to react in premeditated situations. I just communicate the bare minimum. I’m fine with that. It’s part of the experience for me. Plus, I get to live through other people’s encounters.
      Glad you had the opportunity to see another performance, though! Otherwise that would have been such a disaster!

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    • Wow Monica, I was there that night and had no idea he left and came back. He was certainly damp when he arrived in the lobby but I just thought he popped out of the stage door to check if anyone was about on the way to the front door to undertake his mission to apologise to everyone in the place. Gosh, he really is even more of a star to come back and do what he did than we already knew. So glad you still got to see the play later on, luckily so did I and it was well worth the wait.

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  4. Pronounce with the appropriate accent his surname in the following three languages: English, German (Armee Tage) and French (aRmeeTaʒ)

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  5. I’m driving along and notice a limo broken down on the side if the road. Driver and passenger are hauling all luggage from boot. Waiting to repair van. I know that guy.*think think* holy crap it’s RA. i pull over and ask if i can help. As the repair van will be a while, i offer to drive RA wherever he needs to go. We load up his luggage and set off. Omg omg RA’s IN MY CAR *in my head* please don’t crash. You can drive. You got this just don’t crash* conversation is light and surprisingly easy. He effortlessly makes you relax. Radio’s on and as it’s a long drive, we talk music and end up doing carpool karaoke – I’M SINGING WITH RA😁 After arriving at his hotel, he kindly asks my number and thanks me for the lift. No problem. It was my pleasure. Later i get a call. FROM HIM inviting me to dinner as a thank you for my help. 😀 of if only imagination predicted life😅😅

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  6. If I did meet him in a setting where words were exchangeable on a level of more than “hi” and “great performance” tonight, I definitely would not be able to conceal that I was a superfan and probably would not be able to avoid telling him that I blog about him. It’s an impossible situation (akin the one where two of your best friends meet: they inevitably know things about each other that they’ve learned from you and not from each other and it feels like there’s a revelation of some weird breach of privacy occurring). My fantasies around chance encounters that are even mildly realistic (e.g., seated in proximity on the same airplane flight) always involve me struggling to ignore him (asking the flight attendant if I can switch seats with someone else). Most of my fantasies about him in real life are not even mildly realistic, though.

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    • I think you are way more realistic than I am. Chances are that I would either blunder – or be unable to conceal my superfandom, anyway. So my three answers are only the “ideal”. Reality would be: 1. Immediately admitting to having seen him on screen or on stage (hopefully limiting myself to only a couple of items), 2. compliment him on his work, 3. move on to a non-show biz topic.
      I like realistic scenarios. But the crux is that even “realistic” settings are unrealistic. I never travel First Class. My movie biz relatives do not know him. I am a bit too scared to scamper around film sets.

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      • yeah, back when I had the airplane fantasy was when I was flying transatlantically a lot, and it was just at the stage where you could have envisioned he might still be flying economy / coach if he was flying on his own dime. Since the Hobbit, that’s definitely not plausible anymore.

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  7. I would literally have to bump into him or be seated right next to him, in order for me to get over myself enough to talk to him. if that did indeed happen, I would pretty much follow your 2nd & 3rd steps. I wouldn’t feign ignorance if the subject of his job arose but I wouldn’t jump right in and acknowledge it outright either. I would try not to become a blushing, tongue-tied mess but I do that with any attractive man (and fail at it), so RA would be no different. if we exchanged three sentences and I received a friendly smile in the process, I’d consider that a monumental success!

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  8. I would thank him for making a difference in my life. Tell him how much I enjoy his work and for the joy it has brought me. Can’t do this without giving up the fact that I am a fan. 😉

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  9. I often think that meeting him in a non-arranged setting could not possibly go well. The fact of my being a fan would put a wall up from me if I tried to hide it. And it would put a wall up for him if it was instead revealed, because how could he not be on his guard then?

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  10. I would be sitting in a crowded theatre café and he would come over with his coffee and cake and ask if he could sit at the spare seat on my table. We would talk about plays – because I can talk for hours about the theatre. (And I would not drop the tomato from my sandwich down my shirt front) And depending how the conversation was going I would say I’d seen The Crucible.

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  11. Ah, interesting! I didn’t think you’d remove all of the fan items! I mean i would trust you not to fall and hang on his neck and all that anyway ;)))) But why hide the interest completely? Why change who you really are? 🙂 I really think we can be perfectly civilised normal people and still be excited/glad to meet him and not hide that.
    And really, do you think you could? I’m just wondering , not contradicting in any way 🙂

    I have to say the thought has popped into my head, about what would i say /ask if i ever had the chance face to face and i usually come up blank! I’m so much better with spontaneous questions or on a theme of the moment than planned stuff.
    I know the surprise element is a bit … odd to say the least. Because the first reaction would be just instinctive, there is no way on earth i could control that! I’d probably/hopefully/ (please God!) be able to gather myself quickly but surprise is surprise and a chance encounter would be simply amazing.
    But to disclose in the interest of research here :-p .. i was chatting to a friend after a ROH performance right in front of the building late at night when everyone had left when this guy walked energetically past. Purposefully, but not running or hiding in any way. While still chatting to my friend my brain went.. that’s James McAvoy! he must be coming from his Macbeth.. my head naturally swiveled to follow and i think my mouth fell slightly open too. I so wanted to say something, anything but i was just to surprised to do anything but gape and smile. Opportunity lost! And it may never come again 🙂
    Yesterday as i was going to a concert, walking past the office i literally also brushed against one of my favourite singers who must have come from a radio interview. I smiled at him in recognition and he started back.. wondering surely why i was smiling! I walked quickly past LOL
    And remember when i ran into Tennant? As if i didn’t have a thousand things i could say but the shock of nearly running him and his coffee over lead to very boring inquiry about the proper door to enter the venue where he was going to be doing the talk.
    So experience tells me surprise is nice but it rarely is inducive to an immediate cool and intelligent reaction. Bumping into somebody on the street is just too unexpected. And i just can’t hide my pleasure or excitement at suddenly seeing somebody i like or whose work i have seen loads or so. So the person would actually have to acknowledge my pleasant surprise and a vague intention of saying hello and stop so i could quickly unscramble my brain and react and say thanks and how much i liked this or that role and such. I think i’d really like to say that 🙂 Since i feel like i never really otherwise got the chance to say just how much i enjoy it.

    That out of the way i could move to some questions i always had or things i always wondered about.
    Like i wonder if he even likes opera for example, has he seen any? Any he likes. Just because liking classical music does not mean he likes opera 🙂 Or songs? Yeah, i’d like to have a quick chat about music. Before inevitably asking Why no Shakespeare Richard?? or wondering if he’d care to take on a project on very old legends like Faust or Tristan and Isolde in some shape or form? And a million other things about theatre in general..by which time he would be snoring heavily :-p

    In an ideal world however the encounter would probably have to be with me being somewhere and them needing a space at a table or a direction or something like that. I’m not shy at asking questions and many of them in the organised context for asking but i’m shy and very chicken about pursuing the opportunity. Like the ttimes i’ve had people id love to meet or bump into literally meters away in the same building and been unable to pursue the idea. I’ve not even managed to do it with when JK was in the building and i figured he probably wouldn’t mind.
    Which is why i guess i ultimately fantasize and crave just more public talks, opportunities to hear him speak his mind, ask some questions etc. rather than chance encounters. Since i luckily don’t wear tshirts with his face on it or have his name tattooed on my boob and nothing more than a badge or a phone cover to ‘out’ me i’m fine with those. Anyone can see his pic on my desktop and i am comfortable explaining to anyone who he is and why i like him so much. I wouldn’t have qualms about explaining same to him if i was ever asked to do so 🙂 I’m proud of the actor he is and i quite like him for it 🙂

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    • In answer to your question – no, I don’t actually think I could keep it secret that I do know his work. When I am nervous, I tend to talk too much, and since I would be extra conscious of my fangirl status in such a situation, I would probably blurt it right out.
      As for the ideal scenario of hiding my fangirl status – well, sure, it *is* part of me. But that’s exactly it – it is only *one* facet. I am not *only* a fan. I’d like to have a clean slate – no preconceived ideas about what it is that I might possibly want from a celebrity. I want to be seen as S___, not as Guylty. But as I said above – chances are that I wouldn’t be able to hide that part of me, anyway.
      Totally agree on the “surprise” situation btw. Not conducive to witty chat-up lines at all.
      Come to think of it, maybe this is what I would do if I came face-to-face with Mr A: #1 deep breath, #2 turn on my heels, #3 retreat.

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      • I should be doing something else right now at work, but since I have to do that work on my laptop . . . anyway, I’m convinced that if I ran into RA face to face, I wouldn’t recognize him. Not because I don’t know what he looks like, but it seems I never recognize anyone unless someone tells me. If someone introduced me socially tho, that would be super awkward. I probably would not say anything much either. Which is me when I don’t have to speak, I clam right up. Hard to believe but it is true. 99.9% of my life is reality anyway, so I’d rather focus on Sir Guy fun without yet more reality. Now if I had to speak to him, say because of work, then I could totally deal. I would be in work mode and nothing could distract me from that. He would never even know I knew anything about his work. I’ve done it before, (not with him) but with other people I’ve admired like Terry Jones, if anyone who know who that is. For a year, I had to be in contact with him for a project; never once did I say anything, before during or afterwards. Hubs asked if I told Mr. Jones how much I liked his work and how I could quote a bunch of his lines from his work since I was a kid. Or how I’d gotten in trouble with the nuns for going to one of his films instead of mass. Nope, I never said. Course, I didn’t want to see Mr. Jones in leather pants and a black pirate shirt either, but I still would never let on.

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  12. Your attempt of hiding your fan girl self is alluring and I totally understand this approach to be on the same level with him. Anyway, I couldn’t pretend to be an innocent bystander. I would have a broad grin on my face and could not stop smiling at him.
    My favourite scenario for a accidental meeting is an encounter while skiing, perhaps he would take the same deep snow slope and we would stuck together in a deep snow mountain and have to help us mutually to get out…(No, I haven’t read the fanfic yet which you recommended recently, but thank you, I will!)
    Or an encounter on a bike trail in the forest. We could discuss the advantages of several bike types and preferred routes. I would love to talk with him about a subject which has absolutely nothing to do with his job. After a long fruitful discussion I would shortly mention that I am also very interested in cinema…
    In every case I would like to meet him far away from the city, airport, theater or other crowded venues. In such a case I could only stare and wouldn’t be able to stutter a single syllable…

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    • Very nice ideas, I have to say. It all makes sense, too, because those are likely places to bump into him. (Only too many ski slopes and forests in the world to pin him down…)
      I agree that it would be nice to talk about something that doesn’t involve his work or his celebrity status.
      I don’t think I would ever have the courage to approach him anywhere in a crowd. I would always keep my distance. Which is fine. At least it means I don’t have to pretend I don’t know him…

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  13. This is a nice question! My scenario is that I met him in a fancy bar on the beach. I am accidentally alone, hubby and kids are busy elsewhere, I always include them in my story. Three things that will be on my to do list: 1) tell him about my family, so he is safe with me 😇 2) tell him that kids are fans of The Hobbit, that he did a great job as Thorin, that I love North and South so I know who he is; maybe even ask an autograph – for kids, of course 😊 3) at the end, just before leaving, I’ll tell him that I’m one of his followers and I’ll leave without looking back (to see the disappointing expression on his face) 😬 As you, I try to stay away from RL RA imaginary stories, but I love my fantasies with Thorin, Guy and John T. Strangely, I adore John Porter, but I can never dream of him, nor imagine things about him. My Thorin stories are the most complex ones, I try to include all the characters and places I love in Middle Earth and a fix point is that I firstly meet him while he was a blacksmith. This is the first time I speak about my fantasies and it’s a public space, I’m happy to do it, but hope that hubby will never read this.

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  14. Crap. Interrupted by husband. I was saying … I might say how I appreciate his work and other blabber. .maybe while putting chains on his car on a remote road to a ski resort, a slender but tasteful volume of my odes could catch his eye. Then, after reading a few, I might have to chase him down, as he beats a hasty retreat from me and my poetry.

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  15. I’d probably be like you and try not to fangirl out immediately. I also know I probably wouldn’t recognize him immediately based on my past experience and reactions when running into famous people. So the 1st thing I’d say would be something like “You’re British. Where are you from?” And then we could talk about the UK and favorite places which might lead to a conversation on other wonderful places we’ve traveled to.
    Somewhere in the conversation, books we’ve read would come up (my 2nd thing). This conversation could last for hours. At some point, I’d probably ask him what he did for a living (3rd thing). When he says he’s an actor, I’d ask him what shows he’s done. And this is when it would finally hit me who he was and I’d get terribly excited.
    Don’t laugh. This is what I’ve done with 3X before with actors I’ve bumped into. I just don’t recognize them in real life.

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    • Yeah, I can see how that sort of scenario might happen. In a setting where you don’t expect to meet someone, it takes longer to recognise them. (Mind you, with me it is usually the other way ’round. I have had it a couple of times that I was walking around town and I notice a familiar face in the crowd walking towards me, and I smile at them and say hello, convinced that they are some sort of vague acquaintance of mine – only to realise then that it was actually an actor/TV personality whom I only know from TV… *arrrgh*)

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    • I’ve done that too! Was at a party talking to someone when he mentioned he was an actor, so like the jackass I am, I asked him what he had done and he named like a couple of dozen things, none of which I had either ever watched or knew about. Two of the things he could have named and I would have known would have been Pulp Fiction and Futurama, but that didn’t come up. It wasn’t until I walked into the house one night years later, and Pulp Fiction was on. Oh duh, that is who he is, but now I can’t remember his name. Yeesh, at least he is still nice to me when we run into each other, but I never greet him by name. Look up Dumbass and there is a pic of me.

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        • I don’t know, from my view, I was being courteous, minimally social, not flirty, not interested in him more than in just being at the same party. I do tend to be reserved in social situations like this with men I do not know. I loathe being asked to someone’s room. Even though I am not the young svelte woman I used to be, it still happens so I am careful to never give the impression, or any signal that I am “interested” in them. Maybe he understood that I was being nice and that was all there was too it which is why he is still nice to me in return? Or as my horn-dog hubby suggests, (not that he was involved in this interaction) the man is being nice cause you never know when a woman will say “yes” to you. I would rather not believe it is what the hubs says men think most of the time.

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