2.12.15 // Catching up on reading before my British Politics seminar, trying to keep myself awake after an intensely dull History seminar. I get to pick up my History essay after 2, let’s be optimistic!
i wanna tell you all the story of the time i met alan rickman.
i had just seen seminar on broadway at the golden theatre (in retrospect it was kind of a fucked up show - old professor falls for young student, etc.) and i was enthralled. alan rickman has been in everything from my favorite films to my favorite stage pieces and to hear his voice fill the theatre was this huge privilege. i wasn’t even watching the show so much as i was soaking in his ether (though, lily rabe was also great, sorry lily not trying to downplay your performance).
it wasn’t just that he was snape and i was a lifelong potter fan - it’s that he was the quintessential embodiment of british performance. like… it was actually alan rickman! actually in front of me!
after the show i stagedoored the performance with my friend marlena (who was super kind to host me in new york for the week) and i was feeling a little nervous about what i’d say to him, if i even got to say anything to him.
he came out quickly, signing playbills for other audience members with a bill of trained professionalism. people were taking pictures of his profile as he politely refused to pose for pictures. i was overwhelmed. stage door encounters are never as rewarding as you want them to be.
if i were meeting alan rickman now as a 22 year old in the entertainment industry, i probably would have just shaken his hand, played it cool, held back enthusiasm, but i was not a 22 year old in the entertainment industry, i was 18 and i just seen my first broadway play and one of my heroes perform live.
he sauntered down the line and neared where i was standing. i didn’t know exactly what i wanted to say. something like “thanks”? something like “i hope you know how important you are to so many people”? something like “i’m glad jo rowling trusted you with her story before anyone else”?
as he stopped in front of me i took in a shaky breath and handed him my playbill and mumbled out quickly, “sir, you had a really profound impact on my childhood.” it was one of those moments that is painfully genuine to reflect upon. the stars in my eyes, the tremble in my voice. i’m sure i was the picture of impressionable fan.
he broke his routine of lazy “thank yous” and looked up to me, making eye contact and pausing. he smirked to himself, his eyes clouding with something i couldn’t recognize and he slowly said:
“to be fair, i think i had a profound impact on a lot of people’s childhoods.”
alan rickman, at the time i didn’t know what to say to you. i’d just been sassed by a legend and i was pretty psyched about it to be honest. to this day i’m not sure if you were tired of fans feeling entitled to your thanks or if you merely wanted to give me a moment with the professor snape i’d come to revere.
regardless of why you said what you said, i’d like to express how glad i am that you said it. understanding one’s worth is a privilege afforded mostly to older white male actors of your generation, yourself included. in my thirty seconds with you, you were not faux-humble, you didn’t pretend to be something you weren’t for my benefit. you knew your worth and you said as much. and that, above all else is the lesson i’ve learned from you.
i may not be a gracefully aging white male stage and screen legend, but i am a fiercely determined and well educated young woman fighting herself into the same industry you mastered and because of you, i’m not afraid to see my value and i’m not afraid to recognize it among others. that alone is getting me farther than any self doubt ever would have.
thank you alan rickman, it’s true that you had a profound impact on a lot of people’s childhoods, but your impact on my adulthood is what i ended up being more thankful for.
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Great video showing fragments of a seminar about the Polish sabre fencing (the art of cross-cutting).
From the original description: The seminar was given by the co-founder and principal instructor of the Phoenix Society of Historical Swordsmanship and hosted by the Blood & Iron historical martial arts school in New Westminster, BC, Canada (Greater Vancouver area).
I am ever so excited for this tonight, this is the first #BlackLivesMatter seminar, or anything related to the black community that I’ve seen advertised in my town. I am so ecstatic to be with people who share the same important mindset.
This is the picture I took with Alan Rickman when I met him at Seminar. I went ballistic when I first met him. He was signing playbills, and didn’t say a word to anyone yet. When he came to me, he looked me in the eye and smiled warmly. I bet he could tell from my expression that I was a little too happy to see him. XD
I knew this might be the only chance I would have gotten to say something to him, but I let my brain detach from my body for a bit. I said (okay more like shouted), “Mr. Rickman, you are my idol!”
Then everyone started laughing, but he just cocked his head to the side and smiled at me. I started babbling how I was soon humbled to be in his presence, my god, he’s such a good actor.
Poor fellow clearly didn’t know how to respond, so he just signed my playbill and handed it back to me. He murmured, “Thank you for your kind words” or something like that, I honestly couldn’t really hear him.
My friend asked if we could take a picture. He said that he couldn’t pose or anything, but we could take as many pictures as we wanted. The result was this derpy face I have right here.
This was my profile picture on any social media website I had, my desktop photo on both my laptop and phone, for almost two years. Then I got sick of looking at it, because it’s 75% my acne ridden, fifteen-year-old face.
I am so glad that I got the chance to meet him and tell him how I felt about him. I hope I didn’t creep him out but instead flattered him. He looked like he thought I was funny.