Close Encounters
of the Alan Kind

Here you can read about the experiences of some lucky people who have met Mr. Rickman in person.  If you have an encounter with AR you'd like to share, please send me an e-mail with your name and date.  Photos are very much appreciated too!

On August 16, 2002
by Kim - NEW!

My roommate, Glenn, and I went to see Private Lives in NYC.  It's wasn't a far journey since we just live across the river in New Jersey.  We had great seats, about the 15th row from the front and right in the center.  The play was amazing and really funny.  I was glad I didn't know much about it when I saw it, I was able to enjoy it for what it was instead of having some great expectations about it.

Afterward, we went to the stage door.  First Emma Fielding came out and only a couple of people asked for her autograph.  I told her she did a really great job and she was very nice, even acted a little surprised and said thank you.  About 45 minutes later, Lindsay Duncan poked her head out, dropped her bag and ran back in laughing saying she wasn't ready yet.  Everyone laughed with her, it was cute.  She started on my side of the crowd, so I told her she was really wonderful in the play and she was very gracious.  She also signed my Playbill, as had Emma.

Alan was still making his way through the other side of the crowd and said several times that he would stick around as long as he had too.  I thought that was very sweet.  He finally got over to my side, and signed my roommate's Playbill first (hence the picture above).  Then I handed him my Playbill.  I was so nervous.  I didn't know what to say, I didn't want to look stupid because I'm not.  I think I just muttered a Thank You and walked away.  I did get the guts to ask him for a picture, which my roomie took and it turned out, thank goodness.  I completely forgot that I had my Harry Potter DVD with me to have him sign, so I went back up to him.  He kind of looked me over (probably wondering if I was a stalker or something) and signed it.  That's all for my direct contact, but my roomie and I stuck around just to see what else was going to happen.

There was a little boy, probably 9 or 10, there with his mom.  He was holding one of the HP books. They were standing off to the side and the crowd had pretty much gone by then, so they were clearly visible, but weren't approaching Alan.  He looked over to them, and walked over.  The kid's eyes got so big as he was coming.  I thought he'd wet himself.  It must be scary for a kid to meet Professor Snape.  He just stood there and didn't say anything.  Then Alan asked if he was a Harry Potter fan and the kid nodded.  The mother then spoke up and asked if he would sign the book, Alan did and said to the kid, "See you in the next film."  The kid smiled so big then.  It was really wonderful to see him with a child, he handled it so well.

Then as he finally went to leave (he stayed outside for at least 30 minutes), he got in the passenger side of the car waiting for him, not the backseat as is where most people ride in NYC.  He started to chat with the driver and waved to those of us still hanging around.  I was totally impressed with all of the cast, especially Alan.  It was a great night that I don't think I'll ever forget.

Sept. 1, 2002 (closing night)
by Siobhan

I just came back from the last PL show.  Overall, it was amazing, the whole cast was marvelous.  Before I get in to that, I saw Rima in the audience sitting with Mary Elizabeth Mastriano and a man.  Rima was sitting in row E or F and looked very pretty, very classy. She wore black cropped pants, with a black tank top and a grey pashmina type shawl and black sandals.  In person she is so pretty with a kind face. During intermission she was
laughing and smiling and looks so much better in person than any picture of her...I could see how AR would want to date such a classy woman.

The show itself was great, AR was funny and sang the song, he was in top form as was the rest of the cast.  During the curtain call, he and Lindsay were given flowers by a man who may have been the stage manager ?? Not sure.  I did take many pictures of the curtain call as well as by the stage door.

Waiting by the stage door I saw Carol Kane come out and it was a mob scene. I have never seen so many people waiting by the stage door before.  People were pushing and shoving...I just stood back and took pictures of AR, as many close-ups as I could get...

Other tidbits:  Jimmy the door man was in the audience and held up a sign to the cast that said "I love you and will miss you all.  Come back again soon".

AR and Lindsay came out together but after finishing signing things, etc. AR went back into the theatre.  It was then that I left to eat dinner...I will really miss seeing this show...
 

August 31, 2002
by Ann

I tried to recall all the details but half the stuff seems a blur to me right now, but I'm happy either way because I got to meet Alan Rickman (and smell him too! not intentionally, the scent just wafts around, hehe).

I went to see Private Lives today (Aug. 31st), 2:00 pm show. I had actually decided last night to go see it. I wanted to see it since it came overseas but never had the time to and since I don't have a credit card, I couldn't order tickets online either. Well, anyway, I went to see a play on Tuesday, "Metamorphoses" - excellent play as well, (paid for by my college) and my friends and I decided to hang around Times Square before the show started when we passed by 46th St and I saw the Richard Rogers Theater and I thought to myself, "I really want to see 'Private Lives'," but I knew none of the people I know would be up for seeing it because they didn't even know what it was about (They're also not Alan fans).  I couldn't go see it any other time than today and tomorrow - closing day, so I decided to see it today.  I went to the theater and there was this huge crowd waiting to go in.  I wanted to go inside to the ticket booth but I couldnt because I was a little intimidated.  Everyone there was a white person (nothing against white people, a lot of my friends are, it's just that I'm Asian and tiny compared to everyone) The theater finally let the people in and I saw the ticket booth on the side so I went in to buy a ticket. On the seating chart the seats all look good but when you get to the actual seats in the mezzanine, they're horrible. Well, that's where my seat was, and for the first Act, that's where I sat, not front mezz, but rear, all the way up there.  I had to stretch my neck out and sit forward just to see the actors not being blocked by the head of the guy in front of me.  During intermission, I asked one of the ushers if there were any other available seats because I seriously had trouble seeing anything.  He told me I could sit in the front mezzanine or go to the box. At first, I sat in the front mezzanine but it was to the side so I went to the box, which is again, off to the side, but I stayed there anyway because it was so close to the stage. Actually, it was right next to the stage and above the stage, even closer than the people in the front row seats.  Boy, was I happy! I enjoyed the rest of the show, and I was so close, I could smell the cologne/aftershave on Alan Rickman.  It smelled so nice, no idea what it was but it was really nice.  Anyway, when the show ended, the cast came out for two curtain calls. It was definitely one hell of a way to spend my afternoon. =)

When the show let out, a lot people had no idea that you could wait for the cast to come out but they joined the group.  At first there were ten people, then it grew larger and later on to the street.  I really wanted him to sign my HP (Harry Potter) DVD but I left it home because I couldn't find my sliver pen, so what's the point of having it signed if you can't see the signature?  So I left it home.  The first person to come out that I could recognize was Adam Godley.  I think Alex Belcourt walked past everyone so no one really stopped her (She didn't play the maid, someone named Carolyn McCormick did)  Anyway, when Adam Godley came up to me to sign my playbill, he looked at me sort of strangely.  I'm not sure why though.  I think it was the fact that I was the only Asian there waiting for autographs, and I was alone, plus the fact that I think he's around 6'2" or 6'3" and I'm only 5'1" so I proabably looked really tiny to him.  Then Alan Rickman came out (He was in all black: black button down shirt, black jeans, and black sneakers.) and started signing and taking photos with people.  There was this one girl who was shaking so badly when she asked him to sign her playbill and memorabilia, I think she started crying. On his way from the left to the right, someone asked for a photo but either his camera wasn't working or he wanted to get the entire stage door, his son, and Alan in the picture that Alan said "How long does it take to take a photograph?"  Of course, he said this as a joke, and then went on signing. (His voice is soooo low... very mellow, I say a bit therapeutic) He got to the woman next to me and she had a copy of a SS book.  (I'm assuming the SS Diaries book) She asked him if he'd read it and he said "Of course!" and laughed.  Then someone slided in front of me to get their playbill signed when I was going to hand mine to him.  Well, he signed theirs but he waited until that person moved out of my way so he could sign mine. (I was being blocked and I couldn't hand my playbill or pen to him and the person in front of me didn't seem to want to move, until she realized he was waiting for her to move)  Again, I could smell the cologne he was wearing and it was nice.  He took my playbill and pen but he too looked at me strange.  (I guess he was thinking the same thing that I thought Adam Godley thought, something along the lines of the fact that I'm a short Asian girl who came alone to see the play when everyone else was white and tall and had all sorts of things for him to sign and I only had a playbill.)  After he signed mine, all I could say was "Thank you"  with a big smile, but what I can remember is his fingers touched mine when he was handing my pen back to me.  (He was warm, heehee) I really wanted to ask him to personalize the playbill and for a handshake too, but my heart was racing and my jaw seemed to be glued shut, so I got neither. =(  I waited with about 15 others for Lindsay Duncan to come out but one of the crew members said she was in her dressing room and she wasn't going to come out to greet and meet fans, so with that statement, I left, as did most people other than a girl who had things for her to sign.  I still want Lindsay Duncan's autograph and if possible I'm gonna go back to the stage door tomorrow to get it, along with Alex Belcourt's and Emma Fielding's. (I know, sounds strange, huh? going back only for that? Well, I'm going to try to get the plastic off the photo of Alan Rickman as Snape, and get a pen that shows up so I can see his autograph on it)

Sorry, but I don't have photos. I didnt bring my camera with me.

July 13, 2002
by Betsy R.

My husband and I had talked about going to New York and seeing some plays for quite awhile.  After watching the Tonys (even with Alan losing), I decided this was the time to go.  We set out from the San Francisco Bay Area at 11pm on Friday night.  Got to the hotel just off Times Square at about 8:30am the next morning.  Spent a glorious New York Day going to the Carnegie Deli and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Back to the hotel for a quick nap before the performance of “Private Lives.”

I was nervous about being so close to AR.  I kept rubbing my hands together in a weird nervous gesture before the play started.  His performance was magnificent.  It had been way too long since I had seen a show and never had I seen Noel Coward done how I think Noel Coward would have preferred.  Alan was superb in character, dancing, fighting, singing, the whole nine yards.  Of course I dragged my husband to the stage door to wait for autographs.  There was a small crowd with a lot of women like me going gaga over the idea of actually meeting Alan Rickman.  My husband kept telling me to move forward but everyone was polite enough that everybody got a turn.  First the supporting players came out.  I did not get their autographs as I had so much adrenaline going I didn’t think I could be sensible.  Lindsay Duncan came out and was very nice signing for everyone.  Finally, Alan came out to a small round of applause.  He was very gracious and talked to everyone.  I took several pictures.  When he got to me, I handed him my Playbill and he signed it.  I told him I had just recently seen “Dogma” and enjoyed it very much and that it looked like it had been a lot of fun to make.  He and I spoke back and forth for two or three sentences – and I really don’t know what else I said!  I then asked him if I could have a photo with him and he said sure.  I turned around against the barrier and he stood just behind me while my husband manned the camera.  I then turned back to him and he looked right at me when I sincerely said “Thank you.”  I felt that, for those couple of seconds, I truly had his complete attention.  And then he moved on.  I was so proud that I had met him and not made a blabbering fool of myself!

August 24, 2002
by Betsy R.


                                                             Betsy unknowingly snapped
                                             the photo above of me with Alan *lol*

August 24, 2002 – So the more I thought about it, and the more I read on AR websites, I just had to go back – I couldn’t resist the opportunity of seeing Alan Rickman live again!  My saint of a husband said he would go and on Wednesday night we bought the tickets to leave Friday night.  Before buying the plane tickets, I went online to TicketMaster to make sure I could get tickets to “Private Lives” and they had some in the center of orchestra center in the third row.  How could I resist?!
Sitting next to me were two ladies who had separately traveled from far (Vienna, for one of them, I think) to see this performance.  I got to talking with the other one and encouraged her to wait at the stage door but she thought it might be “a little cheesy.”  I hoped she changed her mind.  After the performance I ended up at the mirror in the ladies room next to Bernadette Peters!  My husband and I got about the same spot at the barricade as we had the previous month.  We met two couples who had driven from Virginia and Maryland to see the performance.  The ladies and I stayed on the line while the men hung out in back.  It was nice talking to fellow AR fans about the various movies and such. I never thought about looking up on this website who else would be there that night.  Maybe next time!

At last Alan came out.  (You have read other details from everybody else who went that same night.)  He was very nice but looked tired.  Just up the rail from me was a man who kept handing him item after item to be signed and sign them all he did.  I do wonder how many of those are on EBay now.  Alan finally got to me.  I had the photo of me and him from the previous encounter and a silver pen.  He looked a little surprised to see himself but he signed it.  I then asked him to personalize it and gave him my name.  He did that, I thanked him profusely and he moved on.  This time I was too tongue-tied to say anything – I did have a whole speech about how I loved the show, etc.  Totally lost my nerve.  My husband did get another great photo of him with me just barely in the picture (he got the important part!).  I now have my autographed photo in a frame where I walk by it frequently.  I am so glad I was able to meet Alan Rickman and see him work his magic live.
 

August 24, 2002
by Linda B.

On Saturday, August 24, I took a train to NYC and walked to the Richard Rodgers Theater.  I arrived about 15 minutes before the play was over.  I waited for Tami and Carrie to come out.  When they did, we hugged, chatted and waited right by the door for Alan.  It was raining slightly so we took turns holding umbrellas.  We weren't waiting long when we saw Emma Fielding (Sybil) come out of the stage door.  She walked past us somewhat unnoticed.  A few minutes later, Alan came out and walked over to us.  I said "Hello" and he replied the same.  He looked to see what I had for him to sign.  I had brought with me my Sense and Sensibility script and Diaries book and had him sign the Col. Brandon picture.  He also signed a photo that was taken of him with my son Brian when we met him in June.  He did have a bit of trouble signing it as I neglected to keep it dry, but he did do it, and even went back over Brian's name and said, "I have to make this better."  He was referring to the "I" in Brians name.  As he was signing the photo, I told him that my son had written an article for our local paper about meeting him and would it be ok if I sent him a copy of the article once it was printed.  He said "Oh really, sure."  I also asked him if he could sign two Snape pictures for my other two sons.  I had written their names on sticky-notes so he could just look and sign.  He started to write on the sticky-note then realized he should write on the picture.  After signing, I said thanks and he moved on.  Carrie was next.  She had a fabulous encounter and also asked for a hug.  When she asked him he said "I have a bad cold, if you don’t mind catching it."  I am sure Carrie didn’t mind.  She did hug him. While I was standing next to them I was able to look at his gorgeous eyes,  they looked almost a caramel color.  He finished with her and moved onto Tami.  She also had a wonderful encounter, and asked him about the scrapbook that she and Carrie had given him in July, he said thank you, that he liked it very much and kept it in his dressing room.  He was so very nice.  After he was done with Tami, we walked over to the other side of the barricade to talk to Brenda, and Darlene.   Brenda got a nice photo with him and a bit of kidding and Darlene kissed him on the cheek.   As Alan was about to go into the theater, I told Jimmy (an employee of the theater whom we got to talk to quite a bit) that I had something that I wanted to give Alan.  (I decorated a small off-white stone.  I wrote the words KINDNESS on one side and JOY on the other.  I shined it up and put small flowery decals.) Jimmy told Alan about it, and as Alan was getting closer I said "I have a small gift for you, it is kind of corny but I hope you like it."  (I cant actually believe I said the word corny),  He said "OK" I handed him the stone and I said "I made this for you to thank you for the kindness that you show your fans."  He said, "Oh, its nice, thank you."  I then told him that I would be back the next day and hoped I could meet him again.  He said goodbye and went into the theater.  It was 5:00 then and still had an hour until our dinner reservation.  We saw Jimmy come out of the theater and we chatted with him for a long time.  He is so nice, he told us that Alan was great to him and the other workers, and that he saves everything that is given to him and reads and answers his own mail.  After a bit, we said goodbye to Brenda and Darlene and walked down the block to the restaurant.  At dinner, Carrie, Tami and I had a great time talking about the play and about him.  After dinner I had to leave to catch my train home.  We said our good-byes and I quickly walked to Penn Station.   I still had another exciting day ahead.

August 25, 2002
by Linda B.
 

Sunday, August 25, 2002

My mom and I took a late morning train and arrived in NYC at around 12:00.  Our lunch reservation wasn’t until 1:00 so we took our time walking down 7th Ave.   Since we were eating at Jo-Allens, we walked down 46th street and past the theater.  Jimmy was inside the stage door so we stopped and said hi.  Another worker, I think his name was Bob, was standing outside of the door so we chatted for a while.  While we were talking I saw a boy come out of the stage door.  He was looking up and down the street. Right then, I turned around and saw Lindsay coming to the stage door, I said "Hello, Miss Duncan" and asked her if she would mind posing for a picture with us after the show.  She said hello, and that she would take a picture with us.  After that, my mom and I walked down the block and had a great lunch at Joe-Allens.

It was such a beautiful day, not like the drizzle we had on Saturday.  We got to the theater at around 2:00 and waited on the steps in front of the posters.  There we met Siobhan, Brenda, Sheryl and Amanda.  We chatted until it was time to go into the theater.

I surprised my mom with second row center seats, they were amazing.  We sat near the aisle and were directly in front of Alan for all of Act 1. Melissa, who I had met in at the stage door in June, sat next to me.  I can't believe how close the seats were.  You could see the sweat, the tears and smell the smoke of the cigarettes.  Alan had told us the day before that he had a bad cold.  But he was so terrific.  This was my fourth time to the play, and I believed it to be the best performance ever.  Alan was so animated and so funny.  He got the most laughs and a warm round of applause when he came out.   The other actors were so good also; I hated to see it end.  Act 3 was hilarious. They added more to the ending.  The actors came out for their curtain call and of course, I was standing and clapping for them.

Melissa, my mom and I walked to the stage door, and Mindy was there saving me a spot near the door.  Thanks Mindy.  She came into the city to meet me at the stage door and to give Alan a beautiful sketch she had made of some of his characters.   I brought with me a Private Lives script that Elizabeth from England sent to me.  I hoped that I could get the entire cast to sign it.

It took a little while for the actors to come out.  I saw Adam Godley (Victor), Alex Belcourt (Louise), and Emma Fielding (Sybil) and they all signed my PL book. They were all so very nice.  A little while later, Lindsay and Alan came out together and Alan went to our side and Lindsay to the other.  When Alan got to our group, the first thing he said was "thank you for your patience".  The lady who was first in line, had photographs from her last stage door meeting with him, and he looked through them and signed a couple and then looked at few more and said "this one is terrible.. I am only signing two ok?" It was so cute.  aMindy was next, she gave him the sketch, and he said thank you.  I took her picture, and then he signed my mom's playbill.  He was moving right along down the line.  Some of the people were rather pushy and came up the middle and interrupted his rhythm.

Lindsay Duncan came over to us when she was done with the other side and I told her that we were the ones that talked to her when she came in, and she said that she remembered.  I told her about watching her on TV in Almost Strangers, and how wonderful I thought she was.  She was so nice and said thank you so modestly. She signed my book and chatted for bit and then she posed for a picture for us. She was wonderful.

 I took photos for some of the ladies and I kept joking that I was the professional photographer.  Just after I took a picture for someone with Alan, I said that maybe I should make a career out of this, I looked at Alan and he smiled. At that time I asked him to sign my book and I asked him if he was feeling better to which he replied "a little bit".  He seemed a bit rushed, but who can blame him.  I am sure that he wanted to just go home. There were some small children who came to meet him and he was so patient with them and bent down to hear what they were saying.   I walked over to the other side of the barricade where some of the other girls from the groups were standing. We chatted they got their items signed and pictures taken.  When he was almost ready to leave I asked, "Can the photographer get a picture with you?"  He replied "Ok come on, please let me go home", in a cute way.  My mom stood on one side and me on the other.  After the photo, we shook his hand, and said thank you.  He spoke to a few more people then got into his car and left.

We shared a car with Brenda back to the train station, and left the city.  We had such a wonderful day.  A day I will always remember.  Thanks for letting me share all of my experiences with you.


May 26, 2002
by Nina


There are moments I still get down right giddy, but for the most part I'm calm enough to be able to recap a truly glorious weekend in NYC.

Sun. afternoon, May 26, 2002, 2:30PM EDT.  My girlfriend Janice and I are outside the Richard Rodgers Theater waiting for the doors to open.  Curtain is scheduled to go up at 3:00.  I'm in a bit of culture shock.  My girlfriend, a native garbed in the City Uniform -- i.e. head-to-toe black -- warned me that in the City, especially for a matinee, folks show in jeans and sneakers.  Too accustomed to such dramatic bounty I suppose.  She was right.  *I*, of course, wore no such thing.  I'm Southern; we have standards to uphold.  I went for "pretty" casual.  And some color, a jacket that shimmers between black and wine.  At last they let us in. I'm clutching my ticket like a sacred seal, praying he's not sick, that he doesn't have laryngitis, that he hasn't figured out some moon-eyed Southern woman is in the audience and has gone running out the back.  Actually, I'm the sane one.  I have four friends and fellow Rickmaniacs waiting back home; one of whom has sent with me a lapel button of hers so that something of her could be near him.  I have dutifully carried it with me.  She double-dog-dared me to wear it, but I chose not to. Not because I'm chicken, but because there was no way in hell I was piercing my jacket fabric.

We make our way up to the rear mezzanine, a fancy phrase for upper balcony.  The Rodgers is an old building.  No elevators.  No escalators. No concept of the condition called vertigo.  As my friend points out, this IS New York.  They don't build out; they build up.  I can understand up.  I don't understand near sheer-faced vertical.  You don't need IMAX to feel like you're falling.  Or a stairmaster to get your workout.  I pause briefly on the first landing before facing the last two flights.  My friend isn't such a wuss.  New Yorkers walk everywhere; she's been in dance comps; she has the stamina of a thoroughbred.  An usher calls out, "C'mon ladies, show us what you're made of."  I reply, "Not much."  But I made it up those stairs with visions of Rickman dancing in my light head.  We settle in on the first row, dead center of the stage.  I fuss over the bouquet of a mum-related russet n' gold flower I bought for him, sending up another quick prayer that I get to give it to him.  The flowers have held up well seeing as they're not in water.  The main reason I chose something mum-ish.  Hardy.  Kind but not overly familiar.  Masculine.  Perfect.  People around us get settled.  The lights dim.  The curtain rises….

For the next 2 1/2 hours we are transported to 1930's Europe, watching the inescapable love of Elyot and Amanda in all its ugliness, beauty, sadness and hope, wrapped in a quilt of Wilde-esque wit and aching poignancy.  PRIVATE LIVES is smart, and all the actors -- all the London West End originals -- pull every layer of humanness out of their respective characters.  But of course my mental light shone on Rickman. As wonderful as he is on film, truly dissolving physically and emotionally into his characters, he is that much more amazing to watch live.  We laughed, we gasped.  He's right; the laughter does loosen up as the play goes on, from polite chuckles to belly rumblers.  Before we know it, the second curtain call has been given and we're milling out of the theater.  Well, the men are milling out.  The women begin that eternal ritual of our sex: queuing for the loo.  Which is down yet another flight of stairs.

Another thing about New Yorkers.  They don't wait around.  They hit it n' get it.  The line to the powder room has barely disappeared when a voice calls out, "The theater is closing ladies."  Sympathies to anyone with a lazy bladder.  Out into the evening air we go at last.  I cradle my precious bouquet and gingerly attach the unique crowning glory: a small, thin magnet I made as a nod to Rickman's most wondrous portrayal of Prof. Severus Snape.  There are about 60 people on either side of the barricaded path from stage door to waiting cars.  I'm on the right side of the door, about three people back from the barricade.  So I did what any semi-smart woman would in this situation.  I made friends with the women in front of me.  Turns out two of them, the ones next to the barricade, are librarians from Dayton, OH.  I'm a librarian from Hamilton, OH.  Thank God for the sisterhood.  They'll look out for me, make sure I get up to get an autograph and to give him my flowers.  The two women in between are just as nice.  We are all also fans of Snape.  Needless to say, we had a good time waiting.

The first one out the stage door is Ms. Duncan at 5:50PM, or 20 minutes PC (post-curtain). She looks a bit startled to see us all there. Something I learned from one of the middle-row gals (who was trying to decide between getting her Snape doll or her picture of Rickman as Nottingham in Prince Of Thieves signed) is that people don't wait by the stage door in London.  They actually post signs asking folks not to.  She ignored them.  It was another Rickman play.  A stagehand saw her and said, "You must be American."  She said, "Yes I am," and got to wait for him anyway.  Alone.  Something to which we should all aspire.

Ms. Duncan is all graciousness, and seems genuinely flattered by our cheers of "Brava."  She signs briefly before leaving.  The crowd is patient.  The actors who stop to sign will make the U-curve from one side to the other.  There is no shoving, no frantic waving of playbills.  People pass up programs of those in the back so they can at least get an autograph.

At the 35-40 minute mark, the two co-stars come out to a warm applause.  They do not stop.  They know who the mostly-female crowd is waiting for.

One hour.  The door opens.  Cheers erupt from the crowd.  No one has left and we are now rewarded.  He too seems somewhat surprised we're still there, and yet also genuinely pleased.  I think his hour is more than an attempt at crowd avoidance.  He's in comfy clothes.  He looks refreshed, as though he's had a cuppa or two and a nice conversation backstage, perhaps about how the day's performance went.  We wait for him to make his way to our side.  I know he'll sign for 5-10 minutes at most, so I'm anxious to grab my few moments and make the most of them.  My girlfriend is playing photographer.  I was admonished to bring back pictures.  The Foursome again.  He comes to our side.  He's soft spoken, his eyes often downcast, but he's patient, even with the more effusive.  He poses for pictures, signs, hands back playbills to the left of me, then in front of me….

Then past me.  Oh no.  The crowd has shifted.  I’m at the front now, but not in good position.  They don't backtrack.  That's how they get to their cars in 5-10 minutes.  My librarian cohorts are trying to let others up and aren't in a position to help.  And then, blessed event.  A Sharpie pen gets separated from its owner.  Rickman's standing there, immediately to my right, ready to give the pen back, realizes there's no one there to give it to, and freezes like an adorably confused deer in headlights.  This isn't how it's supposed to work.  Pen, paper, sign, hand back paper, hand back pen.  That's the flow, and the flow's been interrupted. My brain screams "NOW."

"Hello." He turns towards my voice and outstretched, held-up program and looks honestly relieved.  The flow has been restored.  I managed to say that the play was wonderful.  He thanked me and handed me back my program.  I took the pen (the owner quickly retrieved it).  I handed him the bouquet and received my second softly spoken word of gratitude.  Now I was the deer in headlights.  By then one of the librarians had come back.  She must've realized my mesmerized state (no allusion intended), for she called out, "Don't forget to show him the card (i.e. magnet)."  Yes, I had forgotten.  He heard her too and turned the bouquet around.  He smiled upon seeing the Slytherin crest, then looked puzzled.  I knew he'd seen the motto; I watched his lips --glorious sight-- mouth the words in confusion.  As any proper school motto should be, it was in Latin (thank God for library pages in high school).  I leaned in, smiled, and unrolled my best lusty Southern drawl.

"It says 'We make evil look good'."

A grin spread across his face as this sweet, deep chuckle rolled up from his gut, punctuated by one silky word: "Yes."  I received my third thanks, which had to waft up to me on cloud nine.  I forgot to tell him it was a magnet.  I can only hope he got to figure it out.  It doesn't matter much to me now.  I have that chuckle.

I hung around to take pictures for the Snape-doll girl.  She got the doll signed.  And bold thing that she is, she asked him for a hug and got one.  I couldn't be jealous.  He was still holding my bouquet, not hanging by his side in one hand, but cradled in front of him, both his hands clasped around it.  I had my camera back and made sure I got that image preserved on film.  I was being held by proxy, and that beat a quick hug any day.  By then, we were all slap happy, giggling like school girls.  I even got a hug of thanks from the Snape-doll girl. "Get some of whatever of him rubbed off on me."

Okay, so maybe we are nuts.  But if this is what nuts gets you, it's a damn good thing to be.
 

November 16, 2001 (London)
by Gaby

I had the great luck to see PL three times in London, this is the story about my first (and most impressíve meeting with Alan).

Ok, I was in London, the day Harry Potter came to the cinemas.  It was Friday the 16th of November. There were only 4 People at the stage door in London.
I was there with a friend,Tom, and the only thing I wanted to see was, if he really came out through the Stage door, I did not believed it, cause the stage door from the Albery was in little alley, only for pedestrians.  No chance for cars, and there was no secrurity or something like that.

So Tom and I stood there, and I was so nervous.  And then HE came out, it was
the first time that I saw him in person... I was trembling... the other girls went to him, and he signed playbills, and made pictures, and Tom whispered to me: "go, go, go"... ok, but the only thing I had to sign, was his biography, because I
bought it a few hours earlier.  So I went to him, and he looked at the biography,
and said to me, with his deep voice:

"I do not sign this horrible book"...

I was shocked, blamed and my face turned into deep red.  I think I did not make a very happy expression.  Or intelligent... *that was the moment, Tom made this wonderful picture* Alan said, that he will sign anything else, if I have a piece of paper, or something like that.  But the only thing I had was a ticket for the tube.  And then Tom ran away... he was running to the Theatre to buy me a program, but at that moment, I didn´t know this.. I only saw him running away.  The whole situation was so embarassing for me.  I whispered something like: "I will throw it away.." Unable to look in his face, I stared on his shoes, (brown by the way)... But Alan, smiled, the situation, and that it was so embarassing for me, was apparently very amusing for him, he said:  "Oh, It´s really a horrible book, it´s full of lies."  And smiled.  Than he asked me, what´s my name, where I´m from, what I´m doing in London... and so on.. the whole time we were still standing in front of the stage door, alone.  I answered his questions, and prayed the whole time, that Tom will be back in a few seconds.  Then Alan asked me If I liked the play, and I had to confess that I had a ticket for Saturday, and that I didn´t see the play.  He said: "Oh, I hope you will like it", or something like that.  And at this moment Tom came back, Alan signed my program, and we made another picture.  And when we walked to the next alley, Alan waved and stepped into a restaurant (J.Sheeky), and Tom and I went to the tube station.  It was that best and worst evening of my life.  I blamed myself, even if he laughed about it, but I had a few minutes with him alone... I know it´s silly, but I was so happy..

4 weeks later I visited the stage door again, and Alan remembered me.. he said,
"Oh, you have been here before, nice to meet you again."  He is so cute, and wonderful and charming.. and... I would do anything to see him again...

Ok, that´s the shameful story from my first visit at the Stage door.

June 28, 2002
by April

My friend (not an Alan fan) and I returned from our weekend in N.Y. yesterday and I am still on Cloud 9!  We arrived in the city Friday afternoon.  Early that             evening, we walked past the Richard Rodgers Theater.  A couple of  theater employees were out by the now famous stage door. We struck up conversation with them, found out that Alan was inside already preparing for Friday night's show.  Our
tickets were for the Saturday evening performance (6/29). They suggested that we stop back after 10:30 p.m. for photos/autographs, which we did. When we got there, the play was just ending. We were first in line outside the door.  I had only my When Love Speaks CD for him to sign.  He came out rather quickly.  There was quite a large group at the stage door at this point.  Alan looked very tired, seemed to be forcing himself to smile, but he looked handsome nonetheless.  I was the first one to speak to him.  I shook hands with him before asking him to autograph my CD.  While he signed, I told him that we would be seeing the play the following night.  He said "I hope you enjoy it," while looking me right in the eye, before moving on.  I was too nervous to ask for a photo with him, but later, my friend spoke up for me and took a great picture with my digital camera.  As we were leaving the area, one of  the theater employees offered to try to get us backstage the following night.

Well...on Saturday night, we said hello to our new friend, Steve, the stagehand, before entering the theater.  We sat in row O, center stage, which to my delight, was close enough to see the actors' facial expressions.  We had small binoculars with us for an even closer view. The play was wonderful! It is so funny.  Alan looks
drop-dead-gorgeous in his tux at the beginning.  My friend, who is not a fan of Alan's, loved it also.  The cast got a standing ovation at the end.  We went directly to the stage door.  To my amazement, Steve and Jimmy (who may be the backstage manager) approached us and invited us to come back stage.  I don't think my heart has ever pounded so hard in my life!  We got to go on stage, and have photos of ourselves on the set.  We sat on the same gold couch that Alan
sits on in his silk pajamas in Act 2!  I still cannot believe it, and the best part is yet to come.  We were told that Alan had friends from London visiting with him in his dressing room.  The other actors began coming out while we were on the stage.  We got autographs and chatted about how much we enjoyed the show.  At that point, we were ushered over to the door, where we waited just inside the stage door for Alan and Lindsay.  An older couple left just before they did--presumably Alan's friends from London.  Lindsay and Alan came out together.  We talked with them together for a minute--again, about how wonderful the play had been, and we got Lindsay's autograph.  She is a beautiful woman, and was very friendly.  She went outside, and Alan stayed inside with us for a few more minutes, signing things and posing for photos.  My friend had asked him to sign a Snape card as           Professor Snape.  He joked, "What am I, a cartoon character?"  He didn't seem angry at the request, but would only sign his own name and not Snape.  He signed ny son's COS book for him, and ended up scribbling it out a couple times before getting my son's name right, and of course signed our playbills.  I told him how much we enjoy the HP books and the movie, and asked if he would be doing all 7 movies.  He answered, "No." (I'm not sure what that means!)  At this point,
he began heading toward the door.  Of course I didn't want our encounter to end, and as he was leaving, I asked if we could buy him a drink after he was through.  I still cannot believe the words came out of my mouth!  He politely said that he had already accepted a dinner invitation from friends visiting from London, and he was out the door.  The theater employees were shaking their heads at me, as if I shouldn't have said that.  I probably shouldn't have, but I had several glasses of wine leading up the play (as well as one during intermission) b/c it was the only way I could muster enough courage to actually speak to the man.  We exited through the stage door.  Alan was meeting with the other fans.  I asked him if I had offended him by offering to buy him a drink. He said in that wonderful voice
of his, "No, not at all."  I plan to send a Thank You card to the theater employees who were so kind to us, as well as one to Alan.  I still can't believe our luck!  When I have the photos downloaded, I will post them.  I think some of them are quite good.  I know a lot of you will be going to PL this summer.  I hope your experience is as wonderful as mine!

June 28, 2002
by E.B.

My Alan Rickman Encounter:

I attended the performance of Private Lives on Friday June 28th, which happened to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of Richard Rogers birth! I had gotten my tickets a month or so earlier and my tickets were in row P, which was a good place to sit as it is an elevated section of the Orchestra
and even though the performances aren't miked (except the singing at the piano) it was possible to hear everything perfectly. I had never seen Private Lives before, but I had an idea of what to expect from Noel Coward. It was a thrilling experience.... the show is very funny and poignant and I think I liked the 2nd Act the best, since it was the closest the characters got to just being themselves and not performing for anyone; they were played as real people with real emotions, not just silly, empty play things in a light comedy. The chemistry on stage between Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan was delightful. It must be tremendously hard work to make the comedy seem fresh and new every night, but it feels as if they are all enjoying themselves very much and that it isn't hard work at all..... it's like they are having as much fun as the audience! If I can, I will definitely try to come back to NYC to see it again before the show's run is over!

When the show was over Friday night, about 40 fans lined up for autographs outside on 46th Street by the stage door. Everyone was very excited and I met quite a few fans of this web site! We all tried to guess which coffee shop it was! (No one really knew.) But after only 15 minutes wait, the stars came out to sign autographs. Lindsay Duncan was every bit as patient and gracious as Alan Rickman and signed for anyone who asked and also posed for pictures. It was a lot of fun to watch and see what people were getting signed..... besides the Playbill, many people had brought books and videos for Alan to autograph. I had brought along the cover to the Harry Potter Dvd. If you have it, you know that the only place to find Snape on there is UNDER the plastic where the first dvd goes in the sleeve. The night before the show I carefully removed the plastic by gently peeling it up and using a penknife to remove the glue without harming the cardboard underneath. With patience it can be done! I then spent about an hour on Friday trying to find a felt pen with silver ink for him to use to sign with.... a sharpie would have been too dark as the cover is a dark blue. If you need a pen, the place to go is the corner PHOTO store right NEXT DOOR at the Marriott Marquis! They had the silver ink pens and one hour film developing!

When it was my turn for an autograph I held the cover out to Alan and handed him the pen, and then my mind is a blank! I have no idea what I said and I have no idea what he said to me in return, but we made eye contact and spoke briefly and I know I thanked him for doing the Harry Potter movies. (He brings so much to the character of Snape.... his performance in the movie was far and away the most fun for me as I NEVER had imagined Snape as being the least bit sexy!) Alan signed the cover with a flourish and it turned out beautifully. I thanked him and he made his way down the line and patiently signed and greeted everyone and spoke to each person individually, if even for a few brief moments, it was wonderful to see everyone enjoying their chance to meet him.

Simon Callow, I am pretty sure it was him, came by very quickly and was gone before I could get a picture, but he stopped by to chat with Alan and after a minute or two he walked up the block. A few people tried to get his autograph but he didn't want to disrupt the autograph session. After
several more minutes everyone had their autographs and Alan got into his car.

I was able to stop by the stage door again on Saturday and Sunday during my stay in NYC, we saw some other shows and were staying nearby so I was able to stop by again at autograph time for Private Lives. Each day he came out and signed for everyone, took pictures and left no one disappointed. The crowd on Sunday afternoon was the smallest, less than 20 people, and he spent a little bit longer with everyone. He has two shows on Saturday, which must be exhausting and you would understand if he didn't want to come out and sign autographs, but he was there graciously spending time with the fans. It is such a wonderful gift he gives his fans to be so generous, I have the highest respect and admiration for him. A true gentleman, in every sense of the word.

June 22, 2002
by Danielle

I attended the Saturday evening performance of PRIVATE LIVES on 22 June 2002.  The play was absolutely wonderful.  I was, of course, fully expecting it to be so, but it was far more impressive than I could have ever imagined.  I sat in the first row, off to the left.  PRIVATE LIVES was, by far, the best play I have seen.  Yes, yes, I know, there is an incredible bias here, but hey,  it’s justified.

After the play ended, I don’t recall “running” to the stage door, but I must have been moving rather expediently, for I was able to snatch a spot right by the door.  Shortly thereafter, I was greeted by Siobhan and Maggie (fellow Alan Rickman fans that I found on the Attendance List at www.rickmanistareview.com).  We waited about an hour for the actors to come out.  Once they did, I attempted to snap some
photographs, only to realise that my blasted camera wasn’t working.  Trying to fix it, I missed getting autographs from the three supporting actors.  Later, Lindsay Duncan came around again and I asked her to sign my Playbill, which she happily did.  I expressed my admiration of her performance.

As time went on, Siobhan and Maggie thought it be best to migrate over to a more open area for photos and autographs.  Maggie went first, then Siobhan.  Finally, it was my turn!

I walked up to Alan and extended my hand.  As he shook it, I told him that his performance was veritably brilliant and that I have an extremely high regard for his acting.  He replied with a sincere and charming “Thank you”, and, as he said those two words, his eyes lit up in the most fantastic way.  They twinkled so as to satisfy anything and everything that I could ever want in a man.  His lucid coruscation took
my mind off of all else, gratifying everything that I could possibly have wanted.

After this experience of seemingly life-fulfilling glee, I was somehow able to ask him to sign a photograph and personalise it.  I then asked him to sign my Playbill, which he did.  After this, he posed for a picture.  My Alan Rickman encounter concluded with me thanking him and looking into his eyes one last time.  The sparkle was still there.

My experience meeting Alan Rickman has opened my eyes to the reality of life and love.  I realise that Mr. Rickman is very much involved and in love with Rima Horton, but the fact that he is gives me so much hope.  I want someone with that kind of perpetual sparkle.  The kind of presence that makes a love and relationship last, one that certainly has its share of flippancy and bickering…maybe even all-out fights, but always has that magic click.  (Okay, I liked the play, what can I say?)
Until such time that I do finally meet my special someone, I will have to suffice with my memory of Alan Rickman.  That memory gives me lasting hope of love in the adventure that is life.  Thank you, Alan Rickman.
 



June 15, 2002
by Linda B.

My second stage door story, by Linda:


 

I had the pleasure of meeting Alan Rickman again on June 15, 2002.  I attended the matinee performance that day with my 11-year-old son, Brian.  We got to the theater about an hour before the show, and I showed Brian the stage door.  As we were turning to go to the main doors, I nearly bumped into Adam Godley, the actor that plays "Victor".  I said, "Oh.. Hello Adam.  Oh, I mean Mr. Godley."  He said, "You can call me Adam, are you coming to the show?"  I said, "Yes, and this is actually my third time, and now I have brought my son."  He then said "That's good," and then he looked at Brian and said, "I hope that you enjoy it."  Brian said "Thanks, and I am sure I will."

We waited inside the lobby for about 20 minutes and met a nice couple from Connecticut, and chatted with them for a little while.  When they let us in, we found our seats.  They were second row on the left side.  I thought that they may have been third row, but to be one row closer was fabulous.

The theater began to fill and there was excitement in the air.  The play began at approx. 3:05, and it was simply brilliant, once again.  I didn't notice much difference in the play, from the previous times, but the audience definitely laughed a lot harder at this performance.

Our seats were so close to the stage, I could smell the smoke from the cigarettes, and could actually see the tears on the face of Ms. Duncan when they embraced in Act 1.  It was wonderful to see every raised eyebrow and every expression on AR's face, so close.  The way our seats were, we could only see his feet on the sofa in the beginning of Act 2.  The way that they danced was heavenly, so light on their feet as if they were on air.  The fight scene was amusing (if a fight can be amusing) and Act 3 was simply hilarious.  One could truly feel the passion and love that "Elyot and Amanda" shared, but also feel their pain.  From what I have heard from interviews of the two, this is exactly how Mr. Rickman and Ms. Duncan have approached their roles.

Once the play was over, I stood up when Alan came out for a bow and I looked around and almost everyone in the orchestra section was standing also.   Brian and I made our way out to the stage door and stood behind the barricade that was to the right of the door.  We were first in line, and there were at least 10 people on the right side of the barricade.  Most of the people stood to the left of the door.

I was standing getting my things ready, when I met Melissa.   She came to meet me at the stage door, and to see Alan of course.  Although we had never met, I felt like we were friends even before that day. It was wonderful to meet her.  She gave me a big hug and we chatted for a while.  After that, I looked up and I saw a family walking toward the stage door.  It was Sigourney Weaver with her husband and daughter.  She walked in quickly.  About five minutes later she walked quickly out.  I had brought with me the cover to the Galaxy Quest video, but couldn't summon the nerve to ask her to sign it.   I spoke with someone later who sat near her at the show.  We also saw Ben Stiller's parents Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.   Not sure if they saw the play but I did see them walk near the stage door area and get into a limo.

Right after that I spotted Tammi.  Yes, the owner of Alan Rickman: THE VOICE.  It was great to finally meet her.  So dedicated to her site, and such a wonderful person.  We were only speaking for a few moments then Alan came out of the stage door. He was wearing a black T-shirt and black jeans. All of us were just staring as he signed for the two ladies next to us, and I offered to take a picture and mail it to them.

He was finished with them and then came  to Brian.  He said hello to Brian and asked him what he had there for him to sign.  Brian was nervous and was trying to find the words; I chimed in and said. "Hi, I met you about a month ago and you signed a photo/card for my boys."  He looked at me and said, "Ah, yes I remember, how are you?" I said "Fine thanks, I brought Brian with me this time and he has this for you".  Brian handed him a homemade thank you card that he and his brothers had made.  (After my sons saw the photo/card that Alan had signed the time before, they asked me to give him a thank you the next time I went.)  Bringing Brian was a last minute decision, so it was wonderful watching Brian actually hand the card to him.  Alan looked at it and said "Is this for me?" and Brian said, "Yes".  Alan then said, "This is nice, thank you". (We had glued the same picture that he had signed to the thank you) he looked at the picture then said to Brian " You're in this pictureà. Ah, here you are"  (he was pointing to my youngest son Andrew), I giggled for I knew he was joking with him.  Brian wasn't so sure, he said "no, here", pointing to his picture.  Alan said "Oh, right", we all laughed a little.  Brian handed him the GQ video cover to sign and Alan said, "Did you get to see Sigourney? she was here"  I said "We did see her, but she was too quick".  He took the video cover and said to Brian, "Is this just for you or is it for all of you?"  Brian said, "All of us, please".  He said "What are their names?.. Oh wait, I can find them on this", he started to open the thank you, and I said "Brian, please tell him the names, don't make him work so hard".  But it was too late; he took the names off the thank you and handed the cover back to Brian.  He then signed a picture of Snape, then I said, (I can't actually believe that I did) "Why did they take that one potions scene out, it was so good".  Alan didn't answer, so I said, "I know that you have nothing to do with it, but I thought I would tell you that the scene was great."  I then gave him the "When Love Speaks" CD for him to sign, which he did.  He did not comment on the CD, which surprised me, from what I have heard, he loves to see it.  He also signed a photo of him and me that was taken when I met him in May.  I said thanks and it was great to see him again, he said "OK, its nice to see you" and he was on to the next person.  The next person was Tammi.  She had some things for him to sign; she looked so excited to be seeing him in person.

A great girl named Amanda was next.  She too was so excited about meeting him.   I watched as he signed and took photos with everyone who wanted.   Melissa, Tammi, her friend Linda, Brian and I were chatting about him and still watching.

About halfway through the crowd, I remembered that I had not taken a picture of Brian and AR, so when there was a slight pause, Brian asked very politely "Mr. Rickman, can my mom take a picture of you and I?" Alan said, "Sure". I snapped the picture and Brian said "Thanks."  The picture turned out great..  I am sure that Brian will always treasure it.  I walked around to other side of the stage door.  Still watching him being so patient, so sincere.  I had to keep near him and just take everything in.

He stayed and signed for everyone and was outside for about 20 min. When it looked like he was almost finished, I called for Brian to come over.  I told Brian that he was going to go into the theater, and would he like to shake his hand.  He said yes, so when Alan available, Brian asked "Mr. Rickman, may I shake your hand?"  Alan said "Sure, it was nice meeting you".  Brian said "Nice to meet you too", as they shook hands.

As he was finishing up, I walked over to him again, and said, "I have heard that you received the red journal", he looked a little puzzled and I continued, "the one with the gold symbols on it". (He looks directly at you when you are speaking)  He said "Yes, thank you for that, it is nice" I said "Well, I wasn't the one who did it, but I did write in it".  Then I said, "I have also written you a letter", he said, "Oh, I am sure that its in there in the pile".(pointing to the theater). I then said (as I touched his arm) "I saw you on the Charlie Rose Show and I have to tell you that the line that you said about the key really touched me".  He said " I'm glad, thank you and it was nice to see you again  goodbye.".

He signed a few more things then he went inside.  As I was standing there I was thinking that maybe I was too bold.  That maybe I should have stepped back and just watched.  And I was hoping that I didn't look foolish.

Melissa, Tammi, Linda, Brian and I chatted a little more and then we said goodbye to Tammi and Linda.

Brian, Melissa and I walked to the Double Tree Hotel to meet the Guestbook gang.  We stayed there for about 30 minutes and talked to such nice people.  I don't think that I can remember everyone's name.  But it was wonderful hearing about Suzannes meeting with him.  We said our goodbyes and then we walked to Penn Station to catch our train.  It was such a wonderful day, we got to see the play, we got to meet Alan, we got to meet such great people, but most of all I got to spend a memorable day with my son.

Thanks for reading this, it was truly a magical day.



June 11, 2002
by "Coffee Shop Kat"
(Ed. Note:  Although this is not technically a "close encounter," I thought you all would be interested in this update about AR and the NY coffee shop saga).

Coffee Shop Update: The Good, The Bad, and The Idiot Girl

Hi! I thought you might be interested in a coffee shop update, although it's kind of second hand through my friend. I haven't been in more than twice in the past few weeks (started a new part-time job). Then my friend had
to change her schedule to fill in for the evening Assistant Manager while he was on vacation, so she didn't see Alan either, for a while. But one of the other girls who works there (who has a featured role in this story) told her that he'd come in a few times and said he'd been looking really      tired lately. Well I guess so!

Anyway, my friend's schedule went back to normal on Monday, so naturally she was anxious to see if he would come in that day, since it was the day after the Tonys and she wanted to see how he seemed. He didn't come in on Monday at all.

Oh-my friend and I had been saying how great it was that he's been coming in there for so long, and no one has ever bothered him. None of the other people who work there recognized who he was, and the customers
usually just go about their own business. But with all the usual Tony nominee publicity, or maybe since she finally took a good look at him, this one employee (the girl I mentioned above) has been talking and talking about him lately.

My friend worked with her on Monday, and this girl kept saying that when he came in, she was going to tell him how she thought he'd been robbed of the Tony for Best Actor. My friend kept telling her that that wasn't a good
idea, that he's a private kind of person, that maybe he was upset about it, just anything she could think of to persuade this girl not to say that to him.

She admitted selfish motives to me later, and I agreed with her. I hope you all don't think I'm a mean person now!  We both think that one reason he comes in there is because he's treated just like a regular guy, not like some big celebrity. And of course, we want him to keep coming there, until Private Lives closes and they have to leave NY. And maybe, if he always has good experiences, he'll remember the place if he comes back again. I know that's kind of selfish on our parts.

By Tuesday the girl had quieted down about all that, and my friend thought that maybe her advice had sunk in.  Well he usually comes in anywhere between 11:00am and 1:30ish or 2:00pm. On Tuesday he came in at 7:30am, and my friend said they were pretty busy, so she was
trying to hurry up and make all these drinks for people.  She didn't see him come in (there really wouldn't have been anything for her to do about it anyway).

He was last in line after about six people, and the Idiot Girl (I'm going to call her this from now on, ok?) was at the register. She helped all the people in front of him, and my friend and another worker were making their drinks. So Idiot Girl starts. She just goes off. My friend was so upset/embarrassed that she missed the very beginning, so she doesn't know exactly how I.G. started talking to him or brought up the topic of the Tonys.  And those espresso machines are loud! But, rest assured, I.G. is even louder!

She tells him how he should have gotten that Tony for Best Actor, she knows he deserved it more than "that other guy," even though she hasn't seen the play yet.   Oh, but she's seen so many of his movies that she
KNOWS he should have gotten it. And stuff like that makes her sooo angry, and boy, he must be angry too.  And the whole time, poor Alan is just standing there, patiently waiting for her to finish up and to get his coffee.

My friend hurried up to finish these two drinks, turned around and handed them to the people waiting for them, and saw how Alan was reacting to I.G.

He was just standing there, hands kind of crossed over his abdomen, paper under his arm, wearing this really, really patient and KIND smile. Even after having to listen to all that crap! And I.G. was speaking so loud that the customers standing there with him, as well as the ones seated at the nearby tables, were paying attention.  Some people were whispering to each other. (Must have been saying, Oh, it's that guy from . . .)

My friend felt sooo bad for him that she did something she knew she shouldn't do when they were so busy (a whole bunch of new people had just come in).  She sent I.G. into the supply room to get a box of those wooden coffee stir things and to find her supply order clipboard that she said she thought she'd left back there.  She hadn't.  It was in the manager's office, which was locked.

I.G. looked really PO'd, but she went anyway. Some of the new customers looked angry that they were going to have to wait even longer for their drinks.

But Alan looked like he'd been relieved of a three ton weight. My friend made his coffee then, so he could leave, and she apologized. He said that it was "not a problem, not at all" and gave her a "gorgeous, heart-stopping smile."  Then he left.

I.G. was gone for another few minutes. She reappeared with the box of coffee stirs, and no clipboard. (Of course!) When she saw that Alan was gone, she said, "You did that ON PURPOSE!" When my friend said that
she did, I.G. replied with her customary exclaimation: "F****** New Yorkers!" (This girl is from somewhere on the West Coast, don't know where--she goes to NYU too, but thank God I never see her there.) But saying something like that in the presence of a bunch of New Yorkers, especially after September 11, will earn you a fair amount of contempt. She left early, saying she was getting a migraine.

I just hope she didn't cause a headache for Alan!

I know that this has been long, but you like to read about them so I tried to remember all the good details.

~Kat


May 4, 2002
by Maggie

I saw Private Lives this Saturday, May 4th. We arrived late at the theatre - well, late for me at least - 10 minutes before curtain time...but still sat around for an extra 10-15 minutes before the house lights dimmed. Jackie, who drove the getaway car, kept complaining about all the "birds" she kept hearing. She thought it was something wrong with the sound system. I had to explain to her that Act I is supposed to be set at the shore.

Our seats - looked pretty good on the seating plan. Were almost horrible in real life. I always picture the Mezzanine behind the Orchestra area but still on the same level. We were sitting in nosebleed heaven, almost in the chandelier! The only good thing was that we were in the first row so I had no one obstructing my view.
(Plan to get in shape if you have to hike up to the Mezzanine. I almost needed oxygen by the time I got to my seat. Of course, the rest rooms are then down 4 flights of stairs, through the Lobby and down another flight of stairs. Bring some coins and/or a dollar bill for the theatre ladies who keep the rest area clean. Many people overlooked them, and they will remember this the next time you need some toilet paper. ;-) )

Because I was so high up, I couldn't see totally the expressions on the actor's faces. I knew at times Alan was doing something with his face...I just couldn't tell what. And, maybe it was because we were so high up, but every once in awhile, Lindsay's voice petered out. There were times I simply just could not make out what she was saying.  Everyone in the Orchestra level was laughing his or her asses off. Us, in the
Mezzanine were just saying 'Huh'?? This happened with Alan too, but no where near
as much as it did with Lindsay.

I felt bad for Emma. She came out to total dead silence. You could hear a pin drop in the theatre. Alan comes out to rousing applause. Adam came out to nothing; Lindsay received polite applause, but nothing like the welcome Alan got.

Act II, although it started out good, seemed to drag after a bit. Note: when Alan plays the piano, do not applaud when you think he is done - he's not. Lindsay has to cross over to him and sit down next to him and then the song just fades into a kiss, leaving no room for applause. They do kiss a lot in Act II, which leads the female audience into over-active imaginations and perhaps a few damp panties.

After the show: A barricade was set up on the left-hand side of the stage door. Nothing was on the right side. We dutifully lined up behind the barricade; I finally met Steph (hey Steph - hope I didn't get you in trouble with your Mom! Remind her that it was I who loaned her my Titanic floaty pen!!) and waited. And waited. And waited.  Eventually, another barricade was moved over to the right-hand side. People kept bopping in & out of that door, it drove us all nuts! Actually, it only took Alan 30 minutes to come outside. Greeted with applause that he shyly accepted.

Next thing I know, women rushed up the center aisle of the barricade. Steph and I and many other people politely waited behind the barricade because that is what we
thought we were supposed to do. Alan patiently signed everyone's Playbill (or photo or book or whatever they had). He moved methodically from center to left to right. I was standing with this guy who didn't have a pen, loaned him my purple Sharpie. I don't know if he's on any of these lists. We kept mentally sending messages to Alan to turn to his right to where we were waiting!

Eventually, I got my Playbills signed. I wrote down everyone's names who needed
autographs on Post-it notes attached to the front cover, so he would know that they
were going to go to real people and not to eBay. Still, the first two Alan just signed his name; by the third autograph I finally found my voice to ask if he could personalize the autographs.

If you talk to Alan, he will talk back to you. But, there isn't much time for conversation as he quickly moved on to the next person so every one has their fill. One woman near me screamed out that he was the sexiest man on the planet. He smiled shyly and said thanks. Another woman told him that if he's ever single to come look her up. Again, he said thanks, but he was quite spoken for already. And he said this a bit louder, to emphasize that fact. But still smiling and accepting it as a compliment.

I was driving myself nuts with planning for this day. Which pen to use, what to wear, what to say? But it was as easy as rolling off a log, meeting him and talking. He just puts everyone as ease, such a nice guy. I love this man! And that voice. An angel from Heaven - with all his parts.

Oh, and he smelled wonderful!


April 21, 2002
by Jayne

Jayne's Stage door Experience

I attended the April 21st Sunday matinee of Private Lives on Broadway with my dad.  Our seats were in the fifth row and as soon as I sat down I could not stop shaking!!!  The show was absolutely fantastic!!  I knew I would love it cause he was in it but I was very pleasantly suprised with the entire show, it was VERY funny and I found myself laughing out loud.  The entire cast was fantastic, but Alan was tremendous!! His stage presence is unbelievable!!  The audience clapped when he first came out which was good cause then I wasn't clapping alone!! At the end some people (I included of course) gave him a standing ovation but a lot of people there were seniors so not too many of them stood up.  I like to think he looked at me when I was standing because no one in front of me was standing, although that could very well be what I WANT to think...Anyway after the show I went to the stage door to wait.  I brought the laminated poster I had made at Kinko's of their full page ad in the NY Times.  We had to wait about an hour but it didn't seem too long at the time, although my dad was getting antsy.  First Emma Fielding and Adam Godley came out and I got them to sign my poster and they seemed pleased with it.  Adam Godley was reallly nice, and right after that Lindsay and Alan came out.  Lindsay was also realllly nice and she signed my poster and my playbill.  and then, HIM!!  He looked sooooooooooooo good and he was soooo nice and cordial I wanted to faint!! I was shaking really bad but I managed to ask him for an autograph and he obliged and then he took a picture with me, I think he could tell I was nervous. I didn't ask him for a handshake but I am going back on my birthday and I am going to screw up the courage, I swear!  It was an unbelievable day!



Second AR encounter, May 2002
by Kat (again)

*(Read Kat's first AR encounter from April 26, below, first)

"He IS funny!  And I was absolutely struck mute and immovable, which is why I didn't say anything in response.  Afterward, I felt like such an idiot about the sugar, especially after I saw him there a second time. . . .

ANYway, I meant what I said about being afraid to go back because he might think I was a stalker.  You never know. He does seem like he's always looking about him, making sure that no one's going to jump out and grab him by the arm or anything.  I think he would hate it if someone just marched up and said, "You're Alan Rickman, aren't you?"

Well, my friend told me I was being stupid, that he would just think I lived or worked in the area--that I was a regular there, just like him!  Oh, that sounds funny. "Alan Rickman is a regular at my coffee shop."

Well, they must have either shortened their rehearsals or stopped them completely, because on Tuesday I was sitting at the same table in the front, at around 1:00, and I was reading something for class and inhaling coffee.  I get refills for free, thanks to my friend Steph. : )  I'm not paying any attention to who's coming or going, because he's like the last person I expect to see.

So I'm reading, and in the background I hear Steph coughing and clearing her throat and generally making a fool of herself.  I look up to where she sort of points, and outside the door is Alan, standing with another man, chatting.  Then they both come into the shop, and the man peruses the overhead menu.  Alan says, "I like this place."  The other man says something like, "Do they have (something unintelligible) . . . Oh, yes, there it is.  Is it any good, I wonder?"  Steph offers to let him sample whatever it was, and the man says thanks, but he'll just go ahead and order it in the largest size they offer.  Alan orders a coffee and does the last-minute-NY Times-grab, and then they start chatting about someone coming over, and "When exactly is she coming?" says the man, and Alan says something about getting some work out of the way.  I can't swear to it, but I think they may have been talking about Rima.

Hilarious Alan Moment: I'm trying to look inconspicuous and absorbed in my book, but I'm watching events out of the corner of my eye. Alan turns to get a napkin, just like before, and I see him take a few sugar packets out of the basket.  He walks over to my table and very gently sets them down beside my coffee and sort of whispers, "These are the last.  I thought you should have them."  Then he starts laughing.  I didn't know what to say, and the man he was with obviously didn't know what was going on or whether we knew each other or not.  For a moment it was extremely uncomfortable.  I know I was blushing a thousand shades of red, but I managed to thank him for the sugar.  I think he saw that I was embarrassed and he said, "Oh, sorry.  I'm sorry.  I was TEASing."  I said I knew, and it was very funny, or something to that effect.  And he said, "You're very generous."  And I said (I can't believe I ACTUALLY SAID THIS), "Right back at ya."  Well, my jaw dropped as soon as it came out, but he just laughed, tapped his fingers on the table next to the sugar packets, and said, "Don't let anyone take these.  See you later!"  Then he and the man left.

Well, there you have it, what I suppose is my second offering to the world of Rickman fandom.  See, I should just keep my mouth shut, because when I have the misfortune of speaking, I always manage to say the dumbest possible thing.  Sure, he thought it was funny, but I was mortified!

But it just goes to show his sense of humor and his genuine appreciation for the feelings of others.

"Coffee Shop Kat"


Tuesday, April 23, 2002
by Donna

Yesterday was simply AWESOME!!!!!  I left Rock about 5:30, to give myself plenty of time to find the theater.  I ended up going about 2 blocks in the wrong direction though and had to turn around.  I got to the theater about 6:30.  Doors opened at 7:30 so I went to the Howard Johnsons and tried to eat a chicken sandwich and fries.  I was getting so nervous about the show, that I picked at the food for the most part.  I couldn't sit there either, so I walked a bit around Times Square and window shopped.  About 7:00 I went back over to the theater.  Since it was chilly, they opened the outside door and let us wait in the vestibule.  I checked my bag and coat so they wouldn't get in the way during the show, used the bathroom (always a good idea) then went to my seat.  NOW, when I ordered the ticket from Ticketmaster.com, their floorplan showed my seat to be in the 4th row...WRONG!  It was the FIRST row.  I could reach out and TOUCH the stage, that's how close I was.  The show was AWESOME.  OMG, a scene with Alan in silk pajamas! <swoon>  After the show, Ann Marie was waiting by the stage door.  It took about an hour for Alan to come out.  Ann Marie had to leave to put quarters in the meter, and wasn't
back when he came out.  OMG, he's even sexier in person (if that's even possible).  He went up to everybody with a "Hello, how are you?," signed autographs and posed for pictures.  I handed my camera to the lady standing next to me since Ann Marie wasn't back yet.  Alan was so close I could feel him breathing on my hair!  OMG, Alan Rickman touched my hair!!!! <swoon>.  Ann Marie got back there just after I had my picture taken with Alan.  He signed a few more autographs before getting into his limo.  I managed to regain my composure long enough to take a good close up profile.  Ann Marie took a few pictures also, even though she's not a
fan.

On the way home Ann Marie took the long way so I can see where the WTC used to
be.  We couldn't get close up, but close enough to see the work trucks and such.  They still have about 4 ambulances on the ready in case they uncover more bodies.  I didn't take a picture though.  Couldn't bring myself to do it...


Sunday, May 5, 2002
by Linda B.

Click here to see more of Linda B.'s Alan photos!
 
 

My stage door story--

On May 5, I attended my second performance of Private Lives.  It was a wonderfully funny show.  The play was everything it was the first time and then some.  The lines seemed funnier and the crowd was laughing out loud.  I had better seats for this performance, close enough to see the expressions on his face (which I think make the show even more funny).  He did come out to a warm applause and he seemed to get the most laughs.  The show ended with a greatly deserved standing ovation.  After the play was over, I went to the stage door and situated myself in line.  I stood to the right of the stage door behind a barricade.  A very nice man came out of the door and said that "HE" will be out in about 30 minutes and that he stays and signs everything.   While in line I had the pleasure of meeting Mindy.  We had been emailing each other after we found out that we were attending the same show.  We talked about the play and his movies.  The time went quickly.  After about 40 minutes, the door opened and I saw Lindsay Duncan.  Behind her was Alan. Lindsay came to where we were and chatted with us.  She was very sweet and seemed pleased that we had come.  I had told her it was my second time and she said, "That's wonderful", and she signed my playbill.  Alan was still near the stage door, signing and having his photographs taken. Although I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, I can't even tell you what he was wearing. Adam Godley came by and chatted and signed my playbill.  He was charming.  I snapped a few pictures of Alan as he was getting nearer to me.  He came to Mindy who was next to me, and he signed her "When Love Speaks" CD.  He seemed genuinely pleased to see it.  He signed a few more things for her and I took her photo with him.  I was trying not to look as nervous as I felt. He came to me and I said that I enjoyed the play and he said "Thanks".  I had taken a picture of my 3 sons holding various things such as a Snape figure, the Galaxy Quest video, and my PL playbill from the last time. I put the photo into a card and showed it to him.  I said that these were my boys and that they were big fans as well and could he please sign the card.  He looked at the card and said "Hi Boys". I pointed out the things that they were holding and he smiled.
He opened the card and asked, "What are their names?" He wrote each of their names as I said them, signed his name and wrote "Snape" underneath.  I looked at him and said "Thanks .. How about one for mom?"  He then signed my playbill.  I said thanks again and that it was a pleasure meeting him.  I took a step back and watched him as he interacted with the others in line.  I noticed how patient he was.  He went over to the other side of the line.  I took a walk over the theater doors and took a picture of his picture that is near the entrance.  On my way back I noticed that he was still signing and having his photos taken with everyone that wanted one.  He was just about to get into his car and I said "Mr. Rickman, may I shake your hand?" He looked at me, shook my hand and said "Say hi to your boys".  I felt as if I knew him.

I arrived home just before my kids were going to bed, I can't describe the looks on their faces when I shared details of my day and showed them the card.

When I woke up the next morning, I made breakfast, packed lunches, and drove my kids to school; I realized what a wonderful thing that had happened to me.  I got the chance to meet someone that I admire and just for a moment, he made us feel like the most important people in the world.

I have never met a famous person before so I did not know what to expect. Everything that you have heard about his kindness, generosity, and sincerity they are all true. I feel honored to have met him.

We all know that he is an extraordinary actor, but that day I got to meet him, just as he is, a man.  A very kind man.

Thank you for letting me share my story.


Sunday, May 5, 2002
by Mindy

We arrived at the theatre about 2:15 and there were already a good number of people waiting to get in.  My husband wondered if there was anyone under 70 besides me going.   (hubby, who is not much for plays, did not join me inside). There were many senior citizens waiting but as the crowd grew larger, the ages began to vary.

I was anxious to check out my seat, which was center orchestra Row B.          According to the seating chart this was the fifth row, but they eliminated Rows AA and BB, which put me in the third row.  I sat down slowly and looked at the stage in awe.  Could I really be this close?  I silently mouthed Oh...my...god...

Funny thing, I was the first one in the theater. Don't know how I managed that.  I took a quick glance at everything before the seats began to fill.  It looked ...spooky. I was glad when the crowd filed in. They took their seats pretty quickly and the lights went down around 3:10.

Like most of you, I've been reading these PL reports for a long time, from the first days at the Albery to the last, and now at the Rodgers Theater.  So when those lights went down I felt a great sense of finally arriving and a sense of anticipation of what was to come.

Sybil (Emma Fielding) is the first character we see but AR's Elyot comes on within the first two or three minutes. It was so exciting to see him up on that stage! So close, he was. I know I was grinning like a fool and glad that the spotlights were not on me!

The play was better than I'd expected. I laughed out loud many times and recognized some parts that others had mentioned on the guestbook and here.  I felt I knew the play but there were still so many surprises.

For those who have not seen AR onstage I can only tell you that here he is truly in his element. Yes, he is wonderful in films but the immediacy of the theater suits him better.  He moves like a dancer.  Simple steps from one side of the stage to the other are like gracefully choreographed movements.  He is something to see...

When the play was over (and yes, we did give a standing ovation, which was well deserved), I made my way to the stage door.  My husband, a saint, waited behind the throng while I settled in for the wait.  The gentleman tending the doorway told us that AR is very gracious and patient with his admirers, signing everything and chatting.  This was good to hear as I had heard that on some nights he was somewhat rushed.

It was nice meeting Linda, who I had met on the Guestbook.  She had a positive AR encounter and hopefully she will share this with you as well.  My encounter was the golden capper to a magical day.  But I am getting ahead of myself just a bit.

First one to greet us was Lindsay Duncan, who was tremendously sweet and           courteous.  I thanked her for coming to New York and she said it was her         pleasure.  I then asked her to sign my PL programme as well as one from Les Liaisons Dangereuses.  She seemed genuinely surprised to see this, saying "Ooooh!" before she signed it.  Next out the door was Adam Godley, who played Victor.  He was cordial and didn't expect to be asked for an autograph. I asked him to sign my PL programme, and he happily obliged.

AR came out next, looking even more handsome than he did onstage.  He went down the line of people (there were maybe 20 of us out there), not rushing, giving everyone the chance to chat a bit.  When he got to me I thanked him for coming to NY. "Pleasure," he said.  I then asked him to sign my When Love Speaks CD. He liked that.  "Thank you for buying this," he told me.  I told him I worked in a record shop and featured the disc on one of our listening stations so everyone could sample it.

We sold quite a number of them that way.  He liked that too and held up the CD so all could see.  He then signed my Les Liaisons Playbill, then looked at me and said, "You can get a lot of money for this now, you know." (shades of the eBay creep!).  I told him no.  That to me it was priceless. He kindly posed for a picture with me then went on to the next person.

I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The show was one of the best I've ever seen.  And meeting my favorite actor was a positive, magical experience.


Tuesday 26th February 2002.
by Hannah

My dad, his girlfriend and I set off to London so I could see my idol, Alan Rickman,
performing in Private Lives.  We arrived in London after traveling for 3 and a half hours from Lincolnshire.  We got to London, we hadn’t been able to get tickets as it had been sold out for ages, so we thought we might be able to get standing tickets, but there were no tickets left.  I felt so upset, because I thought I wasn’t going to get to see it or him.  So we waited in the return ticket line for 2 hours when finally a single ticket came up, about ten rows back in the stalls.  No one else wanted it so my dad got it for me, then he handed me a letter saying that I was to meet Alan.  I screamed so loud and burst into tears!  My dad had written to him asking if he would meet me.  My dad explained all the difficulties I have been having with my mother, grandpa and a close friend dying in the past year, so I went in to get my seat.  The excitement of just seeing this incredibly talented man in the play was amazing, and then the excitement of meeting him was nerve-racking as well as amazing.  About 3 mins. after I went in, my dad and his girlfriend followed me I swapped seats with her and was sitting with my dad four rows from the front, the play started and it was breath taking, I was sitting there and couldn’t take my eyes off him.  I kept thinking:  I'm going to meet him.  The play was fantastic, the comedy was brilliant, the fighting scenes were amazing and Alan was more amazing than words could say.  After the play we went around to the stage door, where we were invited in and were waiting for the man himself.  And then he appeared in front of me and I nearly fainted.  My dad had to prop me up.  He was so lovely and gentle, with such a heartfelt smile that lit up the room.  He shook my hand, he was talking to me about acting, school, the play etc. and he was just so down-to-earth and lovely.  He signed my program, "To Hannah from Alan Rickman with Best Wishes."  Ahh, I could have screamed.  Then he put his arm around me while my dad went trigger snappy with the camera.  I am normally really nervous when I meet famous people but with Alan I felt really calm and was having laughs with him, he was great.  He holds your eye contact when speaking so you cant and don’t want to look away.  He really brightened up my year, he is such a lovely, caring, sensitive, understanding person and really makes you feel good.  On the journey home all I could think about was those wonderful moments.  Now whenever I see him on tv, films, or the newspaper, I always go "I’ve met him, shook his  hand twice, he’s put his arm around me, etc."  He is the nicest man in the world.  A few weeks ago I also received another autograph from him with my name on.  I will be having a lot more encounters with Mr. Rickman I am sure because it is my dream/ambition to act with this amazing man.  I'll let you know if I ever get anywhere.  He just proves that there are some really wonderful people out there who can brighten your day with just a smile.


Thursday, April 25
by Hana

I did just a bit better than that tonight. I saw the man himself perform Private Lives on Broadway. Yes, he is everything I'd hoped he would be and funnier, brighter, softer, just more. Noel Coward's dialogue is impeccable and Lindsay Duncan is a worthy sparring partner.

They both signed my copy of the play after I waited for about an hour outside the stage exit. Mr. Rickman was cordial, pleasant, a bit melancholy, but very kind. He shook my hand, raised his eyebrows (so expressive with those tiny facial gestures, amazing to see one up close) when I sheepishly and hopefully, like the smitten girl I am, presented a Severus Snape figurine. He asked my name, and spelled it
correctly. Although he appeared to be in a bit of a hurry, he took a full beat with each person; a very generous action.

Also, please refrain from buying a signed copy of the PL playbill online. A man asked for five copies signed and then snubbed Rickman, who witty replied with "I smell ebay, creep."  I quite agree, the man was rude, and abusing AR's goodness to fans.  Still high as a kite from the excitement...


April 26, 2002
by Kat

My friend is the Assistant Manager at a place in the city that serves coffee and tea (which shall remain nameless--I will say that it's NOT in the neighborhood of the RR), and when I dropped in to visit her on Tuesday, she told me that a very tall, very handsome and distinguished Brit bearing an uncanny resemblance to Alan Rickman had been coming into the establishment at uneven intervals for the
past two weeks, ordering a hot drink (coffee or tea at random), stopping to look down at the little stand of newspapers by the register, and grabbing one at the last minute. He would pay for his purchases, and always said, "Have a lovely day." Then he would leave. She was terrified to ask if indeed he really was who she thought he was, especially since he seemed like he might be easily spooked by such a question and might run out, never to return again. He kept looking about him. So, intrepid girl that I am, I offered to check it out, since I've met him once already at the stage door for PL and would know if it was really him or not.

So I've gone there every day for the rest of the week, and today it paid off. I waited at the table closest to the door, sipping a coffee and keeping an eye out for the man. He walked in, 11:15 on the nose, ordered a small regular coffee with milk, no sugar (at which point I KNEW it was AR--you can't mistake The Voice), fumbled in his bag a moment for some cash, stopped, and grabbed a NYTimes.

Here is the part I am slightly ashamed of (I would never have gone up and started talking to him or anything, but I did want a closer look and maybe a sniff of his aftershave.) I decided that my coffee needed a little more sweetener, which, of course, was sitting about a foot and a half from Mr. Rickman's elbow. My friend was getting his coffee, and I was slowly stirring mine adding packet after packet of sugar, not looking at him, but kind of . . . smelling him. Please don't think I'm crazy! (He smelled delicious.) All of a sudden, he turned to take a napkin, saw me, RECOGNIZED me, and said, "Oh . . . hello. You again." He watched as I dumped three packets of sugar into my cup, and said, "I like a little coffee with my sugar." Or maybe he said, "I like SOME coffee . . . " I'm not totally sure, because he followed his statement with THE MOST BEAUTIFUL smile I have ever seen. He didn't
look spooked or wary or anything, but then I didn't say anything or attempt to chase after him or grab him, either. He then took his coffee, tucked his paper under his arm, said, "Enjoy," and walked out to a waiting car, sitting about half a block up from the establishment.

I'm not sure if I will go back--I don't want him to think I am a stalker . . . and I don't think my heart could stand another experience like that one.
 
 

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