each one to make it bigger!
This first photo is when Alan's bag broke and he's saying
"Oh no" and we're looking at the ground.
The second photo is right after I gave him the cartoon drawing by L. Minco
of me meeting Alan (it's in his hand) and he's chuckling about it.
Click on each one to make it bigger!
Click on each one to make it bigger!
Click on each one to make it bigger!
Thanks to Carrie for
being the photographer on many of these photos!
And here are the autographs from Aug. 24:
This TMD photo is the one where the pen wouldn't work and Alan pressed
so hard it rubbed part of the photo off on the "A" in Alan.
Another Stage Door Report
August 24, 2002
Let's see...where do I begin? I just got home from New York and have a ton of things in my head to tell about. I hope I can remember it all, I'm soooo tired. I flew to New York with my friend Carrie (webmistress of ARASK) and we saw Private Lives twice yesterday. Our first Alan sighting was around 12:35 Sat. when he was walking into the theatre. We met a girl (Sade) and her mom by the ticket office and she knew both of our websites. It was nice meeting them both, they were very sweet. We sat and chatted on the steps with them for a few minutes, then we walked down the sidewalk a bit towards our hotel, and we were standing under the Les Mis marque because it was raining a little, when I looked up and suddenly there was Alan walking across the street towards the stage door. I have to say that it was the best I've ever seen him look, and that is no exaggeration. He took my breath away. He was dressed all in black (tight black pants and a long sleeved black shirt) and the best part was that his hair was windblown, tousled, and fell forward onto his face. What a glorious sight! I wish now that I had snapped a photo, but I was just too stunned to do anything. We considered calling out to him, but decided not to.
Hearts thumping, we went and had lunch at the Olive Garden and back to the hotel to change.
Okay, then later at the matinee show, the
perfomance was good but the audience wasn't the best I've seen. The only
remarkable thing I can remember is during Act II when he and Lindsay were
on the sofa and he was trying to dig in next to her in that funny way,
his robe fell open and during his fidgeting his pajama top came way up
and we could see his whole cute little hairy belly... bellybutton and all
for a few seconds. I'm pretty sure that wasn't supposed to happen since
I hadn't seen it before in closer seats and it didn't happen again at the
evening performance. But it was a nice surprise. Afterwards at the stage
door we met Linda B. and also Darlene and Brenda. Hello girls! I
told Alan that we had given him a scrapbook last month from fans and he
said, "Oh, you mean the one with the little messages in it?" and I said,
"Yes, and the photos." He said, "I keep it in my dressing room and I like
it very much. Thank you." And he smiled at me the most beautiful, warm
smile you've ever seen. We had some trouble with getting autographs because
it was raining, not hard, but enough to damage our photos and books, so
we had to juggle umbrellas while trying to hold onto our stuff and take
photos--virtually impossible. He signed my Blow Dry DVD and a photo I had
taked with him last month which I'd blown up into an 8 x 10. Carrie was
going to have him sign her S&S DVD with a gold pen, but he grabbed
my red Sharpie instead because I was still holding it. Then she asked Alan
for a hug and he warned her that he had a cold, but of course that didn't
matter in the least to Carrie! So he hugged her, but not too tight.
I wanted to take a photo of this, but it was impossible because I was standing
too close and holding an umbrella, so you girls will just have to take
my word for it. We went over to
Darlene on the other side of the door and took photos of her giving Alan a fruit basket from her Yahoo group and met her daughter, Aja. Then Darlene dared to do what none of us had the courage to do.... she KISSED Alan! Yes girls, she planted a big wet one right on his cheek. Again, no photo, I'm sorry. But I was standing right beside her and it's true. Alan was very sweet and accommodating to all the fans, even though he was a bit under the weather.
After Alan went back inside, we stayed and chatted with Jimmy at the stage door. I had not really talked with him before and he was so nice to all of us. We told him he was famous on the internet and I asked him to pose with us for a photo, which he agreed. I think he was flattered. Linda asked him what Alan is really like and he said that he's very good to the crew and fans. He has worked at the theatre for 24 years and has never seen another actor come out to sign for fans as faithfully as Alan, except maybe Matthew Broderick or John Stamos. We knew our man was special, didn't we? He also told us that he reads all his letters and answers them and that he keeps EVERYTHING he gets from fans. He told us that Alan had already packed up our wine goblets and sent them back to London. Then he said that he shared the food with the crew and they already drank the wine we had given him last month. Then he said something that surprised me. He mentioned some peanut butter malted milk balls that were particularly good and I said, "We gave him that, they were made in our town!" How satisfying to know that they were appreciated after all. Jimmy also said that the only thing that makes Alan mad is when the show lets out next door (Les Mis) and the people from that show come over too and start asking for autographs. As we were standing there chatting, a man walked by and Jimmy called out to him. The man stopped and started chatting with us and he told us that he was an actor in the musical "Urinetown" which won several Tonys this year. His name was Rick Crome (sp?). He was awfully nice and asked where we were from. I said that Carrie and I were from Indiana and he said he was from Chicago himself and told us some of the history of the theatre, it's renovation, and also the theatre across the street, where Beauty and the Beast was playing. He posed for a photo with me, Carrie, Linda, and Darlene. Thank you Aja for taking the photos for us! After he left, I kissed Darlene goodbye (who knows, maybe some of Alan's germs will rub off on me?) and we went to dinner.
Next, we had dinner reservations at Joe Allen's. It was a good meal, but a bit pricey. My steak and fries cost $24 and the wine was $7 per glass (I had two). The bread was ice cold and the waiter was less than friendly, but then this isn't a restaurant review is it? We had a great time chatting with Linda B. about everything that happened at the stage door and then she had to leave on the train.
The evening performance was good, the audience
perhaps a little more animated than earlier. We met a lady from England
who was sitting behind us with her husband. She was amazed that Alan was
famous in America as a movie actor. She said in England he's more well-known
for his stage work. We chatted with her all through intermission and she
asked for our websites, which we gave her, of course! Afterwards,
we went to the stage door again and it wasn't raining this time. When Lindsay
ame out I told her I had seen PL four times and thought she was fabulous.
She smiled alot and was so sweet. Then she agreed to have a photo
taken with me. We also saw Bernadette Peters go in and out of the stage
door and another black actress, whose name I don't know. Next, Alan came
out still wearing the same black outfit he had worn earlier. At first there
were not too many fans, but suddenly there was a swarm of very aggressive
fans and I felt that Alan was a little overwhelmed, although he didn't
show it. I asked him to sign my TMD glossy B&W photo with a gold
pen and the pen wouldn't write. He kept trying and rubbed part of the picture
off. He pressed so hard trying to write that I got the indentation of is
autograph on my S&S diaries cover, something I discovered later. The
pen finally worked and then he signed my S&S diaries, the photo of
Col. Brandon that everyone likes so much. Then I gave him a cartoon
drawing by L. Minco of me meeting Alan in June. It's on my website,
but for those who haven't seen it, the caption reads "Tamara meeting Mr.
Rickman" and I'm saying "Oh, my God!" with
my arms around his neck and little hearts and he has this shocked look on his face. It's so funny and I thought he would enjoy it. When I gave it to him he just smiled and put it in his bag. I hope you don't mind, Lauren, and thank you for doing it. Now Alan has it! Then I asked him for a photo and he smiled and said, "Sure." I went to stand next to him, but at this point something unfortunate happened... a fan had give him a paper gift bag earlier with a big binder full of papers and it suddenly broke in his hand and fell on the ground with all the papers falling out on the pavement. I started to bend down, along with some other fans, to pick it up for him but Jimmy beat us to it and said, "I'll get it" and put it in his car. Alan thanked him and I think he was a bit embarassed about it. After all this commotion, some older ladies started shoving pens and pieces of paper (not Playbills) in his face for him to sign while I stood next to him waiting for the photo. He signed for 4 or 5 of them and I said meekly, "I wanted to get a photo" but nobody seemed to hear me. I was standing next to him for awhile, patiently watching him sign for these ladies, waiting for my turn. We were so close our arms were touching and I noticed how wonderful he smelled. Yes girls, I SMELLED him. Not consciously, because the thought wasn't in my mind, but his scent just rose up from him into my nostrils and I didn't even realize it until he suddenly jumped into his car and drove away and his scent was gone. I wish I had thought to identify it now, but it was nice and understated, like aftershave or light cologne, nothing heavy. I'm sorry I can't describe it, but believe me, he smelled NICE. So that's my day with Alan. Hope you enjoyed it and I didn't leave anything out.
Me with Alan
Carrie with Alan
This is the day we gave him the fan scrapbook in the afternoon. Later we went to the show and met him again, when the photos above were taken.
Alan holding our scrapbook (on the bottom) and gift bag, along with roses and cards from other fans.
Alan with my son, Lukas Lindsay at the stage door Alan signing
Alan talking Alan signing again
My Stage Door Report (July 27, 2002)
The gifts Carrie and I gave Alan were from
both of us and we both worked
on the scrapbook through our websites (mine is Alan Rickman: The Voice). Alan did mention that it was similar to Darlene's journal, but really it is quite different because in ours the letters were all typed in a fancy font on brown paper and cut with different borders, and we included photos of fans as well. After we presented him with the gift bag, Alan joked, "Oh, it's probably things that aren't good for me!" Actually, it included chocolates and wine, but also some non-food items. We told him that he could share them with his friends if he wanted. He was very polite and appreciative. When Alan posed outside of the barricade with Darlene's son (Alex), I thought he had the sweetest look on his face as he knelt down to his level for the photo. I asked him if he would pose with my son (Lukas) and, of course, he obliged. I didn't ask him for anything at this meeting. Carrie and I told him about our websites, too. After we left Darlene and Alex, we got something to eat and went back to rest at the hotel because we had an early flight and not much sleep.
Later, we went to the 8 pm performance of Private Lives and my son loved the play. The audience was great and laughed loud and often, even applauding at the really funny parts and gasping at the kissing scenes. We had a blast! I could tell the actors loved the audience reaction and it was much better than the first time I saw the play on June 15. Our seats couldn't have been better... Row A orchestra, 112 and 113. Alan was directly in front of us, only a few feet away for most of the first act. There was a standing ovation (in June there was none) and the actors even came back for a second curtain call. Just perfect! Afterwards, we went to the stage door and I brought the Private Lives poster I bought for autographs. I got all the actors to sign it and they were all really nice. Emma and Adam didn't say much but were very cordial. Lindsay was delightful and chatty. Carrie asked her if she has ever actually hit Alan with the table and she said, "No, I keep trying but he's too quick. But I still have 5 weeks left!" We all laughed and my son asked her to sign his playbill and I told her that it was his first Broadway play (actually his first play of any kind) and she said, "Oh, then you've got him off to a good start!" She also told Carrie and her husband that she felt they were there for a special reason and they admitted it was their wedding anniversary and she wished them a happy anniversary. We have no idea how she knew this, but maybe she's psychic? *LOL* She is such a lovely lady and an excellent actress, and I liked her very much as a person. Alan came out last and my son got his autograph and shook his hand (he also shook his hand earlier). I asked Alan to sign my poster too. Then I got a photo with Alan, but my camera didn't flash the first try so we had to do it twice. He was very patient and stood close to me, we were inside the barricade because most of the other fans had gone. I forgot to mention that Alan was wearing a white T-shirt with a yellow short-sleeved shirt over it, with a plaid design, black jeans, and those black and brown sneakers he always wears. He looked more handsome than I remember him in June, but I'm not sure why. I think his hair was lovely, but I can't really explain it. One thing I have to say about Alan is that he is much more impressive in person than in photos, and better looking. There's no way to capture his personal charisma, movements, and voice in a photo. Carrie's husband, Steve, asked him if he was going to go have a drink or go to bed and he gave us this LOOK and said jokingly, "Well, you know I do have a PRIVATE LIFE!" We all laughed about that, including Alan. Also, in the afternoon I noticed that Alan's voice was a bit hoarse, and was worried about his evening performance. But he must have doctored his throat because he sounded normal again in the evening and also at the stage door. Then he got in the black car and left. There was a big crowd after both shows, bigger than I anticipated and bigger than in June. Alan did lots of photos with fans. The afternoon crowd at the stage door was very mixed with men and women of all ages, whereas the evening crowd was mostly women.
each photo to make it bigger!
My friend and I had just finished
eating Thai food in Chinatown and we said goodbye to her husband and kids
and started walking towards the Theatre. It turned out to be a farther
walk than we thought, and after about 15 blocks, we realized that there
was no way we would make the stage door by 5:00 p.m. Our tickets
were for the 8:00 pm performance of Private Lives but we had to catch a
bus back to New Jersey and didn't have time to wait for Alan after the
show, so we tried to catch him after the matinee instead. At 4:45
pm and 34 more blocks to go, we decided to hail a taxi. We got stuck
in traffic and I was so afraid we would miss him. At 5:05 pm our
taxi dropped us off at the stage door and I saw Linda B. waving to me as
we approached the small crowd that waited by the stage door. I really
didn't notice the other fans because I was so nervous, but I would estimate
there were about 20-30. Linda B. and I hugged and exchanged a few
words and she introduced me to Melissa, too. At that moment
Alan came out and after he talked to Linda and her son, I said, "I am so
glad to meet you, can I shake your hand?" My knees felt like they
would collapse at any moment, but I was driven by pure adrenalin.
Alan smiled and said, "Yeah, sure." Now I was holding my books for
him to autograph in my right hand, so I extended my left hand (my brain
was not working at this point since I am right-handed and I know Alan is,
too). He extended his right hand and we stood there staring down
at our hands for a second and I realized I was using the wrong hand!
So in my embarassment, I quickly tried to shift my books to the other arm
so I could use my right hand to shake his and in the process marked myself
on the top of my right hand with the blue pen I held ready for him to sign.
He grasped my hand and looking at it, kindly commented, "Did you know you
have a blue mark there?" I said, "Oh, I know," and he laughed and
then I laughed, too. Suddenly I didn't feel so stupid and I thought
how warm and natural his demeanor and that I had no reason to be nervous
in his presence. His laughter instantly put me at ease. His
handshake was a lingering one which lasted longer that I anticipated and
I loved the feel of his big, warm, soft hand enveloping mine. I know
this sounds corny, but he made me feel so small and feminine. I was
struck when first seeing him of how large his face and how prominent and
strong his features. I especially noticed his mouth, particularly
his lips. They looked larger and softer than in photos. Then
he grabbed my first thing for autographs, which was "When Love Speaks"
CD and he scribbled his name so fast, I didn't have a chance to tell him
I wanted it personalized. So when I handed him the next item, my
Winter Guest screenplay, he looked at the cover, then opened it and I said,
"Can you personalize it please, To Tamara?" I started to spell my
name for him, but he had already written it perfectly. He signed
my next item, Les Liaisons Dangereuses script in the same manner.
Unfortunately, he made no comment about any of my items and then my friend
asked him if I could get a photo with him and he said, "Sure" and posed
beautifully next to me while I was still talking to him (I forgot what
I said). Then I thanked him and stepped back for the others to have
their turn. I snapped a few photos of him while he was signing.
Then Linda B. gave me her Playbill and said I should take it and have it
autographed since I wouldn't have time after the show. I thanked
her and went to the end of the queue and when Alan came my way again I
said, "I'm sorry, but I forgot to ask you to sign this." He signed
it and my friend with the camera asked him for another photo and he smiled
and leaned into me for another shot. Afterwards we were discussing
how good he looked in that t-shirt. He was wearing all black, but
I didn't notice his shoes. You can tell that he doesn't have an extraordinarily
high opinion of himself, like some celebrities, and he speaks softly.
It's amazing how unlike Snape he actually is in real life (except for the
black, which seems to be his favorite color). It must be quite fun
and liberating for him to play that role. I'm going back again on
July 27 and hope to have a better encounter, having survived the shock
of the first meeting already. He is truly a wonderful man and my
admiration of him has grown immensely.
All of the
above are items Alan autographed for me
at the stage door of the RR Theatre in NYC on June 15th.
the publicity photo Alan sent me in response to my second letter.
I mailed it the first week of June and received his reply on July 10th (4 weeks).
Alan also used his own plain, brown envelope and wrote my address himself,
using the postage stamps I sent him. As you can see, this time it's personalized!
I sent this photocopy (with a letter) to Alan at the Richard Rodgers Theatre
in New York, where he is performing in Private Lives until Sept. 1st.
He autographed it and mailed it back to me within 3 weeks.
Obviously, the man is WONDERFUL!
Worthy of our devotion, indeed.