King Richard Armitage Week: Birthday Celebration

To celebrate Richard Armitage’s 40th birthday and to commemorate the anniversary of Richard III’s death, this blog is participating in a weeklong series of RA blog events for the Richard III for Richard Armitage!/King Richard Armitage project (sign the petition, join the Facebook group). Enjoy the fun!

Birthday cheers for Richard Armitage! Forty years strong and so much to admire.

Hello, 40. (courtesy of: http://armitage-online.ucoz.ru/)

Armitage senior named his son Richard after King Richard III and, remarkably, RA was born on the day that RIII died. As a result, RA has had a strong affinity for RIII and has publicly expressed interest in developing a RIII film or television project that does greater justice to the historical life of RIII than the Shakespearean play does. There is ample scholarship about the “true” story of RIII, so it would be fantastic to see a redeemed representation of RIII on-screen.

As a fan of RA, I’m engaging in some timely fan creativity about RIII and the idea of this RIII project with fellow RA bloggers. Regardless of whether the project is produced or not, I am interested in the RIII story, how actors and filmmakers have portrayed the narrative, and how it could be alternately presented.

For this celebratory week, I’m going light on history. I’ve come up with some creative fan experiments and I encourage readers to participate in the posts via the comments field.

I hope you will enjoy these posts and thanks for reading!

Upcoming posts:

  • Richard III Project Slogan Poll: Invitation for Reader Suggestions
  • Richard III Actors + Armitage: Six Degrees of Separation: Can You Best Me?
  • Richard III Project: Creative Letters of Support from John Thornton, Ros Myers, Lady Marian, and John Porter’s Daughter: Share Your Letter
  • Wrap-Up

No More Admin Drudgery, No More Burritos

Stars, “Elevator Love Letter”

I’m so hard for a rich girl
My heels are high
My eyes cast low
And I don’t know how to love
I get too tired after midday, lately
I take it out on my good friends
But the worst stays in
Or where would I begin?
My office glows all night long
It’s a nuclear show and the stars are gone
Elevator, elevator
Take me home

I’m so hard for the rich girl
Her heels so high
And my hopes so low
’cause I don’t know how to love
I’ll take her home after midnight
And if she likes, I’ll tell her lies
Of how we’ll fall in love by the morning
I don’t think she’ll know
That I’m saying goodbye…

My office glows all night long
It’s a nuclear show and the stars are gone
Elevator, elevator
Take me home

My office glows all night long
It’s a nuclear show and the stars are gone
Elevator, elevator
Take me home

Don’t go, say you’ll stay
Spend a lazy sunday in my arms
I won’t take anything away
Don’t go, say you’ll stay
Spend a lazy sunday in my arms
Don’t take anything away

José Gonzalez’s cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats,” featured in a Sony ad

One night to be confused
One night to speed up truth
We had a promise made
Four hands and then away
Both under influence
We had divine sense
To know what to say
Mind is a razor blade

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn’t be good enough
For me, no

One night of magic rush
The start, a simple touch
One night to push and scream
And then relief
Ten days of perfect tunes
The colors red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn’t be good enough
For me, no

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn’t be good enough

And you
You knew the hand of the devil
And you
Kept us awake with wolves’ teeth
Sharing different heartbeats
In one night

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn’t be good enough
For me, no

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn’t be good enough
Send “Heartbeats” Ringtone to your Cell

Project Runway: Still Making It Work

Austin + model, Project Runway, Season 1, Episode 1

During a snowstorm, I came across the first season of Project Runway in its initial run.The show had been a poor performer on Bravo, but a savvy new executive had arrived and ordered the show to be relentlessly rerun during the holidays, a prime time for TV channel-surfing.

The strategy worked: the show became a smash hit and transformed Bravo into the monied reality show network it is today. But the partnership with Bravo was not to last—after extensive litigation, the show moved to Lifetime starting with season 8.

When it launched, PR was a new type of reality show featuring competitors who were craftspeople: they could manipulate fabric into fashion according to their personal taste and construction skills. They were like the mice in Cinderella, creating fantasy dresses on command.

It is amazing (and entertaining) to watch a designer in an inspired moment. By giving someone a design challenge, you are giving that person limits, forcing him or her to push “outside of their comfort zone” and apply his or her skills to untraditional materials (raw parts from a car), a limited amount of material (whatever you are wearing), specific elements of design (awful fashion trend from the past), or a designated silhouette (swimsuit). Some of the most “limiting” challenges has led to the most striking fashion: Austin’s corn husk dress (grocery store challenge), Leanne’s rubber minidress and Korto’s woven seatbelt coat (the aforementioned car part challenge).

The PR winner is not always the one who shines throughout the season; Season 1 victor Jay didn’t win any of the challenges (not even for the Chrysler Building dress!). Some of the most consistently outstanding designers make it to Fashion Week, only to disappoint with the final collection—having no limits can be a detriment. There’s also the pressure to come up with several looks dedicated to one theme while being “fashion-forward”: on trend but not derivative, unique but not costume-y.

Snap prediction for season 9 final 3: Bert, Danielle, Anthony.

Another Project Runway: All-Stars special is in the works. Curious. I wasn’t pleased with the result of the first one—poor Korto. It seemed unfairly stacked in Daniel V.’s favor.

Favorite designers: Jay McCarroll, Austin, Chloe, Kara Janx, Mychael, Christian, Rami, Leanne, Korto, Maya.

Recommended

Blogging Project Runway

Tom & Lorenzo

Tim Gunn’s Facebook page

From his early podcasts to his “Tim’s Take” videos and blog posts, Tim has remained active in sharing his thoughts with fans throughout the show’s run. For the past few seasons, he has posted his episode commentary videos on his Facebook page, and I hope that has not changed now that he is a producer (one hopes that now he has less to criticize in terms of the editing). Tim’s insider opinions on PR are insightful and diverting, offering behind-the-scenes revelations and hilariously on-point commentary. Tim’s eloquence and lack of filter is gold.

Poet Ron Silliman is a Project Runway fan and blogs about the show. Love it.

Listen to Severus Snape: It Gets Better

Spot-on accent, intonation, and pacing. Hilarious Harry Potter commentary (wizard’s cancer!). Attention to detail (“Thursday next”). Cross-over message of hope and tolerance for wizards, witches, and the LGBT population. “The hero that you are.” Gold.

Nice job, Gavin Crawford.

This is Poetry: Louise Gluck

Louise Gluck (photo: Gasper Tringale)

I read Louise Glück’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection The Wild Iris years ago and loved it, but this particular poem did not strike me until I came across it in a workshop last summer.

Witchgrass

Something
comes into the world unwelcome
calling disorder, disorder—

If you hate me so much
don’t bother to give me
a name: do you need
one more slur
in your language, another
way to blame
one tribe for everything—

as we both know,
if you worship
one god, you only need
one enemy—

I’m not the enemy.
Only a ruse to ignore
what you see happening
right here in this bed,
a little paradigm
of failure.  One of your precious flowers
dies here almost every day
and you can’t rest until
you attack the cause, meaning
whatever is left, whatever
happens to be sturdier
than your personal passion—

It was not meant
to last forever in the real world.
But why admit that, when you can go on
doing what you always do,
mourning and laying blame,
always the two together.

I don’t need your praise
to survive.  I was here first,
before you were here, before
you ever planted a garden.
And I’ll be here when only the sun and moon
are left, and the sea, and the wide field.

I will constitute the field.

**

That last line keeps ringing in my ears.

Glück teaches in the MFA program at Boston University. Hear Glück read this poem here.