Fan Entitlement

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I’m a fan! We’re both fans. Of many things. Find us on twitter, give us a topic and we’ll talk… at length, whether you want us to or not. We love music (Panic! At the Disco, MCR, The Killers), TV (Buffy, Hex, Star Trek for Han) and Films (Jurassic World, Princess Bride, Harry Potter). We are advocates of YA (Holly Bourne, Laini Taylor and Non Pratt) and have just spent an amazing weekend at YALC.

However, we’re both upset right now. Mainly because of this article: http://www.altpress.com/news/entry/brendon_urie_wont_be_meeting_fans_after_kinky_boots_shows_anymore

I know Brendan has refused to sign at Panic! Gigs for the last few years for essentially the same reason. In 2015 I (Han), caught the set list at a Hammersmith Apollo gig and waited for two hours at the “stage door” to be told he’d been accosted at a gig in the US. He’d agreed with his body guard and not signed since.
Thanks to “fans”, people are now losing out on meeting a role model and idol. We’d normally have our bitch together if it was an isolated incident. But it’s not. And it’s not fair.

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Tom signing and posing for photos early in the Coriolanus run,

Back in 2013/14 Tom Hiddleston was in Coriolanus at the Donmar in London’s West End. I had tickets, I watched the play and then queued for SIX hours to have the honour of telling him how amazing he was. However, my anxiety is a bitch and I didn’t get to say a word to him while he signed my programme.
A month later I had another ticket to see him. Due to the restrictions at the stage door, this meant I had the chance to join the line for his autograph. I decided at the last minute to join. Only what I saw as I approached was nothing short of chaos; mob mentality ensued and the main door was so swamped that a man in a wheelchair struggled to get out. Fans refused to move in fear of missing their chance to get a photo with Hiddleston.
This alone disturbed me. However, that was before I was informed why Tom had refused to leave via the main door that evening, meaning his security was not policing the crowds.
The reason, as I feared, was fan related: two girls a few days before had crossed the line with Tom. They attempted to place their hands down his pants while he was signing for them. This ensured that for the remaining 5 weeks of the production, no one managed to engage with Hiddleston. This did not make the news. Had it been Sienna Miller, who is currently starring in A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, it would have made front page news. It would have been sexual harassment. However, Tom kept this quiet.

Now Brendan has had to do the same. He was doing something he loved and fans enjoyed, however warped sense of entitlement that meant the minority has spoiled it for the majority.

My reason for stage dooring or wanting to meet celebs is not to say “I’ve met Mr X or Ms Y”, but to tell them they have made an impact in my life and thank them for the performance they’ve just been in. Because of my anxiety, I find programmes for plays they’re in are the perfect prop. While they’re signing, their attention is elsewhere and I can talk. It doesn’t always work. Heck, its worse without a prop though. Upon being wingperson for a friend when meeting Domnhall Gleeson all I could muster was “My brother is really looking forward to seeing you in Star Wars”. Not the fact that I adored his recent film Frank or that he broke my heart with About Time. This was before my crush on him had fully developed too.

I’m certain I’m not the only one who thinks like this. It takes courage to open my bloody mouth. In fact I’m starting to avoid stage doors because of these sort of situations. Yet out there are “fans” who not only take advantage they have this sense that it’s okay and that the celebrities welcome this behaviour. I’ve also seen these people melt down when they don’t get what they want. Even if they’ve already had countless opportunities to meet the person.

Case in point: I went to see Lyndsey Lohan in Speed the Plow. It was an okay play, but her performance was appalling. I had a moral dilemma; I wanted Richard Schiff and Nigel Lyndsey’s autographs (By autographs, I mean I wanted to tell Schiff that I loved him in The Lost World and the Infidel. That he is an awesome actor and in all honesty I just wanted to see him smile.) but it was a three person play, Lyndsey was a full house. I was struggling to bring myself to do this as I didn’t have something positive to say about her performance in the play. I text a few people to gage their opinion about the stage door and how to handle it.

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I need not have bothered seeing as everyone and their aunt were outside; their cameras ready, sharpies poised on their Mean Girl prints. People who had not even seen the play were there, in the prime positions as well.

All I could hear during my wait were vile comments. Links to Lyndsey’s drug use past (and predicted present) and her bad performance of the play. I couldn’t help but wonder why these people were waiting let alone coveting the spaces at the front of the barrier.

After a time we were informed that Lyndsey has already left the building via a different exit. I totally understand that and was ready to get home and move on with my day. However other people did not. What followed the announcement was abuse. She was a whore, people would not watch her work again and she was worse than Satan and someone even wished her dead.

I would say about 90 percent of my encounters have been amazing, uplifting and unique. The best experience I had was meeting Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s Alexander Siddig when he was performing at the Globe. I headed to the stage door and thanked every cast member who came out (cast of 25 and I got every single autograph, meaning I was able to thank every single one of them for a play that meant so much to me). There were two other women there, just hanging out for Alexander Siddig; to the point they blanked other cast members when they drew them into the conversation we were having owing to them being stood so close.

Out came another cast member and when he finished signing for me he questioned whether we were waiting for Siddig. The girl’s ears pricked up and they listened intently as I was told he would be in the bar and that if I had any issues, to tell Alex that he’d sent me.

I watch these two girls run to the bar and shadow him. By some stroke of luck he ended up beside me as I was calming myself at the bar. I was able to have a chat to him (before the women I might add) and express my gratitude for playing the character that got me into Star Trek. We ended with him asking for a hug and telling me his name. The one thing I love about my encounters is that I seem to have a way of making them forget the fan/celeb line and they introduce themselves to me as if I haven’t got a clue who they are. I mentally tell myself as I walk away “That’ll do Pig.”

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With Alexander Siddig

I have no desire to meet many of them again (Who am I kidding, there are a few I would love to see again. But in a ‘let’s go for a cuppa, put the world to rights’ sort of way.) I know I can’t improve my experience or gain them as my friend, so it blows my mind when people will actively repeat their actions, gain nothing out of it but a photo and/or autograph. How can it be fulfilling and don’t some of the more ‘devout’ fans see the look of fear on their target’s face?

What can we do to take back our fandoms my friends? I want these victimised stars to know that we’re not all the same. I also want to be able to continue to stage door without having to compete with these people who despite having 5 autographs, will step on your neck to get another. Even if you were to explain to them that you’ve never met them before.

Han needs to love herself first.

I have a 40 minute commute ahead of me. I’m finding it easier to read most mornings than scoure the internet. I lose myself in other people’s voices. Their worlds wrap around me like a blanket and hug me until I’m ready (forced) to deal with the day.

However, this morning I’m struggling. The book lays dormant in my bag while I educate my foggy brain on the latest memes and become more and more frustrated with myself for not picking up the god damn book.

My need for social media isn’t as bad as it once was, but I do feel a mild anxiety when I don’t have my phone. If the battery dies?! I get it in my head that there’s a catastrophic message awaiting me when it again has juice. Jeeze; I’m my own worst enemy. And people look at me when I say I hate being me and spending time alone. I’m a total grade A bitch to myself.

Anyway, I digress. I know I’ll feel ten times better but I’m procrastinating like some sadist hooked on punishing myself. I just don’t know what for. But I make a habit of it and it ruins my reading enjoyment.

I’ve spent the last 9 months miserable and in a relationship I was convincing myself I wanted (and in the end, needed. I was more concerned with ‘fixing’ and making it ‘work’ than gaining something from it other than emotional scars). Why did you put up with it? My friends would ask once they’d discovered the truth (I’d stayed with him long after the expiry date and kept my contact secret). The Hannah I know would have walked away if anyone said that, why didn’t you? I was questioned when I recounted just some of the problems we encountered.
Because I felt I deserved it, I believed it was all the ‘love’ I would ever deserve or be granted. Mostly, it’s how I treat myself so I thought ‘it’s the best it will ever get’ or weirdly so ideal match.

I’m 31 years old and no one told me that they loved me before. Fuck, none of my boyfriends would ever say they liked me, let alone lower themselves to love. Who cares if it wasn’t real? Who cares if it was taken back when I *thought* I was at my weakest. (That came later when he took ‘you are beautiful’ back and replaced it with ‘you’re ordinary to look at, we don’t get people that look like that’ when talking about his deep seated crush and lust for a co-worker.

Gawd!!! That was deep.

Fuck this shit. I want to be loved. I want to meet a man, fall in love and have a family. But most of all, I want to be loved.

I don’t need a man for that. I can love me. I should love me. I need to love me.

So I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking 40 minutes out of my day to indulge in the reading of a book.

Mental Health- Ramblings of a scared and abandoned woman #mentalhealth #ramblings #Han

This is a post I wrote for a secret blog a few years ago. Because it was written just for me and not for an audience, it’s rather candid.giphy

I had an operation this week. One I’ve been waiting a year and a half to happen. That’s when I started the process for this operation. In reality I should have had it almost three years ago, in the actual dentist. While awake. They’d cancelled it the day before and claimed because the dentist was leaving, I would have to go through the whole process again. ‘Fuck that’ I believe my words were at the time. It was all going well until a rogue nacho caused a week long infection that had me stinking of clove and the cheek scaring that the Joker would be proud of.
Perhaps that awake tooth pulling would have been for the best. Rather than the mind fuckery, emotional bruising and quite simply a cruel and unusual time travel inducing lesson in who your friends are.
So. Many people were under the impression that I was fearful of going under the knife. While, that bit is certainly true of this particular branch of surgery (plaguing dreams of microscopic spiders crawling out of my mouth as they woke me sans teeth saw to that) this would be my fifth operation and I know how it goes. Oh so the same, but very different.
Tuesday evening, I text my best friend with instructions should anything go wrong:
Songs:
Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds to Mars
Nothing More by Alternative Routes

Readings:
I’d Like to be a Teabag by Peter Dixon
Puck’s final soliloquy from A Midsummer’s Nights Dream.

There was more. It was detailed, right down to the ‘go home and watch Jurassic Park together.’ Yes, I’m perfectly healthy and it was only my teeth. Have you seen Coma (1978)? Totally melodramatic and could have had a different reaction had I sent it to someone else. Did my best friend and twisted sister totally understand? She simply called it organised. That’s why I love her.
I wasn’t scared of dying. I don’t mean that in a ’cause for concern, this woman doesn’t value her life’ sort of way. Hell, I’ve never valued my life more than I do at the moment. I do not want to die. I did not want to die in that operating theatre. What I feared was that people didn’t know me enough to give me what I wanted should anything happen. I don’t open up. I chat shit and I talk and people probably would say I’m very open. Probably too open. That’s the tip of the iceberg. You start churning off things that have happened in my life and people will start to think I’m a liar or crazy. It’s no one’s fault but my own. It’s not the situation that causes the damage, it’s what you do with the situation.

The operation went fine. More than fine. I used the word ‘happy’ for the first time in at least six months and truly meant it. It was a synthetic high that I knew wouldn’t last. I emailed a few people. Streams of consciousness. Nothing deprecating or revealing; no declarations of true love or odes in comparison to Hiddleston, Smith or Strong. However, I was vulnerable. I went out on a limb and said ‘hey, I care that you know I’m okay.’ I might have been spouting my utter outrage that they gave me my rotten teeth in a jar or informing them I could see Minion butt cracks from my hospital view but I was reaching out.Stupidly.

Four days later, still a blue little tick. My email is sent, but not read. Along with a few others. Not many people knew I was having my operation, but a few I told failed miserably and in those few little gestures I’m back to being 15. Week 4 or 5 of my post surgery recovery and I’m watching my friends at the bus stop. They’re no more than 10 feet away from my house and they can’t be bothered to knock and see if I’m okay. The ‘get well’ card from school said it all; one person from my collective five friends signed everyone’s names. All these memories spilling out like hot lava, just because three people haven’t asked how things went?! What the FUCK is wrong with me? Why is it hurting so much?

Because the biggest fear of this whole operation is staring you in the face. The reason you are almost 30 yet clutching onto a battered teddy bear at a hospital for adults. Mother, mum, mummy, Marilyn, Lyn. Best friend, protector but not perfect. She never let me know what it was like to be alone. She hugged the pain away. She distracted me from the absence of friends. This woman isn’t here any more. My biggest fear was waking up from the operation, foggy and without memory. I was scared that I’d relive the loss all over again. How do you tell people that? Who do you tell that? The person you tell everything to; the person you’ve already burdened your last requests to? The new friends you trust, but feel like you’d just be giving one little bit of the jigsaw. A part that won’t help them help you. Or do you tell that person you want to tell? The one person your gut is telling you to tell. Only going onto day four post-op and you’ve not heard from him. You’re guts are full of shit Hunter. He wouldn’t understand and he certainly wouldn’t care.


This was about a man I would have done anything for. I loved. I don’t think is was actually in a romantic way, even though I did think he was the most beautiful, perfect thing in the world at the time.
I loved him in a way that made me like his company, want every happiness to come his way.
We’re 3 years later and this bloke is just a distant memory. I was used to help him progress professionally. All I wanted was a friend. Luckily I’ve recently discovered; friendship, true friendship, should never be that hard. It shouldn’t make you feel less than and it definitely shouldn’t make you think you would be better off dead.

I know it’s his loss. I’m frigging awesome (I will repeat that until I believe it, I promise) and friendship with me is easy. However, I still, every so often, miss that smile, that laugh. Hell, after what the replacement ginger did, I miss his mistreatment of me.

The key is how I move on. What do I do to ensure I don’t get trapped in a asymmetrical ‘relationship’ again?! That’s what the counselor is for, and over the next six months I’m going to work on my self worth.

Oscar Predictions

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W- want to win

D- deserves to win
P- predict will win
It either doesn’t deserve to be considered or I haven’t seen enough to judge.

Best Picture
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
W/D The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Best Actor

P- Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
D- Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
W– Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
P– Julianne Moore, Still Alice
W/D – Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor

W- Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
P- Edward Norton, Birdman
D- Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress

P- Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
D- Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
W- Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Best Director

P- Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
W/D -Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper
W/D – Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
P- Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Best Original Screenplay

Boyhood
P- Birdman
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Timbuktu
Wild Tales

Best Documentary Feature

Citizenfour
Last Days in Vietnam
Virunga
Finding Vivian Maier
The Salt of the Earth

Best Original Song

W/D- Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley, and Nick Southwood, “Lost Stars” (Begin Again)
P- John Legend and Common, “Glory” (Selma)
Shawn Patterson, Joshua Bartholomew, Lisa Harriton, and the Lonely Island, “Everything Is Awesome” (The Lego Movie)
The-Dream, “Grateful” (Beyond the Lights)
Glen Campbell, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me)

Best Original Score

Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
W/D/P– Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner

Best Animated Feature

W/D/P- Big Hero 6
Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Best Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
W- Guardians of the Galaxy
P- Interstellar
D- X:Men: Days of Future Past

Best Film Editing

American Sniper
Boyhood
W/D/P- Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game
Whiplash

Best Cinematography

P- Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
W/D- Robert D. Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ryszard Lenczewski and Łukasz Żal, Ida
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

Best Sound Editing

American Sniper
Interstellar
Unbroken
W/D/P- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Birdman

Best Sound Mixing

W/D/P- American Sniper
Unbroken
Birdman
Interstellar
Whiplash

Best Costume Design

W- Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods
D- Anna B. Sheppard, Maleficent
P- Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner
Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice

Best Production Design

P- Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Suzie Davies and Charlotte Watts, Mr. Turner
Dennis Gassner and Anna Pinnock, Into the Woods
D- Nathan Crowley, Garry Fettis, and Paul Healy, Interstellar
W- Maria Djurkovic, The Imitation Game

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

W/D- Guardians of the Galaxy
Foxcatcher
P- The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Short Film, Live Action

Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis, Aya (Chasis Films)
Michael Lennox, director, and Ronan Blaney, Boogaloo and Graham (Out of Orbit)
Hu Wei and Julien Féret, Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak) (AMA Productions)
Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger, Parvaneh (Zurich University of Arts)
Mat Kirkby, director and James Lucas, The Phone Call (RSA Films)

Best Short Film, Animated

Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees, The Bigger Picture (National Film and Television School)
Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, The Dam Keeper (Tonko House)
W/D- Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed, Feast (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Torill Kove, Me and My Moulton (Mikrofilm in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada)
Joris Oprins, A Single Life (Job, Joris & Marieke)

RANT- Taken 3 (abandoned)

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This is not so much a review of Taken 3 , as a rant about our cinema culture today. With a side swipe to the corrupt classification system.

Saturday afternoon, 3pm showing in a London Odeon. The corridors smell of pee, which instantly puts me on edge. I’m already grumpy because my cheese sauce is served cold and the jalapeños used up one of my ‘sides’ instead of being a complimentary extra. With 10 minutes before the scheduled start time, the tiny screen is empty. Save for a ten year old and his father. I did a double take; I check my ticket, I brave the corridor to check the screen number.

Minutes later four boys, without an adult and of questionable age rock up in front of us. To quote my name sake- I have a bad feeling about this. The film is about to start- the BBFC’s certificate pops up just to remind me that age certifications will ruin everything I love. About a dozen more people have filled the rows behind us- all adults, that shouldn’t be a problem right?

Within 20 minutes, I’d had enough, the four boys were talking; only pausing to shovel enough sweets into their mouths to put them into a diabetic coma. Not only that, but two pairs of adult are providing surround sound conversations. I was out of my seat and expressing my concerns to an employee. They had two people in there within minutes and they spoke to the adults. The boys were sensible enough to quieten down for those few minutes.

Within five minutes, the men had gone and the talking was back. Not only that, but we’d delved into action territory. There was a young disabled girl on the back row, whooping along with every gun shot or loud bang. This, of course, I can tolerate. She’s enjoying the film and after what’s gone before, it’s actually a welcome change. However, what does have my blood boiling is the woman to my left who has, since the film began engaged the person next to her in a loud conversation and repeatedly checked her phone. This woman, this truly inconsiderate excuse of a human being, turns round and gives an accusing stare to the young girl’s family.

Safe to say, my friend and I decided it was time to ask for a refund. The cinema did this without question and apologised profusely. Although, one thing that jarred with me was ‘we can keep going in and telling them, but those sort of people will keep on doing it.’ Really? You wouldn’t think to demand them to leave? I suppose you don’t get paid enough- I know that’s true, but the reputation of your brand (this is now my third visit to Odeon where I have had issues. So 100% of my recent visits have resulted in a tainted viewing experience) is in jeopardy and when you charge so much for cinema tickets- you can’t afford to let this slide. Zero tolerance, much more regular checks of screens and, if you need to get a security guy to be able to do your dirty work.

Now, BBFC; you’re safe for another day, but I do blame you for the hyped up adrenaline junkies (by proxy- hell these kids experience real adrenaline themselves their heads would blow up) invading a film that would have once been targeted for an 18 audience.

I’ve got a theory…

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I went to university with the dream of being the next Jonathan Ross. From the very first echo of ‘shoot her’ in Jurassic Park I always knew my first love would be film.
Whenever I couldn’t sleep, when I was sad, hell when it was Thursday- Jurassic Park was my go to movie. I was determined of one thing, I would work within film or dinosaurs.

I’m now a teacher, of RE. I love it and I try to use film to illustrate my point at every opportunity. It’s still a world away from filling Wossy’s shoes.

Due to a dare from my brother I attempted, with 12 weeks left of 2014, to see 100 films at the cinema in the year. I was at 68 at the time, so it was a challenge (I only got to 85 despite a christmas movie marathon of 6 films in the Prince Charles). I started seeing films on their day of release and a few people were asking me what I thought before making up their mind about whether to see it. I’ve figure- why not compile my opinion into a blog?!

So here it goes; welcome to my world of film and geekdom. I will be reviewing films, theatre and the occasional tv show.