Respectful Insolence

Me and Orlando Bloom

Note: We’re back in the U.S. However, it is a long holiday weekend here in the States, much like last weekend’s Bank Holiday weekend in England. Consequently, blogging will be mellow until Tuesday. Don’t worry, things will return to normal soon enough, but since traffic’s down due to over a week of mostly reruns and it’s even further down this weekend, probably due to the holidays, I thought a little photoblogging from our recent vacation might be in order. (Don’t worry; I haven’t forgotten about some pictures from my stop by the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, but those will probably have to wait until sometime next week. I want to post them on a day when traffic returns to normal for the widest possible distribution.)

Friday night, August 24. Our first night in London. Utterly exhausted, we had crashed for a few hours in the afternoon after having arrived at our hotel. Hours later, we hit the town looking for a place to eat. We found one, a good one, on St. Martin’s Lane, at an Italian restaurant, of all things, a place called Bertorelli, which I recommend if you’re ever in the West End. By the time we finished our meal, it was around 10:15 PM.

“You’re just in time,” our waiter told us as he took the bill.

“For what?” we asked.

“Orlando Bloom’ll be coming out of the theatre.”

“Orlando Bloom’ll be coming out of the theatre.”

After paying our bill, we went to investigate, and, sure enough, just down the street, a crowd had gathered outside the Duke of York Theatre, where, it was advertised, Orlando Bloom was appearing in a play called In Celebration. There were easily 100 people milling about the stage door, with a couple of beefy-looking guys with earpieces keeping them out of the alley leading to the door, and a car waiting. Curious, and not having anything better to do, we waited around with the rest. I managed to insinuate myself fairly close to the front of the mob, and I waited with the rest of them.

Time passed, and nothing much happened. The beefy guys appeared to be pulling individuals out of the crowd to line them up to greet the star as he emerged. I have no idea on what basis they were chosen to receive autographs. More time passed, and I was getting bored to the point of seriously considering abandoning this endeavor, when what to my wondering eyes should appear.

Yep, Orlando Bloom:

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Heck, I even got within about 15 feet of him. PZ would be so jealous.

Oddly enough, we happened to be in the vicinity of the theatre around 9:30 PM on our last night in London, and already the beginnings of a crowd were starting to gather. Even more oddly, several appeared to be the same people who were there that first night.

Some people need to get a life.

Comments

  1. #1 Niobe
    September 2, 2007

    Orlando Bloom and I. Tisk tisk Orac.

  2. #2 Elf Eye
    September 2, 2007

    I. Am. So. Jealous.

    Why do you think my pseudonym is Elf Eye?

  3. #3 Heidi in Canada
    September 2, 2007

    Oh boy! I am so jealous too!!! I am going to England next week to see his play and hopefully take pictures like these!!!
    What time was it when he finally came out? I wonder if I can find a hotel near the theatre – Hahahahaha!

  4. #4 Thony C.
    September 2, 2007

    I ate my first meal at the original Bertorelli’s in Charlotte Street with my father more than forty years ago. His father had given him his own account at “Berto’s” on his fifteenth birthday in 1936. I’m glad to hear that the food is still good, although I must admit in the 60’s at the original Berto’s the service was notoriously terrible. We actually always got served well because my father had been served by the same waitress Anna for more than twenty years! My half sister who is considerably younger than I am never had to order in Berto’s because she always eat the same three courses melon, chicken, melon! If it still exists I can heartily recommend Bertorelli’s original ice cream.

  5. #5 sophia8
    September 2, 2007

    I’m a member of a fan-forum (I won’t say who we’re fans of) and I can tell you that there is quite a lot of protocol involved in being a fan and meeting “your” star.
    The no. 1 rule is that you don’t approach the star when he’s obviously “off-duty” and relaxing. Coming out of a stage-door after a performance counts as being “on duty”, so that’s the best chance fans have to get their autographs and photos and tell the star how wonderful he is. The stars understand the protocol and are happy to go along with this; this contact time with the fans is in exchange for being left alone the rest of the time (as well as their reward for paying his wages).
    It’s usual for some of the same fans to turn up several times, to get autographs and photos for their friends; these fans will obviously become very familiar to the star and his entourage, so that’s probably why they were singled out.
    Yes, fans are a strange lot, but we’re almost all harmless.

  6. #6 Jon H
    September 2, 2007

    FYI, Celebration is the play that, in the original run, inspired the Monty Python sketch where the son wants to work at a mine and the father is a playwright who’s had “more gala luncheons than [the son] has had hot meals”.

    Regarding fan protocols, some fans seem to think the star owes them a bunch in return for the fan having bought all the stuff/seen the concerts/etc. In actuality, the star held up his/her end of the bargain by providing the best performance he or she could in the first place. On top of that, the star merely owes civility, and need not go out of the way to indulge the fans. That’s nice when they do it, but it’s not an obligation.

    On the other hand, don’t be a prick, like Tobey Maguire, who slapped a fan’s camera out of the guy’s hand. That just seems egregious. (Assuming it was a fan and not a papparazi.)

  7. #7 Susang
    September 3, 2007

    You must have been a little more than curious if you made your way to the front of a crowd of a 100, and managed to take some rather close-up paparazzi-style photos of Bloom as he left the theatre.

    It’s a long and honored tradition that fans of the theatre and wanna-be actors and actresses will wait at the stage door either to meet their favorite actors and maybe get an autograph, or to somehow snag a job or audition at the theatre. While your chance of getting a job or audition by this method is greatly diminished from years past, some naive thespians still hang out there and hope.

    Of course, the people you saw the first time you were at the stage door might have noticed that you were there twice as well. After all, you did “insinuate” yourself to the front of the group in order to take pictures; wink wink, nudge nudge.

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