I've always been told that "...your first celebrity crush spoiled you so much he ruined it for all your future celebrity crushes!", so I thought it was just me having too much high expectations and I was planning to skip this second chapter of my report entirely.
But then, when the sun was rising upon the Thames in front of us on Sunday morning, sheester Erinn, Jenny and Sarah said goodbye to me and vehemently agreed that, no matter how harsh, Chapter II needs to be written: "Go ahead! Write all about this!" - they encouraged me in a rebellious tone – "Yeah Sheehangroupie, have no mercy!". They left, reassured that I was soon going to publically reveal their sad inner feelings and speak their minds in a way that they would never dare to. In fact, less than 12 hours later, they were already tweeting to him, in a remarkably less rebellious tone: "Aaaww poor baby, you were so tired, weren't you?! Thank you for your time! Please rest, sweetie! I LOVE YOU!" (I can never stay mad at him! E x)
All right, all right, I'll do this... I have been his groupie for a long time, he knows by now that I am one grumpy bitch and yes, I may have written "Let's call it even" to him a tad too soon and oh boy, he's not going to like Chapter II... I'm not particularly worried though: even if I put it black and white that I hate him, who is ever going to believe me?!
Because groupies cannot just work to finance their favorite hobby, we have rules: I only travel for my celebrity crushes if they perform live for at least one hour, and the distance is proportional to the length of the performance. I will come to the USA for your solo tour, I will not even travel to Milan if you're playing for half a hour in a music fest with ten other bands. Even I cannot find words to say how grateful I am that, to entertain us, Rob decided to embark in this physically, mentally and vocally exhausting project, and on THIS side of the Atlantic Ocean! So don't get me wrong: going to London and watch the trilogy twice was money well spent! So well spent that I have to split this report into two chapters because my new, beloved imaginary husband Richard must not pay for our fangirl's "resentment" towards the actor who plays him.
But nope. This time we do not have much material, stories, photos and videos to make you dream, but I'll still try to make you feel like you were there too, during that grand total of 35 seconds that I had the privilege to spend with Our Majesty...(Or Our Misshapen Dick, as I like to call him ;) E x)
So, let's start from the beginning."I am going to be there for 4 days." - I told sheester Judy weeks before going to London – "There is no chance in hell that he will not piss me off! I'll better avoid him, I cannot let him ruin my Richard III sexual-fantasy, my Richard III sexual-fantasy is way too expensive!". "Right! Get your priorities straight!", she encouraged me. Too bad, I was clearly not destined to start off on the right foot...
Erinn and the other founding members of the Sheehab, Irish sheesters Rachel and Sue, had just asked me and Judy to become Head Sheesters, because running The Sheehab can be a rather time-consuming job if you're also trying to have a life and it requires trusthworthy, highly qualified personnel. Judy and I, both slightly reluctant to make such a big commitment but still both willing to promote Rob's talent, took a few days to discuss the matter and decided that we were going to wait a couple more days and then declare ourselves unworthy of such noble title but honored to accept the role of co-administrators, skipping the coronation and just keeping our News Agent and Italian Correspondent current, less binding positions. (And I'm so bloody grateful they agreed - aren't they doing a fab job? E x)
In the meantime, Head Sheester Erinn went to Richard III preview with sheester Sarah and sheester Jenny...
...and they spent some good 20 minutes with Rob, who had twitter-invited them for drinks at the bar after the show (it was actually a tweet aimed at the general public, but I chose to take it as an invite lol! E x) and twitter-thanked them with tonguey kisses the next day: (Still waiting for an actual tonguey kiss from him, but I live in hope haha! E x)
I was 100% sure he had no fucking clue when and what our anniversary exactly was. FYI, by "anniversary" I mean the first time I travelled for him, stalked him outside the Old Vic theatre where he recognized me and came to me and I promised to be his groupie for a long time – I wasn't talking shit, was I?!
So, I had not planned to watch Henry VI on October 7th, our anniversary, but I arrived to the Rose Theatre in time to stalk him after the show. I waited at the bar for the show to end and few minutes later he stormed out of the backstage, walked through the bar and out of the theatre without even taking a look around. I decided to pretend he did not know I was there, I swallowed down my lesbian pride and followed him outside. Alex Waldmann, who was walking with him to the station, saw me and frowned, so I gestured him to shush while I walked after Rob tickling his face from behind with a red rose. Rob walked on pretending not to notice, so I did it again. This time he cried out a surprised little scream like aaahhh, which sounded so fake that for a moment I felt ashamed to say that he is my favourite actor because he can act! Finally he caved in, stopped and turned around, thank you very much.
"Happy anniversary!" I said, handing out the rose to him.
He recognized me, a tad too fast for his surprise to be believable, hey'ed me and asked me how I was, pointing out that we had not seen each other since when he was in Rome...
"Yeah, we have not seen each other in 632 days..." - I said - "Not that I'm counting, you SMUG!". He laughed, probably honestly a little surprised to find me so chatty, as I've always resorted to written words and done my best not to talk to him in the past. In fact, this time too I immediately handed him a letter envelope. Inside it, just an anniversary card...
I've always kept my distance unless he makes physical contact first, so his giant green bulbs popped out of his eye-sockets for a moment, more worried than surprised this time. Then he said something about how nice of me to come see the plays and I commented that "Yeah, you see? I'm being nice with you for a change...".
"I have a train to catch..." he told me, looking at Henry VI walking away without him.
"Don't worry, I have three whole days to stalk you."
"I have not seen the play tonight" – I explained - "I'm starting tomorrow and the next day, then trilogy day with Erinn on Saturday."
"I am busy tomorrow night but I'll be around here tomorrow." - he said and - "I'm not much in the first play though..." he informed me, almost apologetically.
"I know, DUH! What kind of incompetent groupie do you think I am?!" I thought, but said goodbye to him instead and let him go.
As I later tried to explain to sheester Sarah who always tries to see the glass half full, my glass permanently lays shattered on the floor so, obviously, when my celebrity crush tells me "I am busy tomorrow night but see you around...", to me that automatically means "Leave me alone!". In fact, the next day I watched the first two plays sneaking in and out of the theatre like a burglar, as fast as I could as soon as they started and ended and, ironically enough, I left with another tall green-eyed curly hot guy I met there. Because when I'm on groupie-mode is the only time I'm not officially gay, I must say I tend to forget how fucking easy it is to be straight.
Anyway, I got drunk and didn't sleep much that night, so I was planning to sleep it off that Friday until Richard III play in the evening. But then, when the sun started to go down, my sense of guilt started to rise up. Thanks to past experiences and mindful of how some celebrity crushes' egoes work at times, I started thinking if I don't stalk him at all, he might think I am not enjoying his shows, that I don't love him anymore, he'll go bitch about me with the press accusing me to cheat on him with Siouxie and the Banshees...
So I got up, wrote my hundredth thank-you note for him, bought another rose hissing through my teeth how fucking stupid this was and went in front of the theatre, which was three steps away from my hotel anyway. In The Wars of The Roses, red roses represent the House of Lancaster, while white roses are for the House of York, so my first rose was red because it was for Robert, for our anniversary. This time I picked a white rose instead, because this thank-you note was explicitly for my new imaginary husband Richard, not for Robert.
I had no intention to wait for him for long. Most of the cast was backstage already, as he probably was too, while the rest of the actors who share the dressing-room with him passed me by one by one, running to the stage door, including Michael Xavier. I stopped him and asked him to give my rose and my letter to Robbie. He graciously agreed, so I left and came back later for my first round of Richard III. I don't know if Rob saw it, I didn't ask him, I never do as it doesn't really matter once I've done my part.
After the play, I easily spotted three girls who just looked like they were waiting for Rob in the hallway between the exit and the bar, just like I was. "I assume we are here for the same curly reason...?". So I met yet another one of his many Italian fans. She's recently moved to London and I vaguely remembered her from two years ago, cursing the whole country of Russia and all the Russians in it because she wanted to come up to Rome from South Italy to meet Rob at Anita B premiere but she couldn't, due to a Russian-language exam she had that day.
Rob soon came out of the backstage and spent quite some time at the bar. From where we were standing, I couldn't see who he was with, nor I wanted to go bother him, so I just waited with the girls, asking Marie to say my name over and over again because it sounds so damn sexy in her German accent. Finally he left, and heading towards the exit he stopped for us and came to me first, as I was the only one he already knew.
"You have another Italian groupie and you didn't tell me?!!" I nagged, introducing Rossana to him.
"Yay! Italian groupies!" he said hugging us both. The third girl asked to take pictures, he said "Sure!" and he was ready to strike a pose with one Italian groupie on each side when I promptly slipped away from under his arm 'cause I'm a privacy-freak. I watched the girls taking pictures with him instead...
...and then he hugged me again and thanked me again for coming tonight to see the play.
"You nearly fucking killed me, man!" I told him, still weak on my knees for his post-nightmare weeping scene.
"Good! That was the intention!" he commented, walking away.
"Ah well, how nice, thank you! See you tomorrow..."
"See you tomorrow!".
To be at the theatre in time, the next day sheester Erinn, Sarah and Jenny woke up a little earlier than usual for a Saturday... (I was on the 6.45am train! E x)
...but they made it in time and then we finally met before watching the three plays together.
Sheester Sarah immediately asked me why I had never really talked to her on twitter, so I explained that I consider her my rival since The Mortal Instrument event at the Apple Store three years ago: "You wrote poetry for him and you gave it to him. That's my thing, I cannot tolerate that!". So we agreed to sword-fight later during the breaks between the plays but then we didn't because we were too busy talking about misshapen dicks and our nasty Sheexual fantasies. Of course I haven't missed a chance (I never do) to remind to Head Sheester Erinn that she has not yet fashioned those Sheehab gadgets we asked for 3 years ago, the sheehanators. “I actually almost did, this time” - she apologized - “but then I thought this might have been labelled as going too far...” (You don't want to know what these are - just know that I am, in fact, a giant pervert! E x) “Well, I'm sad but all right, next time... Don't make them misshapen though...” I said, while wise sheester Sarah behind me was suggesting that I should “ ...not underestimate that sometimes misshapen can be even better...”.
After the plays, we went to the bar. Erinn went speaking to her new favorite actor Owen Oakeshott (It's true - I'm gonna start the Owen Oakeshott Fanclub next! E x) because they had "business to do", while the other five of us established our nest on the table closest to the main ways out of the bar that Rob could have possibly found, piling on it all the gifts they had brought for him. And then we waited. Apparently there was some sort of press event upstairs, so we waited a long, long time. For those fans who wish they were there with us and want to know how that feels like...:
Me, optimistic as always: "I told you, you shouldn't have come with me! He's avoiding me, that bastard!"
Erinn, stolid: "He's coming, let's just wait."
Me, bitterly: "Ah, I'm not going any-fucking-where! I'm absolutely sure I will never ever see him again and he knows I'm leaving tomorrow so if you're wrong, I'm gonna write the shittiest review the world has ever seen!"
Jenny, wisely: "What if the bar closes and they kick us out?"
Sarah, tragically: "I'm going to chain myself to the table!"
Erinn, starting to vape her nauseatingly-sweet apple & cinnamon e-cig (I like it! E x): "He's coming, let's just wait. He knows we are here, he'd never be so rude!" (Because he's a good Irish boy & his Mammy raised him right ;) E x)
Rossana, worried: "Are we sure he's still here? What if he escaped from the stage door in the back?"
Me, heavily swearing in Italian: "Good point!"
Sarah, suddenly panicking: "Come on Sheehangroupie, let's go have a smoke and take a look!"
Erinn, stolid yes but vaping like an old train: "He's coming, let's just wait. He knows we are here, he's not going to be so rude..." (See above lol! E x)
Few minutes later...
Me, getting back into the bar: "I don't think he escaped from the stage door."
Sarah, following me back in: "There's still a chance though that he's gone down a drain pipe to avoid us... It can get slippery if he's wearing his skinny jeans, I hope he didn't fall off..."
Erinn, still trying to sound stolid and to reload her e-cig with shaky hands: "He'll come, he'll come, let's just wait... He knows we are here, I don't think he'd be so rude..."
Me: "Fucking hell, I can't take this! I feel sick, I think I'm gonna vomit."
One hour later...
Me: "Fucking hell, I can't take this! I feel sick, I think I'm gonna vomit."
Erinn, dramatically less stolid, in a thick cloud of vapour: "He's coming, I guess... Let's just wait a little longer... He knows we are here... He's not that rude... I guess..."
Me: "Rossà, isn't it getting too late for you?"
Rossana: "Well yeah but... the kids I'm baby-sitting broke down a heater and flooded the house this morning. If they've done that again since I left them to come here, they're probably drowned by now so that's okay, I can wait for Robbie a little longer..." (Hahahahahahaha!!!!!! A girl with her priorities right! E x)
Me, nervously dismembering her hairdo and braiding her hair back again: "Fucking hell, I can't take this! I feel sick, I think I'm gonna vomit."
Sarah, making the table shake under her shaky hands: "Relax! Look at me, I'm perfectly calm!"
Me, holding down the trembling glasses: "You do not look particularly calm, dear..."
In the meantime, a few members of the cast came downstairs every now and then and were nice enough to talk to us. Then finally, Rob came down. Super-fast round of hugs and thanks, but not even enough time to show him the gifties because we were abruptly interrupted and forced out of the closing bar. (I was actually really cross about this - we were spoken to incredibly rudely by the member of staff at the Rose, which was wholly unjustified! E x)
We all went out behind him, thinking he was planning to dedicate a few more seconds to us once outside. Much to our surprise, he just crossed the street and walked away with other people. I could have born the thought to end it there and bitch about it later but he had not even taken Erinn and Sarah's gifts so they followed him (like the psycho's we clearly are! E x) and he stopped again on the sidewalk. He took their bag of gifts, inside which I suddenly decided to throw a couple more things I had written. In the meantime, Erinn asked him why he had unfollowed the Sheehab. "Ehm... It's ... Wel... Mp... I mean... Ehm... You know..." after about a minute and a half of stuttering nonsense, he managed to explain that he's not a twitter person and that he gets bored easily. "I had already told you that 2 weeks ago in a much more credible, intelligible manner, Erinn", I commented when he left.
"Okay, I feel like I'm going to cry now..." said Erinn, looking at him go. (You see? Psycho! E x)
"Me too..." we all agreed in unison. That's "the fangirl comedown", as Erinn calls it, and I have seen this happening so many times before: you know this is your last show (in this case the "last day of shows", something I myself have never experienced before!) and you know you may never see him again, or at least not for a very, very long time and that's a piercing, unique brand of irrational despair that not many fangirls can handle. (The Feels will kill you every single time! E x) But I swore to myself: "Ah! No fucking way! I barely ever cry for anything, I'm not gonna cry for this!" We said goodbye to Marie and Rossana as they're too young to be allowed into pubs and then we realized we weren't allowed into pubs either because it was too late. So we decided to go to my room. We stopped on our way, Sarah and Erinn went into a shop to buy drinks and food. When they came out three minutes later, they found me sat on the sidewalk weeping on Jenny's lap. Erinn had the decency to wait to be in my room first, while Sarah used her mental-hospital-nurse skills (incredibly appropriate, given our situation) to swallow down the tears and not go to her fangirling "dark place", as she calls it.
Truth is, no matter how nice your celebrity crush can be with you, you know you'll never be as important to him as he is to you and he very rarely can compensate for your efforts so you will, inevitably, feel stupid as fuck: "Here, mommy made dinner... Have some old bread-crust and sink water. Enjoy..." says Erinn to her kids to save money for plays and hotel (I feel a visit from Social Services coming on!! I joke, of course - both children are extremely well cared for & well-nourished. I do have a fair few overdue bills now though lol! E x), while I land into Gatwick mumbling to myself "He's costing me a fucking grand! I should have got myself an iPad Pro instead! It has four speakers! He's only got one larynx! Yet here I am, with my iPhone 3!".
"I hate him! He's a life-ruiner!" cried Erinn on my bed, although that wasn't the heat of the moment, she always calls him that. (It's true - he is a life-ruiner! He cripples me with feels on a daily basis! But at the same time, he's too bloody wonderful to not love! E x)
"No we don't hate him, we wish! We hate ourselves!" I barked back at her.
"I KNOW! Fangirling at our age is unhealthy!! Why the fuck do we do this everytime?! What's wrong with us?!"
"No no no, NO, don't go there!" panicked Sarah "I do NOT allow to ask myself that question!".
So, in conclusion, and not to disrespect (far be it from me!) that ungrateful asshole of my favourite actor, whom I love dearly, I must admit that the best fangirling part of this entire operation had not much to do with him: it was the night we spent on my bed, like in the good ol' groupie-days, sharing complaints, laughters, sobs and fangirl-stories. (This is true - mashing crisps & chocolate into our faces, crying, laughing & swearing a fuckload like the classy, classy ladies that we are! And it's my favourite thing about being a part of The Sheehab - the camaraderie, the friendships & the fun we all have together; I wouldn't trade it for the world <3 E x)
But all kidding aside, we are not teenagers anymore, we have not been teenagers in a long time actually, (Speak for yourself lol! I know, I'm not kidding anyone!! E x) so we are well aware that he is working his ass off, that he had been trapped inside that theatre for fifteen hours straight, that each of us would kill whoever tries to approach us after a day like that and that he had to fly away early the morning after for an important family event.
On the other hand, we are not teenagers anymore, we have not been teenagers in a long time, so when we are sad, we bitch and nag like adult women: fiercely and relentlessly! As for me personally, I blame this all on his mother and his girlfriend. If at least one of them was still in London, like I did in Rome with his mum I would have much rather stalked them, avoided him completely, enjoyed Richard and made it back to Rome with a bigger smile on my face! Much bigger if I had managed to actually steal his hot girlfriend, as I too like my women petite.
Well, next time...