I had to do a little healing around this moment because (it’s possible I’m a little bit of a control freak and) my encounter with the inimitable Mr. Scott did not go at all as planned. But I’m over it now. Really ;)
Looking on the bright side, I met the letter of almost all my goals. I did have a real-time, real life encounter with him. I gave him the card I made him. And I touched him. I would have preferred to look him in the eye rather than at everything in the theatre but him; and I’m guessing we were both surprised that I sort of petted him rather than shaking his hand. But hey, life’s a carnival, there are bound to be some freaks. And I can be consoled that he is unlikely to remember the incident anyway.
When I booked for Birdland, I intentionally chose May 7th for the post-show talk. I wanted the extra 30 minutes of Andrew Scott out of costume. This was before I knew he was routinely doing stage door fan-time after shows. I didn’t change the booking, or just show up at another stage door session because I had too much other theatre to attend. So it was that night or never
I was in the row closest to the actors, so when the post-show talk ended, I made a beeline for him. I got to him first but hard on my heels was someone he actually knew (with their friend)! I was already nervous, and embarrassed, and feeling like I was doing the wrong thing; but I waited and when it was my turn I said “Mr. Scott, may I give you this?” And he said “Of course.” And I started to try to explain, but I wasn’t really looking at him, and I said something along the lines of “I made you a card, because I’m really dorky.” (Have I mentioned my high self-esteem and top-notch marketing skills recently?) And then before anything like a conversation could rise from the ashes of my awkwardness:
- Nikki Amuka-Bird started talking to me (which was incredibly cool)!
- The woman who had been sitting next to me returned my scarf (which was incredibly thoughtful)!
- I forgot that Andrew Scott is not my friend (which was incredibly awkward)!
We were appropriately and inevitably getting separated in the crowd, so I reached out and stroked his arm –shoulder halfway to elbow. This is something I do frequently to people I have known for 15 years. It’s a questionable move on someone I didn’t even really meet 15 seconds ago. I may have said “Thank you” or “Bravo,” but I was so distracted I can’t remember.
Subsequently, I had normal conversations and standard, professional physical contact with Simon Stephens and Nikki Amuka-Bird. Just to prove I’m capable of such. I have new respect for all those girls taking selfies with him. Better luck next time.