Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

Stoppard Relief

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So, searching around on the interwebs today, and searching for news about Stoppard for the more-than-usual time this month (usually I’ll have a look once or twice a month, I guess, often when I’ve nothing better to do (or rather, plenty of better things to do, but nothing that I could be bothered doing)), I discovered that the auction had finally happened earlier in the day, or in the morning, or whatever time here corresponds to the time over there in England.  The “First Editions, Second Thoughts” auction, where the authors annotated copies of their books, then auctioned them off for charity.  Something like that.

I found a desire in me to bid on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – Stoppard’s contribution – and found that I was willing to pay quite a lot (to me, anyway) or money for it.  But I didn’t bother doing anything, because I assumed it would be too hard for me to bid remotely from  Australia.  A few days ago I found out  that I could put in a telephone bid with Sotheby’s myself, but it had to be done 24 hours before the auction (not that that was a problem), and it had to be done for items which were expected to fetch at least a base price of 800 pounds.  I can’t remember what my initial limit was, but I think it was either one or two thousand dollars, and 800 pounds, while being closer to the one thousand dollar mark, was still a big amount.  And so I let it pass.  I’m not rich.  Life sucks.  Et cetera.

Anyway, after doing some digging – as the reporting on the event didn’t bother to mention all 50 works being sold, but just the big ticket items (like Harry Potter for 150,000, if I remember correctly), I found on Twitter a picture confirming that it had sold for 13,000 pounds.  Which makes me happy.  You see, knowing that I had no chance of affording it means I don’t feel bad about not even trying.  Plus, I managed to find some photos of quite a few more pages, and I guess I’ve seen at least a third or a half of the total annotations now, so my curiosity, while not completely satisfied, has had a good enough taste to stop my stomach grumbling.

Still.  Would’ve been nice.  It would’ve made me happy for more than a day, I reckon.  Which is something.

I stumbled, out of bored curiosity, onto a site that has information about conventions it puts on – sci-fi type conventions, where the stars of various shows (like Star Trek, Supernatural, and so on) go to greet fans and participate in panels and whatnot (no space).  On the site it had all the prices for tickets and so on, including ‘autograph tickets’, and ‘photo op tickets’, where you pay a certain amount to get an autograph with the actor you want, or a photo.  The really popular actors, much to my surprise, could charge $90 (American, I assume) for the autographs, and $120 for the photos.  My first thought was slight amazement that people would pay that much for the privilege.  Then I thought that, assuming they really were fans, it’d seem like nothing to get to meet the person they’re a fan of.  And then I thought whether I, given the opportunity to pay to meet Stoppard, would actually do so.  (There’s no point thinking of anyone else, because Stoppard is the only one I’d even come close to considering it for.)  Would I spend $120 for a photo with him?

I don’t think I would, to be honest.  It smacks a bit of prostitution, I think.  Not that it is, but the romantic in me likes to think that money shouldn’t tarnish a meeting like that.  Then again, I did pay to see him be ‘in conversation’, but that’s a theatrical event, and that was for an hour long talk.  (I mean, when you think about it, all actors are prostitutes, too, technically, but you have to draw the line somewhere, yes?)  (Indeed, anyone who gets paid to do something – anything – is in some small way a prostitute,  just non-sexually.)  And I only paid thirty dollars, from memory.  Or maybe a tiny bit more for a premium seat.  I can’t remember.

So no, I wouldn’t pay for it.   Now, put me in a situation where I have to pay ten dollars to get into a club that I can see him in, and then I might consider it.  Or maybe he’d agree to have a chat with me if I bought him a drink (after we’d randomly met in London).  Hypotheticals, hypotheticals.  I’ve no idea what I’d do, I’m guessing.  But $120 to have a photo with him the next time he was in Sydney?  No.

I really don’t know what I want from him.  Indeed, I want nothing from him, I think.  I think I just want to, if I ever get the chance, to let him know that I’m thankful for his writing, which is perhaps why I have this distaste for paying to meet him.  Why should you have to get your credit card out to thank someone, right?

I decided about a month ago that I wouldn’t send him a letter until I finished my play.  Hopefully he won’t die first.  (It’s not going to be done by my birthday.)

Finished Naruto Volume 2 last night.  Been reading some of Bakuman Volume 1 today.  Also, 17/ 502 in Leonardo Da Vinci: Flights of the Mind by Charles Nicholl.  (Let’s get factual, factual – I wanna get factual…)


Written by epistemysics

May 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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