Feb 1, 2011

"Homage to Armitage" Highlight

An Armitage musical revolution is at hand!
No, Richard hasn't taken up conducting symphonies.
(Although you never know...)

It is music about our dear Richard I speak of.
There have been whispers of a Grammy nomination
and a sold-out world tour is inevitable.

What a few critics have said about
the song and video "Homage to Armitage"~

"This song will get stuck in your head for days and you won't mind one bit." ~ragirlforevah

"Homage to Armitage is musical genius! Genius, I tell you!!!" ~giddy4gizzy

"WHERE can I buy the MP3!?" ~maggiethornton

"I want that girl's cleavage." ~flattypatty

If you don't know what these people are talking about, 
you must view Allison Cossitt's "Homage to Armitage" video:

*Pause the blog's background music (bottom of screen) before viewing.*

I first saw this vid posted on RA Frenzy's site and
The Spooks Fan Blog and laughed out loud as I watched it. 
I especially like that Allison is enjoying herself while singing,
which is obvious by that big grin on her face and inability to keep
from laughing at times. I thought, "A kindred spirit!"
since Allison clearly doesn't take herself
or her  admiRAtion too seriously.   

Shortly after seeing this video, I added the
song to my "Armitage Tunes" mixpod list (bottom of screen)
which automatically plays RA-related music when this blog is
opened.  After receiving many comments about how wonderful and
life-changing this song is ;) I had to question the mastermind
behind it so we could all know a little bit more.
Plus, I'm always curious. :)

Nat: Please tell us a bit about yourself~ What part of the world do you call home? What are your interests and hobbies? Do you have a significant other?
Allison: Home is a very grey area for me. I was born in Toledo, Ohio (USA) and moved to East Amherst, New York (near Buffalo) when I was about 14. I fled Buffalo after getting my degree in theater and headed west, to Portland, Oregon. I spent three years in Portland until heading up North to finally end up in Seattle, Washington. I also did a study abroad program where I lived in Australia for 5 months, I absconded to Ireland for three months in 2008, and last Fall I spent 2 1/2 months living in the Dominican Republic. So, at this very moment, my apartment is in Seattle, but lately I've been feeling the need to move on again, so who knows where I'll end up next!  Obviously one of my big interests in travel. I've been extremely lucky to have a father who is also a world traveler, and can therefor facilitate my adventures with generous donations of frequent flier miles!
One of my great passions in life is my pet rats. I've kept rats for almost 20 years now, and they are the lights of my life. Right now I only have two, H.T. Vanderrat and Umlaut, but I'm sure there will be many more in years to come... and no, I've never named any of them after any RA characters, even though that would be rather appropriate! I love to cook and bake, play guitar (clearly), I make necklaces out of vintage postcards and stamps, I work as a barista (like a bartender for coffee beverages) in Seattle, but I'm actually an avid tea-drinker, I used to write poetry, but I've found it's a lot easier to get people to listen to a song than to get them to listen to a poem - so now I write a lot of songs! I have no significant other, unless you count the rats!

Check out her etsy site HERE, where you can
view and/or purchase one of her awesome vintage postcard/stamp necklaces.

Nat: When and how did you first discover The Armitage?
Allison: The swooning first started almost three years ago when I rented disk 1 of Robin Hood. I actually didn't care much for the first episode and wasn't going to watch the rest but luckily my roommate at the time convinced me to watch the rest - she was right, I loved it! And with each passing episode grew more and more smitten. My roommate was appalled that I was all gooey over the bad guy. We would watch RH together and she would be disgusted with Guy of Gisborne and I would be all dreamy-eyed and smiling.

Nat: Do you belong to any RA forums?
Allison: Ages ago I remember signing up for something but never kept up with it. I'm not particularly tech savvy and don't spend a lot of time computering, so I'm not a member of any of the forums or anything.

Nat: What is your favorite RA character/production?
Allison: Gosh I would have to say that my favorite role was Harry Kennedy in the Vicar of Dibley. While I do love it when he's playing bad, he's got such a sweet smile and the fans rarely got to see that! Plus I think it let us all believe that someone THAT dreamy just might show up out of the blue one day and sweep us off our feet!

Nat: What do your family/friends think of your admiRAtion?
Allison: My friends think it's adorably annoying. They don't understand how I can be ogling the tv screen while an angry, sour-looking man yells at people and cuts out tongues. My family just thinks it's cool that I have a You Tube video, they all live pretty far away so they didn't even know who RA was!

Nat: When did you learn to play the guitar? Do you play any other instruments?
Allison: I actually just started playing guitar last July. I never thought I'd be any good at it, and honestly, I don't think I would have been, but it came into my life at the precise point I needed it. Let's just say it was very therapeutic and helped me get through some hard times. I once sat in with my friend's band practice and I shook me some mean tambourine, but other than that I don't play any other instruments.

Nat: When did you write "Homage to Armitage" and how long did it take you to write it?
Allison: I wrote HtoA after having just finished watching the last few episodes of the most recent series of Spooks, so around the middle of last November. I had just finished yelling at the screen something along the lines of, "NO! How could you make him the bad guy - AGAIN!?!" And I just started thinking how funny it would be to write a cute song about how he always plays bad guys but I still think he's dreamy. I think I took all of 30 minutes to hash it out. I figured that no one would really care to hear it so I really just wrote it as a joke for myself. But then I played it for a few friends who know about my RA crush and they, much to my surprise, really liked it and encouraged me to make a video.

Nat:  Please fill us in on the video process. How many takes before it was completed? Did anyone help you?
Allison: This video would not have been possible at all without the help of my awesome friend, Jumana, who is the techmind behind all this. I'm rubbish with most technical things, and never would have managed to pull everything together on my own. With the help of several stiff shots of whiskey and her guidance, we managed to get something usable in about 5 takes, I think. It was actually much harder performing it for video then playing it on my own or even before people. Not only did I have to try to remember the chords and lyrics, but I also had to remember to play to the camera. Nobody wants to watch someone playing with their head down all deadpan - you gotta be lively! It was more of a challenge than I'd anticipated.

Nat: How do you think you'd react if you ever met Richard in person? (Become shy and hide? Chat his ear off? Burst into song like Julie Andrews?)
Allison: Well, one thing I can be sure is that I'd have a giant goofy grin plastered to my face (kind of like the one I have in the video!) and for the first minute of two it would probably be a bit hard to breathe. Other than that I really don't know. I'd certainly love to have a conversation with him, it would be great to know what he's like in real life when there aren't cameras and microphones pointed in his face.

Nat: Stick- Figure Richard wants to know if "Homage to Armitage" was actually directed towards him.
Allison: Well, before doing this interview I wasn't actually aware of the existence of SFR, but if he's the jealous type, I can always change the first few lines of my song to...

"Skinny limbs and an inky smile
Stick-Figure Richard I've been crushing on you for a while"

Nat: I'm sure SFR would be very pleased.

In conclusion, I'd like to present Allison with
the following award for having the courage to publicly declare
her "crush" on Richard with her performance. 

For a more in-depth look at Allison,
the genius behind the music, please check out
RA Frenzy's blogAfter finding out we both interviewed her,
we thought it would be fun to publish our posts on the same day. 
I love Frenz's "Allison post."  I especially enjoyed reading about
her traveling adventures and poem about the dryer. :)


Traxy said...

What a wonderful read! I love that song, and it was fascinating reading about the creator and singer of it. Thanks for tracking her down and interviewing her for the rest of us, Nat! :)

Huh, and the word verification word now is "prize" - fancy that!

tyme_4_t said...

Thanks to Nat & Allison for sharing!

Musa said...

Wonderful to read about the woman behind the song :) She is a brave person indeed.

Thank you Allison for singing to the world about RA and thank you Nat for the lovely interview.

CDoart said...

Thank you for this interview of this very courageous and brave RA fan. I already read RAFrenzy's interview and must congratulate you both on this wonderful idea! You show what real fan community and friendship through it can be. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview Nat and Allison, it's so nice to peak behind the scenes of HtRA!

OML :)

Anonymous said...

Well deserved. Bravo!

RAFrenzy said...

I had already seen this, but I gotta say here that I adore it!! The award is perfect.

Hope Allison is enjoying this, and I'll bet she is. :D

Twinkling moon said...

Hi Allison!!! I don't have Youtube account so was unable to pass my remarks onto you via that route when I first saw your vid, but hopefully you'll get to see this :)

I think you are one brave lady!!! Most of us (myself most especially, LOL!) keep our RA love a bit on the down low, heck, I've never even confessed my real name to anyone in the RA fandom! But there you are, singing your heart out and you have your face there for the whole world to see! Good for you!!!

I so hope RA gets to check out your vid, I think of all the RA fans out there you are one of the most deserving to get some sort of response from him, given how bold you are and how unique your expression of appreciation has been!

Thanks so much for sharing your talents with the RA fandom, and thanks a million to Nat for the interview!

MTA: I used live out near Buffalo too, in Amherst, believe it or not! Wow! that's the most I've revealed about my real life I think, You're bravery is rubbing off on me allison :)

Colleen said...

Thanks for the interview Nat, it was very interesting to learn more about Allison. I love the song, I find myself mumming it during the day! It brings a huge smile to my face even whenever I think about it! Well done and much appreciated!

Myrtle said...

Bravo Allison

mulubinba said...

Thanks very much for this interview, Nat.

@Rob said...

Did I read that right? She has only been playing the guitar for six months? Wow! I give her cred for "outting" herself. :)

NovemberBride aka sunflowersue said...

ooooo, Homage to SFR!!! Go for it Allison! Wonderful interview, Nat.

Violet8886 said...

Wow, so appreciate the background info and interview. I know, I would probably have a goofy grin on too if I ever met RA. :)

Unknown said...

Hello everyone! This is Allison here - I must say that I'm SO touched by your comments. I didn't realize that this had been posted yet and finally saw this today, ON MY BIRTHDAY no less, and it was one of the best presents I could ever ask for. Would you believe me if I told you that your words meant so much to me that I'm actually crying? You are all so kind and supportive, and I still can't believe that my silly little song has led to such a outpouring of compliments and good tidings. Thank you all so much!