Normally celebrity deaths are no big deal. I think “oh that’s a shame, i liked them” or “they’ll be missed” but I move on with my life because its not personal. This week was different.
David Bowie hit me a lot harder than I expected, like a punch in the gut. Like wait a minute… he can die? No, he’s David Bowie. That can’t happen to him. What really got me was a post on FB with all the characters from Labyrinth… “Should you need us…” and i lost it. Labyrinth was my all time favorite movie growing up, and with it came the Goblin King. As I grew older I grew to appreciate his music more, beyond the greatest hits. I learned more about the icon he was in art and fashion and media. I would bet that every band I listen to now was influenced by David Bowie. I was so happy and surprised by the amount of love and admiration that poured out from everyone on social media… from the random acquaintances to famous people to various music and nerd fandom pages… So much love and happiness. Hearing the stories and being a part of that helped make it feel better. That we were all in it together and we all lost someone great. Someone posted that he “gave an umbrella to all the freaks who wanted to believe in the same fairy tale”. I thought that was a wonderful analogy because it’s so true. His new album only released the week before. So hard to believe.
Now today is different. Today is a personal one. As many of you know, I am a huge fan of Harry Potter and a huge fan of Alan Rickman. Not just of his role as Snape, but that’s what started the obsession. Back in the “old days” of the inter webs, I was on livejournal and fan forums and I met lots of really nice people (and some rather fanatical people too, but fandoms are always welcoming of their own kind, no matter how weird). I learned so much about Alan, and watched his other movies outside of Harry Potter and Die Hard. I learned that he used to be a graphic designer (me too!) and didn’t decide to go into acting until age 26. Die Hard was his first major motion picture and he was over 40 at the time. (wow!) Not to mention some of the other great roles I loved him in… Love Actually, Galaxy Quest, Dogma, Sweeny Todd, Hitchhikers Guide, etc. I went to the NYC Premiere of Harry Potter and the half blood prince (my fave harry potter book) in hopes to get a glance of him in person. He ended up not coming to the NYC premiere, but it was worth it. I got to see some of the other people in person, even if I didn’t get anything signed or any photos with them. I once wrote Alan a fan letter and I got sent back an autographed 5×7 photo. I remember the day it came in the mail I freaked out and had a hissy fit exclaiming to my husband “OMG OMG OMG ALAN RICKMAN BREATHED ON THIS!!!!!!!!!” He just laughed at me and tried to tell me that some intern at his PR office probably signed it to burst my bubble. Hahahaha. But it still hangs by my desk at home. Snape was my favorite character and Alan brought him to life in a way that no other actor could. He inspired my Snape drawing back in 2005. Outside of the Harry Potter world, he was so kind, intelligent, witty, and just inspiring. His loss will take some time to get over, but I am so thankful there is so much of his work out there for us to enjoy over and over.