From left to right: Carol, Daniel Radcliffe and Vicki French
Written by Marcie Lucas | Picture Credit: Vicki French
There’s been many wonderful people in my life, but there are some who are at the top of the list a little more than others. One of those people is my friend from Memphis, Vicki French. Since meeting her at GRA “Global Radcliffe Addicts” Forum, which I barely joined there in May of 2011 it has been the most enjoying on top forum I’ve ever been to. The members there are so kind and friendly, we’re like a family who have one thing in common: our love for Daniel. She’s unlike anyone I ever met and I thought I would share with you just about who she is and why she is a very special person in my heart. I asked her a few questions and she was kind enough to answer them and provide photos to use with it. So here are the questions I asked her and her responses:
How long have you been a member of GRA?
Vicki: I joined GRA on March 9, 2007 so I’ve been a member for a little over 5 years.
What was it about Dan that captured your interest?
Vicki: Hmm … what was it about Dan that captured my interest? That is very easy to answer and it all began in November 2001 when I went to see the first Harry Potter movie and in his very first scene when he was laying on his back in his little bed in the cupboard. His initial introduction to the movie gave a very nice close up of his face. The moment I saw him something happened to me with that young man that has never happened to me before … it was like I could see into his eyes right down into his soul – an old soul that seemed to precede him. And as the movie progressed I became quite fascinated with young Dan. I immediately developed an interest to follow him and to find out what he is all about and what it is about him that intrigued me so. And I found to my great satisfaction that he is exactly what I knew he would – clever, sharp, shrewd, sensitive, caring, charming, witty, and highly devoted to his field. It is his heart that drew me to him like a magnet and it is his heart that keeps my devotion to him forever strong. I also have this little thing I keep wanting to believe in knowing that Dan was born 9 months after my 30th birthday in October (Oct 29th) so sometimes I wonder if perhaps he may have been conceived on or around my birthday contributes to my attachment to him.
When you first met him what was your first reaction and how many times have you met him?
Vicki: I can tell you how it was when I first saw Dan live when I saw him in Equus at the West End in London on Monday, March 23, 2007. I was in the second row near the center stage at the Gielgud Theater and I’ll never, ever forget the moment of extreme emotion I felt when he first walked out on stage. It was like God walked out on that stage and I nearly exploded. I got a little emotional and cried a little bit but after a few seconds I was okay. Once I got over the initial shock I was able to compose myself and make the rest of the play. We made eye contact the very first time after the play and I’ll never forget that. The very first time I actually met him was at the stage door three nights after I saw him in the play and believe it or not I was actually fine. I suppose I was just too shocked to show any actual emotion but I behaved better there then I did when I first saw him in the play. I received tips from people when I saw Dan in the play a few days ago as to when to be at the stage door to be the first in line and it worked. I was at the stage door about an hour before the play ended and got front row center around the barricade with my Equus program for him to sign. When he came through the door to sign I was overwhelmed with joy but fairly calm even though I felt my knees shaking a little bit. The closer he got to me the more I felt controlled. My special first encounter was I asked him to sign my program personally and gave him my name. He looked up into my eyes and repeated my name and thought I was going to melt there on the spot. My encounter lasted barely 10 seconds but those are 10 seconds of my life I’ll never forget. He signed my program “To Vikki, Daniel Radcliffe.”
My next encounter was Equus on Broadway near the end of January 2008 and beginning February 2009 and it was almost a repeat when he first walked out on the stage I nearly lost it (just the initial moment of seeing him alive and breathing in front of me) but the backstage door encounters I was able to manage my emotions a little better. My first backstage door encounter I stood in line with my friends 5 hours before the play ended to assure myself front row in the line in freezing cold weather the very last day of January and it was worth every second. He signed my Tonner Harry Potter doll personally to me and wrote on it exactly what I told him to “To Vicki, from Dan.” He was so sweet about and it was like Heaven when he leaned into me to sign my doll. I later turned that doll into an Alan Strang doll sitting atop a beautiful chestnut horse with real hair on my dresser in my bedroom. My next stage door encounter was Feb 7th and I got him to sign an 8X11 picture of mine from his Uli Weber Equus Photoshoot. I always feel so exhilarated when he comes through that stage door to sign and when he came around to me I once again asked him to personally sign something for me. He had his head down most of the time coming around to sign but then he stopped in his tracks and looked up at me. I can tell by the look in his eyes that he remembered me and sure enough he spelt my name right and wrote exactly what I asked him to, “To Vicki, Love Daniel Radcliffe.” It was divine!
My next encounters at the stage door were at the Al Hirschfield Theater in July and November 2011 during the time he performed in H2$ on Broadway in which he became older and a bit more personable. By this time I was beginning to get used to seeing him without totally spazing out but the excitement is forever strong. I’ll never forget his warm and friendly “Hi!” to me when he first came out and walked directly over to me. I couldn’t tell for sure if he remembered me from my past stage door encounters or not but I nearly melted right there on the spot. There were several overzealous young girls directly behind me trying to grab at Dan so my visit didn’t go exactly the way I wanted but I did get to hold on to his left hand as he signed my 4X6 picture of himself holding my Bearquus with Lorenzo. It was Heaven! He signed my picture, “To Vicky, Love, Daniel Radcliffe.” I nearly melted I didn’t have to tell him to put “Love” in his signature this time. Maybe he did remember me. (?) I wanted to tell him that the Equus Bear is my bear but the excited girls behind me sort of stifled that from happening so hopefully next time. And my next stage door encounter was in November 2011 when I had him sign a program for my wonderful friend, marcie, in which he greatly obliged. For the first time I was able to get some pictures of him signing autographs on the other side without feeling I was going to drop the camera from utter excitement. He was so very sweet when he came around to me as I asked him to personally sign the Playbill for marcie. “Sure,” he said and then the very next thing out of his mouth was, “That is my Mum’s name.” with the sweetest smile. I told him I’d see him the next night at the play and he looked up at me with those bright blue eyes and said, “Cheers!” with a nice smile.
And of course my wonderful encounter through a charity auction win in which I not only won 2 House tickets to see Dan in the play but the remarkable, golden opportunity to meet him after the show. When the time came for me to meet Dan I really wasn’t all that nervous but was extremely excited. I was talking with Rob Bartlett who is a performer in the play when Spase brought Dan out and it took me by surprise but I didn’t waste any time in walking up to Dan and stuck my hand out to shake his. Even though his touch is truly magical his grip was so strong and firm that he squeezed my hand and the rings on my fingers were pinching my skin which stung a little bit I brought my “Day in a Life” book by Tim Hailand and told Scott Boute, his Publicist, the story about my card being in his book that was given to him in his Welcome Package from our GRA group in September 2008 and he told Dan that it was my card printed in his book. I’ll never forget the expression on Dan’s face of him gasping with his mouth wide opened saying, “Oh my God!” and those huge blue eyes wide as saucers. I got Dan to sign that page in my book in which he wrote, “To Vicki, Lots of Love, Daniel Radcliffe xxx” My ultimate dream of having something very precious to me signed by Dan with pure genuine appreciation that came from his heart and I didn’t have to tell him what to write is a wonderful dream come true. And the climax of my life is having the excuse to just walk up to him and put my arms around him for a picture … I had him in my arms! I couldn’t help but cuddle into him a little with my hand on his stomach. And the moment I felt him breathing made it very clear to me why my attachment to Dan became so very strong and real over a decade ago … I felt like I belonged there.
Vicki has a heart of gold when it comes to Daniel, I never knew how much till now. She shared with me last year that she was meeting Dan after a charity she won from Charity Buzz, she met him on November 6, 2011. With her kindness which I will always cherish to this day which she mentioned above. She got me a playbill signed by Daniel at the stage door and since then has become a very special person in my heart. Since then we shared a lot, from our personal stories to our obsession with the most hottest guy in our life: Daniel Radcliffe.
When I read someone had won the How to Succeed Bear signed by Daniel, Darren and Nick. I had wondered who won it, it was fantastic to find out that my friend Vicki was the one to have this wonderful treasure at such a pricey amount. And a couple of years back, she had also won the Bear from Equus as well. Vicki has amazed me so much in the last year, I never met a person like her who gave more than anyone else would. There’s pictures below of the Equus and Finch Bear.
Here’s a picture of her with the Equus Bear
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