Firstly, let me say how frustrated I am that the one chance I got to meet him, I was so dumfounded and overwhelmed that I didn't even think to ask for a photograph!!
I went to see
'Sleuth' on 22nd February 2008 at Darlington Civic Theatre. It was my birthday at the end of January and when I heard he was coming to Darlington in
'Sleuth', (and having had such a HUGE crush on him in 'Robin of Sherwood') I just had to go and made it a birthday treat!
Having mainly gone to see this handsome man in the flesh, I definitely wasn't disappointed. I don't get much chance to go to the theatre, but the performance was excellent, the plot intriguing and seeing Michael, still looking extremely handsome all these years later a definite bonus!
Having enjoyed the performance, we had decided to get something to eat at the restaurant over the road, when I noticed people waiting by the stage door. I wondered if they were just being hopeful or if the cast were actually going to come out to greet them!
To my surprise I wasn't watching them long before seeing Michael and Simon McCorkindale emerge from the stage door!
Needless to say I quickly made my way across where my boyfriend asked them for their autographs for me. I'm a little bit shy when it comes to that sort of thing - I always feel like they must be tired and just want to go relax in their hotel and I hate bothering them. However, they were both lovely. Michael listened politely while I babbled on saying nothing interesting and when he spoke his voice was so hypnotising. I wished afterwards I had told him that it was he who had prompted my visit that evening as I felt that he thought everyone was waiting to see Simon rather than himself (especially since during the performance, Simon got whistled at when removing his jacket and Michael stripped half naked and definitely deserved a whistle, but I was too shy to give him one!!)
I wanted to do the evening over again, this time having prepared myself with some better conversation, but nevertheless, it was an evening I will remember and if I ever get the chance to meet Michael again, I will make sure I get a picture!!!!
I wrote a letter to Michael asking if I could meet him after the show
('Sleuth') as I had tickets to see the show on 7th
February at The Everyman Theatre Cheltenham. I included my mobile number as a joke and on the afternoon of the 7th at about 1.55pm my mobile rang but I couldn't pick up. When I had a voice mail I didn't think anything of it, but when I heard "Sarah, its Michael Praed" I thought I was dreaming. His message was pretty long, explaining how I could meet him before the show at about 7pm.
That evening I went to the stage door and asked someone to page Michael Praed as Michael had told me to do this. This person said that they would go and get him. I was very nervous and my heart was pounding as I waited. Within a minute Michael came down the stairs. I felt that I was dreaming, a real strange feeling. He walked up to me and said
"Sarah, so nice to meet you", hugged me and kissed my cheek. He said how much he loved my letter, and as we talked he made me feel calm and not so nervous.
Guess its his lovely voice. We talked for about 15 minutes. Had 2 photos taken and he signed a
'Sleuth' leaflet saying "For Sarah, With my love and best wishes Michael Praed x".
I have recorded the phone message and framed the leaflet and saved the photos.
The show was absolutely fab, as was Michael, and I will treasure my encounter forever and I hope one day I will meet him again.
My friend Linda and I went to see Michael in 'Sleuth' Wednesday 30th Jan 2008. All I can say is “WOW!” He is definitely worth seeing in this production and since it was only on in Windsor for
two weeks before going around the country, I am so pleased I made the effort!
Linda and I had front row seats and they were worth every penny! After the show we went round the back to the stage door. It was freezing but luckily we weren’t kept waiting very long before Michael and his co-star Simon came out. Both were extremely friendly and funny, both happily signed our programs
and posed for photos. Luckily, I was able to get two photos with Michael as the first one didn’t come out well at all –- he must’ve realised that as he said to take another one, still standing there with his arm around me
-– I could’ve quite happily stood there for ever! A gentle, beautiful soul and a perfect gentleman!
About Meeting Michael
During 'Blue on Blue'
This is me meeting Michael Praed for the very first time in Basingstoke after seeing him perform 'Blue on Blue'.*
I can remember sitting on that stool and checking to see if my boyfriend was coming back from having a cigarette because I didn't fancy sitting there on my own. I was stunned because coming up the stairs was Michael. I had never seen him before and can remember thinking "Oh my god, Michael Praed is coming up the stairs and he's heading towards the bar!"
I was sat in the corner near the bar and I could hear him speak. Yes, I know he speaks, but to me, being that close and listening to him talk was amazing. At about the same time I plucked up enough courage to ask Michael if I could please have a photo taken with him. He said "Yes, sure. Can you just wait there for a while as I have someone waiting for me downstairs?"
Michael Praed asked me to wait for him.
My god, I'd have waited for hours just to have that chance of having a photo taken. I was so nervous and so relieved when Chris came back. I told him what I asked and he said "Yes. I'll take the photo for you".
When Michael came back. he immediately came to me and said "Ok, your name is...?"
So I said "Lorraine" and he said "Pleased to meet you".
I was shaking like a leaf. He put his arm round me and I thought I was going to pass out.
Chris took the photo and to make sure he had done it right, Michael took hold of the camera and said "It may be better if you do it this way."
I can tell you I have not washed that camera since.
As you can see, I had a beautiful photo taken with Michael and I shall treasure it always.
Thank you, Michael, for spending just a short time with me. I do appreciate it, and would have waited hours just for that amount of time.
*Note: Lorraine had a problem getting her picture off
the camera and worked quite a while to send it to Fanfare. We're
so pleased she managed it. The photograph was small, but lovely,
just as she said. You're seeing it at full size.
I had travelled to the NEC to see Michael for a second time
with my two sons. My son Daryl unfortunately has a problem with migraines and as we reached Michael's table he collapsed. Michael was very concerned and went out of his way to get
help. After a lie down in the medical room, we went back to thank Michael and
just generally talked about my son's problem. Michael then gave me a signed pic and said that it was on condition I insisted the doctor refer Daryl to a specialist. He even wrote "don't forget that deal" on the pic. Michael really could not have been nicer to us; he has a way of making you feel
comfortable talking to him.
The doctor did refer my son to see a neurologist, who prescribed him some tablets. These have had a much better effect than the ones the doctor had
tried. They haven't stopped the attacks but they are better. One noticeable thing is that Daryl hasn't actually vomited since he started taking them which is a big improvement. He is due to see the neurologist again soon. They are also going to give him a head scan at some point; not that they think
there is a problem but it's just to make sure..
For a complete account, video, and more pictures,
Last year (2004) my friend Carole and I took our chance flying over from the States... and it was worth it. We went to see Michael in the musical 'The Beautiful and the Damned', based on the lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. Well, the musical was so magical, the dancing -- wow!!!!!! -- and the moment Michael appeared on the stairs in his uniform I thought I was going to faint. Its enough to melt you to sheer puddles just looking at him. When Michael sang -- OMG -- angels above must weep. It was absolutely wonderful.
I believe Michael has many male fans too, but I believe the women see something in him. Earthy. Vulnerable. Ethereal. It is just something he brings
across in his performances.
We went to the back stage door and were escorted to Michael's dressing room (This I got set through the producer of the musical, Mr. Dobson, and the company manager
Ms. Linden). Michael greeted my friend Carole and I with a huge smile and a kiss on each cheek.
Then he offered us champagne with a toast. We talked about the show and how much we loved him
in 'The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne'. We hoped that we could come over and see more of him. I do plan on it when he is in another show. He is the most wonderful, talented actor. He was
wonderful as 'Robin of Sherwood' and we all love him as Phileas Fogg.
I gave him a t-shirt of the airplane I was working on
(the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor helicopter) and he knew all about it. I am a lady aircraft mechanic, one of the few. He was so excited about the aircraft. He commenced to tell Ms Linden and Ms Anker about it. I was so surprised.
I told him about my granddaughter being born on his birthday. He thought that was cool. Carole told him about her kitty Ellie who loves to listen to Michael sing and he told us about his English Bulldog Rosie who also loved to hear him sing.
We told him about our little group (Michael Praed Yahoo Group) and how much we loved him so. Ms. Linden, the company manager, wanted the email address of our Michael site. We gave it to her and told them about the SJJV site ('Secret Journals of Jules Verne' Yahoo Group). Michael commented on how the fanfiction was getting stronger. I think he reads some of it
When Michael talks with you he gives you his undivided attention and treats you as family. We felt so very comfortable being there within minutes. Michael is the nicest, most wonderful, beautiful soul. We got to visit for twenty minutes, got our autographs and pictures of us with him. I wrapped my arm around him for the pictures and he ducked down a bit on mine. He smelled like heaven. I mean the man smelled the best I've ever smelled a guy. Maybe it was just the "Michael scent".
I am still replaying it all in my mind.
It was an experience of a lifetime.
Meeting Michael was the most exciting day of my life! Meeting him in London and seeing the show was a dream come true. When I heard about the show I decided that I had to get there one way or another. It was wonderful when Gerry offered to go along - partners in what we came to call "Mission Michael" and her connection with Mr. Dobson made the trip perfect!
Actually, it was exactly one year ago today
(Editor note: August 13th)
we had already met him once and were eagerly awaiting our chance to see the show and see Michael for the second time on closing night - Aug 14th. As Gerry said - it was magical! Michael's voice was the most beautiful I've ever heard. And what a wonderful man- so down to earth. It was more like meeting up with an old friend than meeting a celebrity and the man of our dreams! And then, kisses on the cheeks and a toast with champagne! What a gentleman!
It was very cool to find out that he knew about the plane that Gerry was working with and it was great to find out that he is an animal lover. At the time, my cat Ellie was just a baby. Every time I played Michael's music from "For My Friends" she would sit by the speaker and purr. I took him a picture of her by the speaker. There's just something about his voice! He used to sing to Rosie - his English Bulldog. Like I said he was just so down to earth, after our visit he threw his backpack over his shoulder, walked us out of the theater and then just headed up the street into the crowd.
During our trip we happened to find a very cute stuffed English Bulldog. We wrote thank you notes and gave him the gift on closing night to thank him for his kindness and the time he spent with us. It was so neat when he came out to us and said "Hi guys!" just like we had been friends for years! I too, am planning to go back when he's in another show. Maybe there will be a "Mission Michael #2."
This is my very first encounter with Michael – 12th July 1996 ‘Copacabana’ in Nottingham.
I didn’t really know who Michael was until I saw him in 'Riders' and I thought this man was just gorgeous and how I wished I could meet him.
So when an advert came on the TV for the UK tour of 'Copacabana' starring Michael, I just had to go with a hope in my heart of meeting him afterwards!
The first time he spoke to me I remember thinking I could listen to that charming voice all night.
Talk about "swoon". I was just blown away by his presence! I never thought after that night I’d ever see him again, but I ended up seeing
'Copacabana' and Michael another three times that week in Nottingham, followed by Sheffield, Bradford, Woking and Southampton. What a year 1996 was!
Since then I’ve met Michael quite a few more times and it’s so nice that he remembers who you are and greets you in such a welcoming way! Needless to say, I try and get to see Michael wherever I possibly can now. He’s just great!
In 1991 or '92 when Michael was performing in 'Aspects of Love', I flew to
London to see the performance. My friends in London all joked that
I would get all the way over there and he would be sick - but I
could not be dissuaded from my mission.
As luck would have it, on the day of the show
he was sick and
his role was going to be played by Garrett Snook. I was shocked. I
went to the box office and explained my plight. They were very
gracious and not only encouraged me to stay for that matinee - but
come the following week as their guest.
The show was great - but seeing Michael the next week was awe
inspiring to say the least. When I thanked management for their
generous help - they told me that Michael wanted to thank me too -
and to apologize for being ill.
I waited at the stage door and no Michael - but I still felt
blessed. Just when I was going to give up - the Stage Door operator
asked if I was the American who was supposed to see Michael.
Answering yes, he invited me to go up to Michael's dressing room. I
thought that the whole crew could hear the deafening pounding in my
chest. When I got to the door, Michael greeted me. He was so incredibly generous with his time and
made me feel so welcomed. We sat down for a few minutes and
discussed the show. Michael really seemed to enjoy the role and appeared flattered that people took such an interest in his performance. He greeted a few more friends and introduced me
as a friend from America. Not wanting to overstay my welcome I
departed a few minutes later.
I will never forget his great kindness towards me. I will always
remember feeling like a member of royalty that day. Sometimes it
seems like a dream - though it truly did happen.
Three Cheers for Michael!