EDIT! EDIT! EDIT!…Outlander’s Deleted Scenes


“So, what do you think of the deleted scenes folks are posting? ” I asked my Twitter friend.

“I know! I really enjoyed the gag reel and the table read.” my friend shared.

“Haven’t seen those, but I can tell you if you needed a lesson on why a scene should be cut those were it! ”  I announced.

“You haven’t bought the DVD? ”

“Not yet…why? ” I questioned…hearing the odd tone in her voice that marked a possible boo boo on my part.

“Ron talks about why each scene was cut.” she said confirming my “I boo booed” feeling.

“Well, I guess that shoots a hole in the blog I JUST wrote about why each scene should have been cut!” I moaned. ” Maybe I ought to go buy it?… Well…crap….”

Okay…I haven’t bought it yet, but I watched.  You know what?  I still think my points and post have something valid to say.  So, bearing in mind I wrote this BEFORE hearing Ron…here’s the blog

Season 1 part deux has been released and so has a flurry of deleted scenes.  I’ve watched them all.  Afterall, the day is long and the night “withOutlander” is upon us. I’ll take what ever they want to give me.  In addition to watching the videos folks posted, I also read their reactions to the scenes.  Most of what I’ve read has run along the lines of the “what a great scene I wish they would have left it in it would have really added to the story” variety.  I have to say I disagree. If ever there was a way to silence my editing doubts this was it.

In every instance, except the Claire and Murtaugh scene, I could see why the scene was left out.  And quite frankly, I wish I could un-see them! Here’s why.

I’m starting to see the value in an edited scene. Diana has pages to explain.  She has time and space to write details and explain motivations. Without that luxury, editing becomes very important especially in a visual medium. More words, more images, can muddle the impact of a scene. A moment can be lost by trying to get in one more thing.  A character can be changed by one word or one action too many.  I’m starting to see that my wish that they had more time may not necessarily mean the story would be better told. Oh, there are a few scenes I’d still argue for, but, overall the ones they chose to tell are conveying the right emotion and motivation.

I’m starting to believe there really can be too much of a good thing. Even too much Outlander! ( I see you doing the devil thing with your fingers)  Sometimes less really is more. Leave me some mystery!  Some of these scenes just revealed too much! Diana doesn’t tell us everything and there is a reason for that. It keeps us wanting to turn the page and has kept us all making inferences and conjectures about her characters and story for years.  A TV series has similar goals. They want us to tune in next week and if people are buzzing about the characters and story and wondering what will happen next then great.

The deleted scenes I saw took the characters in directions I didn’t think fit.  Claire came off too aggressive/passive aggressive and just plain insensitive.  Jamie’s character really wasn’t helped with the Gellis scene  ( He was hiding? Our Jamie?).  That same scene would have ruined the moment at the witch trail when Gellis sacrifices herself for Claire.  Too much too soon.  Would Geliis really have threatened Jamie over Claire? And, I liked the idea that only Claire knew Murtaugh’s real reason for devoting himself to Jamie. Having Jamie know Murtaugh had the hots for his mother just didn’t seem right for their relationship.

Overall, I think these scenes just confirmed for me that the process of adaptation is WAY more difficult than just choosing scenes.  What works on the pages of a book does not necessarily work on a screen.  And evidently, sometimes what is in written in a script doesn’t necessarily work on the screen! One of my readers, someone in the business, wrote this in response to one of my articles about the success of the adaptation and I thought it spoke to this post too.

I know there are folks unhappy with the adaptation.  The biggest sticking point as far as I can tell is the perceived lack of development in Jamie’s character.  I’ve had my own issues with his development, but I really thought that “The Reckoning’s” switch in POV went a long way in remedying that situation.  We have heard Ron say “we had to cut that for time” and folks are quick to point out a scene they felt could of or should have been cut to make time for the scenes they felt were necessary to the story.  The reality is that “Book Fans” aren’t the only ones viewing the show and a broader “viewing” audience has to be satisfied. And…someone has to call the shots.  I’m coming to understand that “calling the shots” is more complex than we can possibly imagine.

There are so many factors, so many variables and it’s easy to armchair quarterback.

But, critique is good. Discussion is good.

We all have our opinions and I find mine has changed over time with the education and unprecedented access to the making of this TV series we’ve been afforded. It isn’t my book, but I once heard the Matt B Roberts, Outlander writer and executive producer, say (definite paraphrase here because I’d never find that tweet again), that the show is like a child.  You can see the parent in its countenance, but it isn’t the parent it is its own person.  I get it.  And, I would add, what a delightful and precocious child it is!  I’ll be back for season two!

A wee bit of Scotland in the Highlands of Pennsylvania 



“And, there will be sword dancing, and a parade of the clans, and caber tossing, a Scottish breed dog show, bagpipes and singing, and coos… there will be coos! … and Shetland ponies, and Scottish food.  I wonder if there will be whiskey tasting? You would think there would be.  I want to buy a necklace with a thistle on it and I’d love it if you would buy a utility kilt, but I know you won’t…but they are very sexy….”

This was part of the non-stop stream of chatter my poor husband endured during a two and half-hour drive to the Ligonier Highland Games in the Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania.

There are a couple of reasons this trip was special to me.

First, it is an extension of my love of Outlander.  I am now fascinated with Scottish culture and eager to learn more.

“There will be tents set up for the clans where you can learn about your genealogy! I know the McDonalds and Hays and Stewart clans will be there.”

“I’ll be looking for the MacDaddy tent”, quips my man who is without an once of Scottish blood. I actually thought it was pretty funny given he is SO not. And,  I was relieved to see he was being light-hearted.

I was admittedly a bit worried that I was dragging him to this event.  I didn’t want him to be bored or miserable, so I was eager for him to have a good time and that might have resulted in the babbling.  I would really like to think he understands my enthusiasm and wants to share in my excitement. However,  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t get my interest in all things Scottish.  In fact, I’m sure at some point he thought about the fact that he could have been home in his chair watching college football, but instead, here he was…in a car…driving two and a half hours…listening to me babble….so I could go see men in kilts.  Despite my ADAMANT denials that my interest in Scotland had nothing to do with kilts, I’m pretty sure that is exactly what he believes.

He told me he was going with me because he wants me to be happy. I realize in the big scope of sacrifices a person could make for the person they love attending a Highland games probably isn’t at the top of the list, but it gets him bonus points in my book!  When we pulled into the parking lot we could hear bagpipes in the distance.  I must have given away my excitement because he squeezed my hand and with a little crooked smile on his face kissed my forehead.

It was great!  Everywhere I looked I saw something that reminded me of the books.  This was one of my favorite pictures of the day.


The bagpipes! I’m in love!


The caber toss was a blast! I still haven’t figured out how they lift them or run with them!


We toured the clan tents and looked at the vendor’s wares. Front and center of one of the vendor tents was a display of Outlander calendars and shortbread. While we were there, I saw several women pick up the calendar and excitedly discuss the images.  I wanted to say “hey” and strike up a conversation, but found myself too shy. Which is hardly ever the case!  My husband bought me my thistle necklace and he actually looked at a kilt! There may be hope yet!

Of course, one of the most exciting things I did that day was meet Gillbride MacMillian, our Outlander bard! I didn’t know he was going to be there until I was perusing the schedule of events!


As as soon as I found out I tweeted Gillebride, who then tweeted me back and told me to make sure I stopped and said hi!  With my husband’s encouragement and nudging, I did.


He was very nice and very serious about his duties! Silly, but I found myself proud of him and his efforts to preserve his language. And that singing voice….mesmerizing!  Other than Diana, he is the first person I’ve met associated with the show.  It certainly was the icing on the cake of a lovely day.

As we walked out of the park, we passed several reserved picnic shelters and we wondered if many of these families took this opportunity to hold family reunions.  Afterall, I shared with my husband, this festival is 57 years old.  He nodded and reflected on how great it was to see families celebrating their history and culture.  I got a little teary as I thought of Culloden and wondered if it had any direct influence on the immigration of these families to America.  Witnessing the parade of clans had been moving.  Folks were wearing clan tartan and carrying banners.  A wonderful mixture of the older and younger generations walking together, holding their heads high, and some even shouting battlecries.  I laughingly asked my husband if he had seen the folks sporting matching tee shirts proclaiming they belonged to Pee Paws clan. I’m betting Pee Paw was pretty proud of his brood.  Overall, I was left with a sense of their pride and their joy of celebrating each other.  I’m totally a sassenach, English and Dutch, but today I felt a little bit Scot.

The second reason this trip was special to me was because I walked. Last year around this time of year I was struggling with my health.  I have multiple chronic health issues and they had become so dibiltating that I had to take a leave from work. I could barely walk and not without pain.  My world and quality of life had shrank. Short of having someone push me in a wheelchair, I could never have attended something like this. A year, a few surgeries, and many therapy and doctor appointments later, I was walking hand in hand with my Dan.


A truly blessed Scottish day.

Creative deprivation vs instant gratification…Outlander and Social Media


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It’ s been a unsual week in Outlander world. Within the space of a few hours, I saw the fandom reach new heights of the sublime (wonderful efforts for charity) and the ridiculous (groping). And…a costume debacle…again… Be patient with me while you read this because I promise that I do have a point, but it might take a minute to get there.

Some very excited fans in Prague shared their photos of Outlander being filmed in their part of the world.  It became impossible not to open my Twitter and Facebook feeds and not see Sam, Caitriona, and Duncan in costume.


If I could have avoided it, I would have. Short of not turning on my devices, I really don’t think I could have avoided seeing them. The pics were everywhere.

As I’ve written before, this whole experience of getting to know more about how TV series are written, directed, filmed and how sets and costumes are designed has been very enlightening.  I truly had no idea how much effort and artistry goes into a production.  These people ARE artists.  They create with the idea that what they each contribute is telling us a story.  Their efforts are part of the whole and bigger picture. So, when images are posted out of the context of that bigger whole it is frustrating and disappointing for the artists that worked so hard.  I get it.

This certainly wasn’t the first time that pictures have been posted “leaking” sets and costumes. And, to tell the truth, I have sort of separated these “offenses” into different categories that can be defined by motivation.  I am much more willing to forgive excited fans that love Outlander and are just sharing that day they got to see the stars than those who are standing far off with high-powered lenses and the idea that there is money to be made from their pictures. I get the fans’ excitement and don’t believe there was any malicious intent.  I wish they hadn’t shared, but I don’t believe they were trying to ruin anything.  They were just excited. I get it.

Terry Dresbach, the costume designer for the series, has tried to explain why these leaks are disappointing to her.  Several times.  Her last effort was a blog post that told her side of this issue and offered great insight for those who cared to understand. https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/23309844/806011889

I believe this article will probably be her last attempt to explain because she is waving the white flag.  Social media is a stormy ocean and she is just one person trying to hold back the tide. She cried “Uncle” (and actually defined “Uncle” for those folks who might be unfamiliar with this American colloquialism which I found pretty amusing and made me determined to look up the origins of the words’ use). She is tired of fighting. I get it.

What I don’t get is the reaction to her attempts to explain why these premature peeks are disappointing. So many truly didn’t understand or WANT to understand. I started seeing some posts that suggested that somehow the fans were owed these peeks. In fact, the sense of entitlement I was reading was staggering. The fans weren’t being courted enough! It is their money and subscriptions that make this all possible! People got angry and mean. “Oh! No! I saw a costume everything is ruined!”  “Be careful.  Someone might tattle to Terry about you and she’ll send her minions”  Snarky and mean-spirited and… entitled.

At first, I didn’t think I would write about this because like Terry, I’ve come to realize the world has changed.  Social media is a powerful force and the battle cannot be won.

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But,…(you knew there was a but didn’t you and I did warn you this might take a minute) bits and pieces of conversations over SM the past week were still floating around in my head last night and my mind was busy making connections and meaning.  Terry posted an article about the current popularity of mindfulness as a tool in business.  I re-tweeted a quote from Diana Gabaldon about art.  And…the Wizard of OZ… These seemingly loosely connected topics ganged together in my thoughts and formed an idea…a theory.

I believe that our exposure to the high-speed of information and connecting to “social” media has indeed changed the world and us.  My husband and I have this argument all the time.  He tends to demonize technology while I tend to see it in a more favorable light.  I could make a pretty long list of the benefits and enrichment the use of technology has brought into my life.  Today, however, I find myself more on the “technology is the devil” side of things.  I think our use of technology has created a culture of expectation for instant gratification and a sense of entitlement.  The glut of information available to us at the touch of a button has now become part of the fabric of our lives.  I read research that found if we have to wait more than 10 seconds for something to load we give up…10 seconds. We are over stimulated and need more…more quickly and we EXPECT to have our desires satisfied…now. This morning I find myself longing for the good old days when we had to…wait for it…wait. <g>

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“All good things come to those who wait”

When I read people proclaiming their right to see costumes before the show aired because “Droughtlander” was soooo long and fans were sure to lose interest if they weren’t fed images, I thought of museums.  More specifically, my granddaughters and museums.  My daughter decided that the best way to have healthy and happy children was to encourage them to limit their access to TV and technology. I liked to call my daughter’s decision “creative deprivation”.  The girls went outside and  played with toys that required their imagination (including the prop/costume box at Grammy’s house! They created and performed some wonderful plays and puppet shows)   As a result, they were not overstimulated and it was a real joy to take them places like museums.

I’m not big on buying things for the grandkids (like I could really pick out anything they would like anyway) however, I will spend my time and money giving them experiences. One particular trip to the German Separatists village in Zoar, Ohio stands out in my mind. Zoar was one of the most successful communes in the country.  By pulling their efforts and sharing their possessions they were able to survive and thrive pre and post Civil War. Most of the village is still intact and can be toured. I took my three under 10 year-old grandchildren to the old general store at Zoar where we bought our tickets, received a paper with a scavenger hunt for specific historic items, and joined four adults for a guided tour. The children’s genuine interest was obvious and I remember how proud I was when the adults in our party commented on how refreshing it was to see such well-behaved children who were asking questions and excited to be learning. We ended our tour by going to the village bakery and eating cookies made from a 200-year-old recipe. I found myself convinced that my granddaughters could appreciate this experience because they had space around their moments of stimulation. A simple cookie or vanilla ice cream cone was enough to make them happy.  They didn’t need or expect more.

I found some research to back my theory that “creative deprivation” is a good thing and that we may be losing the ability to wait.

In the article, Instant Gratification and Its Dark Side By Ronald Alsop, the author points out that our online activity may be robbing us of the benefits of waiting.

The need for round-the-clock connection not only makes people more impatient, it also robs them of time for quiet reflection or deeper, more critical thinking. They tend to want constant stimulation, have less impulse control and get distracted more easily. Diagnoses of attention deficit disorder for children and teenagers have soared; even older adults are increasingly getting prescriptions for ADD medications. Some teachers report that they rarely assign complete books any longer, but choose short stories or excerpts instead because of shorter attention spans. http://www.bucknell.edu/communications/bucknell-magazine/instant-gratification-and-its-dark-side.html

In an article from the Boston Globe entitled, Instant Gratification is Making Us Perpetually Impatient by Christopher Muther, the author quotes research that supports the idea that we are missing out because we need more and we need it now.

…Researchers found the rapid pace of technology can lead to more nimble thinking, but that “trends are leading to a future in which most people are shallow consumers of information.”

“A lot of things that are really valuable take time,” Worthy said. “But immediate gratification is the default response. It’s difficult to overcome those urges and be patient and wait for things to come over time.”


Professor of English Harold Schweizer wrote a book titled On Waiting. Schweizer writes that waiting gives people time for thinking, inspiration and regeneration.

a poem, painting or difficult concept “attains value because we have waited for it, waited on it.” But without the investment of time, he says, “objects and experiences tend to remain without value.”

When we have to wait for things they tend to have more value.  Like….oh, I don’t know…waiting for costumes to be revealed when a show airs…

I can hear you all saying what does this have to do with the Wizard of Oz? Wait for it…<g>… Terry made a reference to the movie in an attempt to explain why waiting to see costumes, sets, etc. was a good thing.  She was quick to say she certainly wasn’t comparing Outlander to Oz, but I got what she WAS saying. Maybe it’s because I’m old enough to remember seeing it on a color TV for the first time. It was an experience that took my breath away, the colors, the costumes, the world, and the…story. I believe that experience was all the better for NOT seeing images in advance.  It was worth the wait. She wants us to have the same experience when we see Jamie and Claire in Paris.  Upon reflection, I know because I have seen the costume pics, I will never know what it would be like to have seen them for the first time in the context of the story as a whole. However, my past experience with Outlander on Starz’ ability to tell a story well makes me hopeful.  I truly believe that I will still be so immersed in the story they are telling that even if I do recognize a costume, it will merely be a blip on my conscience radar. We’ll see…

Okay…I think I’ve made my point.  The world has changed, we can’t stop it, sometimes good things come from technology, but sometimes not so much, I wish I hadn’t seen those images and Outlander is worth the wait!

You can help others and get a chance to win signed first editions of the Outlander series….NO really you CAN! 



Hello Fanmily,

I just wanted to remind everyone that the Caitriots are continuing to encourage fans to donate to ShelterBox USA, an organization that Is providing portable shelters and survival equipment to the misplaced in the European refugee crisis.   Fans have been generous, but the need is great and ongoing.  If you would like to help there is still time and…thanks to one wonderful fan’s donation, you now have a chance to receive a  first edition of one of the Outlander books signed by the author.  Just for being part of this effort!

This message was recently posted by April Steele an admin for the Caitriots:

If you are like me, you are always wishing there was a way to express your gratitude to Caitriona for bringing our wonderful Claire to life.  Because Cait has asked us to turn our collected efforts toward the goal of helping those in need, I think this might be the opportunity to say thanks in a most meaningful way.  Don’t we want her to be able to stand up and proudly point to the generosity of her fan base?  So, if you think you can donate, please consider this worthy cause.  And…Let me know if you win a book! Squeeee!

Girl on top…of current events…your chance to fulfill Cait’s wishes awaits!


Dear friends,

Last year, the Caitriots gave Cait a wonderful present, her own registered hand-woven tartan.  She was obviously moved by the time, effort and thought that went into this gift.  It felt personal to me and I’m sure to her too!


A really hard gift to top! However, as great as that gift was, we have a chance to give Cait a gift she’s asked for! She wants us to focus on helping the less fortunate and specifically the refugees now flooding Europe. The headline of our local paper yesterday pronounced the shocking fact that this is the worst refugee crisis since WW2.

Like many of us who can look around us and see a relative embarrassment of riches, I’m sure Cait feels fortunate and empathetic.  I can think of no better way to express how much she means to us than to donate our time, money, and efforts to such an immediate and pressing cause.

After careful consideration, the Caitriots’ admins have chosen to help fund the Shelter Box USA which has received a 4 out of 4 rating for their ability to get the greatest percentage of funded goods into the hands of the needy versus administrative costs.

Here is a link to more information about the funds’ rating.


I’ve been so proud of this groups’ efforts to be a fan group with a heart.  Caitriots have been generous to Caitriona’s efforts to support Childhood Cancer organizations and I’ve no doubt they will warm Cait’s heart with their response to her plea to turn our attention and efforts toward helping our fellow world citizens.

I want to hear Cait tell the world how great her fans are not only because they ban together to vote her at the top of the latest popularity contest, but because they care enough to ban together to give to those who need our help so much.  I want her to feel the satisfaction of knowing she has used her “fame” to encourage others to do good.

I donated today and was surprised at how easy it was to do. If you can give a little or a lot…please do… we can make a difference.

Your fellow Outlander fan and Caitriot,

Beth Wesson

Here’s the link to give!


The One Where I Talk About Outlander’s Acting and the Actors Using the Five W’s and How



So, the dust has settled a bit on Episode 15 and folks are girding their loins for 16 because EVIDENTLY those critic/reviewers’ warnings forgot to mention that episode 16 is just as harrowing as 15.  (Way to suck us in with the light at the end) Anyway… ( she says while adjusting the gird loining, which we all know can chafe a bit), what I’m still thinking about today is the performances. Which is what I think most people are still thinking about today…those performances! I was as staggered by the acting as I was by the visceral story that was unfolding on my screen.

I know there is this common belief that a viewer really shouldn’t notice the acting because if you do then somehow your disbelief didn’t get suspended enough.  Maybe that’s true, but I’m pretty sure I bought what they were selling!  My appreciation occurred upon reflection. Like I said before, the dust has settled and I can’t get the performances out of my mind.  And….per usual…it made me curious.

Like,…how did this guy


BECOME this guy!?


One my readers commented, “It’s like they swallowed the characters!” I believe my response was, “So, that’s how they do that?!”

I want to know HOW they do that and WHY they do that!  As a teacher, I’ve often instructed my students in the use of the five W’s and How method employed by journalists. I think its use is appropriate for my exploration of acting as it pertains to Outlander on Starz:


The Lovely and Talented Caitrionia Balfe

The Lovely and Talented Sam Heughan

The Lovely and Talented Tobias Menzies


Stellar acting performances in Outlander on Starz


My lite research lead me to some information that suggests that there are at least eight major ways to learn and approach the craft of acting. No one way seems truly better than another and I was left with the impression that it was all a matter of personal preference. Here are the top eight and brief defintions:

Constantin Stanislavski’s

This method is a blend of spiritual realism, emotional memory, dramatic and self-analysis, and practice.

Lee Strasberg

This method was built on Stanislavski theories and asks actors to magnify and intensify their relationship to the material by using emotional experiences from their own lives.

Stella Adler

Ms. Adler’s method sort of takes a step back from the Strasberg model and emphasizes imagination in addition to recalling personal emotional experiences. In other words, you don’t HAVE to have experienced something to imagine how it feels.

Sanford Meisner

Meisner teaches his students to “live truthfully under given imaginary circumstances.” This method is all about being in the moment and reacting (this is my guess for what Sam and Tobias used in filming the episode 15 dungeon scenes).

Michael Chekhov

This method focuses on using both the mind and body and encourages actors to be consciously aware of their senses.

Practical Aesthetics

Developed by playwright David Mamet and actor William H. Macy, this method uses elements from both Stanislavsky and Meisner. It teaches actors to use a four-step process to analyze a scene and focuses on what is actually happening in the scene and what is desired of the other characters (wait…maybe this is the one they all used…?…I’m so confused).

Uta Hagen

This method encourages actors to find the “truth” in a scene and then substitute their own experiences and recall of emotions.

Viola Spolin

This method focuses heavily on improv and teaches actors to live in the moment. They are encouraged to respond quickly and truthfully to the circumstances in which they find themselves.

What ever method was employed, those who were on the set, many veterans of filming difficult scenes, were struck by the actors dedication to their craft. In a recent Zapit interview Chris Hayner noted the scenes and filming was intense,

“… it was interesting to observe Menzies and Heughan during breaks from filming. Even when sitting right next to one another, the two completely ignored each other. “We didn’t talk a lot outside of doing the scenes,” Menzies reasons. “We tried to keep it as fresh as possible.” Taking it one step further, he refrained from interacting with just about anyone, instead keeping his mind trained on the character and scene.”

The entire article can be read here:http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/outlander_wentworth_prison_tobias_menzies_darkest_scenes-2015-05

Whatever method they chose to employ worked because it felt REAL. The actors fade away and it is Jamie, Claire and Black Jack. What I’m sure is a lot of hard work looks like magic to us!

Outlander 2014

Outlander 2014


I want to know what motivates someone to become an actor or actress. So, I started to do some reading. I read some blogs written by actors and acting teachers, some magazine articles and even some interesting research on the psychology of acting. Some of the most interesting stuff I read came from a trade magazine called BACKSTAGE. 

My reading lead me to a couple of conclusions:

1. If people go into acting for fame, fortune or a need to feel love and acceptance they are liable to be disappointed because these things truly are fleeting.

2.The only real reason to act is because it brings you joy and you will do whatever you need to do for the chance to act and can’t see yourself doing anything else.

I noticed that the same words kept getting repeated when people tried to describe “why” they act. People said they acted because they wanted to create, to express themselves, to have fun, to learn what it means to be human, to meet new people, and to actually discover themselves. A lot of these writers described their satisfaction in creating something that might actually impact people’s lives.

There are actors or actresses out there that are definitely in the limelight and receiving all the benefits that come with fame. You will often see them in one big budget movie after another. However, there are also actors who would welcome fame if it came, but don’t let it drive their career choices. In fact, there are a lot of actors who take roles simply because it gives them the chance to play a character they find challenging or tell a story they find interesting and box office be damned.

Funny, those are the same reasons why I write. I love it. I’ll do whatever I need to do to continue to be able to create because it brings me joy and book deals be damned! (just kidding if anybody wants to give me a job writing, I’m open for a lunch meeting on Thursday..oh hell, who am I kidding…any day…just call me any day)

I’ve been hanging out on social media reading and writing about Outlander since Diana announced the series was a go. In fact, my very first tweet went out to Sam the day he was cast. I think I said something like “Congratulations on becoming the face of Jamie Fraser. Gulp. #afanfromOhio” and, because I know you’re wondering, no, he didn’t answer me. I secretly believe it’s because my tweets look like this to him;



I remain a Sam #Twirgin.

But, I digress. The point I was trying to make was that I’ve had a chance to watch these actors from the beginning. I’ve read their interviews and tweets and…seen the choices they’ve made in their acting careers.  I’m proud to say “Our Actors” appear to fall into the group who aren’t letting the desire for fame guide their career choices.

Caitrionia Balfe has said she has always wanted to act. She thinks she knew what she wanted to do even when she was a precocious child in Ireland. At 30, she figured if she wanted to act it was probably now or never.  She moved to LA and started taking acting classes. In a recent interview, she described her acting ambitions.

“I got to a point in my life when I thought if I don’t try it now I might not get the opportunity to do it again. There was a feeling amongst my friends and industry people whom I came into contact with that ‘oh it’s tough for women and it’s tougher again for women of your age’ and all of these things. But I’d never been interested in being a starlet; the people I’ve admired had long careers and it shouldn’t matter how old you are for those things.”

The entire interview can be read here: http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-news/im-still-waiting-for-the-flood-of-male-adoration-caitriona-balfes-difficult-road-to-acting-stardom-31228831.html


I know that she admires Patrica Arquette’s independent career choices and didn’t find being a super-model very satisfying. I wonder if she knows what a fantastic role model she is? (and knowing her penchant for self-deprecation, she would probably laugh if she read that)

Sam Heughan, went to university to be an actor (he actually had an instructor tell him he couldn’t act! I KNOW! shocking!). Before Outlander, he was going about his career playing a variety of roles ranging from a drug dealer to Batman to a Prince that some lucky girl got for Christmas.  He was acting, but had remained pretty well under the radar, so to speak. When he was cast as Jamie, some of the descriptors thrown around about him included the term “unknown” actor.  He definitely is getting some attention now and if Outlander fans have anything to vote about it it’ll stay that way!

During the drought, you know what drought I’m talking about, Sam did an independent film called When the Starlight Ends.  I found these comments by Adam Sigal, its writer and director, (Starlight was his first film) to be very revealing of Sam’s character and love of acting. The following is in answer to a question asked of Mr. Sigel in an exclusive interview by @SamCaitLife

I actually met Sam long before Outlander–I want to say about 5 years ago. At the time, he was a semi-struggling actor in Los Angeles for pilot season. He got hold of Starlight from a casting director friend, and he really loved the script. At the time he wanted to do it, but I was dealing with producers who really wanted massive stars in the lead roles. About a year or so later, Sam messaged me on Facebook and mentioned he’d just booked a new show he, “thought might be a big deal”. He didn’t tell me too much more, but when I saw a bunch of my friends posting about him on social media, I knew he really had! I reached back out to him, asked if he still wanted to do Starlight, and he said absolutely! Pitching the project with him on board made it easier to find money for it. I’m still in awe of the fact that Sam stuck with me and still agreed to do the film, even after booking Outlander, and with the fact that he’s on his way to becoming a megastar.


The entire interview can be read here:


Recently, when asked if he thought playing Jamie was his most challenging role, he responded by saying not really because “each role comes with its own challenges”.

Tobias Menzies is probably the most “famous” of our troupe.  He’s played characters on several big budget series like Rome and Game of Thrones. After the showing of Episode 15, Tobias was interviewed… a lot…and as a result, there are a lot of really great interviews out there this week and not one asked him if he would wear a kilt (thank God)!  If you want to get a good idea of why Tobias acts read some of those interviews.  I was struck by the cerebral and scholarly way in which he discussed acting. He has a real passion for what he does.

Despite having some amount of fame and an “impressive” resume, Tobias actively seeks out challenging roles that don’t nessecarily come with a big paycheck or a big stage.  One his more recent ventures had him acting on a bed in a hotel room in a play called Fever at the Mayfair hotel.  He performed a monologue to a maximum capacity audience of…28.

The Fever at the May Fair Hotel

In an interview about a a recent role, he was asked if he would like the kind of fame his co-star Kira Knightley enjoys. His response? “Would I want that? Absolutely not. Then again, do you want recognition that allows you to do the work you want to do? Of course.”

The entire article can be read here:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1376878/In-taxi–actor-Tobias-Menzies.html#ixzz3aaARtDGb

On Saturday night while we were all glued to our TV sets drinking whiskey and hiding behind stuffed animals or significant others, our trio were not.  They were out and about watching Grant O’Rourke, an Outlander comrade, perform a play. I know it’s silly, but that makes me so proud.



Well, that’s easy to answer, on Starz of course!  They’ll be playing a marathon this weekend so you have a chance to see all the fantastic performances again. Plus,it’s another great excuse to drink whiskey. The finale is scheduled for 9:00 EST on May 30th. And then the l o n g e s t  drought ever recorded in fandom history begins.  You remember all the craziness of the last drought? Yeah, well…lots more fans…and time ….


I don’t pretend to know anything about what kind of performance would earn an actor an Emmy, but damn….I gotta think these would be in the running. Outlander and its actors have continued to be brave about enacting difficult or controversial scenes. In fact, their efforts have been nothing short of ground-breaking. So, I’ll be doing my part in the fan-dom’s efforts to get these actors an Emmy…because that would be nice and might help them get the chance to do what they love some more. #EmmysforOutlander

I’m going with cuz he’s Adorkable…my answer to the Sam Heughan question


I was sitting down with my Sunday morning cuppa and opened my Twitter feed ( my usual morning coffee routine) and checked out what Diana Gabaldon was talking about this morning (usually pretty entertaining or informative cuz she’s pretty witty and smart).  This morning someone who recently found Outlander was concerned she might be too old to be a fangirl. Loved Diana’s response.


This started some speculation as to why Sam Heughan, our Jamie, is so appealing.  So, now my curiosity is piqued and my coffee is getting cold because I’m theorizing ( is that a word? ).  Why, I asked myself, is he so appealing?



Sam is definitely a beautiful man.


Some say it is the smile.


Some say it’s the voice.


Some say the way he bites his lip.


Some say it’s the twinkle in his eye.


Some say it’s his collarbones ( yes @1hawtchica I’m talking about you)


Some say it is his bum.


( you thought I was gonna show a pic didn’t you?) Haha made you look!

The fact that he has big shoulders, big hands, he’s tall, and has that little scar, and….I’ll stop now….is it me or is it getting hot in here?

Here’s the thing.  There are lots of beautiful men in film. So, even though he is pretty to look at, I don’t think it’s his looks alone that make him so appealing.


Obviously, I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Sam or spent time with him, so anything I know about his personality must be gleaned from trusted sources like Cait, Graham, Diana, etc..  Here are some adjectives and phrases I’ve heard in regards to Sam.

“He is a genuinely nice person”

“He has a great sense of humor”

“He is such a gentleman”

“What a great guy”

“He has a quick wit”

“I think they had Sam in mind when they invented the word sweetheart”

I love his teasing tweets with Diana, the Outlander driving guys, his co stars, and his fans.



He gives of his time and uses his popularity for good.  I’ll bet his momma is proud!  I would be!



I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that a big part of his appeal to Outlander fans is the fact that he has so embodied our Jamie!  Sigh….  I have gone from “who are they ever going to get to play our Jamie?” To “he is Jamie”.  My appreciation for his acting skills continues to grow as I watch (and re-re-watch Season1 Episodes)

Outlander 2014

Outlander 2014



He’s Adorkable.  Anybody remember when he shared this video?  Or posted this pic? Yep….Adorkable.  I love Adorkable.


Despite, these valid reasons Sam appeals to me (cuz I might be old, but I ain’t dead) and evidently a lot of other women of all ages, there is just some element of intangiblity  isn’t there?  For whatever reason, when I hear him speak, he makes me smile, he makes me sigh, and he makes me proud to be his “fangirl”.