Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dear Blake Berris,

It would've made more sense for me to write this letter last week, so I could give you a physical copy at this past weekend's fan event. I probably had it in my head that I'd be able to have an actual conversation with you this time - since it'd be the third time I'd be meeting you - and not just stammer and stare and go all red in the face like before. I would have the presence of mind to ask you about the Kubrick exhibit you saw at LACMA last year (and which my husband and I are hoping to see later this year in Toronto). I would finally remember to ask you what it was like to meet Werner Herzog, because it must have been incredible. But I'm not sure why I thought I'd be able to pull any of that off. Every time I'm anywhere near you my brain shuts down and my thoughts scatter away and hide from me. And I end up kicking myself afterwards for being such a silly, cliche fangirl. It was maybe kinda cute when I met you for the first time last August but, at this point, it's incredibly embarrassing.

But in the grand scheme of things it probably isn't all that big of a deal. I've been vocal on this blog and on various forms of social media about my affection for your alter ego, Nick Fallon, and my admiration for your work in the role but I'm hardly the only one who feels that way. Though it's still worth repeating that you've got a wicked talent, young man, and there's no doubt in my mind that you've got great things ahead for you. Which means that us fans have great things to look forward to as well and that makes me supremely happy.

But as much as I've written about and tweeted about your work on Days of Our Lives I always feel like I'm dancing around what I really want to say. I tend to stop short of explaining my affection for Nick by saying "I'm not really sure why I love the character so much, I just know that I do." But I think I do know, I think I've always known. It's because I see myself in him. Maybe not the parts of me that I like to acknowledge but parts that are there all the same. There's a hunger and a loneliness to that character that speaks so clearly to me. There are times when it damned near hurts to watch you in the role because it rings so true and it's so honest and raw. And I can't justify or condone most of Nick's actions but I can't bring myself to condemn him for his mistakes because who's to say I wouldn't act the same way as him in certain situations? The bitterness and the contempt he feels, the way he tries, against all odds, to get what he wants, those are qualities I can understand. I just want to say to him "I hear you Nick. Loud and clear."

This is why I get so upset with the show when I feel like they won't allow Nick to grow and change, just a little bit. We only ever see him at his worst but, even still, he's the most compelling and relatable character for me. Despite the fact that he's usually calm and calculating I think he's a man who's not fully in control of his emotions. I don't think he wants to do wrong, he just gets carried away. I still wish he could be given a chance at redemption, because if the show treats him as a throw-away villain it says to me that there's no place in the world for people like Nick. And that breaks my heart. 

And, look, I know Nick isn't real and that you are not your character. Obviously, I know that. But I so appreciate you for bringing Nick to life, the way I appreciate Donna Tartt's writing or Robert Rauschenberg's passionate expressive works of art. It makes me wish I were talented enough to create something you could admire as much as I admire your work. I feel like I owe you that. But, for now at least, you'll have to settle for my admiration. And my gratitude, because, even though I'm just a flush-faced, tongue-tied fangirl when I'm in your presence, you are always so gracious and kind and generous. You, sir, are simply the best.