Best and worst encounters at a convention.
I write this post to go along with the podcast of The Terror Twins that will hopefully be airing very soon. Our newest episode covers our favorite encounters with celebrity guests at conventions, and our least favorite. Now I will state this before you read this post/listen to the episode. I understand everyone has a bad moment/day. We are all human, and we aren't completely responsible for how encounters happen. Celebrities are still people, and I feel people sometimes forget about that. With that being said, it's a double edged sword. To quote Rob Zombie, we go to conventions to meet guests because they were in movies that meant something to us. Either these were films we grew up watching and brings back memories of our childhood, or they were in a movie that we enjoyed and are fans of. We are willing to pay cash money, and wait in lines to just have a few minutes of interaction. If the interaction is pleasant it will leave a lasting impression on the fan. It will seriously stay with them for the rest of their life's while for the celebrity most likely they will forget about it moment after it happens. If the experience is unpleasant then that will ruin the film forever for that person. They will no longer look at that actor the same way again, they will forever remember that they were an asshole. Think about it kids, this isn't rocket science.
So here are my top 3 favorite encounters. This was tough to narrow down to just three since 99% of the time I have had NOTHING but wonderful experiences with people. These were the highlighted ones.
3) The cast of The Monster Squad.
- Back in 2007 when I was a senior in high school i made the journey to Monster Mania in Cherry Hill NJ. This was my first long distance convention since before than my only other shows had been at Rock & Shock. This was odd for Monster Mania to do a winter show in February, but I was on break and after lots of saving and begging, I was able to drive out after a pretty nasty snow storm with a friend of mine. We spent the weekend, and found the place by using a printed out map. (If that doesn't show my age I don't know what does.) Monster Mania has been a favorite show of mine and it kills me whenever I can't make it. (My last show was back in 2012) One of the big reasons why I was heading out there was the fact they had gotten most of the cast from the 1987 cult classic The Monster Squad. This was months before the movies were finally released on DVD and back in print. The Monster Squad was a HUGE favorite of mine growing up so I knew I just had to meet Sean, Phoebe, and Rudy. I didn't meet any of the Monsters (I was lucky enough to meet them years later at a Horror Hound show.) Instead I met actors Andre Gower, Ashley Bank, and Ryan Lambert. (I also met Fred Dekker the director/writer who was a complete delight to talk with.) I have to admit, I was very star struck meeting all of them and talking about how much this movie meant to me growing up. All of them were amazed I came all the way from Boston, and took the time to talk and snap photos. On Sunday right before I was about to leave I came back to get one last group autograph signed by them. It was early and Ryan hadn't come down yet. Andre called him on the phone saying I was here and about to leave and he FUCKING came downstairs. Part of me was uber guilty hoping i wasn't the reason the poor guy had to rush down, but as soon as he came down he smiled said "Hey Stacy." and we took a group photo and they signed the second autograph of all of them for free! 18 year old Stacy was speechless. I was so touched I even named by car I received for graduation that summer Rudy after Ryan.
Side note - The actor who played Patrick wasn't at that convention. I was lucky enough to meet him five years later at Horror Hound where he did a drunken keg stand with me and my friends. Childhood officially ruined...
2) Leigh Whanell
- Funny enough my next story comes from the same winter show at Monster Mania. The main reason why we did the six hour drive was because I was caught up in the Saw mania that had overtaken the world of horror. In 2004 I went in to see the original knowing nothing about the movie besides that it was super scary and took place in one room. I still say to this day that had they just made one Saw movie it would be counted as one of the greatest thrillers of all time along the ranks of movies like Se7en. I enjoyed the sequels, along with part III that had come out that past Halloween season. A huge thing for me was the fact that star and writer Leigh Whannell returned. I was following his work and very much was looking forward to Dead Silence (I'm a sucker for haunted dolls) Now I'll admit, I had a HUGE crush on Leigh, and couldn't believe he had gotten added to a convention. Since this show he rarely does them and is a rare name to get. So having the chance to meet him AND the Monster Squad people was a huge selling point for me. I remember how everyone was there to meet the actors who played Amanda and Jigsaw, and how their lines legit went all the way into the lobby. Leigh's on the other hand was completely empty. I can't exactly remember what happened word from word but Leigh was very nice and surprised we came all the way from Boston. We talked about Dead Silence when I casually asked where Billy the puppet was. Leigh said he figured a warehouse and I pointed out that these people had a table across the room had made a bunch of saw themed stuff including a life sized Billy. Leigh looked and said "Oh, let's look!" Boom, got up and told me to follow him. My jaw dropped, I looked at my friend and shrugged and followed him to the table. We looked at different stuff before he asked if I liked a pair of earrings that were for sale at the table. I was speechless and said they were nice and he fucking bought them for me. = Photos below to prove. I was so flabbergasted I couldn't even talk. I kept muttering thank you before we went back to his table, took one final photo and he told me to come by again tomorrow to say goodbye. He gave me a free autograph which remarks on the earrings and that I wore the next day. The fact the writer of Saw and Insidious bought me earrings still stuns me to this very day. I'm beyond grateful I have photos to show what happened, and I still own the pair Leigh got me. I feel they belong in a museum or something...
1) Zach Galligan
- Ah Galligan. My all time favorite actor. A man who most of us remember and know from the Gremlin movies. For me, he will forever be Mark Loftmore from the Waxwork films. Very long story short, but back in 2012 I re-discovered the original Waxwork. After that I remembered how much I had always loved Zach and began tracking down his movies one by one. Wanting to meet him, I decided like a complete crazy nut to fly down to Florida and crash with a friend from school and meet Galligan who was appearing at Spooky Empire. I honestly don't think I had ever been so starstruck before in my entire life. I still remember spotting him in the room and turning towards the friend I was staying with and just muttering "Oh my God, this is happening..." Meeting Zach was a complete pleasure. I babbled like an idiot. If I remember right I said something about Waxwork and how he was 24 when he filmed it, and how I was 24 (really Stacy?) I legit had dozens of things for him to sign. He said I held the record (I promise you, I'm not a psycho) Zach was such a great sport. I gave him a Waxwork comic and kept repeating what an honor it was meeting him before asking if we could do the trapped in the barrier pose from Waxwork. (See above) This is a pose we have been doing every time I've met him since. Zach always remembers his fans, and just a week after meeting him I won his Waxwork II shirt at an auction hosted by Adam Green. Zach is always a huge treat to meet at shows. He's given me an interview for the blog, always signs stuff, and bullshits with me. He's not only my favorite actor, but I also got the guy with his throat slit from Tales From The Crypt tattooed on the side of my leg. I always look forward to meeting Zach and hope I can see him again soon!
- It goes to show you that I'm a pretty easy going person, so I couldn't even think of a total of 3 people that I really had a BAD encounter with. A friend of mine from school said I should say Tom Savini but I have to be honest, every time I met the man he was pleasant. Maybe it's because I'm a girl but as much as I hate to admit it, the man has never been awful to me. Mr. Monsoon on the other hand is a different story. Lawrence is best known for his roles in The Last American Virgin, Mask, and Friday The 13th The Final Chapter. I'm a huge Final Chapter fan, so a few years ago working Horror Hound I was thrilled to see he was added. I loved his character of Teddy and his witty banter with Crispin Glover. Sadly when I went him he seemed nothing but annoyed. He rolled his eyes, was dead pan, and snappy for no reason at all. Maybe the man wasn't making as much money as he expected but He was very unpleasant and when he rolled his eyes asking if I wanted a photo I simply shrugged said no thank you and walked away. Talk about a let down!
- I understand these people go to these things to make money, but years ago in 2008 when I was able to meet cast members from A Nightmare On Elm Street part 1 and 4, Penelope was the worst. I brought my Elm Street sneakers to have signed and EVERYONE. I'm talking EVERYONE I met that weekend just charged me once to sign both shoes. Mind you I wouldn't of had a problem if they charged me for both. Trust me I get it, they are separate items. Still, everyone was super nice, chatted with me, posted with the sneakers, and just charged me once. Penelope was very strange that weekend. She ignored me when I came up and said hello. It got so awkward that I was this close to say excuse me and leave when she stared at me and asked what I wanted. I tried to be pleasant, said it was great to meet her and asked if she could sign my shoes. Penelope snapped that she was charging for each shoe, snatched them out of my hands and didn't take a photo with me. (She said it would be extra) I remained pleasant through the whole thing, but I've heard rumors that Penelope hasn't been welcomed to many shows since then. Mmmm, can't say I blame people.
Besides that I have countless, and I mean countless stories of meeting wonderful people. in fact I might even so a part II to this post since I've had so many memorable and amazing meetings. So who have been your favorites and least favorites?