Oh, wow. What a fantastic day with so many great people, experiences, and pictures! Here's a picture of the crowd waiting to be let into the doors:
How could that not make you excited?! One important event I wanted to get to this weekend was a not-to-be-missed panel, which started at 1:00 on Saturday, so I had two full hours to get in as much as I could. My podcast friends were back, but they had their own stuff to do, and we split off after a little while of hanging out. I still had a ton more people to get and swag to scope out, and I got right down to it!
First meeting of the day was with a lady who should need no introduction - Danielle Harris! She's super talented, super adorable, super nice, and of course a horror icon. I couldn't wait to meet her. I told her how much I loved pretty much everything she did with Adam Green, gave her huge praise for her fantastic directorial debut Among Friends, and asked if she had any plans to direct more in the future. She said she would probably do something later this year (I think), and that it would of course still be in the horror genre. Awesome. The last thing I blurted out was that her tattoo is beautiful (it is, go check it out!). I was nervous about taking a pic with her because I thought I would just look like an idiot and maybe I do, but I don't care! This woman was the best and I loved her!
Aside from meeting your horror heroes, one of the best things about conventions is making connections with other fans. I had already reconnected with a few people as I said in the previous day's post, but there were also a bunch of other new friends that I kept running into throughout the convention. One of them was this guy Dean, who traveled all the way from the UK for his first convention and his first visit to the states ever! I met him either on Thursday night or Friday morning, I can't remember which, but we were both down at the coffee bar Friday morning so we had breakfast and a great conversation together. He's actually a really talented artist that does book covers and he showed me some of his stuff, which was stellar. Anyway, it was after meeting Danielle that I saw Dean again, and we both wanted to meet the same person at that time so we went together. Here's to new friends!
But who were we meeting? Only one of the most awesome men in the business, TONY TODD! We talked to the really nice woman who was working his table while we were waiting and trying to pick out a picture for him to sign. I saw a pic from Sushi Girl there, and the woman and I were telling Dean and this other lady in line how good it is and how much they need to see it. I let Dean meet Tony first, and I could tell how excited he was, which made me so happy for him. Then it was my turn, and Tony immediately commented on my Hatchet Army t-shirt. Then I said that I feel like I should be bowing down to him in an "I'm not worthy" way and actually bowed down to him, and he just laughed and started bowing back! We talked about Sushi Girl a little, he signed my Candyman picture, and I also told him about the article I wrote for Wicked Horror about the Five Horror Actors I'll Watch in Anything, and that he was one of them. He was very appreciative of that and told me to Twitter a link to him. Before posing for a picture, I asked for a hug which he was happy to give and then I got another one as I was leaving. Tony Todd seriously could not have been more cool - he was so nice and chatty to everyone, and just a down-to-earth, real guy. What a blessed meeting!
Dean and I reveled in the high of meeting Tony for a bit, then I had to say goodbye because it was time for my panel. A huge draw of the convention this year was that Loyd Cryer put together a large roster of guests from Wes Craven's films. To honor him, there was a "Remembering Wes Craven" panel with guests Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Ronee Blakely, Mitch Pileggi, Amanda Wyss, and Miko Hughes. The moderator asked a few questions and each person got their opportunity to share funny and touching stories about what Wes was like on set and in life, what he meant to and taught each of them, and what his legacy means for film. I loved hearing all of it, and even though I didn't full-on cry, I definitely teared up at times, especially when David Arquette said Wes was like a father figure to him and you could see the emotion on his face. Great, great panel.
After the panel, it was time for a meeting that I was so freaking stoked about that I couldn't contain myself. Unfortunately, just as I got in line to meet this person, they left their table! They had a photo op scheduled at that time and I was right near the beginning of the line so I decided to wait. Heather and Acacia stopped by and kept me company for a while and we took a selfie version of our yearly group photo together.
Our line got moved closer to the guest's table, and a short time later he came back. I was finally going to meet Kane Hodder! I saw how he could come off as intimidating to some people, but I felt like I knew how he really was so I wasn't nervous at all. Just like Tony Todd, the first thing he said was that he loved my Hatchet Army t-shirt (I knew it was the perfect one to wear when I met them both!). I told Kane "thank you" for his book Unmasked, and he was like, "Oh, did you read it?" and I said of course, man, and that I cried while reading it. And he said, "But then you were laughing out loud, right?" Absolutely! He said how amazing it was that something like that could make you feel all these emotions and I totally agreed. Then I mentioned how excited I was for his upcoming documentary, and he was, too, saying that it was going to be really good because they were going to talk to the woman who helped save his life the day he was burned. I can't wait to see it! I sat down for a picture with him, and before I left I asked him if he gave out hugs, to which he replied "You know I do," and pulled me in. He told me again that he loved my shirt, and this was truly a fantastic meeting!!! I fucking love Kane Hodder!
As Matthew Lillard was a guest this year, one of the cool, extra special things they had for the convention goers was the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo! It was parked outside the hotel all day Saturday, and later on, Matthew was doing a photo op with it, but for now I just got a picture of me with it!
I went back onto the convention floor and noticed that David Arquette didn't have much of a line at that time, and I jumped right in to meet him! It was so hard to pick a picture for him to sign because he was in so many movies that I love, but I didn't have anything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer yet so I had to go with that one. I told him as much when it was my turn to meet him, and he was so sweet and smiley, such a doll. I mentioned the Wes Craven panel from earlier and how great he was there, and he appreciated that. As you've probably gotten by now, I am all about the hugs, so I got one from David and another great picture!
I caught some more super creative and fun cosplays while deciding what to do next, including...
Have I mentioned yet how much I love my fellow horror fiends?? These cosplays were so awesome to see! Other horror fiends I love are the wonderful vendors that come to Frightmare and the fantastic goodies that they bring with them. My favorite people are the folks behind Atomic Cotton t-shirts, Erica and Zach. I think I have bought a shirt from them every year since my first con, and this time I scored an Event Horizon one and finally asked them to take a picture with me!
It was around this time that I got a Facebook message from my good online buddy Craig Edwards, who asked me if I had met Adrienne King yet. I was very grateful for this because I actually kept forgetting about her! Her table was in a different room than the rest of the celebrities, with the Dark Arts exhibit. I headed straight there and didn't have to wait long at all to meet the totally sweet and personable Adrienne! She was wearing this badass hockey mask necklace that I commented on, and then we talked about how cool her wine business is, her art, and I dropped Craig's name for him! She was happy to know that I knew him (well, sort of, I guess!) and mentioned their ghost hunting trip together. She signed my Friday the 13th picture, gave me a "camper hug" as she called it, and like most everybody I met this year, she could not have been more sweet or gracious. One of my best meetings ever!
It was dinner time now, and I met up with my bud Chris again, who sat down with me while I ate. We were in the same room where they were having the Twisted Trivia game, and we tried to play along in the back. I also got some pics with the Tarman display they had!
But oh no, the night still wasn't over yet! Acacia and I were going to the VIP party that night, but she was running a little late because the photo op with Matthew Lillard and the Mystery Machine got backed up. I met her out there and got some cool pictures myself!
We made it to the VIP party where all kinds of awesome shenanigans went down! Okay, maybe not really shenanigans, but we had a blast hanging out and getting all kinds of great pictures with the celebrities who showed up! Matthew Lillard and Skeet Ulrich were there together and with so many people wanting to take pictures with them, they just started a little line to get everybody. Couldn't pass up this opportunity!
Next, we caught the guy who is just a super class act, Lance Henriksen! I have a great story about him that happened the next morning, but for now, I have this!
I had just watched Nightmare 4: The Dream Master again shortly before I went to TFW and was reminded of what a good movie it is, and what a great character Rick is, so when I saw Andras Jones at the party, I had to go up and tell him. We talked about Nightmare 4 and then we all just joked and laughed about random stuff. Another great guy and one I wasn't expecting to love so much, but I did! Meet him if you ever get the chance!
We met Andras on our way to Kane Hodder and I was so freaking excited that Kane was at the party because there was something I still needed to ask of him. When he saw me, I think he recognized me from earlier and before I knew it, he grabbed me in the best bear hug of my life!
Now this coming up was one of the best moments of the convention (and again, of my life!). When I had met Kane earlier that day, he had just come back from a photo op and was maybe not in the groove yet of the meet and greets, so I hesitated to ask for what I really wanted. But not this time!
I FINALLY GOT CHOKED BY KANE HODDER!!! Anybody else that has ever experienced this, you know how awesome it is. And in case you were wondering - yes, he really does choke you! He doesn't just place his hand on your neck, he really squeezes, and it was the most amazing goddamn feeling ever. I couldn't stop laughing while he was doing it, so after Acacia got the picture, he was like, "Oh yeah, she really likes that" and he was pulling my hair, and again it was fucking awesome. I got another hug goodbye and he told me again that he loved my Hatchet Army shirt. Life mission accomplished.
Some other people we met up with at the party were...
...Nora Hewitt, the winner of Face Off, and the badass who helped apply Howard Sherman's Bub makeup for the photo op that day. Really cool chick, wish I had more time to talk with her. After Nora, we caught James Remar!
James was also a very cool guy, of course. In the picture behind us is Sean Clark, an all-around horror guy who does all kinds of stuff in the genre including representing a lot of celebrities for conventions. I told him that I had heard his episode of Killer POV and marveled at the fact that he owns a screen-used clown doll from Poltergeist. Then, while we were talking, Adrienne King came up to Sean to talk to him, saw me, and said "Hi, Michele!" I had just met her a few hours before and she remembered my name!
Composer Alan Howarth was also a guest this year and he was sort of DJing the party for a bit, and even played a little guitar. There was a video screen that was playing some experimental-type footage from movies, and it was so boss to hear him play the Halloween theme music! Later on that night while I was talking to some other friends, he just randomly came up to us and asked us how we enjoyed the party and the music. What a guy! I got a picture with him, too.
Soon after this, it was time to call it a night. This whole day was absolutely fantastic, and I just can't believe all the amazing experiences I had! One more day to go but even more awesome to come, of course!