Let me start by saying despite the fact we were busier on this day than the first for some reason I felt more laid back by this point. Maybe that is because these conventions kind of make me feel like I’m at home. I think that is the case because we are surrounded by like minded people and in a lot of ways they become this family away from home. Conventions take place in line, you don’t feel like you have to censor yourself in any way, you are just you. Beautiful weird little you. At least that is how I feel on most days. Maybe I should start telling people I’m unique though. That point is neither here nor there and not exactly what you signed up for in this blog post so I will get down to the nitty gritty as much as possible with my long winded self.
For some reason or another despite not attending the Sons of Anarchy (SOA) panel last year, due to a scheduling conflict with the only photo op that I purchased for myself, I was determined that my friend would be as close to the front of line for this panel as possible. So after stopping by Martins for breakfast and seeing the insane line for the Andrew Lincoln panel we had breakfast and waited. I mean we lurked. As soon as we could start a line for the SOA panel we did. We were both able to bond with what turned out to be the second person in line over The Walking Dead and SOA. This also turned into me telling a lot of people that the line did not start there and they had to go to back. I was dead and determined for them to be first okay. We had not been standing there since the wee ungodly hours of the morning for them not to be first!
As they went upstairs to the panel, my camera in tow with my friend so she could get some pictures for everyone we both knew who wanted to see them, I found my way downstairs to the convention floor for my second to last photo op. This one was a little different than all of the others though as I was taking a photograph with not one, but two of the actors from The Walking Dead. Michael Cudlitz and Josh McDermitt. Before making my decision with the money my father gave me on whether to go with Scott Wilson and Denis O’Hare I debated hard on Michael Cudlitz. And believe it or not this was before his character was killed off the show. That is how much I loved Abraham.
So the day I picked up my other photo op tickets I picked up my additional photo op and got in line while my friend was at the panel, which she informed me was amazing. This was oddly enough the longest wait time I had despite being closer to the front of their line that day. I think part of this is because a lot of people had the same idea as I did and wanted to make sure they had their picture taken with this pairing before it was too late and the actors were split into different pairings. With that said the wait was only thirty minutes long, which is nothing in comparison to other wait times I heard about with other certain actors. By the time I got up there, my Charlie’s Angels idea went out the window. And why do you ask? Because Josh McDermitt was touching my hair and complimenting it on how bad ass it was and Michael Cudlitz was trying to see my shirt. I’m still perfectly okay being in the middle of them despite the fact I have never felt SO short.
By the time I got out of line, my friend was waiting in line at the American Horror Story (AHS) panel. She was actually beginning to worry about me because I was a little later than she expected me to arrive from the photo op. Part of my favorite part of this panel was the mixture of American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, and True Blood stories we were able to hear. The panel members included John Carroll Lynch, Alexandra Breckenridge, and Denis O’Hare.
One of my favorite questions asked during this panel was who Denis thought that Russell Eddington would be friends with out of his AHS characters. He admitted that Russell wouldn’t know what to do with Liz and would probably use Stanley. He could have seen them sleeping together and him tossing him out when he was done with him. I absolutely loved the answer and how he really thought it out. All of them were great to listen to on the panel in all honesty because of their love for the series. And the general consensus was that they loved the series so much because AHS is unlike any other series because from one season to the next you’re playing various characters and yet somehow they all connect.
After this panel we walked back to the photo op area for my last photo op of the convention which took place with the one and only Scott Wilson. From the moment Hershel was introduced on The Walking Dead I loved his character. So when given the option to get to meet him, I knew without a shadow of a doubt I wanted that opportunity. And needless to say I made a great decision by choosing to meet him that day. He immediately gave me a hug and talked to me about my shirt, which I bought specifically to have my picture made with him. I seriously could not get over how amazing he is with his fans. He is such a warm and welcoming soul. Anyone who has the chance to meet him should! Said the super biased fan over here.
After leaving the photo op area for the last time, we made our way over to a panel that featured six different men from The Walking Dead. They included Jason Douglas (Tobin), Michael Traynor (Nicholas), Tyler James Williams (Noah), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel), Austin Nichols (Spencer), and Austin Amelio (Dwight). Getting all their viewpoints on various aspects of the show was awesome. And there was a discussion that up until the season seven premier that the most brutal death on the show was Noah’s to which Seth Gilliam still believes is the most brutal because it was slower. That makes complete sense when you look at it from that standpoint really.
Despite some of the more deep subject matter, these men were all hilarious to listen. Some of course could not figure out why they were hated so much by fans, which was also kind of funny considering their characters. Michael and the Austins primarily being the three who could not understand why everyone hated on their characters so. Austin Amelio also informed us that Dwight likes Daryl’s shit and he might not get it back ever. This panel made me truly realize how you can adore an actor but hate their character. Just means they all did a really great job. And there was some more birthday singing to Seth and Tyler on this panel. I have to admit I rather enjoyed all the celebrating taking place that weekend and how they all made sure, even the person’s birthday had passed that month, they were still celebrated.
In between the last panel we attended, we went to get some pizza and some caffeine to revitalize us and finish the day. We also listened to the music, which was a panel of its on per se, of The Harp Twins. They were absolutely fantastic to hear play. I do not recall seeing them on the list for this year, but am looking forward to them coming back to play whenever possible in the future. Thankfully, they did not line up the last panel and we were able to sit and listen to the twins and not have to eat standing up.
Our last panel of the day, and of the convention actually, was a panel that focused on stunt man Kane Hodder. This panel provided one of the most interesting behind the scene looks inside of the horror film industry. He talked about how he got into stunt work. He saw an old cowboy show that came through his town and conversed with one of the actors in the show. The actor told him of a school he could go to learn some tricks of the trade and so that summer in between going to college for a Geography degree he went to stunt school. He explained that he never finished college, which he insisted he should have because we all need backup plans in case something didn’t pan out.
He also explained that because he didn’t know anyone in the industry breaking in was that much harder, but he managed to make it work which was really inspiring to hear about really. He also talked about his favorite Jason kill, the sleeping bag one in part seven, and his all time favorite kill, which is from when he was playing Victor Crowley and he ripped the girl’s head off, but her jaw was left and her tongue was still wiggling back and forth. Also hearing about his injury and how he healed from it to make a comeback was also inspiring. Kane Hodder is honestly one of the most inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure to listen to on stage.
Afterward, the was one last thing on my to do list I had to try and do. I wanted to get my picture of Robert Englund autographed. I knew from the moment my friend asked me if I was going to get the picture autographed what I wanted him to say and everything. So when I went to check on prices I was overjoyed to know I had the exact amount for the autograph left. In a way I feel like the convention Gods smiled down upon me that afternoon. As I walked up to him, he noted that the picture really made my purple hair pop and we talked for a moment. He then asked me if I had a request and I asked him if he could sign it with “I’ll be your boyfriend now Michelle.” For reason that has stayed as my favorite Nightmare on Elm Street scene. And not only did he sign it that way, but he also said it in Freddy’s voice for me.
As soon as I walked over to my friend I told her it was well worth the money and that was a wrap for the weekend. The truth is my only regret is that I wish I had told Robert about the story of watching A Nightmare on Elm Street with two of my friends in middle school once upon a time, but maybe another convention that will take place. So considering everything available at our fingertips at these conventions the fact I only have one regret is an amazing feat and I cannot wait for the Walker Stalker Con 2017 weekend to begin.