Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Weekend Of Horribles
This past weekend Amer and I (DCastr) were Exhibiting at Creations Weekend Of Horrors. Over all we had an AMAZING time meeting new people. Unfortunately Amer was treated a bit poorly by one of his horror idols. He wishes to share his experience. I thought it to be interesting...so here's his piece.
This last weekend, I shared a booth with my buddy DCastr from Taco Comics at the Weekend Of Horrors, which I didn't earn, I paid for it. In fact, I paid $250 for the table. I eagerly awaited the event, looking forward to meeting many of my idols in the horror industry, In particular Ken Foree, Bill Moseley and Sid Haig. I had even printed a photo of a great friend of mine dressed up as Captain Spaulding, intending to get it signed by Sig Haig, as a gift for my mate.
I had previously met Sid Haig at Comic Con, he had walked past and my buddy Josh called to him, as I was way too starstruck. Sid was very cold to the both of us, Josh explained how I am a fan of his, and that he has inspired us in many ways. Sid stared at us and pretty much brushed us off with saying very little, if anything. I convinced myself that I may have caught him at a bad time, and I will try to meet him when it suits him more.
Also at Comic Con, I met Bill Moseley, I went to his table, and gave him an original piece of my artwork and was also charged $20 for a signed poster, and a photo with him. I paid $30 with pleasure, but before I could even get the cash out of my pocket, his lady friend was telling me to 'show her the money' and was being very rude. 'Who the FUCK are you?' I was thinking. This was a business transaction between me and Mr Moseley, nothing to do with this woman. I am trying to pay my respects to Bill and she is brushing me off as if there was a fat cue behind me, and there wasn't. No one at all, so I don't understand what business she had talking to me. On Bill's behalf, he was very nice to me and appreciated the artwork.
Now onto the weekend of horrors. I built up the courage to finally go and see Ken Foree at his signing booth, which was in the main lobby where all the B Movie stars are - And I stress B MOVIE. I went to his table and he was in conversation with someone, a fan I presume. I waited about 10 minutes for my chance to speak to him. I shook his hand and told him that it really is an honour to meet him. I would purchase and watch movies just to see Ken Foree in action, this guy is certainly an entertainer in my eyes. Anyway, He was okay with me, It really was small talk, and then the awkward part came where I felt it was necessary to spend $20 for a signed photo to show my respect. Also, I wanted a photo with him just to make myself look cool and to show home to my friends and family. He was not interested in me in the slightest, I don't blame him, but the least you can do is show some interest in your fans if you are at a convention wanting their money and trying to boost your popularity. Whatever, I got the signed photo and had a picture taken with him and I walked past Sid's booth, I was too intimidated by the last experience and I was running out of money so I avoided him.
I finally found Frank Henenlotter, another huge inspiration of mine who I did fan art for, he was walking around the convention, he didn't have a booth. I gave him my fan art and he showed so much appreciation for the work and offered to have a photo with me, no mention of money, in fact, I am very certain he did not charge anyone. A genuine guy there to meet fans. This is someone I want to be.
Our booth was in the shittiest section of the convention, where the cast of Maniac Cop were pushed aside. The reunion of the cast was supposed to be one of the big highlights of the of the convention. This was the first time the cast were together in around 15 years. One by one, they came and set up, DCastr and I were so ecstatic that we were sitting among these legends. There was WIlliam Smith, this guy fought alongside Clint Eastwood and was in one of my favourite movies, 'Conan the Barbarian', as Conan's dad, that was enough for me to doff my cap to this man, I felt stupid not being familiar with his work, but I am still learning. Also, there was Laurene Landon, who was Bruce Campbell's Girlfriend in the Maniac Cop series and also seems to have been in a lot of cult movies, with an extensive portfolio of work, still looking fantastic and taking care of herself after all this time, it was very inspiring. I was so fortunate to have been able to sit next to the Maniac cop himself, Robert Z'Dar.
Robert Z'Dar had recently survived a heart attack and had come out of a 6 week coma. 2 weeks later he has flew in from Mississippi to be at this convention to reunite with the cast and meet with old friends. I saw this man who is disabled and I had to help out, he is sat next to me and it's the least any human being can do, especially if it's fucking Maniac Cop! So, he started speaking to me, he was interested in me and who I was. This was a very comforting feeling, and eventually the whole cast were introducing themselves and throughout the weekend even gave freebies and made us feel so welcome. They even frequently came to our table, looked at our work and gave us nice feedback. I only paid for William Smith's Invasion of the Bee Girls which he happily signed, this was before we had introduced ourselves. I can not stress how descent these people were. Completely took me off guard.
Robert Z'Dar would share lots of amazing stories with me as I would take him around the convention and to his hotel room. He would tell me how much he respects DCastr and I for chasing our dreams and working as hard as we apparently do (DCastr certainly works his butt off!). I explained to him that we are part of a collective and we frequently work together and with others to promote our work.
William Smith was certainly a character, and he would call over to us and ask how we are and smile at us, and his wife Joanne was simply awesome. She would tell us stories about William, and compliment us and just generally have nice conversations with us.
It was really sad that these icons were pushed aside, without any posters or information about their whereabouts or any indication the Maniac cop reunion. It seems that the convention pushed these people aside like they were in some kind of bargain bin. I can't explain how upsetting it was to see these people shown very little respect. But they always stayed positive and always made us feel welcome.
Saturday was the day of Bruce Campbell's arrival, which meant that the spotlight quickly shun on him, casting a shadow on everyone else. This was there time, it seemed, to go to the booths and grab as many freebies from suckers trying to promote their shit (I previously did the same thing). While I was exploring the convention with Robert Z'Dar, we had come across Ken Foree talking to some vendors. This turned into a conversation between Ken and Z'Dar, and never once did Ken even look at me, or thank me for paying him 20 bucks. I payed this dude 20 bucks to ignore me the whole weekend and forget my face. I am not going to suck up to this dude to get attention. I was quickly realising how much these dudes really care about the fans. It's funny, because I caught Ken's panel, and he seemed so awesome and was very funny, but then I remind myself, he is an actor. He might be a nice guy in real life, but really does not give a fuck about me, you or any of the fans.
On the last day, Many people came over to our side to pay respect to William Smith, I am guessing that business was slow for them, but at least they came over and did the right thing. This man has been in triple as many movies as most of the 'big shots' of the convention. That's one of my main points I am trying to make here, they are not big shots, they are not hollywood A list stars. We made them famous, we 'the fans' are fucking feeding them, for them to brush us off as fucking dirt. Ken Foree paid William and Joanne a visit, and then spoke to Z'Dar next to me, without even looking at me.
I had previously explained to Robert Z'Dar how the UK horror scene is so dry and organizing a convention would be amazing. Robert explained his ideas to Ken only to be ridiculed. Ken Foree laughed at him, and said 'Don't listen to THOSE guys!' chuckling right in front of us, without even looking at us. Ken basically went on to imply that the UK is a goldmine for conventions, and began listing UK cities from the top of his head. I could smell bullshit. Jim, the tattooist next to us knows how it is, he was also from the UK, sure there might be conventions in all those cities, but I can bet you all that they are not annual events, or maybe happen only once a decade OR they are EXTREMELY badly promoted. Ken carried on chuckling and said 'who do these guys think they are?' - I'M THE FUCKING GUY THAT GAVE YOU 20 BUCKS FOR YOUR FOOD ASS HOLE.
Ken, You have NO IDEA who we are, how dare you belittle us like that. You will soon find out who we are, You act like some big shot - You are simply a big fish in a small pond and your time will come when you will be sat next to us, in the fucking bargain bin where you actually belong. Respect goes a long way Ken and you have lost all of my respect, and I am speaking out against you.
What you do not realise is that us artists are working our fucking butts off just to be appreciated let alone make money to survive, and people like you only inspire us to be better than you.
I have realised how nasty people in the industry can be, and I have so many more stories, it's just I had to let some shit off my plate and tell you all what to expect. You might have some positive feedback about these guys or might have negative feedback on the guys that were good to me - But all in all - You treat one person like dirt, you lose. You can't afford to treat people how you please if you are the ones begging them to buy your photos. You may dress up in a suit and have some kind of fancy ear plug speaking to your managers, but you are there for the same reasons as the rest of the vendors, to make some dosh. You really need to realise how much you can hurt people by being so oblivious to them as they think the world of you.
The whole idea of these people presenting themselves as big shots and thinking they are better than all of you defeats the purpose of having to pay them $20 - I wanted to pay you because I respect you and I want to see you succeed, I don't to pay you so you can use it to wipe your arse and never even acknowledge our existence. I came to L.A to meet these kinds of people and I really did not want to report the truth on my behalf because I did not want other people's representations of them to be ruined. I payed to see your movie in the cinema, I payed to own your movie on DVD, I payed to be at the convention, then I have to pay to get no appreciation?
Share your opinions, whatever, rant over, I am happy I made new friends.