Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Experience at TEXAS FRIGHTMARE WEEKEND 2013: Day One

Oh my gosh, blog buddies. Where do I start with the awesome that was TEXAS FRIGHTMARE WEEKEND?! Well, I've got too many amazing stories and pictures so I figure the best thing to do is to just break down the weekend day by day. Are you ready for this?

First of all, a few things about the hotel I stayed at. The street it was on was called "John W. Carpenter Freeway." Totally different John Carpenter obviously, but I still thought it was kind of funny. Then it wasn't until the second day I was there that I finally realized what room number I was in:

My goodness, it's like this weekend was meant to be for me. Okay, enough of that. On with the show!

Friday night the festivities started at 6:00 pm, but I got there a little after 4:00 and got my weekend pass wristband; killer official TFW t-shirt; and TFW program for the weekend. I milled around, chatted it up for a while with another dude who was there by himself, and had my first celebrity sighting. Several more followed as the celebs started making their way to their tables - Virginia Madsen, Denise Crosby, John Gulager, and Tom Skerritt were all sighted. Tom Savini actually walked right past me several times and I suddenly realized just how awesome and surreal this weekend was going to be. 

I had read from some TFW veterans online that it was a good idea to try to get all or most of your meet and greets and autographs done on Friday night because the crowd was so much smaller, and so once they let us inside, that is what I set out to do! 

(Totally true for anybody that ever goes to this con - Friday night is the best time for celeb meetings!)

First on my list was one-half of The Boondock Saints - Sean Patrick Flanery. Only waited about 20 minutes in line and though I kind of clammed up when I got to him and couldn't think of anything cool to say (except that I loved him on "The Dead Zone" - gosh, I'm a dork), I still got a great autograph and picture with this awesome dude. Oh, as I got closer to him, Sean stood on a chair and started shooting a Nerf gun at us in line, yelling in his Irish brogue "Now you will receive us!!" (line from the end of the movie). Too cool. 

Also saw Sean Clark at Flanery's table, whom I recognized from some videos as being the booking agent or something for Norman Reedus. I thought I saw that he had some of Norman's 8x10s and asked him about it, hoping to snag one somehow. He just had the one extra and gave it to me! Now I just have to save it for when I actually get to meet him - hopefully next year at the same con.

Anyway. After meeting Flanery, I wandered around the room for a bit to see what was there before heading across the hall for my next celeb meeting. I got some sneaky pictures of... 

Vincent Ward (Oscar from "The Walking Dead")...

Jeffrey Combs (Reanimator, FTW!)...

... and Tyler Mane.

Next on my "must meet" list was Chris Sarandon. He was next to Jordan Ladd, who was having a very cute encounter with a little boy while I waited. Cool chick. I picked out a Child's Play pic of Chris and introduced myself. He actually asked me if my name was with one L or two. Hardly anybody does that. Love this man. When we were getting situated for our photo I said that I had somebody to pose with us, and pulled out my Chucky doll. He was like, "Oh, Chucky! That's great!" Other people watching got a kick out of it as well.

Now it was time for the one and only Dee Wallace! This woman was such a freaking sweetheart, all smiles and really seemed to be having a good time. She posed for a pic with me first (she had to walk around a couple tables each time so she just stayed out there once and took a few pictures before signing autographs). I had to go for the Cujo pic, and while she was signing it she told me a short story about how they got the dogs to attack like that. I complimented her on Cujo and Halloween and got more sweet smiles and thank yous. I think she was actually my favorite of the whole weekend.

More wandering, looking at the toys and artwork on the vendor tables. Then I come upon Tom Savini's table. TOM fucking SAVINI. I took a few sneaky shots before getting up the nerve to go to him. I heard later that his eye was bugging him or something so he was a little non-talkative with me, which freaked me out and again made me clam up. I only got out that I loved his work, that his effects are really fantastic or some crap - dangit, I'm a freaking dork again! It was cool, though, because again I got a great autograph and picture; plus, I had a way cooler time with him on Sunday (stay tuned for that!).

Look at this - Tom Savini and Danny Trejo in the same pic! Double awesomeness whammy. 

Had to wander back to the other room my next meet and greet (heck yes, I was just plowing through them). There was a bit of a line for this celeb so I hung back and went to the nearby table for Atomic Cotton. What first catches my eye is that they have a Martyrs t-shirt! I have never seen a Martyrs shirt anywhere before and convey as much to the girl at the booth, who laughs and says that that is what everybody says, and that she made that shirt just because she wanted one and had never seen one before. They had a good deal if you bought two shirts so I picked up the elusive Martyrs one and also a Fright Night one.

Back into a relatively short line for one of my most anticipated celebs - Heather Langenkamp. She was also beyond awesome to meet; gave me a great signature and note on one of her photographs and also signed my DVD cover of Wes Craven's New Nightmare. When I handed it to her, I said that I had always thought that New Nightmare was the best of the series and she said, "I do, too!" Score one for me. I talked to her a little more about the movie and asked her about her acting approach to it, whether she was playing herself or more of a character, and she gave great answers. Such a joy to have this encounter with her! She's been doing these things for years and still seems to enjoy meeting fans, and is still as enthusiastic as ever about her role. Awesome, awesome woman!

Across from Heather was Tyler Mane's table. I asked the girl there how much it was just to take a picture - FREE! Holla. So I jumped up there with him and asked him to do something funny - he made a little bit of a goofy face and our picture came out great. Yes, he is that tall. He's even stooping down a little.

One more celeb encounter for the night. Denise Crosby and Mary Lambert were right next to each other, and I had a ton to say to Mary but didn't have the nerve just yet. So I went with Denise for now and had her sign this kick ass Pet Sematary mini poster (I got Mary to sign it later). Again, Denise was a sweetheart and was so appreciative and nice, beautiful smile, and a really warm person. Pet Sematary has always been one of my favorites, so this poster with both of their signatures was a huge score. I can't wait to get it framed and up on my wall so I can look at it every day!

Ah, so many amazing celebrities in just a few short hours. Pure horror geek bliss. And this was only the first night! 

Other cool things that happened Friday night: 

1) Again, while standing in line for Sean Patrick Flanery, these girls from Japan are standing behind me. Sean Clark notices them and takes a pic of them to send to Norman Reedus to make him feel bad for not being there because these chicks came all the way from Japan to see him. Get the message, Norm! Please don't cancel on me again if I come to one of these things!

2) At another vendor table while I'm looking around at posters and stuff, the guy at the table likes my I Heart Zombies shirt. He hands me this really folded up shirt wrapped in plastic and says something like, "You probably won't want to wear it." I forget. I get back to my hotel room that night and open it up and it's a shirt for the remake of The Eye. Yes, you are right, guy! The Eye is not really my favorite, but I thank you for the free shirt nonetheless!

3) Took a bathroom break at one time and when I came out, Veronica Cartwright was there at the mirror fixing her makeup for her photo op. More surreal weirdness.

And to wrap things up, here are some random pictures from throughout the night!

Are you seeing this, Alec? Took this picture just for you.

Stuart Gordon!

Patricia Quinn talking to Bruce Davison!

Virginia Madsen, still as gorgeous as ever.

This is when Flanery was shooting the Nerf gun at us...

DAY TWO coming soon! The weekend just kept getting better and better!

UPDATE: Here is the link for all the DAY TWO festivities!
Clicken here for DAY THREE!


  1. Glad to hear you had a great start to the weekend, Friday was totally the best day to do the autograph thing because wow did things get busy on Saturday! Can't wait to read your day 2 and 3 recaps :-)

    1. Believe it or not, I was expecting it to be MORE crowded than it was on Saturday. Maybe it was because I had already done most of my meet and greets and had a lot more freedom just to walk around and look at stuff. Honestly, I was expecting to spend my whole weekend waiting in line for somebody, meeting them, and then having to get into another line. Not like that at all! Longest I had to wait was almost two hours for Jon Bernthal but he also showed up late, so not that bad in reality!

  2. I am over the moon thrilled that you had a blast! It's good to go among our people, isn't it?

    1. Oh, it was so good to be with people who were just as enthusiastic about the genre and the guests as I was. When I got home I was telling people - or at least TRYING to tell people - about all the amazing people I met, but of course they had no idea who any of them were! So sad that it's over and I have to wait another year to go do all of this again!

  3. Words cannot express how cool all of that is, you lucky girl!!

    I can't wait to hear more...

    1. It was the best weekend of my life!! I'm already counting down the days until the next Frightmare!

  4. Ok NOW I'm getting REALLY jealous you and Flanery! You, Sarandon and Chucky! (fun pic!!) You and the great Dee Wallace!! You and Savini!!! You and Langenkamp!!!!! *sigh* Awesome, just awesome!

  5. Totally should be jealous, it was amazing :). I think I got so lucky with my first con and all these amazing people... Dee was delightful (also ran into her in the bathroom, which was weird but also cool) and Heather actually talked to me for a while and I managed not to sound like an idiot. I was not so cool when meeting Flanery and Savini but can you blame me for being so starstruck?! I still can't believe it all really happened!