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9:36 a.m. - 2010-04-18
Hanging Around with Vampires.

It was that time of year again. Off we tootled to Parsippany, NJ to that goofy horror movie fan-con Chiller. I'd skipped the last couple of Chillers, after that mess last time I went, waiting 4 hours in the rain and cold and being smushed, bumped, and shoved around by the herds of other attendees (many of whom obviously believe bathing is optional) I swore I'd never go back. Didn't care who was signing autographs. At that last one Mick had achieved his goal of finally meeting and getting an autograph from the last surviving star of 'The Creature From The Black Lagoon', so with that off the list attending Chiller was completely optional from then on out.

But time has a way of mellowing bad memories and Mick was sweetly persistent about going to this one. We agreed on conditions (wait time for tix in dry weather- 1 hour, 30 mins if raining) and that we wouldn't bother trying to get there when the doors opened, a later arrival time might mean the crowds had thinned a little. Deal.

What a nice surprise! It seems the management must have learned something from that fiasco a couple years ago too, and had booked far fewer guests. Having dozens of actors from not only horror/sci-fi movies, but many from old TV shows, and bunches of musicians too was major contributor to the teeming anxious hordes that last time. I mean, that's why I went. I got to meet the Sweathogs and Greg Brady and Mickey Dolenz from The Monkees. But the price paid for my gooey fan love was far too high. This year the show was scaled back to a more manageable size and more genre specific. Sure there were a few oddballs like Karen Valentine and James Darren, but for the most part the folks offering autographs had at least some peripheral involvement with sci-fi or horror movies and TV shows. The smallish crowd of con attendees reflected the wisdom of that and everyone was well-behaved and the wait time for tix and autographs was extremely minimal.

Alice Cooper was the Big Deal guest. I didn't see him, he was holding court in his own private room, and while I don't begrudge him the security that affords as well as being able to hit people up for a much higher price for a meet-n-greet, I'm not that big of an Alice Cooper fan so I didn't bother.

I did however meet these two. Billy Wirth (dark hair in the middle) and Brooke McCarter (blonde on far right). Alex Winter (far left) wasn't there, and (duh) neither was Kiefer Sutherland. Like if I'd met Kiefer Sutherland I'd be wasting time nattering on about anything else. Jeeze, if I'd even seen Kiefer in the flesh I'd still be sitting in a corner somewhere giggling like an idiot and drooling down my chin. Who wouldn't? I mean, c'mon, it's Kiefer. But meeting those other two Lost Boys was a nice enough thrill. They were both very gracious, extremely charming, and (shhh, don't tell Mick) great kissers. We had a nice chat about the movie, my hair (which they both liked), and swapped rueful grins about how Time is marching on. Billy showed me the grey in his beard and Brooke comically groaned about it had been 23 years since the movie had come out and he swore he had no idea where he'd been since then, it couldn't have possibly been that long. They signed the glossy I'd picked out. Mick took our picture together, they insisting he take a couple so I'd be sure of having one that came out good. Then Mick wandered off and we three kept talking for a bit. It was then they laid the hugs and kisses on me, signed another glossy just for chucks and sent me on my way grinning like a damnfool and giggling like a teenybopper.

I have to say it was terrific to meet a couple guys who truly understand and appreciate their fans. I can see how it might get burdensome and/or boring, answering the same lame old questions about a job you did years and years ago. Sure, nobody held a gun to their heads to come to the con to sell pics and autographs so a minimum of graciousness is required on their parts, but having been to a few of these things now it's easy to spot the ones who are there for the money and nothing else (Lou Ferrigno, surly bastard he is), and the ones who honestly like meeting and talking with fans. Billy and Brooke are definitely of the latter sort. A cynic might say they might as well do these shows, skating along on past glory is about all they have these days, but it's not true in their case. Both have decent enough careers, still acting and doing other stuff like making music and directing, I think they just enjoy meeting people who love their movie, even if it was 23 years and some grey hair ago.

No movie stars on today's docket. Just dinner with the folks and the usual Sunday chores.

And probably watching 'The Lost Boys' tonight after the guys go to bed. ~LA

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