Two Dead Chicks Blog | #TWDFamily Part 3
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#TWDFamily Part 3

#TWDFamily Part 3

It’s not just fandom. It’s family.” If you are at all familiar with Walker Stalker Convention or Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, you’ve probably seen this tag line before. Though I’d seen it, I had never put much thought into what it meant until I experienced this family for myself. From attending the conventions as a fan to beginning this podcast with Kia, I have witnessed a fandom that supports each other with their whole hearts. I have seen people come together for each other in a way that can only be described as magical. Their one common thread? They love The Walking Dead and attending the conventions that celebrate their favorite show.

In this four part series, I will be chatting with many of the people that make up this family. Today, we take a look at the fans who love to attend WSC! Many of the folks who were kind enough to speak to me will also be in Atlanta this weekend! If you see them, I encourage you to say hello!

Who have you most enjoyed meeting?

Jennifer Cronin (4 time WSC attendee):  I’d have to say the person I most enjoyed meeting was Norman Reedus. I’ve tried meeting him for three years and he finally came to Nashville this past year. I was excited and a nervous wreck. Once I got up to see Norman he was very sweet, asking how my day was. To make things better he even held my hand the whole time he autographed my Funko Pop and picture! Then sent me on my way with a hug and a piece of candy.

Mel V (8 time WSC employee): Loved meeting Danai the most. She remembered me and talked about me on Conan O’Brien!

Mike Angelo with one of his favorites, Alexandra Breckenridge

Mike Angelo (5 time WSC attendee): JDM, Alexandra Breckenridge, Norman, Lawrence Gilliard Jr.

Angela Barr: (4 time WSC attendee): Ross Marquand without a doubt! The first time I met him was in 2016 when I was volunteering in Panels at Walker Stalker Con Chicago.  I was standing outside the Panels area as he came out of Photo Ops.  He walked over and greeted all of us volunteers and thanked us. Then he gave each of us a hug! Ross gives the best hugs!!

Stephanie Rodriguez (1 time WSC attendee): Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Robert Bernardo (7 time WSC attendee): Andrew Lincoln.

Connie Connelly (1 time WSC attendee): So far it’s a tie between Lennie James and David Morrissey. Until I meet Jon {Bernthal}.

Stacey Lee (2 time WSC attendee): Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Even though I’ve met him prior to his Walking Dead time, he is my literal everything at these cons and I cannot get enough.

Ingrid Bascope hugging her favorite, Scott Wilson

Ingrid Bascope (4 time WSC attendee): Scott Wilson is so far the most amazing human being. I approached to him for a picture and I told him, “Mister Scott I’m a big fan. I watch all your movies with my dad. How I wish he was here with me to meet you!” And he look at me with a sad face and said, “I’m so sorry your dad is not here come! Let me me give you a hug!” He hugs me and my kids and tells them to be good at school.

What do you love most about Walker Stalker Con?

Jillian (3 time WSC attendee): I love the fact that James puts so much in to these events. He’s a fan just like us

Jennifer Cronin:  I love the Walker Stalker Con family. Everyone genuinely cares about each other and we all love the Walking Dead. I’ve made forever friendships because of Walker Stalker and these people are now part of my daily life. Also, how awesome is it that you get to hang out with people who love the Walking Dead? I love my Walker Stalker Con family.

Gemma Hewitt during some of her favorite photo ops

Gemma Hewitt (2 time WSC attendee): I love the whole experience but making friends has been the best part, I’ve met some amazing people who I now class as my best friends.

Heather Robertson aka Sparkles Handler (5 time WSC attendee): Meeting the other fans and making friends from all over the world. We look forward to seeing each other again at the next con. It’s like a big family reunion.

Anna (9 time WSC attendee): I love the experience, the people, its not just about the celebrities you meet, i do go to meet celebs but i look forward to being able to see a good majority of my friends all in one place.

Mel V: I love meeting up with fellow TWD family; people who have become lifelong friends through this awesome show!

Stephani Walker (5 time WSC attendee): Everyone is there for the same reason. The troubles of the world cease for three days. Three days of fandom and horror. Everyone there has the same passion and love for this show among many other shows that are a beautiful and entertaining escape from the reality that stresses us out. For three days, nobody cares about the color of your skin, nobody cares about your religious beliefs , nobody cares about your political views and nobody cares about your sexual preference. For three days, thousands of people from around the world gather for a family reunion and meet their idols, have fun and keep all things spooky!

Mike Angelo: It’s an all immersive 3 days with people from all over the world that share the same passion you do.

Angela Barr: I love so much about WSC but if I had to narrow it down to just one thing, I would say it’s the people that I have met at WSC. Whether it’s an actor from the show or another fan, I love that WSC gives me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life who love The Walking Dead as much as I do! The Walking Dead family is absolutely amazing!  And getting the chance to get together with a group of people who share my love for this show is such a great thing! I am so grateful to James Frazier for starting Walker Stalker Con and allowing me to be a part of this big, beautiful Walking Dead family!

Rachal Belew (1 time WSC attendee): I love the TWD Family. It’s amazing that everyone there will help you out and wants to be your friend.

Stephanie Rodriguez: The family style spirit the fans share with each other.

Robert Bernardo: Meeting fellow fans from all over the world.

Connie Connelly: How everyone comes together and helps one another. The fandom is so warm and friendly it feels like family!

Stacey Lee: Even though Atlanta is hugeeeee, it doesn’t feel that way. You can literally walk up to the dude standing in front of you in line at the ops and you have a new friend: it’s rad.

Do you have a favorite memory or story from your time attending Walker Stalker Con?

Jillian (3 time WSC attendee): My favorite memory is meeting 3 of my closest friends; Ashley, April, and Amanda.

 Gemma Hewitt: One of my favourite memories so far was the Saturday of London, I managed to buy an Andy photo op from somebody 10 minutes before the shoot so it was a mad rush but I got to meet him & he was sooo lovely!

Heather Robertson, Sparkles the Unicorn, and one of her favorites, Ross Marquand at WSC Nashville 2017. If you see Heather and Sparkles, make sure to say hello and take a photo with Sparkles!

Heather Robertson: At WSC Charlotte in December 2016 is the first time I met Ross. He was so friendly and down to earth and I loved talking with him. He remembered my name on Sunday after just meeting me on Saturday, and that made me feel amazing. The best part was when he made this amazing video for me. It was him standing beside me and doing 3 different voice impressions. It was the best thing ever. I still go back and watch that video over and over.

Stephani Walker: This is my 15th convention but for WSC, I have many great memories. I believe creating a painting of Norman and Mingus’ rescue cat, “Eye In The Dark” along with a quote from Norman himself. He gets hundreds of gifts daily and it was heartwarming to capture a video of him leaving with Sean Clark and security carrying the personalize canvas with him.

Stephanie Rodriguez:  I found out I was pregnant on the same day I met Jeffrey Dean Morgan. When I met him I was happier than I imagined I would be and he remarked on my huge grin. I told him it was the best day ever because I met him and found out that my IVF had worked. We took our picture and then he gave me a huge hug and a peck on the cheek before wishing me good luck. He was so sincerely happy in the exchange, it was just a great moment and really fulfilled my expectations of meeting him. He was fantastic.

Robert Bernardo: During the first Walker Stalker in Atlanta, I remember meeting Andrew Lincoln and introducing myself as “Robert from San Francisco.” He said, “Hello, Robert from San Francisco.” Then, later in the day when we were doing the cast photos—he yelled out to the rest of the celebrities, “Hey, everyone! It’s Robert from San Francisco!” That’s my fondest memory from all the Walker Stalkers.

Connie Connelly: So far when I met the governor, I was very nervous. I couldn’t talk and he asked me, “What’s wrong? You’re not a fan of the governor,” As he goes to my throat to pretend to choke me. 

Any advice for new Walker Stalker Con goers?

Jillian (3 time WSC attendee): My advice would be keep an eye on the schedules. They can change at anytime. And if you need any help with anything ask anyone. We’re all willing to help you out. We’re a big family.

Jennifer Cronin: Plan your day as far as photo op times, autos, panels, etc. Portable phone chargers are a must! Germ-x so you dont pick up the con crud. Mostly have fun, this’ll be one of the best experiences of your life and it’ll go so fast, so cherish every moment. Walker Stalker Con is just amazing.

Gemma Hewitt: My advice would be to plan your schedule and check the floor plan so you know where you need to go. Don’t waste valuable time looking for a table! Also, if you are like me and get shinier throughout the day, a powder compact will be your best friend! I topped up in every photo queue!

Heather Robertson: Don’t be shy. Talk to other fans when you are waiting in line. Join the meet up groups and connect with others. You will learn so much from the veterans. Plan, plan, plan. Do your research, it will help your first con experience go smoother.

Anna: If allowed, bring water and small snacks, comfortable shoes (if you’re cosplaying the most comfortable you can find), bring a bag of some kind to carry your stuff, buy photo sleeves ahead of time or find a vendor who has them for 2 or 3 bucks each. You can fit 2 or 3 photos in each one until you get home. Don’t stress too much about a schedule unless it’s very time specific such as photo ops or panels. I thought having everything planned to a T was a great idea when I went to my first con (NYCC of all places). My “plan” for the most part fell apart midway through the first day. After that I decided to just wing it. Surprises happened, I got most everything I wanted. It was a great time. Above all, expect the unexpected. You never know what will happen when you least expect it. And don’t be afraid to ask questions to people who have attended cons before. I don’t think I would have survived NYCC and NYC without asking a ton of questions beforehand. Some people will be jerks and not want to share “secrets” but we aren’t all like that. I do my best to pay it forward to newcomers to any con (I’ve done a few others besides WSC and NYCC). I remember all too well what it was like to be new.

Mike Angelo: Plan ahead. Start a year out if possible.

Angela Barr: Be prepared for lots of walking and waiting. The venues where the Cons are held are pretty big.   That means between the Panels, photo ops and meet and greets, you may have to walk from one side of the venue to the other several times a day. And there are lines for everything. Lines to pick up your badges, lines for photo ops, lines for meet and greets, lines to get into the Panels and lines for food. But being cranky about waiting will only spoil the experience for you and possibly for others around you. To pass the time, make a new friend while you wait in line. To make the most of your experience – remember to pack your patience and wear comfortable shoes.

Rachal Belew: Aim for the big stars you want but never forget the co-stars. They are all so kind and take the time to make you smile too!

Robert Bernardo: Here are my Top 3. 1. Prepare a schedule in advance so as not to waste precious time. 2. Plan ahead for any Photo Ops (costumes, props and specific poses). 3. Bring: phone chargers, cash (Note: photo ops and autographs are “cash only”!), any prescription medication, plastic photo protectors, and comfortable shoes.

Stacey Lee: Breathe. Take it in. Smell Jeffrey’s breath and have fun.

Ingrid Bascope: Get ready for 3 days of excitement and study the maps so you know exactly where to go. And don’t hesitate to ask a volunteer for help. That’s what we are there for.

 

Want to go? You can purchase your WSC Atlanta tix here!

Melissa Stephens

musiccitymel@gmail.com
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