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MEL’S STUFF AND THANGS TO SURVIVE YOUR FIRST WALKER STALKER CON

As many of you already know, we will be attending Walker Stalker Nashville this year. This will be my third Walker Stalker Convention and I think it’s safe to say I’m addicted. I love Walker Stalker the way I love Richonne. And y’all know how much of a Richonne shipper I am so that’s a whole lot of love.  Though you can definitely catch much of the cast at other conventions, Walker Stalker’s focus is all things TWD. So here’s a list of a few thaaangs to help you survive your first Walker Stalker Convention.

If you want to have a moment like this, make sure to attend the Atlanta or London WSC.

-Know what your ticket gets you. There are 4 ticket levels at varying price points available for WSC: General Admission, VIP, Gold, and Platinum. Though Gold and Platinum certainly come with their perks, they also come with a higher price tag. Let me let you in on a little secret. With the right planning, you can likely still achieve many of your WSC dreams with a VIP or GA ticket. Additionally, now that WSC has implemented pre paying for autographs for big names like Norman Reedus, that helps to reduce your wait times. If you have general admission and all you want in the world is to stand next to Norman for 5 seconds and breathe in his rugged beauty, purchase a photo op. Also, beware that Andrew Lincoln typically only attends the Atlanta and London conventions.

-Pour some Bisquick and do some good! Make sure to bring some Bisquick or another nonperishable item to Michael Cudlitz’s booth for his food drive. Though Bisquick is a popular items to bring, you can also bring things like fruit juice boxes and canned vegetables.

-Maybe don’t wear the stilettos.  You will be standing in line a lot. There’s a line to get in. A line for photo ops. A line for autographs. A line for food. A line for the bathroom. You get the picture. Those 6 inch stilettos may make you stand tall next to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but they will make your life miserable. Plan accordingly.

-Cash me outside. But for real. Get your cash from anywhere but the ATM inside the convention center to avoid hefty fees. Remember, all autographs and table photos are cash only. Prices vary by attendee so come with more than you think you need. Because when you see that Ross Marquand will make a video for you while doing a Matthew McConaughey impression you are gonna give the WSC gods all your money.

Selfies with Josh McDermitt are the BEST!

 -You have to take at least one table selfie. My vote is always with either Josh McDermitt or Michael Cudlitz. Both have a penchant for taking hilarious selfies and taking time with their fans. Also, they give the best hugs. Don’t take my word for it. DO IT!

-Pack snacks like you’re preparing for the apocalypse. Because you never know if the lines for refreshments will be insane/if the zombie plague might occur while you’re waiting in line for a $15 sandwich. And if it does happen, you already have a great talking point for convincing Steven Yeun to join your very own Survivors Club.

Norman Reedus meeting and greeting fans at WSC Atlanta 2016

-Thou shalt not bite Norman Reedus. Or kiss, or grope, etc, etc. It’s an emotional moment. I get it. 😉 You’ve been planning your wedding to Norman since he had the dark emo hair in season 4. But so has every other female in the building. So let’s keep the honeymooning in our heads and hide our crazy, k?

-Meet and greets are short. Notice this is called a Meet and Greet. Not a Meet and Bare Your Soul for half an hour. Some guests are able to take more time with their fans. However guests like Melissa McBride who are there for one day only, will likely move very quickly. If there is someone you really want to meet, hit their line first. Prepare your heart with one thing you really want to say to them. Introduce yourself. Say hi. They are people too. They just happen to be really really really cool people.

Kia during her magical photo op with Danai Gurira

-Photo Ops are fast. Read that sentence again. Your photo op is now over. That’s how fast it is. This is not a meet and greet. Don’t even think about asking for an autograph. Many guests do welcome fans to have fun with their photo ops and many choose to pose creatively. If you have something special in mind, be prepared to tell the celebrity quickly or show them a photo on your phone as an example. Then throw that phone down FAST. I cannot reiterate this enough, guys. Be prepared to move quickly. Have everything off of you that you don’t want in the picture and place it on the table in the photo op area. Also, find out ahead of time if the guest you want to take a picture with allows cosplay weapons if that’s something you are in to. Some guests do not allow anything resembling a weapon. Please be respectful of their boundaries!

90s soap opera or photo op with Jeffrey Dean Morgan?

-Take in a panel!  Depending on who you want to meet/how many folks you want to meet, you can spend several hours of your day in line. But one of the great things about WSC is getting to take in the panels. Cast members take fan questions and give you a behind the scenes look at The Walking Dead.

-Do a lap around the convention floor and visit the vendors. There are so many! I’m not just talking about buying t shirts, though you can certainly find some great ones. Make sure to check out the Zombie Charm School booth where you can take photos with some of the best TWD cosplayers around including The Daryl Dude.

Kia and the cutest little Carol cosplayer ever

-Dress to impress! Cosplayers are one of my favorite parts about convention life. I have seen some amazing ones. Some of my favorites include the little kiddos dressed like our favorite survivors.

-Download the Walker Stalker Con app. From there you can access the full schedule of events and plan your days accordingly. Here’s the thing. If you don’t have anything you are dying to accomplish, by all means, be spontaneous and do everything on the fly! In my experience though, you will enjoy yourself more if you have at least some kind of loose plan.

-Make new friends! This is without a doubt my favorite part of the whole thang. I met my first WSC friend while standing in line to meet Tom Payne in Nashville in 2016. We then had lunch and discussed our love for our favorite show. Cindy is now one of my favorite people on the planet. There is a whole community of fans out there that is just as obsessed as we are. The Walking Dead fandom is one of the most loyal. Not just to the show and its cast, but to each other. I have made so many beautiful friends because of this show and this convention that I will be a WSC devotee for as long as they continue to have them.

For a complete list of guests attending WSC Nashville, click here. For venue information click here.
For hotel information, click here. You may also want to check out the FAQ on their website. For information regarding photo ops, visit Celeb Photo Ops.

 

 

 

Road to Texas Frightmare Weekend

Purchase tickets online via the Texas Frightmare Weekend website.

Fan conventions are what dreams are made of. They make my fan girl heart flutter. And Texas Frightmare Weekend is no stranger to making dreams come true; if your dreams consist of things that go bump in the night or otherwise freak you the hell out. In just a few days horror enthusiasts will flock to the 12th annual TFW to connect with each other and the masterminds behind some of their favorite works of art.

While picking the brains of past TFW attendees, it was consistently said that this convention is one of the most intimate. Suzanne Rhodes, who has attended larger conventions described, “Other cons VIP tickets are oversold and are outrageously priced. Lines are poorly managed and photo ops are usually chaotic and unpleasant. The celebs are obviously in working mode and are sequestered.” Not at

Tom Payne as Paul “Jesus” Monroe – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMCs

TFW! According to Rhodes, you can often find your favorites actors walking the halls or having a cocktail at the bar. “The celebs are more accessible and as a result are friendlier and their true personalitiesoften come through. This makes for more natural encounters with celebs and most of [them] are more relaxed around their fans.” This year Suzanne is most excited about the guests from AMC’s The Walking Dead. “I have autographs or photo ops with 80% of the past and current characters on TWD. No small feat I can tell you.”

Brian Huggins, who has now been attending Texas Frightmare Weekend for a decade said, “I was initially drawn to TFW by my enjoyment of the horror genre. I heard a radio spot about it and decided I would go and see what it was all about.” Though sitting in on panels, seeing the screenings, vendors, and other fans in their cosplays are certainly enjoyable, connecting with the guests is Huggins’ favorite part. He has had the opportunity to meet many previous attendees including Matthew Lillard, Robert Englund, Ed Neal, and many more. “They all seem to enjoy meeting their fans and understand the time and money fans spend just to get a signature [on a photo]. They truly appreciate the opportunity to give that personal connection back to their fans.” Michelle Swafford, who has been attending TFW with her husband since 2015 said, “The chance to meet someone that I have watched a thousand times on TV or movies and ask them questions and just chat for a minute is an unforgettable experience.”

Fright Night and Princess Bride star Chris Sarandon

First time attendee Angela King is hoping for precisely this kind of cherished exchange when she comes face to face with her idol, Chris Sarandon. Though she loved him as Jerry Dandridge in Fright Night, it was his role in A Tale of Two Cities that solidified her loyalty as a Sarandon fan. When King was 11, she was deeply affected by the story and life lessons brought to life by Sarandon. After the movie, Angela discussed what she had learned with her mother, who told her she would soon be studying this story in her English class. That’s when King decided she wanted to get a degree in English, so that she could learn more about these stories that were shaping her young mind.  And that’s exactly what she did. She went on to graduate with her English degree in 1991 from Belmont College. “Chris Sarandon is my hero and a mentor to me from the job he did crafting his characters. Growing up during the time I did, there was not really any way for me to locate him in order to tell him how he influenced me. You never know how you can impact another person. I would love to have a photo at my desk of myself and Sarandon. He still inspires me.”

The fan interactions have continued to draw horror enthusiasts in droves. Including TFW devotee Trace Andrews who stated, “I will be going to Texas Frightmare from now on, every year that I am physically able to. TFW seems more like a family affair geared for true fans.” The love and respect for TFW creator Loyd Cryer and the environment he has created is strong. Huggins said, “Loyd does a great job every year of getting terrific guests, having knowledgeable and customer oriented volunteers to cater to the attendees needs.” Many people cited affordability and the family oriented vibe as reasons they continue to return to TFW year after year.

Pro wrestler Sting will be appearing at TFW May 6th.

Guests this year include The Walking Dead’s Pollyanna McIntosh, Austin Amelio, and Tom Payne. Also on the roster are pro wrestler Sting, cast members from Bates Motel, Shannon Elizabeth, a Fright Night reunion, and many more. For a complete guest list, check out Texas Frightmare Weekend’s official website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also follow our continuing coverage right here on our blog and social media.

Stars of The Walking Dead head to Texas Frightmare Weekend

Tom Payne will be appearing alongside costars Pollyanna McIntosh and Austin Amelio.

The 12th annual Texas Frightmare Weekend Convention  presented by Arrow Video will be taking place May 5, 6, and 7 at the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport. Scheduled to attend are The Walking Dead’s very own Tom Payne (Jesus), Austin Amelio (Dwight), and new series regular Pollyanna McIntosh (Jadis). This will be the trio’s first time to appear at TFW.  Fright Night stars Chris Sarandon, Amanda Bearse, Tom Holland, William Ragsdale, Stephens Geoffreys, and Jonathan Stark will be also be in attendance.  Other guests include Malcom McDowell (Clockwork Orange, Startrek: Generations), Rick Hearst (Vampire Diaries, Brain Damage), Bates Motel’s Freddie Highmore, Max Theiriot and Nestor Carbonell and many more!

Spend the weekend meeting and greeting your favorite stars, listening in on panels and hitting up all of the TFW parties! For a complete list of guests, events, and ticket information, check out their website www.texasfrightmareweekend.com.