So I finally am able to mellow out my excitement, a whole week later, about my trip to Dallas for Texas Frightmare Weekend 2011.
I arrived early Friday afternoon at Dallas-Fort Worth airport, waited for 20min to get my bag at baggage claim, waited another 25min for my airport shuttle, circled around the entire airport on said shuttle for another 15-20min, and then spent the next 15min on the shuttle on the way to my hotel. After checking in, and all that boring stuff, I headed over to the Sheraton where the events were being held. It was windy as hell, hot, and humid. Very different climate than what I am used to. Luckily my hotel was a short distance. Walking farther than I did would have sucked and I know other people were doing it.
When I walked in I met up with some buddies from House of Jigsaw (Ryan, Madison, Ellen, Jeff, and Michelle) and hung out with them until I had to go register and claim my wristbands and schedule at 5:00. While waiting for the time to pass I saw the "red carpet" they had set up. I had actors walking by me left and right, including the Saw actors I traveled to see. It was a little overwhelming and I blame my lack of photos and video on that. I am a bashful little thing and was very starstruck. I hadn't ever been around famous people before. I got to see Shawnee Smith, Cary Elwes, Costas Mandylor, Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Malcolm McDowell, Dieter Laser, Tom Six, Mimi Michaels, Brian Austin Green, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Doug Bradley, etc.. The list just went on and on.
I split from my friends and decided to walk around the hotel a little bit. I went into the big room and looked at all the vendor space, saw where all the autograph tables were, and peeked into the screening room. I decided to go upstairs and take care of the Saw room before the weekend got away with me because I they had a busy day Saturday and I had a busy day Sunday. I went up and still waited in line for a good 15-20 minutes. That was the VIP line skip line, lol. When I walked in I saw the mini Saw store they had set up and a small case of props (Simone's fake arm, Bobby Dagen's book, a pig mask, needles from the needle pit, etc..). Instead of going to an empty Costas table and a shorter lined Cary table, I stuck with the line for Shawnee. She was the main reason I decided to attend, tbh.
Let me tell you... when the lady asked me what all I wanted signed I looked at Shawnee and immediately was rendered speechless. I was so embarrassed. I could just point at the picture I wanted, put down my Saw DVD, and give the lady my $50. Shawnee asked my name and I don't know how I got it out. I was so starstruck and in such amazement that I was actually there in front of a woman I have loved watching on TV and in movies for years. I told her why I wasn't being more talkative, because I am shy and easily amazed I guess, and she was just like "aww, well take a breath" and then she laughed. I told her how I had won the one Smith & Pyle concert flyer contest and when I told her which one of the two winners was mine she surprised me with, "OMG I remember that one! That was my choice. I loved it. You do great work." I don't know how my face could have gotten any more red but I imagine it did. I asked her for a picture and she complimented me again. Seriously one of the sweetest people I have ever met in my whole life. She is such a nice woman.
I moved onto Cary's line and had him sign my Saw DVD as well. He is another truly nice guy. He was very personable and soft spoken. Very polite. I told him my sister was a huge fan and he asked her name, shook my hand for her, and told me to tell her he'd see her next time. All that while looking me dead in the eye. It was pretty cool. Wasn't quite as embarrassingly idiotic with him.
Costas was funny right from the start. I walked up to his table behind two guys and he was cracking jokes while signing people's stuff, asking for wine like 2 minutes apart, and just having a good time. When I went around to take a picture with him I was shocked at how buff he is in real life. He does not look that powerful in the Saw movies. He put his arm around me and it felt like I was leaning against a brick wall. Guy looks like a WWE wrestler. Smells pretty good, too. [/creeper moment]
After all that I decided to go back downstairs and try to take in everything that had just happened, lol. I met up with Ellen from HOJ in the lobby and we talked for a while. Before too long it was time to head back upstairs for the Saw VIP party with Cary, Costas, and Shawnee... what a rip off, tbh. Raybin crammed all 200+ of us, or tried to, in some tiny room with a cash bar and chips & salsa. I'm not saying I expected a luxury thing, but seriously. I bought a $300 package for a reason. If I wanted to be crammed like sardines in a room with a bunch of other people I would have spent $25 and gone to a concert back home. 2 of the 3 actors were late to a party that was only 45min to begin with and they started having to kick people out because the room got too full. Bust #1
Then we had the Saw screening downstairs with live commentary. Shawnee, Costas, and Cary did a 10 minute intro to the movie and then promptly stayed for 10 minutes or less of the film and then left. Shawnee and Cary were ninjas and disappeared completely and Costas escaped to the bar and did shots with people. I stayed for about 35-40 minutes total and then decided to walk back to my hotel. It was after midnight, I was jet lagged, and disappointed as all hell. I'm curious to find out if anyone even stayed until the end of the movie. People were dropping like flies even before I left. Bust #2.
Saturday all I had going on was my photo op with the Saw stars at 1:25, tbh. It was even hotter outside and more humid so I didn't feel much like walking around. I didn't do the zombie walk that morning either. I met up with the HOJ peeps again and we waited for our photo op time. After we all got our pictures taken I hung around for a little while and then decided to take off again and just hang at my hotel the rest of the day. I went out by the pool and started talking to another Saw VIP person and his wife. Turns out he's also from Denver which made it hilarious. We were talking about how disappointing the Saw package turned out to be so far and just hung out for over an hour outside. It was pretty cool.
Sunday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn because I was set to participate in the breakfast with Shawnee. I woke up a good half hour earlier than my alarm and wound up having to walk over to the Sheraton in the rain and wind. However, this walk was MORE than worth it. When I got there, which was early, I went upstairs and met up with the other 15-20 people that were also going to attend the breakfast. We all just talked about Saw and horror in general until Raybin showed up and led us down the hallway.
When I walked in the room Shawnee was to me left getting coffee and I saw two table full of cereal, juice, coffee, donuts, and bagels. A lady from Raybin Management was handing everyone a free gift at the door and it turned out to be a free prop from Saw III. We all got a piece of one of the shirts Shawnee wore in the film. I made time to notice which table she was going to sit at and promptly grabbed one of the 5 other chairs. I wound up sitting right across from her. Let me tell you guys... this was seriously the coolest thing of the whole weekend. I was kind of too nervous to really eat so I slowly munched on half a bagel while listening to her talk about Saw, kids, and life in general. She told us a real cool story about a book she and her daughter read called My Rag Coat. She was saying how the girl in the book had a coat made from pieces of other people's clothes and just things she would randomly find. She emphasized on how important it is to make that connection with people and how special it was for all of us to be in that room sharing the experience. When I met up with her later to get the free prop signed she mentioned the irony of us getting that prop. She said that those shirt pieces are like our rag coat and it is what connects all of us with that whole event because we all have a piece. I was happy she told me that. It hadn't even crossed my mind.
Another fun story was the "fooey" joke. She told us that she is slowly moving toward making her own members only website where fans can communicate with her and with each other. She encouraged all of us to follow her Twitter and her Facebook page, which I will link as a favor to her, and after we all said we would she brought up the idea of creating a "Team Amanda" since so many other Saw characters have teams (like Team Hoffman, etc..) Some of us protested the name and she quickly agreed and was taking suggestions for a team name. Someone mentioned their favorite Amanda line in the whole series was "fix me mother fucker." She started laughing and shouted out, "THE FIX ME MOTHER FUCKERS LEGACY!" Then she mentioned "Amanda's Legacy" because she wanted to avoid using the F-word in the interest of making things family friendly. After noticing that the whole morning she had been saying "darn" and "fooey" instead of the curse words I just said, "Fix me mother fooeys." No joke, the whole room fell out into laughter including Shawnee. She seriously thought it was the funniest thing. She told us after that to go on Facebook, follow her page, and identify ourselves as a "fixed mother fooey." When I went to her table later in the day, before she told me the other tidbit about the rag coat story she looked at me and just started laughing. I stood there kind of lost as to why she started laughing at me until she got a breath in and said "fix me mother fooey! that was genius!" I swear, that woman knows just how to make me blush.
There are honestly so many stories about that breakfast and I know I forgot to tell all of them, but it showed all of us just what a genuine lady she really is. Her stopping in the middle of a sentence to pause and look out the window and pray for all of us to have safe trips home because of the bad weather outside was so sweet. The room was silent and when she stopped talking she just goes, "Oh look it's a plane. How about we all take a moment to pray for all our safety on our travels home." She bowed her head down and took a couple breaths before starting the conversation back up. Also saying that being a mom and living life were her top priorities. She kept saying how all of what was going on and her acting career was just a lucky bonus for her. I just can't say enough wonderful things about her. She was truly a joy to meet and I hope I get to do it again sometime.
After the breakfast I had about 45 minutes to kill before I could go into the main room and get autographs I hadn't gotten yet. I ate the rest of my bagel in the lobby and then rushed to get into the VIP entrance line. When I got in there I got an autograph from Dieter Laser who played the doctor in The Human Centipede. Real nice guy. He would stand up and shake people's hands who weren't even going up to his table. He seemed real excited to be there. And yes, he is that creepy looking in person.
After meeting him I got in line for Robert Englund and promptly waited in that for almost an hour. I swear, people who run these conventions need to cap people with a certain amount of items they can bring in line per visit. There were people with like 15 items being signed at once. An hour long wait would have only been like 20-25 minutes if people were only allowed to bring like 4 or 5 things. It was awesome to meet him, though. He is a real talkative guy. He just picks something and talks to you about it.
After him I ran to the line for Boondock Saints and waited there for another hour because Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus weren't even there. It's hard to say it but yes, I waited in a line for an hour with no one there. Sean is really funny, though. He was another one like Costas who was just cracking jokes to people the whole time. I think Norman Reedus was drunk lol. When I put my photo in front of him he looked up at me and just said, "Hi... I'm Norman" and he had the dorkiest smile on his face. Unless that's just how he always is. It was awesome so I didn't really care lol.
After that I waited around in the lobby for a bit because the Saw Q&A was coming up. I went into the screening room during the last 20 minutes, or so, of the Boondock Saints Q&A so I could get a good seat. I met up with my HOJ peeps again and we sat through the Saw Q&A with a real good view. I think we were in the 5th or 6th row of people. I got a question in and both Jeff and Madison did, too.
Costas first thought Tobin Bell was really lying naked on a table in Saw IV during the autopsy scene.
Shawnee had her baby son with her. She started talking to him in the middle of a question, which was adorable, after hearing him babbling in the back of the room.
Cary wussed out of watching all 6 Saw movies in a row and has to fast forward through the needle pit scene in Saw II.
Shawnee's favorite moment on Becker was the episode where Linda accidentally sends Dr. Becker on a gay cruise.
Cary does an amazing Marlon Brando impersonation.
Much, much more. I have the whole Q&A on video.
After the Q&A I ran upstairs with everyone else to pick up my photo I had taken Saturday and to pick up my Saw 3D poster. I wound up stealing a poster tube from the merch table because they wouldn't give you one when you claimed your poster. I was like, O RLY?! Ugh, they are so cheap.
I got back in Shawnee's line, as I already mentioned, to have her sign my prop I had received that morning. All us HOJ peeps then gathered at Costas' table and took a group photo with him. Madison and Ryan had all of us sign a photo of Hoffman locked in the bathroom and had Costas sign it too. He was like, "THIS IS MY TEAM! Now go away before you all get me in trouble!" I think I was the only person there who was not a fan of Hoffman lol. I went along with it, though. Costas was hella cool.
Pretty much concludes my weekend. After all that I walked back to my hotel and just chilled the rest of the night. Ironically the movie Liar, Liar was playing on TV so we watched and I laughed even harder at "THE CLAAAAW!" after meeting Cary. Classic stuff. Then we found out Osama bin Laden was killed but that is a whole other story. I went to DFW and flew back to Denver Monday afternoon. I would go back to TFW next year if I could. It was honestly loads of fun.
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