Among the stars...

The ScareFest Horror and Paranormal Convention, held September 13th through the 15th at the Lexington Convention Center, was a blast.  My son, Matt, and I enjoyed being able to mingle with the stars who represented the horror and paranormal genres in film, television, and books.  There were also lots of vendors offering just about everything imaginable from books to jewelry to posters/art work to toys and figurines. 

Both the celebrities and vendors were very approachable and seemed happy to talk with everyone attending the convention.  Some of the celebrities, such as Kane Hodder from four Friday the 13th movies and the Hatchet trilogy, are very adamant about recognizing they would not be where they are today if not for the fans.

Tom Morga
Tom Morga, an award-winning stuntman known for having played Jason Voorhees" in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, told Matt and me that he was into bird watching, and wanted to know if we knew of any good places close by that he could visit and check out the birds.  When we suggested Bernheim Forest, Mr. Morga got out his cellphone and asked us to show him on his map app the general location of Bernheim Forest.  He also said he never knew one of his grandmothers and was trying to get information on her.  Mr. Morga was planning on going to New Albany, Indiana, after ScareFest to visit with a distant cousin, who works in a library.  They were going to do some genealogy research on his grandmother.

Adrienne King (right) and me
One of the nicest celebrities at the convention was Adrienne King; she was in the first two Friday the 13th movies.  While at the convention, Ms. King was promoting her line of Crystal Lake Wines, appropriately named for Jason's Friday the 13th stomping grounds.  I mentioned I had a website and would love to put something on it about her wines, and she seemed so excited over my wanting to do that.  She immediately wrote on a piece of paper the names of her websites and webmaster so that I could contact him if I needed anything.  Ms. King even went so far as suggesting she and I have our picture made together holding bottles of her wine so I could put them on my website.

Kane Hodder and me
To look at him, you would never know Kane Hodder was a sweetheart.  Being known for playing monstrous slasher movie villains doesn't help, either.  In his autobiography, Unmasked (co-written with Michael Aloisi), Mr. Hodder had a stunt go wrong during an interview and suffered severe burns over his neck, arms, and torso.  As a result of his injuries, Mr. Hodder suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and had to overcome several obstacles such as hugging.  When I asked to have my picture taken with him, he gave me a bear hug (which you see in the accompanying picture).  After the picture was taken, I mentioned I was under the impression he didn't like to give hugs.  Mr. Hodder asked why I thought that, and when I explained about the book he immediately gave me another hug, and said the PTSD wasn't as bad as it once was.

Aaron Goodwin and me
Aaron Goodwin of the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures is another sweetheart.    He has more energy in his little finger than I will ever dream of having.  Not long after last year's ScareFest I had an ornament made with his Big Steppin' logo on it, and presented to him at this year's convention.  Mr. Goodwin has the motto, "Why take little steps when you can be big steppin'?"  Hence, the name of his logo.  He seemed truly happy that I had presented him with the ornament, and commented that it would not go on his Christmas tree (as I had suggested) but on a wall of collections he keeps.

Photo-bombing
Another fun part of attending conventions such as ScareFest is the camaraderie among the celebrities.  During the introductions of the celebrities, John Zaffis (SyFy's Haunted Collector) and the cast of SyFy's Ghost Hunters photo-bombed the introductions of the cast of SyFy's Deep South Paranormal.  When it came time for the introduction of the Ghost Hunters cast, Deep South Paranormal decided to return the favor.  On "Celebrity Row" Kane Hodder and R. A Mihailoff ('Leatherface') had booths next to each other.  Each time a fan would come up to one of them, the other would shout something or make some type of loud noise just to get a reaction out of the other star.  In prior conventions, it has been known for the the stars to have rubber band fights.

You don't have to be into the type of movies or tv shows represented at conventions such as ScareFest to enjoy rubbing elbows with celebrities.  I highly recommend attending some type of convention where you can mingle among the stars and get to know them one-on-one.  The sights and sounds of these conventions are fun for all ages.

ScareFest Video

The following video was made from pictures my son, Matt, and I took at the 2013 ScareFest the weekend of Sept. 13-15.

Interview with Jeff Waldridge, Event Manager & Co-Founder of the ScareFest Convention


On September 13-15, 2013, the 6th annual ScareFest Horror and Paranormal Convention will be held at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, Kentucky.  ScareFest has quickly become one of the largest events of its kind.  Each year fans from all over the country converge on Lexington for three days of horror and paranormal filled entertainment.  Not only do the fans get to meet their favorite stars of the horror and paranormal genres one-on-one, they also get to shop from over 200 uniquely unusual vendors, attend workshops, free seminars, and Q&A panels to learn more about the fields they love, and party the night away at the VIP party and costume balls.  These are just some of the activities planned for the fans of ScareFest.  If you would like more information about this year's convention, including the guest lineup and activities, you can visit their site at www.scarefestcon.com.

The convention this year has expanded to include gaming and cosplay.  I'm sure there are some of you who are unfamiliar with gaming and cosplay.  Some of the gaming will include Magic the Gathering Card Game, Warhammer, and HeroClix.  From what I understand there will also be "regular" board games such as Monopoly.  Cosplay is short for costume play, where people can come dressed as their favorite character from a movie, comic book, or other genre.

The ScareFest Convention is governed by a board of 5 members.  They are:
  • Jeff Waldridge, Co-Creator and Event Manager
  • Patti Starr, owner of both ScareFest and Ghost Chasers International
  • Chuck Starr, Chief Financial Officer (and Patti's husband)
  • Lee and Jennifer Kirkland, Organizers
Jeff Waldridge was kind enough to answer some questions for me via email about ScareFest.  I chose to interview him via email because I realize his time is very valuable right now due to the convention being less than a month away.  I felt it would be more convenient for him to be able to answer my questions at his leisure.  I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to Jeff for taking the time out of his extremely busy schedule to answer my questions.

SP:  What prompted you to want to organize a convention?

JW:  Around 2006 I came up with the idea of a Horror convention of some kind in Lexington, KY, because it had not been done.  So I approached Patti about it.  We discussed it and she brought up the idea of adding Paranormal.  We realized that the two genres had never been done together so we did it. We were the first Horror and Paranormal Convention; copy cats followed but they don't have the secret recipe. :) 

SP:  Why approach Patti Starr?

JW:  I had taken Patti’s course in Lexington and had investigated with her a lot.  I really think alot of her and Chuck, almost like second parents.  I trusted them and knew if done with them it would be done right.
 
SP:  How did Lee and Jennifer Kirkland get involved?

JW:  Lee and Jennifer took Patti’s class and started volunteering.  Over the years their roles have grown within Scarefest due to their dedication.

SP:  Has there ever been a point in time where you felt so overwhelmed you wanted to throw up your hands and let someone else take over?

JW:  Every Year LOL But that’s just part of the stress.  This is my baby and although you get frustrated with your children you can't just throw it away.  We have been approached by some major folks wanting to buy it but we do not trust they will run it with the same goals in mind.

SP:  When the convention was first organized, what was the reception of a horror/paranormal combination?

JW:  People said it would not work and alot of convention insiders frowned at it.

SP:  Have you been approached by other organizers who wanted to “copy” your concept? 

JW:  Yes but they just copy it, they don't ask and they usually fail.

SP:  You are well-known for wanting ScareFest to be as fan-friendly as possible.  Why is that so important to you? 

JW:  The fans are important because number one - I am a fan and I know what they expect. I create memories people will remember forever so they need to be good ones.

SP:  ScareFest has expanded this year to include gaming and cosplay.  What has been the response to that? 

JW:  Good so far but we really won't know until the event. 

SP:  With the inclusion of gaming and cosplay, ScareFest has expanded its floor space.  Is there enough space at the Lexington Convention Center in the event you need to expand again? 

JW:  Oh yes, we can keep growing there; that’s why the venue’s perfect.

SP:  Are there other events in the works to be included in future conventions?

JW:  Always looking to expand to new things; we got to keep it fresh. 

SP:  As you are very much aware, a recent convention (which I attended) was blasted for being extremely unorganized.  Has the negativity they received impacted ScareFest in any way? 

JW:  People worry alot more about certain things like "selling out." Selling out may happen some time, but crowd management is key in making sure that does not happen. NEVER SCREW THE FANS!!!!!

SP:  The other convention also had a “crowd control” problem.  Do you have procedures in place in the event this happens at the Lexington Convention Center? 

JW:  I stress badly about it and make sure I go through every little part for crowd control. 

SP:  Have you had to rethink the way some things are handled at ScareFest as a result of the problems the other convention had? 

JW:  Not really because I pre-troubleshoot the event pretty well.

SP:  Have you considered writing a book/memoir about ScareFest?

JW:  Eventually Patti and I will and it will be a good one.

SP:  If you had a crystal ball, what would you see in the future for ScareFest? 

JW:  Bigger and better than ever!  LOL

One more tidbit.  When we were planning year one, I literally sacrificed so much to make it happen it damn near killed me.  LOL That’s why I am so protective over the event, along with Patti and Chuck.  I run a tight ship because it reflects badly on the three of us if somebody screws up.

SP:  How much emphasis, if any, do you put on volunteer training?  They always seem so knowledgeable about what's going on and are very professional acting. 

JW:  We train them probably more than any other convention out there.  I'm very firm with what they're required to do.  Like I said, what they do reflects on Patti, Chuck, and me, as well as the others who work hard.  We have a manual and rules they must follow, even a waiver saying they will keep things confidential.



Cameras vs. Smartphones...

Whether you realize it or no, I love to take pictures, having received my first camera (a Kodak Instamatic X-15) in 1966.  In 1981 I "upgraded" to a Canon T-70 SLR, as well as getting several lenses to go with it.  I now use a Kodak EasyShare Z740, which I would love to eventually replace with a more up-to-date digital SLR camera.

I just read an article concerning the dilemma camera manufacturers may be facing in the future.  The author, of

(Note:  If you would like to read the article yourself, click here.)

Hi -Yo Silver!

My son and I went to see The Lone Ranger at the cinema yesterday.  With Johnny Depp playing the part of Tonto, "sidekick" to Armie Hammer's John Reid, I went not knowing exactly what to expect other than I knew I would probably enjoy myself.  

I wasn't very thrilled with how wimpy they made Mr. Hammer's role during the beginning of the movie, but things progressed, he began to grow on me.  Mr. Depp's Tonto was as someone said, "A pirate on a horse."  And they are so right.  

For me personally, my favorite part of the movie was when "William Tell Overture" began to play as the action started to really kick in.  I so wanted to jump and cheer.  However, my son told me to be quiet because we were not the only people in the theater.  haha

I do recommend you see the movie.  I give it 3 1/2 stars.

Origami Owl party ending soon...



My Origami Owl catalog party will be ending in a few days, so hurry over today and check out all the great items they have to offer.  There are so many ways to express yourself with their lockets and tags, which also make great gifts.  Please visit the link below and place your order today.  (PS…any size order, no matter how small or large will be greatly appreciated!)



Ordering Instructions:

1. Go to http://www.hollyyoung.origamiowl.com/

2. At the top of the page, click on "Sign Into My Account"

3. Towards the bottom you will see "Create a Customer Account" which you will need to click to set up an account

4. Fill out all of your information. If you do not have an email, you can make one up to continue. ex: jsmith@aol.com

5. Click on the "Continue Shopping" button

6. You will now be able to shop away!

7. When you are ready to check out, click on the "View Shopping Bag" at the top of the page.

8. Click on "Continue Checkout" and you will have an option to print out your order

9. Fill out Billing/Shipping info. You can choose your own shipment method

10. IMPORTANT: Jewelry Bar Information - for me to receive hostess credit you will need to assign your order to my party.

Click on the drop down box and assign your order to:
(160751) Sharon's Catalog Party

11. Fill out payment method and click on place order now.

You are done!

Please fill free to contact me if you have any questions.

Create a Living Locket today!



There are so many ways you can create a Living Locket with Origami Owl.  Instead of a mother’s ring, put those birthstones in a locket.  Show off your favorite school team with initials and school colors.  Make a locket of all your favorite hobbies.  The list can go on and on.  Besides lockets, you can also “tag” yourself.  Combine 2 or more tags to create a saying. 

These lockets and tags make great gifts.  Please visit the link in the previous posting below and place your order today.


You're invited to my Origami Owl catalog party...

 I am hosting a catalog party featuring the great jewelry of Origami Owl.  Visit today and start telling your story with jewelry.  Origami Owl living lockets make a great gift too.  Please feel free to invite your friends to my party.

Visit http://www.hollyyoung.origamiowl.com today (party ends June 23, 2013).

Origami Owl was started by a 14-year-old entrepreneur three years ago who wanted to save up enough money to buy herself a car.  Today the company has far surpassed her wildest imagination.

  
Ordering Instructions:

1. Visit http://www.hollyyoung.origamiowl.com/

2. At the top of the page, click on Sign Into My Account.

3. Towards the bottom you will see Create A Customer Account which you will need to click to set up an account.

4. Fill out all of your information. If you do not have an email, you can make one up to continue. ex: jsmith@aol.com.

5. Click on the Continue Shopping button.

6. You will now be able to shop away!

7. When you are ready to check out, click on the View Shopping Bag at the top of the page.

8. Click on Continue Checkout and you will will have an option to print out your order.

9. Fill out Billing/Shipping info. You can choose your own shipment method.

10. IMPORTANT: Jewelry Bar Information - for me to receive hostess credit you will need to assign your order to my party.

Click on the drop down box and assign your order to:
(160751) Sharon's Catalog Party

11. Fill out payment method and click on place order now.

You are done!

Please fill free to contact me if you have any questions, and thank you in advance.
 










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