close

The Qwillery | category: Decimated Designs

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Walking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwo


Walking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwo


Editor's Note: Trinitytwo had a wonderful time at Connecticut HorrorFest. For some reason Black Friday seems to be a really great day to share what she thought!



Walking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwo
(Click to embiggen this and all photos... if you dare)

     The very first Connecticut HorrorFest happened this past August. It was an excellent little Con put on by Horror News Network. In fact, in my opinion, it was the definitive quality over quantity experience. It was held at Waterbury’s Courtyard Marriott Hotel; a small space compared to larger cons, but jammed packed with a very cool array of special guests. Linda Blair, who had been slated to appear, unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute due to personal reasons. However, Connecticut HorrorFest still boasted such Horror royalty as Halloween’s Michael Myers, Tony Moran; Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees, Ari Lehman; Paranormal Activity’s Micah, Micah Sloat; American Horror Story: Asylum’s Pepper, the beautiful Naomi Grossman; and Day of the Dead’s Steel, Gary Howard Klar among many other notables.

     My children exposed me to AMC’s The Walking Dead in the beginning of Season 3 and although I resisted at first, I must admit I have become a huge fan. Michonne’s “pets” were going to be there signing autographs and so was one of my favorite characters from the show; T-Dog, the fantastic IronE Singleton. Connecticut HorrorFest had a special VIP package in which for $150.00 a maximum of ten guests could enjoy breakfast, a Q & A, and a photo with IronE. I simply couldn’t resist and bought three tickets as my son and daughter were going with me. Was it worth it? Absolutely!! IronE Singleton was simply awesome.

     Although my memory isn’t perfect and this wasn’t a formal, taped interview, I would like to share some of the more interesting topics we discussed. When IronE came in, he walked over to me and gave me a big hug. We exchanged pleasantries and he moved on around the room, giving each VIP a hug and a smile and some face time. There were only five VIP guests that morning and it really felt like we had IronE all to ourselves. Horror News Network’s Christine Caprilozzi was this VIP experience’s event coordinator and she broke the ice by asking IronE the first question. She asked him what it was like working with Michael Rooker, who played Merle; especially on the rooftop scene in Episode 2. Any fan of the show will immediately recall the racially tension-packed rooftop scene. IronE responded by saying that Rooker is an amazing person. He was so excited to be working with the legend. He shared that Rooker met with him before the shooting of that particular episode and wanted to make sure that it was ok with IronE that he would be spitting on him. IronE told us he said something to the effect of: yeah, man I want this to be real. After each take IronE told us he received a new shirt and there were about 15 takes. One of the guests piped in saying “You left my favorite character on the roof to die.” IronE denied that at once saying T-Dog didn’t do that. He went back and simply dropped the keys. That’s T-Dog being clumsy. If anyone’s to blame, it should be Rick because he handcuffed him to the pipe. We all shared a laugh.

     IronE got back to the topic of Michael Rooker and told us how after a grueling weekend at a Con, Rooker drove an extra hour from the airport to attend a party at IronE’s place and although he had been going all weekend, he was still the life of the party. IronE said he really didn’t have to do that. It really was great to work with a legend like him. Another guest asked “What would it be like if you had actually saved Merle? Do you think he would have killed you?” IronE answered thoughtfully that T-Dog went back for him. And no, you can’t kill someone after they just saved your life. A guest piped in “Merle probably would have punched you in the face.” IronE laughed and said we’d have punched each other. I chimed in and said “You’d win in that fight” and we all laughed some more. Another cool question was “What was your favorite weapon?” IronE said he favored the chimney poker. He thought it was pretty original and if used correctly you could stick the poker right though an eye socket into a walker’s brain. I asked him who his best friends on the set were. He told us that he was friends with everyone, but his closest friends were Jeffrey DeMunn and Scott Wilson. Another question asked was “What was your favorite episode?” IronE said everything in the first season was his favorite because of the friends he made on the set and the stories they shared. He said Season One Episode 2 was his very favorite because it was the start of everything. He said at the time the cast didn’t know history was being made so that made it special. He mentioned that he was told when he originally signed on the show that he would only be appearing in 2-3 episodes.

     IronE was asked what the funniest thing that happened on the set was. He spoke about Norman Reedus and how he has a gross but funny sense of humor. The food that particular morning was sausage but it was gray and long. It was kind of weird looking but IronE was eating it anyway. He said Reedus came by and asked what is that you’re eating, poop? IronE agreed that it looked like poop, but finished eating his sausage. Later, they were filming the scene with the well walker, or as Dale called it “the swimmer”. IronE kept gagging because of the poop reference and the grotesque well walker. The director, Billy, told IronE that he was putting an interesting take on the scene but asked if he could do it again without gagging. IronE laughed and said he couldn’t help it. Reedus had really messed him up. But never fear, IronE told us, he got him back. Soon after this episode, one of the sets was broken into by an animal or squatter who defecated by the fireplace. When the cast and crew got there they knew it was real poop. But Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln, who were waiting outside weren’t warned and no one told them. Reedus stepped in it and everyone could see him sniffing the air. He asked them what smelled so bad. IronE happily told us that after the scene was shot they finally told him. Reedus asked why they didn’t tell them earlier to which IronE said with a smile, revenge.

     He didn’t say he was sad about being killed on the show. On the contrary, he had only expected to work a few episodes and instead worked three seasons. He told us that after season one; he began reading his scripts from the back to the front to see if he was going to survive. He was delighted that in script after script, T-Dog lived. They told him a month in advance that T-Dog was going to be killed. He was sad because he wasn’t going to get his hugs from the set and he was going to miss all the wonderful people on the show but he was happy for the experience and ultimately ok that T-dog died. He felt proud that T-Dog was given a “good” death; one with meaning.

     We switched gears to The Blind Side in which he played the nasty thug, Alton. I asked him what it was like being yelled at by Sandra Bullock in the movie. He shared with us how that movie was his big break after acting for 15 years. He talked about how nice “Sandy” was. He told a story about how he was sitting after a scene with some extras and he felt a hand on his shoulder. It was “Sandy”. She had watched the dailies of him doing that particular scene when he was threatening her character and she felt that he had done an incredible job. She told him she was nervous about her response to that scene because he had just given an amazing performance. He explained that she didn’t have to come over, and that most stars wouldn’t, but she is just that nice. An interesting bit of trivia is that he had grown up in the projects and had actually visited those particular projects from the movie in his youth.

     He shared with us the fact that his mother died when he was 18 and soon after she passed, he had an epiphany of how he needed to live his life. He said he felt it was important to give love and kindness and how he believed it would come back to you if you did. He spoke about his upcoming one man show and his future appearances at the upcoming Walker Stalker Cons. Throughout our discussion it was evident that he was deeply religious and extremely devoted to his wife and kids.

     He gave each of us an autographed copy of his book Blindsided by the Walking Dead (review below). We were then able to pose for a photo before it was time for IronE to go out and meet the rest of his fans.

Walking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwo

     After our “breakfast” with IronE, I decided to stop by the Decimated Designs booth and get my inner zombie on. It cost $40.00 for a full face treatment and I went for it. Asked whether I wanted to be a pretty zombie or an ugly one, I joked with Kyle, the owner and makeup artist, “Hey, I’m pretty every day. I want to know what it’s like to be horrifyingly ugly for a change.” He did a great job. People were telling me I looked gruesome all day! I was a very happy customer.

Walking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwo

     Soon after being “zombified” my family and I visited Moses J. Moseley and Theshay West, Michonne’s Pet Walkers in Season 3. I joked that I was turning the tables on them. They were used to being the “Walkers” but in our photo together, I was the zombie and they were themselves.

Walking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwo

     Gary Howard Klar is another awesome actor who loves to interact with his fans. He played Steel in Day of the Dead, and was someone my son just had to meet. We did wait a while in line but when it was finally our turn, Mr. Klar spoke with my son for at least 20 minutes. He recounted events from the set, complimented George Romero’s directing skill, gave insight into his character and his motivations in playing the role. He talked local CT football; he spoke about the importance of family and how critical it is for young people to be politically aware. One of my favorite things he told us about was his audition for Hit Man in Legal Eagles. He said when it was his turn to audition, the director asked him to scare him. He told us he threw the guy across the table. He got the job. He also spoke about working with Robin Williams and what a talented man Williams really was. Gary Klar was a great guy and a wonderful role model for my son.

Walking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwoWalking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwo

     We checked out the vendors, made some purchases, and walked around a few times to see if we missed anything. Later in the day, when we had our fill of Connecticut HorrorFest, my kids asked to say goodbye to IronE. He had made them feel special. In between guests I called to him and waved “IronE, we’re heading out.” I expected a smile and maybe a wave, but IronE came over, hugged each of us and smiled saying “Leaving me, huh? It was so nice meeting you all.” IronE Singleton is a truly cool human being. I want to thank Horror News Network and Connecticut HorrorFest for a thoroughly great day. I felt I got my money’s worth and look forward to attending next year’s event which is slated to take place on July 18, 2015 at The Matrix Conference Center in Danbury, CT.





Blindsided by the Walking Dead
     “From surviving the street to slaying the geeks”
Author:  IronE Singleton with Juliette Terzieff
Publisher:  CreateSpace, March 20, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Review Copy:  Provided by the Author

Walking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwo
On the streets of Atlanta, the fight to survive is a daily battle.

From the drug-infested corners of one of the city's worst housing projects, to alleyways filled with ravenous zombies-- Blindsided by the Walking Dead examines one man's battle to overcome the violence, drugs, and crime of the 'hood; starting with a young IronE Singleton determined to succeed despite an abusive mother, an absent father, and the temptations of instant gratification inherent with the thug life.

Football and Faith in God become IronE's allies in his quest to escape and helped him reach for the lights of the University of Georgia's football field and theater stages.

After years of struggle--failed businesses, small roles, and an ill-fated trip to Los Angeles--IronE snags his major breakthrough role, playing the kind of drug-dealing, gun-toting thug he would have become on the streets, in The Blind Side.

When he is cast as T-Dog on AMC's international mega-hit "The Walking Dead", IronE examines through art what humanity is about and what it means to truly survive against all odds. Alongside cast mates Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Andrew Lincoln, IronE fought, gagged, and sweat his way into the hearts and minds of millions around the world.



Trinitytwo’s Point of View

IronE Singleton writes straight from his heart. Film enthusiasts will enjoy his anecdotes from working on the movie, The Blind Side, which was his big break as an actor. Any fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead will love the stories he shares about working on the set, his fellow actors and crew. I especially connected to his point that the show is more about the human condition than the undead. Reading his memoir, I was amazed at his openness and bravery as he unveiled the good, the bad, and the sometimes frightening events that shaped his life. As a mom, my heart ached for the young IronE as he recounts the highs and lows of his relationship with his mother including her addictions and her fatal illness. IronE reveals the stark truths of his life without any sugar coating or excuses and I love the fact that he recounts his own shortcomings so matter-of-factly. He admits to making some serious mistakes but owns every single one of them and, it seems to me, always strives to become a better person in spite of them. For all the hard times he and his family endured, his family always taught him the importance of faith. His faith in God and his ability to focus on the positive is a common theme. I am partial to a line near the end of his book. He is still at an early point in his acting career and has yet to achieve commercial recognition, yet he gives himself a pep talk by saying “Look how far you’ve traveled already.” This struck a chord with me and now when I feel low I remember that line because it says so much. It’s obvious that IronE’s intention is to share his life story so that others growing up in the same circumstances as he did, realize that there is a better life out there. This book is about challenges and choices, faith and love, survival and hope. I would definitely recommend this book to any IronE fan but also to anyone who is feeling down and in need of a pick me up. This book is truly inspirational.


Connecticut ComiCONN


Connecticut ComiCONN

Qwill's Thoughts

Last Saturday (August 16th) Tracey (Trinitytwo) and I had the pleasure of spending the day at Connecticut ComiCONN in Bridgeport, CT with our teenage sons. We had fabulous time. This Con is not at huge as NYCC so is much more manageable for a 1 day visit although you might want to spend all three days and immerse yourself. Tracey and I highly recommend this Con. Like most comic cons there is plenty of fabulous cosplay! My only con complaint? The inner aisles on the dealer floor were too narrow. Traffic did not flow and it was a bit claustrophobic. Enough words, here are pictures.

One of the fun things for me was seeing my son transformed into a creature of horror. Huge thanks to Decimated Designs. They also attached some homemade claws to his latex gloves, transformed the gloves to match his face and splattered blood on his white hoodie (purchased for that!). The folks at Decimated were fabulous! Tracey has a photo below of the full makeup.

Connecticut ComiCONN

Other highlights for me: I GOT TO STAND IN A TARDIS! Actually 2 - the 10th Doctor's and the War Doctor's. I was a very, very happy Whovian. The son and I are planning to build our own TARDIS just because.

Connecticut ComiCONN

I also met Maximiliano Hernández, the actor who plays Agent Stitwell in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (SPOILERS - Agent Sitwell was killed in the Captain America movie.) I asked him if he'd gone to Tahiti (those who watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will get the reference). He wouldn't tell me... of course. He was really nice and wonderful with fans.

Connecticut ComiCONN

One of the fun things we did was have the son scanned by Forge Studio for a 3D model of him in his cosplay outfit. We'll be receiving a 6" tall model of him in about 3 weeks. This was his first cosplay and we want to commemorate it! I'll certainly let you know how the model turns out.   Here's a photo that Tracey took of my son's scan:

Connecticut ComiCONN

I also picked up a bit of art. In addition to the Amazon Princess that Tracey mentions, I purchased a beautiful drawing of Groot holding an orchid by Nikkol Jelenic and the ComicConn limited edition print of  Rocket Racoon and Groot by Mark McKenna. (Yes, I was in a GotG kind of mood. We are Groot.)

Connecticut ComiCONN

So what about cosplay? Yes, there was cosplay. A lot of it!

Connecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONN

Connecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONN
Click on the individual photos to embiggen. 
Also see Tracey's huge collection of cosplay photos below.


Trinitytwo’s Point of View

What a great day Sally and I had exploring this local Con at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. Upon arrival, I found Sally at an FX makeup booth where her son was enjoying a monster makeover. Wow, was it worth it! Decimated Designs (decimateddesigns.com) did a full face and totally changed the boy.

Connecticut ComiCONN

Connecticut ComiCONN
While he was getting his makeup on, Sally and I wandered around the outer rim of the venue. I was excited to see so many talented artists and cool vendors to check out. I couldn’t resist buying an awesome Star Wars infinity scarf and a very cool Star Wars Tee Shirt. The Outer circle also boasted the 10th Doctor’s TARDIS, (which Sally couldn’t resist) Ghostbusters of CT, 501st Connecticut Garrison, and CT Jedi (part of Saber Wars). Since I was sporting a Darth Vader shirt, I embraced the “Dark Side” and happily spent some time talking to and taking photos with Darth Vader and one of his Imperial Officers. Later, Darth Maul and I took a “selfie” and Slave Leia totally photo bombed us. I really had a blast interacting with some of my favorite characters from the Star Wars universe!!

Connecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONN

Once on the arena floor there was a ton to see; comics, collectibles, toys, artists, 3D technology, special guests and exhibits. It was a real treat for me to see the K.I.T.T. car in all its glory. My biggest thrill came from seeing R2D2 and being able to take photos with my favorite droid ever. R5D4 was also there and both droids were a big hit with kids of all ages. It really was great to see the excitement on the children’s faces as they posed with and were able to touch these fan favorites.

Connecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONN

There were some pretty awesome special guests. William Katt from TV’s Greatest American Hero, Max Hernandez from the Marvel Universe, (See Sally’s post) the talented voices behind the Thundercats, Larry Kenney, Lynne Lipton, and Peter Newman, and the Comic Book Men among others. For me, because of my martial arts background (I am a 4th dan in Tang Soo Do) I really wanted to meet Ray Park who played Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace and I was glad I did. My son mentioned that he had checked out Mr. Park’s IMDb and knew that he was in Mortal Kombat; Annihilation and that a lot of people probably didn’t know that. Mr. Park said that was his very first movie. He was a stand in for Raiden but he really wanted to be a main fighter like Cyrax. Instead, he played one of the three Raptors and is also credited with Tarkatan (Baraka) #2. We purchased an autographed photo and took a few of our own photos with this gracious and very cool guest.

Connecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONN

Right next to Ray Park was another special guest, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Criminal Minds, actor Nicholas Brendon. Mr. Brendon was larger than life and very charismatic. We spoke briefly about Criminal Minds and I asked him to please choose a photo from his table to autograph for me. He told me his favorite was the one where he was pictured with Alyson Hannigan. After the signing he gave me a great big hug, (which left me breathless) and posed for a couple of photos with me.

Connecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONN

Let’s talk art. Many fabulous artists were in full force and Sally and I had a hard time deciding what to buy. It turns out we both have similar tastes because we each purchased a terrific limited edition show print “Con Exclusive Rocket/Groot” signed by Mark McKenna, a gorgeous print of the “Giant Superhero mural” signed by Russell Rainbolt and this fabulous “Amazon Princess” print from Herofied.

Connecticut ComiCONN

At the end of the day we compared “notes” and claimed the day a success. Although it is smaller than NYCC, I think that made for more relaxed interactions with special guests. We were impressed with the cosplay, and everyone I encountered was exceedingly polite. My only complaint was the food selection. Personally, I would rather pass on the burgers, hotdogs, and fries. I looked for healthier choices but if they were there I missed them. I ended up scoffing down a hot dog (the first one I’ve eaten in 3 years) and I have to admit it was pretty good. Sally and I each took our teenaged sons who “did their own thing” for part of the day and amazingly there was not one complaint. I think we were both pleasantly surprised as our sons thanked us repeatedly after the event. Score a big one for Connecticut ComiConn!

Now for your enjoyment: The incredible cosplay at Connecticut ComiConn!

Connecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONNConnecticut ComiCONN
Click on the individual photos to embiggen.


Walking with the Dead at Connecticut HorrorFest by TrinityTwoConnecticut ComiCONN

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×