Hey, Geoff & Mike (& any lurkers)! ;-) On June 24th, my family & I went to our 2nd Days Of The Dead convention in Indy. It was AWESOME!
Being a Sunday & all, the atmosphere was very laid back. We didn’t have to wait in any lines to meet the people we wanted. Actually, at one point, it felt like it was just us, the volunteers, & the celebrity guests in the room; as if we were at some VIP meet & greet.
Do you like reading long stories? If yes, read on:
TED RAIMI: If you didn’t already know by now, I love Ted Raimi! Too much? Maybe. But he’s an incredibly talented, underrated actor/filmmaker who is genuine & hilarious. What’s not to love? Well, the last time I saw him I brought him Faygo RedPop!, since I knew he obsesses over it (he calls it ‘his crack,’ so that should tell you something). But later, he had mentioned on his fb that he wish he had had some Better Made chips to go with it. This time -- I brought the chips! & I also brought him his top 3 favorite flavors -- Crème Soda, Black Cherry, & RedPop! He was so stunned that I spent money on him like that & knew his favorites. But seeing his reactions made it totally worth it. He took a pic with me for free. I offered to pay, but he wouldn’t allow it.
He told me he’d take a pic with the stuff & post it on his social media later. He had me write down my name, so he could mention me, but I think he lost that post-it note, because when he posted the pic, he mentioned me as ‘fans.’ Oh well. I’m just so happy he actually posted it! But thankfully, my mom snapped pics of him opening his gifts (which I shared some of those, as well). Counting all of the multiple takes & multiple shots she took of him, we ended up taking (& I kid you not) 25 photos of Ted! HaHa! But he did say that we could take as many as we wanted.
We talked a bit about his ads he made for ASH VS. EVIL DEAD (RIP the TV series). & then I was able to bring up his LIVE INSTAGRAM MYSTERY VINYL PARTY he had just hosted the Tuesday prior. He was happy I attended that & said he had fun hosting & hopes to host, at least, one more party. My mom & brother also got pics with him ($15 each). My favorite moment had to be when he took my hand in his & told me just how much he appreciated those gifts. How I didn’t melt right there on the floor, I’ll never know. I kept it together somehow. I told him I miss his Hoffman [from the original SPIDER-MAN trilogy]; he liked that. He’s such a sweet guy. & just so sexy, too. *fans self*
JAKE BUSEY: I’ve been wanting to meet Jake for YEARS. He’s such a down-to-earth, cool guy. We had a long, very insightful conversation with him. So long, that he didn’t even realize that we wanted to buy pics/autographs from him. He thought we were just hanging out. We kinda were. We talked about everything from SHASTA MCNASTY to STRANGER THINGS to PREDATOR to CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS. I won’t go into details (not sure if I’m allowed to repeat what he told us), but we learned many interesting things about them. Then, we started talking about his custom bike company that he ran for awhile. He showed us pics & videos of the ones he built on his phone. He even mentioned that he had PREDATOR pics. I was soooo tempted to ask if he had taken any pics with TJ BUT I remembered my rule & didn't. He was so open & honest about his work & life. He talked to us like he knew us. He’s that personal. Eventually, my mom & I did get autographs & a pic with him ($60 combo for 2 autographs & a selfie). I don’t think he was ready for us to leave him; I think he expected us to stay & chat with him after another fan came up to meet him. We would’ve gladly, but this being a Sunday, we wanted to make sure we met everyone before they left. We did have him guess my mom & my first name (we have the same one). After a few hints & guesses, he got it. He thinks it’s a ’trippy name.’ I don’t often post it online, but now Jake Busey knows it.
RAY WISE: Ray is as charming as they come. He’s super polite. Quiet, even. But I was able to get him talking about PSYCH, 24, & his love of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. My mom & I bought his autograph & wanted pics with him ($50 autograph/selfie combo). By the way, hearing Ray say “selfie” is pretty funny. Anywho, somehow, they thought it would be nice to get a group photo, so his rep. (or volunteer) ended up just charging me $40 for the autograph. We took the group photo & then he signed my picture. & then we walked away. While we were standing in the hallway, putting away the autographs in my bag, we started looking at the group photo we just took, & it just didn’t look good. So we thought, should we go back & ask him to retake it? As awkward as that might be? But when you spend that kind of money & you only get one small space of time to redo it, you take the chance of being awkward & get the pic you want. So we ended up going back to Ray’s table. Luckily, there wasn’t a line, so I was able to walk right up to him & explain our situation. He happily obliged to retake the photo with my just my mom & even remembered her name. I’m pretty proud of how that one turned out. & then I paid the $10 I had originally planned on spending to get a pic with just him & me. They just wanted to make sure we were happy with what we got. & this time, we could say that we were. I’m so glad we went back; we would’ve regretted had we not. Later after lunch, we ran into Ray again on his way to the restroom, & he greeted us again so pleasantly. He’s just true gentleman through & through.
ROSS MARQUAND: There probably aren’t enough words to ever express just how wonderful our experience was with Ross, but I’ll try. First off, I expected a line out the door for him. He’s from THE WALKING DEAD; that means something. But to my utmost surprise, there wasn’t a line. Just think, Ted was the first person we met that day, & we were still the first in line for Ross. Line? Ha! We were the line. It was bizarre. All we had to do was wait for him to show up at his table. He was running a little behind, but we were willing to wait. When he did show up, he immediately greeted us. My brother wanted to buy a picture with him ($40), so he asked if we wanted to do a group photo (what was up with group photos?), but my brother wanted a selfie photo shoot with him. Ross is a selfie pro; he’s great at taking multiples & making funny expressions. But before they took their pics, we had him sit back down so we could talk to him. My brother & I are just in awe of him & the impressions that he does.
Have you ever seen him? Search ’Ross Marquand impressions’ on YouTube, & you’re in for a real treat. Because he doesn’t just do impressions of the usual folks; he also does impressions of ones who are not that easy to imitate. His Justin Timberlake is dead-on. He can sound just like Jon Hamm (he did his voice for us) & Owen Wilson (he did that one for us, too). He got a kick out of us applauding him each time he did a voice. He told us how he got into doing impressions & the one he’s currently trying to master (Ryan Gosling is his white whale). We hung on his every word. He loved my dad’s Marvel shirt; he has a similar one himself & just joined the Marvel family (INFINITY WAR).
Finally, my brother did his selfie photo shoot with him; they took 6 pics together. Then after all that, again he wanted us to take a group shot with him. So we did. Only the guy taking the photo messed up & didn’t get the pics. So we had to pose again for Take 2. Which just meant that I got to wrap my arms around Ross longer. So I’m not complaining. Our next set of photos turned out great; he thinks it should be our Christmas card (hehe). It’s actually one of my favorite group shots ever.
I complimented his Christian Bale & Michael Caine impressions; he appreciated that. Then he said that he likes to do the cast from THE DARK KNIGHT (he even does Morgan Freeman). But I asked him if he’s ever done an impression of Heath Ledger. He told me that he doesn’t really because the way he died; he doesn’t want to be disrespectful; also he wouldn’t know which Heath Ledger to do. He said that “The 10 Things I Hate About You” Ledger is a very specific one, but of course, he couldn’t resist & started going into Ledger’s Australian accent with lines about that movie. We just kept laughing. But he said that he does do a Joker. You know what’s coming. Of course, I asked to hear it; I’ll never forget his smile & pause to consider which line to say. It got quiet. & then he went right into, “And I thought my jokes were bad” right to me, & waited for my approval. I nearly teared up. He sounded EXACTLY like Ledger’s Joker. Haunting, to be honest. By that point, I was a smitten kitten. More applause. Then we each took turns hugging him. He said that he was going to be there all day, so we could stop by again.
Whoa. What? Really? After all that? No way. I mean, one does not get to spend that much time with an actor from TWD & go back for more. Right? Well, we did. & when we went back hours later, he still didn’t have a line! So we were able to walk right up to him & say our goodbyes. He remembered us. Plus, my brother had found his Aaron figure & bought it from one of the vendors, so he wanted to show that to Ross. Ross said that they’re hard to find; he went to several Walgreens & couldn’t find it. & then he offered to do something, which I won’t type out specifically, but you can pretty much figure out what he did for my brother; it was the most generous gesture any famous person has ever done for him. We got another round of hugs (my brother got a bonus one); he’s a hugger, after all. He even hugged my dad for paying him a compliment. I told him that he’s amazing; he was really touched by that, too. I’m telling you, Ross acted as if we’ve met him years ago & have known him personally ever since. I can’t stress it enough, if he gets added to a convention near you, YOU MUST MEET ROSS MARQUAND. HE’S THE BEST OF THE BEST BESTS!!!
& if you’re not following him & his stories on Instagram, correct that. He comes up with a lot of clever & funny material that will brighten your days.
If you made it this far in reading, thank you very much! I hope your eyes aren’t too strained.
& if you want to see our pics, feel free to check ’em out on our Instagrams (I know JWeber already has…..Thank you, John!!). & if you’re on Instagram, please give me a follow, & I promise I shall follow you right back.