Every year for the past four or five years, I’ve made a point to drop by the annual Rock N’ Shock Convention in my beloved-but-often-teased hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts. Rock N’ Shock, a 3-day gathering and celebration of all things horror, offers attendees the chance to meet legendary horror icons while introducing them to aspiring and up-and-coming artists, filmmakers, apparel and accessory companies, writers, and genre-appreciating personalities through various booths and panels.
This year’s festivities, celebrating ten years of success, kicked off last night. I was fortunate enough to get V.I.P. access for the weekend, and headed to the convention center after work to dive right in with my dear friend (‘boo!”) Mike, and his lovely friend Amber, who were stopping by for the night. After a brief walk-through of the area to familiarize myself with the layout of where everything and everyone was located, we headed to the celebrity area to check things out.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I was really excited to see some of the cast (and former cast members) of The Walking Dead: Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon,) whom I professed my love to for the second time this year, and who remains one of the funniest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to. Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene,) who was so sweet- and yes- still has two legs, IronE Singleton (T-Dog!) who’s humble, appreciative demeanor was inspiring- and Lew Temple (Axel,) who had so much personality and one hell of a mustache. Not content with being the only one rocking one so ferociously, he insisted on the above ‘stache brigade picture. Poor Mike’s hair wasn’t long enough to fake one.
As if talking to and laughing with these incredible actors and people wasn’t enough, I had a shot of nostalgia in the form of N’Sync’s Joey Fatone being in the building. Now, I know I literally JUST ripped apart the movie “Inkubus” in my last entry, but I have to give credit where credit is due. I loved N’Sync when I was in my early teens (okay, and even now. “Tearin’ Up My Heart” is still my jam,) and Joey Fatone being such a personable, down-to-Earth, and very funny guy reduced me into a giddy fourteen year old girl.
You see that face? That’s the face of someone whose teenage dream just came true.
Now, although I absolutely love to rip apart bad movies and shitty acting, I’m not one to speak badly about anyone personally- unless it’s 100% justified. People have bad days, and sometimes you catch them at the wrong time and they say or do things they don’t necessarily mean. It’s only human- and I can absolutely understand and excuse that. What I’m about to say, however, I feel is completely justified. Eric Roberts was also in attendance last night, and having enjoyed his work in various movies and his appearance in two of my favorite Killers’ music videos to date- I stopped by to say hi.
Eric was seated at a table with a group of people from the upcoming “Army of the Damned” movie, between two of the lead actors, and myself, having not heard a thing about it until that moment, had innocently assumed he was in it, too (why the fuck would he be sitting at the middle of the table otherwise?) This was apparently a gross offense to Mr. Roberts, who went from looking bored with being there to being annoyed and extremely rude to Mike and I. I tried to brush it off, asking if he’d pose for a picture, which he seemed fine with until he flat-out YELLED at Mike while he was two inches away from me for the way he was holding the camera- hence my look of discomfort in the above photo. I ended up rolling my eyes and walking away, completely disgusted.
Like I said, people have bad days and that’s fine- but I feel that if you’re being paid to promote whatever B-level horror movie you’re in (or not in, apparently,) and the people who are responsible for your success (i.e.- fans, obviously) are there to continually support your artistic endeavors- the least you can do is grin and bear it and try to not be a complete dickhead in their presence. My take away from the experience is that every story I’ve ever heard or read about Eric Roberts being an ungrateful asshole were 100% true. His ass needs to go back to “Celebrity Rehab” so Dr. Drew can straighten him out.
To end my night on a high note, however, I got to attend the hour long “Walking Dead: Dearly Departed” panel before I left for home. The Q&A, featuring Michael, Lew, and IronE, was comical and pretty interesting as they discussed how the show changed their lives, their favorite scenes to film, the filming process itself, and their thoughts on the current season and it’s story lines. It was a blast.
I’m getting ready to head back to the convention again this evening to check out the artists gallery, hopefully pick up some cool stuff along the way, and see who else I run into.