Here’s a cool write up about last weekend’s MONSTER MANIA CONVENTION in Cherry Hill, NJ by JJ Fitt for GRUESOME MAGAZINE that gives kudos to NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE. Thanks Joseph Fittos III ! 🙂 \m/
Looks like “Empire State of the Dead” will be getting a general release in April \m/. Read about it on this write up on the RUE MORGUE site by Mike Gingold. This film is basically the winners of the 2014 Zombie Short Film contest by Ron Bonk-who also filmed the wrap around story to tie them all together. I play the part of a “Joker-Lite” character named Draven in the film “Blessed Are The Meek” (AKA “Prey of the Living Dead” in the film) by MAD ANGEL FILMS (directed by Matt Peters). Included in this are several directors / actors from across NY state including Ryan Santiago, Greta Volkova, Nathan Faudree, Mu-Shaka Benson, Geoff Orlowski, Jody Pucello, Jonathan Straiton, Jennie Russo, Eli DeGeer, Michael Merchant, Joel Miscione, Cassandra Hayes, Moe Isaac, James Cacciatore, Hanover Archibald, and many more.
“Empire State of the Dead” can be ordered via the SRS CINEMA LLC website. Currently, I feel that Draven is one of my top roles to date. Check it out and see if you feel the same 🙂
Read about the article via this link…
#tbt THROWBACK THURSDAY-The year was 2011. As you may (or may not) know, NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE is now out on DVD & blu-ray. (so get your copy now!) 🙂 Both have special features on them, including cast auditions. However, one that you won’t see is my audition for the role of the lead zombie Cornelius…till now 🙂 This was done at Ron Bonk ‘s house and under his direction. Playing the “lady in distress” is Brian Hewitt 😀 And, of course, that “beauty shot” in the thumbnail above is me 🙂 I’ve actually had this video on my page for awhile, but it was unlisted till now. Speaking of which…
This video is just one of the clips that can be seen on my You Tube page. Feel free to check them out, as well as “liking,” commenting & sharing any of them. Not to mention subscribing to the page of course 😉 More videos are being added as time permits…
-Back in January I was invited by NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE director Jonathan Straiton to be with him and his wife Brie at the 2017 MONSTER MANIA CONVENTION in Cherry Hill, NJ this past weekend (March 10-12, 2017). I haven’t been to one since Scare-A-Con is Syracuse, NY in September 2016. If I had the time / money, I would be at every con that NoSS has been to. It’s really great to meet up with the fans as well as introducing new people to NoSS.
-I started off around Noon on Friday March 10. I rented out a Nissan Vesta from Hertz-mainly due to the great gas mileage (36 miles / gallon). The round trip is 262 miles and I only had to fill up the tank twice overall. I had a few mishaps on the way to Cherry Hill. First-I totally forgot about the turnpike / tolls. The first one is a smaller one -$1.45 each way-and they don’t take credit cards. I had a $20 on me and, luckily, there was someone there to break it. It’s not 24 hours though so…Then getting on the longer turnpike-I had to stop at service station to find a ATM machine cause the toll-one way- was around $14. Then, on top of that, it was snowing part of the way (higher up) and there was even two accidents where traffic slowed down to a crawl. Traveling thru PA is a long trip, no matter which way you’re going, but I finally got towards NJ.
-Of course, according to Mr. GPS, that meant having to go thru part of Central Philadelphia. Big city-and traffic was heavy. Going over Benjamin Franklin Bridge (to enter New Jersey), I didn’t have to pay the $5 toll, but I had to on the way back. But I finally got into NJ and to my hotel at an Extended Stay America branch. Room was good-although I didn’t get any room service the whole three days (where someone comes in and changes the sheets and cleans up)-but that’s OK cause that just meant I didn’t have to move stuff to accommodate that.
-A few things I learned / re-learned (I’d been there in the mid-late 90’s on a trip with my girlfriend at the time). I found out that all the gas stations are full service and, apparently, it’s illegal to pump your own gas. In addition, at least in Cherry Hill, they don’t seem to be a fan of left turns. Even with the building is on your left, there where hardly any times where I could turn left at an intersection-it was almost always travel further and take an off ramp on the right and swing around. I also got a quick refresher on Jersey drivers-you guys make my driving ability seem pristine (HA!). The way cars dart in / out of traffic-I’m surprised I didn’t see more accidents. I took one of the few u-turns and, both times, I had cars honking their horns at me-while the oncoming traffic lane was full. Like I’m suppose to just pull into on-coming traffic and hope someone has enough sense to not slam into me? Gotta love it…
-The first night I arrived at around 7:30 PM (it started at 5 PM but, as you can see above, I had some delays) and was told by Jonathan that there were already a few people wondering where I am. That was nice to hear. I got to the hotel-only to find all the parking spots were all filled up, so I had to park on a side road. It was freezing outside, but pretty toasty (for me) inside. I got to meet some great people and help sell some discs of NoSS. The Noss table was set up right next to the production team’s table from THE BARN and it was cool to hang out with them. I even got a DVD of their movie. It came with a second disc that was actually a PC video game (in 8 bit Nintendo Style) based on “The Barn.” Very cool. This night went pretty quick. I was surprised to run into a few people who I actually knew-online-while here. Very cool and was looking forward to the next night. BTW-when I got there, Jonathan was being interviewed by Jay Kay for an episode of The Horror Happens Show (to be released towards the end of the month) and I got interviewed as well-which was a pleasant surprise 🙂
-Saturday (3/11)-The con started at 10 AM, but I didn’t get there till around 11 or so. For one, traffic coming into the hotel was jammed up-and I was running low on gas so I actually drove away to fill up the tank (after being stuck in grid lock for at least 15 minutes). Then I had to do it all over again-to eventually park in some park area away from the hotel. Again, very cold.
-The hotel was packed. In fact, the fire marshal came by and they not only stopped anyone without a ticket from coming in, but they threatened to shut the whole event down cause there were too many people here. It was jammed like crazy. I went into promo mode and helped sell a lot of NoSS discs. For me, this really isn’t too different than when I was around the merch table during CAROLINE BLUE shows back in the day. It helps that NoSS-due to it’s gore and the subject matter (a zombie film spread via STDs) kind of sells itself-you just have to make people aware of the main points. I guess I did a good job with helping to sell NoSS swag cause both Jonathan and Brie want me at the next two conventions. I met A LOT of great people here who either were already NoSS fans looking to get the disc or, more commonly, NoSS virgins 🙂 As many pics as there are of me with people (almost all of these I also signed their swag-mostly DVDs / blu-rays but also posters), there were a good amount that I didn’t get a pic with for one reason or another. Time just flew by on this day and I basically found my groove when doing my NoSS pitch. It didn’t always work, but I would say that, 8 out 10 times it did. And when it didn’t, I gave info where they could watch NoSS via streaming-as well as make people aware of the social media sites for NoSS as well as myself. I got a nice spike of “likes” on my acting page on Facebook after this weekend-which is very much appreciated.
-Afterwards we were invited to go out for pizza with “The Barn” team. I followed Jonathan and Brie to a gas station-where they’re SUV stalled. I ended up having to take them to this pizza place that was quite the distance away from the hotel. Pizza is always welcomed but-sorry NJ…NY pizza is better IMO 🙂 It was on the way back that I discovered that Jonathan’s not a fan of Mr. GPS. “I have an intuition on how to get where we have to go” says Jonathan-which we then hit a dead end (HA!). Actually, the dead end happened before that comment. 🙂 We finally got back to the SUV and, luckily, it started. ON all three nights, as soon as I got to my hotel room, I ate and fell quickly asleep.
-Sunday (3/12) was slower-due to celebs and people in general starting back home. Got some more sales for Team NoSS-but nowhere near that of Saturday. I forgot to mention that a resin figure of me as Cornelius (made by Sean Krumbholz ) was also here and I got to pose with it (a la the Tales of Dracula doll of me as Dracula at it’s premiere in 2015). Maybe I can get a copy of this one 🙂 There were also a few celebs that came by the table-one being William Zabka (Karate Kid) who not only took the time to watch the NoSS trailer, but bought a copy (it was given to him for free, but he insisted and left a $20 on the table). He accidentally took our remote and, awhile later, actually came back and returned it. Great guy. Jonathan and Brie also got a pic taken with Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin in “Stranger Things”) while I was signing NoSS DVDs / blu-rays in the background *face palm*. While the sales weren’t as high as Saturday, it did allow all of us to settle back and talk more with others. Networked with a lot of great people-on all three nights. And as quick as started, it was over. I decided to stay the extra day and head back in the daytime than trying to leave that night.
-Monday (3/13)-back on the road. I got caught in some major traffic gridlock trying to get out of New Jersey and Cetral Philli. It was bad-glad I had a full tank and a rental. I finally made my way back to Syracuse-a few hours later than planned-but I was home. I was glad to cause the next day NY got hit by a Blizzard named Stella that had Cuomo call a State of Emergency for all of NY. Glad I wasn’t driving back in that mess.
-I want to thank Jonathan and Brie for inviting me to this con-I had a great time and will do my best to get to those other two. The team from “The Barn” (Justin, Tanya and Zane) were great to work with and hope to do so again in the future (already have one of my friends wanting to buy “The Barn”). And to all the great people I got to meet over this weekend-it was an honor and a pleasure to meet you all. BTW-if, for whatever reason, I don’t have you tagged or got your name wrong (or don’t even have it) on the pics, let me know and I’ll get that corrected ASAP. Glad to see a lot of people boarding the NoSS Love Train and look forward to helping even more people do so.
-Pics can be seen via the link below to my acting page on Facebook
-Here’s a great video review of NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE by Derek Bourgeois- 9 out of 10! Thanks Derek! \m/