March started off with a bang (well…more like a very early flight). At 7:30 am on March 13th, I boarded a flight. Where was I headed, you ask? To Walker Stalker Convention in Chicago, of course! I was super excited to be reunited with my Walker Stalker family and to get down to business. You see, for this convention I was not attending as press, nor was I attending as a fan girl. I was volunteering to help with the show! I was so impressed with what James Frazier and Eric Nordhoff had pulled off with their first convention in Atlanta the previous year that I wanted to be a part of it. Aside from being a diligent convention reporter I also get really, really happy feels when I see fans breathe the same air as their favorite stars. I could not have been more excited.
I arrived pretty early for pre-convention set up at the Donald E. Stephens convention center. I was greeted as though it was a family reunion, and in a way it was. After all the hugs and kisses were exchanged, it was time to get to work. I was given my assignment….I would be helping run the celebrity panels for the weekend (think of dying and going to heaven….yep….that is what it felt like). First things first, we had some setting up to do. I am just a little OCD, so I took over setting up the Walker Stalker Merchandise table. Then it was time to walk the convention floor to familiarize myself with the layout so I would know where to get all the celeb guests when it was time for their panels.
By the end of the day, it was time for some fun so off to the hotel bar to hang with the fam. There was no shortage of celebrity guests at the bar. They were all very kind and friendly, buying drinks and talking about all the fun that was to be had at the upcoming show. I was able to hang out with my “BFF” Eulyn Womble (costume designer for The Walking Dead) and her assistant/friend Hollis Smith and catch up on all the fun things they had been doing during the hiatus. It was a great night to say the least! Highlight….Greg Nicotero recognizing me from the Atlanta convention because “You had the cute little boy dressed up like Daryl Dixon”. I knew that kid was good for something!
The next three days went by like a whirlwind. Kami Bennett (my partner in crime) and I ran those panels like they owed us money. We took the mentality of “not on my watch.” We wanted to ensure that not only the celebrity guests, but most importantly the attendees, had a great time. I believe our mission was accomplished. I worked very closely with Eric Nordhoff that weekend as he was the moderator for 90% of the panels and I have to say that by the end of the weekend all he had to do was give me a look and I knew what was needed.
The great thing about this convention is that it had something for everyone. Not only were there several Walking Dead cast members on hand, but the main cast of CW’s hit show Arrow was there. Gwendoline Christie from Games of Thrones, Nestor Carbonell from LOST and Melissa Hutchinson (Clementine from The Walking Dead video game), were also in attendance. Howard Sherman who played the lovable zombie Bub in Romero’s Day of the Dead was there and let’s just say he is just as lovable as a living breathing human.
The weekend included a concert by Emily Kinney (Beth Greene) and a Zombie bash with tunes spun by DJ Nemesis. After the final day of conning (and a new awesome tattoo courtesy of Marc Draven of Ink-Fusion Empire), we all met at the bar to watch that night’s episode of The Walking Dead and participate in The Walker Stalker podcast. After that, it was time to say our goodbyes. A few tears were shed….mostly by me. I had a 5:00 am flight to catch and head back to reality. Until next time Walker Stalkers…you know I will be back for more.
Next up…. reviews for last month’s Mad Monster Party Charlotte and Wizard World Louisville….
Categories: Conventions and Haunts