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The Experience Of Meeting My Idol Tony Todd
by Tim Malcolm

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Tony Todd, Veronica and I

Tony Todd, Veronica and I
This past Sunday I attended my first horror convention with my other half Veronica. The Mad Monster Party was Charlotte, North Carolina's first real horror convention and it was a huge success, I heard rumors that it went so well that The Mad Monster Party will be coming back in 2013 and that it was already booked! I experienced every type of emotions at the convention some good and some bad... here is what happened.

I left work early and headed to the hotel. Veronica was working till 8pm but I wanted to see The James Hong Horror Show (click to see exclusive video) so I went without her because it started at 6:30. I finally got in after a very unorganized line and walked around a little bit, a few guest stars were already signing. I quickly made my way to the theater in which James Hong was going to reprise his role of David Lo Pan from Big Trouble In Litte China. The show was entertaining to say the least and once it ended I went straight to Hong's booth so that I could get a picture with him in his costume. I took the picture and they used a green screen to place you in a scene from the film so they told me it was going to be 30 minutes or so before the photo was ready to pick up. So I walked around and spotted Chandler Riggs from The Walking Dead, his table looked empty so I approached the man sitting next to him and asked if he was Chandler's manager and he said "No I'm his father." I then identified myself as a reporter from MatchFlick.com and asked if Chandler was available for an interview and was quickly told that "We arent doing ANY interviews!" Now I already don't like this kid for trying to charge $30.00 for an autograph when actors that have been in the game for 40 plus years aren't commanding that much...this just made me hate the little bastard that much more.

So I go back to the booth and pick up my photo, great now they hand it to James Hong and I told him what I wanted him to sign. Hong signed the photo "You can never beat me Tim" which is from the movie when he tells the same saying to Egg Shen. This made my night but I did not bring any of my other stuff so I called it an early night and started walking out. I did spot Tony Todd on the way out but figured I would catch him Saturday.


So of course Veronica and I dressed for   the event Saturday. I dyed my hair my trademark pink and matched Veronica's shirt a neon pink. Before we even made it to the hotel people were
John Russo Signing my poster

John Russo Signing my poster
stopping and talking to us about MatchFlick and my hair. As we walked through the crowd we were getting more attention then most of the guest, I still can't figure out if it was my pink hair or Veronica's massive pink boobs that people were staring at. We were asked several times why we were at the convention with questions like "why are you here?" "are you a vendor?" "hey I've seen you walking around what are you doing here?" Etc.....

I jumped straight in line to meet my idol Tony Todd. You can't miss him he is 6' 5" tall and appears bigger in real life then on screen, which normally people are way smaller in person then they look on TV but he is the exception. I got up to the front and Todd started talking to me like we were long time friends. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met famous or not. He thanked every fan using phrases like "thank you sir" you know just being overly kind. Tony then told me that he had been out the previous night with some friends and couldn't find a good place to go, he asked me if I knew anywhere since we had already established that I was a local. I gave him my phone number written on a business card and he said "I get off work at 7:00 I'll call you." I got three items signed and took several pictures with him. Todd was asking $20.00 an autograph, I gave him $80.00 because the man has entertained me so much that I wanted to tip him. I told Tony that he was the reason I was at the convention and in the most sincere way someone could thank you, he paused and thanked me. I walked away excited but doubtful that he would call and moved on to the next person.

John Russo was next, I didn't spend much time with him but he really tried to have a conversation with me. I was still thinking about Tony Todd so I quickly moved on but Russo was a gentleman as well. I had him sign a poster and commented to him that I did not realize he had written so many novels. Russo also had to idea for me to hold up the poster for the photo which a lot of horror fans have already commented how much they love it!

Bill Moseley was right across from John Russo so I stopped by his booth and got the same poster signed by him as well (a night of the living dead 1990 version) so now I had three signatures on the poster. Veronica and I posed for photos with Moseley and then walked back over to Russo and asked to get a photo with him.

We decided   to   get something to eat and to go to our room to take my autographs back so I didn't have to carry them. Once we got to the room I got nervous that
Bill Moseley rocking out!

Bill Moseley rocking out!
my sloppy handwriting combined with Tony Todd's sharpie that I had used to write my phone number down with might make the number illegible. I asked Veronica to write down our info on one of her business cards and figured we would drop it off to him once back downstairs.

I ran into Bill Moseley in the elevator, he was staying on our floor. He says "ah we meet again" and we chatted for a minute about how well this first convention in Charlotte was going. He had retreated to his room to grab some lunch. Quickly some other horror fans got into the elevator and recognized him and started chiming in the conversation.

We went back downstairs and Veronica went straight to Tony, gave him the card and told him that it was some more contact information, he seemed thankful and assured us that he was going to call once his work was complete. We snuck in for the Blade Runner panel and watched James Hong, Rutger Hauer and Joe Turkel talk about the film. I was bored for two reasons, one i'm not a huge fan of the movie and two all I could think about was Tony Todd.

That night we went to the hotel bar, a friend of mine thats a local talent scout met us at the hotel and we started having some drinks. Veronica and I both kept looking at our phones watching the time go by waiting for a call from The Candyman. We stepped outside and ran into Alex Vincent (from Child's Play) and invited him to come have a drink with us. He came and we sat and bombarded him with questions about being a child star. Alex's friend Kristin Diaz joined us and we all just sat around hanging out drinking and shooting the shit. It got to be about 2:00am and I was tired so I drug Veronica back to the room and went to bed sad... that Tony had not called.

We got up and checked out the next morning. We picked up our child and headed back home to our normal life of sleep and work. Since Tony Todd had been so cool I wanted to educate Veronica on his career further so we started watching The Rock. I got up to get something from our office and noticed that there was a couple of messages on my answering machine. I hit play to listen to them while I was doing other things and the first couple messages were just hang-ups from salesman. The third message I heard someone talking that sounded weird. I heard the name Tony and something about getting together. I quickly replayed the message and realized.....it was Tony Freaking Todd.

"Hey Tim its Tony, we met at the convention today....you and your wife...Im
Again.....Tony Todd and I .... speechless.

Again.....Tony Todd and I .... speechless.
with a couple of guys   and you said you might know some places to go...give me a call you have my number, im going to text you now as well."

Caller ID read..... TONY TODD XXX-XXX-XXXX (phone number)

I just didn't understand, how did he get my home number? Why did he not call my cell? After going through it step-by-step, Veronica and I realized that when she wrote her cell phone number down on her business card for the second one we took him, on the back she was going to write my cell phone number but in the heat of the rush to get back to him she mistakenly wrote our house number. I literally wanted to cry. I paced around the house while Veronica and I mocked ourselves for always having the worst luck in the world. Veronica got very depressed because she felt as if it were her fault that I missed out on one of my dreams. I can't be mad at her...I love her...she supports all of my nerdy habits and she tried so hard. Veronica keeps me going ... without her my life is nothing. Veronica hates horror films but you would have thought she was the biggest fan there, she promoted MatchFlick like her life depended on it, she is truly MY biggest fan. It was an honest mistake done at my request. I started to get depressed but then realized that there is a million people out there who will be happy just to get Tony Todd's autograph one day, I got his autograph, pictures, a personal phone call and a voice message. I am truly honored that the man took the time to call me and was a man of his word. Who the f$ck am I to Tony Todd? I'm not an actor or a director, I'm not anyone that can do anything for his career........... I am just a fan that he appreciated.

I text Tony to say that I was sorry, the last thing I wanted him to think is that he took the time to be "that awesome guy" and I blew him off. I explained what had happened and asked if he were still in town. Tony responded and said that it was too late, he was gone, he had been looking foward to hanging out but "no worries" and to "take care."

My message to Tony Todd:
I am always scared to meet people that have impacted my life, whether through film or other. If you idolize someone and they turn out to be a complete jerk then you can never think of them or the memories of what their art has done for your life the same. Tony...I will always think of you as a fine and underrated actor, I will always think of you as the exception of kind-hearted and will always think of you as a gentleman who appreciates his fans. Thank you so much for the memories and hopefully I'll see you again....

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Mike Thomas
Apr 1, 2012 12:50 AM
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More than not, the actors you admire are genuinely nice people. The A-Holes are the exception. Most of them WANT you to like them. That's why they got into this business.
Apr 1, 2012 2:08 AM
[X] delete
I have met others in the past that were not so enthusiastic.....
Mike Thomas
Apr 1, 2012 2:20 AM
[X] delete
Maybe it's because the people I meet or interview are primarily in the independent film community, and can't afford to cheese off their fans.

I didn't think of that before.

Apr 5, 2012 9:55 PM
[comment deleted by Matt]

Apr 5, 2012 11:04 PM
[X] delete
I met Tony Todd at a Zombie-Con type thing in St. Louis a few years back. Supercool guy and very gracious to a gushing fan. Richard Roundtree was at the same convention. Also a class act bad mother.
Apr 6, 2012 7:29 PM
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Zombie-Con sounds super cool...sorry I missed that one...Thanks for reading Matt.

Mar 29, 2013 2:39 PM
[X] delete
Hi Tim -

What happened to my column?

Summer Wood

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Tim Malcolm
Tim Malcolm got his first job at a movie theater in 1996 working as a projectionist. He quickly learned that there was no better job then getting paid to watch movies. Since then he has been an advid film watcher, collector, critic and writer.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Tim Malcolm by clicking here.

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