Letter to a Vampire

I know, it has been forever since I’ve posted.  But I promise to do better.  Today I have an interesting story to share.

Today I wrote a letter to a vampire.

He’s not a real vampire, mind you, but he’s an actor at Lamb’s Players Theatre in San Diego.  When I was 7, my grandfather took me to see Dracula at the old Lamb’s Players Theatre.  This was back when it was housed in National City, in a renovated church.  The stage was in the shape of a square and the actors entered from the four corners.  We had aisle seats.

In between acts, while the lights were out, my grandfather nudged me and pointed to my right.  There, a mere six inches from my seat, was Dracula.  He was at least two hundred feet tall and his white face glowed in the dark.  That was all I remember from the first half of the play, as I spent the rest of the act with my face buried in my grandfather’s shirt.

This was 25 years ago, and the memory is as fresh today as it was then.  We ended up staying through the whole play, and even though I had nightmares for months about vampires, I realize now that this was a formative moment in my life.  Now I write about vampires and other supernatural creatures (when the sun has set and my day job is set aside for the night) and I truly believe that this experience moulded me into the person I am today.  I can’t watch True Blood without thinking about the godfather of vampires who gave me nightmares.  How many other people can say that their first experience with vampires came at the hands of a real, honest to God vampire? (I know he was an actor, but to my seven-year-old brain, there was always the chance that he’d been real and you can never be too sure)

So today I wrote a letter to the incredible David Cochran Heath, the actor who portrayed Dracula, who is still active at Lamb’s Players Theatre today.  I thanked him for simultaneously inspiring and terrifying me.

It’s not often that a person can draw a line and pinpoint where inspiration comes from.  Even more rare is the chance to thank the source of inspiration.  And few people can say they have written a letter to a vampire.

Today I did all three.

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