Ready for The Walking Dead’s Return

I’m really glad I never read The Walking Dead graphic novels.  It’s not like I don’t have access–my brother in law has them all.  For once, it’s nice not having any insight.  In fact, my mom and I started watching TWD at the same time.  It was right before Season 2 was about to premiere, and we caught the tail-end of a TWD marathon and thought it looked interesting.  Getting hooked on TWD was a complete accident, and I’m glad it happened that way.

I like the idea of a spinoff version of TWD with random people with no backgrounds.  It would be nice to be able to see what’s going on elsewhere.

For the first time I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the speculation and sneak peeks on the new episodes.  It’s not that I don’t care.  This time I want to be surprised.  I recap the show for Dark Media Online, and it’s fun when I don’t know what’s coming.

And right now TWD is exactly what I want to watch.  I’m not in enough of a lighthearted mood for Doctor Who, and American Horror Story Coven was creepy but not as edge-of-your-seat as TWD is.  True Blood is just pure fun and Dracula is much more erudite.  (I’ve named these shows because I recap them, so they’re all very near and dear to my heart)  The fact is, I’m in the mood for The Walking Dead. 

I’m glad TWD is back! 

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman

I was shocked to read that one of the greatest actors of our generation, Philip Seymour Hoffman, had passed away today from an apparent drug overdose in New York City.

I first remember seeing Hoffman in Magnolia back in 1999.  He played Phil Parma, nurse to the dying Jason Robards.  He brought compassion to the role and in many ways he upstaged Tom Cruise during the film’s pivotal moments.  When Hoffman starred in Almost Famous, he brought Lester Bangs to life.  “Iggy Pop, amen!”  I loved him in that movie.  And just recently I watched Pirate Radio again and was reminded of his great portrayal of The Count, the sole American on the pirate radio ship in the North Sea.

He brought so much emotion and life to his characters.  He was truly an actor’s actor.  It’s horrific to think that he leaves behind such young children who will grow up without their father, and without knowing why he died the way he did.

Why is it that Hollywood is full of such tragedies?  Why is it that sports stars must submit drug tests in order to play their sport, but actors don’t need to submit drug tests to perform?  Recently, NBC stipulated that Jonathan Rhys Meyers couldn’t receive his paycheck for Dracula until he completed the season, knowing of his challenges with addiction, and as soon as he finished filming he returned to rehab.  How many agents and directors and costars know that their fellow actors have a problem but do nothing about it?  They are enablers as much as the people who supply the drugs. 

Today’s news is a terrible tragedy, but it can be prevented.  Things need to change.

RIP, Philip Seymour Hoffman.  You were an amazing actor and an incredible human being.

If You Give A Vampire A Cookie

In keeping with the vampire theme the past few days, my latest musing revolves around the subject of a vampire’s diet.

If a vampire asked to drink your blood, would you do it?

Let’s assume you have a Lestat or Matthew or even an Edward for the younger crowd.  He’s hungry.  You will not become a vampire with a simple blood donation.  He asks and doesn’t force it.  Do you do it?

To me, it would all depend on the circumstances.  I’m not even sure what the proper circumstances would be.  I just know that I’d have to think about it.  And it would depend on who it was and who he was to me.  It would not be a blanket yes or no. 

Of course, this is purely conjecture.  Can you imagine meeting a real vampire, let alone being asked to allow him some of your blood? Crazy.  But it never hurts to be prepared….

Still Pondering the Vampire Thing

Yesterday I asked if you would talk to a supernatural creature if you encountered one.  I haven’t stopped thinking about the question.

Let’s assume for the moment that these supernatural creatures exist.  I see two possibilities.  Either they have adapted and integrated into mainstream society, or they live on the fringe. 

NBC’s version of the Bram Stoker classic, Dracula, posits that Jack the Ripper was in fact a vampire.  Vampires feed on blood, so they would need a source of food.  I don’t think this is the kind of vampire I’d want to talk to.

But let’s say that vampires and witches and the rest of the “supes” have managed to integrate.  It would make sense given that it would be hard to hide bloodless bodies or mysterious occurrences with today’s 24/7 media coverage.  I think you could have a conversation in this scenario.  I realize that therr is still an inherent danger.  Anne Rice and Deborah Harkness’s vampires and supernatural creatues are mostly civilized, but there is still an element of danger.  Frankly, though, I’d go as far as to say that there is danger meeting anyone these days (Christian Bale and American Psycho, anyone?)  You just have to be careful.

So as I strive to be a perpetual optimist, I still think I’d talk to a vampire if I encountered one.  Good conversation can be so hard to find these days….

What do you think?

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.