So, I officially went to my first New Horror Con and Film Festival and was accompanied by fellow journalist/Horror Film Historian Baron Craze, we arrived near to the opening tick of 5p, and it was a friendly line, also, in great spirits for them and myself. We didn’t stay in the line long because Baron was a sponsor. Since November 12 was Friday, I didn’t need my cane or walker since there wasn’t a huge crowd, you see I have Multiple Sclerosis, which isn’t visible all time; so, it does make it difficult for others to identify. Two of the biggest issues that occur which affect my well-being are vertigo, (which occurs when I get bumped into and spun around quickly) and cognitive issues, not thinking as fast as others. One of the things that helped is I wore my ‘zombie M.S.’ shirt shown here. Therefore, this is more about how a person who handicapped negotiates the convention.
We walked into con, and was assisted with my wristband, my coordination was a tad off, the guests (those are the stars in the films) were super nice, some taking the time to read my shirt, and surprisingly asking me questions about the disease, they’d mention friends and even other actors they know having it. Each time, Baron stepped aside and allowed me to field the questions, I mean it was great, I didn’t think I’d get that kinda of attention. Then they referred back to Baron for his detail question, and sign one of his many exclusive items, he does have a treasure trove of items; by the way some asked him about his association to M.S. he mentioned proudly he does fundraise in every March for the cause. I know it seems odd, at horror convention and talking about this disease, however it was true wonderful connection. After the guest room, I tagged along for Q&A Panel with Felissa Rose, unlike Baron and many others I don’t honestly know her films too well, except for Sleepaway Camp (1983), there we were in the front row, and it was very informative.
Afterwards, we stopped by the film festival room, briefly, it is hustle time for Baron, I mean watching him work just two hours into the event, the guy (or perhaps a fiendish demon that possesses his body) is meeting staff personnel, and even taking the time greet fans, answer questions consider the program. I refrained from taking pictures of them with him, as I was unsure of about the permission rules. I learned later it was okay to do, since part the press.
Then we headed, downstairs, we both opted for the elevator ride, as the escalator for me downward is difficult, and Baron swore against them after terrible accident he had in 2019/2020, so it was a slower walk, he made sure I was feeling okay, and drinking plenty water to stay hydrated (key tip for those with M.S. and in general). I also gotta note the venue and NJ Horror con volunteers were patient with me, I tend to have trouble speaking but no one was rushing me, staying very friendly, however the big test was coming up in the vendor room. Why, likely the biggest question, you see at many shops often sales reps can tell of cognitive issues present in some handicap and take advantage of them by up-selling or making one overspend.
Baron and I walked together, and parted ways, he acted as observer, before getting discussions with others, classic style of his, I browsed the tables, and refreshing everyone was nice, a few vendors you tell were a tad disorganized, still trying to set-up. It was kinda like two types of the experienced sellers, and those struggling of how to present themselves. I must say were some similar sellers, like figurine sellers, and mask sellers, but no one was taking advantage of anyone’s disability and the spacing between the vendor tables left plenty of aisle movement.
I also attended on Saturday with Baron. It was really great seeing the event again only this time I needed my cane because there was a huge amount of people there which was a really good thing. Baron was in his element. My favorite part of the day was the Q&A with Clint Howard; I really learned a lot. After that my MS started getting the better of me, so I needed to take a break and didn’t come back until the award show where I met up with Baron again. I enjoyed the show, but it was disappointing that not many of the stars were there to get their awards. Oh well maybe next time. Saturday was the last day for me as I couldn’t do another day. All in all, it was an enjoyable time seeing the event and meeting the guests. I look forward to attending the next con in April 2022.