OK, it is a little. But Rock and Shock has become so much more than to me over the years. It is about the experience. Meeting icons who made me fall in love with horror and being surrounded by people who love what I love is an incredible experience. Rock and Shock has changed my life. Going to this convention and becoming a part of this community has encouraged me to become a version of myself I didn’t think could exist.
I started going in 2013. It was my first con ever. I had no idea what to expect. I mostly just tagged along with my friends while they met all these cool celebrities. I took it all in; the celebrities, the artists, the films. The whole vibe was so welcoming. I instantly felt like I had come home. I had never felt that before.
2014 marked Rock and Shock’s 10 year anniversary. They had an epic line up of guests. Robert Englund kissed my hand and Kane Hodder gave me a huge bear hug. I never wanted to leave. I watched the panel with the two of them along with Tony Moran and Gunnar Hansen in total awe. It was an amazing day. Even then I knew I wanted more. I knew there was more to just standing in line and getting a signature. I wanted to participate. I wanted to be a part of it all. I just didn’t know what that was going to look like or how I was going to get there.
In 2015 I met Adam Green. Given that he does Rock and Shock a lot, I can’t tell you why we never met before that. However, I can tell you that the only reason I went to his panel that day was because one of my friends wanted to go. The panel with Derek Mears was of course hilarious. And I got to have a lovely conversation with both Adam and Derek during the convention as well. It turned out to be one of those serendipitous circumstances Adam speaks about a lot when it comes to his own life. Over the last four years I’ve had quite a bit of those myself. Those connections that keep happening and you don’t know why. Those moments that keep you going when you need it most.
On the way home my friend mentioned that Adam had a podcast. My first thought was “why does Adam Green have a podcast?” But I decided to listen and I was immediately hooked. I’ve never considered myself a podcast person. It’s hard to describe how what I heard made me feel. It was entertaining and funny. But it was also honest and moving. Adam spoke about moderating the panel with George Romero that I had the privilege of witnessing. I immediately felt connected. The show spoke my language in a way I’m not capable of. Once it was over I couldn’t wait for the next episode. Four years of episodes later and I’m still hooked. Adam, Joe and their guests take to me church every week with the truth they speak and how they speak it.
In fact, I have been so inspired by both Rock and Shock, and The Movie Crypt that I turned my love of horror and passion for jewelry making into a business. I’ve been making jewelry for over 20 years. But it was a hobby. A side gig that I did when I had time. Listening to the Movie Crypt guests speak about their experiences made me realize that we all go through the same thing. No matter where we are in life creative people all have the same struggles. It really legitimized being a working artist for me. I was at a point in my life that I was not happy with. I had quit my job to raise my son and was really trying to turn my jewelry making into a business. It just wasn’t working for me for a lot of different reasons. Focusing on horror inspired designs has really jumpstarted my creative drive. It has also opened up opportunities for me I never dreamed possible (like an impromptu panel appearance at this year’s Rock and Shock). I still struggle, just like we all do. But I love what I’m doing. I have the support of an entire community. And that’s what keeps me going. Hopefully for more than one more day.