Watch on to find out more about my personal experience as a cast member in merchandise at Walt Disney World.
I believe that the only thing that I forgot to mention (well briefly alluded to) in the video is merchantainment. Merchantainment means entertaining guests. You can do this while working the many functions of your role. I have gotten to do it much more so while I was in greeter role at my store, which I haven’t been doing as much lately.
While merchantaining you can generally chat with the guests, give out stickers or buttons or even play games with them. I’ve even asked children for their autographs “because Mickey asked me to do so”. Another small touch is asking for a guest’s “autograph” instead of their signature when they have to sign for a purchase. Those are the kind of small, yet fun personal touches that add to a guest’s experience. I’m pretty burnt out right now and forgot to mention them in the video. They are definitely worth knowing about though. I may do another video strictly about merchantaining in the future.
from the official DisneyCPInterns channel
I haven’t worked World of Disney yet (due to the construction/traffic/parking issues currently happening in Downtown Disney, aka the soon to be Disney Springs). I do plan to one day though. I have worked the Emporium (the biggest store in Magic Kingdom).
I’ve been a fan of Dancing with the Stars for years. As a fan I couldn’t help but notice the many changes taking place this season, including dropping a host (the gorgeous Brooke Burke-Charvet) and switching partners mid-season (seriously? It takes a long time to build the trust to let someone throw you around a dance floor). However my big concern or should I say irritation came with the announcement of the celeb line up. Billy Dee Williams (that’s right Lando Calrissian himself) is one of the cast members.
What am I talking about, may be your first thought? I thought you loved Billy Dee? Well, I did. If this announcement had been made in 2011, my panties would have been immediately damp. It’s not like I dislike him now, let me get that out up front.
I just don’t believe that he should be competing on this show. You see he has health issues that could make it very painful. In fact, they make it very painful for him to move around a tiny bit in a seated position. I don’t know if you are aware of this but he has had two hip replacements. No, I didn’t find this out online. His son told me.
Now, let’s travel back in time since I know you are very confused at this point.
In 2012 I was attending a somewhat local convention, that I frequent fairly often. I became incredibly excited when Billy Dee Williams was announced as a guest. OMFG! the fangirl in me screamed. I knew I was going the moment I read about it.
So what happened?
Meeting Billy Dee Williams was, uh, not what I expected. Having my sister bring me a 40 of Colt 45 seemed clever at the time but apparently it’s been done…often. Autographs were not cheap and I kind of thought that I should have just skipped it but I was lugging this thing around. Plus Pennsylvania has odd liquor laws which is why I had to have her bring it from Maryland. Mr. Williams didn’t seem all that friendly. If you’ve ever met Tom Savini then you’ll know what I mean. It was a bit like that. I gushed over my love of his work in Star Wars and Undercover Brother. He was nonplussed.
I did want to get a photo with him as well so I purchased the professional photo (the only option in this instance). I had to wait about an hour to get my photo taken. In that time I was able to snap a couple of other fun pics. Plus I took something for my anxiety. It had kicked in when I showed up for the photo so while I do feel that he was way cooler/nicer during said photo this could just be from my somewhat altered state of mind.
Sidenote, while waiting I (and some guys I overheard) were remarking/thinking about how much Billy Dee’s son (Corey Dee Williams, Klaatu in Return of the Jedi) looked like him when he was younger (it’s more noticeable in person, he was also his stand in during filming of Return of the Jedi) so I decided to pay a few extra bucks and buy a double photo at the last minute. Now this was crazy. The dude who was assisting whistled for Corey. He whistled like people do to dogs. Corey looks at us (yes, now in my mind Billy Dee Williams & I are an us, xd) and says “Did he just whistle at me?”. I was stunned as well.
I got a great photo, they were awesome and as I walked out of the makeshift room (a curtain) I said “You both look great by the way”. Yes, I hit on both of them at once. Because apparently (according to my sister, who is correct), that is my thing.
If you are a loyal reader you may wonder why you’ve never seen that before. Well I originally posted it in May the 4th Be with You (& Me) in 2012. The next day I was contacted by Billy Dee Williams son, Corey Dee Williams. That correspondence is as follows. Thanks Yahoo Mail. (I would also like to note that my awkwardness aka severe social anxiety and fumbling attempts at talking to other cast members is in that post and none of them or their family members have messaged me to make me feel like an asshat. Thank you Jake Lloyd, you are awesome.)
When I received that email I had some conflicting thoughts. When it came down to it I felt bad. I felt like I was the worst human being ever. So I spent over $100 to meet an actor, get something signed and get a photo with him, so what? He was elderly, like my parents. At that time Billy Dee Williams was 75, my parents were both within a few years of that age. Corey made sense. I changed my blog post. I sent an apology email. Shown below.
BTW-Both of us were wrong about how I could have been contacted at that time. He could have done what he did, which worked or he could have left a comment, which would have also worked. I was wrong, because I hadn’t been using Facebook that much and it was auto set to block messages from people I wasn’t friends with. I’ve since corrected this.
Since then I’ve felt conflicted though. Shouldn’t it be in a fan’s best interest to know about real interactions at conventions prior to laying out your (probably) valued dough? It’s not like I forced him to attend conventions. That probably had more to do with the fact that he needed cash. He’d put his house up for sale earlier that year. I felt the fangirl and the inner journalist duke it out. Yes, I’ve written quite a few advertorials on my site but I don’t try to blatantly lie or omit important things from posts. I joked about it with family and friends. Not his health, but his son’s over-protectiveness (that is the nicest way I’ve ever said this). That was how I dealt with it.
When I heard that he would be a cast member on the newest season of Dancing with the Stars last week, I was shocked though. Now you probably think that I have some weird personal vendetta against, frankly, a sexy, talented actor. NO, No, I do not. I still like him. I do. I do not think that he should be dancing on the show though. Is it “all of the sudden” gonna come out weeks into the show after other actors are eliminated that he has health problems in order to get your sympathy? Maybe, DWTS does that. I know that and if you are a regular viewer you know that. Does that make it right? Does that make it smart? No. Don’t be fooled. He’s a 77 year old man with bad health problems. Save your votes. Use them on someone who is making a wiser life decision.
BTW-I met Peter Mayhew after that (before his surgery, when he was probably in crazy intense pain, that I didn’t know of). No money changed hands. He was nicer. Just sayin’.
While reading through the LAMB‘s retweets I came across many bloggers participating in a super awesome blogathon. The Life, Love and the Movies blogathon is fantastic. It reminds me of those surveys we used to do on Myspace that you now see pop up on tumblr or occasionally Facebook, except it’s all about movies and how they have related to your life and your love life, specifically. Get ready to learn a lot about me.
1. What was the first movie you saw in the cinema and what do you remember about that visit?
I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit when I was 5. My older brother took me because my little sister (who was 2) had to be taken to see a doctor. We don’t remember what she was sick for or anything though. I was very excited to see a movie in the theater. I still love the film BTW.
2. Are there any movies you have very strong memories of which are not because of the movie (for example something which happened at the time you were watching it)?
I usually give a movie my full attention. I have two memories from the theater that come to mind but they are due to the movies themselves. I saw W. with my sister when it came out. She wasn’t going to be in town for very long so when we realized that the movie was wasting our time together (we were so bored) we walked out. That’s the only movie I’ve ever walked out of. I also remember seeing that Heath Ledger fantasy film, The Brothers Grimm. It wasn’t very good but the reason that it comes to mind is that the theater was having a glitch and the film stopped about three times. We were not amused.
I also remember a few movies that were so exciting because they were like events. Titanic was exciting as a horny 14 year old girl. It was also the first movie that I saw that had an intermission. When the Star Wars films were re-released (and later the first prequel) we went to see them during a midnight screening. Waiting in line with all of the huge Star Wars fans (as I’d become once I saw them) was exciting and the original was my first midnight screening. As an adult my most anticipated movie that my sister and I went to see at midnight was The Simpsons Movie. It was awesome to be there with all of the other Simpsons fans in their tees. There was a problem with our theater’s projector though so we had to move after getting there early and picking out prime seats. It still rocked though.
3. Which movies had a big impact on you and changed a (small) part of your view on life?
One of my dad’s favorite movies is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He was a big fan of watching it on Halloween when I was a kid. I think that helped with realizing that there were people out there who didn’t conform to social norms. As a little kid I didn’t get that it was so sexual.
Trainspotting, A Clockwork Orange and Fight Club are some movies I saw as a teenager that changed my outlook on life. They showed me that some people live outside of what society expects of us. Even though I can be materialistic I like the idea of materialism not making you happy as they mention in Trainspotting and Fight Club. A Clockwork Orange also appeals to that side of me that believes that people never fully change. Plus as an atheist I think it’s hilarious when he reads the bible for the violence.
4. Do you have any comfort movies which you return to because you are in a specific mood (for example if you are feeling down/nursing a heartbreak)?
Showgirls is my favorite movie. If I’m in a depression it helps a little.
5. If a movie would be made about your life, what type of movie would it be and who would you like to portray you?
It would be awesome if it were a sex comedy. Since it would be about me though it would have to have my issues (not just my sometimes awesome sex life) in it. So maybe Amanda Seyfried. She’s a great actress with blonde hair (I’m not natural but I always go back to it) who has had IRL issues with anxiety and panic attacks. Plus she’s not naturally that thin so she could easily gain a little weight to look more like me. Acting wise I adore Nicole Kidman. I guess she could also do it since she can do anything.
6. Which existing movie best represents you?
As someone who figured out that they have PDD-NOS (basically asperger’s, autism spectrum disorder) and was bullied a lot in school I totally relate to that part of Ben X, which sucks. I’m not a gamer though. As an adult in that regard it would be Adam, even though I am not a fan of Rose Byrne.
I don’t think any movie really represents me though. Maybe The Net? I know most don’t care for it, but I totally do. Ways Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) is like me: she works from home on a computer, orders pizza online, saves up money for vacations in which she dresses provocatively, drinks and sleeps with a stranger. She’s very alienated so it’s possible she suffers from a bit of social anxiety, especially since she is pretty paranoid even before everything happens. So yeah, that one.
7. If you knew you would die tomorrow, what would be the last movie you would want to see?
8. If you can spend your life working in the film industry, what would you be and why? (you know, director, producer, actor, cinematographer, costume designer, sound designer etc?)
I wanted to be an actor when I was young. I love clothes but I don’t think I could deal with the actors’ demands and weight concerns. I’d want to write/direct these days.
1. Did you ever have a first kiss with someone while at the cinema and if so which movie was playing?
No. I’ve given hjs to a bf at the movies though.
2. What is your favorite movie relationship and why?
When Harry Met Sally is definitely up there. It actually sucks that they wasted years just hanging out when they could have been dating when you think about it but I end up going back to it often. A completely different example of onscreen love that I adore is Secretary. BDSM and fear of commitment! If you mean a movie in general, not just a romance, a great family dynamic is played out between the sisters in In Her Shoes. If I watch that I have to be prepared to cry and call my sister.
3. When did your love for movies start and how has it grown?
I’ve been watching movies since childhood as a result of my father being really into movies. I didn’t really think about the reality or impact of movies until I was in junior high. I think that’s when I started truly appreciating and studying them. Although when we were kids we still did really like watching movies. The local video store had a one day rental on new releases so if we loved something we had to re watch it the next morning before it went back.
4. If you have to choose one film to watch with your loved one, what would it be and why?
This depends on the day and what’s happening. Tangled is awesome and family friendly though.
5. If you can choose one character from a movie to be your significant other who would it be and why?
Either Indiana Jones or Christian from Moulin Rouge. Christian from Moulin Rouge as played by Ewan McGregor (sighs) is super sweet and I think he’d always be there for you. However Indiana Jones is fuckin’ Indiana Jones, I mean he reads, he travels and he’s played by Harrison Ford at his sexiest! Sure, he’s emotionally unavailable but I bet he’s great in the sack!
6. What was the first movie that made you fall in in love with film and cinema?
I can’t really pinpoint this. The Wizard of Oz has always loomed large though. I also remember being really excited when I got to see Beetlejuice when I was 6, not just because it looked awesome but because it was rated PG!
7. How did your passion for movies turn you into a movie blogger?
I’ve been writing since I picked up a pencil (age 4). I used to write fiction but as I grew older I started writing outside of that. When I was a teen I had a psych class that forced us to keep a journal. I was at a point when I didn’t have that much going on so I would often write a short review of a movie I’d seen over the weekend on Mondays.
8. What is your favorite date from a movie?
This is a tough one. I’m going to go with Before Sunrise though. It’s great how they seize the moment and feel that immediate connection.
Click here to answer these questions for yourselves fellow movie lovers!
At the beginning of this month Hot Donna and I attended the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con for the second year in a row. As with any convention one of my favorite parts is checking out everyone’s costumes. Somewhat surprisingly I’m not (yet?) a cosplayer myself but I sure do love when others dress up.
There were so many amazing costumes. I’d have more photos but I was only able to attend for two days, Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we had a ton of stuff to do (attending Q&A’s, getting photos with celebs, seeing Ghost of the Robot in concert, etc.) so I didn’t have much time to snap pics. Sunday we were exhausted. Plus there aren’t as many people dressed on Sundays (or so it seems to me).
We spotted this freaking awesome group of folks dressed as Game of Thrones characters right after Hot Donna picked up her ticket. They are fab!
It was a possibility that I was going to interview Kevin Sorbo at this con (it didn’t end up happening), so when I saw a chick dressed as Xena I had to take a photo. Nice pose, BTW.
I’m one of those people actually enjoyed the film The Spirit so I totally had to get a photo with this guy, great job!
I’m not the biggest Troma fan. I think I’ve seen two of their films but c’mon, a killer Gumby? Fuck yeah!
This dude’s Gene Simmons (Kiss) costume was awesome! We ran into him a few times and he gave us tips on things to check out. At one point I jokingly commented to Hot Donna, “Why is Gene Simmons always telling me what to do?”. I want his boots, seriously.
I’m not a Whovian but thanks to my boyfriend I can spot a Dalek and a guy dressed as Dr. Who standing next to a Tardis. The Dalek was traveling very quickly so I had to chase him for a minute. Yes, that’s a real guy in there! I’m always impressed when I see robotic R2D2s at cons but this freakin’ blew my mind. You can check out Bob the Dalek’s Facebook here.
I love me some Star Wars costumes and this one was so neat. This guy was headed in the direction of the 501st Garrison Carida (a Pennsylvania, Delaware & West Virginia Star Wars costuming group). So, of course I had to flag him down and ask for a p0hoto.
A press pass to the convention was provided to me gratis from the awesome PR team at Wizard World. For more info on upcoming Wizard World conventions please visit the Wizard World site.
Last weekend I attended the Steel City Con in Monroeville, PA again. Yes, I’ve gone quite often in the last few years since it’s fairly close to where I live (about an hour away). I went to meet Elvira (Cassandra Peterson). I’ve been a fan of hers for as long as I can remember. In fact I dressed as her for Halloween in 2005. Even buying my costume was hilarious. My social anxiety was actually worse then so after I found the dress a worker came up to ask if I needed anything and I blurted “A WIG” overly loud. “It’s a wig” emergency!” he declared and he, my sister and myself all had a good laugh. Obviously my costume was a big hit at our party as well because, hey, boobs!
Anyway, back on track, we arrived around the time that she was supposed to show but they were still getting her table ready. Plus the line was forming and yes, it was very large, especially for this small con. So my fiance and I decided to check out the merchandise before getting into line. I (rightly) assumed that we’d be tired after waiting and want to go pretty soon. Plus we had just been sitting in the car for a while so we needed to walk around.
I often see many great cosplayers at the Monroeville Convention Center. However this time while there were a ton of attendees many of the cosplayers weren’t super impressive. I really only feel like accosting strangers who look fantastic so I just got a photo with a guy who had great Darth Maul makeup.
I picked up a few neat presents while we were checking out the dealers. Some of the sellers that I purchased from were the talented RAK and Candy Box Crafts. My man bought the cool necklace that he’s wearing above as well.
Eventually we decided that we better get in Elvira’s line. The people in the line were quite varied. Old, young, conservatively dressed or sporting a metal or goth look. I wore my Coquette capris and a cleavage boosting top with my trusty boots. Yes, being December and all I’m starting to think that I really need to buy the full leggings as well.
It took somewhere from 40 minutes to an hour to reach the table. Some of the people in the line were pretty funny so listening to their convos was pretty interesting. Plus we were stuck by one seller in particular for a while who had some affordable toys. I’m glad that we were staring at his table for a while because they had the original Monopoly which I’ve wanted forever. My man bought it for me as an Xmas present, aw.
As we got closer we were able to watch Cassandra Peterson in action. She’s just as fun as in the movies. She was very informative and funny. We found out that she will be filming another Elvira movie, Movie Macabre soon. Apparently it was a short lived TV series that I somehow missed. You can check it out on YouTube here. She made some great quips like when someone asked her how much an autographed photo was and she said “a million dollars”. She was also holding up her new calendar and pitching it like she was in an infomercial. It was really cute. She did her classic shocked expression pose for lots of attendees which was very neat. Her trainer/assistant was very nice and super buff. She even had a bunch of guys requesting funny poses with her. I thought that the merchandise that Elvira had for sale was great. I would have picked up one or two things in addition to my signed photo if I’d had more money. I really liked the 45 with the Movie Macabre theme song on it and the calendar. My fiance wished he had some extra dough to pick up one of her Zippo lighters. She said that the song was on a record because the person who had worked on it likes them. I later found out, via her site, that Jack White produced it, so cool!
When we got our turn to meet her I was such a mess. When I’m a huge fan of someone I literally shake. So yes I was shaking when her assistant took the photo above, I’m surprised that it came out so well. Elvira quipped “I’m above your head” to my fiance when we showed it to her because of the large banner of her in the background. He got a real kick out of that. At first I lamely said “We love you. You’re so beautiful.”, yes full fangirl mode. Then I told her that I had introduced my fiance to her movies. When I found out that she was attending the con we watched Haunted Hills and her original film. Of course he thought that she was awesome. She responded that I was like Scientology recruiting people for her.
So yeah, she was one of the most fun guests that I’ve met at a con. Some celebs barely look at you or come off as angry. She was super fun, like the persona that she projects on film and TV.
After we met her we had to do one more lap around the dealers’ tables. Usually I would meet more than one guest at a con but the only other person I was interested in meeting was Alan Ruck and he had to cancel. I had already met Peter Mayhew in June at Philly Wizard World so I didn’t feel the need to bother him again. Before we left we had to get a picture with the Lego Spiderman that was assembled near the entrance.
It was so much better going to the convention center with my man than when I’ve gone alone. I even forgot and then realized that I didn’t need to take a Xanax for my anxiety even though there had to be 400-500 people in the room. Hopefully we will get to attend the next con in 2013 too. It is in April and will feature Kevin Sorbo and Ernie Hudson.