With the book tour officially under way, the next stop on our way to hell was Lansing, Michigan to do an appearance at a movie theater. I set this appearance up months in advance with a super-fan, Dan, who works at the NCG theater there. Dan always showed up to cons and Kane knew him pretty well. Amazingly, Dan got an actual 35mm film print of Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan. The plan was for us to do a signing and then for Kane to go into the theater to do a quick Q&A followed by a screening of the movie. For one reason or another, we were running a bit behind, but we still arrived about an hour before the appearance. Starving and not seeing a single car in front of the theater, we decided to have dinner.
Now, I’m super OCD when it comes to arriving on time somewhere, typically I arrive way too early for an event and end up waiting in my car to go in. I’m fine with this, because it means I’m on time. I do this because I HATE BEING LATE. And while Kane is very professional and always arrives on time or earlier on set, when it comes to appearances, Kane likes to wait a bit and make an entrance. (Kane would disagree with this and say I’m always the one late, but we’ll leave that argument for another time). Which is fine, but the problem with this, especially on the tour, is that I had a huge set up to get ready before we start to sign. In order to get ready I had to set up several six foot banners, bring boxes and boxes of books and merchandise in, set up the table with a nice display, then make sure there is a proper area for a line. If I don’t arrive before Kane to take care of this, then he has to stand there and wait while I set up. Having a killer stand there watching me, makes me sweat and fumble with the crap as I’m trying to hurry up. When I drop things and drip sweat onto books, Kane makes comments, making it even worse… hence, this is a situation I try to avoid. For some reason that night, Kane talked me into not setting up and having dinner. I only agreed to it because there really wasn’t one car in the parking lot.
As Kane, Shawn and I ate we took our time and complained about how NO ONE was going to be at this event. I tried to be the positive one saying it was still worth it, someone might show up, but they both went on about how it was a waste of a day, we’d be lucky if three people showed up. Of course, then Kane started teasing me about how it was my fault for setting this event up, I should have planned it better. Doing my best to ignore this, I stuffed my mouth with some Shepard’s Pie and stared at the wall. Looking at my phone, I saw that we were supposed to be signing in less than ten minutes and we weren’t even done eating. I panicked a bit, but I did my best to not show it.
Already fifteen minutes late we paid the bill, drove across the parking lot to the theater and started to grab our gear. “F*ck!, there are still no cars!” Kane moaned to me. There was nothing I could do now so I just struggled with my fifteen boxes like normal, while Kane walked ahead of me carrying nothing. As we walked through the door, Dan rushed over to us and shook our hands. He looked a bit nervous, but he seems to be one of those guys who always looked a bit uneasy, so I didn’t think anything of it. Quickly I apologized for being late, Dan brushed it off but then said something curious; “Its ok, we just might have to push the screening back a bit to get through the line.” Line? What the hell was he talking about, there wasn’t one car here. As we walked around the corner into the lobby, I almost dropped all of my books. Holy… there was a line, and it was huge! Come to find out, the main parking lot was on the other side of the building, which is why we saw no cars. Go figure.
Feeling like an idiot as I struggled with my boxes I rushed over to the table and set them down. While I know most of the line was busy talking to Kane who was shaking everyone’s hands, I felt like they were all looking at me, waiting for me to set up, hell some of them had already been waiting an hour, now I was making them wait longer. Unfortunately, I had to run out to the car to get more boxes… ten minutes later we were ready to sign. Dan had set up actual theater seats for us to sit in, which was really cool, but awkward as hell to lean forward and sign things in. As we went through the line and fans got autographs and books, I was surprised to see how many people came to see Kane again. Dozens of them were at the release party just a few nights before. Not only did they just meet Kane, but they had to drive over an hour to come to this event. It really reassured me just how much Kane’s fans love him.
As the line dwindled down, Kane and I started to finish the signing. There was a small group of fans milling around to the side. They too were at the party the other night so I knew them a bit and kept talking to them over my shoulder as fans went through. Somehow the conversation got around to talking about how celebrities get asked to autographing body parts. That was when I made the statement, “Once I get asked to sign a boob, then I’ll know I have made it!” To my surprise, the girl in the group, grabbed her chest, pushed her boobs together and acted like a groupie as she jumped over to me and asked me to sign her chest. I laughed at first… but she was serious! I screamed to Kane that I was going to sign a boob, to which he just grunted as he was in a conversation. Of course she didn’t really care about mesigning her breast, but I was not going to let this opportunity pass by. Getting out a sharpie, I tried to think of the etiquette of signing a breast. Do you grab it with your left hand for support, or is that perverted? Do you try not to look at it? Do I not touch it with anything but the pen? Do I compliment the breasts, or is that rude? Should I thank the boyfriend standing next to her for allowing me to touch his woman’s body? With my mind flooded with excitement and fear, I took my marker (I decided to not touch it with my other hand) and signed my sloppy signature on her right breast… I had officially made it! Afterwards, I was so excited I called my wife right away to tell her what I had just done, for some reason she wasn’t as excited as I was.
With the line done it was time to go into the theater for the Q&A. When we walked in, it was great to see that it was fully packed. The best part was, they went nuts cheering when they saw Kane. I quietly took a seat in the front, but Kane made me get back up and do the Q&A with him, which I wasn’t expecting at all. While I threw in my two cents here and there and made a joke or two, the session went by pretty fast with Kane not only fascinating the crowd, but cracking them up as well. After about twenty minutes, it was time for the movie to start. Being that it was already midnight and we had early flights, we didn’t plan on staying long, but we still wanted to sit and watch the film for a bit, so Kane and I took seats in the front row. As the lights went down, you could hear the excitement in the audience as they were about to see a film they have seen a million times, only this time it was in a theater, on real film AND with Jason Voorhees himself.
While Jason Takes Manhattan might not be the best installment in the Friday series, it is still very near and dear to my heart for I watched it all the time as a teenager. Sitting next to Kane, who kept cracking jokes and making the audience die laughing. When Jason appeared for the first time, the theater exploded with cheers and applause. Looking over at Kane, I could see the smile on his face.
As I watched Jason/Kane kill the first victim, I had to almost pinch myself. I used to watch this movie late at night, alone in my living room, waiting for Jason to kill someone, and now, here I was, on tour, sitting next to Jason himself. I couldn’t help but look at the screen, then down to Kane over and over again… I was proud and happy, for this was all real, I had gone from a fan to being on tour with one of my idols… the next few months were going to be amazing.