I’ve been an actor for a long time.
I’ve been to countless premieres, mixers and industry events, and I really do enjoy seeing friends, fellow actors and meeting new people that I’ll hopefully work with one day.
Somehow, in all of these years, I’d never been to a “festival.”
When I say festival, I don’t mean a music festival.
I’ve been to more of those than I can count, what I mean here is a movie festival
A couple of months ago, I received word that a film I starred in and produced, “Leave Only Footprints,” was selected to screen at the Days of the Dead horror festival in Las Vegas.
This is a big deal.
Then, to make things even better, they contacted me personally through my fan page and asked me to sit on their Independent Film Actors panel during the festival.
Without hesitation, I jumped at the chance!
And just like that, two weekends ago my girlfriend and I were on a plane for a weekend of horror in Las Vegas!
The festival was held at The Plaza hotel and casino downtown off Fremont Street in old Vegas.
We stayed on the strip so we got all checked in and headed downtown for the 7 p.m. screening of my movie.
We arrived, and immediately I was in awe.
The film screened and that was great, but it was like we were in a whole new world.
Everywhere you looked, it was horror.
It was a “scream” overload, and I was in horror movie heaven.
We met the man who played Michael Myers.
We met Michael Biehn.
We met Traci Lords.
Linda Blair, whom I REALLY wanted to meet, had to cancel her appearance due to illness, but that didn’t let me down too much because of everyone else that was there.
Dee Snider from Twisted Sister even made an appearance!
I’m telling you, it was awesome!
I bought five horror movie posters from iconic films like “Halloween” and “The Exorcist” – and even snagged one from “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” (Starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford) – a film I believe is one of, if not THE, greatest horror films of all time.
The panel was also an incredible experience.
I was sitting up there in front of a crowded room with a couple other actors answering questions from the panel host and the audience about acting and horror films.
It felt great to provide my knowledge of the movie business and give my advice to people who are just starting out in the world of horror films or were just fans in attendance to take in the experience.
When it was over, a fan and autograph collector named Jason came up to me with a headshot of mine he printed off of my website and had me sign it.
Turns out, he’s been following my career for a few years now and was one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. Truly, a very nice person and him asking me for my autograph and talking to me about actors I’ve worked with in the past, including his personal favorite Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing) during my “Dallas” days, was a highlight of the weekend.
I know I talk a lot about horror in my columns, but that’s because I absolutely love it.
If you love it too, and even if you don’t, I’d highly encourage you to visit the Days of the Dead horror festival when it comes to Dallas the weekend of October 11 this year.
I really think everyone will enjoy it. My girlfriend isn’t even a horror movie fan, but she had a blast taking in the gore and glam of slasher films in Vegas!
If you do end up attending the Dallas festival, you might just see a familiar face up on the big screen or on one of those actor panels.
If you see me, come say “Hello!”
I won’t scare you too bad!
Chance Gibbs is an actor and writer living in the Dallas area. He’s appeared in numerous television shows, films, professional and community theater, and TV commercials, and has been a contributor to news publications since 2007.