I AM NANCY

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Recent Posts

  1. AMA
    Sunday, February 23, 2014
  2. Whirlwind Memories
    Tuesday, October 15, 2013
  3. Monster Mania Baltimore
    Monday, October 08, 2012
  4. Horror and Autumn - A Perfect Combination
    Wednesday, September 19, 2012
  5. It's June.
    Wednesday, June 13, 2012
  6. Freddy On My Street
    Saturday, January 07, 2012
  7. Talk, Talk, Talk
    Friday, August 19, 2011
  8. Indy
    Thursday, July 28, 2011
  9. Search for Marie
    Thursday, June 23, 2011
  10. Congratulations!
    Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recent Comments

  1. Trapjaw on AMA
    2/28/2014
  2. Jackiw on AMA
    2/23/2014
  3. Tim on AMA
    2/23/2014
  4. Lori on AMA
    2/23/2014
  5. I AM NANCY on Whirlwind Memories
    1/8/2014
  6. DR on Whirlwind Memories
    10/29/2013
  7. Jude on Whirlwind Memories
    10/15/2013
  8. Lori on Whirlwind Memories
    10/15/2013
  9. Black magic for love on One, Two... Freddy's Coming For You
    4/15/2013
  10. Chad on Talk, Talk, Talk
    3/21/2013

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AMA

No, it doesn't stand for American Medical Association.  AMA is the anagram for Ask Me Anything - a feature on Reddit.com that I will be participating in in about 4 hours. (Sunday, February 23 at 2pm)

I found out about it last week from my son who has arranged for me to take part in this cultural event today. Since I'm always trying to establish my relevance as a human being,  I thought taking part would somehow elevate me on the cultural meter giving my existence new meaning and purpose. And since my son has never mentioned Freddy Krueger in conversation and rarely pays attention (or the proper respect) to the fact that I appeared in one of the classic horror movies of our time, I felt happy to oblige him.  I think he recently noticed that certain people think I am an interesting person and enjoy talking to me from time to time. And where I used to be the woman who made him a turkey sandwich every day for 17 years,  I've noticed a new interest that he and his friends are giving me, especially the ones attending film school.

At first, the concept seemed easy enough.  Sit in front of my computer for a few hours fielding questions on the INTERNET.  Thank goodness, I am familiar with the internet.  I actually love calling it the INTERNETS when I want to exaggerate my age and make my kids nuts. But it's the ANYTHING part that has me concerned.  My daughter, who is still embarrassed by 79% of what I do and say, has implied that ANYTHING does indeed mean ANYTHING in this context.  Is it naive of me to hope the audience is well behaved and kind like they would be for a friendly game of canasta at the senior center?  Why do I think I might be totally wrong about that? While I can go on and on for days about the adorable set decorations in Nancy's bedroom and the number of bubbles in that bathtub,  that's about it for me.  Sometimes I make stuff up because my memory isn't what it used to be.  Sometimes,  it's tough to remember Johnny Depp. Seriously. 

In addition, there are a few problems with this ANYTHING thing.  First,  while I take pride in being a "life long learner" as they say,  I don't know anything about taxonomy, mitosis or solar flares.  I have a passing knowledge of grammar and Quickbooks.  I have a pretty good vocabulary.  I don't know anything about hybrid engines, prehistoric birds or the pentatonic scale.  I don't want my default answer to be "I don't know and I don't care", but at this moment,  I am gearing up for that.  Ask me Anything?  What was I thinking?

Whirlwind Memories

It's just about the end of a convention season that has provided wonderful moments for me and some great reunions with old friends. Today, I'm thinking about a show at the beginning of the year in Malmo, Sweden where I had the honor of appearing with Robert Englund at a convention that coincided with the first sunny days of spring for the Swedes. The look of joy and relief on the Swedish faces to see the sun peek out from the clouds even though the air temperature hovered just above freezing, the people strolling in shirt sleeves and staying out at night, sitting at outdoor cafes, willing the sun to shine the next day. Outdoor cafes provide blankets for you if you decide you want to enjoy the spring air - who cares if it's 39 degrees?
 But the most amusing moments in Malmo were when I stumbled upon a booth at the convention hosted by the Southern Sweden Star Trek Society.  David (my husband) and my company, AFX Studio, had recently wrapped up the MUFX for JJ Abrams new Star Trek Into Darkness so I had become more interested in Star Trek and wanted to observe some of the aspects of Trekdom that I was hereto unfamiliar with.  
Those in charge of the Southern Sweden Start Trek Society Booth were well dressed men in mustard colored officer tunics.  Knowing I had been involved with the film, they plied me with questions about Khan and Klingons.  I'm afraid the convention information officers were bitterly disappointed when I informed them I had to abide by my strict non-disclosure agreements against saying anything about the film. So, to lighten the mood, I asked about joining their group.  The SSSTS information officers provided me with a three page quiz in Swedish for prospective SSSTS members and informed me the membership fees were a kind of hefty 35 Kroner.  Then I pulled a really Hollywood move. Which I assure you I rarely do.  But I was feisty that day.  I got up my nerve and asked if I could possibly become an honorary member of the Southern Swedish Star Trek Society by virtue of my small appearance in Star Trek Into Darkness, where I play a green alien that shows up towards the end of the film when all hell is breaking loose on the Enterprise. 
 In retrospect, asking for such an honor was presumptuous of me.  But one gentleman said he would get back to me shortly after conferring with the Captain (I presume that was his title) of the Southern Swedish Star Trek Society.  Expectantly, I took the quiz back to my table and went over the questions with my Swedish bi-lingual assistant who was a really bright young woman who was a lovely translator of the quiz.  Soon, it was clear that there was no way in hell,  that I could qualify as a member of this group based on my knowledge. I couldn't answer one of the questions.  I'd have to depend on my connections and good looks. You had to know the Klingon language for one answer.  Discouraged, I waited for the SSSTS officers to return to tell me whether an honorary membership could be extended to someone like me.  I was actually curiouser and curiouser as the afternoon wore on.
Perhaps Woody Allen was right when he said he wouldn't want to be in any club that would have him as a member.  When the Southern Sweden Star Trek Society welcoming committee returned to my table, the look on their faces said it all.  In the most polite way possible and with a great deal of excruciating hemming and hawing and looking down at their exact replica boots,  the SSSTS President or Captain or whatever had determined that an honorary membership could not be extended to someone who had no speaking part - who was essentially an extra. (Gulp.)  I was crushed.  I felt a bit of anger rise along my spine.  Had I endured the 5 hour make-up job for three days to be insulted like this.  I have tried to recover from this blow, slowly.  I even went to the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention to try to get a little more street cred among this really tough crowd of fans.  You know how I've always been so impressed by the devotion of Nightmare Fans but until you meet the Trekkies on their terms you ain't seen nothing yet. 

Monster Mania Baltimore

My horror con season is off to a great start.  Baltimore was old home week.  David Kagan, who organizes Monster Mania, was one of the first to invite me to a Horror Con so many years ago in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  As I walked into the hall Friday night,  a really sweet vendor stopped Amanda, Lisa Wilcox, Tuesday Knight and I and gave us bottle caps with our characters' pictures on them strung on black ribbons.  Horror bling is always appreciated! What a treat that it featured the Nightmare on Elm Street women.  I also have to mention the lovely drawings some of my smallest Nancy Fans brought me as gifts. My favorite was a picture from a 7 year old fan that shows the big beautiful Elm Street house with  Freddy chasing Nancy across the lawn.  Priceless!!  I'll put a picture up on the Facebook  (iamnancydoc) and the website. Naturally,  I hung the drawings behind my table and realized I could have a killer art show with all of the art that fans create to honor Nancy Thompson.  I was also made aware of a company that makes chocolate Freddy Hats.  I nourished myself on a few of those throughout the long days.  Thank you to my little fan who made sure I didn't go hungry.
Without a doubt, the highlight of Baltimore was the Friday evening VIP party where Amanda and I let loose - cutting a rug with some fun lovin' fans.  It was just like high school.  Empty dance floor.  Anxious DJ figuring out what to play - they hooked Amanda with "ALL NIGHT LONG" and me with "1999." That pegs our ages, doesn't it?  Everyone staring at everyone else. I didn't want to be the first one out there.  But if anybody knows me very well, they know that those stupid feelings usually won't stop me from doing anything fun.  After sitting in a chair for hours, I needed some dancing to get my blood pumping again. So You Tube be damned,  Mandy and I decided to ask some of our fans to dance.  OK.  It was a bit awkward at first.  But, then it wasn't and we had a ball.  
Saturday, I made the acquaintance of a woman who is well known in horror. Camille Keaton from the original I Spit on Your Grave.  Talk about some guts and hard core strength.  I had her autograph a picture to me.  The scene is from the film and her character is driving a motorboat while brandishing an axe.  As you know,  I'm not the biggest horror movie aficionado.  But after meeting Camille, I have put I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE at the top of my Halloween viewing list.  Her powerful personality makes this a must see for the holiday season.  I'll put the remake on that list as well.  Rodney Eastman from NOE 3 Dream Warriors is in the remake.  And I've promised him I'd catch that one too.  
The best Nancy moments of the weekend were actually the flights to and from Baltimore.  I got to fly with the sweet and talented Tuesday Knight - my NOE final girl compadre.  Tuesday hasn't flown on a plane ever.  Or something like that.  But she twisted up her courage and got on our plane. She was as calm as a cucumber - even through some really nasty turbulence. While I wanted to complain that they ran out of yogurt parfaits before they got to my row,  Tuesday was happy as a clam watching the TV in the back of the seat.  After we deplaned in LA,  she went on and on about how beautiful LA looks from the air. She was so delightful to be with and I can't wait for her to go to some more conventions now that she can FLY!  Next stop is ROCK AND SHOCK.  Hope some of you will come out to see me.  Orlando is after that for Spooky Empire.  
CAN'T WAIT.

Horror and Autumn - A Perfect Combination

Unlike so many of my fans, I won't get into the horror spirit until after Labor Day. Actually, it needs to be half way through October before I even begin to think about my Halloween Costume. Only things like the harvest moon,  the turning leaves and crisp cool weather starts me thinking about scary and horrible things. And in Southern California that's hard to find.  Hot weather and sunshine ruin it all for me.  So here's to September, October, Autumn, Fall, The Equinox,  and the expectations of a spooky Halloween.

I am really excited about all the conventions I will be attending this fall.  I just returned from Indianapolis - a really smooth, well run affaire.  Every hour or so, we got a chance to howl as the PA announcer brought our attention to some cool event. How cool for me that I got to meet LINDA HAMILTON!!! OMG. Yes, I love her. 

Notes to self.  Next time, I must bring a costume so I can go to the Costume Ball. Zombie Nancy!!!! I love it.  More and more people are putting together fabulous costumes for the evening fun events.  Indy even had a kids costume contest. Too cute. I do regret that I didn't have a screening of I AM NANCY.  

I was so very happy to see Nancy on some new merchandise at my favorite Button Booth that we featured in I AM NANCY.  They had several new Nightmare Buttons featuring YES - NANCY! I bought some for special Halloween presents for my crew. Then I found a beer coozie graced with the NOE poster (Nancy again!) Isn't that what you call that thing that keeps your beer cold and hidden from THE MAN?  Yep, had to buy some of those. Overall, I couldn't have had more fun.  The tornado warning on Friday night was like a blast from my Oklahoma past.  I loved every minute of it. I had the weather channel on full time in my room and hoped that the Doppler 7000 HD radar would show the tornado passing by.  

I have to mention my awesome helper, Troy, who dressed as Michael Myers for a few brief moments and confused the hell out of my fans.  He is getting married in the Spring to Gypsy, who provided the same unsurpassed services for Amanda Wyss.  After watching them for three days, I think that, perhaps they are the PERFECT COUPLE.  They both work at the Toyota fork lift assembly factory.  Troy was an aircraft engineer before the economy decided to get slashed and burned. They are hardworking, extremely smart, loving and bonded by their love of horror.  I wish them the very happiest wedding in the world which I hear has an appropriate horror theme. Black roses and the like.  I am so lucky to know these wonderful folks.  Thank you for making my convention so awesome.

It's hard to imagine that Monster Mania in Baltimore, September 27, 28, 29 is going to be better than Indy.  But I know it might be.  Same with Rock and Shock, October 12, 13; Spooky Empire on October 26, 27, 28 and Days of the Dead on November 16,17,18. All such amazing events.  I hope all of you can try to attend one of them. You won't be disappointed.

I wanted to find some cool new pictures for these upcoming events.  As fate would have it, I had to clear out my storage facility before Storage Wars took it over for 700 bucks. JACKPOT!!!! Next blog post..... what I found.


It's June.

Robert Englund called the other day to remind me that I had missed out on a whole slew of fantastic conventions all around the globe.  He has obviously had an amazing spring going to Canada, Australia and other distant places being treated like "horralty" and hobnobbing with the other famous monsters who get whisked around the planet in high style.  OK.  So I'm a little jealous. On the bright side,  I have made commitments to Monster-Mania - Baltimore and Days of the Dead - Chicago this fall but still, I'm sorry to report that there's nothing on the immediate horizon for June, July or August. I don't know if I can make it that long without a shot of Nancy love.  Yes, times like these are trying.  Let me know where you all are heading for your summer gorefest. I'd like to know. Post a comment to the blog. Maybe I can get on the road and join you.

Freddy On My Street

It's January.  Months since I've had a moment to write. 

This fall, Freddy decided to make an extended visit to my street. Out of nowhere. Isn't that just like him? One Friday in October, my son fell down in a subway station in Europe after suffering a seizure.  MRI's showed a brain tumor.  Tests revealed cancer. In all honesty,  Jude's words,  "You just have to face it, man" were the first to go through my head as I sat on the airplane to fetch my son.  Jude's mantra of strength would pop into my head time and again.  Her words lifted me up through what has turned out to be a season of wrenching fear and then steady determination.

There is this other thing Jude said in the film - describing Freddy - "It's this uncontrollable force, trying to destroy a life."  I heard those words too - describing brain cancer to a tee.  If you had told me that I would actually think about I AM NANCY and Nancy Thompson at these low moments of my life,  I would have told you you were crazy. But I did. Incessantly. The comfort that folks had described to me, the realization that Nancy had a power to inspire them, actually proved so to me - just when I needed it.  At night, I reminded myself that I could face it, that I had to face it. I would Be Nancy with all my heart.

Wes Craven's speech in the last part of his I AM NANCY interview is very eloquent and filled my head at other important moments of our family's ordeal. He describes the way Nancy faces her fears. As opposed to the others in the film, Nancy doesn't, as he puts it, "go out a door" to escape the reality of Freddy's evil.  This strategy is the key to her survival.  "Fear is one of the great evolutionary catalysts. It goads us to the next levels. Two people have fear - one person runs away and one says, 'O.K. - How do I deal with this?' Not necessarily going straight at it, maybe going around it, maybe trying to educate yourself first." This point is so important.  There are a lot of bad things in the world. We must not run away; but, we can't attack them all with brute force either.  There are other ways to combat deadly foes.  Modern medicine is all about that.

I have often asked myself why Arlene and I spent so long making I AM NANCY.  What was its purpose? In retrospect, the documentary outlined a strategy for all of us. The movie pointed out an attitude - a personal philosophy that we can hold onto.  For me, the folks who helped us put that attitude into words are the best parts of the show. The philosophy is quite simple - when Freddy appears,  there is a powerful way to be.

What I will add to this simple philosophy is that getting through your fear diminishes its power for the future.  Again, Wes says it beautifully in the film. "Once you're past the fear and you're comfortable with it, then you can do something much better than you could before." I am beginning to understand this part of it. My fear is just now receding. I hope Wes is right.

The best news of all is that my son has had a very strong recovery. He intends to go back to college this quarter and continue his work there.  His incredible doctors "cut the evil out of him" and he has responded well to all his therapies. To the unknown future on my personal Elm Street, like Jude, I say "bring it on."

Talk, Talk, Talk

The most challenging part of putting out I AM NANCY has been giving interviews where I talk about the movie. I am afraid that by now I sound like a broken record.  You've heard how much I loved interviewing the fans, how grateful I am to Arlene Marechal for putting the footage together so beautifully.  How fun it was to interview Wes and Robert.  How it took a year to edit. There are only so many ways to say it all.  I feel like it is tough to sound fresh each time. But, truth is I am just as excited about I AM NANCY as I was the day we released it.  I'm just  asking for a little understanding from my wonderful fans who make a point of listening or reading all of the blogs, podcasts, interviews.  If I start sounding repetitive, sorry.

With all this talking, there are a few new things that I have been discovering about Nancy.  My ideas about her are actually evolving as I ponder some of the great questions my interviewers have thrown at me.  Today, the question I am really trying to ponder is this. Is gender as important as people would have you believe in Nightmare on Elm Street?  All the talk of Final Girls is kind of wearing me out. I decided to ask this crazy question.  If Glen and Nancy's characters had been switched would it have been a similar movie? What about if Freddy had been a woman? I don't mean to make you laugh but it seems more important that Freddy and Nancy are of the opposite sex than what sex they are.  Is it really important that the Nancy role be a girl?  In I AM NANCY (available on DVD!) Wes says he wanted to "get away from all boy heroes;" but, could he have written that character as a boy and still make a similar film?  Indeed, I have always felt that Nancy is one female in horror that was not primarily there to be sexually objectified.  This aspect of Nancy sets her apart from a lot of other horror scream queens whose alluring and overt sexuality is central to the action.  Try to imagine what the bathtub scene would have been like if Glen was there instead of Nancy.  It certainly would have had much different sexual overtones. But what if Freddy had been a female character?  Freddy (Fredericka!) would have been just as scary no doubt.  But would she have become as popular? After having long talks with Mark Patton about the reception of Nightmare 2 as "The Gay Nightmare" - I believe that it's role and interpretation has been revised as our society embraces gay relationships in general.  There was no talk about the Male Killer and Male Victim scenario as inherently gay back in 1985 (I sadly think they wouldn't have made that script if anyone had thought about it that way.)  Certainly looking back on it now we have filtered its message through new openness and acceptance of gay and straight human sexuality.

But in my view, Jesse is another teenager - a boy this time - who is Freddy's next victim.  Where Wes wanted to get "get away from all boy heroes" - the second Nightmare flips the hero's gender at a time when America was on the verge of it's social revolution.

Getting back to all this talk about Final Girls. I think I want to rename Nancy, Jesse, Alice et al. the Final Teenagers.  Nancy is emerging into a woman in the film. Jesse into manhood. Same with Alice. All are moving from childhood to adulthood in a world that is extremely fast moving and changing. All of their rites of passage will be the ability to fight Freddy. Maybe people have come to expect a female protagonist when the antagonist is male. But I don't think so.  Men are often vulnerable to evil monsters in film but recently, they are rarely the last ones standing. 

Here's the last thought I've had. Perhaps it was the insurmountable generation gap that started to really explode during those times that informs so much of NOE.  The internet, technology, the explosion of teen culture, the breakup of the nuclear family and all things youthful in general took over our American planet starting back then and I feel that is the biggest dividing line in Nightmare on Elm Street.  The parents want to be good parents but they can't.  They can't relate to their children.  On the outside it looks like a decent American neighborhood,  but the gap between the American Nightmare and the American Dream is palpable.  It is Freddy who takes advantage of that gap and wreaks havoc on the teenagers who just wanted to be friends and go to high school, play football, watch the Miss American, pageant, drive a classic car, have sex and eat hamburgers. Now doesn't that sound like the American Dream?

Indy

Let me give you a rundown of  my July weekend in Indianapolis at Days of the Dead Horror Con that featured the Midwest Premiere of I AM NANCY!!  There were two things I was looking forward to. Naturally,  I am always excited to watch the movie with fans.  Their laughter makes me indescribably happy.  (Though, I am getting a bit weary of that tattoo gun in the first act.)  But just as a mother will watch her child perform the same song, dance routine or karate moves over and over again, that's exactly what I'm like watching I AM NANCY.   I probably even mouth the words to my own lines. I sing the words to the songs and tap my feet.  I totally wince when I see the glitches that perhaps only I notice.  I'm like a terrible stage mother watching my kid performing for a crowd.  You just think she's the greatest thing since sliced bread. You favorably compare her to everyone else around. You make mortal enemies of anyone who doesn't love her as much as you do.  (Not really )

In any case, you love your baby, warts and all.  And I do love I AM NANCY.  When the convention promoter suggested I just needed to quickly introduce the film and then could go back to my table in the main hall,  I could think of nothing worse than being deprived of the chance to watch the film again with a fresh crowd of Freddy fans.  I took my seat and sat back and had a ball.  At the end of the screening, I found myself at the back of the room and felt sincerely obligated to shake everyone's hand and thank them for watching.  Kind of corny perhaps, but I really meant it. Most people came out smiling - falling right into my diabolical plan to entertain them.

Which brings me to the second thing I was really looking forward to in Indianapolis.  One of my most ardent fans (who might be the best COS PLAYER taking on the role of Nancy) was going to be there.  This lovely young woman named Diandra, has dedicated herself to recreating Nancy down to the finest detail.  Naturally, she has a gray streak - permanent - and an amazing set of pajamas she had made that are fantastically realistic. She was hard to miss when I walked into the convention hall, standing next to her dad, whom she had persuaded to dress as Lieutenant Thompson. So they kind of stuck out. In the most adorable kind of way.  I know it took a lot of guts for her to introduce herself to me,  but she's made a life of being NANCY-like. So she quickly faced that fear and squeezed me tight. Little did she know that  I had been taking note of her, and I was anxious to meet Diandra (aka #NancyTOfElmstreet) myself.  She had organized a Nightmare on Elm Street Art Contest and more importantly helped form a really great group of  women (#TeamNancy, Team Nancy on facebook) who have bonded over their love of Nightmare on Elm Street and all things Nancy.  I glimpsed into their world of support for each other and realized that forming lasting relationships with people far away is the best thing about the internet.  Jude, Michelle, Amanda, Diandra and Kristen -   I'm really glad that we have had great opportunities to get to meet in London, Indianapolis and good ol' LA.

Search for Marie

Getting ready for Days of the Dead, I wanted to make sure to have a Just the Ten of Us photo. I am often caught unprepared when Just the Ten of Us fans want a picture of the Lubbocks. I now know the secret that you all have split personalities - Lubbock Babes and Freddy Krueger. An interesting mash up to say the least!   So, I looked through my files. Nothing.  I went online and every file was too small.  I decided to call Mike Sullivan, one of our producers and ask him.  While he has drawers full of Growing Pains stuff (he produced that show too) he only had one photo of Marie.  Wearing her sweet little cashmere sweater, her hair pulled back and her cross, I just smiled to see the photo that captured so much of Marie. Mike continued to pull out what he could find.  Out came the script "Rock around the Clock" - was that it's title?  Where the Lubbock girls record a song at the mall for their dad's birthday.  That script launched the Lubbock Babes illustrious singing career. I flipped through it and landed on this line where the girls are trying to pick a song. "We should pick a song that honors the Lord."  Don't you just love Marie in all her earnestness? In the end, they ended up singing "Rock around the Clock" and Marie can be seen busting out some pretty classic dance moves. Marie was so pure and true, always struggling with what was right, modest and proper when she had to watch her slutty sisters committing all kinds of sins of the flesh. Her struggle became a wonderful comedic angle for so many of the scripts.  Too bad it ended so soon.  The Lord must have other purposes for that time slot. 

Congratulations!

Weirdly enough,  I know a lot of folks who love A NIghtmare on Elm Street and also love the 80's TV sit-com "Just The Ten of Us." (Honestly, could you find two more different shows than Nightmare on Elm Street and "Just the Ten of Us" if you tried?) I played Marie -  the eldest daughter - very spiritual in her very wacky way and by the end of the second season wanted to become a nun. Oh, what crazy adventures she would have had if the show hadn't been canceled.

2 weekends ago I went to dinner to celebrate JoAnne Willette's graduation from college. You'll remember that she played Constance Lubbock on "Just the Ten of Us"- the poetic, intellectual drama queen. So now, 20 years later, she got her degree in Film and Television. From UCLA at that. Perhaps she took a little longer than most students to get that diploma but there's a time for everything.  I think she's my Nancy of the Week. Persistence and a fighting spirit.  You go girl!!

To all of you graduates out there.  Congratulations to you too.

What's my Freddy today? That there's only 24 hours in a day.




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