I’ve always liked Anthony Michael Hall’s work. Mostly for his roles in the classics Weird Science, Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club. Hell, I totally related to “Brian” in The Breakfast Club in high school (shockingly enough I wasn’t the suave gentleman I am today). And, more recently, in his TV show, “The Dead Zone.”
So when I read he was going to be a guest at Chiller, I marked him down as one of the celebrities I wanted to meet.
Here’s the thing about horror cons: Be prepared to pay for autographs. For the most part, the guests are celebrities who don’t get very many roles anymore, and do the cons for what I guess is two reasons: Make some extra coin and, probably more importantly, to meet the fans who still love them for what they did.
But, sometimes, cons will get guest who are still working and, depending on the guest I imagine, they don’t charge. When I met Don Coscarelli (director of classics like Phantasm and Bubba Ho-tep), he didn’t charge for pictures and autographs. He did charge for his headshots, but not for pictures with him. The guy was a class act and was doing it for the fans. Same with Danny Trejo (you would know him as that inked up Mexican badass from movies like Heat and From Dusk ‘Till Dawn) — dude didn’t charge for stuff he wasn’t selling. He signed DVDs for free, got your pic with him for free. If you wanted a headshot, you paid. All completely understandable.
So, silly me, I figured Hall wouldn’t charge for anything other than what he was selling. It’s not like the guy isn’t working. He’s in his 5th season on “The Dead Zone,” for crying out loud.
Imagine my surprise when I saw his table — with a price list on it. Now, I very well could be mistaken, but two other people saw the same thing I did. Pictures with Hall – $25. Below that was something for $40. I’m thinking that was something signed (Peter Criss of KISS fame was charging $50 per item signed, and those are items fans brought in, not items they bought from him!)
I turned to my friends, Tom and Eric, and said, “You got to be fucking kidding me! $25 bucks for a picture with him? Is he fucking high? Is he suddenly not working?”
I cannot justify giving someone $25 for a picture with them if they are making more in a month than I do in a year.
Mr. Hall, shame on you. If this was your publicist’s idea, shame on him or her. But the ultimate responsibility is yours. You have 0 right to charge your fans for autographs and pictures when, chances are, you are making more than 90% of them.
I was thoroughly disgusted.
Oh, and to put it in perspective, The Ghost Hunters were charging NOTHING for autographs and pictures with them. They were only charging for their promo pictures, which I happily bought because they were class acts.