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Author Topic: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."  (Read 7668 times)

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Offline Tarantulas

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"Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« on: November 11, 2006, 10:54:02 AM »
Well I've been meaning to do a little write up of my trip to see Mike at Arkansas State University for a little while now.  Since I'm sure everyone has forgotten about this by now, I've decided to strike while the iron is cold hot.

When I first heard about the speaking engagement, I was excited.  The last time Mike had been in the ?area? was in 2000 when Mike and the gang appeared at the Gateway SciFi con in St. Louis.  I had went to the con with my friend Ron Baiter and we had a blast, so I figured a chance to see Mike AND go on  a road trip would be all the more fun.  Magnolia Arkansas is a little under 7 hours away from Cape Girardeau Missouri, so its was going to be a nice drive down and back, and since I drive a 1994 Buick Skylark (car to millions of Grandmothers around the world) I decided to rent a car.  I rented a 2006 Pontiac Grandprix.  If you have the means, I HIGHLY recommend one.

It was a fairly uneventful drive through the boringness that is the Midwest.  Once you have seen one cotton field, you have seen them all.  We arrived at the University around 6pm, since the event didn't start until 7, we had some time to do some looking around.  The campus was very nice with several new building sticking out like sore thumbs against the backdrop of older building designs.  While milling around in the student center we met and talked to other MSTies who had made the trip down to see Mike.  For a while, It was Ron and myself and a few couples in their late 30's early 40's sitting around talking about the good old days as it were and just sharing what brought us to the show and making sure that people knew about the new Rifftrax and Film Crew projects.

7 o'clock had finally arrived and students started pouring into the conference hall (which was set to seat around 200 people).  Since Mike was brought to campus as part of a lecture series funded by a local family, a presenter gave some background about the lecture series and the people who started it.  After a few minutes Mike took the podium and shared a short reading from ?Movie Mega Cheese? to warm the audience up.  He then held a short trivia contest to test peoples knowledge of bad movies with the prizes to be some of ?his books?.  Well it turns out the prizes were ?his books? alright, they were some of his personal books that he had finished reading (and if you wanted to know about the list of Omar Bradley, these books were right up your alley).  After the contest ended, Mike went on to talk about the state of movies in Hollywood with a piece called (I believe this is correct) ?Hollywood Movies Today: Or why Keanu Reaves has ruined everything?.  Mike also talked about the Leprechaun movies and about some of the strange things that people have said in the Amazon reviews section to try and get people to watch them.  He also talked about super hero movies and shared some more from ?Movie Mega Cheese?.  Mike also showed off a invention of his, it's a tabbed book that generates the plot lines for bad movies.  He said that he's working right now to get it published, but that the publishers just didn't ?get it? for some reason.  Mike then showed a clip from ?House on Haunted Hill? to show off his new projects, and then opened the floor up to questions.

Since so many people asked questions, I'll do my best to just cover the big ones that I remember.  Mike gave away copies of the Legend DVDs to the folks who's questions he liked best (which was really till he ran out of DVDs).  Mike walked around with a microphone in both Jerry Springer and Donahue  styles, posing while people asked their questions.  He eventually returned to the podium for the second half of the Q&A.

Here are the ones I remember In no particular order:

What movies does he like?  Generally he liked the LOTR movies, but he has a hard time re watching anything more than once.  He used ?The 6th Sense? as an example of this.

Did Joe Don Baker really threaten them?  Yes, he was very upset at the ribbing he got on both of his MST outings.  I believe that ?red ass beat downs? were promised, but as of yet, not delivered.

Will the new Film Crew project slow the release of Rifftrax?  No, both projects are cranking along at full speed and the production schedules do not conflict in any way.

Would you be interested in revisiting some of the older Season 1 episodes and doing updated riffs?  Mike said that the show was so new and they ?really didn't have it down? yet.  And that yes he is interested in and perusing those older films for new riffs

There were other questions along the ?What's your favorite episode?  ?Who's your favorite actor? type questions, but I finally got called on to ask a question.

?How are Bridget and the boys adjusting to life out West?  I'm sure it's been a strange transition from the Midwest to the West coast?

Mike saw his opportunity, and took it....

?Who are you?  What do you know?  <whispering> Security... security...?  The crowd erupted into laughter.  Mike then chuckled and said ?No, actually, they are doing just fine,  thank you for asking.?  Mike reached into his satchel,  hopped down from the podium and presented me with one of ?his books?.  ?Hey, thanks? I said...  and I politely returned to my seat.

Mike wrapped up the Q&A session with a final reading from ?Movie Mega Cheese?.  The event then broke for an autograph session at the University bookstore.  While Mike was gathering his things, several people went up and asked if they could take a picture with Mike, he graciously obliged all who asked, including myself.  While asking for a picture I asked Mike to indulge me in an idea.  ?Would you be willing to take a ?overzealous fan / scared celebrity? type picture with me??  Mike had never heard of this, but gave an enthusiastic ?Lets do this?.   After checking with me for the right level of fear, we snapped the picture.  I thanked him, and went to wait in the autograph line.

The line for autographs had about 30 or so people in it, and it moved along rather briskly.  Mike would sign an item for folks, pause for a picture and a handshake, and move along to the next person.  My friend Ron had brought along the Playstation Underground CD that BBI had done years ago, and Mike was amazed that it had even came out to the public.  I suppose he thought maybe it was for some corporate retreat or only for Sony employees.  The whole thing reminds me of another time when I showed Mike MST:TM on DVD to which he responded ?This is on DVD??.  I finally made my way up and introduced myself by name and mentioned my nick on the Rifftrax forum.  ?Wow... you guys made quite a trip down here? he said.  ?Well not as far as you, thank you very much for coming.?  I presented him with a copy of ?Death Rat? and the book that he had given me in the Q&A session. 

?Sign which ever one you want?  I said.  ? Really enjoyed Death Rat?.   ?Good, what did you like about it??  ?It's a departure from your other literary works.  Its different, in a good way?.

Mike flipped through the pages and said ?I'll just sign them both if you want.?

?Sure, if you liked like to?

While thumbing through the pages, Mike pulled out a couple of pieces of paper. ?Yeah, Bridget put these coupons in here thinking that someone might want them.  I'm seriously doubting you're going to find a ?Spicy Pickle? in the Midwest, but he you go anyway?.  He signed the coupons and stuck them back in the book.  I shook his hand, and thanked him again for making the trip.  As I stepped out of line, a nicely dressed man and woman (who I believe were  part of the planning committee for the lecture) asked ?now were did you drive from again??  I explained that my friend and I had made the drive from Cape Girardeau Missouri (which is about 2 hours south of St. Louis).  She was amazed that we had driving such a long way to visit their school.  I complimented them on their campus, and shared some stories about the trip down, and about my job at Southeast Missouri State University.  More hand shaking, and goodbyes and my friend and I made our way outside.

A small group of fans had gathered outside (and when I say small, I mean like 6 people including my friend and I) to talk a little more MST before hitting the road.  As Mike was exiting, the standard extension of offers for beer/ice cream were extended and politely declined.  He thanked us for coming out to see him and like that, he was gone.

The drive back was fairly uneventful, but I remember being excited to have met to many great fans, and  having some cool stories to share with the rest of you guys when I returned.



Here are a couple of the pictures I took.  I feel bad in retrospect, I really should have taken some pictures of the campus and of the lecture itself.


Here is Mike up at the podium doing a reading from ?Movie Mega Cheese?
(The "egg in a nest" and the yellow blur next to it, were the coolest MSTies you could ever meet. 
The young guys who's face you see there is a nice guy too.  We ate a Burger King with him and his girlfriend)


Here's Mike doing the trivia contest (the guy on the left said he was a Jedi ::) )


This is the Playstion Underground disc in all its plastic glory


This is my freshly signed copy of ?Death Rat?


Here is the copy of ?The Destruction of the Bismark? that Mike gave me


Coupon: The Movie!


Where the book lives now...


On closer inspection of the book, I found this stuck inside..
I guess I need to contact this guy and see that he gets it...


And last, but not least, my ?overzealous fan / scared celebrity? picture with Mike. 
(Remember this was taken in fun, and no Nelsons were harmed in its creation.)

Thanks for reading!  I welcome comments and questions...

- Tarantulas
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 11:01:53 AM by Tarantulas »


Offline SaucyRossy

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2006, 11:34:44 AM »
Tdizzle! Awesome write up of your trip. That picture of you and Mike is great. Mike needs to do lots more of these things!

www.rifftraxfan.com - Check out Gammers RiffTrax Fan page!


Offline Tarantulas

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2006, 11:36:57 AM »
Lectures, or scared pictures with fans? ;)


Offline SaucyRossy

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2006, 11:40:19 AM »
Alittle of both really.....you forgot to sneak in the video camera under your top hat and tape the lecture for me.

www.rifftraxfan.com - Check out Gammers RiffTrax Fan page!


Offline Tarantulas

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2006, 11:44:19 AM »
The event was taped... I'm trying to contact the guy who taped it.  Give me some time....

And before anyone asks, no, my arm is not that big, its just closer to the camera than you think. ;)


Offline torgosPizza

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2006, 12:29:34 PM »
I think we can make this sticky, T-man. You DID drive for 7 hours, anyways. Now that's showing some initiative.


Offline Bob

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2006, 01:07:00 PM »
Man, that sounds like a blast.   Thanks for sharing with us.


Offline Wheaty Petestraw

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2006, 01:14:13 PM »
I was wondering how someone could get to 1600+ posts so quickly, but now it's starting to make a little more sense! ;)

Awesome story, arachnid.
my entry made my girlfriend laugh a few times, the best I can hope for really.

I'd say Whalberg definately qualifies as really good.


Offline gammer

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2006, 01:16:21 PM »
Nice work spidy.

I love the pic of you and Mike  :D


Offline Tarantulas

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2006, 01:55:25 PM »
Mike was very nice to do that picture for me.  He could have just as easily said "no."


Offline AmandaGal

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2006, 04:38:23 PM »
I'll have to post some of my pics when I get home from work.  Mike was great though. I think he's the only celeb I've ever met who've I've not ended up being totally disgusted/disenamored with.  I was kind of dreading going to the event because I was thinking, "You know, I like Mike Nelson.  Once I see him, I know I'm going to hate him."  It's true though.  Ever celebrity I've ever liked and then went to an autograph session or talked to has just been awful and it always ruins it.  I know it shouldn't but when someone "puts you in your place" it's hard to listen to their CDs, hehe.  I waffled a bit on going but decided that he was just 2 hours away and if I didn't go I'd regret it too. 

I was happy I did.  He just seems like a normal guy.  In a fit of insanity, I was one of the ones who asked for a photo with him after the lecture (the first maybe).  I've done that to ONE other person and they were a real arse so I've never tried it again but he was standing there answering questions and why not?  Mike was all, "Sure!"  and he actually didn't act put out to be there.  SHOCK.  He was equally as sweet at the autograph session and to everyone.  Answering questions I'm sure he's answered a million times, posing for poses I'm sure he's done a million times, but he didn't act like it was a big deal or boring or whatever, even though I'm sure it was.

Anyways, just wanted to add my kudos.  He was hilariously funny (I loved the amazon.com bit) and actually appears to be nice guy.  I think he deserves some props for that (kudos and props, wow).

I don't think tarantulas mentioned my favorite part of the lecture.  He showed a clip from House on Haunted Hill and couldn't figure out how to get his own commentary on.  Hehe.  I almost jumped out of my seat and grabbed the remote from him (literally, at one point butt left seat for a second...it's a gut reflex) but I figured he might have a tazer and second guessed that idea.  Instead I, and a few others, screamed out directions to him.

I was on the front row.  I think I was one of the first people there because I figured I'd get lost going to Magnolia.   You don't want to get lost going to Magnolia...if I would have thought about it at the time, I would have mentioned how close Magnolia is to "Boggy Creek."
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 04:40:03 PM by AmandaGal »
�mike5150� how tall are you?.....in gallons?


MontyServo

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2006, 04:41:52 PM »

On closer inspection of the book, I found this stuck inside..
I guess I need to contact this guy and see that he gets it...

Or you could just change your name to Doug and pretend that she wrote the note to you.

Great write-up!  Sounds like a fun time was had by all.  Thanks for sharing the pictures and story!


And last, but not least, my “overzealous fan / scared celebrity” picture with Mike. 
(Remember this was taken in fun, and no Nelsons were harmed in its creation.)

Ooh!  Could a Tarantulas head thread be in the making??


Offline AvestheFox

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2006, 05:41:08 PM »
Brilliant story, T'spidey!

I hope to attend one of these someday.. Mike needs to meet the true Forum Foxy after all!


Offline LadyKenobi

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2006, 06:00:21 PM »
Please tell me all 200 of those seats were filled :)

Thanks for sharing.  Come to The Swamp, Mike-- we actually have an airboat company called "Boggy Creek Boat Rides" here in Florida.  How can you pass that up?!


Offline gammer

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Re: "Mike in Arkansas" or "How I almost went to Texas..."
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2006, 06:05:13 PM »
Quote
Coupon: The Movie!

hahaha, I just picked up on this "Mr. Show" reference.

Nice!