Wednesday, June 06, 2012

"You have to be the villain . . ."

I was reminded last night about something else Jonathan paid me to do - attend Dark Shadows Festivals.  I did and wound up making friends there.  But my priority was, as Jonathan would repeatedly tell me, to be "the villain."  He could smile at a pushy fan and I would be the one to tell the fan to "move along."  It was fine for fans to hate me which was the whole point - deflect what he wants done to me as the person to actually do it.  Soon, I could tell just from a certain look from him that he wanted me to spring into action.

Most fans are respectful.  It only takes a handful to make things slightly miserable.  In working with Jonathan, I learned to develop a thick skin to the point where even an outright insult in my face makes me laugh, it doesn't upset me at all.  There were times I literally had to jump in front of the men's bathroom to keep pushy female fans from following Jonathan in there.  If a fan was hassling Jonathan at home I dealt with it.  I did what he asked, of course in all regards.  If a fan was selling bootlegged copies of his one-man show, I was the one to deal with it.  I checked the internet constantly for this sort of violation because he asked me to do so.  I was the gatekeeper because the gate was paying me.

When I was that little nine-year old girl watching "Dark Shadows" I never could have imagined that one day I would be working with my then favorite actor and being his "villain."


11 comments:

Ivelisse Diaz said...

Nancy:

Thank you times 10 ! I just knew that "A Fridean Odyssey" couldn't be your last post about Mr. Frid !!!!!!

You just have way too much to share to just stop !!!!

Just in case I don't get a chance to say it any other time, I am sending a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY greeting your way. I know that it is still a few days away, but I hope your birthday brings as much happiness to you as you have given to us with these stories. They are truly appreciated. They have become my feel good moment of each day as I check your site for them.

Take Care,

Linda Dachtyl said...

That's too funny and...pathetic concerning the bathroom thing.
Glad I went to Readers Theater things instead.:-)

Nancy Kersey said...

Thank you for the birthday wishes.

Nancy Kersey said...

Linda,

Yeah, I could write a book of the wacky and weird things fans would do.

The most popular tactic was to say they thought to be related to Jonathan. The other was to be on death's door and needing to speak with him before dying.

Linda Dachtyl said...

I'm amazed at some of those tactics, but I suppose I shouldn't be. One of my friends said this once and I always liked it and think it might apply to these things.... "When you have your mind, you are blessed." ;-)

Nancy Kersey said...

One woman chased Jonathan all over the place claiming to be his long lost daughter. Now, she told everyone else this, but her personal letters to him never once mentioned this supposed relationship.

Nothing surprises me but once I say that, something else happens that is flabbergasting. One fan has asked about ashes . . .

Linda Dachtyl said...

Asking about a cemetery location probably wouldn't be totally out of order, I don't think, but I would imagine it .....probably wasn't exactly that kind of question...

I'm not "asking" about a location myself, but wanted to say this.

People do like to pay their respects even long after the fact and I was always a little bothered that one of my beloved teachers did not choose a cemetery after cremation. He chose the property where the cabin sits that he built as his summer refuge which was his favorite place to be. However, his decision was respected by those in charge of his personal matters (no immediate family in this case) and that's what's important. The rest isn't in the grand scheme of things, IMO. We put together a public memorial for him several weeks later at the college where he taught and in some ways it was actually nicer than the usual funeral thing.

I assume the next convention is probably going to be a similar thing concerning a memorial to Jonathan. I will not be able to attend myself because of prior commitments and I never went to these things before, so I see little reason to go to this one as I would rather have my memories be of the Readers Theater things I attended.

If this is not an appropriate comment to post here, I understand, but wanted to respond to your comment in some way.

Nancy Kersey said...

I understand wanting to pay respects - I wasn't able to attend the little gathering for him and many of his long time friends were not for many reasons. However, that said, a simple raising of the filled glass and a toast would have been fine with JF. A donation to the school the family suggested is also something to do. On a more local level, donating money to any Meals-On-Wheels program for the elderly and infirmed is another good choice as Jonathan regularly gave to such organizations.

Nancy Kersey said...

Oh, Linda - I didn't answer your question. there isn't any burial location to identify. Jonathan was cremated and his ashes were not buried according to his wishes. I am sure there will be fans looking for it but they will be looking in vain. It ain't there.

Linda Dachtyl said...

I assumed it was some arrangement like this. There's probably a caretaker of a cemetery in the area who is probably glad concerning that. I have been to Jim Morrison's grave in Paris and they had a lot of problems and always have.

Linda Dachtyl said...

FWIW, my husband and I toasted him with some single barrel Jack Daniels :-)