It was an interesting weekend for my family. On Saturday, we went to see The Nutcracker performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. On Sunday, my son and I went to the Walker Stalker Con at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
As most of you know, The Nutcracker is about a young girl’s dream/nightmare in which she shrinks down a la Alice In Wonderland. In her dream, her new toy, a nutcracker dressed like a soldier, battles a bunch of rats including a larger “Rat King” who (at least in this production) wore a cape comprised of the heads of other rats. If not for the Tchaikovsky and the lovely dancing, some of these images could be very disturbing. Even the uncle, who I guess is supposed to be watching over the little girl, can be seen as very strict and intimidating. And at the end when the girl is back in her bed, the uncle’s face appears at the window above her bed, watching over her. Both my son and I walked away commenting on how that felt a little creepy too.
At Walker Stalker Con, a convention for fans of The Walking Dead and other zombie movies/shows, there was pure fandom on display. Most of the Walking Dead cast, both past and present, were on hand to sign autographs and take pictures. People waited patiently on lines, snapped photos and encouraged their kids to go up and get their photo taken with The Governor (for those not familiar with the show, he was a really bad character). But at the convention, he could have been Santa Claus. People were thrilled and smiled ear to ear as they saw their favorite characters in front of them. On screen enemies met on panels and by stopping by each other’s autograph booths, greeting each other with big hugs and smiles. A guy and his son (8-10 years old) giddily showed me and my son a photo they took of themselves with Chandler Riggs, who play Carl on WD, just before heading into a shooting rang where they could fire a hundred rounds of bee-bees into targets featuring the images of zombies from the show.
Both were interesting, fun experiences for sure. I enjoyed both for different reasons, but found it ironic that I found some of the images from The Nutcracker to be creepier than the experience at Walker Stalker Con.