Hanging with celebrities: my best weekend ever

We returned about an hour later and got pictures taken with Peter Criss. During this time, he asked us questions about ourselves. He called my younger brother Mr. Smiles and asked if we were in a band. We said no, and told him that we were brothers. He didn’t believe it, then said that we have “the look.” And by the look, he meant the look of the next great rock n roll band. He spoke with us for so long that his manager had to break up the conversation and get the line moving.

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What happens when you hang out with famous people all day, and your high school gets on the local news? Well, it just so happens that a ton of cool things occur. Allow me to start with Friday.

Friday- Investigative journalism and King of the Hill

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. so that I could be at the school by 5:45 to start taking photographs for the school newspaper’s website of our special King 5 News pep rally. My school would be featured on the morning news live as we kicked off the start of Homecoming weekend. After taking 400 photos with the old Nikon D90, I got to have some down time before school started.

So, I spoke with King 5’s sports reporter, Chris Egan, who was there and dressed up as our school mascot for a few moments and got his picture. Then, I took a selfie (or whatever you call it when two people are in it) with King 5 reporter Natasha Ryan. Being a journalist, this made me super stoked for the rest of the day.

“Then I took a selfie with King 5 reporter Natasha Ryan. Being a journalist, this made me super stoked for the rest of the day.”

So, after 2nd period and our big Homecoming assembly, some kids from our cross-town rivals who we were facing in that night’s notorious King of the Hill game decided to write in car paint on a bunch of cars in the parking lot. They were caught, but not before they tagged 30 or so cars. Three of my fellow journalists and I went out to get pictures of the tagged cars and to do some investigative journalism, although there wasn’t much information available at that time.

Later Friday night, I went to the King of the Hill/Homecoming game with my best friend. We cheered and joined in the festivities, and watched the magnificent game unfold. We ended up winning our first King of the Hill game in many years with a score of 42-14, ending our cross-town rival’s reign of seven or so years.

Saturday: Hanging out with celebrities

Saturday was the Mad Monster: Shadow over Seattle convention in Bellevue, Washington: an upscale midsize city right across Lake Washington from Seattle, which is known for being being snooty and too-good for everyone else. It was an odd choice for a convention of rock stars and horror scene icons and their fans, who don’t quite dress up-to-par according to Bellevue standards.

I went to the convention with my brothers and my sister-in-law. We knew that we would have an opportunity to meet Peter Criss, the original drummer of the rock band KISS, and Wednesday 13 from the Murderdolls and his solo career, but none of us knew exactly how great the day would unfold to be.

Upon arriving in Bellevue we parked in the parking garage at the Bellevue Square Mall because it was the only free parking in the area. We walked about three blocks to the hotel that the convention was being held at, which was a huge multi-building structure. It turned out that the convention wasn’t a huge hit compared to the other cities Mad Monster had visited.

We met Peter Criss first, paying the $50 each to get him to sign something, since we all brought a record with us. I had him sign an original copy of KISS’s 1976 album, Rock and Roll Over, which was completely worth it. We spoke with Criss for a few minutes. He told us that he had first eaten mac and cheese with lobster on his first visit to Seattle, and that we didn’t want to have been alive during the ’70s. He also talked about this battle with breast cancer, stressing that men can get it worse than women. We left Criss and headed to the main room to meet Wednesday 13.

An original 1976 copy of KISS's "Rock and Roll over" that I had Peter Criss sign Oct. 4.
An original 1976 copy of KISS’s “Rock and Roll over” that I had Peter Criss sign Oct. 4.

No one was at his booth, so we were able to walk right up and say “hi.” 30 minutes later, we had talked about his upcoming album, his last Seattle show (where only 20 people showed up), his previous tours opening for Alice Cooper, meeting a drunk Ace Frehley, his cat Scream, looking at his iPhone, taking pictures, and buying merchandise from him. It also turned out that he didn’t have enough change for my brother’s signed poster he had bought, so Wednesday 13 owed us $10 for about three hours. Having a celebrity owe us money was pretty cool.

A small poster I bought from Wednesday 13. He ended up giving it to me for free because he couldn't break a $20.
A small poster I bought from Wednesday 13. He ended up giving it to me for free because he couldn’t break a $20.

We left the convention to take a break and get some food, so we sat in the hotel lobby for a few minutes. Peter Criss’s wife walked in, and remember us, spoke with us for a few minutes. She pinched my older brother on the cheek because he called her “dude” and teased us for a bit.

We returned about an hour later and got pictures taken with Peter Criss. During this time, he asked us questions about ourselves. He called my younger brother Mr. Smiles and asked if we were in a band. We said no, and told him that we were brothers. He didn’t believe it, then said that we have “the look.” And by the look, he meant the look of the next great rock n roll band. He spoke with us for so long that his manager had to break up the conversation and get the line moving.

Afterwards, we attended a monster Q&A panel with Wednesday 13, Doyle from the Misfits, and Ogre from Skinny Puppy. We waited in the lobby afterwards, when WWF star Roddy Piper walked in. An older Asian woman was standing next to him and when she looked up at all of us she exclaimed “Oh look, hippies!” It was hilarious, and we all started laughing, including Piper.

Wednesday 13 and I in Bellevue Oct. 4 during the Mad Monster convention.
Wednesday 13 and I in Bellevue Oct. 4 during the Mad Monster convention.

We did end up getting the $10 back from Wednesday 13 before leaving the hotel for the last time. He insisted that he had been looking for us, although I don’t really buy it. So, we headed back towards Bellevue Square Mall for dinner at P.F. Chang’s, where we got a ton of dirty looks. While eating, Roddy Piper showed up again and was seated at the table behind me. I did manage to get a picture with him in the background

Me eating at P.F. Chang's in Bellevue. That's WWF star Roddy Piper in the background at the table behind me.
Me eating at P.F. Chang’s in Bellevue. That’s WWF star Roddy Piper in the background at the table behind me.

It was a fun day, getting to meet all of these stars and spend large amounts of time with them. It was kind of unreal, almost like a dream. I missed my senior Homecoming for this event, but it was definitely worth it.

Author: Chase Charaba

Hello there! I'm Chase, an ambitious, aspiring young novelist and YouTuber who hopes to get a novel published one day. I'm also trying to produce the highest quality YouTube videos by constantly learning new ways to film and edit. I've been involved in journalism for 5 years, including 1 year as co-editor of a national award-winning high school newsmagazine and 1 year as the co-editor of an award-winning college newspaper. I write mainly epic/high fantasy, but I also mess around with science fiction, horror, and realistic fiction.

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