Feb 9, 2016

Posting the interview that I did with Camilla Jackson for Blumhouse.com about Serial Killer Speed Dating because I think it’s pretty funny.

Tell me a bit about your background:

While standing in a monster costume during 2012’s Halloween Horror Nights,  jumping out at teenagers, I fell in love with horror and haunts. I started visiting haunted houses, attending conventions, and making connections within the haunt community. Quickly I noticed how friendly and interesting horror-heads were. I took what I’d learned at HHN and used it to help turn Zombie Joe’s Underground “Urban Death” stage show into a haunted house called “Urban Death: Tour of Terror”. I also wrote eight short horror films and participated in a documentary that just premiered at Sundance. Horror has been very good to me. It speaks to me, similar to the way that the neighbor’s dog tells me to “kill”…but we all know that dog’s just joking…right?

How did the idea for serial killer speed dating come about?
I noticed that at “Star Wars Celebration” they had a speed dating event. I thought to myself, “Wow, what a great way for like-minded people to connect.”  In a casual conversation with Lora Ivanova, co-creator of “ScareLA”, I mentioned wanting to make something for her convention. It wan’t much of an idea, but I said I’d put together a speed dating event like they did at “Star Wars Celebration”. She liked it, but felt it needed a twist to make it horror-themed. “What if you throw in a serial killer?!” a friend of mine asked. I turned to Lora and said, “I’d make that.”

The first one debuted last August at ScareLA. It was heaps of fun to put together, and I saw that people actually were connecting at the event. It felt like a thing.

I found a bar in Westwood called BarFoodLA that agreed to let me host another one. I built a website, wrangled in some serial killers and started selling tickets. So far I’ve done two at BarFoodLA. One male/female and one for gay males. Both were a blast. Clearly, people are responding to this. That makes me really happy. It also quiets the voices in my head I get from the chip the government installed in my back right molar.

Describe how the evening works and how it differs from a regular speed date:
Well, a regular speed date has less intentional serial killers in the room. At least we’re being honest with our advertising. 

Truly, it is speed dating. You have five minutes to sit across from a date, then I call “Move!” and you go meet someone else. 

But the twist is that you’ll never know if you’re sitting across from a genuinely interesting person, or a person genuinely interested in using your face as a mask.

We’re also probably the only speed dating service where it’s common to break the ice by saying, “Well, I’m not a serial killer, and here’s why…”

If you think someone’s a Serial Killer you check “serial killer” next to their name. If, at the end of the evening you’re right you’ll get a prize (NOTE: I didn’t say a good prize.) If you’re wrong, well, we kill you. Sorry.

Were there any successful matches/ humorous incidents at the last event?
There’s always matches, which warms my little heart. If they’re successful or not I’m not sure. It seems no one’s that interested in letting me know if their date went well.

Fortunately, I’ve put a clause into the ticketing agreement, that if you meet your spouse at Serial Killer Speed Dating, you have to name your first born after me. I think that’s fair.

Humorous incidents? I think mostly it’s the look of shock on people’s faces when someone gets killed. That’s humorous, at least to me.

Also, it’s pretty funny after someone “dies”. Then we’ve got to deal with dragging a dead body off of the floor. BarFoodLA is adamant that we don’t get blood anywhere, so usually there are strategically placed tarps lying around…just in case. 

Are the serial killers just there to act and play a part, or could they actually be looking for that special someone?

Serial killers have feelings, too, Camilla! They’re perfectly free to date whomever they want. But, well, it takes a special kind of someone to want to date a serial killer. Most of those people I have restraining orders on.

What should people expect to get out of the evening?
A fun time. 

I mean: dating is so hard. We have all these apps and websites out there to meet people, but it can get really exhausting. I just finished Aziz Ansari’s book “Modern Romance”, where he writes about people going on so many first dates it stops being fun, or never making it past the online conversation to even get to a first date. Online dating takes the human element out of it. When you can just swipe right or left on a person’s face, you’re not really getting to know them, are you? 

Speed dating is a great way to meet people face-to-face, which is important. Plus, someone who’s willing to go out to an event called “Serial Killer Speed Dating” is probably more interesting than the average person, right? At least they have a sense of adventure and humor to it all.

Honestly, if you’ve never done speed dating before I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how fun it is to interact with a human being. It’s genuinely fun to go out and meet new people. 

And because you only have five minutes to chat with them there’s very little pressure. 

BUT…they also might be a serial killer, so that brings the pressure back a little…

Do you think this is purely just a fun night, or could people seriously go and potentially find a great match?
Of course, Camilla! It’s dating. It’s legit speed dating. You get out of it what you bring into it. Dating is a bit of a sport. The more you do it the better you get at it. 

Do you tie in anything from the current wave of  horror film zeitgeist  into the night?
Yes! At our Christmas event we had a Krampus. He sucked the soul out of one of our naughtier daters….good times.

We had a vampire meet a vampire hunter, once. That was pretty sexy. 

No zombie’s yet, but, well, there isn’t much that’s sexy about a zombie. But never say never. 

Will you be wearing a tuxedo?
Of course.

Any tips for potential daters?
Be yourself, dress to impress, and PAY ATTENTION. The serial killers will leave clues in the conversation to their…um…“hobby.” Also, it’s a good tip in general: people like it when you’re interested in what they have to say. Who knows…you might get a date out of it.

Are you single?
Camilla! How forward of you.

No. I have a girlfriend. She’s real, I promise. But, funny enough, when we first started dating, still in the “are we dating?” phase, I sent her a text one afternoon and she didn’t respond to it. 

After looking at my phone for hours I knew I need to get out of my apartment or else I’d go crazy.

I decided to go to a speed dating event I had already bought a ticket to that was going on that evening. Take my mind off her, you know? I went out to a bar and met a whole bunch of cool girls. Honestly, I LOVED speed dating. It was fun. Silly fun.

Of course, when I was going back home after the event she replied to my text. Truly, I think it’s the law of attraction. The more you date the more you’ll attract.

So, essentially, at this point you’re just beating women off of you with a stick?

Oh yeah. I made a short film about it, once.

Well, now you’re just self-promoting.

Hey! You asked.

Thanks for your time. You’re very smart and creative. 

And modest, too. Don’t forget that.

Of course.

Tags camilla jackson serial killer speed dating blumhouse valentines day speed dating modern romance star wars weekend aziz ansari reblog