Friday, September 28, 2012

'Paranormal Paparazzi' premieres tonight, 7 p.m. ET/PT

Paranormal Paparazzi team, from left: Warren, Fine, Sagers
Gruenwald, Alexandria, Wellington

The big day we've been building up to has arrived: The premiere of Paranormal Paparazzi on the Travel Channel at 7 p.m. ET/PT. The show is an entertainment news show executive produced by Ghost Adventures' Zak Bagans, and hosted/co-executive produced by yours truly of Paranormal Pop Culture.

I've been a journalist within the mainstream arena for a long time, long before I launched in 2009 to talk about all things within the "entertainment of the unexplained." I feel confident that I did the good work of a journalist earning his stripes, but this website has been a chance to geek out about ghosts, aliens, monsters, zombies and more within movies, TV shows, books, comics, video games, etc. I never wanted to tell people what to believe or not, but have endeavored to celebrate the entertainment of it all, in fiction and even perhaps in real life. My work here has led to me speaking to my fellow nerds at Comic-Con and other events.

But that work has only been successful due to the support of new friends who read and tweet my stuff (many of whom I've never even been able to meet), and old friends and family. So thank you, deeply, for that.

As for people who I have met, I first spoke to Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes back in 2004 (I think) when Ghost Hunters was first debuting on Syfy (then the Sci-Fi Channel). Before the show was the hit it is now, they were a couple cool dudes who gave a great interview to this reporter and hung out to chat at length about all the crazy paranormal stuff out there. Over the years, I've befriended a lot of members of the TAPS crew and it has been a joy watching their success and joining them for events. Amy Bruni will forever be my wine bud, Dave Tango my fellow Houdini nerd, Britt Griffith my inappropriate humor equal. Kris Williams has simply been a best friend and supporter.

Although he seemed pretty scary when I initially met him, Dave Schrader of Darkness Radio truly brought me into the fold when he invited me as a reporter to his Eastern State Penitentiary event in 2007 (a location I still love and visit frequently). He has since become a close friend, exceptional event organizer and my fellow convention nerd. Without Dave, I wouldn't have met John Zaffis, who took me under his wing at the Fort Mifflin event in Philadelphia, Pa., where I "debuted" the Paranormal Pop Culture name in 2009. Zaffis in turn introduced me to Chip Coffey, a trusted confidant and a man with a wicked (and filthy) sense of humor. There are so many more friends to thank that have never wavered in there support, like Stacey Jones, April Edwards, Rev. Tim Shaw, Callea Sherrill, and Maria and Jamie at Siren boutique.

I am equally indebted to the gifted, constantly patient contributors of Paranormal Pop Culture. Amy Kates, Erin Lilley, Larissa Mrykalo, Alli Salzman, Sarah LaBrie, Gracie Oliver, Karl Pfeiffer, Jen Danczak, Denise Purvis, Mandy Poole, Melissa Harkness, Andrew Peters and my roadtrip partner Dr. Spectre: You guys manage to keep this site alive.

Now today, as we lead up to the premiere, I'm thinking about a year ago when Zak Bagans gave me a call saying he wanted to put this thing together and he thought I'd be a good dude to join him. I've known Zak a couple years now, and have always been enjoyed watching him do his thing. When I first saw the Ghost Adventures documentary a few years back, I knew that it was primed to be a major success within this paranormal pop culture genre. So to have his vote of confidence is awesome.

Although the idea of me writing about paranormal pop culture is one thing, but I didn't know if I had the chops to own the cameras like Zak can. Luckily, I don't have to; along for the ride are an incredibly cool group of reporters on Paranormal Paparazzi that include Julie Alexandria, Rachel Fine, Scott Gruenwald, Sona Oganesyan, Joshua P. Warren and Branden Wellington - and the entire Dread Central crew. In the amount of time I've been working with them, I've become impressed by their work and grateful for their friendship. They also dealt with a lot of smart-ass comments and skeptical looks from me, so they get bonus points for that.

Our showrunner/co-executive producer Mike Maddocks also deserves enormous credit for assembling a show out of ideas and excitement. He and Andrew Gottlieb had to listen to me yammer on - on a daily basis - about theories, legends, trivia, journalistic integrity and zombies ... lots and lots about zombies.

The great people at the Travel Channel and our My Tupelo Entertainment production team have had no shortage of support for this little thing. Liza Suh, Kristen Pietropoli, Chris Mawson, Jerry Calimeri were also among our production crew who became friendly faces on long days.

There are, finally, many loved ones who put up a lot of s#!+ from me over the years who I wish to thank. You know who you are. Many, many thanks for the love, and for not killing me.

Nobody knows what is next on the horizon. Hopefully there will be further seasons of Paranormal Paparazzi, and other endeavors as a result. Whatever happens, Paranormal Pop Culture will remain, and we'll keep plugging away over here as long as there is unexplained entertainment to explore. Join us for the adventure!