When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

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When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by Greg2600 » December 3rd, 2019, 12:24 am

We've got many threads in here from days gone by where a con screws customers, namely US! However, not a ton when the guests too get the shaft. Recently I brought up the infamous Nostalgia Fest Philly (April 2017 in Bensalem, PA) to a couple celebs, Michael Winslow and Donald Gibb. Michael recounted it to me with much humor, though at the time it was no laughing matter. He recalled how a few pro wrestlers wanted to beat the pulp out of the organizers, as they had no money to pay anyone. When I brought it up to Donald, yeah, he agreed that the promoter was very fortunate to remain out of hospital. Vendors were also not paid.

Another such event was the disastrous RewindCon outside Chicago in November 2016, featuring the stars of Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, Growing Pains, and more. It was organized by fans of those shows, women who had zero experience in promoting a con of that size. They celebrated the fact that they pulled it off, ignoring the issue that most of the celebs were not paid. I believe vendors too were short on money.

https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-ne ... s-w454762/
Stars like Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth, Jason Priestley and Luke Perry were told that they would receive paychecks in the mail following the ’80s and ’90s-themed convention, which was held at Hilton Indian Lakes Resort from November 11 to 13. But instead, Rewind Con cofounder Jaymie Lashaway reached out to say that she was filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A source tells Us that the actors found out about the situation on Sunday, November 13. “The Rewind Con checks to the Melrose Place and 90210 cast members bounced,” the insider says. In an email, Lashaway claimed that troubles began when one of her investors backed out. “I am truly sorry,” she wrote. “To see something we worked so hard for end up this way and so many of you that I’ve the utmost respect for carry such hatred for me is absolutely devastating. I am sorry.”

General Hospital alums and ‘NSync singer Joey Fatone were among the celebs that took part in the event. Priestley and Perry reportedly were given money, but Fatone reportedly hasn’t received a dime yet.


I just stumbled on another instance, dating back to October 2018, the NorthEast Star Trek Con in Albany, NY, which I attended. Like the others, the attendance was far too low, and once again, the organizers were fans who had very little convention experience. They'd put one of these on two years prior, but it had a much smaller guest list. It wasn't as if they had a ton of actors there, if I recall it was about half dozen. Well, I saw that one of them, John Hertzler, apparently had to take legal action because most of them received bad checks! He really blew his top when the organizer, Jerry Silber, tried to organized a tribute to Aron Eisenberg, who Jerry failed to PAY for his appearance. As John details, it's often difficult to lesser known actors to recoup their money, because they usually have to do it in person in another state. Most obviously live in NY or CA. Vendors as well as a camera man were not paid.

https://www.facebook.com/john.g.hertzle ... 9667393986
John G. Hertzler is feeling in a state of disbelief in the unmitigated gall of Jerry Silber with Tim McCormack and 8 others.
September 23

Let me be among the first to say I have made many many many mistakes in my life. I have screwed-up too many times to remember at this point. I've been angry and done and said things I am not proud of. I have been weak when strength was needed. But.....what Jerry Silber has done this day barely ascends to the level of primate, let alone, humanity. Mr. Silber ran NE TREK CON in Albany, NY. I appeared at his con way back in 2016. When he asked me for some help in contacting other DS9 actors for his con a few years ago, I agreed to help. I helped bring some of my friends here from California. Among these were Bob O'Reilly and Aron Eisenberg. These two men I had worked with for over 25 years, they are like family, like brothers to me. I was thrilled that they agreed to appear at NE TREK CON, of 2018. I knew it would be helpful in securing an audience for Mr. Silber’s convention and that they would do well with the Star Trek community because they are such favorites. Just as he did with Aron and Bob, at the conclusion of the convention, Mr. Silber looked me straight in the eye and handed me a bad check that he not only failed to write a number that agreed with the alphabetical amount but he post dated it for nearly a week in the future. He knew what he was doing! I didn’t notice because I trusted him. Bob trusted him. Aron trusted him. Mike Friedman trusted him. Garrett Wang, Max Grodenchik, Chris Abbott trusted him. All were handed bad checks. All were stiffed at the end of the weekend during which we all gave 110% of our ability to entertain and inspire the fans of Star Trek. Aron gave perhaps a little more…like 150%...but he always did. It’s not the money….it’s the betrayal of trust and then the dishonesty.

Because I live in New York state, it was fairly simple for me to sue Mr. Silber in small claims court to make good on his check. The judge listened to both sides of the issue and found in my favor in approximately 5 minutes. A judgement was made against Mr. Silber that would follow him about for 20 years or until paid. In two days, it was paid. Somehow he found the money! That was great for me but there were my friends and colleagues who were still left with nothing. My better half, Shevvy, is a Constitutional Law attorney but above all else, she believes in fair play. The Golden Rule, perhaps. She began to assist all those who were stiffed by Silber, but refused to take a fee. We learned that the law required those suing in small claims have to appear personally in court and all these folks lived in California or Austria, but not in New York. So we started to figure out how we could get my friends back to New York to seek relief in Albany….Aron was first on the list. He was planning to come here in November, attempting to combine this legal trip with a business trip in NYC. We were almost ready to book flights….and then the news came. Aron was gone. The worst news imaginable involving one so beloved as Aron.

Now barely 48 hours after our loss, Mr. Silber posts a Facebook statement of respect and adoration for his dear friend Aron Eisenberg. If I had had a Louisville Slugger in my hand at that moment I would have hurled it from here to Albany to visit the rock under which Mr. Silber lives. Aron could no longer sue for his money, nearly $1000. Perhaps for some, not a great deal of money, but for Aron..for any actor, artist, or candlestick maker….a handsome amount. And what does Silber do….he posts a glowing Facebook post bespeaking his immense respect and admiration for Aron Eisenberg, while in reality, Silber thought of him as so much trash, not worth even an attempt to make Aron whole for his work. Silber is the scum of the earth and if there truly is a God, Silber should avoid even the threat of a lightening storm. We just learned that Silber is hosting a “meet up” to “celebrate Aron and Malissa” at the Bethlehem Public Library in Delmar, 451 Delaware Avenue in Albany this Saturday, Sept. 28th at 1PM. I cannot get to Albany for this, and perhaps its best that I am not there. I am not a merry man…right now. But if you are reading this and can make it….please do and let Mr. Silber know you are there. Please share this if you have friends in the Albany, NY area, who might like to “attend” this so-called “Meet Up”
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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by Bozarth » December 3rd, 2019, 7:22 am

It's a shame Nostalgia Fest wasn't a hit. I was thrilled to finally meet Gedde Watanabe.

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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by AJLe » December 3rd, 2019, 8:09 am

One show that really belongs in this thread is the infamous Space City Comic Con of 2016.

My report is here: http://markedout.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17281

But the general story is this - they put on a great Sons of Anarchy themed guest list, including Charlie Hunnam, but the promotion stiffed many of the guests (including Hunnam) on their money and even their hotel bookings! It was a complete miracle that I got everything (graphs and pro photos) I pre-bought, since many fans got burned on VIP packages that the celebs (understandably) stopped honoring after the promotion wasn't paying them anything.

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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by WOODMO » December 3rd, 2019, 9:43 am

AJLe wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 8:09 am
One show that really belongs in this thread is the infamous Space City Comic Con of 2016.

My report is here: http://markedout.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17281

But the general story is this - they put on a great Sons of Anarchy themed guest list, including Charlie Hunnam, but the promotion stiffed many of the guests (including Hunnam) on their money and even their hotel bookings! It was a complete miracle that I got everything (graphs and pro photos) I pre-bought, since many fans got burned on VIP packages that the celebs (understandably) stopped honoring after the promotion wasn't paying them anything.
And you have to think that at the very least caused Charlie to be more cautious and selective in bookings he takes, which really sucks for people like me who need him.

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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by crowbar » December 3rd, 2019, 11:24 am

I'm sure there are tons of wrestling cons that have 'screwed' over the talent... this is an interesting topic though.


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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by AJLe » December 3rd, 2019, 11:48 am

WOODMO wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 9:43 am


And you have to think that at the very least caused Charlie to be more cautious and selective in bookings he takes, which really sucks for people like me who need him.
Well, he did take bookings for Motor City Comic Con and Fan Expo Dallas this year, as well as a con overseas, so maybe he's starting to be more con-friendly, and will finally hit a big Northeast con. Unless his schedule just doesn't allow it, I'd be shocked if he didn't eventually do a RICC-there's obviously money behind it, and they've booked just about every other SOA guy who does cons, so it seems like it would be a good fit for him.

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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by Greg2600 » December 3rd, 2019, 12:00 pm

Yes, the Hunnam/Space City mess, good one AJ.

Nostalgia Philly's owner infamously was unaware that an established convention (Greater Philly) was the SAME weekend barely half an hour south.
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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by WOODMO » December 3rd, 2019, 1:49 pm

AJLe wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 11:48 am
WOODMO wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 9:43 am


And you have to think that at the very least caused Charlie to be more cautious and selective in bookings he takes, which really sucks for people like me who need him.
Well, he did take bookings for Motor City Comic Con and Fan Expo Dallas this year, as well as a con overseas, so maybe he's starting to be more con-friendly, and will finally hit a big Northeast con. Unless his schedule just doesn't allow it, I'd be shocked if he didn't eventually do a RICC-there's obviously money behind it, and they've booked just about every other SOA guy who does cons, so it seems like it would be a good fit for him.
He gets me back to Rhode Island, for sure. Chevy would've this year, I only lucked out by having him already.

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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by mrira » December 3rd, 2019, 7:25 pm

This would be under the topic of Vendor screwing Con & Celeb. From this past weekend's Wrestlecade
Muta-Gate 2019

Late last year, Mikey Dugger told me he wanted The Great Muta to be his guest during WrestleCade Weekend. Mikey had been a good vendor for us in the past so I had no reason to doubt or question him.
Sometime in January of this year, Mikey informed me that he had secured The Great Muta so we announced him as a guest on January 28th.

Fast forward several months and Sonny Onoo, who was acting as the agent for Muta, reached out to us to tell us he had not received the deposit or flight information for Muta.

I asked Mikey what was going on and he gave me every excuse under the sun. However, I had no reason not to trust him so I told Sonny that I would make sure everything was ok.

Several weeks later and Mikey had yet to produce any flight info or proof that the deposit had been paid in full. I was getting extremely nervous, acting as a liaison between Mikey and Muta's people. Sonny told me that they had 1 more day to get the flight or Muta wouldn't be attending. I told Mikey and then...

Out of the blue, I received a message from a James Cable Sr. who told me that Mikey was working in a place with no cell service so he would be handling things moving forward. Up until that point, I had never dealt with James so I was hesitant but eager to get the booking details finalized.

This is when James broke the news to me that Mikey was still out of town and had the money for the flight and couldn't get it to him before the deadline. Since I owed Muta money for his match, I agreed to send James the money via PayPal as an adavnce to purchase the flight. I sent the money, he bought the ticket and I thought it was smooth sailing.

I was wrong.

Muta, Kaz Hayashi and Sonny Onoo made it to Winston-Salem on Thanksgiving Day...2 of the 3 having flown from Japan. Mikey and James, the vendors who had committed to bringing in The Great Muta, were also in town. WrestleCade Weekend began on Friday and kicked off without a hitch.

But then I got the call.

Late Friday night, Sonny Onoo informed me that James didn't have the money to pay him. I spoke to James and he came up with some crazy story that his Paypal was locked and that's where his money to pay Muta was. I asked Sonny what our options were and he said without his money, Muta would stay in his hotel room.

I had to make a decision: break the news to all of the fans who had traveled to NC from around the world that Muta wasn't going to appear because the people who hired him didn't have the money to pay him OR I could pay him and make everyone happy. It wasn't a hard decision to make. This vendor was representing MY company and Mutas image was advertised for MY event. So I drove home at 3am, got the money to pay off someone elses debt, met Sonny early on Saturday morning and paid him. Sonny thanked me and told me Muta would would be down at 9am as promised.

Shortly after, James called me. Told me he had spoken to Sonny and wanted to know how we were going to work this. WHAT?! How were WE going to work this? I told him I didn't care what he did but Muta was my guest now and not his. It was one of the few times in my life that I was so angry that I blacked out and don't remember what I actually said but I'm sure it wasn't very nice.

So Muta was paid and the problems should be over BUT...

the vendor had sold meet and greet packages in advance. 90 of them at $150 each to be exact. In layman's terms, that means fans of Muta sent approximately $13,500 to the vendor who was supposed to bring in Muta. He stuck that in his pocket BUT I AM THE ONE WHO PAID FOR THE GREAT MUTA. I didn't know who bought what or even what those packages included so I did all I knew to do. I met the the people who had purchased the advance Meet & Greets at 9am, told them the truth about what happened and we worked our way through it like adults. I owe each and every one of them a huge thank you because they could have been horrible but they were amazing.

I spoke to Mikey yesterday and he blamed James, even told me that he believes James stole his money. But according to the wrestling posters on their Facebook pages, they are still working as a tag team on December 14th. I gave James until 5pm today to pay me the money they owe me. I told him if he did, I would never mention it again and wouldn't put him on blast. Of course, that didn't happen so here I am.

I am fully expecting them to come on here and make excuses and try to save face. That's ok. I welcome that. And if I'm wrong and have left out facts, I encourage them to fill in the blanks with proof. I just ask that they keep in mind that I have emails, text messages, phone calls and Sonny Ono that will fill in all of the blanks and prove everything I have said as true.

If they pay their debt to me, I will make it known because that is all I want. Until then, I caution anyone who works for them or with them to move forward with extreme caution because they are liars and crooks. They run shows in TN under the name Pro Wrestling South.

If you don't know anything about wrestling and this post confuses you, I'm sorry. It's definitely not my typical post but I felt it needed to be done. I work hard for my money and other people need to be warned so this does not happen to them.

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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by ICW » December 3rd, 2019, 8:43 pm

Damn.

$150 for Muta is steep, too. Pretty impressive that he secured 90 pre-orders but that's besides the point lol
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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by hack87 » December 3rd, 2019, 10:48 pm

Muta was supposed to be in ring gear / makeup / mask -- some combination of those things when the vendor originally added him, but at the convention in NC he was just wearing street clothes and appeared as he did at WrestleCon in NY at at PWS in NJ. That said, it's very cool that WrestleCade picked up the ball and did what they did for the fans who attended. They have said in the past that if a vendor did not refund fans for a talent who no-showed, for instance, they (WrestleCade) would refund the fans. I don't know any other promoter who would do that.

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Re: When Cons Screw Celebs Thread

Post by Greg2600 » December 3rd, 2019, 10:54 pm

Wow baddddd. When I read the part about this Mikey character in a place without cell service, my first thought was a PRISON.....
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