Well, good evening,
I hope everyone is well out there?
Y’know, getting this one together I kept getting the feeling that I should head it up with something like a big fanfare and sweeping searchlights, or a big ol’ lion roaring or something… It was a lot of fun, a splendid adventure with a real nice person… always heightens the enjoyment when you work with someone of such a calibre and who is so approachable with it.
The West Coast of the United States has never been far from the consciousness of Vampire aficionados. 1987 and we found The Lost Boys in Santa Carla, 1992 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Kristy Swanson) The Movie came out of L.A., followed by the immensely popular series, starring Sarah Michelle Geller in the lead role, which took us to good old Sunnydale, 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn took us on a road trip further South, to Mexico, and in 1998 John Carpenter had the undead holed up in New Mexico… and so on and so forth but… where are all the real vampires in Cali?
To help us answer this question, and more we hope, we are whizzing off to the Wild West in our first, to my knowledge, West Coast One-on-One with a lady who really needs little to no introduction.
In the arena of Vampire themed events on the West Coast she is probably the highest profile organiser there, aside from this she is owner of SnMproductionsCo and an actor in her own right.
Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, putting that unmistakable West Coast G in glam, putting the P in passion and the C in compassion it is with the greatest of pleasure that we are able to bring you an RVL One-on-One Interview with Lady Shannon McCabe.
RVL: Good evening Lady Shannon and thank you very much for sparing a little of your valuable time to be with us, and our readers, this evening.
SM: Most folks call me Mistress Shannon McCabe *wink* – Thank you kindly, for wanting to speak with me. It is truly my pleasure to speak with you all… You’re a very well- respected information source in our little community… The Vampire community.
RVL: *chuckle* Naturally, Mistress, I suppose, for the uninitiated, I wrote the foreword with my mind firmly latched onto some of my favourite Vampire movies… tell me, do you have a favourite Vampire movie?
SM: Indeed, I do. I have several but I will tell you my ultimate favorite would have to be “Nosferatu”. I am enamoured with it. It’s so simple yet incredibly complex, and who doesn’t love a great Dracula story?
I would be remiss if I did not mention some really great TV shows as well…
I really loved American Horror Story, Hotel. I thought Lady Gaga was an incredible vampire, and so sinfully sexy. That season, really had an incredible feel to it. Hollywood glamour is just so enticing, I loved it. I was also a huge fan of HBO’s True Blood, as well. I loved it so much, that I have hosted two “Truly Bloody” vampire balls in honor of the show. I was fortunate enough to meet the goddess, Charlaine Harris, who wrote the “Sookie Stackhouse Novels,” and she told me that I was what she imagined Sookie to look like when she wrote it. That was a lovely little ego boost that I will never, ever forget.
RVL: …and just as obviously, we would assume, given the size of the Real Modern Vampire population on the East Coast there are probably a fair number of the culture there as well, no?
SM: Indeed, we have our city- dwelling vampires here in Sacramento, yes, but you will find most of our West Coast vampires in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I reside here in Sacramento, because I find a slower lifestyle suits my needs… I have lived in both LA and San Francisco and love both cities in their own right, but my town has a big enough love for vampires and that is what keeps me here.
I do spend a lot of time in my sister city, “the Crescent City”, New Orleans. Louisiana. This is where you are going to find most of your vampires… This is what I love so much about the French Quarter, vampires move freely throughout the crowds. If you’ve been to New Orleans, you have no doubt, encountered the undead.
RVL: How “involved” are you with the modern living Vampire culture there?
SM: I enjoy reading the stories, but I really enjoy making a safe space where vampires and revelers alike, can celebrate our favorite holiday, Halloween.
RVL: I’m going to have to put you on the spot now, many of our readers will be dying to know, do you identify as a modern living Vampire yourself?
SM: Many people, that have never met me, in person, have asked me this very question. My reply to them, and you, is if you meet me in person, you will find out for sure. I guarantee it…!
RVL: Can we ask, how long have you been “involved” with the modern Vampire culture and what are your earliest memories of it?
SM: I began reading stories from as early as childhood. I loved Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I loved anything spooky. I was never a princess, or Cinderella type of child. I was a Disney’s Haunted Mansion and spooky swamp type of kid. When I became a young adult, I owned and operated a large paranormal group. H.P.I. Paranormal with my friend, Paul Dale Roberts. This was some of my first interaction with people who identify as vampires. It was fascinating meeting these vampires. They always had interesting stories to tell. Now, as a full fledged adult, I encounter these folks nearly every time I am in New Orleans…
RVL: If we can turn our attention to your Vampire Ball productions now, it is something that you have been doing for a while now, yes?
SM: Indeed, yes. We are going on our 9th year. 10/28/2017.
RVL: …and just how difficult is it to put something like, for example, a Vampire Ball together?
SM: It is not difficult for me, I love what I do. I find it exciting, rewarding and I can’t imagine not doing it. It seems that folks enjoy coming, so that keeps me going. We have sold out most every year, so we really have so much to live up to, and I hope that we can pull it off for season 9! This season our theme is “The Original Vampire Diaries” and the event will be like “Halloween in the French Quarter” where you will find, the Crescent Wolves, The French Quarter Witches, Damon, Elena, Caroline, Stefan, Elijah, Klaus, Rebecca, Davina and more… waiting for you around every turn of our haunted automobile museum.
RVL: Do you have a staff that works for you on the Vampire Ball events or do you have to do everything yourself?
SM: You could truly stick a nail in my coffin if I had to do it all myself. Yes, we have a long list of volunteers who help at many of my events, and many performers and DJ’s that also work the events. Not to mention our operations crew, door staff, bartending crew, cast of our actors (mentioned above) fire dancers, pirates, voodoo crew and more… We would have a full house just with participants! I am so grateful for my cast, they are amazing. I could never do this without them.
RVL: What other sort of events do you organise and/or host?
SM: I run a non profit with Leslie Breitsprecher, called KOV Children’s Charities and we do events all year long. We raise money for UC Davis Children’s Hospital and Shriner’s of Northern California. This year, we’ve been raising money for iPads for the kids. In fact, we get to bring three of them over this week! As far as events go, Mardi Gras is a blast, we have a sold out party that we do in historical Old Sacramento. It’s so much fun to decorate for Mardi Gras, so much fun that we just added on an event in September at the Woodland, California fairgrounds called the “Crawfish and Catfish” festival where we turn the fairgrounds into a full on Mardi Gras party. We actually grow Louisiana Red Crawfish in the rice paddies of Yolo County here in Northern California. These crawfish were trucked in from New Orleans in the 1980’s and the DNA of the Louisiana Red Crawfish still exists here in good old Northern California. The gal that runs it is full NOLA. Her name is “Louisiana Sue” and working with her, you lean a lot about the culture. Our next party, after the Vampire Ball is New Year’s Eve. We’ve never thrown a New Year’s party, but why not start now? The folks of Northern California are starving for good entertainment and so we do our best to bring them something that we, ourselves, would like to go to!
RVL: How long have you been involved in promotional work of this nature?
SM: Nearly my entire existence.. It’s what I love and what I know.
RVL: … and besides your promotional work, your ‘profile’ mentioned actor… and now we know you are involved in charity work over there, would you like to let us in, a little more, on that side of things?
SM: Since we talked about KOV Children’s Charities a little I’ll let you in on a funny secret. KOV stands for Krewe of Vampires. I was advised, early on, that many companies or contributors might find that writing a check to a vampire might be offensive. Henceforth, we decided to not alarm our contributors and call it KOV. Shh…
As far as acting goes, I’ve been doing this a very long time as well. I’ve been on many paranormal tv programs, a few indie movies, most recently a show by the Wachkowski’s (The Matrix Series) called ‘Sense 8‘, and a few of the “murder porn” tv shows as well. I enjoy acting in my down time, it’s fun to play make believe.
RVL: So, the biggest West Coast Halloween event we have heard about is your Vampire Ball 2017, just how big, how spectacular and how extravagant… or decadent… is it going to be?
SM: Well, thank you very much for that. We get roughly 1000 vampires and revelers at the haunted California Automobile Museum every October. We have our cast of actors acting out scenes from the shows “The Originals” and the “Vampire Diaries, the “French Quarter Witches” the “Crescent Wolves”, Voodoo Priestesses giving readings and doing rituals, Psychic readings in the Witch area, fire performers and fire toys in our outdoor courtyard, burlesque, Voodoo VIP Lounge, Absinthe bar with our beautiful absinthe fairy, Dorian. We have so much going on that one cannot see everything. There is something for everyone, weather you like to dance, shop, wander, eat, drink or just play. We have it all. Vampire Vineyards is one of our sponsors this year, so you will be able to try the Vampyre Vodka, the entire line of Vampire Wines and their brand new offering, Vampire Bloody Mary in a Can. You don’t even have to shake this one… It stays mixed! It’s sensational.
For those of more Southern persuasion, we’ve got Twisted Tea, which would be lovely on your porch during a balmy southern evening… or perhaps around a bunch of vampires…
This year should prove to be quite decadent we hope to see lots of ball gowns, tuxedos, masquerade masks, and of course, fangs. V V
RVL: …and where can people find the tickets for the event?
SM: www.VampireBall.net is our official website for Shannon McCabe’s Vampire Ball and our ticketing site is: Eventbrite – Shannon McCabe’s 9th Annual Vampire Ball $30 Online. We only have 50 tickets that we sell at our door so we urge people to buy ahead.
People and vampires alike, can also get $25 discount tickets at all Greater Sacramento Spirit Halloween Stores. We partner with Spirit Halloween and collectively sell “Purple Pumpkins” for charity each year resulting in $48K raised for Shriner’s and $50K raised for UC Davis Children’s Hospitals. Please purchase a purple pumpkin when you go into Spirit Halloween, It means so much!
RVL: Might we touch on your thoughts on the modern Vampire culture now, are you active in the general online or offline presence much?
SM: I really do not spend a lot of time online researching the culture. Lucky for me, it comes to me willingly. I am a proponent of the Law of Attraction, and that which you put out there, you receive back. I enjoy my friends in the vampire culture, they are one of a kind beings.
RVL: …and do the general comings and goings of the wider culture get a lot of attention on the West Coast or is it something that is relatively rare there?
SM: In Sacramento in October, everyone is talking vampires. Many of them come out for Mardi Gras as well.. but other than that, I don’t hear of very much.
RVL: What, if anything, do you find to be your major interest in the modern real Vampire culture?
SM: I just enjoy the dark and everything that comes along with it. I feel very fortunate, that I get to make a living out of what excites our senses and raises the hairs on the back of our necks.
RVL: …and what is your personal feeling about the direction/s that the modern culture seems to be moving in?
SM: I am quite pleased. If someone wants to live their life as a good person (or vampire) then they should be able to do as they wish. I hope people can put aside their political differences and come together as a community of positive and loving beings. It’s what we need.
RVL: Okay *laughs* enough with the interrogation thing, here I’ll take the bright light away… let’s skip back to your business and promotional work… what’s coming up for the latter part of the year for you again?
SM: Next up after Vampire Ball is, New Years. We are excited for this new challenge and hoping that we can please our revelers with what’s in store. I apologize, for being vague, but that is what vampires do sometimes. I think, I will also go have a trip to New Orleans in between Halloween and New Years. One of my best friends, Dee, is moving into the “Uptown” Garden District in November, so I think I’ll go help her set up her new pad. She’s a few blocks from Sandra Bullock and a few blocks from Layfayette Cemetery. It’s going to be a lot like the American Horror Story “Coven” house, with portraits of past and present witches and vampires that we know and share a sisterhood with. I can’t wait…
RVL: …and, because we’ve got you here, what’s the plans for Christmas? Have you started Christmas shopping yet?
SM: I love Christmas, I love to decorate. My style is black and white Gothic with lots of crystal. In fact, I begin decorating in Early October, and transition in to Christmas in November. It’s actually a family tradition. My aunts are exactly the same, we have unofficial decorating contests but Annie always wins… As far as shopping goes, I despise it. I am no shopper, but I do love Amazon!
RVL: If we were to ask you to offer one piece of amazing wisdom and advice to our readers, what would it be?
SM: Love yourself, others and animals. Don’t get angry or text in traffic, it’s not worth it. Respect your elders, they know more than you do. Be grateful. Always try to live a positive, loving and charitable life because what you give out, you get back times three and you’re going to want that to be something good. A wise witch once taught me that.
RVL: In closing, is there anything that you would like to add to this wonderful little chat?
SM: I thought your questions were very interesting, thank you, and thank you very much for looking me up. If any of you wonderful vampires at RVL would like to come to my vampire ball on 10/28/17 in Sacramento I would love to have you as my personal guests. Sincere thanks.
RVL: Lady Shannon McCabe, thank you so much for your time and presence. We are very proud to be able to bring this to our readers. We wish you the very best in all your business and personal events, we especially wish for outstanding success for you at the upcoming Vampire Ball 2017.
SM: Thank you from the bottom of my cold black heart.
Was that a deliciously evil little giggle I heard at the last there readers???
You know, if Vampires these days were to sparkle I think that Lady Shannon would be among the brightest, no? The amount of energy, the positive and pure “vibe” that comes from the lady is amazing, it seems to leap out of her words even.
I would suggest that Lady Shannon McCabe is a wonderful ambassador for the modern Vampire culture… after all what better ambassador for Vampires than a… hmmmm, can’t really say that because I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the lady, yet. *smiles*
Let’s just say, “I’ll get back to you on that…” and leave it there shall we?
Copyright RVL & Shannon McCabe, 2017
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