Wow BOB Wow

As you can tell from the photo below, today was a big one for yours truly. I took part in the Twin Peaks 25th Anniversary panel at Fan Expo Canada, sharing the stage with Ray Wise, Sheryl Lee and Sherilyn Fenn. I was introduced to the jam-packed room by moderator and Rue Morgue magazine’s Editor-In-Chief Dave Alexander as his ringer, having written the magazine’s TP cover story back in March. I was quite thrilled to be up there, and it was fairly surreal for me, as you might expect.

In the moment, when I was surrounded by people who have really helped shape who I am, at the very least as a lover of pop culture, it was easy to be professional. This is work, after all. But as the 45 minute panel went on, with questions from Dave, myself and a few of the gathered fans, I certainly felt life take on a surreal quality, especially when Sheryl Lee would flash her smile…Laura’s smile…it was genuinely breathtaking.

The three actors reminisced about how they became part of the show, what it was like to be a part of something that captured the zeitgeist the way Twin Peaks did back in the summer of 1990, and who they wished they’d worked more with on the show (Kyle MacLachlan’s Cooper for Sherilyn, Fenn herself for Sheryl, and PIper Laurie in Asian drag for Ray). Also interesting to note is that neither Sheryl or Ray knew they would be reprising their roles for the Between Two Worlds feature on the new box set. They received their lines the morning of the shoot, which they originally thought was just going to be interview material.

And like that, it was all done. An amazing experience that 13 year-old me never would have dreamt would happen, and one that 37 year-old me is hugely thankful for. A big thank you and tip of the hat to Rue Morgue’s Dave Alexander for inviting me to be part of the panel, not to mention the initial opportunity to write for the magazine and his ongoing support for my upcoming book. As well, thanks to Ray Wise, Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee for their kindness today. Class acts, all three of them.


Twin Peaks at Fan Expo 2014

It’s Fan Expo time here in Toronto; consider it Canada’s version of San Diego Comic Con. While I cover it every year for Biff Bam Pop, this year is especially exciting as Rue Morgue has brought in Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise and Sherilyn Fenn for a Twin Peaks Reunion as part of the annual Festival of Fear.

There will be a panel discussion that I’ll have some involvement in, as I wrote the TP cover story for Rue Morgue back in March, but today I took the time to stop by and say hi to both Sheryl and Ray, who I had the good fortune to interview for the magazine. Both of them were friendly and remembered our interviews, which of course the fan boy in me appreciated quite a bit. They signed the cover of the magazine, which also includes signatures from Charlotte Stewart, Kimmy Robertson, Chris Mulkey, and Wendy Robie. You can check it out below. Tomorrow is the panel and a screening of Fire Walk With a Me at the TIFF Light Box, which is already sold out.


Help Walter Olkewicz

Walter Olkewicz, Twin Peaks' Jacques Renault

Walter Olkewicz, Twin Peaks’ Jacques Renault

Twin Peaks fans know Walter Olkewicz as Jacques Renault, but his career has been far more than just the one show (his Seinfeld appearance was classic). He’s done more than 100 tv shows and 50 movies, yet sadly his acting career has been curtailed by a knee issue that may lead to the loss of his leg. Walter has an Indigogo campaign set up where he’s asking for donations to continue his treatments and save his leg. I contributed what I could, and because you can give as much or as little as you’d like, you might feel inclined to help out as well.

Here’s all the info. Time is quickly running out.

Andy Burns Goes To The Twin Peaks Festival: Day Three and Wrap-Up

Day three of Twin Peaks Fest began with a meet up at Twede’s (aka the Double R Diner) with the group of friends I’d met the previous day – Phil and Andrea who live in Washington State; Matt and Melanie from East Coast Canada and also the brains behind the Twin Peaks Podcast; and Murray, who had come up solo from Vancouver. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have hooked up with these folks. Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone at the Festival were friendly, but inevitably at these things, people do group off, especially those that have come multiple times over the years. But all of us managed to find one another and hang out and have great conversations; perhaps my favourite revelation was just big a fan Andrea is of Rob Zombie’s films. You know you’ve found your tribe when…Breakfast at Twede’s was delicious, and the conversation was great as well. The restaurant celebrates it’s Twin Peaks history, as it should.

On my way to the Festival picnic, the official wrap-up of the entire event,I made sure to stop off at the motel where Leland Palmer was going to have a hook-up with Theresa Banks and a few friends, only to discover that one of said friends was actually his daughter, Laura.

We were joined at the picnic with all the celebrity guests, except for Sherilyn Fenn. If there was any letdown at all for me with the event, it’s only that I didn’t get a chance to speak with her. The line-up at the dinner was huge, I had heard she wasn’t feeling so well, and since she’ll be in Toronto for Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear at the end of the month, I figured I could get my magazine signed then and just say hi at the picnic. A bit of a bummer that it didn’t happen, but I’ll have other opportunities while some of the other attendees won’t, so I’m glad they lined up. I did get some chat time with my pal Kimmy and Chris Mulkey, who has been married to his wife for 33 years, which in Hollywood has got to be a record. Kimmy quite kindly raved about my Rue Morgue cover story, which I had with me. Chris was impressed and when he mentioned that he’d have to find one, I handed him my last copy. Cuz that’s how I roll :)

Josh Eisenstadt is the king of Twin Peaks trivia, and he took us on a tour of the woods where the picnic was being held, highlights of which were the Deer Meadow Sheriff’s Department and the spot where Theresa Banks’ body was found, and where Leland left Laura’s at the end of Fire Walk With Me. Considering my love of both the show and the film, I’m sure you can imagine how cool it was to visit these specific spots. I was lucky enough to be on three Josh tours, two of which were informal and consisted mainly of my group of peeps; without these ventures, I would certainly say the experience wouldn’t have been the same. So, once again, big thanks to Josh for making them happen.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that one of the reason I came this year was to talk up the upcoming release of Wrapped In Plastic: Twin Peaks; it’s the perfect place, right? By nature, I have no problems chatting about my work, but I don’t ever like to get in people’s face about what I’ve done. If they ask, I’m happy to talk and tell stories; thankfully, that was how things went here. I didn’t hide the fact that the book is coming (why would I?) and Rob was kind enough to put out the postcards ECW created for it (they’re awesome, by the way), but it was genuinely awesome and exciting to see how many people wanted to hear about it and who can’t wait for it to come out. They’re interest and enthusiasm for it has seriously already made it worthwhile. It’s been almost two years since I first sent in the pitch to my great editors Crissy and Jen, and the fact that come the finish I know at least a few people will be reading is already rewarding.

A few hours after the picnic concluded and my friends and I made our separate ways, I did a quick return to The Roadhouse, where I picked up a Bang Bang club t-shirt. Then it was back to the Edgewick for one last sleep, which has led me to here, the Seattle Airport, as I wait for my flight back to Toronto. Thanks to my new friends and acquaintances, to the celebs who made the trek and were kind to everyone that approached them, and to all the organizer who made it happen, especially Rob and Deanne. On my way out this morning, I saw Rob and thanked him one last time and said that I’d be back next year; while he revealed no details, it sounds like he’s got big plans in the works. I cant wait.

Andy Burns Goes To The Twin Peaks Festival: Day Two

The second day of the 2014 Twin Peaks Festival was really fantastic. The ambivalence I had faced the previous morning had long since dissipated, especially after reading comments from fellow first time Murray Wasylnuk, who had read my recap of Day 1. Murray and I met up early Saturday morning – we were both on the 8:30 am bus tour that would take us to many of the amazing locations used for shooting the pilot and Fire Walk With Me.

Our tour was led by Rob Lindley, who also happens to be one of the organizers of the Fest. The fellow clearly knows his stuff, and considering his army background, has kept things running at a perfect pace. Plus, it’s hard not to like a guy who can speak educatedly about both versions of Queensryche that have been touring the past year or so (Rob gives top marks to the original version with that now has Todd La Torre singing, by the way, so I can’t not like this guy).

The bus tour itself lasted roughly three hours and visited so many Twin Peaks landmarks – the Hurley House, the Sheriff’s Station, Ronnete’s bridge and so many others. The main reason I came to the festival this year was because I was able to get on the bus tour, and it was well worth it.

The Hurley House

The Hurley House


From the opening credits – Snoqualimie Falls


Ronnete’s Bridge


What remains of the Packard Saw Mill


“Uh, I’m going to transfer it to the phone on the table by the red chair. The red chair against the wall. The little table with lamp on it. The lamp we moved from the corner? The black phone, not the brown phone.”

Following the tour, a bunch of us braved the freeway to caravan to Laura Palmer’s house, which was close to an hour away from the Festival site. This tour was led by filmmaker Josh Eisenstadt, who is a Twin Peaks expert and could point out what went on it a given room in the Palmer house. The home was recently sold after being owned by the same folks for the last 25 years plus. We were able to peak inside and the layout and much of the furniture was exactly the same as when we all first saw it so many years ago. Seeing the Palmer home, as well as the Hayward’s, which was just around the corner, made the seemingly endless drive there well worth it, so thanks again to Josh for taking us there.

The Palmer House

The Palmer House

The evening portion was the Q & A, dinner (very tasty), costume contest and autograph signing with the celebrities – Kimmy Robertson, Sherilyn Fenn, Chris Mulkey, Charlotte Stewart, Wendy Robie and Connie Woods. This is an interesting part of the event for me – truthfully, lining up long stretches to get something signed has not really been something I’ve done for many, many years now. I’m simply not good at standing in one spot for too long, so I bowed out of a few lines and stood back and watched the other fans interact. Every one of the actors completely gave of their time, and didn’t simply rush through the throng of people. That being said, I did manage to get my Rue Morgue cover story signed by Wendy, Charlotte, Chris and Kimmy for both myself and the magazine, but this was during a second session when the lines were far less treacherous.

Chris Mulkey (Hank Jennings)

Chris Mulkey (Hank Jennings)

Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley)

Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley)

Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran)

Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran)

While all this was certainly wonderful, one of the real highlights was the little group of us that wound up spending lots of time together – Phil, Andrea, Murray, Melanie and Matt (that’s who you’ll find in the final picture). It was nice to have a few folks to gravitate to and share the experience with – in fact, I’m off to meet everyone for breakfast right now at Twede’s aka the Double R Diner!

Trapped in The Black Lodge

Trapped in The Black Lodge

Andy Burns Goes To The Twin Peaks Festival: Day 1

I’m back at my hotel room, having ended my first day at Twin Peaks Fest a little early. I decided to skip out on the screening of Fire Walk With Me, since I’ll be attending the  screening in Toronto that Rue Morgue is putting on for Fan Expo’s Festival of Fear at the end of the month, and rather than sitting in the movie theatre I figured I could actually do some writing.

The first day was quite fun. Driving in from Seattle, the highway to North Bend is absolutely gorgeous – the mountains and trees were truly something to behold. There were a few times where I wanted to pull out the camera while on the road, but I’m smarter than that.

The view from Twin Peaks Town Hall

The view from Twin Peaks Town Hall

To be honest, my initial feeling when I walked into the meeting hall for the fest was one of discomfort. There were certainly people who knew one another, and for a few minutes I felt like an outsider. However, I think I started to loosen up; as well, I was wearing my “We’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat” t-shirt, which wound up serving as an excellent conversation starter with more than a few people. What I soon realized is that if you’re willing to talk, everyone attending is happy to talk back. Makes sense, right? We’ve all travelled varrying distances because of our love of Twin Peaks, so we all have at least one thing seriously in common. That being said, I didn’t compete in the Twin Peaks trivia contest for fear of failing at minutia trivia – I actually would have done pretty well, at least for the first few rounds, but truthfully, I don’t know which hand Cooper uses to when using his dictaphone (though in my mind’s eye, I see him being a righty), and I thought there would be questions like that (there really wasn’t). I also had a chance to talk to Brad Dukes, a Twin Peaks expert who has just released Reflections: An Oral History Of Twin Peaks, which is exactly as described, and is beautifully put together. I’d say with Brad’s book, a thorough and extensive history of the show, and mine, which as you’ll see come February analyzes the show while placing it in pop culture context, you really won’t need anything else on your library shelf (hopefully I won’t be the only one who feels that way).

Leo Johnson's house

Leo Johnson’s house

Rob, who puts together the fest with his wife and lots of other friendly folks, was a nice fellow to speak with; he took some Wrapped In Plastic: Twin Peaks post cards which people will be able to pick up on Saturday, so that was very kind of him. Following the sign-in, I joined a caravan of about four or five cars over to where the exterior and interior of Leo Johnson’s house was shot for both the pilot and Fire Walk With Me. Honestly, this was worth the price of admission alone, as the owner of the house, an older gentleman named Dave, actually came out and told the bunch of us the story of how David Lynch came to use his house as Leo’s. The best part of the story in my mind was the fact that Dave watched only five minutes of the pilot before deciding it wasn’t his cup of tea. He’s never seen it since.

Tweed's Cafe aka the Double R Diner

Twede’s Cafe aka the Double R Diner

I checked into my hotel, but soon drove back into downtown North Bend to eat at Twede’s, the basis for the Double R Diner, where I had clam chowder, a Monterey Burger, fries, and of course, cherry pie and coffee. And damned if that cherry pie wasn’t absolutely fantastic. I anticipate a few more slices before the weekend is over.

The evening of films began with some short pieces, along with the arrival of the TP celebs who were on-hand, including Charlotte Stewart, Chris Mulkey, Wendy Robie and Kimmy Robertson, who had some very kind words to say about my Rue Morgue article on Twin Peaks which I interviewed her for earlier this year. As mentioned, I decided to skip out on the Fire Walk With Me screening, as I’ll be taking the early morning bus tour and figured I should get some shut eye.