The Vincent Price Blog
The Daily Practice of Joy April 03 2015, 0 Comments
I was on quite a roll there for a while last year with blogging, and then I stopped. I got so busy with work, and the busier I got, the less energy I had for anything than work. Then I ran out of steam altogether.
Now I’ve brought on someone to help me keep up with all the social media for my dad and me — and when I asked her how often I should blog, her answer was NOT once or twice a year. . .or whenever you get around to it.
That was a month ago.
To read more, please continue here. . .http://www.cookingvincent.com/blog/2015/4/3/my-daily-practice-of-joy
Victoria Price answers fan questions on the Cragg Live Show! September 15 2014, 0 Comments
Terry and Tiffany DuFoe host a lively radio show from an old abandoned Drive-In Movie theater with Wicked Kitty and Fritz the studio cats and CRAGG The Gargoyle. This week they hosted Victoria Price for a one-hour interview and got to ask lots of fan questions about her legendary father. Have a listen below!
Road Trip 2014: At Monster Mania March 08 2014, 3 Comments
I am here at Monster Mania in Cherry Hills, New Jersey, which is just over the bridge from Philadelphia. In fact, I can see the Philly skyline from my hotel room--not that I get much time in my hotel room. . . because this is a very busy show.
Yesterday, I arrived at 1PM and, after checking in, I began my booth set up. I am the only person in the "celebrity" room who brought lots of stuff to sell, so it took me a while to get it looking the way I wanted. I was particularly excited because we have something new just for this show--Vincent Price Gothic rings! I plan to post some good pictures of them and get them up for sale on this site very soon! But they are really amazing, and I was thrilled to see them when I picked up the Fedex box at the hotel front desk.
While everyone's "handlers" were settng up their booths, I got mine in shape and then went up to change. I got back down to the room at 4PM, and for the next six hours, the steady flow of fans never stopped. It was amazing!
The people at this show are true classic horror fans--and there are fans of all ages. . .the youngest being age four! I LOVE that! Whenever I go to shows, I never charge for photos or autographs. Everyone seems astonished and grateful for that, because all the other guests charge fees for both of those things. I spent my childhood watching my dad sign autographs and have his picture taken with anyone and everyone! He did this because he believed that--as Helen Hayes told him when he began his career on Broadway in 1935--"actors are public servants". What that meant to him was that, without their audiences and fans, actors don't have a career. And so, his job as an actor was to be there for his public. And he always was! At least ten people came up to me last night and shared their stories of my father's correspondence with them: They sent him letters or photos, and he always responded!
If my father didn't charge for a photo or autograph, how on earth can I--who am merely here to represent the Price legacy! Whenever I come to these shows, I feel like my job is to channel my dad. It's a tall order (pun relating to my 6'4" father fully intended). As I am always told, no one has ever met anyone who didn't like Vincent Price. (I'm afraid the same cannot be said of me--though I generally do try to move through the world as an open-hearted and kind person.) Truly, my father was an extraordinary man, especially since he worked in a business built on ego. He loved loved loved people--loved meeting them, hearing their stories, encouraging their dreams, and being with them.
I am a sort of odd mix between my mom and dad--social to a point, but someone who has to shut the doors and be home to recharge. At the end of six hours last night of chatting with fans, hearing their stories, signing autographs and having my photo taken, I was both grateful and uplifted, but also exhausted. I have come to realize that that wasn't true of my dad at all. For him, all human interaction was his fuel for living. He thrived on the energy of other people.
Where we are completely alike is in our need to travel and see the world. This road trip has been an amazing opportunity to see the world and its inhabitants and extraordinary treasures through new eyes.
Yesterday, before coming here, I had a chance to take a whirlwind tour of the Barnes Foundation--a collection I had long been wanting to see. The most striking aspect of the collection is the way that it is hung--not chronologically in any way, but according to Mr. Barnes' view of how each piece related to another. What that means is that you can have an early Renaissance annunciation in the same room as a Matisse, along with a grouping of Native American jewelry, with a few African masks thrown in for good measure. Since this is exactly how I grew up, I immediately loved it. I didn't have time for a tour, so I asked a museum worker for an explanation of Mr. Barnes' approach. She told me that he saw a flow between the pieces and everything in the room was aimed toward helping the viewer understand that flow. From the ornate metal door latches and other architectural details that guide the eyes to what Mr. Barnes hoped we would see in that particular piece, to the chairs that relate to the subjects of the paintings (a large chair for a large lady--as though she might step right out of the frame and sit down to have a nice chat)--the hanging is clever and thought provoking.
My favorite room was probably one filled with drawings, some of which were by artists that most people have forgotten, but about whom my father often spoke--most notably William Glackens. Mr Barnes managed to create an unlikely flow between the fluid drawings Glackens did of New Yorkers and the colorful drawings by Sisley of marine scenes. It was an unexpected but delightful juxtaposition. And, of course, the great Matisse paintings and murals, the phenomenal Van Gogh of the postman, the Picassos, Native American textiles and pottery were all more than worth the price of admission. But my personal favorite may have a large painting by Honore Daumier. I most know Daumier's work through his drawings and cartoons, and so I was surprised by the fluidity and abstraction of this piece. . .and so interested to see how his drawing style translated into painting. It's always a joy to discover something new!
My father was certainly there in spirit. For all his reverence for the visual arts, his ever-present sense of humor never left him--even in the hallowed halls of a museum. And so, yesterday, as I was taking in a wonderful Frans Hals portrait of a bearded man, I turned to my left and caught a glimpse of a rather typically garish Chaim Soutine portrait of what looked--on my initial glance--to be a clown. "Oh look," I swear I heard my father say right in my ear, "the Barnes Foundation has an original Red Skelton."
Today promises to be a busy day here in New Jersey. I will be giving my talk at noon, which is always lots of fun. And my nephew, Jody, is coming down from Northern New Jersey to spend part of the day with me. Two generations of Prices--and yet we are only six months apart! My father always used to say that he was the perfect example of planned parenthood: "Get one kid through college and then have the next one!" I will also be having dinner with the always wonderful Bryan Hewitt, a fan who has come all the way from England to hear my talk and have dinner with me! What fun!
I have been posting regular entries on my Road Trip blog, which you can find by clicking on Cooking Vincent at the top of this page. Or you can just click here: The Road Trip Blog
But I just wanted to write this as a kind of "postcard" from Monster Mania. My dad always loved sending postcards to his family, friends, and fans. I am so grateful for all the Vincent Price fans who have visited this site! We are hard at work to add some of the features you have been asking for. But mostly we are just really grateful to you for keeping the Vincent Price legacy alive!
More soon, I promise!
Have a great weekend.
It's Time for a Road Trip--Whetting Our Appetites for Joy February 28 2014, 0 Comments
Today, February 28, we are kicking off a new blog. You can find it by clicking on the Cooking with Vincent tab on the top of this page. It will take you to our new website celebrating the 50th anniversary edition of my parents' famous cookbook, A Treasury of Great Recipes.
This month, I will be hitting to road on the kind of adventure that I loved as a kid. You can follow my exploits on the Road Trip blog.
Or just click here and it will take you there: http://www.cookingvincent.com/blog/
Thanks for following along. It promises to be a lot of fun!
Social Media Vincent Price Style: The Sequel February 16 2014, 5 Comments
Almost as soon as I could read, my dad would hand me the instructions to anything mechanical and have me explain how to “make it work”. It was the same on our road trips: Neither of my parents ever bothered to look at a map, knowing that I loved being tasked as the navigator, and that I was good at it. I loved it, too! My parents were both so incredibly gifted at so many things that it felt good to be better than they were at simple little life chores like finding our way from Point A to Point B or knowing which wire went where in the new stereo.
Now that I’m exactly my dad’s age when I was born, I wonder whether they were really so bad at both of those things, or whether it’s just easier to have someone younger figure it out. Because that’s how I feel about social media. I just know that learning this would be a lot easier if I was 12. And the more I think about my dad trying to figure it out, I realize that I probably would have had to do all his social media for him. He would have handwritten his “tweets” on spare envelopes or paper placemats in that beautiful penmanship of his and handed them to me to type. And the thought of my dad trying to wrangle an iPhone is purely hilarious! But if he had, I’m pretty sure that his Instagram photos would have been a lot like mine—taken in museums around the world.
The good news is that I grew up with my dad’s two aphorisms: “A man who limits his interests limits his life.” “If you are always curious, you will never be bored.” And certainly learning social media, the digital world, and how to connect through the digital ether is always interesting.
In a few weeks, I will take off on a wonderful road trip—driving around the country revisiting the restaurants in my parents’ famous cookbook in preparation for our 50th anniversary reissue of A Treasury of Great Recipes. And I will also be appearing and #MonsterMania in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I have two special treats in store for me in New Jersey: My nephew, Jody Price, will sit in with me one day to sign autographs and meet fans. Jody is a terrific musician who has been putting on some great Vincent Price-themed events in the Jersey area. And super-fan Bryan Hewitt from England will be flying over for a visit! How cool is that! One other treat awaits me: A long-awaited visit to the #BarnesFoundation in Philadelphia. For me, walking through a museum is like spending a few hours with my dad. Art was always our common ground and I still love “chatting” with him about art!
Then it’s up to New York for a special #VincentPrice screening—more to be announced soon!
I will be launching a new website that you can find here on vincentprice.com dedicated to the 50th anniversary of my parents’ cookbook. So keep checking back.
In fact, we have lots more Internet ventures that will be launching in the next six months—and even an opportunity to take a Vincent Price-inspired trip to Europe this summer. All this news is coming soon!!!
But, just so I know you all are out there listening, can you please weigh in whatever way suits you best? Please let me know the best way for us to reach you with our news, events, product launches, appearances, blogs, photos, etc. Is it via this website, Facebook, Twitter, Google +. Would you like a newsletter, a fan meeting place? What do you fans want from us? Please tell us! We’re eager to hear from you, because you are the ones keeping the Vincent Price legacy alive.
Last but not least, to keep my SEO (search engine optimization--I just learned that) gurus happy, here is the paragraph they asked me to write. It's like a bad exercise from English class. Please find a way to include the following three phrases in a paragraph: thriller movies, classic horror movies, horror movie posters--and keep it interesting. All this so that, #Vincent Price fans can find us better through Google.
My dad loved making thriller movies and classic horror movies. He loved being grouped in the same category with such classic horror movie stars as his dear friend #BorisKarloff. He loved that his thriller movies scared audiences. And, of course, as someone who loved art, he always got a kick out of seeing the horror movie posters of his films. Geez. This is tougher than I thought.
Wait!! I've got an idea: I'll make it a contest. By Friday, February 21, please send a paragraph or two about Vincent Price that uses the three phrases--thriller movies, classic horror movies, and horror movie posters--in interesting and fun ways. My brother and I will pick the winner, and the winner will get the signed Vincent Price tshirt of their choice. This will be way more fun for me! I can't wait to see what you write! Game on, horror fans!!!
On the lighter side: I hope you enjoy this little Vincent Price tribute to social media that we created.
And I hope to see you soon somewhere out there on the road.
Social Media Vincent Price Style January 09 2014, 1 Comment
Vincent Price often said that his favorite song was "People" sung by @Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl. He said it when he felt his wives became too possessive of his time; he said it when asked what he wanted sung at his funeral. But mostly he said it and then quoted the line from the song--"People who need people are the luckiest people in the world."
Vincent Price genuinely loved people. He was an extrovert, who enjoyed meeting and talking with almost anyone, anywhere, at any time. He maintained lifelong correspondences with family, friends, and fans--with a steady stream of postcards from the many places he visited. He enjoyed meeting people, not for the sake of self-aggrandizement but rather because he loved hearing their stories, and seeing the world through their eyes. He replied to his own fan mail and was not the kind of star who sat down in an airplane seat and tried to pretend his seatmate did not exist. In fact, some of his most interesting encounters happened on airplanes--like the first time he flew on a jet (after twenty-plus years on prop planes) and expressed his panic at not seeing the propellers to his seatmate, which prompted the gentleman to give Vincent and long and reassuring lecture on airplanes and aerodynamics, and why planes are built to stay UP in the air. When, at the end of the flight, Vincent did as he always did and introduced himself by saying, "My name's Vincent Price"--as if most people wouldn't have recognized his distinctive voice, face, or 6'4" frame--his seatmate replied, "Pleasure to meet you. My name's @Eddie Rickenbacker." To have been the recipient of a lecture on flying by the most famous American World War I flying ace was just one more proof for Vincent of why people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.
And so, it is fun to think about what Vincent would have thought about social media, and how he would have participated. Now, the first thing that needs to be said is that he was technologically challenged. He loathed reading instructions to anything, and as soon as he figured out--as we all do--that his daughter at age eight was more technologically adept than he, he quickly enlisted her to read all instructions, road maps, etc. He never owned a computer, and handwrote everything--eschewing even typewriters. So, getting him computer savvy would have been a challenge. And a smartphone--given the size of his 6'4" hands--would have given him fits. That said, once he did master something technical--his dear friend industrial designer @Henry Dreyfuss, who designed the #Polaroid camera (as well as the thermostat, telephone, and #John Deere tractor, to name a few of his many groundbreaking designs), gave him one of the early Polaroids--and Vincent was enamored with it and quickly become a devotee. So, IF he could have overcome his innate aversion to all things technical--I think Vincent would have been a fool for Facebook, a Twitter junkie, a #Pinterest pinner, an #Instagram photographer, and mostly an inveterate blogger.
Imagine a Vincent day on social media. As he boarded a flight from one city to the next on one of his lecture tours on which he spent 60 days traveling around the country speaking about the visual arts, instead of writing one of his countless essays on the back of the in-flight menu or magazine, he would have pulled out his laptop and written a blog post about what he had seen or done the day before--a visit to the #Albright-Knox in #Buffalo, perhaps, or a wonderful chat with a young sculptor about his passion for the visual arts. And had he lucked out on an interesting seatmate, he might have shot a photo of the two of them together to be posted later on his #Facebook feed. Upon landing in #Kansas City, he would have requested a trip to the #Nelson Atkins Museum, where he would have posted a few pictures on Instagram of one of the iconic @Claes Oldenburg Shuttlecocks in the Sculpture Garden, or waxed rhapsodic on #Twitter about their extraordinary Native American art collection. Any opportunity to promote an American museum would have been welcome! Back in his hotel, instead of sending postcards, Vincent would have taken to Facebook to message one on one with his fans, and post a few photos of the day of the art he had seen--and used the opportunity to exhort his readers to become more involved in the visual arts. "Checking in" on Facebook at dinner at one of Kansas City's famous steakhouses would have prompted commentary on the quality of the meal or the fun of discussing the best ways to chop garlic with the chef. And both he and fans would have posted photos of him chatting and signing autographs after the lecture. And oh how he would have loved Pinterest! Instead of collecting countless postcards at museum shops, Vincent would have posted his own photos and comments about his favorite drawings, paintings, and other works of art he was fortunate to see on his journeys around the world.
In short, as one of the most social of actors, Vincent Price would have been a monster on social media! Early on in his career, @Helen Hayes, the first lady of the American theatre, gave him a piece of advice he heeded until the end of his 60-plus year career. "An actor," she told the 24-year-old Vincent, "is a public servant. Without your audience, you are nothing." Vincent knew this to be true. He was grateful for everyone of his fans, cognizant that his ability to live what he saw as the extraordinary life of an actor was utterly dependent on the love and loyalty of his fans.
Living up to Vincent's legacy in this regard is a challenge. But I'm trying. I'm devoting the first half of this year to learning everything I can about social media and how to use it to promote and preserve Vincent Price's extraordinary legacy. So, please bear with me as get better at answering all of your emails and Facebook messages and Tweets, at posting on Facebook, and posting photos on what I hope will be my next project--a new @Vincent Price Pinterest page. I have so many ideas of how to reach out to Vincent Price fans, but finding the time and getting the know-how on top of having a job that consumes 60-plus hours of my time a week is my current challenge. But it's a blast "meeting" all of you and hearing your wonderful Vincent Price stories--so please be patient as I learn!
Vincent's second wife (of 23 years), designer @Mary Grant, was often confounded by her husband's social enthusiasms. She loved a party as much as anyone, but thought of a party as she did a Broadway show--as something requiring planning and forethought and preparation. For her gregarious husband, meeting an interesting person at the dentist's office was an opportunity to socialize, and might elicit a phone call telling her he was bringing someone home for dinner. Any resistance on her part could often evoke the line, "People who need people. . ." with a wink and a smile.
As the child of Mary and Vincent, I like to think I fall somewhere in between the two of them--social when I have signed up to be and an intensely private person when left to my own devices. Finding my own place of peace with my father's fame and its legacy is a lifelong challenge--but one that is a wonderful personal journey. The next year and a half will see four book project chronicling this journey: A reprint with an updated introduction of my 1999 biography of my father--#Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography; a 50th anniversary edition of my parents famous cookbook--#A Treasury of Great Recipes; a commemorative book of photos and essays about Vincent Price, including essays by @Richard Matheson, @Bill Hader, and my brother, @VB Price; and most personal to me, a memoir about growing up as I did called Taking My Mother to China. I'm also figuring out how to get out more and meet fans at various events--and so far have quite a few scheduled for the first half of 2014. So, check out our News and Events page as well as our Facebook feed. And, what is most fun, we are designing some great new Vincent Price products. One of my current favorites is our Vincent Price phone case! So, check them out on our products page and in our Facebook shop! (Can't you just imagine Vincent Price standing in front of a painting he loved in a museum with his iPhone in a Vincent Price phone case Instagramming his thoughts about why art matters?)
So, thank you for joining us on this journey. We're excited to be on it with you. Stay tuned for more and send us your comments and suggestions for what you want to see from vincentprice.com!