Ghastly Grinning Spotlight: Megan Casady
To continue our support and encouragement of Women in Horror Month, Ghastly Grinning has turned the spotlight inwards on our own roster of writers and contributors. Today we highlight staff writer and review extraordinaire Megan Casady!
Ghastly Grinning: What was your introduction to horror?
Megan Casady: When I was five years old, my mom rented the original Poltergeist. She put it on after I went to bed and I knew it was something I wasn't "supposed" to see. I ended up sneaking out of my room and sitting behind the couch to watch, hoping she wouldn't find me. I was completely mesmerized by the film and from that moment on I was fascinated with all things spooky. As I got a little older, I begged mom to show me all of the scary movies she had seen growing up. This led to the tradition of taking weekend trips to Hollywood Video and every Friday night I would beg her to rent the scariest movies she could think of or the movies with the creepiest cover art I was always so drawn to. I specifically remember her showing me Hellraiser, Pet Semetary, The Exorcist, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I've been in love with horror every since - thanks mom.
GG: Do you have a favorite film or sub-genre of horror? How about outside of it?
MC: I really love horror in all its various forms. I love supernatural horror (Poltergeist is still, and always will be, my favorite), and I'm completely obsessed with The Conjuring Universe or the Waniverse as we so lovingly refer to it. I also really enjoy home invasion and abduction films because they actually genuinely scare me because well, it could happen. It HAS happened, and to me that is absolutely terrifying. OH, and I LOVE a good revenge film. Horror comedies also have a very special place in my heart.
GG: How do you feel like female representation stands in the genre?
MC: I definitely feel that there could always be more, but I think it's definitely improving as time goes on. The final girl has always been a really important aspect in horror and I feel like women's roles in horror are only becoming more and more badass and straying away from the sexualized versions we've seen in the past. There are so many amazing women in the industry and watching their success is so inspiring.
GG: Do you feel that being a female in the industry or fandom is different than for other fans and if so, how would you like to see that change?
MC: I often have people double take or question me when I openly discuss my love of horror, it's like they just don't expect a girl to be into that kind of thing (I get the same reaction when I talk about my video game obsession). It's frustrating to me because we're all just people, why should gender even play a part in the things we enjoy? That being said, I take really proud ownership of my love of horror and talk about it any chance I get.
GG: Do you have any role models or inspirations in horror?
MC: ABSOLUTELY! There are so many kick-ass females in the industry and they are all incredibly inspiring to me. I'm an actor, so many of my role models are actors as well because they inspire me to keep honing my craft and working toward finding my own success as an artist. Rebekah McKendry of Blumhouse.com is hugely inspiring to me because not only is she working in the industry I love so much, she's also got a background in musical theater, which is what I studied in college and continue to pursue. She's a mom, which I also hope to be one day, and I really look up to her for all that she does in the industry while balancing a family as well. I often say I want to be Rebekah when I grow up. Linda Blair is also one of my idols. Not only did she portray one of the most iconic characters in all of horror, but she's now a huge animal's rights activist and founded her own organization - the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation - which is a group of amazing people who have dedicated themselves to fighting animal cruelty, animal rescue, educating the public, and finding forever homes for furry friends in need. There's only one thing I love more than horror, and that's animals, so Linda is hugely inspirational to me in that aspect as well. I had the chance to meet her last year and tell her how much I look up to her in both respects. Lin Shaye is also an incredibly inspiring human being and artist to me. She's living proof that age is just a number and you can keep kicking ass and making art well into your 70s. Sisters Vera and Taissa Farmiga are also huge inspirations to me as they're both incredible artists and have gotten to portray some truly kick ass characters in the genre. I could go on and on and on because there are so many amazing women doing great work in the industry; but to name a few more - Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Barbara Crampton, and Jamie Lee Curtis are all high up on my list too.
GG: What do you do outside your work with genre films?
MC: I'm an actor and dancer and spend a lot of time going to auditions and continuing my training as an artist, but that doesn't always pay the bills! So, for my day job, I get to hang out with kiddos! I've always loved kids and I've dedicated much of my life to childcare and teaching. I am currently a full time nanny and I have a few teaching gigs as well. During summertime most years, I work for various children's summer camps in between acting gigs.