Thursday, October 24, 2013
What Halloween Means To Me '13 Day 24: Allan Trautman
I’m always looking for more brains to pick about Halloween. Today’s contributor to the What Halloween Means To Me countdown is always just looking for “More Brains!” As a puppeteer, costume performer, and voice actor, Allan Trautman has worked with Sid and Marty Croft, been a longtime Muppet performer, and taken part in projects like Men In Black, Dinosaurs, and Unhappily Ever After. What made him a horror icon, however, is his portrayal of possibly the most recognizable and beloved zombie of all time; Tarman in Return of the Living Dead. His unique performance gave the character that great ability to both creep us out and make us laugh. I’d be willing to bet that at least a couple of you are wearing a shirt with Tarman on it right now. Mr. Trautman has agreed to wrack his brains for some all Hallows memories, so Allan, what does Halloween mean to you?
“I grew up in Brooklyn, and my friends and I would canvas the (very dense) Sheepshead Bay neighborhood on Halloween. We didn't have to go too far to fill up our bags.
I didn't have much imagination for costumes back then. I remember charring a piece of cork and rubbing it on my chin and calling myself a Hobo. I must've had an old jacket of my Dad's, and my Mom would help make a Hobo stick, with a little tied-up bag at the end. And that was pretty much it. No zombies back then, in my neighborhood, at least.
So one year one of my friends and I had split off from the crowd. We were working our way down this one block with walk-up stoops in front. Ring door bell, "Trick-or-treat!" Candy. Move on.
Then we approached one particular house and rang the bell. Nobody answered. I rang again. No answer. I rang a third time, and the door flew open. There stood a very intense-looking, almost classically storybook "old woman," for want of a better expression. Dark dress, small eyes, hair in a bun, vaguely old-world European accent. She fixes me with her gaze, and screams, "What do you want from my life?"
I ran all the way home.
I don't remember doing much Trick-or-Treating after that.”
7 more days ‘til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. 7 more days ‘til Halloween, Silver Shamrock.