Exclusive Interview with Howler Con’s Amy Mancini

After two successful conventions, Howler Con returns for the third time this summer, taking place June 24th through the 26th in Elizabeth, New Jersey. With a star-studded line-up that includes Teen Wolf cast favorites such as Crystal Reed, Holland Roden, and Ian Bohen, it is no wonder that the convention sold out in just a little over a month. I had the opportunity to speak with one of the fan-run convention’s co-creators: Amy Mancini. Amy has been an avid Teen Wolf fan since 2011 and her dedication has been recognized on several occasions, including being awarded Alpha of the Week on the Teen Wolf After Show hosted by Tyler Posey. In addition to running Howler Con, she has her own Teen Wolf inspired jewelry line, live tweets every Teen Wolf episode, maintains an endless GIF library, and somehow still has time to balance a full-time job.

Why did you want to start Howler Con?

“I get this question a lot and the answer is pretty simple. I’ve always wanted to attend one but the East Coast didn’t have any show specific conventions. Instead of being sad about it, I decided to create one. I immediately reserved the name on all social media platforms and then asked Betsy to come on board.”


Why did you choose Teen Wolf?
“I have a very special connection with the show. I started watching it during a very rough time in my life. It seems silly at first because to others, it’s just a show about teenage werewolves but I learned a lot of lessons. It taught me how to be a stronger person and never feel the need to hide any of my scars. It brought me laughter and introduced me to a lot of new people who I’m thankful to call close friends today.”


Running a convention must be extremely time-consuming, how do you find time to balance your social life?
“It definitely becomes a huge part of your life. Luckily for me, I have a wonderful partner and we each try to tackle different things. We can always find time to go and hang out with friends but we always have our phones charged and handy!”

How long did it take for the con to sell out this year?

“Not long at all. We made what we did in our entire IGG last year in just a few hours with this year’s sale. The whole convention sold out in a little under 35 days. It’s insane when you think about how well things are selling but with this kind of support, it’s not at all surprising.”


What has your favorite Howler Con moment been from the last 2 cons?
“There was a moment during our first year when Orny Adams started to play ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ during the boys’ panel. The incredible moment happened when the whole ballroom full of attendees began singing along, never skipping a beat. The guys were all blown away but JR Bourne was so in shock that he took out his phone and started recording the audience. If you ask any Howlers, I think their answer would be the same.”


What did it feel like to reach 1 million views on your website?
“It was mind-blowing! I often find myself talking to Betsy, who co-owns Howler Con with me, about how far we’ve come. Never would we have imagined that our little fan run convention would someday reach this level of success. There are people from all over the world that watch our site daily and it’s humbling, to say the least.”

What guests have you announced so far and how many do you have left?

“So far we’ve announced Crystal Reed, Holland Roden, Daniel Sharman, Ian Bohen, Ryan Kelley and Arden Cho. We’ve said before that we have 7 confirmed guests so we’re definitely announcing one more. With that being said, we never like saying that someone is the ‘last guest’ because things can change. It all depends on sales.”


Is there anything that fans should look forward to for this year’s convention?
“What shouldn’t they look forward to?! Three days at an intimate convention filled with panels, parties and more with all of your faves!”


The Saturday night parties have a reputation for being insanely fun! What do you have planned for this year?
“This year’s theme is going to be a Pajama Party! We’re looking at a comfy good time on Saturday night. Expect some appearances from the guests and lots of fun.”

How do you control the guests?

“Control?! What control?! I’m kidding, they’re great. Part of the way they stay away from shenanigans all weekend aside from us always being with them is really simple! Betsy acts as a liaison for them during Howler weekend. She reigns them right on in. Whenever they see us around the convention, they do their level best to behave, haha. There isn’t too much control when they’re on stage together, though, as many of you saw but I don’t think the attendees mind all that much.”


Your interactions with social media, especially your GIF usage, is incredible! How do you manage it all?
“With help! Betsy and I do our share of the social interactions. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to talk! We have a lot of dedicated people who follow us and we always want to share new things with them. They’re more than just ‘fans’ or ‘attendees’ to Betsy and I. We treat them how we would want people to treat us. They tend to call every Howler Con a family reunion and we’d agree.”


You’ve been a huge part of the Teen Wolf fanbase for a very long time, how did it feel to be named Alpha of the Week?
“It was amazing! I’ve been supporting the show for so long now that it feels like it’s a part of me so it was very sweet to be named AOTW. It was fun to get to talk to the cast again and talk about Howler Con on television. I still can’t believe that happened.”


What is Fandom Creations?
“Fandom Creations is a line of unique Teen Wolf inspired jewelry that I create myself. I remember looking online and not finding quite what I was looking for so I just went ahead and hand-made a bracelet. So many people fell in love with the style that I started my own Etsy online. It’s been so much fun creating new designs.”


The proceeds from the convention go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, what made you choose that charity in particular?
“The CFF holds a special place in our hearts. We chose the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation the first year because of JR Bourne. The charity is very important to him and we wanted to help raise money for a good cause. The second year, we gave the option to choose the charity to Daniel Sharman who also chose the CFF and now that we’re in our third year, we went ahead and chose CFF ourselves. We work closely with CF Foundation of LA and we’re happy to be raising money for this charity again this year.”


If someone didn’t get a chance to get tickets this year, what ways can they contribute to the convention or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation?
“They can head right here to our website. We have a Charity tab where you can click the donate button and everything given to us through there is added to our CFF donation.”

Follow Howler Con on Social Media here: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram

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