My very first horror convention was in April of 1988, out in California. Up until then, I had never met anybody famous, especially any idols I had from the horror genre. But at the show, one of the first ones I met was George Romero. I had come walking out of the dealer room on my way to the auditorium for the Q&A’s, and there he stood, surrounded by fans like a scene from one of his zombie flicks. Except, instead of trying to eat him, they just wanted to get an autograph or just say hello and thanks. I didn’t take me long to join the growing mass of fans either. I had him sign my copy of Tom Savini’s Grande Illusions, which was my very first autograph as well. I still have that book to this day and is one of my most memorable.
This interview was conducted back in October of 2008, at the Cinema Wasteland show.
Kitley’s Krypt: How did you get into acting?
John Amplas: Oh, that was a long time ago. I was ten years old and my uncle used to do community theater and they needed a kid in a play. So I did a lot of community theater when I was kid and I just kind of got the bug early on from there. In 1963, when I was a teenager, I attended the Playhouse School in Pittsburgh and did that for about 3 years. I spent 3 years in the Army after I graduated from high school, then I studied theater at the same university, then college, to become an actor. In fact, the interesting thing about that, the last production in my senior year is when George Romero came to see it, which is how I got the job to play Martin two or three months later – we started shooting in the fall of 1976. Continue reading