Terilynn Troxell of Crypt TV Interview

Howdy Folks! I’m so excited to bring you my first interview for the blog. One of my favorite people, Terilynn Troxell, works at Crypt TV and is a huge horror fan and she breaks down all kinds of great details about Crypt and nerds out hardcore. The following interview has been edited down (only a touch) for clarity and time. In case you’d rather hear it than read it, I’ve attached the whole interview HERE: https://soundcloud.com/user-927840257/terilynn-troxell-040719 but please do forgive my rookie sound. It’s fine but not super pro. I’m learning as I go and promise to do better on that score next time. Check out Crypt TV here: http://crypttv.com

Hope you enjoy it! – Ali

Alison:Hello, my name is Alison Star Locke. I’m here with my fantastic friend Terilynn Troxell. So Teri and I met on a crazy shoot in Michigan for a low budget horror called “Grey Skies.” 

Terilynn:Yes, we were, um, that was a fun shoot. I was the Production Manager.

Alison:Yeah. So we bonded over being both being horror nerds and both being fairly upbeat type folks.

Terilynn:I moved to Los Angeles very soon after that and I started working in reality television for like the Discovery Channel and Outdoor Channel, which was also fun. And I did a series about gold miners in California, which I was like blown away by it because I didn’t know that that was a thing still. And then almost immediately after that I got into the beauty industry and making commercials for overseas clients, which was not what I wanted to be doing at all. And everyone would always ask me, well, if that’s not what you want to do, what do you want to do? And I would always say, I want to do low budget horror.

Alison: Whoo-hoo!

Terilynn: Yeah, That’s, yeah, that’s where I, that’s where I thrive. I love it. When I was going into college and right after college, that’s what I was doing. I started out as a makeup artist, as a SFX artist…But I found myself whenever I was on a set that was low budget, it’s really hard to do low budget. So I don’t mean to knock anyone, but whenever I was like —

Alison: I want to problem solve for you guys.

Terilynn: Exactly. I know how we can work this out, but it’s not my job…And I, I took that and I went right into being a Production Manager and being a Line Producer. Uh, and I found out that that’s where I should be living in my world. That that’s exactly what I want to do. But I also didn’t want to give up my cushy job as Head of Production for this other company. So I kind of just stayed there, miserable, and kept up with just writing and other things that I’d love to do creatively but didn’t do so much producing. And then at one point I was like, you know what? I need to stop. There are so many cool companies that are starting that live in the horror realm and a lot of digital companies, a lot of just like new, like A24 was doing really cool stuff. I was like, okay, like I can’t stop myself anymore. I can’t be my own roadblock. And so, um, I had been looking at Crypt TV for a while and just because of the nature of my job, it was really difficult for me to like go out and do interviews or meet with people and yeah. So I had my eye on Crypt TV and I kind of had met their Director of Content Production through the grapevine. We were both a part of the same like feminist group. And I had applied for a job there at one point, but it was kind of a two steps back instead of just one step back. And so I didn’t take the job and then she ended up getting a promotion and was hiring her new replacement and I was like, that’s me, I’m going to do it. That’s what I need to be doing. Yup. And so that’s what I’ve been doing since.

Alison: Oh Great.

Terilynn: Yeah. And I love it.

Alison: So can you just tell us a little bit about what Crypt TV’s mission is? I watched a bunch of pieces but I’d love to hear it from you.

Terilynn: Our mission. It’s always changing, but the general idea that we produce content that is all about the monsters within…They like to do a lot of stuff that’s like anti-bullying and what actually really drew me was this beautiful short called “The Birch.” It’s my favorite. The monster is gorgeous. And I was just like, if this is low budget and like this is the content that they’re making, it’s great…And it’s just about this little boy who’s being bullied and then he discovers this monster that like comes and kills people. But it is just like–

Alison: Like defends him kind of thing?

Terilynn: Yeah, defends him. And we have another character that’s very similar to that called Stoneheart who’s like another monster who protects women and helps women. I actually have a really sweet story about that. The first thing that I did for Crypt TV is a short called “Hospice.”…There was this little boy though in it. He was just like so excited to be doing something with Crypt TV. He was super jazzed and…I was in the elevator with him and he was telling me and my boss like how much he loved Crypt TV and how much he loved “Stoneheart,” which, uh, I don’t think he knew that the director of “Stoneheart” was directing “Hospice,” which he was in. And he was super excited to find that out. And I asked him why he liked Stoneheart so much because he’s really into it and he’s like, “I love Stoneheart because, you know, she protects women. Like she protects abused women. Right, Mom?” And like looked at his mom and he had just, he was so sweet and so innocent and just, he was so young and that he could see that and picked up on it real quick. And that was why he loved this character.

Alison: Oh, (then) you love that kid.

Terilynn: I know. It’s like my heart grew five sizes that day. And, uh, so then later on at three o’clock in the morning when we were wrapping, I had to do my (work) survey and send it in and I’m like crying while I’m writing that that was the thing that I was most proud of is that we’re producing content that like children can recognize that. I mean kids watch our stuff, we know that. We don’t try to limit because of that, but we definitely are aware when we’re going into it. So just having that little moment with him was really cool. And so that’s what we try to do. We try, our focus is on the monsters within. We make digital content. We are a You Tube first company, so all of our parameters are set in that You Tube space, um, which is a little different right now because You Tube is constantly changing.

Alison: I was just going to ask you what does that mean then? Because obviously it’s such a big landscape.

Terilynn: It used to mean that we could kind of do anything we want because you know, it’s digital. We don’t really have anyone saying that we can’t do anything on their platform. Now we do…You Tube is kind of setting different parameters for tags that you put on. So if we put horror in our tag, they’re going to watch it and then we can’t be as gory or we can’t–

Alison: Okay. That’s what I was wondering. Like how far can you go? Because your stuff is like, a lot of the stuff I saw was like very gory. 

Terilynn: The rules are always changing. It’s the wild west in the digital world and they are always changing. I was in the middle of a shoot when I got that news and it was like, okay, it’s uh, two o’clock in the morning, I’m two days into a shoot. How do we fix this?…So we’re always kind of just trying to fit into those parameters. And always try to figure out what those parameters are. They take us by surprise because You Tube won’t tell you. They’ll just say we flagged this and we put an over 18 on it.

Alison: Oh no, and you’re like, well, I didn’t even know that was a rule!

Terilynn: You Tube first just means that we film with the intention of putting it on You Tube. We know that that’s where most of our fans are going to get our content. And um, it’s shifted a little bit like we’ve gone back and forth between You Tube and Facebook where, you know, sometimes things are just, um, received differently. So on each platform. So with You Tube, maybe like gore and guts works and on Facebook, it’s not going to work as much and then the next week maybe gore and guts, it’s switched. It’s opposite or maybe we don’t do gore and guts for anything. And we focus more on character driven story. So right now we’re You Tube first. We’re focusing on what’s working on You Tube for us and for the genre and I’m writing and producing based around that.

Alison: So what does it look like in terms of your job? Like what is your sort of typical day is like or is there such a thing?

Terilynn: My typical day: I don’t sleep; I don’t eat. Um, so from start to finish, I, development starts with their scripts and they’ll go to a draft one with the script. They’ll take it to our higher ups and it will be like, “Okay, let’s move forward.” Or “No, let’s not move forward.” If it’s “okay, let’s move forward,” then they’ll do a draft two. And then it’s given to me and I go through and I say, okay, we can’t do this, this, this and this. You need to trim 72 pages off of this. And I create an internal budget to make sure that it’s within our capacity and our scope because if we’re creating something, if I get something on draft five and it’s like, wait, no, we can’t–

Alison: This is way outside of our doable range.

Terilynn: And then from that point, I’ll work back and forth with development, like figuring out exactly how we’re going to get the job done… and we’ll start vetting directors. And then we’ll pick our director and we’ll pick our crew. And I just oversee the whole thing and make sure that we as a studio are getting everything that we need to get. 

Alison: So what do you want to do long term? Like, do you want to stay with Crypt TV or what are you seeing as your goal? Are you still figuring that out?

Terilynn: I would love to stay with Crypt TV for a while. I think it’s a really good place to learn. Even just being there in the time that I’ve been there, I’ve learned so much and changed so much and changed so much as a producer that I would like to keep doing that for awhile. And again, it’s exactly what I want to be doing. Low budget horror is I love it. I would prefer to work for a company that is a little more, I don’t want to say it’s more diverse, but that’s what it is in the content that they make.

Alison: Yep, that was gonna be one of my questions.

Terilynn: Yeah, a little more aware of that. I think that right now, because we have, so we’re up against a lot of walls. It’s difficult for us to do what we want to be doing. So if I could work at a company where we had just a little bit more money or like I could hire SAG actors or all of these other things doing exactly what I do now, I would be as happy as a clam.

Alison: Well that’s so lovely, though, that you’re that close to what you want to do.

Terilynn: It is. I wake up every day and I’m very happy and I know that I’m super lucky because some people never get to be in that position. And it’s really hard but I’m really happy to be doing it. 

Alison: Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about that diversity goal. Everybody always talks about how we wish we had more women and people of color in all content of course… Do you have any practical tips for folks who are on the production side of things and how you can kind of push that? 

Terilynn: It’s difficult for me because I want to have diversity throughout my entire crew and which means that I have to put in the work to go out and find those people… It’s really hard for those people to come to you. So I have to physically go out and find all of those people and I try to go to as many networking events as I possibly can and I’ve even started throwing my own networking events for like women in horror or people of color in horror because it’s important for me that like, I’m giving you a space for you to like show up and network with other people that you feel comfortable with and you know that it’s not going to be about like a bunch of white dudes in the room talking to each other and bro’ing out, that it’s going to be about you coming into the room and finding work and finding other people that you can talk about stuff with. It’s difficult for me now because I just don’t have the money. We’re so low budget and I actually feel super guilty going to somebody that I know and just be like, “Hey, will you work for this very low amount of money?” Because, you know, women have always had to work for very low amounts of money. That’s really difficult for me.

Alison: Well, that’s an interesting problem because you want to encourage people to, you know, have more diverse crews. But if, you know, you’re like, here I have a pittance to offer.

Terilynn: Like I will give me a stick of gum if you do this for me, it’s really difficult. But still in terms of like (who) are the people that we do give a lot more creative opportunities, too, like our producers and our directors. Again, it’s just us going out and finding those people and I, the women that I work with, I’m so lucky. They do that. They’ll go out and find other women or other people of color to come in. Um, not so much the men, but they are getting better about it. 

Alison: It’s a process, even for the well-intentioned folks. That’s why I ask for practical tips because I think, you know, people love this goal. Most people love this goal and acknowledge it’s a problem. But then in real life, how do you actually increase it?

Terilynn: Yeah. Uh, it’s just, you have to just put in the work… Another thing is difficult is sometimes people who are well-intentioned will just like go out and they’re like, “Here’s a lady director.” And it’s like, but that’s not the right fit for this job.

Alison: Like she’s literally just a woman.

Terilynn: You have to be like putting in more work than just going and finding a lady director. You have to be finding the very best director and the very best director can be a person of color or can be a woman, but you have to go out and find them. You have to put in the footwork. And so, I mean, I try to do that as much as I possibly can. It’s a little difficult sometimes, just because like I said, it’s hard for people in those positions to find you and to come to you. They’re not given… And another thing that I’ve noticed in terms of our directors, women just aren’t given the opportunities or people of color aren’t given the opportunities the way that white men are so it’s harder for us to bring in a woman and say this is her reel when —

Alison: Her reel is probably much shorter, yeah, it’s probably a film or two.

Terilynn: Exactly. It’s a lot. But you know they’re capable and you know that they’re good and it’s like, but someone else gave this guy a chance when he had that on his reel. I want to be that person for this other person and you know, it’s been a lot of convincing, like this is the right thing that we have to do. Like this is the right thing for our company. This is the right thing for just art in general is to give those chances and to really fight for people having those chances. It’s a struggle every day, but you can’t just can’t stay quiet.

Alison: Tell us a little bit about this women in horror group that you’re starting that I totally want to join.

Terilynn: I’ve been neglecting it a little bit because I’ve been so, so busy. Um, but yeah, it’s just how women in horror group, I was so surprised. There’s not really one in Los Angeles.

Alison: Every time I meet a new woman in horror, they’re always like, “Yay, I found another one!” It’s like water in the desert.

Terilynn: Yeah! It’s a hard club to get into. And so I’m trying to just make another club for all of us to be in. And I am doing it with Yulissa Morales and she works for Epic Picture Group. And she and I were just like, hey, you know, there’s no place for us to do this. Like there’s no group that we can go to. She and I, we wanted to start doing just like more networking events and we were talking about that and we would look for some, but there weren’t really any that were exactly what we wanted to be doing. So we were just like, well, we can do it. Like, why aren’t we just doing it?

Alison: Absolutely! Good attitude! Just make what you need.

Terilynn: Yeah, exactly. No one’s going to do this for us, so let’s do it. And so we threw our first event in February. We’re hoping to do another one either this month or next month. Um, and it was a pretty good turnout, considering we had it on Oscar Sunday and totally forgot. Most of the crowd were people we didn’t know which was great, which was awesome because, you know, we thought like, oh, maybe like six of our friends will show up and that’ll be like a fun time. But no, a decent amount of people came that we had never met before and a lot of women there were just like, this is the best. I can’t wait for the next one. Tell me, I want to be involved… The horror community is like a boys’ club that’s really difficult to get into. So if you’re not in it, I want you to have a way in it. I want to like push all of those people aside for you and make you feel like you are a part of the community. So then you’re not like necessarily so intimidated when it happens for you. 

Alison: If you’re listening to this, do it! Make your own women in horror group.

Terilynn: Invite me, I’ll be there.

Alison: What’s the process if somebody wants to bring a project to Crypt TV like script wise or do you guys take completed things?

Terilynn: We do!…We do take completed work. Uh, that is my desk buddy Anthony. He goes through all of the submissions and uh, we post them, I think we post them three times a week now. 

Alison: You guys post constantly!

Terilynn: We’re constantly posting. We don’t give any funding for it. It’s kind of just, here’s a platform. We have followers. Do it. You can submit right through the website. And then as far as pitches go, this year, which is kind of another bummer, we stopped taking outside pitches. Because Crypt TV is building up to, is building up a universe.

Alison: Oh okay, so they have their monsters that they’re already making stuff with. It’s a really cool stuff. I love the Look See monster. I love that makeup tutorial by the way. That was really fun.

Terilynn: So much fun! I was like sitting at my desk watching it because they did it at our conference room and it was like, oh, that’s so cool… We’re building the universe and we’re going to see a lot of really cool characters coming together and I’m super excited, but that’s what our focus is this year is to just work on our internal IP and get them to where they need to be.

Alison: Cool. Yeah, so like we have a lot of stuff we already like, let’s really flesh it out?

Terilynn: Yeah. And a lot of people have been asking for certain characters to come back or for certain arcs to happen and so we’re trying. We’re working on giving the fans what they want and making a solid universe for fans to just be really excited about and to kind of get a better grasp on what’s happening in the universe, because right now we have so many bits and pieces and so many different places. Now we’re bringing it all together. 

Alison: I was impressed with the diversity in terms of like the different kinds of programming, like the fact that you had monster makeup tutorials and let’s sit down in Joe Dante’s house and talk about Gremlins.

Terilynn: I was so jealous I didn’t get to be there for that.

Alison: Oh God, I would imagine.

Terilynn: I know it’s just like watching the whole time. I was in the Edit Bay while they were editing it. I was just so bitter, just like didn’t get to go to Joe Dante’s house.

Alison: Oh, I’m sure everybody felt that way. I mean, he’s a hero. Okay. So every horror fan’s different. Some really like a little bit of everything. Some are really into certain sub genres. Like do you have anything that you’re really like, you know what I super love is aquatic horror, or is it kind of a wide range? What kind of stuff do you like?

Terilynn: I have a very big net when it comes to horror, but I’m also at the same time quite particular. So I was just telling my brother-in-law a little while ago about “Freddy Versus Jason.” I love that movie… I don’t know if that holds up… but I still love it. I love it so much. And I don’t know if that’s a nostalgia thing for me and that’s what I’m holding on to. But even now when I watch it as like a woke grown person, I still, I just can’t get enough of this. And so, but then I also really love movies like “Green Room” where I’m just like —

Alison: Oh, one of my favorites of all time. Oh my God. It’s so smart, so scary.

Terilynn: Exactly. So smart, so scary where it’s just this is ripping my heart out and–

Alison: It’s like survival.

Terilynn: And I just love every minute of it. And then again, like I just love really bad ones, too… If you go on Tubi, they have like the best worst movies. I’m always on Tubi, always watching the worst thing that I can possibly find and I love it. So I think I have a pretty big net. My favorites are still ones from my childhood.

Alison: So what were your biggies? What were your like gateway drugs to fall in love with (horror)?

Terilynn: The first one: “Nightmare On Elm Street.” That was the first like gateway drug. I have a brother who was really into Freddy Krueger. He would dress up as him for multiple Halloweens. He like loved Freddy Krueger. And I was still too little to be like, yeah, Freddy Krueger. But there was something so seductive to me about horror, that there was this thing that I wasn’t allowed to have and I wasn’t allowed to watch. And then finally my sister and my brother let me watch it with them one night and I was like, oh, this is awful and I love it. 

Alison: The illicit kind of nature of it.

Terilynn: I’m sure it wasn’t the first one that I watched. It was probably one of the sequels, but he was just Freddy Krueger, where he was this disgusting, charming person and were like, you’re a predator. I shouldn’t love you. But I do. And then another big one for me was “Sleepaway Camp.” Oh yeah.

Alison: And see, I didn’t see “Sleepaway Camp” until a year ago.

Terilynn: Oh really? Oh, Ali, I didn’t know that! Oh my God.

Alison: That was Joe Bob Briggs, his thing that he did last summer (on Shudder) had “Sleepaway Camp” and so we watched it. And I was like, “Oh wow. I think I missed out a little bit in seeing it later.” But it was still fun.

Terilynn: For a long time I just had forgotten about it. I watched it and I was like, whoa, that was crazy. What just happened? There were all these things going on where it’s like, I don’t understand this. Like, I didn’t understand that, like the dad and his boyfriend. I didn’t understand that connection as a kid… But I knew there was something there that was supposed to mean something. And so I just remembered really loving it. And then when I was a teenager, our Hollywood Video. I used to prefer Hollywood Video to Blockbuster at the time.

Alison: We all had our like connoisseur opinions about video stores.

Terilynn: Like I was all about Hollywood Video, even though everyone in my family worked at Blockbuster. We had a great horror section, which is probably why I loved it. And there was a, the manager there, he had like this great big, curly hair, and he was just, he looked like a cool dude. He and I bonded. I still don’t know his name, but we would still bond over whatever I was renting. He was kind of just like this mythical being that was in my life.

Alison: I had a guy like that at the Blockbuster that later I saw again in L.A. and we’re both from San Antonio.

Terilynn: That is so funny!

Alison: It was nuts. Like, oh, wait a minute. I knew you when you were a kid coming into the Blockbuster.

Terilynn: Oh, I love that! Oh, maybe my mythical Hollywood Video manager will somehow come back into my life. I hope so. But we would bond over it. And I remember I was looking at the Sleepaway VHS case… And I was like, ah, there’s something about this, and it was all like coming back very slowly, like, I remember this movie, what was this movie? And then I was like, oh, this is the one with — And he just walks by me and he’s holding a giant stack of movies. And he’s like, “Yep, that’s the one.”

Alison: Because the ending is so infamous.

Terilynn: Yeah. So I grabbed it and then I rented it and it all came flooding back and it’s like, I love this. Like I love Judy. Like I feel like Judy’s terrible. She’s an awful person, but I love everything about her.

Alison: But she’s like the real life villain, the more relatable (one). She’s just a bully.

Terilynn: Yeah, she’s terrible. But she has like the best over-the-top lines and her hair is just like, she literally has a horse’s tail like coming off the side of her head, her pink shirt that says Judy, which is still one of my favorite wardrobe choices of all time.

Alison: Like who would wear like a pink shirt with their name on it? By the way, I also have to give you extreme credit for your pink shoe collection. That’s now one of the things I’ll always think of with you, like my friend who loves horror but has pink shoes!

Terilynn: I do. Pink is my favorite color. I think that comes from the rebel feminist inside of me where so many people were like if you’re a feminist and you’re a girl, you can’t like pink… I really love it. Everything for me was pink all the time. I get a lot of guff about it at work because it’s just a pink desk of bubblegum and fluff. Then I’m like, yeah, but there’s also a tiny Pinhead here on my desk.

Alison: Well I respect that because it’s like otherwise, it’s usually what I like to think of as the Black T-shirt Army, ’cause most horror t-shirts are black.

Terilynn: They are!

Alison: So it’s like you end up in a group of horror fans and it’s like the sea of horror t-shirts, the black shirts. So then you meet somebody else who’s also into but I kind of want that like Freddy shirt to be in pink or like a bright color.

Terilynn: I do, too. And they’re coming out with more now I think just because it’s like highlighter colors are so popular right now. Or it’s just like a neon, whatever, Freddy or Jason or whoever. And I’m like, those are cool. But also maybe we just have like a nice pink shirt that’s not like —

Alison: That says Terilynn on it. (laughs)

Terilynn: Yeah. Actually, I might make that. And anyone who gets the reference will get a dollar from me.

Alison: Okay, so since we’re talking about horror movies that feature women or people of color and how to have that more and more. What movies that might work within that kind of a definition do you love or do you feel like you want to like spread the gospel of like, you know, shout from the rooftops? 

Terilynn: For me, I think it’s “Martyrs.” Oh yes. I actually just love the women in “Martyrs” because I think those performances are like beyond… If you just want to see a horror movie that’s mostly just women in it, like surviving, then you should watch “Martyrs” because I just absolutely love their performances. 

Alison: What kinds of things do you wish you could see more of in horror? Like for instance, like I am obsessed with seeing more stuff about moms and families and not where the mom is just some psycho scary person, but more like the scary stuff is happening around them.

Terilynn: I agree. I would love that. I’d love to see more moms. I would love to see more diversity in age, too. And where it’s not like, like you said, it’s not like a creepy old person, but it’s an older person who’s just surviving because that’s what you do as a human is you just survive. Also I just feel like once you hit a certain age range, especially in Hollywood, you’re just like cut off from anything that’s of quality, unless, you know, it’s a really dark and dreary story. Or unless it’s like these four old guys are going to Vegas. Isn’t that funny?

Alison: Just look at them do people things.

Terilynn: Yeah, look, that’s adorable. And it’s just like so much experience is coming through these people and I would like to see more stories about that experience and how it’s useful and how they use it and what we can learn. I would also love to see just more queer stuff in horror… I would just love if maybe like gay people weren’t always murdered in horror. Just once, I would love that… I’d love to see us using more transgender actors in horror and just like, not having that be the main focus, but just, hey, we’re aware that these are people, too. And they’re allowed to tell stories the same way everyone else is allowed to tell stories. That’s kind of what I’m hoping for is that with the new generation of filmmakers that are coming through, that we’re going to get a little more diversity and it’s going to come naturally and not feel forced.

Alison: It’s tricky because I think we’re going through that transition. I think everybody is, is, uh, not everybody, there are many people who are trying to do the right thing in terms of thinking about how representation matters and how to accurately represent things and who tells whose stories and those sorts of things. And so it’s a little tricky landscape. But I love that that’s a constant conversation. That’s pretty cool.

Terilynn: It is pretty cool. I would like to see and even like I don’t necessarily want all like cis white straight men to stop making movies. I don’t think that’s fair… But I would love for them to maybe just do a little research when they do make movies and like you said, it’s all about visibility and understanding like what you can do as this person who’s been given a lot of privilege. And how do you, how do you spread that wealth around or like how do you just make someone else’s voice heard?… One of my least favorite things is when a guy’s like, yeah, I directed a movie and there’s just like a badass female character in it and she like she punches things.

Alison: And she’s basically a man, except we cast a woman. Yeah, exactly. I think that’s everybody’s irritation at this point. It’s like, thank you for making the bridge of at least casting another person besides a white man in the role. Now let’s move into how would a woman actually use her particular set of skills to pull things off? Obviously there are some women who would act very much like a traditional male action hero in these type of parts, but most women probably wouldn’t. They might be a little more, you know, diplomatic for example, because we’ve had to be.

Terilynn: And you know, women tend to handle trauma very differently. I use “Halloween H20” and Halloween H40 as an example when I’m talking about this because they’re both directed by men. But they are very different when it comes to talking about trauma for women. And to me, I vividly remember watching H20 and just watching Jamie Lee Curtis. And I think that one of my very favorite people, Alexandra West, talked about this at one point.

Alison: Oh yes, we are both massive fans of hers.

Terilynn: I love her. She talked about this where I remember vividly watching “Halloween H20” and just being like: that makes sense. Like when Jamie Lee Curtis was drinking multiple glasses of wine at lunch and she had a cupboard full of pills and all of that made sense. And she was very overly protective as a mother. And she at times made it so her kid felt like he couldn’t be honest with her because he just wanted to be a child. And she couldn’t allow him to have that. That to me was such a good representation of how the trauma that somebody like that would handle, how someone who’s put through that trauma could handle it or a more realistic idea of how that trauma would be handled. And then I think it was just all of the press that came out around H40 was like, this is totally different and this is like badass female lady, blah, blah. And I’m not saying that that character is wrong or that character wouldn’t do that. I’m just saying, I was like, oh, but this isn’t how I see realistically trauma being dealt with. It’s just a little too over the top for me, which makes me kind of sad because I loved H20 so much for that realness and for like she wasn’t punished for it at all, except she was punished for being an older woman who is sexually active and unapologetic for it, which I think is also just a theme in Hollywood. And I liked that, too. I was like, oh, all of this makes so much sense to me. Um, and then H40 was just a little different and it was like, this is better than “Halloween H20.” And I’m like, no, no, no. Like we can have two movies.

Alison: I like them both. I like that they take completely different approaches to that trauma because I’m fascinated with any horror movie that deals with the idea. Funny enough, my husband, John is especially a big fan of anything that has to do with trauma and horror ’cause he’s always just like, why don’t we have more movies about what happens after the police arrive?

Terilynn: Yes, I feel the same way. I love those movies. I would watch that. I would watch it as a sequel or you know.

Alison: Yeah. We were talking about things that we wanted to see more of in horror films. More realistic drama.

Terilynn: Realistic drama, yeah. I would love to see more of that. That’s a big one on my list, I think. And I think that’s actually, again, going back to “Green Room,” why I love it so much because it’s just like, ooh.

Alison: Ooh, that is unrelenting. Everything is like, oh shit thatkilled that person, but this other stuff didn’t. It was just crazy, like the randomness and the hopelessness of it.

Terilynn: And it’s not so outside of reality that you’re like —

Alison: No, these are very realistic, terrifying villains for one thing. And every little bit of the fight feels very realistic and gross.

Terilynn: Yeah, I think that was the first movie in a very long time where I had a nightmare and I woke up. It was just like —

Alison: Whoa, for a horror person to get a nightmare from a film doesn’t happen.

Terilynn: I woke up and sweaty and I’m just like, oh boy. Yeah. That’s terrifying. That’s what’s gonna get me.

Alison: Okay, so I want to do, whenever I’m doing these interviews with folks, I want to talk about the idea of this work and personal life balance. And I don’t want to, just for the record, even though I’m starting with a woman, I am not aiming to just ask women these questions because I think it would be interesting over time to see what people talk about if they, you know, they have kids, they don’t have kids, if they’re straight, if they’re gay, if they’re, you know, whatever the situation would be. And just to get an idea of how that affects their work because I’m always curious about that.

Terilynn: Definitely. I think that my job consumes a lot of my time. I’m married. My husband and I, though, when we got married, we were very clear that we were going to be the protector of the other person’s solitude and the protector of the other person’s time.

Alison: Ooh, nice.

Terilynn: So it was a big point for me just because I knew kind of like what I wanted to be doing and I knew that at some point, I would get there. So I needed to have a partner who would be okay with me not coming home for six days out of a month because I was going to be on set or I would have to work until (late) for four weeks straight. And he’s the same way. He works in a totally different offset of this industry… And that’s very helpful because he’s so understanding. Like if I say I have to do this for work, I have to be gone for work, he’s totally okay with that. Where it does become challenging is just the other relationships that I have with people where you haven’t had those conversations or made such a commitment. Like, I will protect your time. I haven’t made that commitment with my mom or my sister.

Alison: Or all of your friends.

Terilynn: Yes. Or all of my friends and while they’re being patient with me now, because this is still a little new to them, in a year, it’s not going to be. It’s going to be like, I’m just on my bullshit again about work. So that’s been the biggest struggle for me. It’s just like finding a minute to talk to people and maintaining those relationships because it’s not that people aren’t reaching out to me. It’s that yeah, yeah, yeah. And wait, I have to cancel again. So not being that friend and just the checking in every once in a while like, “Hey, I’m sorry that I can’t physically be there for something or I haven’t talked to you in a while, but here I am, I’m back from the dead. I’ve got five minutes for you.” And it doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s what I have right now and I want to give it to you.

Alison: Just accepting that sometimes it’s not going to be some meaningful long dinner or it’s not going to be like an every week thing and it’s done with purpose.

Terilynn: Actually, it’s funny that you brought up, like me being a woman, having, I don’t have children, but I have several male colleagues that I work with and they have children and they’re very — I think it’s so interesting. They’re so good at setting boundaries at work, where I’m not good about it. I think it’s a lot easier for them to do that.

Alison: Because they’re being clear about that because they have a real reason, too, to say, I have to get home for my kids. If you’re being strong enough to set those boundaries, then at least people understand it.

Terilynn: Yeah, it’s interesting. And I’ve had a couple of directors who are like, I can’t answer your emails between this time and this time because I’m with my children and I respect that. But also the same time, I’m a little bitter because I’m just like, Ooh.

Alison: So you get to do that. But I don’t get to have my time?

Terilynn: I know that if this was like a woman doing that she wouldn’t feel comfortable or we wouldn’t feel comfortable. Somebody wouldn’t feel comfortable. So I think that when it comes to any type of boundary that you need to set, like I’m just encouraging anyone to do it. So I don’t have children. But if I do need to make time for my husband, then I need to set that boundary and just say like, I (have) chosen not to have children, so I don’t have that where I can say I need to go get my kid.

Alison: But you have your family. Everyone has their own version of that.

Terilynn: Exactly. And allowing people to have like the moments that they need to just be a person because you have to take care of yourself first before anybody else. And so I’ve been trying to be better about that, about like not going into work when it’s my day off, my one day off a month, not going into the office because, ooh, I forgot that one thing. And just being like, no, it can happen tomorrow, and encouraging the other women in my office not to do the same thing.

Alison: That’s a key part. It’s like watching out for each other.

Terilynn: Right, exactly. My direct boss who hired me, she was going through some stuff and it was my first shoot for Crypt, like, alone. This was mine from conception to the end. And she was like, “Oh, I’m going to be there for you. I’m going to be there for you.” And then something came up and I could tell she couldn’t actually be there but like really wanted to just —

Alison: Like emotionally but in real life.

Terilynn: And just like no, like I have to stop you now and tell you that you can’t do this and you have to go and take care of yourself. Even though you’re my boss, I need you to leave right now. So I think I’m getting better about it. So I’m trying to encourage other people to be good about it. I mean, there are still times when people are like, you’re sick, like you’re physically sick. I can see it. You need to leave right now… We have to take care of each other. And that’s the community that we’ve created, not in the entire office, but I am on the content team. So our content team has kind of created that community where it’s like we’re just going to take care of each other. And if we see that one person is not taking care of themselves, we’re going to force them to take care of themselves. And I’m fortunate enough where I have co-workers that I really love and bond with, like we cuddle and hug and we love each other. We say, “I love you” before we leave the office. So I’m really lucky that I have people who will say no, go, no leave. Makes it easy. But it’s just hard. It’s a weird. It’s a weird dance, this industry.

Alison: Let’s end on one more like nerdy thing. So I know that we’re both big Faculty of Horror (podcast) fans, for example.

Terilynn: Yeah!

Alison: We love our ladies there. What other kinds of similar horror type things do you love? 

Terilynn: Oh, so I listen to another podcast called the Gaylords of Darkness… I really love them. What I love about them, and this is me being, I dunno, a bad millennial, but I was like, yes, a queer podcast. I’m going to listen to it and get a perspective from their side. And then I listened to it and I was like, oh no, they’re just like people talking. And that’s what I should expect. Like I shouldn’t expect anyone to teach me anything. Why am I putting all of that pressure on them?

Alison: Tell me about the queer experience.

Terilynn: Yes, tell me about the queer experience and more. Please, I need to know. And that’s the thing that we talked about where it’s like, people who have good in their mind but they’re not quite getting it. I wasn’t quite getting it at that point. And then I listened to it and I was like, oh, this is, I shouldn’t have put that pressure on the podcast or on anyone. But I still love it. It’s great. They’re really funny. And it reminds me of just like me having a conversation with my friends about what I love about these stupid movies that I’m obsessed with and what I don’t love. And sometimes they do get those little snippets where it’s like, oh, didn’t think of it. I didn’t see that. And that’s great, but not the entire podcast is about that, which is great. It’s nice to just support when I can support and not have like a different agenda. I’m learning. 

Alison: Good stuff. All right. Well, thank you so much!

Terilynn: Thank you!

Alison: Big thanks to Terilynn Troxell of Crypt TV for being with us.

Terilynn: Thanks for saying my last name right.

Alison: Well, we’ve known each other (for a while). How do people say it, though, that’s wrong?

Terilynn: Troxel.

Alison: Cool. Brownie points unintentionally. All right. Thank you so much.

Terilynn: Thank you.

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