Once in a blue moon, a television show comes along that makes a memorable mark in one's mind. For me, one such show was Friday the 13th: The Series, which premiered on the 28th of September, 1987. It ran three seasons and ended, unfortunately for all its adoring fans, on the 26th of May, 1990.
It was unique, fun, and creepy, with a cast of very likable protagonists. The show centered around three main characters, Micki, Ryan, and Jack. Cousins Micki and Ryan inherited a weird, old antique shop from their uncle, Lewis Vendredi (that's "Friday," in French), whom they'd never met.
Unbeknownst to them, Lewis was not a nice man, my malevolent misanthropes. Nope, in fact, old Uncle Lewis had made a pact with the devil. In exchange for wealth and the promise of immortality, Lewis would sell cursed antique objects to the unwary buyer, which usually had deadly or tragic consequences.
After taking possession of the store, Micki and Ryan set out to sell off the remaining stock, not knowing, of course, about Lewis' Faustian pact. Upon discovering the truth, they took it upon themselves, along with one of Lewis's old friends, Jack Marshak, to recover these cursed objects. They renamed the shop Curious Goods, and once the objects were found, they were locked away in a basement vault.
This task was not easy, nor was it without a price, sometimes a heavy one. recovery of the cursed objects often took its toll on all of the characters, mentally and physically. The end of season two found us crying at the departure of our beloved Ryan, and the introduction of Johnny Ventura. Hot after Micki, he was a hard-edged bad boy. Although he lacked Ryan's boyish charm, near the middle of season three he began to grow on you.
Friday the 13th really delivered on the creepy scale. Episodes like "Scarecrow," "Tales I Live, Heads You Die," "The Prophecies" (parts 1 and 2), "Demon Hunter," and "Charnel Pit" are enough to keep you up all night with the lights on. Of course, most of the other episodes were just as disturbing, but these just happen to be my favourites. Watch the series and decide for yourselves what hellish episode will keep you tossing and turning. And remember: if you visit an antique shop and your purchase starts making your wishes come true, you just might have in your pitiable possession an object cursed by Satan himself.
I recently had the pleasure, my reprehensible reprobates, of interviewing actor, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, John D. LeMay. John portrayed Ryan Dallion in Friday the 13th from
You might also recall that he starred in another Friday the 13th, except this was on the big screen as Steven Freeman with the horror legend Jason, in 1993's Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.
Coincidence? I'm not sure, my miserable minions. Perhaps the "stars were right."
In any case, John not only is apt at playing a heart throb and hero onscreen, but also quite capable onstage, where he returned to his musical theater roots with the award winning Cabrillo Music Theater. He followed that up with starting his own video production company. Want to know more about this multi-talented, fan favourite, my delectable deviants? Read on and see what John has to say.
Lili's Lair: How did your time on Friday the 13th The Series change your life?
John D. LeMay: I love meeting people, and the show has and continues to
introduce me to new friends. I am constantly amazed and humbled
by the response I get from people who watched and appreciated
Lili's Lair: Why did you decide to leave after the second season? If you had to do it all
over again would you make the same decision?
John D. LeMay: Who walks away from a television series, right?!
Someone recently suggested I left the show because I was looking
for “bigger and better” opportunities, wanting to “be a star.”
That wasn’t the case at all. In fact, I was very grateful for
the opportunity I had been given to be in the series, and I
already felt every bit a “star” thanks to all our incredible
My fellow actors and I, the crew and directors all worked hard
to get our jobs done under really difficult conditions. Each
week’s episode presented challenges (e.g., long hours, extreme
cold) that were a grueling test for our bodies and minds. I
felt we were already giving 110%, yet there was increasing
pressure to get more done faster and cheaper. The crew had
become my family, and I was becoming unhappy with the way that
they, my fellow actors, and I were being treated. There was a
lot of grumbling on the set. Midway through the second season,
the grumbling was getting worse and it became apparent to me
that nothing was going to change.
Would I make the same decision again? I’m not sure. I wasn’t
willing to tune it out then, and I doubt I would be willing to
tune it out now. In the end, I made the decision I thought was best for me at the
I bought a Jeep, spent the summer touring major league baseball
parks, and did a play in Chicago with my college buddies.
Lili's Lair: During your time on the show what do you feel you learned about "The
John D. LeMay: I am not sure what I learned about “the industry” because I
don’t think our show was typical of the industry at the time
as the show was operating under a new model, being one of the
first pre-sold, 1st run syndicated shows. In other words, we
were contracted for a certain number of episodes per year for
the life of our contracts. That meant we did not have to go
through the same “get ratings or die” process that a network
series usually would go through. Consequently, We had the
luxury of time to both improve as a show and grow our audience.
Lili's Lair: What effect did working on a show about the supernatural have on your
perspective toward the supernatural?
John D. LeMay: I can’t say the show necessarily deepened my perspective.
I have always been fascinated by the occult.
Prior to getting the series, I went to a service at a
“Spritualist Center”, in a quaint Hollywood bungalow on
Lexington Ave. A group of mediums gathered and channeled
spirits, answering questions written on special paper and placed
in a basket prior to service. At the end of the service the
reader pulled my question/billet from the basket. It felt like
kismet to have mine pulled. I was told that I would be
receiving an offer for a job … a job that would take me “back
east” and that, in fact, I would be “moving” back east.
A couple of months later, I was moving to Toronto.
There are many tools and signposts on the path to self-knowledge
and discovery. I have always been curious about them all.
Lili's Lair: What was a typical day on the set like?
John D. LeMay: There was never a “typical day” on the set. Each episode was an
What an incredible bunch of talent we got to work with! A young
director named Atom Egoyan helmed the first episode we shot.
David Cronenberg graced us with his presence. Regular directors
Tim Bond, William Fruet, and Armand Mastroianni could be
depended on to get the job done with pinache.
It was exciting to work with actors like Colm Feore, the late
Denis Forest, Carolyn Dunn, an Tom McCamus. Legends like Carrie
Snodgrass, RG Armstrong, Ray Walston, Scott Paulin, and Fritz
Weaver always created a bit of buzz on the set.
As I recall, each episode took a little over a week to shoot.
Just about every week, we would have to move from a day to
evening schedule. Work on the beginning of each new episode
would also be accompanied by second unit pick ups (shots needed
to complete the prior week’s episode).
Locations were always fun. We really got to see the city of
Toronto. I loved the chance to explore the city and its
environs with the crew.
At the end of each week, we would end up back on the set of
Curious Goods. These scenes were filled with tons of dialogue
and very little action. And, working into the early morning
hours made these scenes a challenge. We would stumble out of
the studio blinded by the rising sun, low on the horizon.
We started it all over again a day and a half later, arriving at
yet another location as the sun was rising.
Lili's Lair: Looking back, what was your overall experience while making of the series?
Lili's Lair: Is there any advice you would give your younger self who's just starting out
in the first days of production of the show?
John D. LeMay: Learn to pace yourself.
In many ways, being the star of a television series met my
expectations. I loved working with the cast and crew, and
practicing my craft on a daily basis. I remember being
instantly supported by the crew and lifted by their belief in my
abilities. The confidence I experienced as a result took my work
to new levels.
At the same time, the rigors of being the first to arrive on set
and the last to leave can be draining. As the lead in a series,
often times it just has to be you, your face in front of the
camera. It may not feel like you are acting at all, but there
you are, dead on your feet in front of the camera.
Lili's Lair: What project(s) are you working on now?
John D. LeMay: I began a video production company in Boise called feat1stfilms
where I play the role of videographer, editor and director. We
have been generously welcomed into the community of filmmakers
here. We produce branded video content for websites and social
media, helping business and individuals share their stories
visually with a broader audience. Earlier this year, we received
an Idaho Media Professionals award for a fun advertising piece
we did for a local artist.
Currently I am filming and editing a time-lapse video for an art
installation in a bank lobby downtown.
Lili's Lair: What's next for John D. LeMay?
John D. LeMay: My family recently acquired a new puppy. I foresee many hours
spent trying to get him to take direction, hit his mark and
speak on cue.
And there you have it, my wicked wastrels. If you're looking for something to do after the Halloween revelries have finished and the screams have subsided, give Friday the 13th: The Series a watch. It's sure to give you ideas to further fuel your future depravities.