Teilo Hull, a 29-year-old man from Crewe, sits in front of me. He’s looking at photos with autographs and Funko Pop mascots which lie on the separating us table. He never thought that winning the Hutt Funko Pop auction from Monopoly Events would change his whole life and help him pick his career path for the future.
“When I went to the BEC Arena to pick it up and also to be involved in a volunteer event, we got to do an escape room on the style of the cantina from Star Wars, and from there, I was hooked!” he says with excitement. This day he had a chance to meet the organiser of Monopoly Events and get to know other people interested in volunteering for the conventions.
As it states on their website, Monopoly Events “offer a very diverse range of exhibitions, conferences, and festivals,” and their aim is “to bring fans together and make fan-based and community-driven events.” At those events, fans have a chance to make their dreams come true and meet their idols. They are also known for cosplays, which means dressing up as characters from movies, books, games, etc.
The first event Teilo attended was For The Love of Horror in 2018. He experienced it as what they call a handler and looked after Barbara Nadelajkova from the movie Hostel.
“As a handler, I would be assigned a guest at the event and make sure to get them to photoshoots, stage, or green room. I would also look after them at their table, handling the money for them. So it’s pretty much a personal assistant for whatever guest I was assigned to.” he explains.
When asked about Barbara Nadelajkova, he smiles and describes her as a really down-to-earth person.
“She had the patience for everyone and treated everyone with respect. I like the fact, she didn’t let her celebrity side get to her head. There was nothing not to like about her. She’s just a decent person.” says Teilo, and a while later, he mentions, she doesn’t act anymore and works in real estate now.
Since then, he has helped out at a few different events, including Liverpool Comic-Con, Scotland Comic-Con, For the Love of Sci-Fi, For the Love of 80s, etc. He had a chance to work with people who are known all over the world, for example, Anjelica Hutson (“Baywatch”), Sam J Jones (“Flash Gordon”), Mark Boone Jr (“Sons of Anarchy”), and Jack Strauffer (“Battlestar”).
“While working with them, the biggest surprise of them all was how respectful they all were. No matter how famous they are, they all had respect for everyone involved. Whether it was a contract discussion, general chitchat, talking to a fan, or an organiser. I haven’t met a diva yet.” he says. Spending two days in a row with each of these people made Teilo realize they are no different from the people he meets every day on the street.
Teilo was able to spend all days in the arena with the celebrities and had a chance to show them around the cities he worked at and even go for dinner or a drink with some of them.
“I remember, there were 15 power rangers in Liverpool, and I was showing them around for a night out after the first night of the con. I had to tell one of them to get off the statue as he decided to climb to the top, just cause he could. I’m at the bottom of the statue, stressing, thinking if he falls and hurts himself, I am in trouble. Luckily no injuries.” he laughs, remembering this day.
“I am a qualified music engineer, but by taking the jump at this opportunity to volunteer at For the Love of Horror convention, it has opened new doors and paths I never thought of. Now I know the entertainment industry is the one I want to work in,” he claims . ”And to hear them respect me for the job I have done for them gives me a strong sense of pride and helps me believe in myself more. When you hear so many nice words from people like them, you can’t just not believe in yourself. Jack Stauffer, for example, told me to keep being true to myself. Mark Boone Jr. couldn’t praise me enough, which I felt very humbled by. I think the biggest impact on me had Sam Jones.” At this point, Tailo smiles and looks very proud of himself. “He trusts me that much, he wanted me to help out as his handler at other conventions. He has a very good busy mind on him and is teaching me the way of how to make myself a business in this industry,” he adds.
Sadly Covid hit before they could get into it, so it has put it on a back burner. Tailo plans to speak to the event organisers to pass his contact information to Sam when the pandemic ends. Right now, he’s just been focusing on other work to tide him over and tries to plan his future in the entertainment industry.
“I definitely recommend trying it. Go to the conventions as a fan if you don’t fancy working there. On top of meeting the celebs, you also gain a family. I have gained so many close friends there, I couldn’t be happier.” he ends, handing me a signed picture of him and Sam Jones.