Nancy Boy: Denver FilmCenter's Keith Garcia gets A Nightmare On Elm Street tattoo

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Keith & Nancy.
When we chatted with Keith Garcia, Denver FilmCenter's Programming Manager, prior to last week's showing of I Am Nancy, he told us a secret: Garcia promised that in honor of the film's star, Heather Langenkamp -- who came out to Denver for the screening to talk about her role as Nancy Thompson in the Nightmare On Elm Street series -- he was going to get a tattoo. Of her face. Garcia delivered on the promise, and we caught up with him to talk about the new ink on his arm in homage to Freddy's final girl.

Westword: Who did the tattoo?

Keith Garcia: Ian Robert McKown at Sinfulltration (in Lakewood.)

Did you pick McKown for any reason in particular?

He has done work for a friend of mine, and I've always been impressed with his work. Most importantly, his portraiture skills. Especially since I wanted to have a perfect likeness of her.

Why did you pick this particular image of Heather, er, Nancy?

When we started out, I was going to go for a more iconic tattoo. It was going to be the poster image from the very first film -- Which is (Nancy) with Freddy's glove kind of hanging over her. But Ian suggested, number one, that I do something that other people can't just get. Because anybody can get that poster put on them.

So he found a photo of Freddy and photo of Heather, and we just went back and forth about like, well, what if we did this, and this is happening, and this is happening. And it was actually very fast, considering I got there ready to have it tattooed on me.

How long did it take?

Three and a half hours. It is my third tattoo, but the first of that size.

What was Heather's reaction when she saw the tattoo?

She loved it. I revealed it during the Q&A, after the screening of her film. It was actually the first thing. I was like, 'before we get into this Q&A, I have something to show you.' She really liked it and even said, 'Oh my god, I want to cry!' I guess no one's really done that before. It's all been the typical Freddy stuff, or in the film (I Am Nancy) there is a woman that has a tattoo of first A Nightmare on Elm Street poster on her leg.

Incidentally, it doesn't really look like her in that poster. So actually going from the photograph of her, I think was just really -- she just loved it. It's the perfect focus of Heather over Freddy, and then the whole "Nancy Boy" thing under it just sort of caps it off, so...(Laughs).

Let's talk about the significance of this character, Nancy, to you in particular.


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