Joseph D’Angeli is a Chiroptologist, lecturer, and veterinary
technician. Joseph’s love and dedication toward the studying of bats,
his teachings, and his overall dedication of helping people become
aware of the importance of bats to our world, is wholeheartedly
apparent. Joseph’s affiliation with NJ’s Exotic Wildlife Conservation
Programs draws in the most impressive audiences thus far, to his show
“BATS, BATS, BATS! Among his love of these nocturnal beauties, Joseph
is extremely connected to, and has a great respect toward the gothic
community, which first drew him in as a child. Through these loves, is
what has given Joseph the inspiration and the passion to live and love
his work. As well as, continuing to seek out potential opportunities
for future goals to be achieved.
Joseph has indeed put me under his compelling spell, as I’m sure others
will follow in, after reading more about his amazing work and interests
throughout the interview.
Grave Concerns: Dark greetings Joseph, it is such an amazing honor to have this interview with you. How are you?
I am doing very well Lynda, aside from computer glitches...lol.
Grave Concerns: Joseph, I did tell you there were schools to help out with that. And do you really think you should be laughing at such a serious thing as “glitches?”
Grave Concerns: When did you first become interested in bats? Actually when did you first become drawn to the gothic scene, the allure of vampires, and all that is beautifully dark and creative?
My interest in bats was awakened when I was a child...I loved the mystery surrounding bats and the fact that most other people did NOT share my love for them. Bats are usually seclusive shy creatures, and being an only child, I knew a lot about that. I was drawn to the goth scene many, many years later...it all tied in, my love for bats, horror movies, gothic beauty, castles, and old furniture etc...somehow it all ties in...lol.
Grave Concerns: You’re affiliated with the N.J. Exotic Wildlife Conservation Programs, and their most popular one being your own program called “BATS, BATS, BATS!” tell us how you got this started, and do you lecture across the country?
It started actually as my passion. I was (and still am) a chiroptologist (licensed bat scientist, exhibitor) for the state of NJ, and was just doing research on bats. After obtaining my first live bats from a Zoo in Egypt word got out about NJ's “bat man” and the area newspapers and TV shows found out about me. After only a few articles and shows, locations started asking me to speak on bats. That was in 1991, I still speak on bats and exhibit them now. It’s wonderful to make a living doing what you love and what you're passionate about. I can’t imagine working at something you are not passionate about.
Grave Concerns: I’ve read your “BAT FACTS 101” and anyone interested in bats…or frankly afraid of them, should take a look at the facts because it’s quite fascinating, and hopefully will ease the fear of bats, and for learning more about how important they are to our world. Through your studies, which fact or facts where you most proud of discovering, and which one(s) simply blew your mind away?
I found that certain parent bats will actually give their young physical "motions" or "gestures" when it is time for them to start leaving mom's body and security. As far as the mind blowing fact...lol, has to be the bat species in which males have teats that give milk.
Grave Concerns: From your expertise with bats, even in their infancy, what amazes you about their personalities toward humans? Their acceptance of humans, even after only small amounts of time being in close contact with humans.
They will usually even start to trust humans after only a short time in captivity…this, unfortunately, can also be their downfall in the wild as many bat caves have fallen victim to vandals destroying what they thought were "evil' animals.
Grave Concerns: My folks have a bat house in the back yard. It’s up at a pretty good height---18 or 20 feet. It’s darkly painted, and in the direct view of sunlight. Come spring, it’ll be three years since it’s been put up. Any helpful recommendations for getting the bats to want to live in it? I know they’re around…I’ve seen them. How about plants or berry bushes to entice them? I’ve heard it can take a few years for them to make their home in it.
Yes, true. There is no guarantee that they will take roost in any bat house, but follow the guidelines and also check inside it from time to time to make sure that no other creatures (bees, wasps, birds etc.) have nested in it...then bats wont go near it. Also, large birds of prey or other predators in the same area will keep bats from seeking refuge there.
Grave Concerns: In your experience, what is the most misunderstood reason that people give for fearing the bat?
That they will deliberately go after or attack humans. There has never been any evidence EVER to show that bats are ever aggressive towards humans UNLESS a bat is injured or on the ground. In that case, they are just being defensive and protecting themselves.
Grave Concerns: Tell us what it’s like being a part of the “CHILLER THEATRE” convention? It looks like it would be an awesome event to take part in. When is it, and how does one go about attending it? Fabulous photos too, love the Batmobile...is it functioning?
Oh,!! Chiller is my FAVORITE place to be! I was a regular attendee before actually becoming a guest. When I was asked to appear there I was blown away! I love being a part of the CHILLER family. They are wonderful people and have done incredibly wonderful things for me and my winged family. Chiller is usually three times a year. Of course the October one is the BEST! But you can find out dates and any info at www.chillertheatre.com
Grave Concerns: I’m extremely interested in learning more about The Court of Lazarus A Metropolitan Vampire Society in New York. I’d love to attend one of the events offered...I do wish I were closer, but it’s only a train ride away. You’ve performed there, please share some memorable moments from your time spent inside. Do you attend regularly, or on special occasions?
"Lazarus" is a wonderful family of like-minded individuals. It is more of a relaxed atmosphere without all of the "THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP! that goes on at most other "goth" events.This is more refined and more of a "lounge" like atmosphere. Definitely an event to attend at least once in your life...of AFTER life. I recently performed there and we are always welcomed tremendously and loved. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be after dark. I have many, many wonderful memories of Lazarus.
Grave Concerns: Sounds perfect…well, for me. I begged my friend to go…she ended up agreeing. I do have my ways. We’re going in April. I’m very excited!
Grave Concerns: Since nature is very precious to me, I tend to be drawn more toward the Earth element. Although each one has its own special attributes, together they are priceless. Which element do you see yourself more drawn toward?
Water, definitely water…it heals me when I am down.
Grave Concerns: Favorite time of night?
lol...The later the better...but around 10:00-12:00 at night when its batty feeding time, I find no other joy equals.
Grave Concerns: If it were possible to have trees and flowers which only bloom in the springtime, be able to bloom once every other year in complete safety, for three extra weeks, which trees and flowers would you like to see, and what season would they bloom in for you? hahahaha...have you been drinking?? Any BAT pollinated flowers or trees.
Grave Concerns: Have I been drinking…what do you think I’ve been drinking Joseph? (;
Grave Concerns: Same question as above, although this time it’s in regard to birds. I’d love to see the Hummingbirds…in winter. It would look amazing to see snowflakes and a thin glaze of ice on their wings, and iridescent bodies.
That’s a beautiful image to think of, but I still think your drunk.
Grave Concerns: Thank you. Drunk on darkness Dark One.
Grave Concerns: If you had a say in either or both, what other horror movie of the past would you like to see remade, and which one would you like to see a sequel to?
"NIGHTWING" has to be remade! But the original was great! Cheesiest vampire bats ever, but Nick Mancuso was great. Sequels…hmmmm, another Jaws maybe…but have to get Spielberg back.
Grave Concerns: What is sexy in your eyes? Oh boy…lol...I like very "lady-like" women, I dislike rude obnoxious people. Shy, demure women who dress like ladies. Dresses are sexy…black is sexy.
Red is sexy...lace and silk is sexy...
Grave Concerns: Sounds like you got it covered my friend…or uncovered…lol!
Grave Concerns: What does your answering machine message say?
Business like greeting. I get a lot of bat business calls home too. I have to be professional…lol…
Grave Concerns: The Dark Knight, starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger (sadly his last role, as what will be a moving and history-making role playing The Joker) is coming out on Friday, July 18th. How do you think the new Batman movies are being represented? And do you feel Christian Bale has proven himself as a worthy Batman?
MORE than worthy! I think he is great as the B-man. I am a huge Bale fan as well as a Heath Ledger fan. His death was as sad as it gets and I think the "Joker" role would have shot him into super-stardom. I am very much looking forward to the new installment in the series, though it will no doubt, be a bittersweet triumph. The last batman was one of the best ever. Great story and lots of bats!
Grave Concerns: If you had the chance, to live in (or by) one of the following haunted places, which would you choose and why. A graveyard, which has been declared an historical landmark; across from an abandoned railroad station; a fire station converted to a one-family home; a courthouse into luxury apartments, or an ice cream factory?
Already done…lol. My father ran a country club that was built next to and on top of a cemetery. It was definitely home to several spirits and we saw many strange things and sometimes heard children laughing late at night when NO ONE was even allowed near the place...I always felt secure though, it wasn’t a scary haunting...They seemed like they like our presence there. I miss that place.
Grave Concerns: Any current horror movies you’ve seen you like to make mention of? I’m going to be seeing “The Orphanage” and “Possession “very soon. I recently saw “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”.
Sweeney Todd rocked!!!!
Grave Concerns: Favorite holiday, color, number and symbol?
Halloween, Purple...(no fave #) ^^v^^
Grave Concerns: Do you lick stamps or have the ones with the self-adhesive?
Both...and you're still not sober, huh?
Grave Concerns: cmsdkdsorfokjitlkslsdkjsdkiujugtoi.
Grave Concerns: It’s picture time Joseph! You do the vamp thing so effortlessly…you are so very cool---my vampy and dark friend. I’m jealous of your cardboard cutout lady vamp…so let’s just talk about the one without her in it…lol! I do love that picture…how was it done? And the jewelry you’re wearing, any meanings surrounding the pieces? And the baby bats---priceless. How many weeks were they then? Nice picture of you and Tiffany. Did she get to hold the bat?
Awww…**blushes** that wasn’t a cardboard cutout either!! That was a photoshop pic that was seamlessly inserted by my photoshop GURU and great friend Michael. We won’t talk about the victim, ehem, I mean, model in the pic…but the photo (one of the only ones I like of me) was done by Mr. Steve truglio, one of my best friends from a company found on MySpace called "DEAD ISSUES”. He's a wonderful photographer and artist and anyone that can make me look that good is a true magician in his art. The photo was done untouched in my home. The jewelry is just personal trinkets collected over the years or given to me by friends and family. Mostly bat stuff, of course...the baby bats were a couple of months old, I think...Tiffany was awesome, she's beautiful and an avid animal lover. She
had as great of a time as we did!
Grave Concerns: I thought we weren’t going to talk about the “gorgeous, sexy woman in the pic”…now I know she’s real…GREAT…thanks a lot. Still lovin’ that pic of you though. Oh, no...the other pics of you are so nice. (:
Grave Concerns: Have you thought about making a DVD or writing a book about your work? It would likely make for a great charitably contribution to bat conservation.
I know there are videos out there with some of my appearances, and I recently had talks with some of the people behind the old HBO kids show "Fraggle Rock" (remember that one!!??) about doing a puppet-type kids show centering around me and the batties. I LOVE that idea…I hope it sees the light of day! I have always wanted to write a full book, and hopefully it will come to fruition some day soon.
Grave Concerns: I “Googled it”, so YES, I do! Hey, am I older than you?
Grave Concerns: So you like chocolate…and anti-anxiety drugs… together, like a chocolate covered pill? Do you like it chewy or soft? (; What then, is one of you favorite desserts you like to order?
Ugh! I am a CHOCOHOLIC! I like anything gooey and chocolately...but I had to cut chocolate binges since..."the incident"...nevermind.
Grave Concerns: Righty or Lefty?
Grave Concerns: Sorry about that.
Grave Concerns: I love your warped sense of humor too… (“THAT’S COOKING COMMA, PETS”) and I’m really sorry you don’t remember where you put “A Guide To Memory Loss”…I’ll see if I have a copy. What am I looking for a copy of? How important is humor to you? And this is a serious question…really, pretty much it is. (;
Humor has always saved my life...got me through the toughest times I've ever been through and I got it all from my Dad. He has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh and have a good time. Humor is tremendously important to me...I also like a woman with a sense of humor…Uh, is this interview starting to sound like my last "match.com” ad?? You suck.
Grave Concerns: “So you’re the one who dissed my “match.com” ad…thanks again! I thought I had that one in the bag. I suck…was that a question? Never on the first interview…that wouldn’t be very lady-like now would it? (;
Grave Concerns: Since music plays such a critical element in movies, which bands or artists in the current music industry could you visualize composing a song or even a soundtrack to a vampire or other horror flick of your likening?
Wow, cool question Lynda! Music was such a major part of my life for many, many years and still is. I would love to compose with Trent Reznor, or Billy Corgin... I always wanted to sing opera too. I'd love to do something "Phantom-ish". I have a digital recording studio collecting dust in my basement right now...I wish I had the inspiration (and time) to write and record again.
Grave Concerns: Do you have tattoos or piercings? Maybe two puncture wounds on your neck that have healed up rather nicely?
Have you been looking in my windows again? What did the police say last time Lynda??
Grave Concerns: I don’t remember. I think I was drunk. HA!
Grave Concerns: You’ve been invited to teach during a month long seminar while discovering “new information” on “The Vampire Bat”, set in a gothic castle in Europe. There are certain rules though, that you’d have to abide by in order to teach. The first one; you’re going to be teaching the course at midnight; secondly; your potential “findings” will begin at 1:00 AM; thirdly; you wouldn’t have any outside correspondence with America, unless of course, it were to check in with you family…but it would be monitored, only for the sake of information not being leaked innocently during conversation; and lastly; any “new information” learned in your studies, regardless of how real it may appear to be, would only be used in your for entertainment purposes, such as for a function. Would you accept? Oh, I almost forgot---you’d have to sign the contract in blood.
WHEN DO WE LEAVE?
Grave Concerns: How about a week from next Thursday?
Grave Concerns: Grave Concerns: I’m giving you 13 letters to choose from, in any order; you only have to use 6 of them (you can use more if you want, but not less than 6) and you have to make up a phrase describing a vision you had of seeing yourself in a 1898 painting, hung in a European museum you never visited. Weeks later, an exhibition traveling though your state museum has that very picture you dreamt. But only with these letters...JDFANBCLPYIWT.
Grave Concerns: “Moonlight”, the new vampire series on CBS has now aired---have you been able to watch it yet? If so, what do you think of it? What about “Blood Ties” on Lifetime? And for the record…I don’t think either are too girly.
I tried to sit through an episode of both of them...yuck...what is it about these "Vamp-shows'...I guess they cant find real creative consultants…hehe I liked "Forever Knight" and really liked "Kindred-The Embraced"...
Grave Concerns: LOVE “Forever Knight” and I have the DVD of “Kindred-The Embraced”.
Grave Concerns: If you were to plant a tree to symbolize something special in your life, where would that tree be planted, and what kind is it?
A weeping willow tree. Always loved those trees as a child, they were sad, yet spooky. I would plant one in my backyard where some of our pets were buried.
Grave Concerns: Johnny Depp, who’ll be starring as Barnabas Collins in the theatrical version of the classic soap opera “Dark Shadows”, will make a great vampire. The man can practically do no wrong. The only thing YOU could say to change my immensely strong feelings about him is if you were to tell me you’re a vampire. (; Do you follow Dark Shadows (old and revised episodes, or the career of Johnny Depp? What’s your opinion on his casting of Barnabas Collins?
I do enjoy Mr. Depp's acting very much. I’m sure he'll do the role justice. I don’t know much of the old Dark shadows, though I do remember it...
Grave Concerns: Here’s another game I like to call “Would You Rather”…
1. Drink blood from a 16th century goblet in the privacy of your own home, or drink it from a sports bottle after a long and hot walk in the park?
2. Be the turner or the turned?
"maker”, actually Lynda.
Grave Concerns: Whatever. (;
3. Ask for forgiveness or be the forgiver?
I've been the asker too many times…I owe people.
4. Grant one wish or ask for one?
I'm all about making dreams come true Lynda…lol
5. Be the kisser or the kissed?
Right this moment, the kissed...
Grave Concerns: Would you call yourself a spiritual person?
Yes, but not fanatical, or organized.
Grave Concerns: Are you a collector of horror memorabilia or other dark arts?
YES!! And especially gargoyles of all shapes and sizes…also a big Bigfoot believer…I have a plaster cast of a foot print!!
Grave Concerns: What is your drink of choice? And what’s one of the best meals you can cook?
hmmm, I love iced tea…and red wine. I cook seafood real well...and eat it even better.
Grave Concerns: Are you into the creative art of illusions? If so, whom do you admire?
NOT Criss Angel…lol.
David Blaine rules. I met him once and hung out at his apartment a week before 9-11. You could see the twin towers right next to his pad.
Grave Concerns: Do you floss?
Grave Concerns: Do you believe in ESP and ghosts or “other” unexplainable occurrences?
Yes I do.
Grave Concerns: Have you ever traveled to Transylvania? If not, would you?
I was told not to answer this one…it could incriminate me.
Grave Concerns: I love the intricate looks of Labyrinths, and the mysteriousness of what lies within them. If you were to create one, how would it look?
Like this ^^v^^ ^^V^^ ^^V^^
Grave Concerns: OK. But those look like mountains.
Grave Concerns: Write whatever comes to your mind after reading the following:
1. The smell of lilacs enveloped the bedroom…
It reminded me of her presence
2. It was only that one time…
Then the cops told Lynda to stay away from my home.
Grave Concerns: I’ve been back since.
3. Don’t ever question my…
Authority in this area...I thought I was wrong ONCE, but I was mistaken. :)
4. If it were not for that one person who took…
My heart, I would feel secure right now.
Grave Concerns: That’s so sad…
5. He led her into his…
basement that was decorated like a dark, blue castle hall...and made her watch "Nightwing" over and over again.
Grave Concerns: Oh, yeah…your MySpace layout…right? Love it! Man, you are OBSESSED with “Nightwing”! Hope you give the poor gal some food!
6. She had this sudden urge to…
Grave Concerns: Cocky vamp aren’t’ you?
7. He only had these three words to say to her…
that’s my BAT.
Grave Concerns: Do you think the horror industry has become to too goreified and sexually exploited?
Couldn’t have said it better myself dear...Nobody has an original idea anymore…everything is a re-make, and a BAD one at that.
Grave Concerns: Have you ever slept in a coffin?
I know where this is going....ugh.
Grave Concerns: Shroud of mist creeping over the Wisteria. What’s the first visualization that came to you from seeing those words?
Grave Concerns: Who’s drunk now?
Grave Concerns: If you had the chance to travel back to the past, where would you go, and what would you want to leave as a reminder of time spent, as well as, something to take back with you?
Romania…I would leave a bat trinket as a reminder and bring back with me a beautiful Romanian gypsy girl...oh sh*t, did I just stereotype...?
Grave Concerns: Yes, you did. And it’s ALWAYS the dark-haired girls too. So why did you bleep yourself?…We’re not on PBS. C’mon, this is Grave Concerns E-zing…live (well die, or be dead… I mean un-dead a little! (;
Grave Concerns: What does your bat cave look like?
Dark, a lot of nocturnal lights. And gargoyles.
Grave Concerns: What is your all time favorite horror movie/vampire movie?
Oh man, that’s a tough one... I like "Interview”...and LOVE "Dusk Till Dawn".
Grave Concerns: How about the sexiest scene in a horror movie (yeah, I know, look what I wrote six questions above) but I am the one asking, not answering.
When Gary Oldman (Dracula) is dining with Winona Ryder and he goes to kiss her and she is kind of crying when he describes what his "homeland' was like, and he touches her cheek with his thumb and turns her tears into diamonds and gives them to her...oh yeah, he's getting laid that night.
Grave Concerns: That scene is so awesome…but just because a guy gives a girl diamonds he’s going to get lucky? Hmmm, OK…Gary Oldman…just wiping my tears would have been enough.
Grave Concerns: What do you feel makes a horror story a classic? Why then, do you think, more horror moviemakers don’t follow that formula?
a STORY. Because that would be too difficult to actually use your brain and imagination.
Grave Concerns: Anything else you care to share with us about yourself and your wonderful work?
Just that I thank everyone for their constant support and continued love for bats and the work that I do with them. I am thankful for the life I have with my beloved creatures of the night. Our new facility will soon be opened to the public for the first time ever and people will be able to come and visit me and the bats on weekends whenever they want! More details about the facility and the grand opening will soon be posted on our website…www.njbatman.com
Grave Concerns: Joseph, dear, dear Joseph, we here at Grave Concerns (and this is on a scale of say…339%…I like odd numbers, so let me calculate; 338.997, is that even a mathematical number? I don’t know, heck, I had a math tutor in high school, anyway…back to YOU Joseph, and that scale of 338.997, is how thrilled I am to have had this interview with you…many, many thank-yous, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share a part of yourself with us all (really me) but who’s counting anyway? It has been a great pleasure to have this opportunity with you. We here at Grave Concerns wish you continued success with the work that you do with such heartfelt devotion, through helping people understand the world in which bats share with us, and help us, through your teachings about the importance of them. Please keep in touch Joseph…or better yet, save a bite for me…always! Cheers, my friend.
Thank YOU all for the chance to talk about my passions. Life is NOTHING without passion.
For more information on Joseph D’Angeli check out http://www.myspace.com/njbatman and www.njbatman.com
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