Super Soap Weekend #4, Sept 25-26, 1999
by Tracey Warren

There were four of us in attendance . . .Trina, Becky, Beth and Moi (Tracey)!

Friday:  I have to mention that while we were standing in line to ride Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin at the Magic Kingdom, minding our business who should walk by but Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos!!   Becky starts slapping me on the arm, hollering in one of those whispering screams "Oh my god, y'all . . . there's Hayley and Mateo!!"  She's not so much an AMC fan but a definite OLTL fan, so I'm constantly telling her the AMCers real names.  After prying her spindly fingers from my arm (conveniently allowing my brain a few milliseconds to process what the hell she's saying) I snap my head around, and sure enough there they are.  Kelly was carrying young Michael and as thin as that girl is he was probably the only thing keeping her on the ground.  He, by the way, is the cutest little boy.  We just sort of watched them for a few seconds (nobody brought a camera that day, as it was our intention to ride the rides not take photos . . .bummer!)  Besides, I'd met Mark and Kelly before and wasn't going to lose my place in line.  Just for information sake, I scored more points than the other 3 people in my party . . .I'm an official Space Ranger.  Thank you, thank you very much (in my very best Elvis voice)!!

Saturday:  The Mission - - Abduct Cameron Mathison HAHA!! Kidding, bygones!  Actually, we wanted to get Carmeron's autograph first.  So, we split into "teams" of two.  Me & Beth and Trina & Becky.  My team was ready to go and at the bus stop at 8:30 a.m.  Cameron's first appearance was at 10:30.  We were sure that we'd be in line in p l e n t y of time.  We were psyched.  Beth and I each had a copy of the February Playgirl with Cameron lusciously gracing the cover. 

The first snag in the day was that an MGM bus took forty-five minutes to arrive so I was ticked already.  Then it took another 30 minutes to get from the bus stop to MGM which is only a couple of miles away.  I was a little more ticked.  Then, of course, there was a freaking line at the gate.  What is it about insert ticket here, walk through gate, pick up ticket, that is hard for people to understand???  It's only three steps!  How do these people brush their teeth in the morning? Good Grief!  By this time, I was not a happy camper.  Finally we get through the gate,  grab a schedule and haul ass over to New York Street, which was where the majority of autograph sessions took place this year.  This was a vast improvement over last year.  Kudos to whomever worked out that gem.  But, alas, we were too late, the line was astronomical.  It took about three seconds for me to decide that we would skip Cameron that time.  We did hang around and snap a few photos though.  He is so yummie!

So then we head over to get in line for Wally Kurth for the 12:30 autograph session.  Wally is equally as yummie as Cameron in my opinion (I'm biased though, I used to love him on DAYS years ago) and I am beyond thrilled.  It was around this time that Becky and Trina showed up heralding the fact that they got some "awesome pictures" (their words -not mine, you be the judge) of Cameron sans shirt.

Anyway, by virtue of proximity, we are able to glimpse Mark Consuelos signing.  I'm not the least bit impressed with Mark, because of his behavior two years ago (he was an ass the entire weekend) but Beth has never met any of the stars so I pause briefly for her to gawk and oddly enough Mark looked as if he was actually enjoying himself.  Being the cynic that I am, my thought was that his agent/PR person or whatever probably told him to straighten up and fly right, but then again maybe Kelly is just a good influence.  Speaking of whom, Kelly Ripa was signing just across the alley, and she was just fabulous with each individual fan and the crowd at large.  Beth managed to jump over into Kelly's line just before her hour was up and got one of her B&W photos signed and got Kelly to sign my AMC book.  It is a real coup to get two items signed.  Yea Beth! 

One side note, once after Kelly's hour was up, no one was following her at that location so she stayed and signed until everyone in line got an autograph.  How kewl is that?

It was nearing 12:30 so we stand and I'm getting butterflies in my stomach because I just love Wally.  He is really the one I've been waiting on.   Wally peeks around the corner, smiles and steps out . . .The crowd applauds and screams enthusiastically!   WOW he is good-looking!  I LOVE HIM!

A few moments later, Nancy Lee Grahn walks out and again the crowd applauds and screams.  She waves to us as she passes.  She's looking beautiful as usual, though why anyone choses to wear a skirt out there is beyond me.  The humidity was just awful and I live in the South, I'm used to it.  I think even the buildings were sweating. 

Anyway, finally it's my turn to get Wally's autograph.  I slide up there, we discuss the last K&T album "Nashville" and how it lives in my car because I love it and he tells me that the new album "Freedom" leans a little more towards rock rather than country and that we'd get a taste of it that evening at the concert.  I sneak in a hug, pose for the photo, say thanks for the autograph and walk off, smiling like a big, goofy idiot.  I just love him! 

Then, it's Beth's turn -blahblahblah.    

We take a brief water break and immediately head back to the line for Nancy Lee Grahn at 2:30.  We have to find a place in line and park it for quite some time, but I have to say it was worth the wait.  She is so nice.  When I got up to her I had to tell her how much I loved her on Santa Barbara.  Mason & Julia were my favorites even at the height of the Cruz & Eden frenzy.  I also mentioned that I love Alexis and she is the luckiest woman on that show,
married to Jax, sleeping with Ned, representing Sonny, and conspiring with Luke.  It doesn't get any better than that.  She just said how she enjoyed doing SB and that she really enjoys what she's doing now and how nice it was for me to say that.

We head for the food line, stopping briefly to observe John Callahan signing some autographs and much to my delight he was wearing shorts.  I met him two years ago but I had to get a photo of those bare legs.  You don't get many opportunities like that!  I know, I'm shallow.

We also pass Walt Willey working the crowd like a rib-bone.  Beth had to gawk.  I'd already met him too because he's always at every event, so we decided to check out Soap Opera Central.  We amuse ourselves with the merchandise/memorabilia and much to my surprise and delight saw Susan Lucci's long overdue Emmy Award.  I got teary-eyed just thinking of watching her face when her name was called.  YOU GO SUSAN!!  But I digress, we also checked out her new perfume Invitation which I liked very much.

We paused briefly at the main stage to watch Susan Lucci be interviewed by Michael Logan from TV Guide (why he was there is still a mystery to me).  She looked great and I'm still constantly amazed by her.  The doofus interviewer asked her if she was going to put herself in the running for another emmy now that she'd finally won.  She said "Why not?".  I was thinking: what the hell is his deal? Like I said he's a doofus.

That killed enough time for us to be able to go form a line for Jackie Zeman or so we thought.  Turns out there was already a line formed.  They were only going to guarantee that the first 75 people would get to meet Jackie.  I was 77 or something.  I risked it and am so glad I did.  I met some new friends that I've already been chatting with since the weekend and most importantly I finally got to meet Jackie.  She introduced herself to me (like I didn't know who she was :P)  I know it's just good manners but I found it amusing nonetheless.  I made my little speech about how I'd been in line to meet her the last two years and never made it to her.  She told me she was so glad that I finally made it.  I kept thinking all along how really, and sincerely nice she was.  Slipping into my juvenile mode I have to say SHE RULES!

Well, that was all for the autographs that day so we headed back up to main street to stake out a good spot for the Grand Motorcade and the concert.

The motorcade was first.  All the stars were riding with some Disney characters.  This was my first glimpse at some of the stars this year and I have pictures of all of them.  This was the only time I saw Marcy Walker.  I really wanted to meet her I just didn't have enough time, but maybe next year.   All the stars got up on stage following the motorcade.  There was dancing and general merriment among the stars.  John Callahan and Finola Hughes were dancing together, he dipped her once and she nearly lost her hat.  Nancy Lee Grahn's little girl, Kate, was dancing with the Disney characters and it took a good deal of coaxing to get her to leave the stage.  She was adorable!

Then came the concert.  AAAHHHH, what can I possibly say about Wally other than he is just fab-u-lous!  One of the 10 Commandments of the Soap Opera Bible should be:  Wally will wear the leather pants at regular intervals, 'cuz ooooo-wwwweeeeeee mama does he ever look good in those things!!!!!! Just imagine me standing there tongue hanging out making that noise that Homer Simpson makes when he thinks of beer or doughnuts!

Kurth & Taylor played first and were awesome as usual.  Followed by Catherine Hickland and some unimportant guys, one of whom flew in from London to sing with her on one song. WHATEVER! Then, Vincent Irizzary sang.  He wasn't so bad but I don't expect him to be nominated for any Grammys.  Then Mark Consuelos introduced C-Note who sang four or five songs.  I was totally unimpressed and perplexed as to why this little teeny-bopper boy band got stuck in the middle of my soap stuff.  Then, we were graced with a song from Michael Saucedo *yawn*.

Finally, Kurth & Taylor were back and they rock!  I can't wait to get my hands on the new CD.  The last song they perform is Skynyrd's Gimme 3 Steps and the concert has gone on well past the expected time so the "Fantasmic" fireworks show begins.  It was the coolest thing to see the fireworks going off during the concert.  Maybe they should plan it like that next year {hint hint}.  Usually the concert is over by 9 or so, but it was 10:30 before they
finished!  I was pooped!

At some point during the day, Trina and Becky rode The Hollywood Tower of Terror with none other than our very own Amber Tamblyn.  Pretty cool, huh!?

Sunday:  Again we split into two teams.  Beth and I leave around 8:30 again.  Our first mission is (again) Cameron Mathison and he's not out until noon.  We definitely have plenty of time today.  As we're walking in, I pause at the main stage to get some photos of Lynn Herring, Kin Shriner, Rebecca Herbst, Amber Tamblyn and Michael Saucedo.  First order of business is to get a picture of the aforementioned Emmy and I did but it didn't turn out so well because of the glare off of the glass.  Oh well. 

So then we grab some breakfast as we head for Cameron's line.  Once in the line we find a dry place to park it and wait.  Billy Warlock was coming out at 10, Stephen Nichols at 11 then Cam at 12 in this particular location, so there are three lines forming.  Lots of people to get to know.  The lady in line in front of us regales us with a tale from Saturday - basically she had gotten Cameron's autograph and a few others and had a stack of pix from years past, when it started sprinkling, she laid them down on the step beside her to put her parka on and some thieving so-and-so stole them all and ran off.  May she burn in fiery hell! 

Anyway, by this time Stephen Nichols was coming out and I was able to jump over into his line while Beth held our place in Cameron's line.   He is an absolute doll.  We talked for several minutes about DAYS, GH, and why Stefan is a bad, bad man.  Of all the people I met this weekend, I got the biggest warm-fuzzie-feeling from him!!!! 

I made the loop back to my place in line, in enough time to whip out my Cameron Playgirl and make the final decision on which page for him to sign. He's not naked in the magazine, by the way.   While deciding, I caused a little uproar in line because everybody wanted to see the pictures, for a few moments I was the center of attention trying to give out the phone number and address to order back issues.  Beth was in line in front of me so I had to take her pic with Cameron, meaning I got to look into his beautiful eyes *aaaaahhhhhh* one extra time. 

I finally get up there to meet Cameron and toss down the magazine.  He's signing, we're talking, his arm is around my shoulder, my arm is around his waist, we take the picture, just before handing me the magazine back he notices that he didn't write "Ryan" underneath his name, and he starts to tell me that's what he's additionally writing . . . he looks at me square in the eyes and I tell him "That's ok, I know who you are on there"  He laughs one of those open mouth teethy chuckles.  I really wanted to monkey~jump him right at that moment!  Self-control is over-rated.  LOL!  As I move my arm away, my hand accidentally (yes it was an accident!) brushes his derriere.  I walk away, dazed, to where Beth is admiring her autograph and we both do one of those just-scored-a-touchdown-in-the-last-seconds-of-the-Superbowl dances, which apparently delighted the sparse crowd around us, as they all laughed at us.

After a quick break to decide who's next, we saunter over to where Michael  Knight is signing so Beth can take some pictures.  He was one of the stars that required a wristband, so we had no chance for that line.  So we get in line to get our wristbands for Rebecca Herbst and it starts raining, pouring actually.  Fortunately, there is a dry spot for us to hang out until Rebecca is up.  I really don't have much to say about her.  She was pleasant but I
get the feeling that she's still uneasy about this whole event.  Mostly, she just needs to loosen up and have a little fun with the fans, I think.  Soap fans are the best fans in the world.  We love these people!

Finally, we head over to form a line for Finola Hughes.  We are early because the line for her last autograph session was outrageous.  It's still raining this whole time by the way and I don't mean sprinkling.  I was soaked.  My entire head was wet, makeup was gone and my leather sandals are now only fit for mowing the grass.  My $5.00 "Mickey" Parka only managed to keep the t-shirt dry. 

Stuart Damon is signing autographs when we get there, so I jump over into his line, while Beth holds my place in Finola's line.  He was not on my list of people to see but he is a very, very nice person.  If I had known beforehand, he would have definitely been on my list.  I won't hesitate to meet him again!  He was adorable.

So I make my soggy, squishy way back around the rat-trainers and one of those super~annoying yellow-shirted MGM employees tries to tell me to get in the back of the line, so I lied and said I just went to the restroom and slipped back to the front of the line with Beth. HA HA!!!  {Still Raining!} We all have this  drown rat look going on now so you can imagine how attractive our pictures with Finola look.  She, of course, looks fabulous besides being dry as a bone.  I got her to sign my GH book, more specifically the wedding picture of Anna and Duke.   Yeehaw!  Beth was behind me this time and Finola asked her where she was from and seemed amused by how far we had come only to have to stand in the rain to meet her and the other stars. Honestly, it's not that far.  The plane ride is less than 2 hours.

At this time, we'd had all the rain we could stand so we headed to the hotel.