FAN EVENT – FEBRUARY 2003
As I rode home last night my thoughts churned with images and words from my experience with Steve Burton. So many impressions, so much laughter, I just couldn’t find a place to begin writing. Until this morning when I picked up my pictures from the event and then I realized that words weren’t really necessary.
Remember the song, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands?”
In this picture I’m happy, I know it, and Steve has his arm around my shoulders.
Need I say more?
OK, I’ll try to write the rest of this without embarrassing myself with gushing admiration. He was tactful and gracious. He was funny and lively. He in no way fell off the pedestal where my imagination firmly planted him. Please bear in mind that I am a woman who determinedly dons rose colored glasses every morning so a tiny corner of me was worried that he’d be crude and rude and I’d have to take away the pedestal. Didn’t happen.
My seat was positioned about five seats back on a long table right in front of the stage. For about two minutes after sitting I remained quiet and then socializing began. Nobody was speaking and I was bursting with curiosity. So I asked the guy next to me if he’d ever been to one of these (fan events) before. He replied yes, he saw Maurice Bernard a few months ago. Across from me sat two sisters who hadn’t attended anything like this before. They were at the show on behalf of their other sister living in Chicago whom they called a few times to update as the evening progressed. Another young lady across from me and the shy, timid lady on my left both love, adore, worship (pick a verb) Steve Burton. Not in a catty way but curious as to what motivates others, I wondered what they hoped for coming to this event because it was clear that this was no casual little occasion to them. I knew my agenda – I planned to enjoy what was set before me during this unique evening and perhaps gain a more comprehensive understanding of an actor I admire and a medium that provides me with daily entertainment. Of course we talked General Hospital while the lady seated on the other side of the man next to me looked at us like we were bottles of soda unexpectedly spewing in her vicinity, she threw in the occasional eye roll for effect. It took me a few minutes before I finally asked if she watched General Hospital. She replied no, she’d come with her friend (the guy next to me). As the show progressed I watched her and it cracked me up no end that for someone with obvious disdain for us raving GH/Jason maniacs, she sure did enjoy Steve Burton. I think he might have made a convert.
Who wouldn’t like this guy?
After a brief warm up by the lady who runs the club, Steve came on stage amid wild clapping, whistling, whooping and hollering. Starting right in he told us that he doesn’t actually watch the show and no, he wasn’t wearing Jason’s jacket, it was his own. He did his Jason stone face and then he laid down the mike and did a Sonny swagger across the stage. Next he proceeded to poke fun at many bits of GH we all laugh about, i.e. Alexis’ E.T. baby robot, the relationship between Nicholas and Lucky, the food at Kelly’s, Helena and the bush she hides behind, and the candles that mysteriously get lit (Steve acting like Sonny - Wait a minute Carly, I have to finish lighting the 100 candles). He acknowledged his and Sonny’s status as supercouple and asked who liked Jason and Courtney (lots of loud boos) and who preferred Jason and Liz (more enthusiasm there). For about 30 minutes he spoke and interacted before questions and answers began.
Here is what I remember in no particular order.
- He and his wife are ready for children and are “practicing” to accomplish that goal. He wants lots of kids.
- When the baby Michael storyline was in swing, he enjoyed carrying around the baby. He walked around with a pocket of Cheerios and stuffed them in the baby’s mouth whenever he looked like he was going to fuss.
- Actors stick to the script pretty much, except for Brenda and Jason. I guess Vanessa Marcil throws in her take, and then he has to respond. The line, “Have you even thought about what will happen to you in prison? You’re prettier than I am,” was an ad lib. Also, when he told her to go fix him some breakfast or bake something was an ad lib.
- Sometimes when he’s shouting shut up at Brenda, he’s really reaching the end of his patience.
- The Vegas wedding definitely took a lot of patience. Apparently, he didn’t know until the evening before that Joe Isuzu would be performing the vows and Bunny would be playing the accordion. LOL, I guess they had a lot of unexpected moments.
- Jason’s wedding ring comes off without fanfare next week. He thought there should be some acknowledgment of the moment but there isn’t. It’s just on and then off.
- He likes to ride motorcycles, but doesn’t own one because he likes to live.
- No hobbies, unless you count his ambitions towards producing and directing which he is actively pursuing.
- He and Sheree prefer spending their time at home.
- He knew Sheree was the woman for him two weeks after he met her. Three months later her name was tattooed on his leg. And no he wouldn’t show it.
- His wife handles his loves scenes fine, but he wouldn’t handle it well if the shoe were on the other foot and she had to kiss other men.
- He proposed marriage on the beach and had a plane fly over asking her to marry him. (He made us all laugh when he said he wanted to light candles but it just didn’t work on the beach.)
- The upcoming Jason and Sonny split over Courtney met with his approval because it’s a legitimate storyline, not contrived. The breakup of Jason and Sonny won’t last long. (I think that’s what he said; I was distracted for a few moments.)
- He doesn’t know if Jason will turn to Liz after Jason gives up Courtney.
- Robin is off doing something else (meaning Kimberly McCullough) so he doesn’t see a return of Jason and Robin.
In the middle of the question and answers he called his friend Jeremy to the front. Jeremy, who runs his web site and was busy selling an autographed picture of Steve for $10.00 EACH, came on stage. Steve asked him to tell us what he’d said earlier about General Hospital.
(Paraphrased from memory)
Steve asked, “Do you watch?”
Jeremy answered, “Sort of.”
We laughed. Steve and Jeremy laughed.
“What do you mean, sort of?” Steve asked.
“Well I tape it and fast forward through it,” Jeremy replied.
The room began laughing again.
“What don’t you like?” Steve asked laughing harder.
“Men in hunting caps,” Jeremy said referring to the scenes between Zander and Dr. Cam. By then Steve and Jeremy were cracking up and so was everyone in the room.
Jeremy is Steve’s friend going to school to be a veterinarian.
Jeremy left the stage to sell raffle tickets of which I bought three but didn’t win anything. I so wanted the script signed by Steve. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to go to the next fan event and try again. LOL
- His respect and high regard of Sarah Brown was evident when he spoke of her. His admiration of Tamara Braun for stepping into those whopping big shoes was also plain to see.
- 1 year and two months left in his contract. He loves his job and appreciates the fan support.
- On GH he gets to be Sonny’s bitch and on The Last Castle he played the same role for the general.
- His first paid acting job was a gig on a show called Superior Court. He said he watched it again last week and couldn’t believe how terrible he was.
- He does not want to be Sonny. Sonny has to kiss and have sex all the time and he just doesn’t want to do that.
- He doesn’t speak Spanish. When he had to speak Spanish in the Domincan Republic, he had to call his friend for help with the lines in his script.
- Jason was much easier to play when he didn’t have to talk as much Steve said, laughing.
- He’s 5’-10”.
- Steve commented that he’s glad that the court scenes are over.
- Soap actors earn their money when, after working all day, they leave with 50 – 90 pages of script to memorize for the next day’s taping. It takes a toll and he predicts that someday he’ll be a vegetable from all the memorization.
- One lady got up to ask a question and told a sob story of how they arrived late for the show because they had bad directions and they ended up driving way out of their way. She brought her daughter’s GH coffee table book and would he sign his picture in it? Except the picture wasn’t very good. Steve started laughing and said he was hooked on the sob story and going to sign until she said his picture wasn’t very good. We all laughed and then he signed it anyway.
Sorry these are not clearer.
Jeremy selected raffle tickets amid tons of funny comments. Each person who won a raffle item came to the stage and received a hug from Steve. Man, I really wished I’d won that script!
The end of the show arrived and it was time for pictures and autographs. The first person up was a girl in a wheel chair. Steve knelt beside her and spoke with her for a few moments. The line wound around the edge of three sides of the room and the Club folks kept announcing that there wasn’t time for autographs, just pictures, because they had to begin setting up for the show that evening. I watched and Steve gave a lot of autographs anyway. Finally, it was my turn. I handed him a few copies of my column and told him that we are a group who have a lot of fun with the show. He said thanks, promised he would read them and then said smiling, “And then I’ll use your material.” That was fine with me!
And so, after two hours of GH immersion, laughter, and actually speaking face to face with Steve Burton for a moment, it ended. Talk about tired! Talk about giddy! Talk about one happy GH fan! Thanks for reading.
The $10.00 photo