Coming in Spring 2009: The Newly Updated GHFCW For Dummies!
The Main Luncheon
Check in is from 8:30am - 9:30am. There will be an enormous line that will form outside of the main ballroom. You will wait in a long line to be checked in. Prior to the doors opening, the EOS gals will be coming through to check your ticket and ID, get you signed into the event and put a wristband on you. The all important wrist band that is your passport into the event. Once you have been checked in, stay close by because the doors will be opening to admit you to the event. You will then show your ID to the guards at the door and go to your seat. Eat, get a drink, go pee and make sure you have all you need for the day before checking in! Everyone is called at once to enter the area and go to your assigned seats. When you check in, you will be given a wristband and told your table number. Tables are selected based on when your ticket order is received. Ticket orders received on the same day will be seated according to the order in which they are pulled from the mail bag. When we check you in, we will write your table number on the back of your ticket for easy reference. Please do not hassle the people (us) doing check in about the placement of your table. They/We did not create the seating chart. They/We are your friends. Smile and tell us how happy you are to be there and how much you luvvvv Eye on Soaps.
One of the most important things you can do to enjoy the GH Fan Weekend and especially the main luncheon is to be very realistic in your expectations. Yes, you are going to have an amazing time in a world that doesn't seem to be of the real world. You are going to see, in person, the actors who are in your home via TV 5 days a week. That can be a little unsettling and overwhelming at first. A few surprises are at hand:
Yes, you may be an intelligent, fully functioning, unimpressed, completely stable human being. Yes, you might think "these are just people... they put their pants on just like anyone else." The thing you have to remember is that John J. York puts on his pants OVER JOHN J. YORK'S ASS. That's not "just like anyone else." I mean to tell you, these people are drop dead gorgeous and there is a reason why they get paid the big bucks. You are going to be surprised at how pretty they all are, but you will be even more surprised at how quickly you turn into a giggling, gasping, swooning, pointing idiot. Yes, you. You'll be surprised at how short they all are (no kidding... a lot of them, guys and gals, are really small in stature). You'll be surprised at how teeny tiny the women are, like size 2, size 1, size 0. You'll find yourself noticing that you can take both of your hands together and span the entire waist of the female stars (don't do that, they hate it).
You will likely be surprised by how personable and gracious the actors are. Yes, there are a few sticks in the mud who occasionally cop an attitude (Oh come on, you know they do, event veterans), but 99% of the actors you encounter are sweeter than you could ever imagine.
So here's how it will go:
After check in, everyone will file in and locate their table and bitch about how far from the stage they are sitting. Don't try to edge up close to the stage and cop a squat. Sit your ass down in the chair you paid for so the rest of us can see. There *is* event security and we aren't afraid to use them. If you ordered your tickets with friends, you will be seated with them. Be nice to the strangers at your table. They are now your partners in this experience and they might be us.
The tables are on the main floor and there is a raised stage filled with chairs for the actors when they come out. First, there will be door prizes and raffles. When you check into the event, you will be given a couple of door prize tickets and you can also purchase tickets for the raffles. Tons and tons of prizes are given away, from photos to clothes worn by the stars to signed scripts to a ticket into the Green Room where the stars are hiding. Buying extra tickets is a good thing. I've never won anything.
*moment of silence for the fact that I've never won anything*
While they are calling the winning ticket numbers for the door prizes, etc, lunch will be served. It will likely be breast of chicken with a very light sauce, dinner rolls and steamed veggies, followed by a dessert.
After the meal, Debbie Morris (the event coordinator and President of the Official General Hospital Fan Club) will introduce the emcee, usually John Ingle with John J. York assisting.. He then introduces all of the stars present in alphabetical order and they enter down an aisle on the right side of the tables and go up onto the stage to sit. It's tremendously exciting and to be cliché, the crowd goes wild. You will too. Don't expect to be all staid and stoic. Just go for it and let it all hang out. Go nuts and you'll have more fun. Cry. Pull at your hair. Pass out and we'll take your picture! GHmania. But get done and shut up as the next name is called so we can hear.
Taking pictures of the happenings on the stage is complicated. The lighting is not very conducive and the stage is often far away. Just relax and enjoy yourself for this portion of the event. You will have plenty of time for photo snapping.
There will be some banter between the emcee and the actors. Usually, only 3-4 members of the current cast will be absent. Tony Geary, Ingo Rademacher and Genie Francis do not attend these events, just so you'll know.
Awards will be given in categories of "best actor, best couple," that sort of thing.
After this, some of the tables are broken down (those people get to get in line first, so be nice and let them put their crap on your table... we're all GH's children) and the actors dismiss from the stage to a dais of tables around the perimeter of the room. The actors sit behind the tables and lines of squirming fans form in front of them for autographs and pictures. Please listen carefully to announcements made about what tables are to get up first and cooperate with the instructions.
Don't you dare cut in line. We see who you are and humiliate you publicly on our websites and if you catch us at a bad moment, we might just give into mob violence mentality and fall viciously upon you and kick your ass. You are NOT any more special than the rest of us. Do NOT attempt to be a wiseass about this. NO CUTTING. Got it?
What did I say about line cutting? *taptaptap* That's right. NO CUTTING.
Yes, you are going to wait in some of the lines for a LONG, LONG time. (Did I mention the part about no line cutting?) Bring something to sign from home if you want: an autograph book, The GH Complete Scrapbook, etc. Debbie Morris will have a number of beautiful photos for sale at reasonable prices at the General Hospital Fan Club Boutique. ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES (Trust me). Usually, the 40th Anniversary photo will be available for purchase for $10 or so and that's also a good thing to bring for signing. Only one signature, hug and photo per person per star. Got it? Signature, hug, photo. Signature, hug, photo. Have your camera ready when you get up there and don't spend forever fartin around with the F-stop and the focus. Hog up the line and things can get really ugly. These lines really need to move. Otherwise, everyone gets to see 2-3 actors instead of a whole room full of 'em. Get your signature, get your cuddle, get your picture, then get the hell out of line. I mean it. GO! (Signature, hug, photo, GO - Say it with me, "Signature, hug, photo, GO").
Be prepared. The lighting in the ballroom is very yellow and pictures often look a little bit jaundiced in photos unless you have a kick ass camera. You are going to take a LOT more pictures than you think you will, so bring extra film or a memory card for your digital camera.
People behind you in line are usually VERY good about taking your picture with an actor without stealing your camera. Just return the favor if asked. If you turn into a line hog, however, the person behind you may take your camera and aggressively introduce it to one of your smaller body cavities.
Do NOT hand the actor a cell phone to talk to your best friend at home. Not allowed and there's not very good reception for most phones in the ballroom anyway. Plus, it's not on the signature, hug, photo, GO list for good line etiquette. (Signature, hug, photo, GO)
Do not show the actor your collection of memorabilia about their character, thereby holding up the line and showing the rest of us what an obsessive nut job you are. Listen to me. Signature, hug, photo, GO. If it's not one of those four things, don't do it.
If you have to leave the ballroom to go to the bathroom or other reason, show the security personnel your wristband for re-entry. Don't give the security folk a hard time. They are just doing their job. In fact, don't give any of the people working on this event a hard time. It's a pain in the butt to put these things together and they have enough going wrong without you being fussy. In fact, find these people and thank them.
There is no control by the event coordinator over how long each actor will stay or what actors will attend. This is left to the individual actor's discretion. Some may leave early and you need to be prepared for the fact that you may not be able to see, cuddle or get a picture of everyone. Some actors are real troupers and stay until the last fan leaves.
There should be ONE line in front of each actor. Don't cluster. I'm a Virgo and we insist on neat, orderly lines. Fortunately, so does Event Security. Look for where the line you are standing in is going and where the line actually begins and ends. Your spot is at the END of that line.
For the love of God, show some class and don't bother these poor actors when they're going to the bathroom. Smile, nod and leave them alone like you have a brain in your head and a mama at home who raised you right. There are escorts accompanying the actors on their bathroom breaks and these escorts are quite capable of and willing to kick your ass if necessary.
Please understand that even though you are fascinating and alluring, the stars do not come to these events trolling for dates. It is highly unlikely that your eyes will meet across the crowded ballroom, "Dreamweaver" will play over the intercom and little sparklies will dance in the air. You might be extremely cool, but you're one more face in the crowd, baby.
Do NOT bring video cameras to this event!! No video or audio equipment is allowed; ONLY still and digital cameras are allowed.
The actors sign autographs using sharpies... the medium sized ones. I recommend keeping a few on hand (both black and silver) for spontaneous autographs or should theirs run dry.
Be prepared for surprises (happy ones). Debbie Morris is wily and you never know who she's going bring on stage!
Around 2pm or so, actors will start to ease away a few at a time and the event will begin to peter out by 3pm or so.
Paid ticket or not, you CAN be tossed out and refused re-entry if you hassle the staff or the actors or cause a disruption for the other fans. No, you won't get your money back. You forfeit that just by being an ass.
If you have any questions about the main luncheon, your point of contact is:
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