My Feet Still Hurt!
Carolyn Aspenson’s GH Fan Luncheon
Commentary Part I
It’s Tuesday and here I sit, propped up on my bed with a bunches of pillows, my dog curled in a big ball next to me, “Trading Spaces” on my TV, the kids being relatively quiet in another room. A few days ago I was literally running the heels of my feet off getting drinks and offering potty breaks for GH actors. I’m in decent shape but let me tell you, running around in a pair of floppy heels for eight hours would do anyone in!
I have so much to say I don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with me because lately everything has kind of been all about me, in my head that is.
I wasn’t even remotely excited to attend the luncheon this year. As a matter of fact, the night before I was scheduled to leave, I called Kathy and asked her if she would mind if I didn’t go. We were sharing a room and I wanted to know if that would be a problem for her. She said it wouldn’t but my husband decided it would be better for me to go because I needed a break from the stress and secretly I think he wanted to get rid of me. We’re in the process of selling our house (it’s sold), looking for a job for him (we were 99.9% sure we were going to Chicago, which was the big stressor for me) and trying to figure out how to make this all happen by July 30th. So needless to say I spent the first two days talking and stressing and wishing I hadn’t left home. God finally realized that Carolyn had had enough with the Chicago lifestyle since I’d live there for 18 years and the opportunity for employment turned out to be a dud. I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I was! I had NOT wanted to move back to Illinois! To some degree that relieved the stress I’d been feeling and my sour mood lifted, leaving a bit of anticipation for the upcoming events.
Now, on to the events.
I sucked up and attended the Nancy Lee Grahn “Ice cream social” on Friday evening. Honestly, I hadn’t planned to go until the last minute because though I like Alexis, I was quite concerned about the political differences between NLG and I. I know it’s inappropriate to talk politics and I truly believe that’s a rule all should follow. I expressed my concern to Kathy regarding the possibility of NLG commenting on the upcoming Presidential election and we agreed it was unlikely NLG would bring it up. We were wrong. She did, but thankfully I was careful enough to not open my mouth, shout obscenities at her and throw my dessert in her lap. I held my breath, counted to ten and tried to remember which state I was in. I knew if I spoke I would be in the political minority and God only knows what would have happened.
Politics aside, NLG was very sweet and so not like her character! She is refreshing, happy and though still a bit high strung, not at all like Alexis. NLG is vibrant and cheerful. She talked some about the show. Her main comment was that she had recently taped a scene where Alexis told Sonny, “I’m ready to take you down.” Ohhs and ahhs from everyone.
NLG mentioned that she sometimes talks too much, has too much of an opinion and has learned to keep her mouth shut. With this being said, she noted she’s excited to have more airtime and feels that is the reason…she’s learn to shut up (just not about her political beliefs!)
The twins, Emma and Sara were the high light of the event. It was their 2nd birthday and they continued to stick their fingers in cake and lick frosting at their leisure while the rest of the guests listened to Nancy. These two are just adorable. I had a chance to speak with their father, who is a very nice man. He said his wife belongs to a twins club and practically each set is acting in Hollywood. It’s the thing to do. The girls had recently auditioned for a Jim Carry movie however they were supposed to crawl and just decided they were over crawling and thus didn’t get the part. Next up came GH and they’re enjoying their acting careers so far!
After a bit of time Rick Hearst showed up. The man is short! But let me
tell you, he is the farthest away from Ric on the sociopath scale that’s
possible. The man is gregarious, friendly, charming and talks more than
his character. The women loved, loved, loved him!
I listened to Rick babble on about whatever questions were asked, watched Greg step aside to give Rick the limelight and then admired him when the spotlight centered on him. You won’t get me to say anything negative about this man. Greg Vaughan is just hot. His wish for Lucky? He’s taking him to the darker side now and hopes some day to have a bit of a fling with Faith.
Speaking of…in walked Ms. Cynthia Preston, just shortly before the two hotties arrived. Again, she is not even remotely close to who she portrays on TV. She is sweet, funny, giddy and absolutely stunning. Cynthia spoke and answered questions and laughed about Faith and how psycho she is. She is just a pleasure to listen to.
I admit, I didn’t stay for the whole event. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind just yet and in all honesty, I was a bit disturbed about the political stuff and thought it was best I take a time out!
Well that’s it for now. I’m off to continue packing because I’ve got 16 days to get this place packed and cleaned and move into my new house! I’ll provide my second installment of the GH weekend later this week, in the meantime, have a great day!
Carolyn’s General Hospital Fan Luncheon
Female Catherine Wadkins
Male Blake Gibbons/John J York
Most Accessible Actor
Female Catherine Wadkins
Male Blake Gibbons
Most Charming Actor
Female Cynthia Preston
Male Greg Vaughan
Actor Most Appreciative of Fans
Female Catherine Wadkins
Male Greg Vaughan
Most Use of Cell Phone
Best Dressed Actor
Female Cynthia Wadkins/Natalia Livingston
Male Ted King
Best Gum Chewer
Actor Least Like Character
Female Cynthia Preston/Catherine Wadkins
Male Blake Gibbons
Surprising Actor Who Smokes
Actor Most Resembling a Barbie Doll
Most Quiet Actor
Female Rebecca Herbst
Male Maurice Benard
Most Lady-like Actress
Actor for which TV does not do Justice
Female Lindze Letherman
Male Ron Hale
Actor Most Patient with Fans
Male Greg Vaughan
Female Catherine Wadkins
Most Thirsty Actor
Best Looking Actor on a Motorcycle
Person Most Mad at her Staff for Keeping a Secret
Most Calm in a Freaked Out Circumstance
Actor with Most Fun Personality
Male Rick Hearst
Female Cynthia Preston
Actor with the Hottest Car
Leslie Charleson/Katie Stuart
Best Use of Facial Expressions
Steve Burton (who’da thunk?!)
Actor with Biggest Line of Fans
Female Cynthia Preston
Male Maurice Benard
Actor with Most Down to Earth Guests
Blake Gibbons/Jim & Nancy Gibbons
Greg Vaughan, by a landslide!
Actor with the Fastest Metabolism
Rebecca Herbst (all that baby weight? GONE!)
Most Stoic Actor
Best Cowboy Hat
Baby Kristina’s Emma & Sara
Actor who Dresses Most Like Character
Female Katie Stuart
Male Ted King (without the gaudy jewelry)
Actor who Dresses Least Like Character
Female Andrea Leon
Male Tyler Christopher
Actors who Came Together
Maurice Benard/M’Fundo Morrison
Tyler Christopher/Derk Cheetwood
Rick Hearst/Greg Vaughan
Few Nibbles from the General Hospital Fan Luncheon
No, I’m not a scoopster. Or a gossip. And I don’t have any connections to anyone of any significance at General Hospital, actor, crew member or writer. What do I have? Two big, fat ears. I listened, I learned, I report. Take it all with a grain of salt because that’s and about a penny are all it’s truly worth.
What I saw
Buddies Rick Hearst and Greg Vaughan hanging out and laughing while waiting to walk up to the stage
Catherine Wadkins worrying she’d fall on her butt while walking up to the stage
Alicia Leigh Willis and John J. York hugging hello and chatting like old friends
Ron Hale interacting nicely with fans while having a smoke
Tyler Christopher and Derk Cheetwood cruising in on their motorcycles
Cynthia Preston wearing stiletto heals and standing for over four hours!
Robyn Richards, Katie Stuart and Lindze Letherman looking like best of friends
Leslie Kay chatting with her long time friend who came with her for support
Ron Hale prefers a mix of lemonade and iced tea but got stuck with ginger ale
Greg Vaughan and Derk Cheetwood both like JD and Coke (and not diet Coke!)
Kathy Hardeman using SWEAR words
Several EOS staff members eyes popping out of their heads while hanging out in the green room
Many event attendee’s
complaining because their tables weren’t close to the front
John J. York sitting each fan down, asking their name, talking with them and taking pictures while giving away autographed headshots that were absolutely gorgeous
Tamara Braun driving a normal, everyday car
Ted King in a hot little Lexus
Katie Stuart with a nice looking man
Alicia Leigh Willis sharing a nice bonding moment with her mother
Maurice Benard affectionately kissing his wife goodbye
Blake Gibbons explaining that signing private body parts of females is taboo and not something he’d be interested in doing.
(Side note: Yes, someone really
did ask him to do that!)
What I heard
Watch for Blake Gibbons on NBC
There’s a love scene for a popular couple coming up, but it doesn’t mean they’ll stay together
It’s speculated that Sam’s baby is really Jax’s baby and not Sonny’s
One couple will stay together
even though it doesn’t look like they will
Don’t call the comment line with negative comments. Call about what you like. Anything you call about just gets a check mark, it’s not noted whether it’s negative or positive, just that you called about someone
If you stop trying to dictate what your character does, you get more screen time (NLG)
No dancing scenes are coming for Ric & Alexis
Lucky just might get lucky pretty soon
Ric and Lucky might form a new friendship
More on the General Hospital Fan Luncheon
By Carolyn Aspenson
I just read Kathy’s column on the GH luncheon. I have to say, I’m impressed. She detailed it down to a T. The woman never once wrote in a notebook when I was around so it’s obvious she’s got the memory of a yungin’. No menopause memory loss goin’ on for that gal!
Fortunately for you I did have a notebook with me a lot of the time (except while shuffling around the luncheon busting ‘my you know what’ for various actors) but unfortunately for anyone reading this, I will not detail the events as well as Kathy. Tendonitis has attacked my left hand and typing is utterly painful at best. Besides, I’ve got a personal life from hell right now with selling our home and buying a new one and moving by July 30th. Stress is a huge factor for me and I’m not sweating the details on my writing! Forgive me, please!
Saturday started out early, as Kathy mentioned, without a walk and my daily Starbucks addiction (Decaf Grande non fat no whip one pump mocha). For the record, Kathy got her drink from Friday’s trip right. I think she’s fibbin…she’s really a Starbucks aficionado but wants us to think she’s a Diet Coke girl. There’s no way a one time ‘Starbucker’ could remember her drink like she did. And again, she didn’t have a notebook with her! Not having that Starbucks started to take its toll but thankfully adrenaline kicked in from the pending events and I didn’t get the whopper of a headache I could have had. (There is a bit of caffeine in decaf drinks and since I’ve given up on ‘real’ caffeine, that small about of depravation can create havoc in my head. Literally.)
Upon arrival to ‘the event’ we grabbed Debbie Morris and volunteered our services as promised. We all were assigned check in, which let me tell you, can be quite interesting. Most everyone was extremely nice to us and didn’t ‘pitch a fit’ about their seats. There were a few people who decided we were capable and willing to listen and do something about the tragedy of their ‘seats at tables far away’. Um, no. Can’t help but thanks for sharing. I did get a chance to speak to Debbie about this and though I’m paraphrasing, her comments went something like this:
I get the same people sending in their money each year so I try to rotate who gets to sit up front each year. We have a deadline for getting the checks in and once the event is announced and tickets go on sale, I go to my post office box and they’ve filled it along with three or four other boxes in back. How am I supposed to pick who sent their money in first when I’m sitting there with 300 envelopes?
After more conversation Debbie made it clear that she does her best to make it fair because she gets so many checks at once and wants everyone to have a chance up close. I feel for the woman because I can imagine it’s not an easy situation to be in. All in all though the check in went really well. I was happy and honestly, I felt important. That made me feel good!
Shortly after the check in, while everyone waited patiently (some impatiently too) to get in the doors, Kathy and I got the lecture from our webmaster. She found out she was going in the green room and BAM! Whacked us both across the tops of our heads! Okay, she didn’t really do that but the cold stare of anger felt about as bad. She got over quickly and between you and me, I think it was because she was so flippin’ freaked out about going in the green room that she didn’t have time to be mad at us. Once Sherry came up and said she knew I swore Katrina would say “Et tu Brutu?” but she was gracious and threw not fits and it bares mentioning that she threw nothing at us either!
As we sat and chatted with Debbie Morris she nonchalantly informed us that we would be used as escorts for the actors from the valet area to the green room. You all would have laughed out loud at the calmness Kathy, Sherry and I showed, especially since inside we were thinking “Holy Crap! We’re goin’ in the GREEN ROOM! WITH THE ACTORS!” Had Kathy not already swore twice that weekend, I’m sure she would have shouted some form of profanity from the sheer shock of it all. But alas, we are EOS staff. We are calm, cool and collected. Until no one is looking, that is.
As we ‘hung’ in
the green room waiting for our assignment, we stared almost blankly at
each other, exchanging exclamations of joy, shock and excitement. I had
secret visions of Ted King walking up to me, introducing himself and
carrying me off into the sunset. Okay, I didn’t really have these
visions because I’m not psychotic, but if it would have happened, let’s
just say I’d have been prepared.
My first shot at escorting came in the form of Alicia Leigh Willis. Prior to the event I told Kathy the people I wanted to talk to most were Kristina Wagner, Ted King and Alicia Leigh Willis. Courtney has grown on me and I’m enjoying the storyline with Jax…to the point that he is almost a likable character. (I stress the ‘almost’ in that sentence!) Though I was excited to get a minute of her time (and that’s really all it was, if even) I maintained my cool. Actually, I felt I did a wonderful job of being calm, cool and collected. Alicia is different looking than on TV. On my TV she is at least 10 pounds heavier, though it does look like muscle. She looks almost bulky on TV. She is not. The girl is all muscle however she’s small. Maybe 5’2” and 100 lbs soaking wet. Take your hands, palms facing you and put them next to each other, pinky side touching pinky side. Pretend your fingers and thumbs aren’t there, just your palms. Now imagine your palms approximately ¼ smaller and that’s ALW’s butt. I know, I know. Truly disgusting. She brought her mom, we all walked in and about five minutes later they left again to get iced coffee drinks. So much for my expert job of escorting!
With respect to the order of my escorting, at ALW it stops. From there it’s a guessing game as to who was next. I feel terribly for how I treated Sherry. Each time someone pulled up I would say, “Can I have him/her?” and she graciously let me! Looking back I realize how incredibly selfish that was so to her I apologize. (But I did get some good ones!)
Blake Gibbons, by the way, is so much better looking in reality than on TV. Now, had I had the opportunity to get him near a pool table I’m sure it would have been more fun than just a simple escorting into a building! But let’s deal only in reality here…He was nice, asked my name and chatted with me for quite some time. He basically escorted me up to the green room because he had his hand on my back and was just beyond charming. He’s quite yummy and has the personality to match. Every woman who sees this man cannot help but find him irresistible. I’ve officially taken Ted King off of my “Gimmie List” and replaced him with Blake. It’s a big step, but well worth it. My husband says I’m allowed one ‘free night of wild sex’ with anyone on my Gimmie List…as long as they approach me and I don’t solicit them. Damn. I hate following the rules!
I did also get to escort Ted King, since my decision to take him off the list was after I spent a great deal of time chatting with Blake and his wonderful parents. He was dressed like Alcazar, sans the gaudy jewelry, without a tie. Of course he looked great but I was insulted that he didn’t remember me as the “Does it really look bigger when you shave? Girl” from last year. How rude! Okay, okay. I realize he sees a lot of fans but come on, I thought that was a pretty darn clever, totally unforgettable comment. Apparently I was wrong. I told him that his attire made me look sloppy (I wore jean capri’s and a blue shirt) and he said I looked lovely. Points for TK.
I also got to escort the one and only Maurice Benard. He said nothing to me and kept his head down the whole time. To say I was a bit disheartened is putting it lightly. I would have liked a thank you or a hello. But hey, I realize he is human and likely shy and frustrated and even a bit intimidated with all the adoration from the fans because I imagine it gets ugly. But…
M’Fundo was with MB and he didn’t say anything to me either.
I escorted Greg Vaughan who is such a sweet guy I’d take him over a Snickers bar any day. And believe me, I have a weird addiction to Snickers bars. Ask any of the gals on the trip! He was kind, friendly and his hair looks so much better than on TV. If you ever saw him as Dan on Charmed you know how hot his hair is longer. I am not attracted to long hair. Actually, I hate it. I like it high and tight. But this man is the only one I have ever seen with longer hair that I wouldn’t throw out of bed for eating crackers. Oh, aside from Steve Perry. But that’s a total 80’s thing. You might say that Blake Gibbons has long hair, but I disagree. Besides, he’s got such great style to his hair that I just don’t count it as long. Hey, my column, my theories.
Leslie Charleson was another one of my escortees…very lovely lady. I felt huge in her presence but then again, I often feel that way. Unfortunately for me, I was huge in her presence because there is no well on Gods earth that woman weighs anymore than 85 pounds. No joke. She is beyond tiny and if she eats even one meal a day I’d be surprised. She smiled and was kind and sweet and it made me want to punch TPTB for not using such a talented actor more often.
I was happy to escort Catherine Wadkins. Right upon meeting her I realized she is just such a nice woman and an excellent actor because there’s not one bit of psycho in her! She was worried that her two friends wouldn’t be able to get in and I ensured her I’d do my best to make it happen so I ran my butt cheeks off trying to make it happen and thankfully I was successful. I am now a Mary fan. She was just lovely. No other word to describe her. Unfortunately I’ve enjoyed “NEM” and now I’m torn! Oh well, I’ve never been one to get hooked on a couple so I’m sure both will make me happy! Funny how when you meet someone in person, it makes you like the character much more. I guess that could work the other way too, but I haven’t felt that side of it yet!
I have to confer with Sherry because I may have escorted more people but if I did, I haven’t a clue. I didn’t write it down and therefore I don’t remember. Early onset menopause. It goes along with the hot flashes.
Well folks…I’m going to stop now and will continue with my event recap in the next few days. Time to pack and organize for the move.
My next column
will include conversation tidbits from my talks with John York, Ron Hale,
Greg Vaughan, Blake Gibbons, Natalia Livingston and Catherine Wadkins.
Editor's note: What Carolyn is responding to here is part of my own recap of the GH Luncheon in which I presented my (wholly respectable) case for Carolyn being a man thief. I think I'm going to let the readers decide for themselves. Personally, me thinks she doth protest too much.
I’m a What?!
Okay, let’s deal with the issue at hand before diving deep into the waters of soapdom…I am not, in any way shape or form a ‘man thief’. (Editor's note: For an explanation of why Carolyn is attempting to defend herself of these charges, click here.) I mean, really! A man thief? How dare she! Hey, it’s not my fault that Katrina just took pictures and didn’t scam the actors at their tables for potty breaks and drinks. It’s not my fault Sherry decided to hang out with the teens and it sure isn’t my fault that Kathy was so enthralled with Maurice Benard’s blinking problem that none of them paid any attention to poor John J. York or Blake Gibbons. I did what I had to do. I covered their asses, I mean, our asses, by making sure such fine specimens were well attended.
Do you fault me for that?
And it’s not my fault that in the process of attending to John and Blake’s every need, Mr. Ted King fell by the wayside on my “Gimmie List”. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. If he can’t handle the job then I am happy to hand over the responsibilities to John J. York and Blake Gibbons.
But that doesn’t make me a “man thief”. It may make me a tart, a man chaser, even a ho, but it certainly doesn’t make me a man thief. Geez.
Oh, did Kathy happen to mention that Maurice Benard winked at her?
I realize that my last commentary was titled
A Car Show… A Walk with the Stars… A Few Bathroom Breaks and a Drink or Two
Yet I really didn’t talk much about any of that. Chalk it up to moving stress. I think I mentioned (uh oh, here I go, talkin’ personal talk again!) that I’m moving in 15 days and I’m a bit distraught about the whole thing! I will die in my next house. I will never, ever, ever move again. With that being said, my head has been busy mentally unpacking the 57 boxes of Aspenson stuff I’ve already packed and arranging furniture in a house I can barely even visualize at this point. It’s not been too wrapped around the titles of my columns. Sorry for the ‘teaser’, but in a nutshell, here’s what I was planning to write in that column, but just never got around to it. (in other words, I completely forgot).
Tamara Braun is a human. Funny, but I swear there are people out there that not only believe she is truly “Carly Corninthos” but that she is some super human. Folks, I’m here to tell you, as I think I’ve said before, she’s human. She drives a Toyota Camry. And not a new one either. Kudos to her for not taking those likely bigger than mine paychecks and spending them frivolously on an expensive car that would probably get banged up on those scary streets anyway. That in my eyes, makes TB a normal person. A normal person who happens to work with some pretty darn hot men, but still, normal.
Ted King is a normal man with a big tablespoon full of hot man driving a little Lexus. Yummie. As I mentioned in a previous column, Tyler Christopher rode in on his motorcycle. I’d like to say it was a Harley, but I have no clue what it was. Except that it was cool and he looked darn good on it. Oh, and the reason he and Dirk didn’t have helmet head? They didn’t wear any! Now, that may be okay in CA, but here in GA it’s a big no-no and the tickets for breaking that law are quite expensive. Either way, he had his head covered. In a Cubs baseball hat - a man after my own heart, being a Chicago-an and all.
favorite actor/character (because I always like the character more when I
like the actor..ie: Ric/Rick). Ms. Catherine Wadkins, came in a Ford
Taurus or whatever the other similar model is. See, actors really are just
humans. Good looking, famous humans. But human none the less.
Did you know that Maurice Benard winked at Kathy?
Now on to the fun stuff…the position I have started calling “runner” instead of escort. Sure, I escorted a few actors to the green room and then from the stage to their tables, but that wasn’t the big part of my job. The big part was running my poor aching feet off in a pair of Mootsie Tootsies I would have once considered comfortable but now want to throw out and never wear again, getting drinks and aiding in the potty.
What fun this was! Except for the intense pain in my feet, literally!
As a runner, let me tell you, I got around. I was up and down that banquet hall
to each and every actor that would acknowledge me. It was fun and yes, I admit, I asked in a mildly flirtatious manner. Come on, you’re walking up to Blake Gibbons or John York (who I’d gladly share with Katrina and Sherry if they’d stop being so dang possessive! Geez!) and you have to say
“Hi. I’m here to make sure you’re doing okay. Shall I get you a drink so I can then escort you to piddle?”
Where’s the fun in that? Instead, I made it more enjoyable for me…
“Gotta go potty?”
“Need to drop the Brown’s off at the superbowl?” Yeah, that one went over well!
By the end of the day each time I walked up to John York he’d say, “No, I don’t have to pee!” He swore I was trying to fill him up with soda so he’d have to piddle and I’d have to take him to the bathroom where I’d then have my way with him. Did you notice he didn’t say “TRY” to have my way with him? I did. Notice that is. Not have my way with him! Geez. Get those minds out of the gutters!
I continued to ask Blake Gibbons, “Gotta go?” and waited with baited breath for him to shout, “Yes! Yes! Yes! I have to go! Come get me and we’ll go to the bathroom together!” and finally, HE DID! Well, he didn’t use those exact words, but he did have to go potty and I did get to take him there. Not into the actual stall. Damn it. When BG walked out of the bathroom I simply couldn’t help myself and had to ask, “Did everything come out alright?” The smile that light up his face sent shivers up my………..
I immediately searched everywhere in that darn hotel and there was not one single pool table. Just my luck.
By the way, if I’m such a man thief, why on earth would I bring Blake Gibbons over to Katrina for a picture? She practically stole him right out from under me with all that sex talk! Thankfully I pulled my ‘Escort’ card and told him I’d escort him back to his parents. Phew. That, my friends, was a close call. Almost lost him there!
She wants to play dirty? I’ll roll in the mud and make a real mess!
Did Kathy mention that Maurice Benard winked at her?
I’ve got more
to say but unfortunately there are still boxes to pack so it’s time to