GH WEEKEND AUGUST 2003
THE GH LUNCHEON
I was so ready to rock and
roll on Saturday morning my body was humming. After breakfast, Katrina,
Carolyn and I stood in line waiting to check in and chatted with those
around us. Factions were lurking everywhere handing out paraphernalia and
tact was my theme of the moment. I didn’t want to make a pithy comment,
trying to be funny, and mortally offend, for instance, an avid Sonny/Carly
fan. I was and still am amazed at the level of dedication shown to
individual couples, characters, and actors. Politicians could take
lessons on campaigning from these devoted fans. In each place I found
myself, I tried to talk to the people around me. Quickly, I learned to
ask whom they liked on the show and almost all had a specific answer, a
reason for attending the fan event, and a story or two. Just up my alley,
I love a good story.
Near the check in table,
we spotted a Mr. Bob Guza lookalike and debated for a few minutes about
height and weight before I finally asked him his name, which he said, was
Paul. Paul showed up as a helper at a few other events so I think he
really was a Paul. We finally checked in and received the coveted plastic
bracelet that meant we were with the IN crowd. Only it wasn’t time
to actually go inside so we spent an hour or so mingling, eyeing the
goodies on the tables (lots of great photos if you’re into that) and
various items that actors had worn, touched, breathed upon or signed.
Katrina suggested that we all purchase a 40th anniversary photo
to get autographed so we did. Except Carolyn who said she was embarrassed
to carry it around so Katrina and I bought one for her much to her
chagrin. We spoke briefly with Debbie Morris, President of the GH/PC Fan
Club and Debbie O’Connor, Fan Club president for tons of daytime actors
and set up interviews with them. Carolyn and I will be doing a
behind-the-scenes write up later. My hat is off to these two ladies who
pulled off an amazing, organized weekend of fan events. I know they
hardly slept during the weekend as they ironed out glitches and handled
the details involved with entertaining large enthusiastic crowds in small
spaces. These two women rock!
Sometime during the wait
I became concerned that the maroon colored top I was wearing could be
considered a whore blouse. Katrina assured me that it was the wrong color
red, but once the idea set in, I couldn’t get it out. I never thought of
myself as the whore blouse type, so it rattled my cage a bit.
Is it a
whore blouse? Katrina assured me that it wasn’t.
my mouth open?
[Note from Katrina.
Not a Whore Blouse. Click here for Whore Blouse Tutorial]
At last, the time
arrived to go in and be seated. Since we’d purchased our tickets late,
Katrina, Carolyn and I went to our separate tables. Lunch was served and
discussion flowed around the table about GH likes and dislikes.
Anticipation pulsed through the large room as every one of us waited for
the next part. Who cares about chicken, steamed vegetables, and a dab of
ice cream in a cup when the GH dream team was waiting in a nearby room?
At long last Debbie
Morris made her way to the podium to announce John Ingle as emcee. He
appeared amid wild cheering. Truly, I have no clue what he spoke about
briefly, the noise was overwhelming. He began introducing the actors who
entered through a side door, down a red carpet along the wall, and onto
the stage, smiling and waving at whistling, clapping, exhilarated fans.
Where a star’s faction was seated determined how loud and long the
cheering continued. Except when Maurice Benard, Tamara Braun, Steve
Burton and Nancy Lee Grahn appeared the crowd made a huge noise that I am
sure was heard in the grocery store across the street from the hotel.
John Ingle made comments as each actor entered such as remarking on
Dillon’s hair and who (that would be Maurice and Tamara) worked every
day of the week. With emphasis on every day of the week. It
wasn’t sour grapes, more of a throw the comment out there and to see how
it lands. Scott Egan received a particularly loud acknowledgement as he
should since he was working the pool crowd on Friday evening and asking
folks to cheer loudly so that TPTB would note his popularity. Steve
Burton hugged John Ingle as he came on stage. Two rows of seats were
filled with GH favorites with a few notable absences.
Rachel Ames - Audrey
Bontatibus – Andy Capelli
Cheetwood – Max
Davies – Cameron
Freeman – Elton
Hale – Mike
Vanita Harbour – Dara Jensen
Herbst – Elizabeth
Stephen T. Kay – Reginald
Lee – Lila
Rademacher – Jax
Shriner – Scott
Andrew St. John – Kyle
Thomason – Lucas
Billy Warlock – A.J.
– Paging Billy Warlock
Bergen Williams – Big Alice
A beautiful shot of
GH actors that you can’t recognize.
Cynthia Preston and
Andrea Pearson stepped up to the podium and announced the awards voted by
fans, not a lot of surprises here.
Best Supporting Actor - Steve Burton
Steve assured fans that he wasn’t going anywhere and he
loves his job.
Best Supporting Actress - Robin Christopher
Didn’t expect the award.
Favorite Villainess - Cynthia Preston
Favorite Villain - Rick Hearst
He said, “Thanks, I guess we’re a couple now Faith.
I’m just glad to still be alive and part of the GH family.”
Scene Stealer - John Ingle
Favorite Couple – Sonny and Carly
Tamara Braun accepted the award noting that Maurice
had a sore throat. “Thanks for loving and supporting us. We have a good
Favorite Actress - Nancy Lee Grahn
This award means more than winning the Emmy because
fans voted for it. She noted how much she loves and appreciates her GH
Favorite Actor - Maurice Benard
Maurice began thanking fans by saying, “I don’t know
what to say that I haven’t said a hundred times before.” In an impulsive
can’t-keep-my-foot-out-of-my-mouth moment I called out in the lull of
noise, “You can say anything. We’ll be happy.” Laughter erupted and then
more clapping as I slapped my hand over my mouth because I really hadn’t
meant to voice my thought out loud, much less loud enough for the room to
Favorite Storyline - Alexis' Personality Disorder
Best Offline Fan Club - Becky Herbst's
Best Web Site -
checked her website and decided that no site tops EOS.
Next on the agenda came THE
BIG SURPRISE. Pretend I am talking very quietly here because I didn’t
watch GH when Sean O’Connelly and Tristan Rogers graced the screen. I
wish I had, sigh, because these were some good-looking guys! I didn’t
understand the significance of their presence until later when Katrina and
many others gushed about them. It was very cool to learn more GH history
and see the joy on dedicated fan’s faces. And the noise, you wouldn’t
believe the noise! The cheering and clapping reached deafening levels as
the two hunks, dressed in black with sunglasses, walked up to the podium.
Debbie Morris outdid herself because even the GH actors were surprised.
John J. York rose from his seat and hugged his long lost screen brother
And finally, IT WAS
TIME. Time for the actors to move to the tables set up around the
edges of the room, time for fans to interact with those beautiful, but
human, entities we tend to place on pedestals, time for Carolyn to ask her
big question, time for me to take a deep breath, reach down inside for
courage and meet my own private goal. We headed straight for Ted King’s
table because as you all know, Carolyn was on a mission. I know you’ve
read Carolyn’s and Katrina’s account but let me tell you how funny the
moment was. Ted King, in his black suit and turquoise shirt thought we
were regular fans. Not by a long shot. Carolyn magnificently sidled up
next to him smiling and batting her big blue eyes and popped her
question. The expression on his face was priceless. Startled, intrigued,
and then entertained, he answered, “You would not believe the flack I’ve
received over that line.” Not really an answer to the question, but who
cares. The point is, Carolyn asked. Billy still seems to be missing.
Not only did she ask, she went on to hold a whole conversation with the
gorgeous man. Watching her turn on the charm was amazing and I plan to
seek counseling from her on how to make intelligent conversation at the
drop of a hat. She moved from table to table and easily spoke with actors
about pertinent subjects and they responded. To say I admire her is an
understatement. She radiates an aura of intelligent fun that prompts
people to respond to her.
thought I snapped a picture of Carolyn with Ted, but
umm, no, it’s me
It was tough to drag Carolyn
away from her idol, but the masses behind us were making disturbing noises
so we finally bribed her with the thought of standing near Blake Gibbons,
Katrina’s big goal who was waiting for us a few tables over.
Charming and humble,
Blake Gibbons brought his mom and dad to the event - nice folks. We
chatted for a few minutes. Carolyn and I were redundant at that point but
we sucked it up and stood by Katrina in case she tripped or drooled. She
didn’t and we all took pictures with the guy who seems clueless about his
popularity. I know both Carolyn and Katrina wrote this but I want to
emphasize again. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. Address your letter to the actor
because tallies are kept and it’s a numbers game to determine a
Hollywood, CA 90027
Another pic of me grinning madly.
There seem to be a lot of those.
asked him if he could think about the
Pool table while we
took this picture.
And then, after some
waffling on my part it was time to stand in line to see Steve Burton. I
knew I wanted to ask him for an interview, but I was terrified that I’d be
tongue tied and unable to do more than smile, mumble and take a picture.
Standing in line, I listened to the woman in front of me gush to her
friend how gorgeous he is, how blue his eyes are, how she loves Steve
Burton. It sort of steadied me because I didn’t want to gush; I wanted to
talk like a normal person. Finally, I was next. I stepped up to him and
said, “I saw you in Texas and now I’m here, does that make me a stalker
fan?” He laughed and put his arm around me so the lady standing there
could take the picture. I told him that I write for a GH web page and
that I’d given him copies of a few of my columns where I saw him. He made
my day when he said, “I remember those.” Because neither suave nor subtle
is in my personality I answered with astonishment and delight, “You read
my columns?” He said, “Yeah, they were funny.” Be still my heart! So
then I asked him if he would consider giving me an interview for the web
page. “Nothing too personal or serious.” I reassured him. Guess what he
said? He said YES, YES, YES! He’ll be back in Texas in a few months and
we’ll do it then. So I know you’re out there you Steve Burton fans, happy
and excited for me and with me, stop what you’re doing, dance a happy
dance. But look to see if anyone’s watching first. Oh, and cross your
fingers that the interview pans out.
Hey, was that Billy
Warlock over by the door?
I took many pictures, as
you’ll see below. After developing the rolls of film I was embarrassed to
find so many pictures of me grinning so big I’m surprised my face didn’t
break. Try to ignore me. Put your thumb over my face and then look at
our favorite GH actors. If the quality bugs you, please e-mail me and
I’ll send a picture to you that way. The pictures appear crisp and clear
until I post them here.
John Ingle knows
about Sage. How cool is that?
JJY sat at a table
with Robyn Richards. I wondered if he was friend or Mac Daddy.
Wally Kurth is friendly.
Tyler Christopher was polite. Big difference.
But maybe he was ready to leave and here came this woman
with an interview
request and a camera.
Greg Vaughn hugged everybody. I didn’t mind.
Andrea Pearson seemed either uncomfortable or overwhelmed,
I couldn’t tell
which. Pretty AND nice lady.
Carolyn and Katrina,
two of the coolest women on the planet.
By the time we completed our photo hog rounds
the air in the banquet room was heavy with the ripe smell of hundreds of
bodies pressed close together. Katrina, Carolyn and I found ourselves
sitting in a back lobby area laughing over the pictures in Katrina’s
digital camera. We were hoping Billy Warlock would stroll by because buzz
throughout the room was that he’d been fired. Wally Kurth came into the
lobby area and a man and woman stopped him to speak with him. Hoping to
learn the real deal, I walked over to where he was standing and waited
until he finished speaking and glanced at me. The lady had finished her
fan question and was gazing at me too and I didn’t want to ask in front of
her so I grabbed Wally’s arm and pulled him a few feet away to ask him
privately. What was I thinking? I am not the grab a stranger and talk
type, but it was an atypical day. I’d held a coherent conversation with
Steve Burton, I thought I was super woman by then. Anyway, I told him the
big rumor flying around was that A.J. would no longer be on the show and
asked if it was true. He did that look where you’re searching your mind
for information or trying to decide how or what to reveal. Looking
straight at me, he said, “No. A.J.’s still around. He’s not gone.” There
you have it, straight from Wally’s mouth to my ears. I choose to believe
him with the understanding that actors are not allowed to disclose show
information and it’s not like I am anyone special to him except the lady
who jumped up, grabbed his arm, and pulled him aside.
A few minutes later Chad Brannon walked through
and I jumped up again to ask him about an interview. He whipped my EOS
card out of his pocket and said, “You bet.” I think he remembered me
because I told him that I thought we were related. After all, he’s from
Tomball, Texas and I live in a small town near there. That means we’re
cousins, doesn’t it?
From there, it was on to Maurice Benard’s event
while Carolyn and Katrina moved to the pool area to gaze into Scott Egan’s
enchanted eyes. Oh, I mean to interview Scott and a few others.
NOW FOR THE FUN PICTURES.
can’t help myself.
You talkin’ to me?
I didn’t THINK so.
new trend in photojournalism,
half of Chad
Wanna see what’s in
don’t like the people on the left.
We only like the
people in front of us.
takes a picture
with me, but gazes admiringly at Carolyn.
The ghost of fan events past.