Monster-Mania Con 34

It’s hard to believe it has been over two weeks since I made my semi-annual, two-hour trek down to Cherry Hill, NJ for Monster-Mania Con, Philadelphia’s premier horror film & memorabilia convention. Definitely NJ’s most affordable show, the drive is worthwhile for prices alone. I usually hope to score at least five names, and with the addition early on of the Halloween 6 cast, there were five names alone guaranteeing my presence at the event. Any other additions would be a nice added bonus.

Headlining the show this time around was the iconic Robert Englund, star of course of the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. While I’ve never scored a photo op with Robert, I do have the autograph, so I opted to skip his long and slow moving line. Other guests included Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers (his “final” convention appearance), Ric Flair, Lee Majors, and Tara Reid, just to name a few, many of which I have already met and obtained autographs and photos.

When I arrived promptly at 10 AM, the main signing room was pretty bare, but the guests began trickling in not long after. My main wants, the cast of Halloween 6, had not yet arrived aside from George P. Wilbur, whom I met at a previous Monster-Mania Con.

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Curtis Armstrong ~ A draw for his work in the Revenge of the Nerds film series, Moonlighting, Risky Business, and more recently Supernatural, Curtis and I chatted about a lesser known 90s film he appeared in, Big Bully with Rick Moranis, Tom Arnold, Julianne Phillips, and Don Knotts.

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Amanda Bearse ~ Horror shows book her for her role in Fright Night, but it’s her long-running role on Married…with Children that draws the fans to her. Amanda actually did one of the smartest things I’ve ever seen in my years attending shows. She had a tall, stationary fan to her table that she used to dry photos after signing. With the humidity levels so high that weekend, it was a very smart move.

At this point, the rest of the Halloween 6 cast had arrived, and I became one of their first customers. Having these cast members sitting together made it quite convenient for me, and it also enabled a lively chat and engagement between us all.

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Devin Gardner ~ Danny Strode in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

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Marianne Hagan ~ Kara Strode in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

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Susan Swift ~ Nurse Mary in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

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J.C. Brandy ~ Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

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Mariah O’Brien ~ Beth in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

After I finished up with all my wants for the day, I walked by Adrienne Barbeau’s table and noticed she had an 8×10 that I’ve never seen her bring to any shows before – one from her deleted scenes in Rob Zombie’s Halloween. I just had to have it.

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Adrienne Barbeau ~ I’ve met Adrienne a bunch of times, and really, how could one ever pass up seeing her? She’s a natural fan favorite, and she has a lengthy list of credits and roles that she is recognizable for – Maude, The Fog, Escape from New York, The Cannonball Run, Batman: The Animated Series, Carnivale, and General Hospital.

So in about an hour and a half’s time, I scored 8 names, 7 of which I had intended on, and found a nice surprise with that new Adrienne photo. The upcoming Monster-Mania show in October looks like a no-go for me, but I hope to make it back down to Cherry Hill in March for another great time!!!

General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2016- Part 4

On Sunday morning, I was able to sleep in for a little bit. It was much needed, but at the same time, I was excited for the Emme Rylan & Kirsten Storms event. My regular readers and followers will know how much I love these two and how close Kirsten and I have become over the years.

The girls’ event got off to a late start, roughly 45 minutes or so, but it was worth it. Emme & Kirsten are just so personable, no matter how many fans are at their events (this one had 100!!!), it seems like a private conversation. This event was also host to the best question I’ve heard all weekend – “Were the Cassadine Island scenes really filmed in Greece?” Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…

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Emme Rylan (Lulu Spencer-Falconeri) ~ Emme is always the first one to point out that we like to take goofy pictures together, so here’s yet another one for the collection.

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Kirsten Storms (Maxie Jones) ~ Speaking of goofy photos, Kirsten actually had to ask if we’ve ever taken a normal photo together. I cannot stress enough what an amazing young lady Kirsten is. She is a treasure, not just to the cast & crew, but to any of the fans lucky enough to meet her.

I took a little break for lunch and then went to my final event for the weekend – Kelly Monaco’s. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen Kelly, so I guess I had forgotten how different her fans in the respect that to them it’s all about Jasam versus Liason, and to me, GH is an ensemble show.

As I said, it has been a number of years, but Kelly remembered me, remembered my name, and even the proper spelling of it. She got a good laugh when I told her about the Cassadine Island question from Emme & Kirsten’s event and responded with, “Yeah, and I really survived a plane crash.” Kelly and I spent a lot of time together chatting, so much time in fact that I was holding her up, but she didn’t seem to care. Every time I went to walk away, she grabbed me and pulled me in for another comment. Not that she had ever really lost me, but Kelly has won me back over and I won’t be missing any more of her events.

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Kelly Monaco (Sam Morgan) ~ This. Is. Forty…Until the day I die, I will refuse to admit that Kelly is old enough to be my mother. If I am so lucky to end up with a woman as gorgeous as Kelly, God is looking out for me.

There were a slew of other events on Sunday – Lexi Ainsworth, The Corinthos Brothers (Dominic Zamprogna, Chad Duell, & Bryan Craig), Michelle Stafford & Laura Wright, Bradford Anderson, and the Karaoke Event with Ryan Carnes, Sonya Eddy, Marc Anthony Samuel, and Parry Shen. But for me, after Kelly’s event, another successful GHFCW had come to a close.

Fewer events results in a smaller blog posting, but I hope what I have shared enlightens all GH fans to what an amazing cast the series has. I don’t know what the other soap casts are like (partly because they seldom make themselves available for the fans), but I can bet that they will never take as much time or interest in their fans as the GH cast does. All I can say is bring on GHFCW 2017!!!

And now is that time to wrap up by giving a heartfelt thanks to Debbie Morris, President of the GH Fan Club. Debbie has made so many sacrifices over the years for the sake of FCW, the fans, the cast, and the series overall. Being an Events Coordinator myself, I know it is no easy feat to put on an event to this caliber and have everyone walk away 100% satisfied. We strive for it, but we rarely get it. Debbie, however, is the exception. To bring the entire GH community together for 4 days is something she does tirelessly year after year. Thank you, Debbie. Also deserving of thanks and recognition are Debbie’s longtime right hands, she has a number of them, Michelle DeMoss, Claire Mullan, Lynna & Ron Strickland, and everyone else on her staff; illustrious photographers Jim Warren and Steven Bergman; the oh-so-lovely photo sales team of Maxine, Kimberly, Gail, and Kimistry; Debby & John O’Connor of YourNumberOneFan and CJ and Angela; Sheri Evans of SoapStarEvents; the staff at the Embassy Suites; my fellow fans; Frank Valentini; and of course, the amazing cast of General Hospital.

Part One (Thursday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-1/

Part Two (Friday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-2/

Part Three (Saturday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-3/

General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2016- Part 3

I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to prepare for the flagship FCW event, the Main Cast Event. Again, the attendance was significantly smaller than last year, I believe dropping down to 260.

As tradition would have it, the cast had quit a difficult time assembling themselves for the introductions. A new face, well old face really, took the role of emcee this year – the great Kin Shriner (Scott). 39 actors attended, with reportedly seven confirmed actors being no-shows. Donning his Bob Hope jacket, Kin humorously introduced his castmates to much fanfare. Stars in attendance were (in alphabetical order) Vinessa Antoine (Jordan), Maurice Benard (Sonny), Rebecca Budig (Hayden), Matt Cohen (Griffin), Bryan Craig (Morgan), John DeLuca (Aaron), William deVry (Julian), Risa Dorken (Amy), Michael Easton (Finn), Sonya Eddy (Epiphany), Hayley Erin (Kiki), Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), Roger Howarth (Franco), Wally Kurth (Ned), Chloe Lanier (Nelle), Jon Lindstrom (Kevin), Lisa LoCicero (Olivia), Eden McCoy (Josslyn), Kelly Monaco (Sam), Anthony Montgomery (Andre), Ryan Paevey (Nathan), Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Joe), Haley Pullos (Molly), Emme Rylan (Lulu), Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix), Brytni Sarpy (Valerie), Parry Shen (Brad), Michelle Stafford (Nina), Kirsten Storms (Maxie) and daughter Harper Rose Barash (Georgie), James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), Donnell Turner (Curtis), Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon), Hudson West (Jake), Dominic Zamprogna (Dante), and lastly, the leader of the pack, Executive Producer Frank Valentini.

As opposed to doing a tradition Q&A, Kin asked one question – What did you do before joining GH? Each actor answered, many of the responses were quite comical, and then cue the chaos – the meet & greet. I only needed four of the attendees – Cohen, DeLuca, Montgomery, and Stuart. Montgomery bailed at the completion of the Q&A leaving me with just three names to get, an easy feat. Once I finished up with the new guys, it was off to see old favorites, all of whom were added bonuses at this point. It seemed like the cast had a variety of excuses for leaving early this year, so as the number of actors dwindled down, the remaining lines grew longer.

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John DeLuca (Aaron Roland) ~ With the absence of Lexi Ainsworth, John flew solo, but he certainly had a bevy of beauties at his disposal.

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Matt Cohen (Griffin Munro) ~ When Matt announced he had to leave early for his son’s 1st birthday party, someone asked how old…

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James Patrick Stuart (Valentin Cassadine) ~ James and I shared a laugh when he told me he had accidentally written “Will” under his autograph on someone’s photo, a reference to his All My Children character from nearly 30 years ago.

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Lisa LoCicero (Olivia Falconeri) ~ It’s been a couple of years since I saw Lisa, but I’m glad I was able to finally get her on a photo I had here in the archives.

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Parry Shen (Brad Cooper) ~ Another actor I’ve met just a handful of times, Parry always goes that extra mile and calls fans by their first name.

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Michelle Stafford (Nina Reeves) ~ Stunning? Timeless? Gorgeous? Pick the adjective that best describes Michelle. Honestly, there are just too many.

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Haley Pullos (Molly Lansing) ~ Haley is another one who I get an annual photo with. I’m happy to say, we have improved drastically over the years.

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Vinessa Antoine (Jordan Ashford) ~ I caught Vinessa just as she was packing up to leave. A little blurry, but she’d look great no matter what.

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Carolyn Hennesy (Diane Miller) ~ Carolyn hasn’t attended the Main Event in quite a few years, so it was good to see her again.

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Sonya Eddy (Epiphany Johnson) ~ No matter how much time will pass between Sonya and I seeing each other, we share a laugh no matter what. I always look forward to having that moment with her.

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Kathleen Gati (Dr. Liesl Obrecht) ~ My sentiments are echoed every single time I see this lovely woman, she is a genuine sweetheart. Her and her husband, Michael, have embedded themselves in the heart of GHFCW attendees.

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Wally Kurth (Ned Ashton) ~ It’s always great to see this longtime GH mainstay, and current patriarch of my favorite family, the Quartermaines. I know I speak for many when I say I hope to see him back on our screens soon.

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Bryan Craig (Morgan Corinthos) ~ Bryan was in a bit of a hurry when I got to him, so we didn’t have time to talk investments, but being around the same age, we’re constantly discussing retirement, even though it is a long way off!!!

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Jon Lindstrom (Dr. Kevin Collins) ~ It’s been great having Doc back in the middle of the story on GH, but it was even better getting to see Jon in person again. I think he and Wally both were a bit taken aback by the fanfare they received.

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William deVry (Julian Jerome) ~ Will and I were in rare form. Not only did he smile for our photo, I bought an 8×10 off his table. I think we’re on the fast track to friendship.

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Ryan Paevey (Nathan West) ~ I don’t know why it works out this way, but Ryan is usually the last star I see. For one, it goes to show you that he sticks around until the last fan is gone.

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Hayley Erin (KIki Jerome) ~ How could I leave without getting a daily photo with Hayley? I handed her my phone and let her go crazy taking selfies.

I had about an hour break to rest before my next event – Kin Shriner & Maura West. If there’s one event during GHFCW that will make you laugh so hard you nearly cry, it is this one. Following in his father’s footsteps, Kin is a comedian at heart, and Maura is the perfect comic foil. Celebrating his 39th anniversary with GH, there was no shortage of age jokes. The stories were great, the jokes were great, the fans were great, and the talent was great. Easily, my pick for the best event of the weekend, even though Kin went home with two of my Sharpie markers.

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Maura West (Ava Jerome) & Kin Shriner (Scott Baldwin) ~ It’s no secret that Kin is my favorite male actor on GH, so Maura definitely scored some points with me by seeing the potential goldmine a Scotty/Ava pairing could be.

And while everyone else headed off to see Kathleen Gati and later to Michael Easton & Roger Howarth’s One Night Only event, I headed out to eat and wind down from another awesome day.

Part One (Thursday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-1/

Part Two (Friday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-2/

Part Four (Sunday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-4/

General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2016- Part 2

Friday is usually a day jam-packed with events, however, this year there were just six – Lisa LoCicero; Carolyn Hennesy; Tyler Christopher & Rebecca Budig; Vinessa Antoine & Donnell Turner; Nancy Lee Grahn; and the Country Western Party with Hayley Erin, Brytni Sarpy, & Robert Palmer Watkins. Not attending anything until Nancy’s event that night, I spent the day sightseeing.

Nancy held her Private Penthouse Party at the Hilton next door to the Embassy. The event was limited to 40 people, and she actually had to add an additional event for Saturday to meet the demand. The heat had taken its toll on me that day and I probably spent the first 45 minutes of her event curled up in a ball on the floor of the bedroom area. Thanks for the accommodations, Nancy!!! Once I had rejuvenated, I headed straight for the open bar Nancy was offering. Her costars at the Country Western Party who had to deal with me later that night would probably scold her for offering such an amenity.

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Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis) ~ Nancy’s events are a blast and I had a great time. They are small and intimate, making it like a real family reunion. They always say FCW is one big reunion, but Nancy’s events are the cousins gathering to drink and swap stories after the elders have gone up to bed.

After I left Nancy’s, I staggered back over to the Embassy for the Country Western Party. This event started late, so I only ended up missing the first 10 minutes or so. Originally slated to be hosted by Ryan Carnes, Hayley Erin, Brytni Sarpy, and Robert Palmer Watkins, Ryan backed out, and was replaced with my buddy, Marc Anthony Samuel. My dear friend Kirsten Storms came, not as a guest, but just to stand in the back and watch, so we were able to have some one-on-one time while everyone else enjoyed the event. I always love spending time with my self-proclaimed Twitter bestie and sister I never had.

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The highlight of this event for me was the photo booth. What a great asset this year that I hope makes a return appearance in the future.

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Hayley Erin (Kiki Jerome) ~ Hayley was actually the most visible star this year, making appearances at events all four days. Some might call that overkill, but I certainly didn’t mind having her there!!!

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Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon Quartermaine) ~ First off, who doesn’t love a Quartermaine??? Robert is a great guy, and I was one of the first fans he met when he joined the show. It was nice to see him get his own event this year.

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Brytni Sarpy (Valerie Spencer) ~ I wish GH would get this beauty out of that dull PCPD uniform and put her in wardrobe that shows off that beautiful body of hers. She is stunning.

I’m not sure that it hit me when I went upstairs to bed that I’d be up in a few hours and back downstairs for the granddaddy of them all, the Main Event…

Part One (Thursday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-1/

Part Three (Saturday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-3/

Part Four (Sunday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-4/

General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2016- Part 1

Pretty much anyone who knows me knows that I have just returned from what my Twitter followers call the most annoying weeekend of my life, the annual General Hospital Fan Club Weekend, the time my Twitter timeline is filled with the pictures you are about to see below. This was our second year at the Embassy Suites in Glendale, with a few overflow events being held offsite at adjacent hotels and restaurants. There were 21 events this year, as well as two private events, which is pretty much the same as last year. I think I did a record low of seven events, but was able to see pretty much all of the actors over the course of the weekend.

The first event of the weekend was Thursday evening, aptly titled the Kick Off Cocktail Party. Technically, this event was not the real kick off, as William deVry & Ryan Paevey opted to host their event prior to it. When this event moved from Sportsmen’s to Embassy, actor attendance was slashed in half. Last year, just 11 stars came. This year was not much better with 12. The waiting game wasn’t that bad though and I was done by 9:20 (The event had begun promptly at 7:00). Attending stars were Risa Dorken (Amy), Chad Duell (Michael), Hayley Erin (Kiki), Chloe Lanier (Nelle), Eden McCoy (Josslyn), Lilly Melgar (Lily), Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix), Donnell Turner (Curtis), Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon), Hudson West (Jake), Laura Wright (Carly), and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante). I’d be seeing Robert at his own event the following evening, so I skipped him, and walked away with five new actors, a nice dent in my needs for the weekend.

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Hudson West (Jake Spencer) ~ Hudson was the first of the actors to arrive, actually early!!! He gave out 8×10 headshots, which I have always said is an easy way into any GHFCW attendee’s heart.

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Chloe Lanier (Nelle) ~ Chloe has yet to air as Nelle, but she is no stranger to GH fans as she played the role of a Young Pat Spencer in two episodes back in 2015. She made a great impression last year and in person this year, so I look forward to seeing her on our screens soon.

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Lilly Melgar (Lily Rivera Corinthos) ~ A nice treat was seeing Lilly, a past cast member, come out and greet the fans. It’s always nice when an actor recognizes their roots and remembers the fans.

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Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix DuBois) ~ I’ve met Marc just a handful of times and not only does he remember my name, but made it a point to follow me on Instagram. These little gestures of recognition go a long way with the fans.

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Risa Dorken (Amy Driscoll) ~ Another newbie is the lovely Risa Dorken, whose bubbly personality reminded me a lot of her character Amy’s. Risa was an absolute sweetheart and seemed to genuinely enjoy being there.

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Eden McCoy (Josslyn Jacks) ~ As I told this lovely young lady, I have always been partial to a Jacks. Unfortunately, Eden was seated next to the massive line of Donnell Turner, and I’m afraid some fans may have missed seeing her.

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Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos) ~ I just happened to be near the door when Laura arrived, or else I probably wouldn’t have been able to brave her line. Out of all the times we’ve met, this may be one of my favorite photo ops.

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Hayley Erin (Kiki Jerome) ~ I knew I would be seeing Hayley at her event the next night, but how can anyone possibly turn down a photo with this beauty???

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Donnell Turner (Curtis Ashford) ~ Quite possibly the longest line I stood on all weekend was Donnell’s. You may not realize it, but this man is extremely admired by the GH fanbase and he took the time with each and every fan to let them know he admires them too.

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Dominic Zamprogna (Dante Falconeri) ~ I could be wrong, but I think I have a photo with Dominic from every year I’ve been attending. He’s one of the more quiet, reserved stars, but he never misses an event.

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Chad Duell (Michael Quartermaine) ~ Another star who I believe I have a yearly photo with, I caught Chad on his way out and it’s a good thing too, because he did not attend Saturday’s Main Event.

All in all, it was a successful evening and seeing the five new actors would be a nice sigh of relief come Saturday’s Main Event.

Part Two (Friday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-2/

Part Three (

Part Three (Saturday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-3/

Part Four (Sunday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2016-part-4/