Archive | June 2014

Dark Shadows Festival 2014

48 years ago this week, television viewers were introduced to that mysterious mansion on the cliffs, Collinwood, and its mysterious inhabitants and supernatural residents of Collinsport. Dark Shadows, off the air since 1971, is still intriguing viewers and its cast remains loyal to its fanbase to this day. Earlier today, I took a short little ride over the Tappan Zee Bridge and to the beautiful Hilton Doubletree in Tarrytown, NY, where the cast would reunite to entertain and meet their fans. While this event is held close to my house every other year, this was the first time I attended. Reunited in the area where House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows were filmed, were David Selby, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, Marie Wallace, Christopher Pennock, James Storms, & Sharon Smyth. Unfortunately, Nancy Barrett and John Karlen were unable to attend.

I’m not going to lie, the event was pretty unorganized. I may know just a little bit about putting on events since I not only attend & volunteer at autograph signings across the country, but I have spent countless hours in lectures by some of the country’s most renowned hospitality professors. Aside from not having assigned table numbers, the luncheon portion of the day went pretty smoothly. Sharon Smyth gave out door prizes; Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, & Marie Wallace put on a little cabaret act; James Storm sang a few songs; Christopher Pennock gave a comic reading; and David Selby reminisced about the good old days at ABC Studio 16. After Selby concluded that portion of the day, the chaos began.

7 celebrities and 720 fans. One would think that they’d sign autographs & take pictures in a room with orderly fashioned lines, right? Nope. Try a crammed hallway with lines jettisoning every which way you could imagine. Despite a very crammed room and a confusing line structure, I walked away with having met and gotten pictures & autographs with everyone.

David Selby "Quentin Collins"

David Selby “Quentin Collins” ~ I’ve been told it’s quite a big deal to be photographed with David, so it’s an honor to pose with this man I know best for his role as Jennifer Morrison’s dad in Surviving Christmas.

Marie Wallace "Eve"

Marie Wallace “Eve” ~ Was due to meet Marie at an autograph show two years, but she cancelled due to a death in the family, so this photo was a long time coming.

James Storm "Gerard Stiles"

James Storm “Gerard Stiles” ~ I grew up watching Jim play Bill Spencer on Bold and the Beautiful and his brother, Michael, played Larry Wolek on One Life to Live. Both have since left daytime, but the Storm brothers are deeply missed by viewers.

Lara Parker "Angelique"

Lara Parker “Angelique” ~ Lara was very particular in how she was photographed, so Lara, if you ever see this, I hope you approve.

Christopher Pennock "Jeb Hawkes" ~ It was particularly great talking to Chris, as he played Husband #2, Mitch Williams, to Tracy Quartermaine on General Hospital.

Christopher Pennock “Jeb Hawkes” ~ It was particularly great talking to Chris, as he played Husband #2, Mitch Williams, to Tracy Quartermaine on General Hospital.

Sharon Smyth "Sarah Collins"

Sharon Smyth “Sarah Collins” ~ Sharon’s got a wicked sense of humor and unfortunately for the kitchen staff, the mushroom ravioli was the butt of her jokes for the day.

Kathryn Leigh Scott "Maggie Evans"

Kathryn Leigh Scott “Maggie Evans” ~ What can be said about this classy lady? Kathryn was great and signed a copy of her book, Return to Collinwood, for me.

Rick Hearst & John J. York

Last Saturday, June 21, I took a ride down to Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Pt. Pleasant, a frequent stop for the General Hospital cast members. Today’s event featured recent returnee Rick Hearst (Ric Lansing) & longtime veteran John J. York (Mac Scorpio), both of whom I have met many times in the past. For the sake of saving money, I normally do not attend repeat events or dole out cash to actors I have met as many times as Rick & John, but these are two guys who I will always support. John visited NJ just back in September, but for Rick, it had been seven years. The guys ran about 45 minutes late, but once they arrived, the fun began. They did a Q&A that was more like a comedy act and then began the autograph & photo session. Thanks again to Dino from UV’s and to Linda at Coastal Entertainment for another great event as usual.

John introduces a tabecloth clad "mystery" guest.

John introduces a tabecloth clad “mystery” guest.

The "mystery" guest is revealed to be recent Witness Protection Program enrollee, Rick Hearst,

The “mystery” guest is revealed to be recent Witness Protection Program enrollee, Rick Hearst,

With two of the kindest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

With two of the kindest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Rick & John

Rick & John