Even though I was still recovering from Friday night’s trip to Chiller, I spent Sunday just a few miles down the road at the Ramada Inn for Soap Fantasy Reunion, an event bringing together former soap stars from the ABC Daytime soap operas (All My Children, General Hospital, and One Life to Live). The event was a part of Dino Ibelli & Linda Rohe’s brainchild Soap Fantasy series, semi-annual events themed towards bringing a different group of soap stars to the NY/NJ area. Originally just supposed to be eight actors, the guest list wound up at 11, with 10 making the final cut.
Attending stars included: Bradford Anderson (Damian Spinelli, GH); Tamara Braun (Carly Corinthos, GH; Reese Williams, AMC); Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David Hayward, AMC); Natalia Livingston (Emily Quartermaine, GH); Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery, AMC); Alicia Minshew (Kendall Hart Slater, AMC); Scott Reeves (Dr. Steven Lars Webber, GH); Kelly Sullivan (Connie Falconeri, GH); Gina Tognoni (Kelly Cramer, OLTL); and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard, AMC; Jacob Foster, Loving/The City). The one cancellation was Vanessa Marcil (Brenda Barrett, GH), who was under the weather.
The event began with the day’s hosts, Vincent & Kelly, bringing out the rest of the gang for a photo & autograph session. The stars were great and signed everything that the fans put out in front of them. I had a few things for myself and some photos that my good friend, Wayne, sent me to get signed for him. And when it came to posing for pictures, the stars did group shots, solo shots, selfies, etc., whatever the fans wanted. Bradford then ran around the room taking fans’ questions for the Q&A portion. The Q&A never got boring, nor did any of the actors give long, drawn-out tiresome answers. And I’ll even commend the fans for asking some great questions. Certainly one of the best ones I have attended.
The event was capped off with a live auction and a raffle prize drawing, in which I won two platinum tickets for the next Fantasy event, a Men of GH event in April, so look forward to reading about that then. Again, a special thanks to the 10 stars, Dino, Linda, Paula, and to the amazing people at the charity (their name escapes me right now, sorry), who came out and raised money for the kids. It’s a great cause.
Just got back from one of my favorite autograph shows, the semi-annual Chiller Theatre Expo held over at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel. While last year was a hot mess, this year’s Chiller ran smoothly with no bumps in the road, at least none that effected this attendee. As usual, I had a pre-show ticket, got in at 5, and was out by 9. Most of my time was not spent on lines, but rather chatting with friends, some of whom I only get to see a handful of times a year.
Going in, I didn’t really have a game plan. I had a budget and some must-haves, but other than that, there were a lot of good guests at this show. The biggest draws were Academy Award winning actress Tatum O’Neal, WWE Legend Hulk Hogan, the cast of “Happy Days”, and Teri Garr in her very first convention appearance. Prices were pretty steep, and some of the guests thought way too highly of themselves and charged flat-out outrageous prices, but all-in-all, they provided a positive experience and lifelong memories.
I started out in the Troy Hills Room, which for me housed most of the guests I really wanted to see. Following my time in there, I made it around to the other rooms and gathered the remaining handful of signatures and/or pictures that I needed.
Throughout the course of the night, I also obtained autographs of “Soap” star Diana Canova, making her first convention appearance; Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, the dumbwaiter victim of Michael Myers in Halloween: H20; and for my good friend Wayne, “Good Times” star Ralph Carter, and “The Waltons” eldest daughter, Judy Norton.
A special thanks to Kevin Clement and the rest of his staff. As crazy as Chiller is, it never stresses me out. Already looking forward to the next one!!!
Last Saturday, October 18th, I took a short ride up to a show I have never attended before, Rock & Shock, held at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. I only need just a handful of people, but being so close to my home away from home, Providence, RI, I would have been foolish not to attend.
The show was terrific. A convenient location, affordable parking, a speedy check-in process, a spacious expo hall, and a nearby Starbucks. Prices were reasonably affordable and there were very few lines.
If the guest list for the next show is decent enough, I may just have to make the trip back up to Worcester.