Archive | October 2014

Soap Fantasy Reunion

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.

Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH) ~ I've lost count of how many times I've met Bradford. While he may no longer be on GH, he's still so involved with the show's fans that it feels like he's still a part of it all.

Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH) ~ I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve met Bradford. While he may no longer be on GH, he’s still so involved with the show’s fans that it feels like he’s still a part of it all.

Natalia Livingston ~ Growing up, I never really had a big family, so I kind of adopted GH's Quartermaines as my TV family, so Natalia was a huge part of growing up. Why they ever killed Emily off and let this talent go is beyond me.

Natalia Livingston ~ Growing up, I never really had a big family, so I kind of adopted GH’s Quartermaines as my TV family, so Natalia was a huge part of growing up. Why they ever killed Emily off and let this talent go is beyond me.

Scott Reeves ~ Another fan favorite who has never really left the fans' lives. Met Scott too many times to count, even met his entire family, to whom I sent my regards.

Scott Reeves ~ Another fan favorite who has never really left the fans’ lives. Met Scott too many times to count, even met his entire family, to whom I sent my regards.

Tamara Braun ~ I've watched GH since 1999, but can only remember as far back as 2001, which was when this beauty debuted. She was the first member of the cast I ever had a crush on.

Tamara Braun ~ I’ve watched GH since 1999, but can only remember as far back as 2001, which was when this beauty debuted. She was the first member of the cast I ever had a crush on.

Gina Tognoni ~ I've met Gina a couple of times, always has a different hair color, but is always super nice, grateful for the fans, and a Jersey girl, which makes her 100x greater in my book.

Gina Tognoni ~ I’ve met Gina a couple of times, always has a different hair color, but is always super nice, grateful for the fans, and a Jersey girl, which makes her 100x greater in my book.

Kelly Sullivan ~ If I had to pick a TV girlfriend, here she is. To any of my regular readers, Kelly & I have a great relationship, and she's another actress who was slighted by the producers of GH.

Kelly Sullivan ~ If I had to pick a TV girlfriend, here she is. To any of my regular readers, Kelly & I have a great relationship, and she’s another actress who was slighted by the producers of GH.

Darnell Williams ~ I've met Darnell quite a few times at this point, and every time, he gets nicer and nicer. And talk about a Daytime legend. Jesse Hubbard was a household name.

Darnell Williams ~ I’ve met Darnell quite a few times at this point, and every time, he gets nicer and nicer. And talk about a Daytime legend. Jesse Hubbard was a household name.

Alicia Minshew ~ First time meeting this beauty, although she recognized me from being around the fan scene for so long. You can't tell in this picture, but her waist is about the size of my fist.

Alicia Minshew ~ First time meeting this beauty, although she recognized me from being around the fan scene for so long. You can’t tell in this picture, but her waist is about the size of my fist.

Vincent Irizarry ~ He was the AMC villain that the audience loved to hate, Dr. David. I was lucky enough that Vincent retold one of my stories, the one where he met AMC legend James Mitchell "Palmer Cortlandt" for the first time in 1984.

Vincent Irizarry ~ He was the AMC villain that the audience loved to hate, Dr. David. I was lucky enough that Vincent retold one of my stories, the one where he met AMC legend James Mitchell “Palmer Cortlandt” for the first time in 1984.

Cameron Mathison ~ No matter how nice Cameron has always been to me, in the back of my mind, I'm hearing my grandmother's voice complaining about him being on Dancing with the Stars.

Cameron Mathison ~ No matter how nice Cameron has always been to me, in the back of my mind, I’m hearing my grandmother’s voice complaining about him being on Dancing with the Stars.

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 Q&A

The Q&A

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.

Bradford & Scott setting up the A/V equipment on their own shows you how "helpful" the staff at the Ramada was...

Bradford & Scott setting up the A/V equipment on their own shows you how “helpful” the staff at the Ramada was…

Chiller Theatre Halloween Show 2014

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.

Cindy Williams ~ Known for her roles in American Graffiti and on "Laverne & Shirley," I had Cindy finish up an 8x10 that Penny Marshall had previously signed. When I showed this picture to Cindy for her to review, she quipped, "There are so many bad pictures of me on the internet, I don't care how I look." As the night went on, Cindy was not the only one with this motto.

Cindy Williams ~ Known for her roles in American Graffiti and on “Laverne & Shirley,” I had Cindy finish up an 8×10 that Penny Marshall had previously signed. When I showed this picture to Cindy for her to review, she quipped, “There are so many bad pictures of me on the internet, I don’t care how I look.” As the night went on, Cindy was not the only one with this motto.

Marion Ross ~ The always endearing Mrs. C on "Happy Days," Marion came across country to do this show on the weekend of her 87th birthday. Looking decades younger, she was exactly how you would expect Mrs. C to be.

Marion Ross ~ The always endearing Mrs. C on “Happy Days,” Marion came across country to do this show on the weekend of her 87th birthday. Looking decades younger, she was exactly how you would expect Mrs. C to be.

Lesley Ann Warren ~ Having already met Lesley, I went in needing just a photo with her. That all changed though when I saw a lovely 8x10 of her as Cinderella with every GH fan's favorite Prince Charming, Stuart Damon. Oh and about the camera adding 10 lbs, it's true. Lesley's waist is about the size of my ankle.

Lesley Ann Warren ~ Having already met Lesley, I went in needing just a photo with her. That all changed though when I saw a lovely 8×10 of her as Cinderella with every GH fan’s favorite Prince Charming, Stuart Damon. Oh and about the camera adding 10 lbs, it’s true. Lesley’s waist is about the size of my ankle.

Teri Garr ~ This blonde bombshell, battling multiple sclerosis for over a decade now, made her first convention appearance thanks to the always amazing Karen Cadle. I already obtained an autograph from Teri, so I just had my photo taken, providing her hand with a much needed rest.

Teri Garr ~ This blonde bombshell, battling multiple sclerosis for over a decade now, made her first convention appearance thanks to the always amazing Karen Cadle. I already obtained an autograph from Teri, so I just had my photo taken, providing her hand with a much needed rest.

Jimmy McNichol ~ Jimmy attended the show with his sister, "Empty Nest" star Kristy McNichol. Honestly, Jimmy's work was before my time, but he appeared as Josh Clayton on my favorite show, "General Hospital," so I just had to get an 8x10 for my GH collection.

Jimmy McNichol ~ Jimmy attended the show with his sister, “Empty Nest” star Kristy McNichol. Honestly, Jimmy’s work was before my time, but he appeared as Josh Clayton on my favorite show, “General Hospital,” so I just had to get an 8×10 for my GH collection.

Tony Orlando ~ What can be said about this legend? He was just terrific. A guy that thanked his fans for coming out and acknowledging the fact that without us, he wouldn't be here. We fondly recalled the time I saw him in Long Island with Don Rickles. As he said at the time, "It used to be Tony Orlando and Dawn, now it's Tony Orlando and Don."

Tony Orlando ~ What can be said about this legend? He was just terrific. A guy that thanked his fans for coming out and acknowledging the fact that without us, he wouldn’t be here. We fondly recalled the time I saw him in Long Island with Don Rickles. As he said at the time, “It used to be Tony Orlando and Dawn, now it’s Tony Orlando and Don.”

Tatum O'Neal ~ The youngest person to win an Academy Award, Tatum signed me an 8x10 of her in The Bad News Bears with one of my favorite stars of all-time, Walter Matthau. Unlike the other female stars, Tatum was very picky about the way she was photographed, and in the end, she looks damn good for 50.

Tatum O’Neal ~ The youngest person to win an Academy Award, Tatum signed me an 8×10 of her in The Bad News Bears with one of my favorite stars of all-time, Walter Matthau. Unlike the other female stars, Tatum was very picky about the way she was photographed, and in the end, she looks damn good for 50.

Dawn Wells ~ Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...Alrighty, so I met Dawn at my first Chiller, but I was a huge "Gilligan's Island" fan when I was a kid, so I didn't mind dropping some money on her again. We had a lovely conversation and caught up just as old friends would. Oh, and when it comes to the biggest dilemma, Ginger or Mary Ann, the latter has my vote.

Dawn Wells ~ Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…Alrighty, so I met Dawn at my first Chiller, but I was a huge “Gilligan’s Island” fan when I was a kid, so I didn’t mind dropping some money on her again. We had a lovely conversation and caught up just as old friends would. Oh, and when it comes to the biggest dilemma, Ginger or Mary Ann, the latter has my vote.

Sally Kellerman ~ Just before leaving, I caved and got one last person, and I guess you could say I saved the best for last. While I only know a few key components of Sally's work, he had a great time joking around with each other. When I showed her this picture for approval, she said, "I don't look at pictures of myself. Why ruin a perfectly good day?" I had to disagree with her. She looks terrific.

Sally Kellerman ~ Just before leaving, I caved and got one last person, and I guess you could say I saved the best for last. While I only know a few key components of Sally’s work, he had a great time joking around with each other. When I showed her this picture for approval, she said, “I don’t look at pictures of myself. Why ruin a perfectly good day?” I had to disagree with her. She looks terrific.

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!!!

Rock & Shock 2014

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.

Dee Wallace-Stone ~ Attending shows more often so she can pay for her daughter's upcoming wedding, I picked two 8x10s from her. A traditional shot as the mother in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and another of her as Cynthia Strode in Halloween (2007).

Dee Wallace-Stone ~ Attending shows more often so she can pay for her daughter’s upcoming wedding, I picked two 8x10s from her. A traditional shot as the mother in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and another of her as Cynthia Strode in Halloween (2007).

William Forsythe ~ I knew Bill would be at Chiller the following weekend, but I figured I'd knock him out while I could. I chose an 8x10 of him as Ronnie White in Halloween (2007).

William Forsythe ~ I knew Bill would be at Chiller the following weekend, but I figured I’d knock him out while I could. I chose an 8×10 of him as Ronnie White in Halloween (2007).

Brad Dourif ~ The only line I waited on all day. Typically, I would have chosen an 8x10 of Brad as Sheriff Brackett in Halloween (2007), but I couldn't pass up an 8x10 of him as Billy Bibbit in the Academy Award winning film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a film which Brad said is one of his personal favorites, despite not liking most of his own films.

Brad Dourif ~ The only line I waited on all day. Typically, I would have chosen an 8×10 of Brad as Sheriff Brackett in Halloween (2007), but I couldn’t pass up an 8×10 of him as Billy Bibbit in the Academy Award winning film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a film which Brad said is one of his personal favorites, despite not liking most of his own films.

Kristina Klebe ~ Another star of Halloween (2007), I of course selected an 8x10 of her as Lynda Van Der Klok, in this case, being strangled by Michael Myers.

Kristina Klebe ~ Another star of Halloween (2007), I of course selected an 8×10 of her as Lynda Van Der Klok, in this case, being strangled by Michael Myers.

John Ratzenberger ~ Last, but certainly not least, is America's favorite barfly, Cliff Clavin. Not to mention the voice of most Disney/Pixar movie characters, namely Hamm the Piggy Bank in the Toy Story franchise. While I typically do not go with professional photo ops, the "Cheers" fan in my could not resist this one.

John Ratzenberger ~ Last, but certainly not least, is America’s favorite barfly, Cliff Clavin. Not to mention the voice of most Disney/Pixar movie characters, namely Hamm the Piggy Bank in the Toy Story franchise. While I typically do not go with professional photo ops, the “Cheers” fan in my could not resist this one.

If the guest list for the next show is decent enough, I may just have to make the trip back up to Worcester.