Like I’ve said previously, April is a busy month for me. Yesterday, April 12, I took a ride down to the Fairbridge Hotel & Conference Center in East Hanover, NJ, for the second annual General Hospital Fantasy Weekend. Conceived last year by Dino Ibelli of Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club and Linda Rohe of Coastal Entertainment, Fantasy Weekend is the east coast’s largest GH event bringing 10 cast members to New York and New Jersey for a weekend of events dedicated to the fans. I didn’t attend the inaugural event last April, but I won tickets to this year’s back in October at the Soap Fantasy Reunion event. Naturally, I’ve met the entire group of stars already, but honestly, I just can’t get enough of these folks.
Representing the #1 cast in daytime were Ian Buchanan (Duke Lavery), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas Cassadine), William deVry (Julian Jerome), Kathleen Gati (Dr. Liesl Obrecht), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), Rick Hearst (Ric Lansing), Wally Kurth (Ned Ashton), Ryan Paevey (Nathan West), Michelle Stafford (Nina Clay), & Laura Wright (Carly Jacks).
I’m not even going to try and explain the flow of the event, because if you weren’t there, you’ll be confused. The event went a little longer than planned, but honestly, I was just so happy to be there, time flew right by.
William deVry (Julian) ~ Will was a little under the weather and a lot quieter than usual, but the women certainly didn’t seem to mind.
Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) ~ A fan favorite for nearly 20 years, Nancy is one of the greatest. The brunt of the Q&A ended up being playfully directed at her, but like the trooper she is, she soaked it up.
Wally Kurth (Ned) ~ He plays a Quartermaine, so I see past any flaws Wally may have. He’s a wonderful man, and I’m sorry to see him leaving the GH event circuit so soon after we got him back. We even shared a brownie after the event!
Michelle Stafford (Nina) ~ Only met Michelle once, and you would never know it. She treated everyone as dear friends, especially us men, whom she is clearly very fond of, despite a photo of her and Nancy which Ian and Laura will never let them live down.
Ian Buchanan (Duke) ~ Ian is just the sweetest gentleman and so dedicated to his fans. Not only does he never fail to remember names, but he knows birthdays, milestones, and probably our social security numbers.
Laura Wright (Carly) ~ Oh, how I adore this beauty. Haven’t seen her in a couple years, but you’d never know it. Our co-host for the day, Laura becomes lovelier at every event.
Kathleen Gati (Obrecht) ~ Talk about a real-life angel. Kathleen is so down-to-earth and to put it quite mildly, amazing. Like Ian, she remembers names and makes sure she is connected with her fans on all forms of social media.
Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) ~ Our other co-host for the day, Tyler has been coming out to meet the fans for nearly 20 years now. I look forward to attending his Fan Club Weekend event in August.
Rick Hearst (Ric) ~ We really got lucky with this batch of cast members, because here’s another one who treats his fans like members of the family. Rick noticed my 35 lb weight loss since the last time we saw each other, and pulled me aside to see if my health was alright. If that’s not class, I don’t know what is.
Ryan Paevey (Nathan) ~ This was only my second time meeting Ryan, and he was a lot quieter than I expected, but like with Will, the women were drooling. I expect him to be a pro at handling these events by the time Fan Club Weekend rolls around in August.
The day was well spent in the company of so many friends I have made at these events over the years. I am truly honored to be able to call the amazing cast of General Hospital my friends. They are without a doubt, the sweetest people on this earth. And that also can be said for Kathleen’s husband, Michael, and Nancy’s daughter, Kate. A special thanks to Dino, Linda, Paula, and the two charities, Contractors for Kids and Tunnel to Towers. Looking forward to the next event!!!