I’ve been home for a couple days now, but I’m still winding down from my annual pilgrimage to California for the General Hospital Fan Club Weekend. This year’s convention was held at a new location, the Embassy Suites in Glendale, with overflow events held at the adjacent Hilton. Conveniently located in between the two hotels was a 24 hour restaurant, Conrad’s. For us event attendees, always having a place to go eat and drink is very important. There were 22 events this year, which believe it or not is a decrease from years past. When you’ve been doing the events as long as I have, you get to a point where you don’t need to see too many of the cast members, just the newbies, so getting them was all that really mattered to me. Anyone else would be an added bonus. Overall, I saved up on photo sales and mainly just had my photo taken with the returning favorites. Going through my autograph collection, I was up in the double digits for some of these stars.
The first event of the weekend was Thursday evening, aptly titled the Kick Off Cocktail Party. I’ll admit, I became a tad bit concerned with the new location, as it seemed just a little out of the way as opposed to the previous venue, the Sportsmen’s Lodge, which was literally just a walk down the block for some of the cast members. My fears were escalated when only 11 stars came to the first event. Typically, there are around 20. Fortunately for us attendees, attendance is down, so lines are not generally as long as they were when 600 fans were coming out. However, with only 11 lines, the waiting game was tough. Attending stars were Tyler Christopher (Nikolas), William deVry (Julian), Hayley Erin (Kiki), Holly Gagnier (Jennifer), Haley Pullos (Molly), Emme Rylan (Lulu), Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix), Brytni Sarpy (Valerie), Michelle Stafford (Nina), Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon), and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante). Knowing I would be seeing them at their events later in the weekend, I did not get online for Tyler and Dominic.
Michelle Stafford (Nina Clay) ~ Michelle and her daughter, Natalia, were the first to arrive. We actually rode up in the elevator together. She was bubbly and lovely as usual.
Holly Gagnier (Jennifer Smith) ~ Quite the lovely surprise guest, I was quite happy to see Holly. I just had the gut instinct she would attend, so I brought along a photo to be signed. Her line moved very slow as she took so much time getting to know the fans.
Haley Pullos (Molly Lansing) ~ If there is one star guaranteed to be at the Kick Off, it’s Haley. I can never remember her missing one. I always take the time to get an annual photo with her. It’s really something to look back and see us change over the years.
Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix DuBois) ~ I first met Marc when he first came to FCW back in 2013. I think I skipped him last year, so an updated photo was in order. Marc’s a good guy, he checks out my Instagram from time to time.
There was a damn near riot when fan favorite Emme Rylan arrived with newbies and screen partners Brytni Sarpy and Robert Palmer Watkins. I saw them arrive out in the lobby, so I made a beeline for the back table where they’d be stationed. Pushing and shoving ensued and I can’t imagine what first time event goers Robert & Brytni were thinking. Emme laid down the law to the fans, turned to Robert & Brytni and said, “This is Eric, we like him,” so she made sure I was rightfully taken care of first.
Brytni Sarpy (Valerie Spencer) ~ I really didn’t have the chance to talk with Brytni as a riot was brewing right behind me, but she was absolutely lovely. I might not favor “Valerie”, but I do like her a little more now after having met Brytni.
Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon Quartermaine) ~ Robert immediately surprised me when I put an 8×10 down in front of him and without saying anything, signed it “To Eric.” He recognized me from Instagram. As if that didn’t give him an A+ in my book, he plays a Quartermaine, and that made him cool long before I met the guy.
Emme Rylan (Lulu Spencer-Falconeri) ~ As any of my readers know, I have quite the weakness for blondes and Emme is no exception to the rule, I think she actually may be the rule. Always kind and caring, she’s just an absolute sweetheart.
Hayley Erin (Kiki Jerome) ~ Another first time attendee, I saw Hayley arrive and was the first one at her table. Going in, I wasn’t sure what to think of Hayley. I never heard anything about her during her Y&R days, she comes across as pretty cold onscreen, and she is not overly active on Twitter compared to her costars, but let me tell you, she was an angel. We’re the same age, so I think that’s a big icebreaker.
William deVry (Julian Jerome) ~ It’s no secret that Will and I have our differences. It’s silly and it stemmed over a Twitter discussion with William Shatner. You really can’t make this shit up. Anyway, having gotten everyone else, I went over to Will and he was quite the gentleman, until he found out I wasn’t going to his event, at which point he abruptly ended the conversation.
The only other event that night was Nightcap with the Spencer Cousins – Emme & Brytni. Emme wanted me to come, and I do like to support her, but I had a ticket to her Saturday night event with Dom & Jason, so I made myself comfortable down at the hotel bar, which is where I stayed until the early morning hours with a few other fans.
Part Two (Friday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2015-part-2-2/
Part Three (Saturday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2015-part-3/
Part Four (Sunday): https://ericscelebrityencounters.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/general-hospital-fan-club-weekend-2015-part-4/