Whew, the last event of this amazing, fun, but tiresome weekend, was a last-minute signing put on by Walter and the team at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ. CNN anchor and 60 Minutes correspondent Anderson Cooper signed copies of the new book he has out with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, The Rainbow Comes and Goes, on Sunday, April 24.
The event was slated to begin at 5, but as I hear it, Anderson began at 4. I arrived around 4:30 and at that point the line was moving steadily and I was done in probably 30-45 minutes. Originally, the rules called for duck-in photos and no personalizations. However, Anderson personalized everything and took really nice photo ops in front of the table.
For such a last minute event, this signing was not only a great surprise, but also a huge draw. I believe they were close to selling out when I left, and there was still quite a line with people still arriving.
And with that, my busiest weekend of the year, so far, was over. I clocked out with 26 photo ops, and a slew of autographs for the collection. I’m a bit sleep deprived, but I’ll get over it.
After I returned home from The Great Philadelphia Comic Con, I worked an overnight shift at the hotel, went home and got in a few winks, before heading out to yet another signing, my third for the weekend. On this day, Sunday, April 24, I went to the Residence Inn Secaucus for The First Annual Bauer Barbeque, an event reuniting the cast of the now defunct soap opera, The Guiding Light, and paying homage to its most highly rated episode of each year.
Held in conjunction with the annual Daytime Stars and Strikes bowling event, the Bauer Barbeque was a fairly small, intimate event with 7 actors and less than 50 fans. Attending stars included the host of the day, Michael O’Leary, Beth Chamberlin, Liz Keifer, Jennifer Roszell, Jerry verDorn, and Yvonna Kopacz Wright. Anne Sayre, who actually never appeared on GL, but rather As the World Turns, came briefly and did not stay for the meet and greet.
As the luncheon and Q&A portions of the event began to wrap up, I started to mingle with the cast and collect autographs and photos, this way when the event wrapped at 4, I could hit the road and head to another signing. I seemed to be the only attendee with photos for signing, everyone else just seemed to collect photo ops.
Having never met any of these stars with the exception of Jerry, I really enjoyed attending this new event and certainly hope to see it return again next year with even more stars. A special thanks to all of the actors, as well as the lovely team from Daytime Stars and Strikes who put it all together.
As I said above, I headed out as soon as I could in order to attend yet another signing…
With a free weekend on my lap and plenty of autograph opportunities in the area, I indulged myself. Competing with Chiller was The Great Philadelphia Comic Con, a large comic con event in Oaks, PA. While Chiller is predominantly adults and celebrity guests spanning the decades, Great Philly Con was geared towards family and included a set of celebrities geared more towards a younger generation. Needing a handful of names, I didn’t hesitate a bit and took the drive out there on Saturday, April 23.
First up was one of my first childhood crushes, Amy Jo Johnson, the original Pink Power Ranger. Amy Jo was the show’s special guest and was signing in a private room away from the main floor. Her line began forming prior to her arrival, but once she came in, it began to move quite quickly. She surprised everyone with table photos, but I had already purchased a professional photo op ticket, so I just got an autograph when I went into her room.
With about an hour left before my photo op with Amy Jo, I got the remaining stars I needed with no lines and plenty of time to chat.
Lastly, it was time for the Amy Jo Johnson photo op. Unlike the photo op operation at Chiller the evening before, the 8×10 prints of these photos were ready and handed to us within a minute of departing the curtained area Amy Jo was in. Very professional and accommodating for the fans, especially myself, who hit the road as soon as it was in my hands.
Overall, The Great Philadelphia Comic Con was a HUGE show, however, attendance was not nearly what I had expected. It was a fun time, and I hope that if it is held again next year, it is in my cards to attend. Now if you think that was it for the weekend, you have got another shock coming…
As I teased in my last post, the end of April posed to be a great weekend for me, and it was. The weekend kicked off with my semi-annual visit to New Jersey’s flagship autograph show, the Chiller Theatre Expo. I had 14 names on my want list this year, and I headed up for preshow entry as soon as I left work. I got there around five after 5, and it worked great because the preshow line had dwindled down and was moving steadily.
I found my mother already on line for Meat Loaf. She was maybe twentieth in line at most and he was in the room roaring and ready to go. However, as we soon learned, Meat was having full fledged conversations with everyone and it took an hour of waiting in line to finally see him. He wasn’t doing table photos, and I had prepurchased a ticket for his professional photo op later that evening.
After I scored Meat Loaf’s autograph on a Rocky Horror Picture Show 8×10, I ventured into the Living Room where I would score the bulk of my combos for the night.
At this point, the other two names I needed in the Living Room, Judge Reinhold and Rob Schneider, had super long lines, so I went into the Skyland Suite to bang out all of the remaining names on my list, all of whom were in there.
I then realized that aside from Judge and Rob, I still needed Bernie Kopell, who was nowhere to be found. He was supposed to be in the Living Room, but alas, had moved into the Morris Room.
At this point, I went up to the Mezzanine level for the professional Meat Loaf photo ops. Mass hysteria was bound to ensue, so I got up there fairly early to stake a spot on the line. Meat came up about 25 minutes late, and once again, held a friendly chat with everyone who came in for a photo.
With my photo op out of the way, I jumped on line for Rob Schneider, where my mother was holding a place. Luckily, she had gotten pretty close to the front while I was upstairs, so I didn’t wait very long. I then finished up with Judge Reinhold.
And then it was all over. Another great Chiller in the history books. Personally, this was one of the best ones I attended. The stars were great and with the exception of a few chatty ones with long lines, it was smooth sailing. But if you think that’s the end of fun for me, you’re wrong…
The great NJ staple for autograph collectors, Bookends, has been on a roll lately. Their latest event, an Afternoon with Cameron Diaz, was in cooperation with The Woman’s Club of Ridgewood.
When the event was announced, I hesitated. A Thursday afternoon is hard to pull off for those of us with jobs, but I eventually gave in and bought a ticket a day or so before they sold out. As it turns out, I ended up with the day off, so I was good to go. $35 got you a admission, a signed book, a guaranteed photo op with Cameron, and a free flowing buffet of refreshments.
Cameron came out just after Noon and while they had said she would talk for a full hour, she luckily did not. While the majority of attendees were interested in what she had to say, us collectors just wanted the photo op and to get out of there. Luckily, it did not last the full hour and and the photo ops sessions began. That too went by fast, even with Cameron taking a moment to chat with everyone.
As I always say at this point in my posts, a huge thank you to Walter & Pat and the staff at Bookends, as well as the ladies of The Ridgewood Woman’s Club. It was a day off very well spent!!!
I have a few great projects on the horizon. Fingers crossed, they all pan out and I will be back very soon with many more reports!!!