Ah yes, my loyal readers, it is that time of year again. I have just returned home from my annual pilgrimage to General Hospital Fan Club Weekend, and I have been anxious to share my experience with all of you.
Before we get into GHFCW, as an added bonus for all of you soap fans out there, the evening before the Kick Off, I went out to dinner and bumped into longtime All My Children star Peter White. Peter portrayed Linc Tyler, the legal eagle son of Phoebe & Charles, on-and-off for 31 years. Peter was great, and enjoyed regaling us with tales from his AMC days, and was extremely gracious enough to scoot over in his booth so we could take photos with him.
This was the real kick off to the weekend!!! A nice, surprise visit with a leading man of daytime’s yesteryear – Mr. Peter White, All My Children‘s Linc Tyler.
Now onto GHFCW. First up for Thursday night was the Kick Off Event. I say it each and every year – the Kick Off is great because it functions as a preview night and allows us access to a nice little ensemble of the cast prior to the chaos of Saturday’s luncheon. This year, 12 stars attended, 3 of whom were new to the cast. My regular readers will know I first go for the newbies, and anyone after that is a nice added bonus. Attending stars were Ryan Carnes (Lucas), Dioni Michelle Collins (Deanna), Risa Dorken (Amy), Scarlett Fernandez (Charlotte), Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), Haley Pullos (Molly) Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix), Kirsten Storms (Maxie), Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon), Vernee Watson (Stella), Hudson West (Jake), and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante). I would be seeing Rob the next night at his own event, so I skipped him, and was able to get all but Dominic, who I have met many, many times anyway.
Vernee Watson “Stella Henry” ~ While we enjoying drinks in the lobby, we spotted Vernee arriving, and were ecstatic. This character actress has been a part of so many wonderful series and films, she brings a storied history and career to GH.
Marc Anthony Samuel “Felix DuBois” ~ I have gotten Marc so many times since he first began attending GHFCW, but it’s always nice to catch up with him and get an updated photo together.
Scarlett Fernandez “Charlotte Cassadine” ~ This young lady chose to celebrate her birthday at her first fan event. If that is not pure class, I do not know what is. We all sang “Happy Birthday” when she arrived, and Debbie Morris later surprised her with a nice big plate of cupcakes. Her mother and sister attended with her, and they were a delight to speak with as well.
Haley Pullos “Molly Lansing-Davis” ~ Haley is one of the few stars who has been at every single GHFCW that I have ever been to, and we get a picture together at every one. I am happy to say that after looking at our first photo together, we look a hell of a lot better now than we ever did back then.
Hudson West “Jake Spencer” ~ This was Hudson’s second year attending, and he has it down to a science. A science that longtime attendees still have yet to figure out. He is always there with a smile and a nice big stack of complimentary 8×10 photos for the fans.
Dioni Michelle Collins “Deanna Grant” ~ You may not recognize the name of the portrayer or the character, but regular viewers will recognize Dioni as Deanna, the nurse who has quickly been thrust into just about every scene that takes place at the hospital. Another first-time attendee, Dioni was an angel.
Risa Dorken “Amy Driscoll” ~ This was Risa’s second GHFCW, but her first one as a married woman. Risa brought along some leftover wedding favors from her special day, and I was happy to take some home. Her and her husband, Bo Clark, are great people.
Carolyn Hennesy “Diane Miller” ~ I cannot remember the last time Carolyn attended the Kick-off event, so it was a very nice surprise to see her walk in the door. She loved a photo that I had to give to Kin Shriner (more on that later), which her aunt, actress Barbara Rush, was in.
Kirsten Storms “Maxie Jones” ~ Prior to this night, I had never met Kirsten Storms. Hahaha, just kidding. I have been privileged to know this beautiful young lady for a decade now, and we have a better time together with each passing year. I was happy to see her attend, and I am even happier to see her back on GH.
Ryan Carnes “Lucas Jones” ~ Ryan is another actor who I have met several times now, but I always go over to catch up and get a new photo. Ryan is a nice quiet guy, and it was good to see him again.
While the Kick Off used to be the official start of the weekend, this year it was actually preceded by two events – Ryan Carnes’ and a dual event hosted by William deVry & Robert Palmer Watkins. It was followed by Donnell Turner’s event, with special guest Vernee Watson.
Part Two (Friday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 2
Part Three (Saturday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 3
Part Four (Sunday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 4