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General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 4

Sunday was a big day event wise with six of them on the agenda. I attended the first two. Kelly Monaco’s event, aptly titled Donuts & Girl-talk was first up. Kelly had invited Billy Miller, T.K. Weaver, and the Andonian Twins to do the event with her, but Billy declined as to not wanting to take the spotlight off of her, and she later thought having the kids there may not be the best idea. So, she flew solo and rocked the Q&A. Her responses were compassionate, thought out and well received.

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Kelly Monaco “Sam Morgan” ~ Definitely not our first photo together, and most likely not the last. I was at an event one time and a handler had put a post-it note on the photo I had to be signed, and Kelly tore it off and said, “Did they really think I needed this?” I look kinda derpy in this one, but Kelly looks flawless.

After Kelly’s, I had a little bit of time before another annual event which I attend every year – The BFF Event with Kirsten Storms and Emme Rylan. I promise I will not gush over these two because my regular readers have heard it all before. I think they are both lovely, young ladies, they’re great, and I will never miss one of their events. I think our photos together really say it all.

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Emme Rylan “Lulu Spencer-Falconeri” ~ This woman gave birth just weeks before this photo was taken, and she was the best looking woman in the room. I wish I had the energy!!!

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Kirsten Storms “Maxie Jones” ~ Not much to say that has not already been said. I think this might be my favorite photo of us together from over the years.

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Kirsten & Emme ~ A perfect way to cap off the weekend!!!

And that was all she wrote for me. There were several other events that day – Kathleen Gati’s, Michelle Stafford and James Patrick Stuart’s, Bradford Anderson’s, and Karaoke hosted by Lexi Ainsworth, Ryan Carnes, Dioni Michelle Collins, and Marc Anthony Samuel. A couple of events were even held on Monday – Carolyn Hennesy’s and Marc Anthony Samuel’s.

As always, I have to wrap up with an appreciation post for the wonderful crew that puts this event together. Debbie Morris, the longtime president of the GH Fan Club, and event coordinator extraordinaire, is one of the most selfless people I know. Fan Club Weekend is not something that gets set up on Thursday morning, and by Monday afternoon, it is packed up and everyone is heading home. The coordination, hauling, meetings, placements, etc., are pulled off like a fine dance, and we have Debbie to thank for that. And always at her side are two more amazing young ladies – Claire Mullan and Michelle DeMoss. While Debbie is a resident of the Lone Star State, Claire and Michelle are Californians, and therefore act as the liaisons to both the studio and hotel. Putting an event of this size together is not easy feat, but these ladies have it down to a science, and while I am sure they may have rested for a day or two afterwards, they are already at working putting together General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2018 – A Celebration of 55 Years.

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But as they say, it takes a village. Debbie, Claire, and Michelle have a great team of volunteers. Part of the fun of attending GHFCW each year is seeing all of you!!!

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And a very special thanks for all the great years to all our gone but not forgotten friends!!! (To Peter & John – we wish you guys were still here with us!!!)

Part One (Thursday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 1

Part Two (Friday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 2

Part Three (Saturday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 3

General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 3

As is the norm, Saturday ended up being my longest day of the weekend with three back-to-back events, the first being the Main Event Luncheon. To allow the fans more one-on-one time with the actors during the autograph & photo session, the typical, hour-long Q&A was eliminated, much to my satisfaction. In years past, the actors talked for so long, the meet & greet would sometimes only run for an hour and a half, this year, we got two solid hours. With the Q&A eliminated, and therefore no stage, they were able to add additional tables to the room and sell more tickets than the past couple of years. I’d say attendance was no less than 250 fans.

While the actors assembled for their introduction, a mini Q&A was hosted by Maurice Benard, James DePaiva, Chad Duell, Michael Easton, Lisa LoCicero, Kin Shriner, and Dominic Zamprogna. This was perfect, as it was held while we were eating and did not interfere with the meet & greet time. Actor attendance overall was 29, down 10 from last year. Attending stars, in alphabetical order, were Lexi Ainsworth (Kristina), Maurice Benard (Sonny), Ryan Carnes (Lucas), Dioni Michelle Collins (Deanna), James DePaiva (David), William deVry (Julian), Risa Dorken (Amy), Chad Duell (Michael), Michael Easton (Finn), Hayley Erin (Kiki), Scarlett Fernandez (Charlotte), Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), Ashley Jones (Parker), Wally Kurth (Ned), Chloe Lanier (Nelle), Lisa LoCicero (Olivia), Eden McCoy (Josslyn), Haley Pullos (Molly), Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix), Kin Shriner (Scott), Brooklyn Rae Silzer (Emma), Garren Stitt (Oscar), Kirsten Storms (Maxie), James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), Donnell Turner (Curtis), Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon), Hudson West (Jake), and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante).

Needing to see just DePaiva, Jones, & Stitt, the meet & greet would be a breeze-through for me. DePaiva bolted after the introductions, leaving me with just two stars to see and everyone else being a nice added bonus.

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Sandy Masone ~ I first became friends with this veteran GH crew member back in 2011 when she gave me a studio tour. Sandy is the cast-proclaimed GH mascot, and a highlight of my weekend is seeing her.

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Lisa LoCicero “Olivia Quartermaine” ~ Being the Quartermaine fanboy that I am, I was very excited to get my first photo with Lisa since Olivia married Ned and took the Quartermaine name.

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Eden McCoy “Josslyn Jacks” ~ My favorite pairing of Carly’s was Jax, so naturally I would have a soft spot for Josslyn and her terrific actress, Eden, who I hope is around for many years to come.

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Garren Stitt “Oscar Nero” ~ Still new to the show, Oscar is a character who definitely brings a mystery with him. It was nice of Garren to attend still being so fresh and new to the world of GH fandom.

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Ashley Jones “Parker Forsyth” ~ I’ve had a crush on Ashley since I briefly watched Bold and the Beautiful in the late 2000s. I was very excited that she came, and meeting her did not disappoint. She is terrific.

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Brooklyn Rae Silzer “Emma Scorpio-Drake” ~ Brooklyn attends just about every year, so she was manning the Kids’ Table and showing Scarlett and Hudson the ropes.

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Lexi Ainsworth “Kristina Corinthos-Davis” ~ The last photo I have with Lexi, she’s wearing Victoria’s Secret pajamas (long story). Now she’s an Emmy winner!!!

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Kathleen Gati “Dr. Liesl Obrecht” ~ This was Kathleen’s fifth year attending, and I have a photo with her from each one. I always make the time to visit with her and her husband, Michael, who unfortunately had to work this year and could not attend with her.

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James Patrick Stuart “Valentin Cassadine” ~ When he attended last year, James had only appeared in a few episodes. This year, being in shows nearly every week, James had one of the longest lines that never seemed to die down.

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Kirsten Storms “Maxie Jones” ~ I have no idea who this woman is and why we took a photo together that was not a selfie and did not involve sticking our tongues out.

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Donnell Turner “Curtis Ashford” ~ Talk about a never-ending line. I would not be surprised if you told me Donnell was still in that ballroom a week later taking photos and signing autographs.

After accomplishing all I needed to from the Main Event, I enjoyed an edible meal at Conrad’s, next door to the Embassy, as the lunch they served up left a lot to be desired. I then went back to the hotel for the next event – 40 Years of Kin Shriner and Jacklyn Zeman. I attend Kin’s event every year, and I have attended all of Jackie’s east coast events. I love these two human beings. They are funny, compassionate, and share more history than dozens of their costars combined. While intended to be a celebration of 40 years, the event also acted as a tribute to Peter Hansen, Kin’s onscreen father, who we lost back in April. The memories were flowing, as was the celebratory champagne, and a delicious anniversary cake.

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Jacklyn Zeman “Bobbie Spencer” and Kin Shriner “Scott Baldwin” ~ I always look forward to seeing these two. The stories and laughs are always endless with Jackie and Kin.

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Kin recently moved into his own dressing room at the GH studio, and I gave him this When Worlds Collide movie poster to adorn the wall. The film starred GH icons Peter Hansen and Rachel Ames.

Immediately following Jackie & Kin’s event, I ran next door to Crab Ave, where a few of my favorite ladies were hosting a paint party. Full of laughs, paint, and drinks – Hayley Erin, Chloe Lanier, and Brytni Sarpy hosted this event, with special guest Camryn Grimes, and produced by the lovely Debby O’Connor of YourNumberOneFan.

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Camryn Grimes “Mariah Copeland on Young and the Restless” ~ Camryn is a good friend of the girls, so they invited her to come by, and I am glad she did. She was an absolute doll.

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Chloe Lanier “Nelle Hayes” ~ Chloe and I hit it off last year, and I had visited with her earlier in the day at the luncheon. Easily a favorite of mine to catch up with at these events.

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Brytni Sarpy “Valerie Spencer” ~ Brytni and I sat back to back during, and the inside jokes, under breath comments, eye rolls, and looks were flowing.

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Hayley Erin “Kiki Jerome” ~ She’s one of my favorites, and she knows it. She never spotted me during the luncheon, and was a bit worried, but she knew I would turn up sooner or later.

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My favorite trio.

Following the paint party, the majority of attendees went over to One Night Only with Michael Easton and Roger Howarth and their special guests Melissa Archer and Rebecca Budig, I called it a night.

Part One (Thursday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 1

Part Two (Friday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 2

Part Four (Sunday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 4

General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 2

Friday was weak day when it came to events. Lisa LoCicero & Dominic Zamprogna hosted a breakfast event, Nancy Lee Grahn did one around dinnertime, and the grand finale of the day began at 9 PM. My only event for the day, Legendary Bingo, was hosted by the family that puts the fun in dysfunctional – the Quartermaines. Wally Kurth (Ned) led the event, and was joined by family matriarch, and 40-year veteran cast member Leslie Charleson (Monica), Chad Duell (Michael), and Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon). I would estimate that there were easily 150 fans in attendance, making it the largest of the individual events, and by far the craziest. For those unfamiliar with the concept of “legendary bingo,” the host is a drag queen. This event was strictly for adults with the content being a tad risqué compared to all of the other GHFCW events, not to mention that the liquor was flowing freely and the actors were taking advantage of it. The actors took turns each calling two of the first eight games, with the drag queen going solo for games nine & ten, which is when the actors began the meet & greet.

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Leslie Charleson “Dr. Monica Quartermaine” ~ I cannot say enough wonderful things about this longtime leading lady, who is celebrating her 40th anniversary at GH this month. Leslie’s appearances at GHFCW are sporadic – this was her first time attending since 2011, so many attendees had never met her, and those who had were extremely excited to see her return. I heard one fan say that she was the “MVP of the weekend,” and I must agree. What can I say? I’ve always been partial to blondes.

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Chad Duell “Michael Quartermaine” ~ Having attended GHFCW for eight years in a row, Chad’s line was the shortest of the four as he has always been more accessible than the rest. I never miss him though, and he was really touched that I wore my ELQ shirt of the occasion.

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Wally Kurth “Ned Quartermaine” ~ Wally was admittedly pretty drunk by the time I got to him, but unlike some of his costars, he is a fun drunk, and has a great rapport with all of his fans. While the handlers were trying to tell the fans that he would be signing and posing the next day at the luncheon, Wally insisted on taking care of everyone that night. They paid to see him and he would honor that.

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Robert Palmer Watkins “Dillon Quartermaine” ~ As I said in my previous post, Rob attended the Kick-off, but I skipped him as I knew I would see him at this. Another actor who I have no shortage of autographs from or photos with, it is always nice to catch up with Rob.

Scheduled to end at 12 AM, the actors were there well past 12 making sure the fans were all taken care of. In the days following, all FCW attendees would agree that Legendary Bingo with the Quartermaines was the best event of the weekend, and everyone looks forward to attending again in 2018.

Part One (Thursday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 1

Part Three (Saturday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 3

Part Four (Sunday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 4

General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 1

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Maurice Benard

On July 9, I braved the summer traffic and took a ride down to one of my favorite venues – Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Pt. Pleasant, for a special appearance by Maurice Benard, the General Hospital star not seen on the east coast in over five years. In the past, you could not have paid me to attend Maurice’s events, which then resembled cattle runs. However, I knew Dino & Linda would put on a great show as always, and it did not disappoint in the slightest.

I knew Maurice’s line would be impassable at General Hospital Fan Club Weekend, as it always is, so this was really the best chance for me to see him in a relaxed, non-rushed setting. He was really cool, posed for photos, and signed two items per person. And I am sure that if I had more, he would have signed them. This was the best I have seen Maurice at a fan event in years.

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As always, thank you to my friends Dino from Uncle Vinnie’s and Linda from Coastal Entertainment, and Maurice, Paula, and their family for making the trek to New Jersey. It was a great event, and we all look forward to Maurice returning to the east coast in the future.