Last Sunday, October 23rd, I attended the fall incarnation of General Hospital Fantasy Weekend, We Want More, showcasing the series’ fan favorites who the audience does not get to see onscreen as much as they would like to. Eight actors attended, a mix of recurring stars and stars to have recently exited, they were Ian Buchanan (Duke), Bryan Craig (Morgan), Sonya Eddy (Epiphany), Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), Rick Hearst (Ric), Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Carlos/Joe), and Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix). Stalwart Kin Shriner was originally slated to attend, but canceled about a month prior, being replaced by Bryan Craig.
The event began with having the cast do the meet & greet first, which always works due to the fact that the fans are taken care of first and ensures our time with the cast is not cut short if the event runs over. They broke the cast into two groups – Buchanan, Eddy, Gati, & Samuel and Craig, Hearst, Hennesy, & Parise. Somehow, I found myself first in line, and was therefore the first fan to finish up.
The Q&A was good, I guess. I was extremely tired and cold, and somehow had begun to doze off a bit. All in all, it was a great group of stars. Quite possibly some of the most fan friendly that GH has to offer. As always, thank you to the stars, Dino, and Linda, for a day off well spent!!!
I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to prepare for the flagship FCW event, the Main Cast Event. Again, the attendance was significantly smaller than last year, I believe dropping down to 260.
As tradition would have it, the cast had quit a difficult time assembling themselves for the introductions. A new face, well old face really, took the role of emcee this year – the great Kin Shriner (Scott). 39 actors attended, with reportedly seven confirmed actors being no-shows. Donning his Bob Hope jacket, Kin humorously introduced his castmates to much fanfare. Stars in attendance were (in alphabetical order) Vinessa Antoine (Jordan), Maurice Benard (Sonny), Rebecca Budig (Hayden), Matt Cohen (Griffin), Bryan Craig (Morgan), John DeLuca (Aaron), William deVry (Julian), Risa Dorken (Amy), Michael Easton (Finn), Sonya Eddy (Epiphany), Hayley Erin (Kiki), Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), Roger Howarth (Franco), Wally Kurth (Ned), Chloe Lanier (Nelle), Jon Lindstrom (Kevin), Lisa LoCicero (Olivia), Eden McCoy (Josslyn), Kelly Monaco (Sam), Anthony Montgomery (Andre), Ryan Paevey (Nathan), Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Joe), Haley Pullos (Molly), Emme Rylan (Lulu), Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix), Brytni Sarpy (Valerie), Parry Shen (Brad), Michelle Stafford (Nina), Kirsten Storms (Maxie) and daughter Harper Rose Barash (Georgie), James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), Donnell Turner (Curtis), Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon), Hudson West (Jake), Dominic Zamprogna (Dante), and lastly, the leader of the pack, Executive Producer Frank Valentini.
As opposed to doing a tradition Q&A, Kin asked one question – What did you do before joining GH? Each actor answered, many of the responses were quite comical, and then cue the chaos – the meet & greet. I only needed four of the attendees – Cohen, DeLuca, Montgomery, and Stuart. Montgomery bailed at the completion of the Q&A leaving me with just three names to get, an easy feat. Once I finished up with the new guys, it was off to see old favorites, all of whom were added bonuses at this point. It seemed like the cast had a variety of excuses for leaving early this year, so as the number of actors dwindled down, the remaining lines grew longer.
I had about an hour break to rest before my next event – Kin Shriner & Maura West. If there’s one event during GHFCW that will make you laugh so hard you nearly cry, it is this one. Following in his father’s footsteps, Kin is a comedian at heart, and Maura is the perfect comic foil. Celebrating his 39th anniversary with GH, there was no shortage of age jokes. The stories were great, the jokes were great, the fans were great, and the talent was great. Easily, my pick for the best event of the weekend, even though Kin went home with two of my Sharpie markers.
And while everyone else headed off to see Kathleen Gati and later to Michael Easton & Roger Howarth’s One Night Only event, I headed out to eat and wind down from another awesome day.
Originally, I had no events planned for Friday and intended on spending the day sightseeing. However, one of the event coordinators, Debby O’Connor of YourNumberOneFan, asked me if I wouldn’t mind helping her and crew out at their events. I had lunch plans, but I accepted her offer in preparing for the first event of the morning. That event was Breakfast with Ryan Carnes (Lucas) & Jimmy Deshler (Rafe Jr.). With about 20 fans in attendance, the event ran smoothly and featured a surprise appearance by Brian Gaskill (Rafe Sr.). I had already gotten Ryan & Jimmy the night before, but I had never met Brian before, so I was glad I had been recruited to help out.
After the event concluded, I headed off for lunch with friends, missing Debby’s next event, Lunch with Bryan Craig (Morgan) & Kelly Thiebaud (Britt). Debby told me if I made it back in time, to swing by and see Bryan & Kelly, so I did just that, and also had the chance to meet their dog, Ranger.
Late that afternoon, I contemplated doing something, and I did it, whether I did for the better or not, I am not quite sure. That contemplation was attending Finola Hughes’ (Anna) annual charity event hosted by the Findom. Promoted guests were Ian Buchanan (Duke) & Michelle Stafford (Nina). I needed Finola to finish up an 8×10 for me, Ian’s just a doll, and I never met Michelle before. My friend and I bought tickets at the door and attended what would ultimately turn out to be Finola & Ian’s event. Michelle was held up at the studio and never showed. Was it worth the $95? Eh, but all monies went to charity, Childhelp, and that’s my good deed for the day.
There were only two events on Friday morning, Lisa LoCicero’s and Sebastian Roche’s. I had done Lisa’s the previous year, and really had no intention of doing Sebastian either, but a few weeks prior, I gave in and bought a ticket as I had never seen him before. His event was coordinated by event extraordinaire Debby O’Connor, so I knew it would be worth it.
Sebastian’s event was small compared to others, but there was still an easy 50 people there, and I was at one of the last tables, but Sebastian moved fast. He was very charming and funny.
When lunchtime rolled around, there was only one event- The Ladies Lunch hosted by the recently let-go Lindsey Morgan and newbie Kelly Thiebaud. Not many people signed up for this event, but as it occurred and word got out at how great it was, more and more were buying tickets at the door. Debby O’Connor never disappoints and the Ladies Lunch was no exception. Expected to be just Lindsey and Kelly, surprise guests included Tamara Braun (Carly), Teresa Castillo (Sabrina), Bryan Craig (Morgan), Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), Lilly Melgar (Lily), Samantha Logan (Taylor), and Cynthia Preston (Faith), bringing the number of actors present to nine! All of them made their rounds table to table and posed for photos and signed autographs. I wish I had known Teresa, Kathleen, Lilly, and Samantha would have been here so I could have skipped them at the Kickoff, but oh well, it is what it is. I was able to get much better photos with them at this one. It was truly one of the best individual events that I have ever attended. Kudos to Debby and her team for pulling off the first of many surprises to come at FCW.
Friday afternoon was the host to a few events, all of which I skipped. Bryan Craig, Jimmy Deshler, and Tequan Richmond’s; Laura Wright’s; and Chad Duell & Kristen Alderson’s. I was very excited for Friday night’s event, the sold out Evening with Finola Hughes.
An Evening with Finola Hughes marked Finola’s return to GH Weekend after a long absence. One of the few events to sell out, the proceeds of her event, hosted by the lovely ladies from The Findom, went to charity. Her special guest for the evening was her leading man, Ian Buchanan. Both Finola & Ian gave away 8×10 photos to the event attendees which went over very well with the fans as many of the stars charge $10 for photos. The organizers also arranged for anyone going to Kelly Monaco’s event to be first up for the meet and greet, which benefited me as I was at Table #1 for Kelly’s and really needed to get there as soon as I could.
As soon as I finished up with Finola and Ian, I headed over to An Evening with Kelly Monaco, hosted by GH Fan Club President Debbie Morris. While I was only there for the last half of her Q&A, Kelly was her wild and funny self. She plays so well off of the fans. She’d be great at standup comedy. I was at Table #1 for her, so I was up first during the meet and greet. That’s a blessing at Kelly events, because she always runs over and fans often don’t leave until the wee hours of the night.
After Kelly’s event, I think I may have run back to my room for a good night’s sleep. Saturday was going to be a long day…