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.
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.
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
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!!!
Pretty much anyone who knows me knows that I have just returned from what my Twitter followers call the most annoying weeekend of my life, the annual General Hospital Fan Club Weekend, the time my Twitter timeline is filled with the pictures you are about to see below. This was our second year at the Embassy Suites in Glendale, with a few overflow events being held offsite at adjacent hotels and restaurants. There were 21 events this year, as well as two private events, which is pretty much the same as last year. I think I did a record low of seven events, but was able to see pretty much all of the actors over the course of the weekend.
The first event of the weekend was Thursday evening, aptly titled the Kick Off Cocktail Party. Technically, this event was not the real kick off, as William deVry & Ryan Paevey opted to host their event prior to it. When this event moved from Sportsmen’s to Embassy, actor attendance was slashed in half. Last year, just 11 stars came. This year was not much better with 12. The waiting game wasn’t that bad though and I was done by 9:20 (The event had begun promptly at 7:00). Attending stars were Risa Dorken (Amy), Chad Duell (Michael), Hayley Erin (Kiki), Chloe Lanier (Nelle), Eden McCoy (Josslyn), Lilly Melgar (Lily), Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix), Donnell Turner (Curtis), Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon), Hudson West (Jake), Laura Wright (Carly), and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante). I’d be seeing Robert at his own event the following evening, so I skipped him, and walked away with five new actors, a nice dent in my needs for the weekend.
All in all, it was a successful evening and seeing the five new actors would be a nice sigh of relief come Saturday’s Main Event.
Part Three (
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.
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.
Sorry I’m a bit late on this one, but back in July, I attended the annual General Hospital Fan Club Weekend at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, California. Taking place from Thursday, July 25 through Monday, July 29, this year’s jam-packed events schedule celebrated General Hospital‘s 50 years on the air and included many surprise appearances by former cast members.
Starting off the weekend was the Kickoff Cocktail Party held on Thursday evening. This event was some serious foreshadowing as to what was yet to come. Many stars, past and present; many fans and long lines. It was nice though. I use the Kickoff to get as many stars as I can, that way I can avoid the lines later in the weekend. It’s also a rule of mine to skip any stars that I will be seeing at individual events later on. That’s just a waste of time. Typically, my rule for the weekend is to see new stars first, then old favorites. However, this year I had the newly released 50th Anniversary book to get signed, so I ended up standing in more lines than usual.
Attending stars included Brandon Barash (Johnny), Sean Blakemore (Shawn), Teresa Castillo (Sabrina), Derk Cheetwood (Max), Drew Cheetwood (Milo), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas), Bryan Craig (Morgan), Jimmy Deshler (Rafe), Josh Duhon (Logan), Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), Samantha Logan (Taylor), Lilly Melgar (Lily), Haley Pullos (Molly), Emme Rylan (Lulu), Marc Samuel (Felix), Parry Shen (Brad), Kirsten Storms (Maxie), Kelly Thiebaud (Britt), Constance Towers (Helena), & John J. York (Mac).
So I got 13 stars out of the way. Not a bad start at all. Other events taking place on Thursday evening were Nancy Lee Grahn’s, Rebecca Herbst’s Soiree, and Derk & Drew Cheetwood’s. I skipped them all and instead got as much sleep as I could before the extreme craziness began.