1997 GH Fan Club Lunch From The TV MegaSite
 

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This was posted on AOL from a friend of a friend. It's all about the GH Fan Club luncheon in 97. 

EXCLUSIVE Pictures from the weekend!!

From: CurlyQgrl@aol.com MY write up follows:

Hi all,

Just wanted to share my GH fantasy weekend with you all!  A good friend (Mina L., posts on Ratsa)  that I met on AOL flew in Thursday night, it was our first time meeting!  We toured San Diego, stayed at my place that night. Friday am another new friend met us and we drove up to LA together.  I took them on a tour of Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills (won't mention the part about getting lost in the LA barrio for an hour!).  We had lunch at Planet Hollywood and headed to the hotel. We stayed at the Sportsman's Lodge where the luncheon was to be held.  Our room wasn't ready so the manager bought us drinks by the pool.  We were quite happy since we found Crystal Carson (ex-Julia Barrett) there promoting her "Take a Chance with the Stars" a benefit in Sept (?) for the American Cancer Society.  She was one of the absolute nicest people!  Also JL from Days, and another guy from Sunset Beach (the blond lifeguard). Also going on was a soap boutique being held in a couple of the rooms by the pool, found some great pictures of the actors for sale for $1.50/$2.00.  After this, our room still wasn't ready so you guessed it - more drinks by the pool!  Well we are sitting around talking and a group of AOLers came up and introduced themselves, they heard Joan and I talking  .....turns out they were a group of S&Bers that I had met on line (Beth, Kathy, Mary, and many more)!  Hooked up with Cheryl (Cheyanne11) - great to see her again.  Missed JMatt though!

Later, also ran into a group of MQAS (RedKar, IAMJO, Loids....) - it's always fun to put faces with screen names.  Then we went out to see The High Lonesome (the band Jon Lindstrom was formerly with), several others were there Anne, Razz, JT, ect...... back to the hotel, wandered over to the Blast From the Past party that was breaking up to hook up with our roomie, Danielle.  We saw John O' Reilly (Sean Donnelly), Sharon Wyatt (Tiffany), Billie Hayes (Witchipoo, she was Robert's mentor on GH in late 70's), and Tony Cassidine.  They all looked great!  Andre (the guy that played Tony) looked really good, he was on GH during the Ice Princess business.  You know storyline-wise he didn't die did he?  He would be a great brother for Stefan! Wait a minute, did Mikos freeze Tony?  I remember Victor went to jail. So on Friday, we expected to see no one, ran into several AOLer's, several GH actors and went to bed feeling great!  What a wonderful first day! Saturday, (the absolute BEST day!), we had breakfast - once again met another group of AOLers.....had breakfast at the lodge, then headed out to Hollywood. Took the girls to see Graumman's Chinese Theatre, star footprints.  Found some shops, bought pictures (I knew if I bought a Mel Gibson picture I might be in trouble - something else to collect! But that didn't seem to stop me!).  Also found a shop Lucas told us about, "Hollywood Book & Poster" that had some GH & PC slides that could be order made into 8 x 10's for $5 each!

We decided to see Kin Shriner, and got there early; we were the first in line.  We got second row seating, (front row saved for the fan club staff).  I won a Luke & Laura return poster on the raffle, and a Daytime to Remember shirt on the door prize!  This was a great event, they kept passing out pictures - Kin alone, Kin with Lynn, Kin & Carly, PC promo brochure, Billy picture.  Kin was very shy, think he felt kinda awkward with all the attention...which made it all the more special that he was willing to do an event like this!  He was joined by Peter and Susan (Lee & Gail Baldwin), Carly (Serena), Shell (Dominique), and AJ (Billy Warlock), Karen's mom (whose name escapes me for the moment).  They were all very interested to hear the good fan response to PC, wanted to know what we liked about it.  They love the half hour format as it really shortens their work day.  It was cute when Shell was introduced to Carly, "This is your mom....".  They later posed for family pictures (Scotty, Dom, Serena, the Baldwins).  Kin told how he spotted Carly in a Shake & Bake commercial and was sure she was the one! He got her the audition, and during it she invited him to go swimming later! She charmed everyone and was incredibly posed for such a young child, and very sweet.  It was obvious that Kin and she have a good relationship, he really looked after her, and they were very affectionate with each other.  Susan Brown is a very classy lady, very gracious, her and Peter are happy to be back on - there were a lot of jokes about their new home (the mausoleum, and decorating choices that Gail made!).  Billy Warlock was very nice, very open, he seems very happy to be part of the GH family and was also one of the nicest people - he really seemed to enjoy meeting the fans.  I know after meeting him I'm really going to be rooting for the character of AJ.  We really enjoyed this one, it was fun meeting everyone.

We stayed for Maurice's - My heart about stopped when Maurice came out, his chair was on the edge of the stage just a few feet away!  He is known for being shy, yet he was so warm, so touched by all the fan adoration.  This place was packed to the max, with fans sitting on the stairways.  He answered questions for an hour - us and Maurice just chit chatting.  He was honest, open, and talked about how much he enjoyed working with Tony G., Jason, Ron, and Vanessa.  He did say he would be willing to come back in December (or pretape scenes) so when Vanessa is schedule to leave that  S&B could exit together happily.  I got the feeling he really just needs a break 6 mos - 1 year to relax, check out other opportunities.  He's a very gifted actor, I think if he gets the breaks he could go far - I hope for his sake he does.  He also said that Sonny is the best character, and unless he gets an Al Pacino type role that it would be difficult to match Sonny.  He was very sweet about if things don't work out he would love to come back to GH in a year or so.  He mentioned how much he enjoyed doing Bob Guza's work, and that if Guza comes back (he's currently under contract till Dec I believe) that would be a big plus to coming back to GH.  He said about the Labines and the development of characters like Sonny, Stone that they were the Best of the Best. He shared that in his final scenes with Michael Sutton (Stone) that he spoke from his heart to Michael, telling Michael how much he cared about him, how good of an actor he had become.  I want to see those scenes again now!

Maurice seems to really enjoy the scenes between Sonny & Mike, Sonny & Luke, Sonny & Stone, those scenes that really show Sonny's soul, his heart.....he talked about the connection that exists in the eyes that makes that on screen relationship work - like with S&B.  It felt like Maurice would have been happy to sit and chat all day!  Jim Warren (the event coordinator) had to about pull Maurice off stage!

Jonathan Jackson came out and sang - he talked about what a doll Lulu is (she's twins) and how she connects with him - if its a happy scene she understands and plays happy, if its sad she picks up on that too.  George Alvarez (Garcia) was there - very happy to be back with GH.  Ron Hale (Mike) was there - he is so handsome!  Ron does hope that Mike doesn't become to stable (bar owner, ect) and lose his edge.  Sounds like playing the nice guy gets boring.  Maurice mentioned that Jason will be taking over Sonny's work. Afterwards, I was able to get a picture with Maurice, and also with Ron.  I had to concentrate very hard to hopefully not have the Rosie O'Donnell meets Tom Cruise look on my face when Maurice put his arm around me!  Maurice is the best; when Jim W. was trying to speed things up, Maurice would say, "okay, let's do just pictures" so everyone would have a chance.  He realizes that fans would rather have a picture than an autograph and he wanted everyone to get a chance.  This was a great event - what an afternoon!  Well, off floating back to the hotel....had dinner, hooked up with Melanie (ILOVEGH...) and then off to see Kurth & Taylor.  What a nice surprise - Rena was there and she and Wally did Q&A for an hour!  This was fantastic!  It was so great to see them together, happy!  Wally mentioned the Polish Up GH campaign - they both seemed to get a kick out of that!  They were both disappointed when Heart & Soul didn't get picked up (the 1/2 hr show set in New York around Ned & Lois).  However, it would have been much more expensive that PC so ABC chose to go with PC.  Rena did say how very much she misses GH and how she would love to come back.  But she is enjoying spending this time with her beautiful little girl so much.  They mentioned maybe in a year or two she might think of returning.  I do miss Lois, but as a mother I've made those same choices.....to do temp work and spend lots of time with my daughter. That time when the babies are little goes by so fast.  She takes her daughter to Mommy & Me classes, swimming classes... all that fun stuff that you just can't do when working fulltime.  She did finish that movie in Vancouver, and Wally was able to join her.  Yes, that was Wally and the baby in Stepsister.  Evidently, the film was short on extras so Wally offered to help out.  Wally was hysterical talking about what motivation his character should have, and Rena pointing out he was just an extra!  They are so funny together.

Wally did just resign for 1-1/2  years with the option to stay for another 1 1/2 years. Rena Sofer made some comments about Ned's new relationship with Alexis.....got the feeling there is a part of her that doesn't really care to see Ned move on - she was also kidding too.  I can't wait till Lois comes back and busts that one up!   There was lots of good discussion about Lois's departure - why it didn't work initially - one fan mentioned that the old Lois would never have been afraid of Tracy.  Wally also mentioned how much he is enjoying working with Billy.  He said that for the past year all that Ned has done was to bash AJ, goes to work, beats up on AJ and goes home.  Wally commented on how Billy plays AJ with a lot of strength, and this is going to change the dynamics between Ned and AJ - more confrontational less Ned picking on AJ.  Wally also mentioned that Ned is going to buy L&B and do some more singing!  Hurray!!!!! Sounds like Ned might actually have  a storyline coming up.

Christian Taylor (not only a great voice but oh so good looking) came out and he and Wally Kurth (Ned) played for about an hour - great music!  They played a few new songs, CD titled "Nashville" coming out on August 15th  - great sound.   Then they stayed for another hour signing autographs, taking pictures, till the very last person came through - it was 1:00 in the a.m.  Wally was so incredibly nice.  I had worn my K&T Dick's Last Resort shirt from SD tour stop, and brought a group of girls who hadn't heard him before.  He was very relaxed.  Once again, I hope I wiped that Rosie meets TC look off my face.  I also finally met Jami, she sure is beautiful. This was the absolute perfect day!  Sunday am we woke up - exhausted.  It had already been a great weekend.   This year they had an open area outside to browse around for pictures outside.  This was nice, lots of photos available.  Met more friends...though the entire weekend I never saw Mo....every time I asked she was off somewhere else.....the phantom.  Wally was there again early, once again signing.  He too when pressed for time insisted on just doing pictures so more people could come through and he stayed till the very last one.  He is very generous with his time. 

We then went into the ballroom around 12:00.  Lunch was good.  The stars came in, the crowd cheered and screamed.  First they gave out the awards,  can't remember them all.  Vanessa won Hottest Female, Maurice Best Actor, S&B Best Couple, Lynn Best Actress and Most Humorous.  Tyler won Best Youth.  For Best Storyline, the entire room booed the nomination for N&L's breakup.  I looked over and saw Wally grin!  The return of the Cassadines won in that category.  Most of the cast of PC was there, and there was a big group Q&A.  Anna Lee (received a standing ovation) and said she would die with her Lila Quartermaine boots on!  Leslie Charleson (Monica) & Stuart Damon (Alan) were given an award and acknowledgement for their 20-year anniversary with the show. 

Then they let out all the even tables (I was at #5 - : (  ) to go into the autograph room.  So we hung out and listened to the raffle.  I won a Luke & Laura color sketch. I just had an L&L winning weekend - also won an autographed Soap Opera News with Tony G. on the cover!  

There were a lot more people this year which made seeing the actors more difficult.  An attempt was made to organize this year better, more security, etc.   Unfortunately the implementation resulted in very long lines - 1  1/2 hours for those at the odd # tables.  Later though, Maurice came into the ballroom, so everyone could get a picture with him.  Then Ingo came by and worked the room; this worked out nicely.  Stephen & Mary Beth had to leave, so I didn't get a chance to see them, same with Sarah Joy Brown (Carly).  I missed seeing her, met her briefly last year and she is such a sweet- heart.  I'm really going to enjoy seeing Carly & AJ together!  Didn't get to see Vanessa & Tyler; they had to leave early as she was Maid of Honor in her best friends wedding.

Another highlight was seeing Jon Lindstrom, Kin, and the boys of PC - especially the Scanlon brothers!  They are both very cute.  I really enjoyed meeting Julie (Lisa) and Frank (Jay) - they were two of the warmest, and seemed so excited about all of this.  Also Karen (?), and Chris (Nolan) were very friendly!

I think overall, last year's luncheon was better - mostly because it was my first, it was less crowded, and the actors were more accessible.  But it was such a great weekend, and I had already seen Wally, Maurice, Billy, Kin, & Ron in a smaller more intimate environment.  I highly recommend the personal events, there are less people and you can spend more time with your favorites.  The luncheon was just extra - the best part of that was to meet the PC people!  That was fun.  I can't wait till my pics are ready!  I also hooked up with a good photographer; she had great pictures of many of my faves for $1.50/$2.00! 

Next year will be GH's 35th anniversary.  This year the luncheon sold out in April - (or maybe it was Feb - it was very early).  Next year, tickets will only be available to fan club members.  If you've ever thought of going, the best place to stay is at the Sportsman's Lodge, because the are so many other things going on there, it's close to other events, and you run into other fans, etc.  But this place booked up in January! 

Stacey : )

Another friend told me some other tidbits....like many of the actors were drunk throughout the weekend (not unpleasantly so, I gather). Sean Kanan was expected but didn't show.  Tony Geary, Genie Francis, the actress who plays Lesley, Lynn Herring, and Wayne Northrop were not there.  Most of the actors were said to be very friendly and nice.  Ingo Rademacher was wearing very tight leather pants that his castmates made fun of. (Did he get them from Eddie Maine?) The little girl who plays Serena Baldwin (Carly Schroeder) was said to be very impressive, very confident and professional and not at all intimidated by the large crowd.  She stuck close to her "daddy" Kin Shriner.  Some of the actors, like Maurice Benard and George Alvarez, had their children present.  Crystal Carson apparently doesn't act anymore, just does stuff with her charity.

--Suzanne

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