Maurice's 1998 Fan Gathering--General Hospital Fan Events From The TV MegaSite
 

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Kristi's Account of Maurice's 1998 Fan Gathering!

Here is my account of Maurice’s fan gathering. I haven’t read any other descriptions written by anybody else, so I don’t know if anything that I am about to say has already been said or if anything that I remember will be contradicted by somebody else. Everything happened so fast that I may have some of it confused. Anyway, here is what I remember and my impressions of the evening.

First of all, there was only one negative thing that happened at the end of the evening. I want to talk about it first though, and get it out of the way. I went with my mother, so when I say, "we", I’m talking about her and myself. Anyway, we had just finished getting our autographs and we had walked down to the lobby of the Sportsmen’s Lodge and we were on our way out the door when we noticed that Ron Hale was sitting in the bar. He had been upstairs, but he left before the autograph session started and we hadn’t had a chance to talk to him. We decided to go in and talk to him. I don’t think that we were wrong to do this, after all he was sitting in a public bar that we had to pass on the way out the door, It’s not like it was a private party, or so we thought! He was at a table with about 5 or 6 people, including Billy Warlock. We asked Ron if that was his family, and he responded that it was his extend family. he was just being polite and so were we. Then suddenly Billy Warlock interrupts us and starts telling this really weird story that didn’t fit into the context of the situation at all. The feeling that we got was that for some strange reason he was trying to make it clear that we weren’t welcome their, it wasn’t only rude, it was downright strange. So we left, with our feelings a bit singed. He didn’t know who we were, in his world we really are nobodies, but that still doesn’t give him the right to treat us with such disregard, especially since all of the other stars that we encountered were so gracious.

The evening started on a great note. Steve Burton is probably second only to Maurice when it comes to my favorite daytime actors. I really agonized over whether to attend Steve’s event or Maurice’s. for that reason, I was on cloud nine when I got to see Steve walking out the door as I was walking in to go to Maurice’s event. It was already 6:30 and Steve had been there since 4:00, so he had probably had his fill of admiring fans, the poor baby. He was on his way out, so all we got to say to him was, "Hi," and he said "Hi," Which was really nice, because he didn’t have to take the time to even do that. he could have just ignored us completely and just ran out the door. After seeing Steve in the flesh, I’ve come to the conclusion that he must not be too photogenic, because he is at least ten times more gorgeous in real life than he is on TV or in picture LOL! Getting there in time to see Steve leave meant that we had to stand in line for about 30 minutes before they let us into the room where Maurice was going to talk. Fortunately, it wasn’t very hot outside.

They let us in and we were given a folder that had two 8x10 glossy photos of Maurice, one in color and the other in black and white. We were also given a laminated pass, with Maurice’s picture on it, that we wore around our necks. We were given ball point pens that had a very clever phrase written on them, "Sonny Corinthos, no phone, no address, who wants to know?" After waiting for about 10 minutes, Jim Waren introduced Maurice by asking us who we had come to see. Maurice came in a side door at the front of the room and the room went wild! Everybody was standing up and snapping pictures. Maurice is another person that the camera just doesn’t do justice to, the man is drop dead gorgeous in real life. He was wearing a black pull over knit shirt trimmed in white, gray checked pants, black high tops shoes, and of course his famous dimpled smile that makes hearts melt. He launched right into a question and answer session.

The first question was what ethnicity he is and his answer was, "full blood Hispanic." Then he told us about fixing his wife, Paula, a steak earlier in the day. He said that he doesn’t cook, in fact he said that in the 14 years that he has known Paula he has never cooked for her, but his dad did teach him to cook steak was he was a little boy. So Maurice bought steaks and he was going to cook them for Paula and there friend Will. They teased him about not being able to cook and he told them that he was going to cook them, "the best steak that they had ever eaten." When they had finished the steak, they said that, "it was the best steak they had ever eaten." He really seemed proud of the fact that he had cooked a really great steak. That was really cute, he had this huge grin on his face when he was telling that story. One of the next questions was about his latest projects. He said that he had just worked on a small role in a film that I think is called, "Something So Wrong." He plays a bank robber that has this really dramatic scene where he is explaining why he is robbing the bank. I got the impression that he doesn’t have a very big role, because he only mentioned filming for one day. He thought that he would be finished with filming by 2:00, but he didn’t leave the studio until after 5:00, because they had to shoot with different cameras from different angles. He also said that he had been sent a tape of the movie that he shot last year, Splitsville. He said that it is a cute movie and well worth seeing. They are still trying to get a distributor for that film, and are hoping Disney picks it up. He was disappointed in that role, because the director wouldn’t let him play the character with any kind of edge or any coolness.

The next question was about his role as Desi Arnaz. He decided that the main reason that he wanted that role was for his parents however, he had to audition 4 times before he got the part. By the third time that he read for the part, he didn’t really care about getting the part and did really bad in the screen test. After that, they told him that he wasn’t going to work out, but he had decided that he wanted the role and told them that he could do the role because the role was basically his father. After he got the role, the producer wanted him to be Desi and he had to remind the producer that he was just an actor playing Desi. Maurice also talked about other projects that he has read for recently, including Chicago Hope, which he really wanted and didn’t get. He also said that he wasn’t even considered for NYPD Blue (as rumored), they didn’t even want to see him about the role.

Somebody asked about his pets, and he said that he had just gotten one of his dogs back from obedience school. He said that he had to send it for training because it used to, "bite him in the butt." People in the audience asked what was wrong with that? He also told a story about another one of his dogs, Bambi and how his black 4 Runner got totaled. Paula had gone into the fish store to buy stuff for their pet fish. She had taken Bambi with her and left the 4 Runner motor on so that she could run the air conditioner for the dog. The 4 Runner got stolen, with the dog still in it. The police found the 4 Runner after the guys that took it ran it in to a house, but the dog was gone. So Paula and their friend Will put up reward posters in the area that the guys let the dog go. Some people called and said that their neighbors had the dog, but weren’t willing to give it up. Paula and the police went to the house of the people that had the dog and this big guy came to the door and said, " I ain’t giving up no dog." But the police got the dog back. The 4 runner was totaled and so they had to get a new one that is sand colored. Maurice talked about lots of other things. Like how scared he was filming the tram scenes in Puerto Rico. When they told him that he was going to have to do it he told them that he couldn’t do it because he is very afraid of heights. When he found out that it didn’t bother Vanessa at all, his machismo kicked in and he agreed to do it. He just thought that they would go down once, by the time that they had gone up and down 5 times he was almost in tears and to top it all off, the minute they got the shot and he got down Good Morning America stuck a camera in his face for an interview, he was practically shaking!

He was asked twice if he is coming back for Vanessa’s exit. Both times he said no, because they didn’t ask him to come back. He thinks that it is good that Vanessa is leaving, and if they had asked him to come back he would have, because he loves the character of Sonny so much. No matter how big he gets he would come back to GH because of the love and support and respect there. The second time that he answered the question about coming back when Brenda leaves, he said that even though Sonny and her weren’t leaving together there was an up side because, "Jax is gonna be all alone" He said this with a emotion that can only be described as glee! The room went wild when he said this, so I guess to make it less personal, he added that he really does like Ingo Rademacher, in fact there isn’t anybody at GH that he doesn’t like and respect. Maurice was also asked what his favorite all time scene was from General Hospital. At first he kind of whispered that it was the scene where Lily blew up, but when people applauded, he changed his mind and said that it was the scene where Stone is dying. In fact, he says that he watches that scene a lot and shows it as an example of great acting to people when they come over to his house. I’m sure that has made him real popular with his friends LOL!

A little bit after that Michael Sutton came in and Maurice looked really relieved to see him. I don’t think that he is really comfortable talking in front of groups of people and I think that he was more than happy to share the spotlight with Michael, who caused the whole room to go crazy when he came in. In fact, Maurice sat down and let Michael talk. Michael is very relaxed and articulate, he is about as far from Stone as Maurice is from Sonny. You can see that they are very different from the characters that they portray, but you can also see how they can easily step into the shoes of the characters of Sonny and Stone. Sonny and Stone are what Maurice and Michael would be if they stepped out to the light and into the shadows and lost control. Michael talked about how Maurice took him under his wing and taught him a lot about acting. He also reminded Maurice of how he played Sonny. Maurice said, "Oh yeah, I used to play Sonny as if he always had a gun in his pocket and wasn’t afraid of anybody." Then he added, "Except Mac." Michael talked for a while more and then Ron Hale came in from the back of the room, causing the crowd to go crazy once more. Maurice said that it was like the king had just walked in and asked Ron to do his walk up the aisle again, he didn’t!

At that point Jim told Maurice to introduce his friend William Rotunno. Maurice introduced him as the new guy that is going to be on the show and is going to be Sonny’s long lost brother! At that announcement, Ron starting calling for "Time Out!" Ron said that this was the first that he had heard of Sonny having a long lost brother! Maurice admitted that Will is going to play a character named Marco Basillo and he said the other stuff only because he and Will look so much a like that he could be Sonny’s long lost brother, only if we write in and ask for that story line. I got the feeling that Maurice believes that the fans do have power and that his fans are very important to him. He started out the evening by thanking us for coming and stating that he wouldn’t be anything with out the support of his fans. By the time that Michael, Ron and Will got up there Maurice was really starting to relax and I think he would have let us ask questions all night. He seemed disappointed when Jim told him that he had to end the question session and start sighing autographs. Ron didn’t stay for autographs, but William Rotunno, Michael Sutton and Maurice did. William Rotunno is gorgeous, he really does look a lot like Maurice, all though Maurice is still the king of hot gorgeous looks. They both have dark intense eyes, but William is a little taller. I asked William if he was really going to be on the show and he said that he starts filming this week. He was very nice and down to earth and I can’t wait to see him on the show! He signed pictures of himself for us. Michael was also very nice, I told him that I think he is going to be very successful.

The only person that I couldn’t think of a thing to say to was Maurice! There has to be some word that describing being speechless when in the presence of a god! All I could think to say to him was to tell him how to spell my name! I felt kind of stupid later for not giving Maurice some indication of how much I respect him, but there is always next year! All three guys were extremely gracious. This was the first time that I had been to anything like this. The evening, in my eyes was a success. It made me realize that, for the most part, soap actors are just ordinary people that have an extra ordinary amount of respect for those of us that worship them!   Okay, that was kind of long. Did anybody actually get through it? This was everything that I could remember, more will probably come to me later. I had a really great time and wanted to share my experiences with everybody.

Kristi

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