i know i've mentioned my long-standing love of "general hospital" at least once or twice before. and although i haven't been as faithful a viewer over the last year as i have been in the past, i still love me some GH. i, uh, might just follow a handful of cast members on twitter. maybe.
well, okay, if i didn't, i wouldn't have this fabulous post to share. and i'm warning you now - if you have zero interest in GH, you'll be incredibly bored with the, oh, 50ish photos i'm about to share.
still with me? good. moving on:
steve burton is one of my very favorite GH actors. he plays the oh-so-sexy jason morgan, and has been on the show for the better part of 20 years. before that, he was on this fun, silly show called "out of this world." it was about a girl whose father was an alien, and he was her on-again/off-again boyfriend. yeah. you know you watched that shit.
so steve tweeted earlier in the week that he and his band port chuck (comprised of himself and three other guys from the cast) were doing a free concert at the grove, to be filmed for the tv show "extra." yup, the one that's hosted by a.c. slater himself - mario lopez. and the stars were totally aligned for me to go - i already had plans to head out to the westside that day anyway, and the hub was taking off for a bachelor party that morning. sah-weet!
yesterday morning, he tweeted about the show again. but it had rained, with possibly more on the way. so i just threw a reply back to him:
a minute later, i was absolutely gobsmacked to find that he had answered me:
figuring i had nothing to lose, i went again:
amazingly, he got me back:
i was on a roll.
there's one other exchange, but you get the picture. hee!
the poor bean. i totally dragged her along on my crazy fangirl outing, and when given the choice of riding in a stroller or on my back in the trusty ergo carrier, she opted for the latter. this would prove to be a fantastic move for later on. she was snuggly and seemed pretty happy to be going for a ride, and i figured i'd get an extra workout with the added 30+ pounds. total WIN.
we walked out of the parking structure, headed on in, and what was the very first thing we come upon? well, it was ol' mario, hard at work:
i couldn't tell at first who he was interviewing, but then i saw the blonde hair and remembered that i'd seen a tweet that said kendra wilkinson was stopping by on a break from "dancing with the stars."
i actually did get pretty close to her, but the few shots i got as we walked along were super blurry and useless. oh, well. and as the bean questioned our presence: "mommy, why are we just standing here? what are we waiting for?" there was a hubbub behind me. i turned around, heard people loudly whispering "it's arnold schwarzenegger!" and totally missed the opportunity for a shot.
i swear, that's his nugget right there though. he was apparently there to have lunch with rick caruso, the mastermind behind the grove and the americana at brand in glendale.
anyway, kendra and mario were gone, but her dance partner, louis van amstel, somehow managed to get through the crowd without too much fanfare. he was nice enough to stop and pose for pictures with fans. sorry, random girl who i don't know from eve.
get this - when i got a turn, he smiled at and greeted the bean warmly before posing with me. except that i managed to screw it up completely. i'd turned the phone around, snapped the shot happily, thanked him for his time, and this is what i got:
mothereff. but that's okay. i got lotsa stuff to show you.
kendra and mario had led us directly to the stage that was set up for the port chuck concert. and then disappeared. but whatever, i wasn't really there for them anyway. heh.
i managed to get a spot along the fence and chatted with the lady who was standing next to me. and then the band appeared for a sound check.
then i remembered i had my zoom lens, and changed them out as quickly as i could while juggling my phone and my backpack. yeah, backpack. i'd stupidly switched out purses thinking a backpack would be easier, not thinking i'd end up toting my kid that way instead. so i was totally rocking the bean on my back and the backpack on my front, with my camera around my neck. yup, i was pretty stylin'.
i don't know what i was expecting, but i was pleasantly surprised to find that they sounded pretty good.
then the grove's staff finally granted us access to the floor in front of the stage, and we all scampered for positions like we were going into combat. luckily, i didn't have to resort to throwin' dem 'bows. that probably wouldn't have looked very good anyway, as i lugged the bean along behind me. no matter - i still ended up with a pretty fantastic vantage point, behind just one row of excited fans. check out steve's patented "stone cold" stare:
no zoom lens needed anymore! and then the guys started pointing out various GH cast members who'd come for the show. here's sean blakemore, the awesome "shawn":
laura wright, who plays "carly" - version 4.0.
andrea bogart - "abby."
the guys played a few songs for the sound check and then excused themselves to start their interview for "extra."
it took a while for mario to reappear, but he finally did.
the typical "guy" hugs as the band ran back onstage.
i was amused to watch mario surreptitiously glance at the iPad regularly that acted as his teleprompter as he flashed those dimples and chatted amiably with the guys.
they talked about the band, their current storylines, answered a handful of fan questions.
the last "fan" to come onstage and ask a question was a grinning laura wright, who gave them shit about hair products, asked who the diva was in the group, teased bradford anderson ("spinnelli") about his little dog.
and then the interview wrapped and it was time to get down to business. it was fun to sing along to their covers of "livin' on a prayer," "knockin' on heaven's door," and "jesse's girl."
steve burton jumped down off the stage to interact with the audience during the last song, and i caught a few funny faces:
and then it was over. they gave a final wave and exited the stage.
because i'm a stalker like that, i lingered (well, lots of other folks did too) and got to talking to the dude who'd had the job of holding the quasi-teleprompter. he was a really nice guy.
i caught a glimpse of the guys, standing off to the side talking to various crew members and other folks who were lucky enough to have access back there. and because i was feeling ballsy, i shouted out "steve! hiiiiiii..." and when he turned around and waved, i said "dude, we drove out from san dimas for you. can we please have a quick picture with you?"
i thought i was going to melt into a puddle when he came over, gave me a hug and thanked me for coming out before posing for my picture. "i tweeted you this morning!" he said. uh, yeah - i remember. aaaaaaahhhh!
and i made damn sure i didn't eff it up this time. here's the money shot, right here (well, MY version of a money shot, anyway):
damn. i look to' up. i'd been sweating my ass off, as usual. poo.
by then, scott reeves ("steve webber") and bradford anderson had also come out to take pictures, sign autographs, etc. hottie brandon barash ('"johnny zacchara") was still off to the side, so i called out to him too. and he came right over and smiled for my camera:
phew, he is HOT. daaaaaaaaaang.
i got a turn with bradford, too, as did the bean:
as we waited for scott reeves to become available, i noticed another familiar face in the crowd next to us. cute little lexi ainsworth, who plays "kristina," was signing an autograph and posing for a picture. she saw the bean, smiled at her, so we took one with her too:
scott reeves is hot. he grinned at the bean and told her she was cute, and she murmured "thank you." you can kind of see her in this shot. yes, i totally moved in on my own kid for a shot with a hot actor. she doesn't give a crap.
by then, the guys were making their way backstage and saying their goodbyes to the dwindling crowd. the bean and i wandered around the fountain, talking about what to have for dinner, and then i turned around and they were right there - heading right towards me.
right after i took this, steve came right over to me, squeezed my arm, and thanked me again for making the drive to see the show.
i can still feel his hand on my arm. seriously, i thought i was gonna pass out.
what struck me about all of the cast members who showed up was that they were really, really nice. they didn't wait for the cameras to roll before turning on the charm and let their smiles fade as soon as the promo opportunity was over (unlike someone else...*cough*mariolopez!*cough*) - they were genuinely friendly and seemed excited to meet their fans. the show we'd (haha, "we") taped that day airs on monday, april 11th. i've already set both DVRs in the house. shut up. maybe we'll catch a glimpse of ourselves on tv.
after we'd grabbed some food to go, we walked past the "extra" stage again, where terri seymour was doing an interview with - i don't know who these people are. but as for her! - she is truly gorgeous in person.
despite the fact that she'd been smushed in the ergo for the better part of two hours-plus, the bean was cheerful as we scurried back to the car. "that was really fun, mommy," she said. "i liked that music." of course, i'm pretty sure it helped considerably that i'd been handing her m&ms as she kicked it back there during the show.
i tell you, man, it's the damn truth: m&ms make friends.
and, i freaking love l.a. where else would i get to do stuff like this? i. love. l. a!