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Friday, October 13, 2023

could i BE a bigger dork?

don't answer that.

the main cast event during the general hospital fan club gathering was the crown jewel of the whole event.  i had heard that a good majority of the actors typically make an appearance - more than the official convention, even - mostly because of the personal relationships that the fan club itself has built with them over the years.  and based on the individual events i'd already been able to attend, i knew that it was a much more laid back, casual atmosphere during which the fans actually got to spend time with them without all the rules and restrictions of the other one.  i was pretty excited to see how the day would unfold.

my ticket included a reserved spot at one of the tables near the front of the ballroom, plus lunch and the official event t-shirt.

when i got to my table, i was surrounded by a group of very friendly, very enthusiastic GH fans who had clearly been coming to this event for a good number of years.  they filled me in on what to expect, who we might see, who we probably wouldn't see, all kinds of great stories about cast members past and present.  the organizers don't tell you who's going to be there ahead of time, so it was a fun guessing game as to who we might see that day.  and then when i heard a loud shriek of delight i turned and saw emily, who i'd met at the set tour during the other convention.  it was her first fan club event too, and it was nice to see a familiar face.

lunch was really nothing special - typical mass-produced hotel food that was decent and edible.  i think the options were a chicken caesar salad and one that had chicken, strawberries, candied pecans and mozzarella balls (clearly, i got the latter because the universe knows how i feel about fruit).  we got dessert too - there was cheesecake and a chocolate cake - and then once the plates were cleared away the event was kicked off by wally kurth, who plays ned quartermaine/eddie maine.

and then i came to the realization that i'd scored big time with my table assignment, because i was just feet away from the door through which everyone made their grand entrance.  of course, that's when my phone decided to freeze up and then restart.  miracle of miracles, it came back to life just as the actors started to enter the room.  i got a good number of them, but a lot of my pictures are shit because i was so excited (and because i'm naturally a terrible photographer anyway).

first up - tahj bellow ("TJ ashford").

enzo de angelis, who isn't onscreen too often but plays elizabeth and lucky's son, aiden.

that's chad duell ("michael corinthos") and michael easton ("hamilton finn").

carolyn hennesy ("diane miller"), with kathleen gati ("liesl obrecht") taking a peek in the room.

lynn herring ("lucy coe"), one of our beloved GH vets.

evan hofer in real life is so very opposite of the serious, brooding "dex heller."

josh kelly, "cody bell," seemed a little uncomfortable but smiled and waved through the pain.

another one of the vets - jon lindstrom ("kevin collins/ryan chamberlain").

this is lydia look, who plays mob boss "selina wu," and it was really fun to see her smile and have fun because her character never gets to.

apologies to eden mccoy ("josslyn jacks") for this photo where she looks a little...deranged.  oops.

tristan rogers, who's played "robert scorpio" for several decades, came in looking like someone's grandpa who just happened to wander in.  haha.

brooke anne smith entered a little hesitantly, and i couldn't blame her one bit because she'd been getting quite a beating online for being cast as the new "molly lansing-davis."  i felt bad for her and hoped that everyone would be kind to her. 

i didn't even recognize josh swickard when he came in because of that hair.  "harrison chase" would never.

i've been a fan of kristina wagner since she first appeared on the show back in the 80s as "felicia cummings," so i was really excited to see her walk in.

cynthia watros ("nina reeves") bounced in full of energy and radiating happiness and joy as she always does.  she's one of the friendliest people in the whole cast.

hudson west has played "jake webber" since 2016 and earned an emmy nomination in 2018.  

dominic zamprogna ("dante falconeri") came in and gave wally a little shit for forgetting to introduce him. 

and last but not least, chad duell finally joined the party.

about halfway through the q&a panel, a familiar voice took over the microphone and asked the cast a question - i think it was something silly like "what's it like being on a soap opera?" and when we turned around, it was james patrick stuart ("valentin cassadine").  i think he'd gotten stuck in traffic or something. hey, it happens.

i tried to get a group shot of the entire cast, but i was just far enough away and it turned out like...this.

they all made their way out of the room via the same door they'd entered in and i took a bunch of photos of them, but none of them are any better than what i've already posted above.  oh well.  

the hotel staffers came in and started setting up stations around the room for the actors to hang out and meet the fans.  unlike the other convention, they all stayed for the next several hours to give everyone a chance to come over for a meet & greet.  there wasn't an additional price tag to snag an autograph or take a photo, and they even had fan club volunteers assigned to each actor who were happy to snap the picture so that they didn't all have to be selfie-style.  the whole vibe of the room was so different (in a good way) from the last convention, and i knew immediately that i'd be buying a ticket for next year's event as soon as they go on sale again.

here's a bunch of pictures of me with all of the actors that i was able to meet:

bonnie burroughs, who plays "gladys corbin." i told her that i hoped the storyline wouldn't take her off the show anytime soon which now i regret saying because...gladys has been written off.  but she wasn't killed off, so maybe we'll see bonnie again one day.

little jophielle love, who plays finn's daughter "violet finn," clearly adores her onscreen dad.  i finally got to chat with him for a minute about the time i spotted him while we were "trapped" on maui during a brush fire a few years ago AND he recognized me from the last time we met - at the 2019 convention.

i told these guys that i hoped they'd be onscreen again soon, and they both just grinned and said "just keep watching."  and sure enough, they've appeared since then - with "jake" getting a little more of a storyline that i'm hoping will lead into some fun stuff with the other teens on the show.

brooke anne smith was very sweet and had a great attitude about the negativity that surrounded her casting on the show ("molly" is in her 20s, while brooke is in her late 30s and a lot of soap fans are...not nice).  we talked about how she'd been announced as a permanent recast - but either the noise from the fans really got to the powers that be at the show or they came to realize that she really wasn't a fit for the part, because last week a third actress was introduced as "molly."  i hope brooke has rebounded and found something new.  they kinda did her dirty.

this is risa dorken, who plays nurse "amy driscoll."  the show seems to have modeled her part after another blonde, gossipy nurse named amy from the 80s, and she does add a little humor to the show when she's on.

réal andrews ("marcus taggert") arrived while the event was well underway, and a line formed quickly to meet him.  

these three photos with GH vets i've watched since i was in elementary school were a major win for me.  bucket list moments for sure.

cassandra james ("terry randolph") not only plays a transgender doctor on the show, but is the first trans woman with a recurring role in the history of daytime tv.  she's gorgeous and super friendly...and very tall!

i wasn't able to get to everyone before the event came to an end, which was kind of a bummer, but that's okay.  there's always next year.  but i did make sure to take a picture of this sign, which only makes sense if you're up to date on the current storylines happening on the show:

even the kids had hung around till the very end, and it was cute to watch them run around and play together.  i can only imagine how much fun they must have when they're all on set.

i was on sensory overload by then, so it was really nice to just walk down the hall from the ballroom and head into my room for one more night.  it had been a full day of soapy fangirling, and i was so tired that i just ordered some shake shack via door dash and passed out cold.

you're never gonna look at me the same after this, are you?

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