Hospital Fan Club Weekend
By Sherry Mercurio
This year Nancy’s event had a 50’s theme, with the attendees asked to dress in their 50’s best. Everyone seemed to be having a good time with the theme and there were some very creative outfits (mine didn’t qualify in that category…I gave it a go but you’re talking to someone who has no desire to attend Halloween parties when costumes are part of the deal). Upon arriving at my pre-assigned seat I found several party favors (Woowhoo, Sherry loves free stuff!), including a cute little notepad and pen with “NLG” on it, a bag of candy, a pink poodle keychain, a magnet, and a 50’s dance mix CD. To make the evening even more exciting, I was seated with an Internet friend, Kristie, whom I was meeting in person for the first time. She brought her daughter along and next to her was a Santa Barbara fan (she had a really cool scrapbook) who apparently is working with a group that wants to see SoapNet carry Santa Barbara. We talked a bit about Lane Davies as well (one of my favorite topics you know) and how hard it is to find clips and tapes of Mason and Julia. I didn’t get the chance to talk to the rest of the table much because the event had wall to wall entertainment from the stage, but I can tell you that one of my table mates was working hard to get butt shots of male actors and I probably should have taken her email or something so I could’ve tried for copies!
Nancy arrived almost immediately, looking great in her 50’s garb. This was the first time I had seen her in person and I have to tell you that my very first thought was about how tiny she is. She has these amazing legs that may very well GH’s greatest untapped resource. She’s just all around smaller than I thought she’d be (as was pretty much every other star I saw all weekend) and her outfit was more flattering than almost anything GH has ever dressed her in (though we all know *that* isn’t so hard to do). She’s just a really beautiful woman. She is obviously quite comfortable behind the microphone and she started right off with question and answer time. She made it clear up front that the jacket was just in fun and not intended to offend or upset anyone. There were a lot of questions asked (and mostly we couldn’t hear the question so sometimes it took a minute to figure out what direction the answer was going in), and my notes were sketchy at best, but here’s a brief rundown of the things that weren’t reported in live reporting at the EOS 2004 GH Fan Weekend Reporting site that were of some interest:
When asked about the rumored tango scene, Nancy talked about Tony Geary and Ric Hearst being the only men she’s met (besides an old boyfriend) who know how to ballroom dance besides her father who taught it.
She said that Sarah and Emma who play Kristina are “naturally” very attracted to Maurice (Benard, Sonny Corinthos) and that while filming the hospital scene when Kristina was on the chair looking at the babies with Sonny, one of the takes has Kristina getting off the chair and instead of going to Nancy when she said “Come here baby”, she walked to Maurice and held up her hands to be picked up.
Nancy also said regarding Cassadine scenes: “I just never know why I’m there and why I’m saying what I’m saying”.
She seemed very heartfelt in her praise for the upcoming Lila’s funeral scenes. She felt they were a much more fitting tribute than the Emmy tribute was.
“To be caught between Ric and Maurice is no bad place to be!”
During a break in the filming of the courtroom scenes, Maurice was on the stand and Tamara Braun, Nancy, and Kelly Monaco were seated in the courtroom chairs. Maurice looked out at them and said, “There’s the mother of my child”. Someone else said, “Yeah, Sonny’s whores” but she declined to say who said it, lol.
Nancy said she really enjoyed guest hosting on The View and would really enjoy going in that direction with her career. She had nice words for Kelly Ripa as well.
She was asked about Dobson, and said that it was a “good experiment” that she enjoyed having the opportunity to try. She thought some of it was pretty funny, but added that not enough of it was.
Nancy answered a lot of questions, until she was basically dragged off the stage to start autographing. She was gracious and respectful of all of Alexis’ fan bases. There seemed to be a lot of Sexis fans present, so the response to Ric and Alexis seemed lukewarm at best. Though several fans made it clear that it wasn’t that they didn’t like Rick Hearst, they just weren’t sold on Ric and Alexis as of yet. Personally, I’m quite enjoying watching Nancy have a story worth viewing again and I meant to tell her how great it was to watch her worth with Rick, who I find to be an incredible actor…but I kind of forgot once in her presence, lol, so I just wanted to mention that those of you that do support this story might want to drop a note to ABC and Nancy to say so. She mentioned though that Guza and company really seem to like the story so far, so it looks to be continuing. Nancy also discussed the charity the event was raising funds for, the Bob Grahn Memorial Scholarship Foundation, as well as mentioning some new foundations she was becoming involved with that she hoped to have up and running by the next event.
Around this time my table realized that the announcement that the tables would be excused one by one to hit the buffet table apparently did not apply to our particular table since the entire rest of the room was already eating. I got up to score a hamburger since a hotdog sounded like the worst idea ever, but was stopped before I got there because one of the special guests had arrived and I couldn’t be blocking the door and all. It turned out to be Sarah and Emma, the Kristina twins. Had I thought to bring my camera with me when I set off to fill my plate (when it’s between having hands free to put the ketchup on the burger or bringing the camera, I’m ashamed to say the burger wins), I’d have great pics of the cuties in their adorable poodle skirts. As it stands, I’ve got nothing and the burger was almost raw and I couldn’t eat it…lesson learned. I kept my camera with me the rest of the weekend.
The girls hung out on stage awhile and attacked a cake with their bare hands (of course). They are quite adorable and obviously have fun little personalities already. Next to arrive was Cynthia Preston (Faith Roscoe) who was just a bundle of energy and incredibly witty. She was just in the building for another purpose and agreed to stop in for a few minutes. She entertained questions while Nancy started making her way to each table for autographs and pictures. Soon thereafter, Rick Hearst and Greg Vaughan made their entrance.
Let’s start with Greg. I’m designating him GH’s number two greatest untapped resource (right behind Nancy’s legs). The man is absolutely gorgeous in person. He’s just yummy, nothing more needs to be said. The banter between Rick and Greg gave me the impression that they’re chummy at least on the set, if not off. Greg said when he comes into work in the morning he finds Rick to ask him how his day was, joking about how Rick apparently has quite a bit of energy and accomplishes a lot in a day, lol. He and Rick discussed an upcoming scene they have together where Ric asks Lucky to do something and he actually does it. Rick said for a second there he thought “whoa, is that like a friend or something?” But Greg said, “Lansing doesn’t have any friends”. Greg was very sweet with the crowd; he almost seems a bit shy. He did mention wanting to see Lucky go a bit darker and (*cringe*) maybe get involved with Sonny or something like that. I perfectly well understand an actor’s desire to get involved in that storyline, since it’s obviously the ticket to drama and lots of airtime. I can’t help but hope he doesn’t get his wishes though, I’d rather see Lucky get something worthwhile of his own (and maybe Greg would as well…he may just realize that’s something of a long shot) so I can continue to enjoy looking at him.
Rick Hearst absolutely was everywhere over the weekend. He worked very hard, and honestly you probably would be hard pressed NOT to have seen Rick over the weekend. He was absolutely wonderful at Nancy’s event, keeping us entertained for the entire rest of the evening so Nancy was able to make the rounds and spend time with her fans. He was great with the fans, very affectionate and appreciative. He’s very witty as well, and he worked the crowd like nobody’s business. The two of them handled all the auction items, giving hugs and kisses on the cheek to most of the winners. One lucky young lady managed to be the filling in a Rick and Greg sandwich…I’d have taken her picture but I was busy writing about the fiftieth line in my notes that said “Oh Dayna is gonna be SO sorry she’s not here!”
It was really a great event, and it seemed everyone had a good time. Having Rick and Greg there to entertain while we were waiting was a wonderful idea; it beat standing in line for hours, that’s for sure. In fact, it was definitely my most relaxing event…sitting and watching the boys while waiting for Nancy to make her way over to us. Once it was our table’s turn, she signed the CD for me and posed for a picture. Her marker gave out so I gave her mine, yes, that’s right; Nancy Lee Grahn has my marker! At least she had it until it gave out as well and she abandoned it on a table somewhere…but ya know, it was exciting to me for a minute there! I also got Kate’s (Nancy’s daughter) autograph, twice actually, lol, since she really wanted to sign some and when her line was short she sent out emissaries to find people to request them, lol. She’s a cutie.
Due to jet lag and my inability to sleep at night, I was on board when the other gals were ready to leave a bit early. Apparently we missed some of the teen actors dropping by later, but I can’t complain, it was a very full evening. I’d gladly prove how sexy Greg Vaughan is but pretty much every picture I took this weekend didn’t turn out, and no, I swear it wasn’t because my hands were shaking or anything like that! So, for anyone who has never attended the GHFCW and may do so next year, I’d definitely recommend Nancy’s event. A lot of work was put into the preparation by the organizers and Nancy obviously wanted to be sure everyone had a great time…plus, you pretty much can’t beat her special guests! ;)
More information on Nancy and the charities she works to support can be found at:
Hospital Fan Club Luncheon
I’ve been sitting here staring at this screen for a while now, unsure how to even begin to cover this event. I didn’t view it from the standpoint I expected to when I left my room that morning, and frankly, it’s all rather a blur. I didn’t take any notes, I took maybe three pictures all day long, and I never got lunch. I posed for exactly zero pictures with zero actors. No autographs either. What I have instead of all that, are exciting memories and some new perspective. Since I’m finding these recaps hard to write (go figure), let’s switch up and try this one in diary format.
6:30am – We were supposed to meet at 6:45, but since I’d been up since 3am (the time change really messed with me, but I’ll get to more of that in my general weekend observations…once I get around to writing them) I’m all ready to roll so I decided to head down to the pool to wait for the girls and call Dayna with an update from last nights NLG event. By the way, this is a good time to mention that both Dayna and Sarah did a fabulous job with the updates and having been the receiver of those excited, breathless calls last year I know first hand how hard it can be to decipher what the caller is babbling on about, lol. Kathy showed up and finished the call with Dayn, Carolyn was already off to Starbucks and would meet us on the way, and Katrina showed up minutes later. So off we went.
7:30am – We finished up our breakfast at Twain’s, an all-night diner between the Days Inn and the Lodge, and headed to find Debbie Morris who had instructed us to show up by 8am to help with check-in. We breezed on through to the staging area and got our assignments from Debby O’Connor. We spent the next half hour or so separating wristbands and chatting up the staff members working the photo tables.
9:30am – Check in had pretty much wound down, but we had great fun meeting new people and reacquainting ourselves (well they were all new people to me) with those met last year. Several people told me they actually read my column which was very exciting for me since sometimes I’m convinced it’s the same six people reading it every week (and they’re all either related to me or are very loyal friends, lol). I chatted with a Jason and Courtney fan for a while and she was really sweet…it was nice since I know I’ve never been overly supportive of the couple and there were those fans there that really didn’t much want to speak to you unless you were an uber-fan of their favorite couple or character. It was great to see fans that are also just fans of the show and enjoy talking about it. I sat at the check-in for a while and watched Sonny and Jason fans pick out pictures to purchase at the table next to me. After Cynthia Preston (Faith) showed up at NLG’s event and impressed people (like me) who hadn’t seen her in person before, tickets to her event seemed to come into higher demand and I saw several fans purchasing late tickets for that.
10:30am – I made my way over to where the rest of the EOS clan had gathered, sitting with Debbie Morris. Katrina had been made aware that she’d be visiting the green room, and it seems she was a teeny bit peeved at the secret keeping. We all gave each other the “pfft, whatever” look and just went on with looking at our future green room diva with awe and respect. What we didn’t know is that Eye on Soaps had been selected to escort the stars back to the green room, so we had a surprise as well! We were very honored. Debbie made it clear that it would probably be during the time that the meal was served and we all promptly said we really didn’t run on food anyway, thank you very much. Had she told us we could never eat again, we’d probably have still just nodded in agreement…I did the “I’ll do whatever you tell me” nod of agreement many, many times this weekend, lol. We received a quick course in the guidelines for “Escorts” (I can’t begin to tell you how much I like that word, lol) and I tried really hard to take in every word while my mind was racing along at the things I was hearing. I was sort of starting to get the picture for what this next “job” would be, and judging by the looks on Kathy and Carolyn’s faces, they were too…but we all were still in a bit of a daze.
11:00am – (by the way, I’m totally making these times up…I mean, they’re approximately right I think but looking down at my watch would require me to take my eyes of things of much greater importance, lol, so I didn’t do it much) The line to enter the event was finally moving inside (if you’ve never been, the luncheon is a day of standing and waiting, and then standing and waiting some more). Some other stuff happened I think, but the next thing I really processed was being in the green room. The stars had not yet arrived, so we deposited our belongings and waited for our next instruction. Stacey Lopez (official video taker for the event) approached us to ask if we wanted to film a promo for Eye on Soaps for the video. I did my now patented nod of agreement while my brain reminded me that I look bad enough on still photography for goodness sakes! I’m one of those people that just totally freeze up in fear before a camera and I inevitably look really dumb in every picture ever taken of me. Suffice it to say that it absolutely is worse on video. Anyway, Stacey is a really great lady and she was more than wonderful to us all weekend long.
11:30am – We were directed over to an important looking gentleman with a headset and were joined by a young girl, making four of us. He asked for people that know the actors, and we said that we all did. He took Kathy and disappeared with her…we had no idea where she went off to but our imaginations were no doubt better than the real thing, lol. The rest of us followed a very nice lady who tried really hard not to laugh at our shell-shocked expressions for the rest of the day. She took us to the back entrance of the Lodge. There were photographers across the drive that runs up to the door, and there were several security guards milling about. Let me just take a second here to comment on the Lodge’s security, because I was not the only one to notice how absolutely professional they were while still managing to be friendly and pleasant. They always had a smile on their faces, and I for one noticed and appreciated it. Anyway, upon reaching the door, we lined up and waited for the arrivals to begin. When actors arrived, they first paused for pictures with the photographers, then turned and were approached by one of us to be escorted in to the green room. It was a huge honor and privilege, and I enjoyed every second of it immensely. I tried so hard to act unaffected since this was not a time when the actors were expecting to be greeted by fans. I did fairly well I think, but by the time I had escorted a few back and then made it through doing John J. York (not doing doing…I mean escorting), and then safely deposited Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) and Derk Cheetwood (Max the bodyguard - both, by the way, were carrying their motorcycle helmets in an “oh so cool yet casual way”), I had well and truly about reached the limit of my professionalism. I was *thisclose* to sneaking off to the restroom to call someone, anyone, so I could screech in her ear about how cool the whole thing was.
I’m happy to report that even though for all they knew we were paid staff, not one of the actors was anything but polite. Some were friendlier than others, going out of their way to make conversation. John J. York (Mac), Blake Gibbons (Coleman), Greg Vaughan (Lucky), Alicia Leigh Willis (Courtney), Rick Hearst (Ric), Ron Hale (Mike), Lindze Lethermen (Georgie), Adrienne Leon (Brook Lynn), Wally Kurth (Ned), and Natalia Livingston (Emily), and Catherine Wadkins (Mary) were among them.
12:45pm – The actors who were attending were all present and accounted for, and were lined up in alphabetical order in the green room. They made their way out into the hallway, and waited their turn for introduction to the room. After all the actors had entered we made our way to our table to watch the awards.
1:00pm – John J. York emceed the Fan Club award presentation. Here are the ones I caught:
Scene Stealer – Tony Geary (Luke)
Younger Actress – Lindze Lethermen (Georgie)
Best Villainess – Cynthia Preston (Faith)
Best Villain – Rick Hearst (Ric)
Freespirit – Natalia Livingston (Emily – when accepting the award she said she’d need someone to explain it to her later…I have to agree, when I read the award list I was rather confused by wth that actually meant, lol)
Favorite Storyline – Port Charles Hotel Fire
Best Actress – Tamara Braun (Carly)
Best Actor – Maurice Benard (Sonny)
Best Fan Site – www.tylerchristopher.com (Sheri Evener, I think – and I agree, it’s a great site!)
Best Fan Club – Rick Hearst (Debby O’Connor)
Leslie Charleson read a tribute to Anna Lee, the reason some actors couldn’t attend was addressed (letters from them read, or whatever), and that was about it. The all got up and posed for pics onstage…I took several, none of which turned out (or maybe there’s a little photo clerk somewhere drooling over my pictures).
1:15pm – The actors are dispersed to their assigned tables around the perimeter of the room. I was charged with delivering NuLucas, Ryan Carnes, to his table. I haven’t had the pleasure of viewing him onscreen yet, but I can tell you that in person he’s quite adorable. Each time I checked on him throughout the afternoon it was very clear that he was intent on making sure his fans were happy. I was impressed. We spent the next several hours ensuring that the actors had what they needed. I was very impressed by the attitude of most everyone there, it seemed important to them to be present and to spend what time they could with each fan.
4:00pm – At this point I could be found sitting in a daze at my table, wondering how on earth I ever got so lucky…mentally going over ways to thank Katrina and, of course, Debbie Morris. This event is a huge undertaking and having had a vantage point where I could see both sides of it, I’m even more in awe. The actors also deserve our thanks since they do not have to attend this event. It’s a marvelous thing that they do, and that they spend all day doing their best to meet the fans expectations. All involved with the entire weekend truly seemed tireless. I felt lucky to be a GH fan.
The parents of Emma and Sarah (Kristina) were exceptionally nice people and really seemed to have a good grasp of what’s appropriate for actors of their daughter’s age. They brought them to events, but didn’t stay beyond a two-year-olds cut off point, lol. I was just very impressed with their whole family.
Natalia Livingston (Emily) seemed very nice and immediately brought out the mother hen in me when she worried that she was arriving late. I may not be an Emily fan, but Natalia is a very sweet girl.
Some of the actors seemed to truly feel badly that they couldn’t stay longer when it was time to cut off their lines.
Both Natalia and Catherine Wadkins had very long lines and stayed quite awhile trying to see as many fans as possible.
Catherine Wadkins is absolutely gorgeous in person, she has a to die for figure…GH ought to lay off the sweaters already!
Leslie Charleson is tiny! Do we ever see Monica’s legs? After this weekend I truly don’t understand why more of these people aren’t wearing less clothing once in awhile.
Blake Gibbons is beyond hot, and he’s nice to boot. He may be a perfect man…I’ll have to research more and let you know for sure.
All of the teen actors seem to get along with each other very well. They were seen hanging out together, coming and going, all weekend long.
Wally Kurth is even better looking in person. I also had the pleasure of dining a table away from Christian Taylor (of Kurth and Taylor) and he’s quite something as well.
Maurice Benard’s line is never-ending and I felt kinda bad for him as he was leaving and still being followed by a whole line of people.
John J. York is extremely personable and my adoration of him only grew this weekend. He was so nice I couldn’t even bring myself to pull the “grab his ankle and don’t let go” trick I had considered. Anyway I’ll bet the security guards would have quit smiling had I done that and some of them had rather nice smiles so we wouldn’t want that! ;)
Many of the actors brought pictures along with them to sign for fans. I don’t know why but I didn’t expect that they did that.
Blake Gibbons was among the first to arrive and last to leave. Derk Cheetwood, John J York, Natalia Livingston and Catherine Wadkins were also among the final to leave.
After Maurice Benard, I’d say the next longest (consistently) line was for the table with Ted Kind, Cynthia Preston and Blake Gibbons. Next year it might be nice if they were split up though because it may have moved quicker that way.
By the time the event was over, we were so hungry that we practically ran for the Patio Café. I don’t know how Kathy (that trooper!) managed to make it through another event directly following, because I thought I might truly pass out from starvation (or system overload…take your pick). I had the absolute best turkey breast sandwich I’ve ever eaten in my life, lol. Then I walked down Ventura toward the hotel, yammering away on my cell phone to anyone who would listen to my account of the afternoon. When I almost got nailed by a car at the corner because I was too busy yakking to look up, I finally felt for the first time like maybe I *did* fit in sunny L.A.!
General Hospital Fan Club Weekend
|NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:
WAS a perfectly wonderful picture of Stephen Nichols giving our own Sherry Mercurio a cuddle. I know it was a perfectly wonderful picture because *I* took it. A discerning comment from her husband, Scott (who is adorable, btw) led her believe she looked inebriated in the picture (and she is quite a gin hag, I must confess, but she did not seem drunk at the time), so she chopped herself out of the picture. More's the pity.
Let’s just put the cards on the table and say that it would have been pretty much impossible for this event to top Saturday. However, I’ve watched Stephen for what feels like forever and we are talking about the man that originated being sexy in an eye patch (Yes that’s right, you heard it here! Johnny Depp is a copycat!), so I was very excited to attend this event.
We waited a few minutes outside the Vista Room and then headed on through to our assigned seats. Katrina and I were in seats 9 and 10, so you didn’t hear any complaining out of us. Stephen was already in the room, working on getting the televisions set up to air clips from his short film Get the Dime. The evening would offer Stephen several technical challenges, unfortunately.
The evening also offered a cash bar, so you can feel free to take everything I say with a dash of gin…or two. Stephan looked great, longer hair which I expected since my husband had already laid eyes on him on the street somewhere a couple nights before. After comparing notes we decided he looked cooler when he saw him, all dressed in black, but I’m not complaining. Stephen is very easy and comfortable with his fans, standing around chatting and working on setting up his equipment. It was pretty obvious that I was probably one of the few who hadn’t seen him in person before; he seemed to know a lot of the people there by name.
Things got rolling with the introduction of special guest Tyler Christopher, and we went straight into question/answer time. Here’s a brief recap of that:
When asked whom he would like to cast/direct in film, Stephen mentioned Gene Hackman, Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn (working together), and that Marlon Brando would have been great.
To the question about what kind of films he’d like to make, Stephen responded that he wanted to make visually beautiful films that tell a story in a subtle yet profound way. Then he joked that he’d only made his first one just recently so that was kind of hard to answer.
Stephen said he has no plans for summer travel.
He said he has completed the screenplay for Fear of Falling and that it took a year and a half. He’s now working on a script that his wife wrote.
He said he has not been approached by any other soap apart from Days of our Lives a year or so ago. I didn’t get the impression that he was against joining a soap again either, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that someone snaps him up.
Tyler was asked which TV show he’d like to make a guest appearance on. He laughed and said not Las Vegas, that we wouldn’t go there, or something along those lines, lol. He said any show with beautiful women. Then he said that TV is rather crappy right now and that cable definitely has the best to offer. He and Stephen discussed guesting on Sopranos or Deadwood, which both seemed to very much admire.
Stephen talked for a few minutes about Richard Biggs’ death and told some stories about their work together.
A male fan somewhere in the back stood up and started going on, and on, and ON about how much he wants to work with Stephen on Days of our Lives (and a bunch of other gibberish – I swear to God that Santa Claus was mentioned somewhere in there. He ended with bringing up his world economic plans…?) and I developed yet more appreciation for what these fan events can be like for an actor. Stephen handled the whole thing very nicely and he obviously hadn’t had any gin because he kept his face all straight and stuff…mine however was all agog, lol.
Tyler was asked how he likes working with Catherine Wadkins (Mary) and he said he could “throw anything at that girl and she picks it right up and throws it back”. He said she’s doing a “hell of a job” with a character that is hard to make sympathetic. He said she has a “method to how she approaches a scene and it’s consistent”. He said that Nikolas is darker right now, but that “He’s still a prince and he’s still out to do good, he’s just a little pissed off now”.
It was clear to me that Stephen has no love lost for the GH writers. He said he knew when he signed on last time that Guza’s intention was to kill Stefan. He said hey, it was a six-month gig and I did the best I could with it. I fought for what I could do, but that it was difficult. At one point someone asked a GH question that started with “the writers”, and Stephan countered with “Writers? They call themselves writers?” Hee…if I didn’t love him before!
Speaking of loving him, he also said he’s not a Lord of the Rings fan…at that point I thought I better lay off the gin because maybe I really did want to marry this guy and a girl doesn’t want to be drunk when she proposes!
During the auction a pair of pants and a vest from Stefan’s time on the island with Laura were auctioned off. Stephen called the island scenes “one of the last location shots soaps ever did”, lol. He also told a cute story about how a mouse ran up the leg of the pants.
He referred to a picture of Tyler Christopher on a magazine cover to be auctioned off as “the real Nikolas”. This was after Tyler had left the event.
While talking about a picture of Stefan and Nikolas taken during the scene where Nikolas suspects that Stefan has killed Alcazar and asks, “Uncle, what did you do?”, Stephan quipped that it was such a Stefan-like thing to do, “I’m gonna dirty my hands”. It was pretty obvious that he was on board with those of us that feel that Stefan was not himself at the end, that’s for sure.
When he held up an old magazine cover with himself as Patch from Days of our Lives on it, he said “Oooh, it’s the Patchman on the cover by himself! Look out Maurice Benard!” Everyone laughed and he said well, every week he’s on the cover, lol.
The highlight of the question answer time for me was while Tyler was answering a question and I was faithfully taking notes, Stephen looked over at me and mimicked writing while looking at me quizzically. I’d have been happy to explain in detail, with great depth…taking my time, what I was doing but alas, the opportunity never presented itself. ;)
After the question/answer time, we divided up into two groups to view the film. Since the other group went first, I took the opportunity to sneak out to the restroom and then look through my goodie bag. Stephen’s event had by far the best favors. We received a whole bag of stuff at check-in, magnets, bookmarkers, pens, paper with Stephen’s picture on it, a Stephen puzzle, Stephen stickers, a Stephen pocket calendar, a Stephen tip calculator, and a cute little key chain that’s got a picture of Stephen in it. I felt spoiled!
Once it was our turn to view the movie clips, we filed back in and sat down. Here’s where things got a little dicey though because it was obvious that it was really important to Stephen to show the clips, and the television was just not cooperating. First there was this little onscreen time/date stamp up in the corner that he couldn’t get rid of. I have to tell you, Stephan tried really hard not to get overly irritated (even with 50 different women shouting 50 different directions from their seats) even though it was obvious he was really disappointed with the technological setup at the Lodge. After deciding that even though it wasn’t ideal, we’d have to view it with the stamp on the screen he started the movie up only to find that the sound was working but not the picture. We started all over again listening to the directions from the seats, but to no avail. Just as he had given up, it was discovered that the cable had disconnected in the back of the TV. Stephen handled a little ribbing with a great attitude and we finally settled in to watch the clips.
Get the Dime is entirely Stephen’s baby from what I understand. We weren’t able to view the entire film (it’s about 30 minutes long from what I understand) so it’s hard for me to comment much about the story (and those of you who know me know I love movies so if I felt like I could comment adequately, I certainly would be!). When you’re talking about a short film, you sort of need to see the whole thing because each scene packs so much punch for the entirety of the film. What I gathered from what I saw is that it’s about what a person is willing to do to get a role, and how much a person is willing to sacrifice for the art. It’s a very intense film and it very much makes you feel that intensity. The casting choices seemed flawless to me, and technically speaking it looks extremely professional. There was nothing pointing toward it being anyone’s “first attempt”. I really am interested in seeing the film in its entirety someday; the clips generated a curiosity to understand everywhere the film was going. The thing that really jumped out at me was that it’s obvious that Stephan has a great ability to get what he wants from his actors, which is something I greatly admire in any filmmaker. These actors were not holding back and the subject matter is such that they would have to be working with someone who made them comfortable enough to go as far as they needed to go.
Stephen intends to take the film to as many festivals as he can and hopefully someday we’ll all get the chance to see it in its entirety. One of my only regrets for the evening was that with all the technical trouble and with time being short already, we didn’t get to hear Stephen talk much about the film and I think that would have been beneficial (plus I just like hearing him talk ;) after viewing the clips. It was understandable though; the night lasted until at least midnight so there wasn’t much room to add anything to the agenda.
After the film, Stephen and his fan club presidents, Sherry and Sandra, (along with numerous helpers who worked very hard) auctioned off about 50 items, the proceeds benefiting Stephen’s film budget. You can find out more about supporting his projects at Stephen Nichols.net.
Once the auction was wrapped up, Stephen settled in for pictures and autographs. While we were waiting in line, Sherry and Sandra drew names from the list of attendees for door prizes. Everyone who attended ended up with something (besides the bag of goodies we already had), which I thought was well beyond what was expected. Katrina won a $25.00 Barnes and Nobles gift card and I won a desk clock with Stephen’s picture in it, so these door prizes were nothing to sneeze at! Stephen’s ladies put on a classy event and I’m so glad I had the pleasure of attending.