Slayed by the Assassin of Cyberspace Part I

December 3, 2007

Where do I begin… I guess I’ll start at the train station… My day appeared to be getting off to a good start when the man at the ticket window surprised me by saying, “You look nice.” That made me feel so good. As I’ve said before, like Blanche DuBois, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

On the train, things took a downward turn when I made the mistake of sitting by the window. For much of the trip, I stared at the river that claimed the life of my brother a year ago. It took all the willpower I could muster to stop myself from burying my face in my hands and sobbing my heart out.

En route, the train stopped for a while. I’m not quite sure why… The delay caused me to miss my connecting train. Fortunately, I only had to wait about fifteen minutes for the next train to come along. When I got off at Tarrytown, I met up with Allison, who had driven down from Rhode Island.

We managed to get lost a time or two on our way to the Ramada in East Hanover, New Jersey. As a result, the room where the event took place was packed by the time we arrived. We were lucky to find seats in the last row on the far left.

This event was not what Allison and I expected it to be. We were spoiled by the one we went to in NYC this past June. There were only about 50 people at that event, and Bradford went around to each table, having leisurely conversations with every single person, and posing for photographs. It was a much more intimate setting.

Things were very different at yesterday’s event. For one thing, four hundred people were in attendance. Most of those people were there for Steve Burton (Jason Morgan on General Hospital).

Before Steve came out, we were treated to a brief music set featuring Blue Country. The singer, Scott Reeves, is married to Melissa Brennan Reeves, who played Jennifer Horton on Days of Our Lives. Scott himself is a former soap actor, and is best remembered for playing the role of Ryan McNeil on The Young and the Restless. He is very cute. And very nice. (More on that later.)

After the musical interlude, Steve Burton took the stage. In some ways, he is very different from the character he plays. In other ways, he is very much like Jason Morgan. One of the biggest differences is that Steve has a sense of humor, which Jason Morgan is lacking. Steve is funny, and cracked jokes throughout the event. The most comical thing to me was Steve’s impersonation of Maurice Bernard as Sonny Corinthos. What a riot!

Steve is similar to Jason Morgan in that he appears to be somewhat intolerant. For example, at one point, he stopped mid-sentence, glared, pointed his finger into the audience and coldly said, “John. Fifth row. Video camera.” (That’s a paraphrase. I don’t remember his exact words.)

He must have realized that he was coming across as being rather harsh because he quickly regained his composure and apologized to the woman with the video camera. He explained that video taping isn’t allowed because he gets in trouble due to the nature of some of the clips that show up on YouTube. (Revealing future plot lines, making fun of older ones, etc.)

During conversations with other audience members, I heard about events where overzealous fans approached Steve in excessively physical ways. According to the eyewitnesses I spoke to, one woman grabbed Steve’s face and tried to kiss him. After hearing about incidents such as this one, I have a better understanding of his standoffish attitude.

Some people have no respect for boundaries. These soap stars (or ANY celebrity, for that manner) are human beings. They are doing these events to touch base with their fans, not to make fantasies come true. I don’t know of any other entertainers that participate in events such as these, and I have great respect for the soap stars who spend so much of their time interacting with fans. The least we can do in return (besides supporting their shows, of course) is to honor their right to not have their personal space invaded.

After a short while, Steve was joined by Derk Cheetwood, better known as mob enforcer, Max Giambetti. Derk and Steve regaled us with amusing stories. (Derk’s description of the scene where he and Diane kissed was particularly hilarious. He referred to the marvelous actress, Carolyn Hennesy, as a “tomcat.”) Derk also announced that he and his wife are expecting a baby in January.

Then Bradford came out. Although this was mostly a Steve Burton crowd, Bradford was greeted with a roar of approval. A highlight of the event was his side-splittingly funny reenactment of Jason heading for Wyndemere on a speedboat, with his long locks flapping in the wind. (Steve finally cut his hair, by the way. I don’t remember the context, but he made a self-deprecating remark about a resemblance to Fabio.)

During Bradford’s question and anwer session, someone asked him what he was thinking during his scene with Hugh Hefner’s “The Girls Next Door.” His response was, “Stay calm. Think about baseball…” Hah!

Someone else asked how long it takes to learn his lines. According to Bradford, he learns his lines the morning of the shoot. That is remarkable considering that his lines are far from standard fare. He has to say things like, “The Ultracool If Somewhat Intimidating Parental Unit must fulfill his paternal obligation by forging an alliance with his super hot niece, The Valkyrie. Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to protect The Blonde One from The Knuckle-scraper and His Deceitful Parental Unit, The Elder Unworthy One, along with the Über Evil One, as well as all the denizens of darkness and the vast conglomerate of doom who would seek to do Fair Lulu harm.” (I made that up, but I think it’s a fairly good example of Spinelli Speak.) Derk Cheetwood commented that it made his head spin just to LOOK at Bradford’s lines in the scripts. He said he couldn’t imagine having to LEARN them.

Another thing that stuck in my mind was when Bradford said that, while he was backstage, he was looking at the photos that would be on sale in the lobby. One of them featured a bare-chested Steve Burton. (That link won’t take you to the photo that was for sale at the event, but it’s worth looking at!) Bradford exclaimed, “I shelled out twenty bucks for that one!”

After the guys finished their schtick, it was time to line up for the photo taking with Steve and Bradford. Derk was supposed to be heading over to the Embassy Suites in Parsippany to set things up for the Monavie meeting, but someone told Allison he was in the sports bar. We went in to ask him a question about the Monavie meeting, and he was SO friendly. He asked us if we wanted him to pose for pictures. Sure!

After a while, we went back to the event room. The thought of standing on line for hours didn’t appeal to us, so we decided to sit it out and just get on the end of the line when it had almost reached Bradford and Steve. When Bradford saw us, he greeted us by name! I was blown away.

Here’s a pic of Allison with Bradford and Steve.

And here’s a shot of me with the guys. (Unfortunately, Steve got distracted when the picture was taken and looked away.)

End of Part I – Part II will be about the Monavie Meeting

To Be Continued…

P.S. I just got an email from Bradford! Will report on the contents in Part II.

Song of the Day: To Be Continued by Lil’ Dollar

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15 Responses to “Slayed by the Assassin of Cyberspace Part I”

  1. Penny said

    OOh Stephanie.. Sorry about your train ride. 😦

    I heard the event was VERY busy. Looking forward to part two.

  2. Penny said

    are you and Bradford wearing matching clothing? LOL

  3. yaketyyak said

    Yeah, we ARE color-coordinated, aren’t we? 🙂

  4. look at you girl!! I’m sorry that the train ride was so difficult, I am sure that was not something you expected when you were setting off on your day. Somcetimes life comes back to hit us in the face when we least expect it. I am so glad your day got better 🙂 Pics with all 3 hunks!! Whoo hoo girl. I can’t wait to read part 2. I think it is so cool that Bradford knows you on site and by name!!

  5. Wow! You’re a celebrity all by yourself.

  6. Jeanette said

    It’s exciting to meet famous people! Sounds like you had a great time.

  7. LA said

    Ha! And you always said I’d be the famous one! This is very cool, honey. ~LA

  8. LeAnn said

    Thanks Steph for the awesome report! I can’t wait for part 2. You do look great in the pics. You stand out among the stars. I’m sorry about the sad train ride. That is very difficult I know. My son died when he fell off of a big water jug. (The kind you see on the back of trucks). I see them all the time and I always have to tell myself a water jug is just a water jug so I don’t develop some sort of unhealthy fear of them, ya know. Thanks again. BTW, you could be a part of the GH writing staff. That was an amazing example of Spinelli speak.

  9. chaosdaily said

    steve burton is sooo cute!!!! tell him he has a big fan in wisconsin!

  10. Michael said

    Thanks, Steph. I was right there with you. Steve looks so much better with his hair shorter. That was a great example of Spinelli speak, by the way.

  11. Sunday said

    Hey, I recognize that Steve Burton guy! Wasn’t he on another soap? Guiding Light or something? Soap stars seem to be so much more affable than others–not sure why that is.

    As for the “wrong seat”, I don’t think there’d be a good seat, seeing as you’d have to pass the river anyway.

  12. Joan said

    You always look great in every picture I have seen of you!!!!

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