Every August fans come from all over the country to convene in New York City where the annual One Life to Live Fan Club festivities are held. Regardless of who your favorite actors might be, there is always SOME event that can interest even the pickiest of fans, and of course the pinnacle event of the weekend is the Saturday afternoon luncheon, held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. This past weekend, Denise, Dawn, and I gathered to enjoy some of the events involving the actors, and we were pleased to see the turnout and the support for the show (and new head writerRon Carlivati).
If you've never attended the OLTL weekend before, you really must. There are so many events from which to choose, and the weekend usually begins with the Friday night Girls' Night Out. With a small, intimate group, fans are treated to some big laughs and intimate one-on-one time with actresses like Melissa Archer, Bree Williamson, Christina Chambers, Beth Ann Bonner, Robin Strasser, and Ilene Kristen, to name a few. Forbes March had his own event this year, and typically Trevor St. John also has something for his fans. Fans are never at a loss to enjoy the meet and greets with the actors from the show.
This year's fan luncheon, orchestrated by OLTL Fan Club President Carol Dickson, was affected slightly by the fact that OLTL Executive Producer Frank Valentini chose to shut down the studio this week for all of the cast and crew. As a result, many actors and actresses found themselves with conflicts in their schedules due to vacations and could not attend the luncheon this year. Nonetheless, fans were treated to a myriad of actors including Robert S. Woods, Jerry verDorn, Catherine Hickland, John Paul LaVoisier, and countless others who were prepared for a lot of one-on-one time with their fans. Hickland acted as the M.C. for the event and was incredibly well-received. She surprised everyone in attendance though when she announced that Michael E. Knight from "All My Children" had arrived and was going to meet everyone since he could not attend the AMC luncheon the next day.
The highlight of the weekend was Catherine Hickland's charity fundraising dinner on Saturday night which helped to raise money for the Hamad family who lost one of their sons from MS a few years ago. Since then, the family discovered that several other children in the family suffer from MS as well and are wheelchair-bound and restricted in their movements around the house. Furthermore, the family's house burned to the ground last year, and since then Cat has been working tirelessly to help the family raise money to move into a house that will be able to accommodate the special needs that the family demands. She has even helped them work on a video for ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover." The story she told her audience of 90-plus attendees was inspiring and heart-warming. Throughout the evening, Cat auctioned off everything from personal photos to pieces of jewelry to table props from the show highlighting Llanview's new "Woman of the Year." The charity raised THOUSANDS of dollars that night, and it was incredibly touching to be a part of such an effort. Of course, everyone there loved Cat's engaging personality and the stories that she told.
The actors are pretty tight-lipped about future stories, but we can share a few things that were revealed throughout the weekend. First, the show is going to great measures to ensure the secrecy of Spencer's killer, so don't believe everything that you read. In fact, the show apparently has even taped several different revelations so that the identity of the true killer is not revealed before it is on-screen. Second, Llanview's new Woman of the Year will be presented by none other than Nora! And everyone knows that Women of the Year ceremonies NEVER go off as smoothly as planned! Finally, it's possible that we haven't seen the end of Tuc Watkins.
Now that I've returned from China and the fan club festivities are over, I'll be returning next week with my own commentary. Following that, Denise and I will be doing a joint-column in which we both have a chance to banter about the current state of Llanview.
Enjoy your week,