Fan Fest Events 1996

Deidre Hall’s West Coast Breakfast Break ’96

I was so incredibly nervous when we sat down for this event. It was 7am and we sat at a table of 8 other people, about 250 people total. We bought some 8X10 photos for Deidre to autograph later, and then we sat down for breakfast. I couldn’t eat partly because it was so early, and mostly because of my nerves. We met a 22 year old girl and her mom at our table and became fast friends we ended up seeing them later at the luncheon and partied with them at Drake’s dinner/dance all night. I also met a man and his daughter who ironically lived less than a block from me here in Texas.

When Deidre was introduced, the person introducing her said "Dee will be here in a couple of minutes, but we have a special guest first." And a woman walked in with a tablecloth over her head, pretending to be the woman in white. My friend looked at me and said "that’s Deidre." It was. The minute I saw her, myself and the mom sitting at our table both got tears in our eyes. I was so overwhelmed with finally seeing the person I’ve admired for so many years!

She walked around the entire room throughout the event, talking to us, answering question, etc. She talked about kissing Drake (John), talked about Wayne Northrup (Roman) and Jed Allen (Don Craig), answered questions about the Emmys and all the controversy surrounding Days actors not being nominated, and she answered questions about storylines and answered rumors. She also talked about using fake hair sometimes, getting her hair dyed, and getting her hair straightened since her hair is naturally curly-makes me sick! Ha ha.

They had prepared some video clips to music, my favorite being to "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" and if you listen to the words, it makes perfect sense. There is reference to "Johnny" taking on the devil and they’d show John up on the screen fighting with MarDevil. It was so perfect the way they did it. They also did clips to "Because You Loved Me" and of course showed John and Marlena clips all the way through it.

While Deidre was walking around, one gal in her mid 20’s pulled out an old metal lunchbox, in mint condition, that had Electra Woman and Dyna Girl on it. I laughed hysterically because I remember watching the show as a child. Towards the end of the event, Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) and Pat Delaney (the woman in white) both made guest appearances and stayed to sign autographs. My favorite part of the event was that Deidre brought Tully along, her 15 month old. He was so cute because he kept stealing the microphone and tried to upstage her! I was very impressed by how friendly and down to earth she was. When I got my turn to get all of my things autographed, I told her how long I had been watching Days and that I remembered watching EW as a kid. She laughed and said that she really used to have a body to fit into those leotards.

Days of our Lives Fan Club Luncheon

When we arrived, our table was covered with party favors and decorations. During the lunch, we were shown video clips, both old and new, of Days over the past 30 years. You could definitely tell where the younger people were sitting because they absolutely went crazy every time Austin was on the screen. Those of us who have been watching for a long time were cheering for old scenes of Bo and Hope, Roman and Marlena, Patch and Kayla, Kim and Shane, Doug and Julie, etc. And the funniest part was whenever they showed John and Kristen scenes, the room went silent. I found out during these events that about 90% of the audience wanted John and Marlena to get back together.

James Reynolds (Abe) was the master of ceremonies, so he introduced everyone as they came in. Cast members included Austin Peck, Christie Clark, Ali Sweeney, Eileen Davidson, Jason Brooks, Collin O’Donnell, Frank Parker, Peggy McCay, Bryan Datillo, Joe Mascolo, Deidre Hall, Suzanne Rogers, Yvonne Kopacz, Stephanie Cameron, Mark Valley, Thyme Lewis, Renee Jones, Ivan G’Vera, John Aniston, Lauren Koslow, Jaime Lyn Bauer, Roark Critchlow, Kristian Alfonso, Peter Reckell, Tanya Boyd, Pat Delaney, Lisa Williams, and Jeff Griggs.

The cast took turns spreading out in the audience with microphones, so we could answer trivia questions for prizes. Eileen was right next to our table for a long time, and she could see that my friend and I were raising our hands for every question, she just couldn’t get to us fast enough. Finally she wandered over a couple of tables away from us. Then James Reynolds asked a question that everyone was having problems with, which gave me more time to come up with an answer. The question was "How many identities has John had, and name them." When I came up with a number, my friend and I started yelling "Eileen!" until she came running back to us. She stuck the microphone in my face and they said "Do you have an answer?" I said "I can come up with 7!" They said "You’re right!" and someone handed me an autographed script. They made me stand up and say my name, which was really fun considering the audience was about 500-600 people total. Oh, for those of you who don’t know the answer, his identities were the Pawn (1986), John Black (1986, 1991-present), Roman Brady (1986-1991), Romulus (1992), John Stevens (1992), Forrest Alamain (1992-present?), and Father John Black (1995). Jason Brooks kept coming by our table saying "What am I supposed to be doing?" Raffle prizes were also pretty cool, and included more scripts, large autographed pictures and framed posters, sweatshirts, leather jackets with the Days emblem on them, and my favorite would have been the back stage tours of the studio.

After the trivia, everyone broke up into long tables around the room for the autograph session. Here are some of the observations we made: I sat on Joe Mascolo’s lap for a picture! Most of the guys were shorter than I expected, but I am no judge, as I am 5’10". Austin Peck was super nice and Collin O’Donnell was passing out fruit in Austin’s line since it was so long. Jaime Lyn Bauer was so sweet and wanted to talk my leg off. Jeff Griggs was absolutely gorgeous! We asked Ivan where his Madame was and he said she was home ironing his socks. James Reynolds was also extremely personable and talked to us about old storylines.

No shows at the event were Louise Sorel, who was reportedly ill, and Drake Hogestyn, whom we later found out had spent much of the day at the hospital because his foot (post surgery) had become infected. There was a formal photo session with four guys who offered to pose with us. My friend chose Mark Valley and I chose Thyme Lewis. I couldn’t have made a better choice! He looked at me when it was my turn and touched my tummy and said "Check out this girl’s stomach!" He held me very tight for the picture and everyone commented what a cute picture it was. When I got up to leave, he said "Was it good for you?" I started laughing and we ended up talking for about 10 minutes until the photographer told him to sit down for the next picture. He said "But I was talking to her!" It was pretty funny to see what a flirt he was.

Rock ‘N Roll with Drake

We arrived right at 7 and bought some photos to be autographed. There were about 250 people at this event. We walked around for a moment after we ate, then my friend hit my arm and said "Look!" Drake was about 50 feet in front of us, walking very gingerly with his crutches. Anyway, I took one look at him and felt my heart jump out of my chest! Instead of making a fool of myself and fainting, I turned around and went the other way to sit down at our table.

He came in the middle of the dance floor and pulled up a chair. After about 20 minutes of talking and answering questions, he had a quick dance with his youngest daughter, Alexandra, and talked to his wife briefly while he got settled in for the autograph session. They were very organized and called us up by tables. We were each allowed one picture with Drake and one autograph, to move things along more quickly. We danced a lot, because Drake had an incredible band who played mostly 50’s music. Meeting Drake was so cool! I actually wasn’t terribly nervous because he was so personable and made you feel right at ease. I sat down next to him when it was my turn, and he grabbed my hand to shake it saying "We haven’t met before have we?" I said no, and he said "I didn’t think you had been to one of my events before." He asked where I was from, asked where I got my tan and I told him I had just spent a week in Arizona with friends. He said "Oh yeah? I went to Arizona State for a while." I told him that was where I got my master’s. We talked more and then the lady taking pictures for us tried to interrupt. Drake held up his hand and said "Wait a minute, we’re talking." I just about died! When they took the picture, he put his arm around me. He signed my picture, talked a bit more, asked if I was having a good time, and I said "Are you kidding?" He handed me my photo and when I started to turn to thank him, he gave me a kiss on the cheek. That was it for me. I could have died right then. We spent the rest of the evening taking pictures, dancing, etc.

Jason Brooks, Roark Critchlow, Jaime Lyn Bauer, Peggy McCay, Ivan G’Vera and his wife, and Drake’s family were all there as well. Jason took over the emcee duties since Drake was laid up. Jason is an absolute riot! He was telling jokes, cutting up a lot, and got very loud. The party was supposed to have ended at 11pm, and it seemed like we had just gotten started at about 1am. Jason was dancing occasionally, so we grabbed on to him and started a conga line, which he proceeded to wind us all into a tight little ball. Lots of pictures were taken throughout the evening, and a few weeks later, we saw my friend in Soap Opera Digest, standing next to Jason in the conga line. I was there too, but I was completely blocked out by Jason, as I was standing directly behind him. We finally left the event, with probably 40 people still there, and it was 2am.

Fan Fest Events 1997

Deidre Hall’s West Coast Breakfast Break 1997

This event began at 7:00 am, but for me it started on a sleepy Saturday morning at 5:00am. With two of us getting ready and one more joining us later for the rest of the Days activities, the hot water was scarce! My friend and I went downstairs at about 6:45, and found that a crowd had already started to gather in the area outside of our ballroom. We got ourselves checked in, and then bought some photos for Dee to autograph later. Then, our of sheer curiosity, we went to the table selling her jewelry collection. And, to my surprise, the necklace I had wanted last year was much less expensive, and still available. So, both my friend and I bought the Hourglass pendant from the Deidre Hall Collection.

Once the hotel finally allowed us into the ballroom (a half hour late) we found our table and ate breakfast. Sidenote: I was actually able to eat some of it this year! The nerves weren’t nearly as bad as last year. :) During the breakfast, we were treated to an infomercial of Dee’s new venture with Exfole’, which is skin care products. Then Deidre was introduced. I was looking at the wrong door, and she suddenly walked in right behind our table! I held back the tears that fell last year. Good girl, huh?

She walked around the entire room, answering questions, giving us spoilers, etc. She dropped the bomb that this whole secret room story would be over in a month’s time (by July) and that she was recently photographed in a wedding dress. Hmm...wonder what that could mean? She asked us if we wanted John to have to pursue Marlena for a while, or if they should just go for it. We said let him chase her and beg her forgiveness for about a week, for being so stupid for so long, and then go for it. She said that it sounded like John and Marlena were not going to waste any time getting together in July.

We watched video montages, one was to the song "Rescue Me", obviously showing Marlena being rescued by John several times over the past years. Another was to "You Must Love Me" and I was a little teary watching John and Marlena . My favorite was to "It’s Just A Fantasy". I am a huge Billy Joel fan as well, so this was a special treat. It was hysterical because it showed all of the dream sequences of John and Marlena. I was rolling!

Questions that were answered included the internet, no she does not get online but does get updated often by CJ Paradis of the Deidre Hall page, the John and Marlena page, etc. Dee also said that the Emmys were a joke because of the voting procedure. She also talked about the "therapy scenes" with Susan and how much fun she and Eileen had trying to get through them. Finally she said that she plans to stay on Days as long as they want her. At the end of the event, a gal who was there last year presented Deidre with pencil drawings she had done for Dee of pictures of herself and her boys. They were excellent drawings and they made Dee cry! For me, I won an autographed script from the day after my birthday (May 16) and I got a lot of autographs and pictures of her again :)

The Days of our Lives Fan Club Luncheon

We got there on time this year, but I missed out on my opportunity to have my picture taken with Deidre Hall at her event. The line would have made me over an hour late to the luncheon. I found an internet friend there, it was our first time meeting and I was so excited! We bought a bunch of souveneirs, then went in to find our table. It was greatly decorated with party favors (like last year) and our gift was a picture frame with the Days logo in it—kind of cool! We started blowing the horns and goofed around while waiting to get our lunch. It was buffet style, but we took turns so we could leave our stuff at the table. It seems that not everyone is nice, and we got fair warning this year not to leave anything unattended. Last year, we quickly lost our souveneirs! Anyway, after we ate, we watched videos of old and new footage of Days over the years.

It was fun to see the old and recent stars of Days and everyone screamed for their favorites. The best part of the video montage was getting to see the outtakes! We saw some really old outakes, as well as new ones that have been seen on Bloopers. By far the funniest ones were of Everyone and anyone trying to get through scenes with Susan! The John and Susan scenes were hysterical! Then we got a quick treat to spoilers of upcoming events they had already taped.

James Reynolds (Abe) walked in to cheers. He was again the master of ceremonies and did a great job introducing everyone. The luncheon was attended by
Suzanne Rogers (Maggie)
John Aniston (Victor)
Drake Hogestyn (John)
Frank Parker (Shawn)
Jaime Lyn Bauer (Laura)
Kristian Alfonso (Hope)
Mark Valley (Jack)
Stephanie Cameron (Jennifer)
Roark Critchlow (Mike)
Renee Jones (Lexie)
Bryan Datillo (Lucas)
Eileen Davidson (Kristen/Susan)
Tanya Boyd (Celeste)
Austin Peck (Austin)
Joseph Mascolo (Stefano)
Collin O’Donnell (Shawn D.)
Lauren Koslow (Kate)
Victor Alfieri (Franco)
Matt Battaglia (JL King)
Marie Alise Recasner (Lynn)
and Braden Matthews (Travis).
Also, a special treat! We were introduced to the new Jensen Ackles (Eric Brady).

There was a short Days talent show where Roark sang "The Ballad of Dr. Mike", Tanya sang a couple of songs, and Suzanne sang a song dedicated to Eileen, congratulating her on her recent marriage. Then we had the Q & A and trivia questions. I won another script at this event for answering the question "What piece of jewelry lured Stefano in Paris?" A few people said "the crown" but they wanted a more specific answer. So Braden came to me with the mic and I said "Marie Antoinette’s crown." Two of us got scripts for that question. I found out later that the other person was Mike Mattes-he has a web page.

Highlights and thoughts from the event? Eileen Davidson confirmed that she is definitely leaving in December. John Aniston got a standing ovation when he was introduced. We all hope he can return once Reilly is no longer in control. Matt Battaglia was much better looking in person, and he was a sweet guy. Victor Alfieri was a total ham and was all over Kristian during the Q and A/ Trivia part, need I say more? The verdict is still out on my opinion of him, but I am keeping this letter positive. Frank Parker has a heavy accent in person. I tried to get autographs from different people this year, so I didn’t get as many autographs. I was very disappointed at the number of no shows, (including Peter Reckell, Christie Clark, Alison Sweeney, Louise Sorel, Peggy McCay, John Clarke, Krista Allen, and Deidre Hall). I knew that Dee was still at her event, but was sad that so many didn’t come. All in all we had a great time, and Drake was by far the sweetest. He made the end of the luncheon very special for us, by treating a friend of mine with special kindness. It was something personal that he did for her, and it brought us all near tears. Just know that he is indeed a special person!

Drake Hogestyn’s 10th Annual Fan Club Celebration

We got there in time to buy a few items before the doors opened at 7:00pm. Another buffet, we ate as Drake walked in. That was the end of MY meal! He was a bit crazy at the beginning, jumping in with the band (Excellent 50’s band-Ronnie and the Classics) and he started singing Elvis songs. We told him to keep his day job. He was also crazy as he was running around the room, doing quick little dances on the dance floor, and explaned to everyone that he couldn’t do this last year. I went to this event last year and Drake had been in the ER all day working on an infection in his foot from the surgery he had had. We found out that the day after the event last year, he ended up back in the hospital and had to take a week off of work to recover. What a trooper!

He answered lots of questions including "Are you THAT clumsy in person?" "Do you ever get through the love scenes with Susan?" "What was the deal with that CLEAR blooper scene?" and he also told us dirty jokes throughout the evening and told lots of funny real life stories.

He danced with all of us in a group periodically, and danced all the slow dances with his wife, Victoria. He is such a romantic, I was almost uncomfortable watching them dance, I felt like I was invading their privacy! I almost lost it when they danced to "Unchained Melody".

Drake spent most of the evening up at a table signing autographs. We were called up by table and got to spend time talking with him, as well as getting one autograph and one picture with him. Drake was really sweet to me because he kind of remembered me partying there last year. I walked up and he gave me a HUGE bear hug, then pulled me into a romantic pose for the picture, and we exchanged kisses on the cheek. I can’t say enough about what a great person he is. He is completely devoted to his family, won’t think of leaving Days as long as he is having fun and they want him, and he loves his fans.

The funniest part of the evening was when Frank Parker joined Drake on stage so they could do the YMCA dance! It was a riot! Drake’s youngest daughter was there as well. What a cutie pie! She told all of us about her new puppy, read off raffle numbers, and told her daddy to say goodbye to his fans as people trickled out. We had the best time again this year and will definitely go again!

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