April 19, 2010By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Apr 19, 2010
This weekend, I attended the final fan club luncheon for AS THE WORLD TURNS. I arrived early, and the 6th floor of the Marriott Marquis was already teeming with people. Because Michael Park (Jack) and Vanessa Ray (Teri) had theatrical commitments to get to (he's in The Burnt Part Boys, she's in Hair), they did an early autograph signing, so fans could get some face time. How awesome is that?
I had a lovely chat with the beautiful Terri Garber (Iris). We totally dished a little North and South, because how could I not bring up that iconic mini-series? I did a lot of waving and said "Hi!” to actors like Mick Hazen (Parker), Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara) and Ellen Dolan (Margo). I even got a hug from the legendary Eileen Fulton (Lisa). (Are you jealous? You know you are!) Lesli Kay (Molly), who looked great in a black, flapper-esque, fringe dress, and Marie Wilson (Meg) of the sparkly gold top and awesome boots, revealed that they'd flown in from California just for the event. Marie jokingly offered to help me get quotes from people...which led Eric Sheffer Stevens (Reid) to wonder what I meant by "getting quotes," and noting he couldn't give me any unless I asked him questions. So I did! We talked about Reid, the fan response to the character, what's up with all of Reid's eating, etc. Assuming my tape recorder didn't devour it like Reid tearing into a hoagie, you'll see the some of that convo in an upcoming issue of the magazine. By the way, Eric and Kathryn Hays (Kim, who I was in awe of) were likethis, which makes it even funnier, now, to see Reid and Kim hating on each other so thoroughly. Jake Silbermann (Noah) was not only kind enough to offer me some gum, but also offered insight on playing blind and raved about how much he loves the current storyline, and his rival for Luke's affections. "Jake loves Eric!" he confirmed, with a laugh. Speaking of Luke, I talked to Van Hansis as well. When I wondered about this week's upcoming mechanical bull scenes, he revealed he's actually ridden one several times before!
I caught up with Tom Degnan (ex-Adam), who is busily auditioning and also playing in a band with Billy Magnussen (Casey). Called Reserved for Rondee, they had a show later that day at Sullivan Hall. Austin Peck (Brad), who I would run into several times throughout the course of the day, talked about his play, The Irish Curse. Julie Pinson (Janet) gave Sarah Wilson (Liberty) a quick tutorial on fan events, and I assured her that she had nothing to fear. BTW, we will eventually start seeing her onscreen with hair. Trent Dawson (Henry) was preparing for his Martinis With Henry event and cast introduction duties, which he shared with Ellen Dolan.
Despite making the rounds, I still feel like I didn't talk to quite enough people before the cast was led out to the stage and garnered massive, massive applause. But I popped into the ballroom to watch the proceedings, and then haunted the autograph lines with some friends. (I would step away when it came time for people to snap photos or get something signed, because, hi, I see the actors all the time. SO not necessary for me!) It was well after the official ending time of 4 when I left to go to Martinis With Henry — and many cast members were still there signing autographs as if they were hesitant to leave until every last fan had been given a moment of their time. After the years and years many viewers have put into this amazing show, what's a few more minutes, right?