By Michele Dargan

I’m finally getting around to posting the photos from a fantastic event featuring some of “Daytimes Hottest Stars” in Largo, FL on Nov. 7.

It was so much fun meeting and interacting with Walt Willey (Jackson Montgomery/AMC,) Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David Hayward/AMC) and Forbes March (former Nash Brennan/OLTL and Mason Jarvis/ATWT).

Bobbie Eakes (Krystal Carey/AMC) was scheduled to attend. She was booked on a flight out of NYC on Friday, which was supposed to be her day off. But Eakes was called into the studio to work and missed her flight and was unable to get to Largo in time for the event.

The event, hosted by sisters Barbie Tsagaris and Patti Werynski, raised money to benefit of OurMilitaryKids.org

I’ve been to quite a few soap events in the past couple of years, but I have to say this is one of the top events on my list!

First of all, all the money went to a great charity.

Secondly, it wasn’t one of those events where the stars were all up on a stage and the fans get only a minute to get a photo signed. There was a lot of quality time with the stars.

One thing I came away with: Walt is an incredibly funny guy!

He has his own stand-up comedy show that he performs at comedy clubs around the country.

He is also a GREAT emcee and auctioneer and upped the ante on the live auctions for the benefit of the charity.

Something that you may not know is that Walt is a huge believer in charity fundraising. He raises money for various children’s charities through his own “Willey World Endowment.”

On a sad note, his stint with All My Children is pretty much over, unless he gets some guest appearances. If you ever get the chance to see his comedy show – jump at the chance!

Forbes is also really funny and super nice! He spent so much time with every fan. One woman asked him to sign her arm – and he did!

Did you know he was a candidate to be on this season’s “Dancing With The Stars?” He interviewed for the show and everything. The thing is….the ABC primetime people doing the interviewing thought he was still on ABC Daytime on OLTL.

Forbes said he explained that although his character was killed off, the character was still – a year later – involved in a front-burner storyline.
He didn’t get the DWTS gig, though.

So what is Forbes doing these days?

He’s involved in producing some independent films.

Vincent Irizarry is THE NICEST guy you could meet. He has this great caring spirit about him and seems to genuinely enjoy meeting the fans.

For instance, my friend, Sharon, took two photos of Vincent and me and the flash was not going off. Vincent wanted to make sure that I got a good photo. So he took the camera from Sharon and gave her a quick photography lesson, including how to use the zoom to get a closer pic of us two…..Super nice!

Also, when I introduced myself, he looked at me and said, “you posted on my Facebook page yesterday, didn’t you?” I had indeed!

He also remembered the phone interview that I did with him back in March, which I had posted on Soapbox. He said that I even included the fact that he was on the set while we were talking and I could hear the intercom calling the various actors to the set.

I find it incredible that he not only remembered the interview, but he remembered an actual detail that I wrote in the story. Click here to read the full interview.

In addition to a general luncheon ticket price, Barbie and Patti offered VIP premium seating (which included sitting at a star’s luncheon table and going to an earlier reception where you were free to mix and mingle among the stars).

They also had some really great raffle prizes, which included acting in a skit with one of the stars.

Sharon won a “Prada” lookalike handbag, which she was soooo happy to get! I couldn’t believe she won it, but I guess when you put all your raffle tickets in one bowl….(Note to self for next time.)

There also was a grand prize: a chance to have dinner that night with Walt and Forbes. (Vincent had to get fly back to NYC right after the event.)

Getting back to that grand prize – Sharon and I were among the six women who won and had a fabulous dinner that night with them.

I would HIGHLY recommend – if you’re a big soap opera fan – that you save up money to attend the next soap event that these two sisters host. And they’re already working on their next one!!

Check out the photos below and let me know what you think!

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It is so great to have the opportunity to get up close and personal with your favorite soap star.
It really is just pure fun!
Most of the soap actors/actresses who I have met over the years are so gracious and friendly and so happy to meet and greet the fans.
At any rate, while perusing the internet, I found what looks to be a very interesting soap event this weekend.
If I lived nearby, I would be there in a heartbeat.
But as it is, I’m passing the info on to you, in case you live in the Hudson Valley, New York area.
The event includes two question and answer sessions with the stars and is set for Saturday and Sunday at the Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center, 356 Villa Roma Road, Callicoon, New York.
Proceeds go to Love Our Children USA, a nonprofit group fighting to protect children from violence.
The soap stars attending are Mark Lawson (Brody/OLTL), Ilene Kristen (Roxy/OLTL), Billy Magnusson (Casey/ATWT), Robert Newman (Josh/GL), Chrishell Strause (Amanda/AMC), Jacob Young (JR/All My Children), Caitlin Van Zandt Ashlee/GL), and Kim Zimmer, (Reva/GL).
Click here to find out all the details.
And get back to me if you attend.

I spent Saturday afternoon listening to four of daytime’s hottest stars dish about everything from things they hope for their characters to their most memorable or favorite scenes.
And, seasoned journalist that I am, captured it in my notes to share with you!
More good news: I had one-on-one interviews with them and will post those blogs later in the week.
Soap stars Cameron Mathison (Ryan, All My Children), Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, General Hospital), Winsor Harmon (Thorne, The Bold and the Beautiful) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael, The Young and the Restless) appeared at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL.
All four will be taking part in the 2nd voyage of the Soap Cruise, which departs out of Miami on Jan. 22, where fans get to mingle with 15 soap stars on a four-day cruise.
And I attended it with my good friend, fellow journalist and rabid soap fan Sharon Robb from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Two-hundred-plus fans joined us in a fun-filled two hour question and answer session and the fans (also rabid, but not literally) peppered the soap hunks with questions – no holds barred.
The guys ad-libbed everything and took their cues from the audience. It was great entertainment!
Christian ran around with the microphone from fan-to-fan and had the entire audience in stitches with his comments, while the others on stage engaged in repartee with him and the fans.
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They started off showing clips of each of the actors from their respective shows.
Cameron asked the audience how they liked Christian’s clip.
“How many Emmys do you have…like 14?” he asked Christian.
To which Christian responded in mock modesty…”Ca-a-mer-o-n-n-n. Stop talking about my Emmys! It’s embarrassing.”
When one fan asked Bradford to sing with her, he called her up onstage to sing solo – and the two finished the song together!
Here are some other highlights:
Question to Christian: Are you going to get your dad out of jail?
Answer: Christian said he’s “thrilled” to be working with Michael Gross, who plays his father, River, on Y&R. Gross is best known as Steven Keaton on the 80’s sitcom “Family Ties.”
“He’s in jail because the feds caught him and my step-father turned him in. You know how that can be,” Christian answered.
From the stage Winsor said, “Sounds like bad writing to me!”
“Win-sor!” Christian said. “It’s a half hour….Only a half hour, isn’t that sad?” referring to the fact that B&B is a half-hour compared to the other soaps’ hour format.
“Just because we get paid more to do less work,” Winsor retorted.
Actually, the two actors film their soaps across the hall from each other in the same studio and the two constantly joke around with each other.
One fan asked Bradford if he would visit the fans at 1 a.m. at the Disney World gates – like he did last year – when he brought fans food and soda while they camped out waiting for Super Soap Weekend to begin. SSW 2008 is this weekend, Nov. 15 and 16.
Because he will taking part in Street Jam this year, Bradford said he has to take better care of himself and not stay up all night.
“Last year, I went out and kind of slept with the crowd on the concrete,” Bradford said. “I won’t be able to do that this year. Number one, because I’d be too tired and number two they forbid me to do that again.”
A woman told Cameron that she loved watching him on “Dancing With The Stars” and that his Superman number was the best dance of the entire season.
Cameron said, “It is phenomenally difficult beyond anything that I could possibly say and add to that I was traveling 3,000 miles to work full-time in New York (filming AMC). It was just insane, but it was fun. Pretty intense.”
A fan asked Winsor if his character, Thorne, will get a love interest.
“We’re in the process of shooting stuff right now regarding where Thorne’s heading with the love interest,” Winsor said. “She’s somebody new on the canvas.”
Question: What are the most difficult scenes that you’ve had to do?
Bradford said the most challenging scenes for him were when Georgie was killed on GH and he found her body.
“It was a great challenge and allowed my character to evolve,” Bradford said. “But we lost a great actress and a great character.”
Well, that’s all for now.
Check back here and I’ll have more from Hard Rock interviews this week.
Coming up this weekend, LIVE FROM SUPER SOAP 2008.