Our friend and fellow soap fan, LuAnne Cobb from Ohio, attended the third stop on the Soap Opera Mania on Tour Saturday in Cleveland and was kind enough to share her recap of the event with us.
Kara and I met LuAnne in the wee hours of the morning standing in the “All My Children” FastPass At Super Soap Weekend 2007 in Disney World and we met again over dinner at SSW 2008.
LuAnne is a longtime soap fan and an expert in the ABC soaps. Read and enjoy her recap of the third Soap Opera Mania event.
BY LuAnne Cobb
My friend Sue and I attended the third stop of Soap Opera Mania on Tour, being promoted by a Michigan company as a precursor to the 3rd voyage of Soap Cruise in January 2010.
We got to the hotel where the event was being held at 6:45 am, hoping to be the first in line (we were!) and stood in line until the doors opened at 10:00. We got a glimpse of 4 stars checking into the hotel at 7 am, just arriving from the West coast.
Around 9 am, we spotted Cameron Mathison and John-Paul Lavosier just finishing breakfast, so we stopped by to say hello.


LuAnne and Cameron
When the doors opened, Sue and I made sure to get front and center seats, which were set up in theater fashion in the shape of a horseshoe with a small stage in the middle. While waiting for the show to start we checked out the merchandise table, where there was shirts, hoodies, tote bags, photo albums and pins. We also picked up our event programs. Before the show started, Sue and I were both interviewed by Julie Clark Robinson, a local lady who reports for Soaps.com. Sue also was interviewed by a local newspaper reporter.
Shortly after 10, the event director Mike welcomed the fans and introduced Cameron Mathison (Ryan on AMC). Cameron then introduced John-Paul Lavosier (Rex on OLTL), Laura Wright (Carly on GH), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas on GH), James Scott (E.J. on DAYS & formerly Ethan on AMC) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael on Y&R). Christian then introduced Brandon Beemer (Owen on B&B), Austin Peck (Brad on ATWT), and Murray Bartlett (Cyrus on GL).
The fans were clapping and we were so excited! Getting to see nine great soap stars 10-feet away was my best experience since Super Soap Weekend in November!
The first hour was a question and answer session. Christian and Austin took turns handing the microphone to the fans. We asked both personal and storyline related questions and shared a lot of laughs.
Christian is a hoot, and also a long talker! After that, the stars split up in different parts of the room and lines formed for the fans to get autographs and pictures. During this time, Sue and I met with Cameron, Christian, JP, James and Austin.
I asked John-Paul who he hopes Rex’s father will turn out to be and he quickly said Bo. He shared his theory: Before Bo went to Viet Nam, he had his sperm frozen and somehow Roxy got it and Rex was born!
I also asked JP why his head was shaved and was told we would find out on OLTL in the next month. (Soap operas are shot four-to-six weeks in advance). All the ABC stars signed my 8×10’s that I made up from photos I took at Super Soap, along with 5×7 pictures that were in the program. I also bought a black t-shirt at the event and I had all the stars sign it with a silver Sharpie.
Austin created a very good humorous caricature on my shirt as well. After this, the stars were given an hour lunch break.
After a half hour, a director from Guiding Light, Adam Reist, spoke to the fans about scripts and sets and directing. He showed a few short videos and told us his background. I later told him that a GL alum, Melina Kanakaredes, is from my hometown and Adam shared a funny story with me from when he was in Akron for Melina’s wedding. I enjoyed meeting him.
The stars were back from lunch now, and it was time for a few lucky fans to act out a scene with their favorite stars. I was not picked, but my friend Sue got to act as an extra on stage in one scene. I laughed so hard at one point I had tears in my eyes. Cameron and JP were acting as fallen mannequins. Cameron was lying face down on the stage with JP lying on Cameron’s back half with his head between Cameron’s legs. It was hysterical! These actors can sure improvise in a heartbeat.
Once again there was a question and answer session, followed by a second meet and greet.
I met Tyler, Laura, Brandon and Murray.
Laura was gorgeous, Tyler looked tired, Brandon has the prettiest eyes, and Murray speaks with the softest Australian accent.
During the second session, the promoter gathered each star and filmed future promos with different fans. Sue sat next to her favorite, Christian, for probably 15 minutes while they filmed promos to run during future CBS soap telecasts. I jumped in at the end, along with Brandon, and Austin (who had his arm around me the whole time) and we filmed promos for the next Soap Cruise.
Hopefully I’ll get to see it on TV or on the web sometime! The program was over and we left around 5:00. The stars were also getting ready to leave and make a two hour drive south for their next stop on Sunday in Columbus.
I left with a smile on my face and wonderful memories for a lifetime.

Suzanne Oberman, the advertising layout coordinator at the Palm Beach Daily News, is a HUGE Days of our Lives fan.
She’s been watching since….well, she traces it back to “probably in the womb,” since her 89-year-old grandmother got her mom hooked on Days who, in turn, got Suzanne hooked.
You get the drift.
She’s been watching as far back as she can remember.
So Suzanne is going to give us an assist today and offer her commentary as our guest blogger.
Big Changes In Salem
My, oh my, what can I say?
I must commend the writers of Days of Our Lives for bringing out the bug guns lately.
We finally found out that Colleen thrust herself off a cliff.
Benji was murdered.
Andre was murdered.
And John Black, an invariable character for the past twenty-one years, was suddenly killed in a mysterious hit and run accident.
Now John’s daughter Belle Black (Martha Madison), presumably the most lackluster character in Salem, has begun to deviate from her normally prim and proper self, following the death of her beloved father.
The sexual tension between Belle and Philip (Jay Kenneth Johnson) has been building over the past few months, ever since Belle, Shawn (Brandon Beemer), and their daughter Claire returned home (with Philip) from their tryst across the ocean.
In the past few days, Philip finally admitted to Belle that he was still in love with her and wanted her back. After listening to Belle sob and mourn in church over the loss of her dad, Philip bared his soul and fervently kissed her and Belle did not attempt to stop until minutes later.
With Belle in this fragile state, was Philip in the wrong to express his true desires (which were obvious to everyone but Belle)?
After Shawn saw the two of them in the church together (following the kiss) he became suspicious because of the guilty expression on Belle’s face. And rightly so I might add!
Shawn had to leave and then Belle’s car died.
So, of course, Philip took the on the “burden” of driving her home.
They began a pitiful back and forth squabble at Belle and Shawn’s apartment about how he still loves her and needs her…and about how she can’t listen to him anymore and won’t dare to betray Shawn, all while staring longingly into his baby blues.
Those eyes and charming dimples do make it hard to resist.
Nevertheless, she has now, in my eyes, taken over Willow’s role as town tramp!
Philip assented to her unconvincing and half-hearted pleas for him to leave by opening the front door and saying if he were to leave, he’d be out of her life forever.
Dramatic pause.
Cut to commercial.
And thank goodness for Tivo (fast forward)!
She confessed that she couldn’t endure living without him in her life and they embraced and passionately kissed.
We knew the apex of all this tension had to lead somewhere. And now it looks like there’s a side to Belle that has been in hiding for way too long.
But would she be acting like this if her father hadn’t just tragically died?
Or is she a manipulative, lying cheater like her half-sister Sami used to be?
After all, they do share genes!
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what drama the complexities of Salem bring us next.
—Suzanne Oberman