Friday, May 06, 2005

CINCO DE MAYO

Although the title of this particular entry is called “Cinco De Mayo” it will have nothing to do with the holiday other than it just being the actual date. It’s been about a month or so since my last post and I guess I waited so long because there wasn’t exactly a great deal to discuss until the past three weeks. So I decided to wait for all the excitement to pass and then include it all in one journal entry. You’ll not only read about this past weekend’s trip down to “Marco Island” in Florida, but also the Ricky Paull Goldin and Michael Park Cabaret show that was an absolute smash hit!

I’m not sure if many of you know, but Guiding Light has experienced a few losses in the recent weeks and months. One of those losses was Stephen Martines (Tony Santos) whose character was last seen falling from a cliff in an emotional struggle between Tony, Michelle and Danny. Stephen parted ways with Guiding Light to pursue other avenues of work in the entertainment industry and all of us at the “Light” wish him well, “BEST WISHES, STEPHEN”!

The other loss we experienced, which was a bit more surprising and emotional, was that of a Mr. Bill Runyon. In April of this year, Bill lost his battle with Lymphoma (Cancer). Now I never knew Bill personally due to the fact that he worked at the studio and left before I got there, but his effect on everyone at the “Light” was a lasting one. Bill was the Assistant to the Executive Producer. Bill was a young guy, only in his thirties, who had a promising career ahead but he also knew how to let loose. Following his passing, there was an assortment of pictures that were posted all over the studio and main office in his memory depicting him in various poses with many other GL employees, all having lots of laughs. Now, unfortunately for Mr. Runyon, while he was undergoing treatments, bills were accumulating which he was in no shape to handle or deal with physically or financially. Getting wind of this, Bill’s friends and family jumped into action to give aid in hopes of raising money to lighten this burden. The “Ricky Paull Goldin and Michael Park Cabaret” was thus born. This was an event for fans of both Guiding Light and As The World Turns to come to and enjoy, with half of the proceeds going to Bill and the other half going to The Ron Marsico Family Fund (a family friend of Michael Park’s). It was a great event with lots of laughs and good music and an incredible turnout of fans for both shows. There were guest appearances by Ron Raines (Alan Spaulding), Kim Zimmer (Reva Shayne-Lewis), Mandy Bruno (Marina Cooper), and of course Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan) who sang an interesting rendition of Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” which unbeknownst to me had five verses….I always thought it just had three, LOL.

That night was a night of great music and camaraderie benefiting a gentleman who unfortunately would never know how it all went. Bill Runyon actually passed just before this event was to happen, which deeply saddened many people. But it was because of Bill that so many of us (those who knew him and those who didn’t) were able to get together and raise quite a bit of money which was then donated in Mr. Runyon’s name to the Lymphoma Cancer Research effort. Bill Runyon has passed on but because of him and the donations that were collected, soon a cure will be found to save others. Thank you, Bill from the bottoms of the hearts of “Guiding Lighters” everywhere!

I know that was a bit of a heavy opener for this entry, but I felt that if you were a fan of the show, then you would understand why it needed to be talked about.

Anyhoo, moving on to a more upbeat and exciting event that took place about three weeks ago, the “Men of Guiding Light and As The World Turns on the Discovery Channel!” Some of you may be familiar with the show “The Party Planner” hosted by David Tutera on The Discovery Channel. Well, Procter & Gamble Productions approached “The Party Planner” about helping put on or rather “plan” an event spotlighting the men of their shows. The location was the popular club CroBar on the west side of Manhattan, and the men of daytime not only were featured but we basically helped put the whole thing together…well, we may have had a little help, LOL! To check out the outrageous night, just watch “The Party Planner” with David Tutera on The Discovery Channel June 6th. I promise that it will be a night of television/bloopers you’ll never forget.

This brings me to the most recent adventure that a few of us from the show were able to attend, “MARCO ISLAND”! About fifteen to twenty Daytime Stars made the trek down to the Gulf Coast Island of Marco for a weekend of boating, wave runners, dolphin watching, fine foods, fans, and lots of Beach Time! I was fortunate enough to only work on Tuesday of last week, allowing me to fly down Wednesday and stay until Monday of this week. Let me just say that I took advantage of sleeping in and laying on the beach and putting some color on this white behind of mine...not really but a good visual non-the-less. On Thursday morning, Frank Dicopoulos (Frank) played a pretty good trick on Michael O’ Leary (Rick) and I during a radio interview. Michael and I were at one of the local radio stations doing some PR for the weekend, trying to get some last minute fans out to see us and partake in the good times, when a not so innocent Frank, who had disguised himself as a very uneducated fan, called in. As you can probably guess, the conversation quickly went downhill from there. To sum things up, Frank or “Jon” as his character referred to himself, basically said that Michael was older and had put on weight and had killed almost every patient that came into his hospital except for maybe one. He then turned the conversation on me constantly calling me “Croop” and saying that I was young and handsome and had a “PURDY MOUTH”….what the $%&# was this guy talking about! Ultimately we figured out who it was when Frank’s daughter, Olivia, got on the phone to say hello and that’s when everyone in the radio station lost it…yeah, very funny guys, ALRIGHT the gag’s on us! It was a pretty priceless moment, I have to admit now, good job Frank.

Another moment that really stands out in my mind was when Michael O’ Leary, George Alverez (Ray), and their families, along with myself, went out dolphin-watching for the day and ended up on this secluded beach we seemed to have all to ourselves. The Fifty-eight foot yacht pulled up to this private dock with us on board, where we were then instructed to change into our suits and disembark and “follow the sandy path to the other side of the strip of land which will come out onto this beach which, well, you’ll see….”

So we followed the path which had coconut trees growing over it just like sabers at a wedding, and at the far end of the path we could see an opening which seemed beautiful. As we got to the opening, the most beautiful beach setting welcomed us. White sand as far as we could see both left and right, ith the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico in front of us. I think the older people were just as happy to see this site as the kids in the group. We all dropped our towels and shirts and shoes and took off for the water, it was like a minor doseof heaven. By the end of the tour, it was unanimous; we were all going to buy some land and beach!

For all you daredevils and lawbreakers, there was some fun, too. Once the rest of the group who couldn’t come down until Friday night arrived, there was no stopping us. You must understand first -- that midnight to us New Yorkers is like nine in the evening down there, it is an older community with a few fun spots. So with this in mind, by midnight we were all still raring to go. Doug Hutchison (Sebastian), Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan), Gina Tognoni (Dinah), Stephanie Gatschet (Tammy), Sarah Brown (Carly GH and Julia from ATWT), and myself decided to go swimming in the Resorts pool and hot tub after about an hour of “catch-up partying.” We must have been down there for at least an hour and a half, and were so loud. We had to have woken a few people up, but we really didn’t care, we were just happy to be down there. From the pool, most of us went for a walk on the beach and just laughed and joked around with each other, blowing off steam from work. By the way, just a side note for all you Sarah Brown fans: be on the lookout for her big screen break out role in the Martin Lawrence comedy “Big Mama’s House 2” set to come out next year, I believe.

Anyways, the last real crazy event we had was a guest bartending charity event at one of the local hot bars called “Blue Fusion”. Now I have to say that I suck at anything having to do with alcohol whether it’s drinking it, getting it, buying it, and most especially making alcoholic drinks. But I did my best and pulled through. Actually I just wore a really revealing shirt and hoped no one said anything about the crappy drinks I was making, LOL! It was so much fun and yes, once again Tom got up and sang his thirty-two minute rendition of “friends in low places” by Garth Brooks…thank goodness all those in attendance were already pretty drunk. It was a wild night for all of us.

When Monday came, I was so tired from this vacation that I am still recovering and most likely will be for a few more days. Before I exit though, I have to say thank you to a few special individuals that gave me some really special gifts while I was down there; Donna Baker for giving me such an extensive picture book of my GL career thus far from events such as our Fan Club weekend back in October of 2004 to the Virginia Calendar signing in January of 2005 to this past weekend in Marco Island. Donna, thanks greatly. Rick McComb, thank you so much for the Edgar Rice Burroughs book of “Tarzan” and the box of Milk Duds, my favorite candy in the world (yes, ya’ll he read the interview, LOL). To my Mondo Milk Dud Girls who brought me five boxes of the beautiful chocolates, they are going to last for a few days as long as my roomies don’t find them. Pat Berry, who put the whole Marco Island weekend on, thanks for having me this year and I’d love to come back next year too! And Frank Dicopoulos for being the older brother that I never really wanted but I now have to deal with even on MY VACATIONS!!!!! I love ya, lol.

15 Comments:

Blogger Heather said...

John~
It was so great getting to meet you in Marco this year. I hope to see you again next year.

Thanks for being such a sweetheart, it was very nice to meet someone who is so genuine in person. You can tell that you really care about the fans and that is much appreciated.

Thanks for letting us take a million and one pictures and I'm so glad that you enjoyed the Milk Duds!

May 6, 2005 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oops... I forgot to add that I'll be praying for Bill's family. Please post if there is anything else that is happening to donate to in order to help cover hospital bills. :) Thanks!

May 6, 2005 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

John,
My friend Sarah and I were the lucky guests who attended the CBS Hot Guys party. Both of us agree that it was so great to meet you because you really seemed like you were having a good time and that you wanted to be there, not just doing it cause it was PR. Thanks for being such a sweetie!!

If you get a chance drop us a line, orclerk75@yahoo.com

Theresa

May 7, 2005 at 5:04 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

John,
Sounds like you all had a great time on the Marco Island trip. Unfourtantly I wasn't able to make that one. I will be there in May for the pre emmy party thing Ricky is hosting though. Hope to see you there.

May 7, 2005 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Dear John, Hi my friends and i got to meet you on marco the last day on the cruise..It was great!!You were so down to earth and funny..My friend still hasn't gotten over dancing with you..the pics turned out great..She's still on cloud nine..Hope to see you next year..

May 7, 2005 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Dear John, I forgot to add.If you could.Please drop my friend a line or two, She's love to be able to say thanks for the dance herself..Her email is hsimmons_99@yahoo.com

May 7, 2005 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Dear John,
I have to say I think you are the sweetest and the most funniest.I got to meet you in Marco on the sunday cruise.I also need to say Thank you for the dance.Yes I am still on cloud 9 as Julie said.Our pics turn out so good.By the way My dad said it was the best birthday present ever,he really enjoyed himself.Thank you so much for the great time.Hope to see you next year!

May 8, 2005 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Hey John:

Sounds like everyone involved, actors and fans alike, had a great time in Marco. I thought about going, but it was too close to the end of my semester and I had too many projects and papers that I had put off doing, to be able to take a vacation. Plus, I just had to fork over $800 to get my car fixed so it would stop dying in the middle of the road, so I probably wouldn't have been able to have afforded it anyway. From all of the recaps I've read from people who went to this, and other events, you sound like a very nice guy and I hope to have the opportunity to meet you this October at the Guiding Light fan weekend.

Until your next blog, keep up the great work on Guiding Light and keep out of trouble. (Or at least, don't get caught!)

Susan

May 8, 2005 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Sassy said...

John,

I'm very sorry about Bill. That is rough to lose someone who is so young after such a battle with cancer.

It sounded like you had a great time in Marco. I can just picture Tom Pelphrey singing Garth Brooks and it's making me laugh. Maybe that's because I have him in my mind as Jonathan and the idea of Jonathan singing it is hysterical. It was great to hear about your trip and I can't wait until your next blog.

Vona

May 9, 2005 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I can attest to the sheer hilarity of Tom's Garth Brooks impression from the Cabaret...and yep, I was aware of the extra verses! (I was once a diehard Garth fan until everybody else jumped on the bandwagon, after which I lost some of my fervor).

Anyway, John, I'm glad you had fun at Marco. I wish I could have been there, but talking to you on the phone was the second best thing. Thanks for taking the time for that.

Oh, and I will definitely not be able to attend the softball game. I wasn't really counting on it, but as it turns out my brother's high school graduation is the same day (and obviously, I'll be there)!

So, I hope it will not be October before I see you again! You know where I find me, I suppose.

Take care,
Amanda

May 9, 2005 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

P.S.--One of these years, I'm hitching a ride with Terri down to Marco. She always has a great time, and came back with lots of great things to say about you, too!

May 9, 2005 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Lara-Ann said...

JD-

So I'm reading just the first part of your blog and my little mind is wondering! So Stephen Martines is leaving to advance his career in other avenues- I mean seriously! How many people who leave a almost solid but consistent job really ever do anything after that?? Thats my question for him I guess! I'm assuming he is going to work on his musical career which I read about from your blog- (Ha! I do read it!)

But for what it's worth I hope he is now challenged to prove me wrong, and also wish him the best of luck as well.

Sorry about Mr. Runyon. I'm stopping to pray for his family now.

May 9, 2005 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hey John,

It was great seeing you again! Marco Island was a blast.

I posted a bunch of pics from the weekend on Sarah Brown's website. You're in a couple if you want to check them out (don't worry, no embarrassing ones ;-)
www.sarahbrown.net/specialevents.htm

Take care!
Jen
www.jenexmedia.com
Hokie98@aol.com

May 11, 2005 at 4:42 AM  
Blogger Cynthia =) said...

John!

Glad to hear you had such a great time at Marco. Although after reading your blog, i was kinda disappointed to see that you didnt mention the "Little Table in the Corner" of your fans.=)i posted lastime to remind you how much fun it was. we are all really looking forward to next year.Thanks for all the pictures too. They came out great! Very sorry to hear about Bill and i will be praying for him. And im definitely gonna see Big Mamas House 2 because the first one was hilarious!!

Take care!

Cynthia :)

May 13, 2005 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Simon Langer said...

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March 1, 2006 at 2:03 PM  

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