Passions Rocks the House of Blues
I always wait with great anticipation to attend the Passions fan event in Los Angeles. This year, it was held at the House of Blues in Hollywood on Saturday, August 7, 2004. It was a particularly special occasion this time, as we all gathered to celebrate Passions 5th anniversary on the air.
One of the most well-organized and hands on of all the fan events I have the pleasure to attend, Passions publicity staff and the fan club officers, do their best to assure a fun time is had by all. This year, each fan was given a gift bag that not only contained Passions merchandise, but the gifts were quite useful. Like a mini retractable umbrella with the Passions logo. I know I’ll use mine when the weather takes a turn for the worst in LA. The gift bags also contained a beautiful “Passions purple” picture frame, a special commemorative 5th Anniversary Passions Magazine, a copy of Soap Opera Previews Magazine, and some make up samples from Avon mark.
Fans from all over the country came to LA to attend. I spoke to Tiffany from Vandenberg, CA and Angelina and Amanda from Bakersfield, CA. All three have attended the Passions event five years running. I also got to speak with Mildred and Christine Ervin, from Antioch, CA (it’s near Oakland, just outside of San Fran), who are also 5th year attendees. With them was first-year newbie to the fan events, Selina Mendoza. Janine came from Tucson, AZ. This is her 4th year. Danielle traveled from Westbend, Wisconsin for the 4th time, and Louise trekked from Indianapolis, IN. It was her 4th year as well.
So what keeps these ardent Passions fans returning year after year? Because it is so much fun. Not only do you get to ask the stars questions, and be treated to good food and my favorite – the famous “clip reel,” but you get to mingle one-on-one with the actors.
For example, Rodney van Johnson (T.C.) got his buffet lunch and took a seat at a table with Mildred and Christine Ervin and Selina Mendoza. He was eating his lunch sitting right next to them. You don’t get to experience that every day, that’s for sure!
But enough of praising the event. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Soon as the fans arrived, and the actors took their seats at the dais, the Q&A began. Here’s a sample of what fans wanted to know…
For Lindsay Hartley (Theresa):
What makes you motivated to cry on the spot?
“In the beginning, I was bummed about some things that were happening in my life. But as I started getting happier and happier, I couldn’t use that anymore. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I come back though because everything is just peachy in my life now so – but after having twins, Theresa may be a little bit different when she comes back.”
Did Lindsay say Theresa was having twins? Shhhh. Theresa will be a little different? Interesting.
For Juliett Mills (Tabitha):
A fan from Indiana wanted to know more about the baby that Juliet works with – “we call her Baby Endorable,” the fan explained as the rest of us couldn’t help but giggle. “I wonder how it is to work with such a happy baby. She smiles at the camera and I wonder what it is like working with her.”
“You’re right,” agreed Mills. “She’s the most adorable baby – except for my very own babies – that I’ve ever met. Although Lindsay and Justin’s baby – they say she is just adorable, and James Hyde’s new baby is adorable, too. Anyway, Endora, aka Nicole, is now 14 or 15 months and we’ve been working together since she was 6 weeks. It’s a joy. She has gotten to know me. She just loves Tabitha. She probably wouldn’t recognize Juliet, but she loves Tabitha. The hair, the color, the jewelry. When Tabitha comes on the set her eyes light up and she is just ready to play. And that’s what we do. It’s a great joy working with her. Although – she never answers. So, I do have these long speeches.” Laughter around.
For Tracy Ross (Eve)
“Is that your voice when you’re singing? It’s absolutely gorgeous,” noted a fan from the audience.
“Oh, in that, case, yes,” said Ross with a smile. “I’m not a singer. All I want to do when they make me sing is get through it. So if I can just pull it off and not repel people, than I think I’ve done a fabulous job. So thank you!”
For Galen Gering (Luis).
“The Internet Movie Database says you’re middle name is Laius, from the Greek mythology. Is that true?” questioned a fan.
“I don’t know what’s up with IMDB. They have some problems up there,” Gering replied as the fans laughed. “They also have my age as one year older. It’s true. I dunno. I will have to have that changed. I don’t have a middle name.”
A fan wanted to know if the cast liked the campiness of the show.
Kathleen Noone (Mrs. Wallace) loves it. “There is nothing like it in daytime. Every other show does a wonderful job with their good strong storylines. We also have this little wink on the side. We are not afraid to bring a little humor in. I think that’s what sets the show apart. It’s wonderful to have all those romantic stories, but even in that – they (the characters) get a chance to do some wonderful fun and interesting things that no other show does. This show is remarkable that way, I think,” she concluded as the applause sounded.
Tracy Ross (Eve) had a hard time playing love for TC:
“It was bothering me so much. At the time, I did not know how or what to play -- Because I would feel such malice in it. I knew I had to keep playing that love when there was like almost enjoyment behind being nailed in the head. It was wretched to play. I didn’t understand how to play that situation still. I watch it and I still don’t know how I would play it, because I would fight back! I think any dog that is cornered will at least growl at you.” Big applause around. “But Eve just had to sit and take it. I watched it and do know how I would do it. It made me miserable. I really hated doing it. I thought it was great scenes, but it was really hard to take because it was starting to feel personal.”
For Eva Tamargo Lemus (Pilar):
Does she know what happened to the show that Eva did on Spanish TV and if she knew if there was going to be another one.
Lemus was very gracious. Thanked the fan for the question. “The young lady who was the star of show, actually married the man she played against, and she is now going to be starring in a new soap on Telemundo, the Spanish network. As far as doing another one of those, we’ll see. I think there is something in the works. We’ll let you know. Maybe they’ll find me a man in real life! Laughs around.
After the questions and answers segment, stars gathered around the anniversary cake with Passions Executive Producer, Liza de Cozette. As the cast smiled for the cameras, the fans sang Happy Birthday.
“I want to thank you all so much for watching and being fans of the show for five years,” said Liza de Cozette. “We look forward to many more.”
Then, as actors took their places for the autograph signings, fans were treated to the clip reel. This is always the highlight, and even more special this year, as it went back to day one, sharing stars memories of their first day on Passions. As the actors spoke of their memories, we got to see the actual scene.
Liza Huber: The first day on location – it was in Oxnard where we did the whole outdoor fair. The van forgot to pick me up for my call time. So here I was the first day, I was 20 minutes late.
James Hyde – my first scene on the show was introducing myself in a bar. “I am Sam Bennett.”
Eva Tamargo Lemus – my first scene on the show five years ago – I was much younger – was with Jesse Metcalf. It was in the outdoor flea market fair. And he walks up to me and I say ‘oh thank you Miguel. I was wondering when you were going to get here.’ and I was thinking to myself, I don’t even know who he is! (laughter around) All of a sudden I had this grown son. I was like – are you sure you have the right actress for this part, cos I am a little young to be his mom!”
As the clip reel proceeded with more memories of the first day for the actors, and a sneak peek at Passions September to Remember, it was time for the fans to get what they really came for. The autographs and up close and personal photos with their favorite stars. After the autograph sessions ended, it was off to the other room for the buffet brunch and a piece of the birthday cake. Happy 5th Anniversary Passions. See you next year!
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