My Days in Denver
My experience with fan events is limited to one PaleyFest and a regional Comic Con. At the end of a PaleyFest Q&A all manner of humanity rushes the stage in a crushing bid to get Jon Hamm’s autograph. Worth the effort, if unnerving. At Denver Con fans approach their idols with heads bowed asking, “Please sir, may I have an autograph on this $40.00 likeness of yourself?” Not so at “Days in Denver” where cast members joyfully signed autographs for thousands of fans. Organizers welcomed newcomers, returnees, and lifetime Days of Our Lives loyalists with free autographs and a tightly scripted event. My goals included speaking in full sentences to Rob Wilson and Victoria Konefal, and not sobbing upon meeting Mary Beth Evans.
I queued up at Park Meadows Mall with thousands of women and a few men at 11:30 AM for the 1:00 autograph signing. I am grateful to my new friend Linda who quickly struck up a conversation with me. Once she and I realized that the other was neither a white supremacist nor a climate-change denier we got along like a house afire. The two-hour wait flew by as we discussed everything from the midterm elections to Alice Horton’s donut recipe. Meanwhile, my teenage daughter scouted the locale and snapped photos like a pro.
The nine members of the Days cast in attendance appeared to be enjoying themselves and could not have been more gracious. They signed 5X7 photo cards provided by NBC. Each cast member shook my hand and thanked me for coming while I spouted gibberish about their work. Casey Moss (JJ) and Freddie Smith (Sonny) were all smiles and Judi Evans (Adrienne) practically buzzed with energy. Paul Telfer (Xander) joked that the spelling of my name was “fancy.”
When I stepped in front of Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Rob Wilson (Ben) I hoped to say something intelligent to the Cinful duo. Instead I gushed, “You two are amazing together!” They thanked me politely and behaved as professional colleagues, with not a fall or a catch in sight.
I then attempted a coherent sentence in Wilson’s direction. I either praised the subtleties in his acting style such as an extra touch here, or a long look there, or simply said, “You act good!” I’ll never know.
For his part, Wilson responded by taking one of my hands in both of his, looking into my eyes, and thanking me. I looked back at him and thought, “Dear God, how can this man be both genetically perfect and humble?” Then I made a ridiculous comment about telling my daughter she shouldn’t fall for a serial killer and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe) piped up with a joke about how he or the character (not sure which) isn’t actually a serial killer. She could have been speaking in tongues for all I knew since I was still recovering from the whole double-hand clasp thing.
I found my wits in time to thank James Reynolds (Abe), for his remarkable performance regarding Theo’s shooting. I had done the same earlier with Casey Moss. Reynolds noted that when an actor is given such important material it’s important to do justice to it. He and Moss certainly did.
Oh dear. Next up – Mary Beth Evans. Actual text conversation between me and my daughter:
ME: Please take pics of the blond lady at the far end.
DAUGHTER: The one with the cool glasses?
ME: Yes. I hope I don’t cry when I meet her.
DAUGHTER: Just don’t cry. Even if you do she’s like the last one so . . . Ben is quite attractive in real life.
For me, meeting Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) felt like meeting a friend. I mean this in a non-stalker kind of way. Seeing her in person brought on waves of nostalgia for my high school and college years when Steve and Kayla fell in love and danced to “Lady in Red.” I thanked Evans for her work on Days and for sticking with the show. She said, “I have so much fun [at Days].” In a sense, the fans do to and that is what keeps us coming back for more.
The photo below captures the spirit of the day with Evans waving at my daughter as she took our picture.
I left Park Meadows with a stack of autographs, not sure what to do with them. I couldn’t possibly hang one in my office for fear of losing the hard-won respect of undergraduates, could I? As I look around my office, however, I see Cap, Buffy, Barbie Betty Draper, and enough Oliver and Felicity to save Star City. Come to think of it, Mary Beth Evans will fit in quite nicely.
I’ll leave Cin at home.
Many thanks to NBC, Days of Our Lives, and the cast for such a delightful experience.
Lovely post! Great photos, and you made it sound so fun. It sounds as though #Days is pulling out all the stops to make the show successful, so nice to hear that the cast was this warm. Really glad you thanked Reynolds and Moss for their incredible performances during the Theo shooting, it was heartwrenching. Any sign of Camilla Banis? She is killing it as vengeful Gabi,. Thank you for the post, wish I could have gone but your report was a great consolation. Megan
Megan: Camilla was not there. I was grateful to be able to attend. Denver is within driving distance and I have a friend who lives there so I was lucky. Each of the cast members acted like “real” people and that was a treat. Thanks for the comments!
I am beyond happy for you and I hope you thought of me and our many many memories of our beloved DOOL, taking to our beds with red, puffy eyes after Isabella died, laughing at Marlena’s possession. Days is part of our lives from the playpen on.
Hello Jen: I thought of you a lot while I was there. I wished you could have been with me! We devoted hours and hours of conversation to Days once upon a time. You are the one, however, who stuck with it for so many years so you should have been there. I’m sure you can appreciate the swell of emotion I felt for Mary Beth Evans – so many feelings at once! I am glad to be back to the show since it is a whole lot of fun!
Your experience was remarkable. I thank you for doing exactly what I would have done. Having watched this show since 75, I would love to go to a meet and greet. I did get to visit NBC studios and saw the sets. Cin is going to be a wonderful story. Follow both V and R on Instagram for a treat if you don`t already.
Insta-what? I can manage Twitter, but that’s about it. The cast was so gracious and given my previous experience at such events I was surprised by that. I am jealous that you visited the studios! Thanks for the comment.