Monday, December 10, 2018

Final report of 2018

The weekend I dread every year is upon us. In this weekend, you cannot choose to dedicate a few hours, or even half a day. You have to be there every second. Because anyone can do combos at any particular time, and there is no way to know when anyone will stop.

To boot, we don't normally get the full list of names in advance. I had a good chunk of the names 2 days prior so I was able to prepare items, then the first day of the event I got the rest of the names.

Prior to the two days of pain, suffering, and agony, I would warm up a little the evening before to get myself in the mood. 

First I start with a Gloria Estefan flight alongside markedout's adelta. Get some autos from her and her husband. Next up, Brooks and Dunn flight. For country I only really care about the old school names, so they are basically Pokemon names. But when in Rome. So I got single and dual shots.

Finally, Cyndi Lauper. She took all our stuff in her car and signed away, but wouldn't do photo ops.

At the next spot saw a few people but they didn't do much. Adelta spotted a baseball player I never heard of. Again, when in Rome.

Brooks and Dunn

Full list of Day 1 photos


Next day would be a cold and uneventful one. Lots of blow offs such as Lin Manuel Miranda and Little Big Town. Got Lin before but I started Hamilton projects where I wanted to get the 4 creators. I got two of them, namley Andy Blankenbuehler and Alex Lacamoire. They were first time but Pokemon meets. I did get actress Melissa Peterman but even that effort would be a waste as I got an upgrade the next day (no hat). Reba McEntire did combos but since I have a couple of shots I concentrated on autos. Otherwise it was more updates and Pokemons. Phillip Glass did nothing but thankfully I have him.

After the event in the evening there was a happening spot. But the fact that the spot is tough to begin with and it was raining, I chose to direct my efforts to something of much less glory but practically guaranteed to yield results. A spot for actor Corbin Bleu. He came out and was nice as can be. I also got 3 other scrubs and barely valids at the spot. With that I called it a night and got some much needed sleep for the next day.

Full list of Day 2 photos 


The final day of this event would be better. Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town do nothing. Get some Hamilton actors, Kelly Clarkson combo, actress Renée Elise Goldsberry (update), an upgrade with Melissa Peterman (this time no hat), Amanda Seyfried autos (had no need for a shades shot), among other things. Whoopi Goldberg was super nice and took care of everyone. Moved to another door and sadly missed Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum doing photo ops. This door was the most crowded and results were horrid. I did get Thomas Kail to sign my Hamilton stuff (already had the op so he's not fresh) but not much else. Cher came and did nothing for no one except a little girl. Thankfully I have a great shot but autos would have been nice.

Now it's time for the final phase! Got Kelly Clarkson no shades upgrade, Whoopi again, Adam Lambert combo. On the down side Paul Simon did nothing going in and leaving. Going in it was 3 on 1 and he denied. The most painful thing was leaving when one combo hunter broke the rules by going into the building and scoring the Paul Simon shot. Wow he got the best score of the evening.

Side note, the Adam shot is technically an upgrade but I consider it as good as a first time shot because he has a hat and shades in my first photo op. 

Cyndi Lauper came out and did it for all. While this is my third shot with her it is a HUGE upgrade over my previous two. Wayne Shorter was hauled via wheel chair and did send in autos. I missed a very nice upgrade with Amanda Seyfried. That was a little painful though I have two fine shots with her.  

Renée Elise Goldsberry

Melissa Peterman

Kelly Clarkson

Whoopi Goldberg

Adam Lambert

Cyndi Lauper

Full list of Day 3 photos part 1


Full list of Day 3 photos part 2


Now to showcase some autographs

Autographs part 1

Autographs part 2


Autographs part 3



Thursday, November 29, 2018

Some scattered airport meets in November

In November my combo activity was at a low, for various reasons. I was worn out from a high activity October, I wanted to save money, the cold of November was another deterrent, among other reasons. So I only did a few quick airport meets (indoor and you have exact times, both luxuries when it comes to combo hunting).

First up, Florian Manteanu of Creed 2 fame and the movie's director. Both were very nice about combos though Florian didn't want to sign too many.

Florian Munteanu

Steven Caple Jr

Autographs



Next up a day where I had two targets. One of them I mainly wanted the photo op, one of them I mainly wanted autographs. Sadly this day would not work out my way as I would get the autographs where I wanted the photo op, and the photo op where I wanted the autograph.

First up, actor Christoph Waltz. I waited and he shows up. I ask if I could get a photo op he goes "not really". Then I ask for autographs he goes "oh, sure". Signed my photos no issue but when I pleaded more for a photo op he goes "I avoid pictures".

After this failure, I salvaged my drive to this spot by going a further 20 minutes away and got photo ops with the Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson statues that were huge news topics in 2017.  

Later in the day I would go for someone that is sort of a 9/11 name. He is Pete Souza, the photographer of both Reagan and Obama. His most famous photo is the Situation Room picture where the killing of Osama Bin Laden is being viewed. My primary objective was to get that photo signed in order to make some money.

When I met him first he denied he was him. Then after I try again he said he would shake my hand, tried to say he doesn't sign prints and he would sign his books if I had books. I had to pull teeth to convince him to do the photo op with me just so I wouldn't leave empty handed.

Christoph Waltz autographs

Pete Souza


Next up, singer Petula Clark known for the hit song "Downtown". Going into the venue I asked for a photo op she said "not right now". Waited at the venue after the show. They began kicking out the crowd saying she won't stop, but a few of us lingered in semi hiding. Then when she came out I was hoping some of the other people that lingered would call for her so I could jump in, but sadly they didn't. That was my big mistake. She got on the bus and all we got was send ins.

My problem here I wasn't aggressive enough. Because I was afraid to be as the venue parking lot is on private property. 

Petula Clark Autograph



Been a while since I got a combo with a space related name. This one is Gene Kranza. He was the flight director for both Apollo 11 and the infamous Apollo 13 (Ed Harris played him in the movie). He was super nice about photo ops but bitched about signing. I had to plead for a second by pointing out another guy got 3, but he did it, though he signed the second one different than the first. 

Gene Kranz

Autographs

Monday, November 26, 2018

Chiller Theater Halloween and Women's Expo

Left NYC, struggled with some traffic, but got to Chiller in good enough time to split and switcharoo some photo ops with 


My first stop was getting Vinnie Vincent out of the way. Someone commissioned me to get him $800 worth of autos on albums (@ $50 per auto). With that kind of money I was able to negotiate a free photo op for myself and Vanessa. And he was in full makeup and had a guitar so that was a cool free upgrade for me. Other names I got were Jill St John from Diamonds are Forever (luckily I didn't have to deal with the monster line of Robert Wagner), upgrades from Jimmie Walker and Kim Fields (Tootie), Amanda Pays from the early 90s Flash TV show, Kelly Hu from X-Men, Ann Robinson from War of the Worlds, among others.

After this tried a little bit of mooching but that didn't yield much results. Got some sleep and prepared from the Women's Expo the next day. 

Full list of Day 1 Chiller photos

Vinnie Vincent

Amanda Pays

Ann Robinson


Me and Vanessa entered the Women's Expo. Tori Spelling of Beverly Hills, 90210 was doing a meet and greet. Bought $20 toothpaste and went 50/50 on that cost with Vanessa (we would end up getting separate shots and she kept the toothpaste). 

While waiting for her to start we killed some time browsing around and I ate free samples from all the different booths. After Tori's speech she started meeting people that bought her merch and we got our photo ops no issue.

Then it was back to Chiller where I needed to finish up my names. Sadly there apparently was both a bomb threat and a gas leak so the hotel had to be evacuated. Took a few hours but it started back up. I managed to get Loretta Swit from MASH, Jill Whelan from the Love boat, among others. 

Funny story with the girls from the Evil Dead. During the whole bomb threat mess they got an uber. The driver who looked like he was Indian/Paki/Bangli stock and had a thick Indianglish sounding accent had no idea about Chiller or their appearance. Apparently he is a huge Evil Dead fan and was super excited to meet them. His eyes were like huge in his excitement. They of course gave him free combos but explained to him that if he wants other people at the con he'll have to pay.

After I finished up, I dropped Vanessa to the train station where she could go to NYC. My initial plan was to go home, but since Chiller ended late due to what happened I decided I'd just chill at Chiller, get some sleep in the car, then get up in the morning and drive. Watched the Chiller concert with NYC combo hunter Josh. It was cool watching Ron Dante singing Suger Suger and Martha Davis signing Suddenly Last Summer up close and personal. Also managed to mooch two of the Chiller guests who performed (Bebe Buell and Mitch Weissman).

Full list of Day 2 Chiller photos

Tori Spelling

Loretta Swit

Jill Whelan

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Pre Chiller Theater Celebrity meets

Prior to Chiller Theater I would embark on several celebrity meets. The first attempt is the elusive Rick Moranis, from classic movies such as Ghostbusters, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Spaceballs, and more. This guy rarely does stuff but this time was doing a con in Texas. This means he was flying commercial within the USA! So I took it upon myself to find his flight. And SCORE! So me and go to the airport and wait. Finally it's the witching hour and we score photo ops! VICTORY! Then I go after him and attempt to plead for an autograph while him and his girl ask me several questions including how I happen to be at the airport with a Ghostbusters laserdisc. After lots of improvising answers he signs one for me and one for Greg! I now consider my Ghostbusters laserdisc complete as the only other person I'd add is dead (Harold Ramis). This combo is like a $300 convention value!

Wow, the combo Gods can work in strange ways sometimes. A few years ago I was mooching scrubs at Chiller with and we received word of a Rick Moranis event in NYC but didn't act upon it. Turns out it was taking place that very evening and he did combos for the handful of people waiting. I was beside myself the whole weekend and we were talking about how great it would have been to enter Chiller with such a huge name in our cameras. Now, I will now be entering Chiller with Rick Moranis in my camera 

To boot this worked out even better as before I wouldn't have had my laserdisc on hand.

It's now time for NYC. I arrive in time to try for legendary singer Andrea Bocelli. Arrive at the spot and sadly he goes to his car. Four of us (myself, Vanessa and friend, and NYC combo hunter Josh) run after his car. I scream at him for a photo op. He taps on the window. At first we think he's tapping to tell us to go away, but he taps again and clearly signals for us to come over. By some miracle he starts doing car shots! This marks my third photo op with a blind celebrity (Stevie Wonder and Jose Feliciano). It's not the best shot in the world but I'll take it.

Go to another spot where Woody Ellen is inside. Sadly never see him so he must have snuk out. But this spot was not for nothing. I upgraded Mary-Louise Parker and Josh Charles photo ops. First time op with director/writer Kenneth Lonergan. Got Lucas Hedges (update) and Stephen Henderson (slight upgrade). Sadly I tried to upgrade Casey Affleck as he has a horrid beard in my shot, but while he agreed to pose I again ran into a problem I faced with him in the past where he doesn't give out valid shots.

Head on to the next spot to make up my past failure on Glenn Fitzgerald (Sixth Sense) and actress Edie Falco, this time scoring them and getting Edie to sign a program.

I run to try for actress Megalyn Echikunwoke again. On my way I see a guy pushing a cart labeled "anti Trump bandwagon" selling all sorts of anti Trump merch. I raised my right arm, did the Roman salute, and shouted "Hail Trump" as I continued to the Magalyn spot. Sadly I never saw her. Also, by that point Stockard Channing shut down all combos completely.

Next spot, actress Janet McTeer. She came out not too long after I started waiting and was super nice. I got her before but this is a bit of an upgrade. Then the final spot for the evening for Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King, Last Action Hero). Got a bunch of barely valids then she finally came out and was nice. Also got another shot with Micahel Urie. Director Harvey Fierstein came out, signed, but wouldn't do a photo with me (tho I got him before).

Called it a night and parked. Woke up the next day and I figured might as well get a signed Roger Daltrey book. He was so brutal when it comes to cameras. This place is also a place of horrors as this was the location of the disastrous Sarah Michelle Gellar book signing.

After this went to a Sandra Bullock spot. I knew there was little to no chance of that happening but it was literally on the way back to my car. Going in she signed a little and leaving she did nothing. But this spot wasn't a total waste as I got first time shot with actor Trevante Rhodes (The Predator).

With that, I got my car, Vanessa hopped in my car, and we would leave NYC for Chiller.


Rick Moranis

Andrea Bocelli

Full list of pre Chiller ops part 1

Full list of pre Chiller ops part 2


Now some autographs

Roger Daltrey book


Ghostbusters laserdisc

Rick signed it right underneath Ernie Hudson.

I declare this laserdisc "complete". Here is the list of people that signed the LD

Bill Murray 
Dan Aykroyd
Sigourney Weaver
Rick Moranis
Ernie Hudson
Annie Potts
William Atherton
Ray Parker, Jr
Ivan Reitman (director)
Bill Bryan (he wore the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man suit)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Eric Roberts, Tony Hale, Ilana Glazer, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and more


On the first day of this trek, I would stop at the airport for singer Jack Johnson. This would be a waste/error. While I did get, I would get him again later and I missed a shot at Mick Fleetwood. After the flight went to the Mick spot and he was gone. What a PUNCH.

Go to the next spot. Got Keegan Michael Kay (update), then first time shots with Ilana Glazer (Rought Night) and Abbi Jacobson.

Went to a train for Joel Edgerton. Got him before but needed autos. He no showed. Back to the spot and see Jack Johnson. He remembered me and this time I got an upgrade (clean shaven, no hat).

Tried again for Joel but again he no showed. Later I would find out they refunded him back his train ticket.

Now on to the final spot for the evening. Was hoping to get Lisa Kudrow. I got first time shots with Tony Hale, Kumail Nanjiani, and Patrick Fischler. Sadly Lisa was not to be. I asked her and she was about to do it for me but fucking baby killing security stopped her! Managed to get an autograph though. Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson blanked.

Julia Louis did nothing on the way in but I managed to get two autographs as she left. Sadly Lisa blanked leaving.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson

Tony Hale

Full list of Day 1 photo ops


Next day would start badly. Arrived in time to see Lisa blank everyone again. After getting some autos I decided to bail this spot temporarily for a convention called Four State Comic Con. There I got a photo op with actor Eric Roberts. I missed Tina Fay coming in (needed autos) but didn't miss much else and I would make up that miss later.

Return back and got updates with Stephen Colbert and Bryan Cranston. Got Keegan Michael Kay yet again. Jerry Seinfeld came and started signing. He did one side and luckily I was on the side he signed and I managed to get two autos. Got actress Lauren Bowles. Also managed to get a Tina Fay update by telling her I wasn't there earlier.

On exits I got Tina Fay autos. Got Julia's husband Brad Hall and producer Emily V Gordon. Sadly never saw Lisa leave.

Eric Roberts

Full list of Day 2 photo ops

Now to showcase autographs:

Autographs part 1

Autographs part 2

Monday, November 19, 2018

A quick NYC pit stop in October

With NYCC in the rear view mirror, I would make my second (but not last) stop in NYC during the month of October. I had a non-combo related endeavor. So I would combine that with some celebrities.

My first stop would be for actor Jeremy Jordan. At this spot I get Eugene Lee and Jeremy Jordan who are both nice. Kerri Washington was due to come out and I wanted a better shot plus autos. But they said no photo ops and it didn't look like she was doing anything besides show programs. So I bailed early to head for Megalyn Echikunwoke. Sadly she bailed early so I just got Stockard Channing autographs (she had shut down photo ops at that point and would later shut down autographs). Tried another spot but nothing good was there. 

Wake up next morning and my first spot is for Matthew Gray Gubler of Criminal Minds and the voice of Simon in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. I already have Alvin and Theodore so may as well get Simon. He didn't do it going in but leaving he was nice as can be despite a HUGE crowd. Also grabbed some barely valids while there. One guy I got that seems like he might get somewhere in the future is Aidan Alexander. 

At the same spot, the band Disturbed was due. When I tried for them in the past I got all but the lead singer David Draiman. So this was my chance to redeem this without dedicating an evening outside a concert venue! When they go in I managed to get all except the non-original bassist (fine by me as I already have him).

Before leaving the city I decided to try entries for one last event. Molly Ringwald was due so I figured may as well try for her and randoms. Sadly she blanks as expected (despite my pleas). And while this spot did bring in some good randoms, they were randoms I had. Rose Byrne and Gerard Butler.

Jeremy Jordan

Matthew Gray Gubler

David Draiman

Full list of photo ops

Autographs

WWE in October plus some scattered celebs in October

With Smackdown 1000 upon us, I found an Undertaker flight. I figured I'd try for an upgrade and some autographs. I went to the airport and saw him no shades! So that was my attempt to try for a standing no shades shot. Sadly he denied. Wouldn't even do autographs.

I saw Rey Mysterio by pure chance, so I got an update with him and I got him to sign my WWE_E V3. Undertaker was just standing waiting for his luggage the whole time. After he was done I tried to plead some more to no avail.

As I exited in defeat I see Teddy Long going to the parking lot with his driver and got him on the WWE_V3. He's like "How did you know I was coming here" as he yelled joyfully and his driver laughed. 

With that I went to try and meet singer Lisa Stansfield, known for the song "All Around the World". Waited outside the venue and was joined by combo hunter Troy B. Lisa came out and was nice as can be.

Rey Mysterio (with Undertaker in the Background)

Lisa Stansfield


Next day I decided to go to the airport for actress Lily Tomlin. I got her in the past but she has a hat and shades in my shot. So I wanted an upgrade. She came out and is very nice. Took photo ops, hat but no shades, and signed for me.

Lily Tomlin

Autographs


After this success I went to the WWE hotel. I would be joined by markedout's adelta. Saw a lot of people Edge, Carmela, Natalya, plenty more but I had no need to bother people needlessly and draw attention to myself. My only get here would be a first time shot with announcer Mike Rome. I saw Andrade Cien Almas and Buddy Murphy. One I need an upgrade, and one a first time shot. So I made my move. Almas denied and Buddy Murphy said "not at the hotel". Waited some more, the hotel was getting more and more fans. At this point me and adelta decided to bail. Literally after we exited we were getting harassed by hotel staff asking us if we're "autograph seekers" which we denied. Then they started taking pictures of us entering our car. They then kicked out everyone else. Our claim was technically true as we technically did not ask for a single autograph during our time sitting at the hotel.


On to the airport with adelta for lots of WWE names. My main wants were 2 of the 3 members of Sanity and 1 of 2 members of the IIconics. Luckily I had their flights so I would know when and where to wait. For Sanity I got my first time Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe shots and my update with Eric Young (he has a much bigger beard for WWE so that's a good update). For IIconics manage to score a dual shot! 

Round two for both Buddy Murphy and Andrade. Andrade denied but Buddy stopped. For those that try to say "well hotel is ok but airport is evil" look at this. Buddy Murphy is one of those that prefers the airport but hates the hotel.

Otherwise got some updates with Zelina and 205 live folks. Kalisto denied as usual (no mask). Saw others I didn't need as well. Cesaro was rushing but did one each as he knows a buddy of mine and stopped to sign his figure. I got him on the WWE_E V3. 

Round 2 for The Undertaker. Charlotte was sitting him with. Since he saw me not long ago I had adelta go and try to break the ice. Sadly he had no luck. R Truth was on the same flight so I got him on the WWE_E V3.

Saw Nigel McGuinniess, got an update. Saw Samoa Joe and Becky Lynch but had no need for them. Got updates with both Jason Jordan (he has hair now) and Sheamus (first time I've seen him without a cap since he got that hairstyle). Saw Byron Saxton (who knows me) and had a small chat with him. Had a flight for Rusev and Lana but we never saw them.

Ended my time at the airport with a Jerry Lawler autograph on my WWE_E V3. This shows you what a genuinely nice guy he is. Does cons, sells autos on his site, yet happily takes care of you with at least one combo if you see him.

IIconics

Full list of hotel and airport WWE photo ops


Towards the end of October I wanted to try for actress Rosamund Pike. Sadly she would be freaked out that we were all waiting for her at the airport and was a strict one per and no photo ops. Despite my pleas she denied a photo op and her guy cursed out people that had phones and cameras. They even got into a scuffle with a pap. To boot, at the venue one person waited. SHE approached HIM and said she would sign and take photos if he told her how he knew her flight. PUNCH

Autograph


I would end October with WWE folks leaving to go Saudia Arabia for Crown Jewel. Sadly I saw lots but no one I really wanted. I got WWE_E V3 autographs from the following:

Big Show
Jeff Hardy
The Miz
John Laurinaitis 
Byron Saxton (who again remembered me)

I had Jeff Hardy sign the Hardy Boys entry of the WWE_E and he gave me the biggest autograph I've ever seen! WTF?

Jeff Hardy autograph