Saturday, April 20, 2019

Pre Wrestlemania WWE meets plus Robin Trower

Prior to Wrestlemania I would score a flight for two WWE wants of mine, Otis and Tucker of Heavy Machinery. So with that information I decided to go to the airport to try for them and see what other WWE folks are out and about. I also found a flight for Ronda Rousey after adelta pestered me for it, but I know she had been bad lately in terms of stopping. 

Side note about this airport. It's $6/hour but parking is free up to 1h. If you go even 1 minute above the 1h mark, it would charge $12 . Daily maximum is $24. Of course nothing beats free. So for each flight I had to time my entry to get there shortly before it lands and then leave before my hour is up then enter again at the right time. I would do this multiple times throughout the evening and I paid $0 in parking fees. A combo hunter who scoffed at my tactics even stated to me "$12 is what you pay for a burger in the city". And I replied back "and that is why you never see me buy a burger in the city".

Anyhow, first up was the Heavy Machinery flight. We wait and it turns out a huge want of mine, Drake Maverick AKA Rockstar Spud was also on the flight. I was super excited for that. We wait for them to get to baggage and I score a photo op with Tucker. He would stay VERY briefly so I'm lucky to have gotten that as I never saw him again throughout Wrestlemania week. Finally got Drake Maverick and also got Otis.

I got updates with Alexa Bliss, Mojo Rawley, and Apollo Crews. Saw Riott Squad members minus Ruby but didn't bother them. Told them about Two Bros Pizza in NYC. Missed EC3 but I have him though I could have used a better shot. Upgraded Nikki Cross to a no shades shot then got Lacey Evans upgrade as she had a hat on (which is part of the character). Though I would further upgrade my Lacey Evans shot at Wrestlemania week. Got autos only from Heath Slater and Titus O Neil. Overall a damn good flight. And I only knew for a fact that Heavy Machinery would be on there.

Waited for Rhoda. As expected she completely blanked and would do nothing for no one. I would never have tried this if I wasn't already there. Good thing I already have a combo with her from her NYC book signing. Missed Dana Warrior somehow but I already have her.

Next wave of flights I got updates with Aleister Black, Ricochet, Billy Kidman, Curtis Axel, and Chad Gable. Scored Zack Ryder with a beard. Sasha Banks was there but didn't even bother trying. Good thing I have her. Here is where I see 3 wants of mine that denied. All 3 members of Lucha House Party. They denied ops, presumably cause they have no masks. Doesn't make the blow off less painful.

While resetting my parking I miss Beth Phoenix, but that's not big deal as I have her. After this we leave to the next spot.

See lots of people checking in but didn't go after them if I didn't need to. Names like Hurricane, Drew McIntyre, among others. My first score is Dean Ambrose. Already have him clean shaven so this is a beard update which is valid as he's had a beard as of late. Scored fresh names in Sarah Schreiber and Pat McAfee. Got an autograph from Brother Love and another shot with Chad Patton. One painful blow off was Baron Corbin who said it's 2am and went to his room. I already have a shot with him but don't have his GM bald/shaven look.

Full list of photo ops


WWE_E V3 autos:

Alexa Bliss
Curtis Axel
Apollo Crews
Billy Kidman
Heath Slater
Titus O Neil
Brother Love


Shortly before Wrestlemania I would go for guitarist and singer Robin Trower. This was last minute so I had nothing on me. I just helped another combo hunter with an autograph. Sadly they said no photo ops as he sat in the car signing for people. But I waited then pleaded for a photo op and he did a car shot with me. 

Photo op

Having Breakfast with The Terminator

Towards the end of march I set a quest for Emilio Estevez of Breakfast Club fame, Young Guns, and lots more. Before that, start off at a spot to try for Arnold Schwarzenegger. While waiting I get another shot with Chris Mathews. Arnold enters the spot and does nothing for anyone. And leaving is not much better. He does nothing for all waiting and enters his car.

Find out about the next spot for Arnold. This time we are only two people. And Arnold leaves and we get combos! I got him on my Terminator laserdisc already signed by James Cameron. This is my second Arnold op as I got my first one in 2010. 

On to the next spot for Emilio Estevez. We all wait outside and he eventually comes in but says he has to "work". Of course he then just hangs inside and doing nothing. I sat through the q&a (which wound up being a valuable combo related move, more on that later). After the q&a we run around the building till we finally figure out where he's coming out from. It is ULTRA chaotic and only a few of us manage to get photo ops as he says no autographs. It was very rushed and anyone was lucky to get anything. 

Go on to the next spot for some music names. Sadly I miss Dave Mustaine of Megadeth by like a minute. Already have him but wanted the upgrade. I get Eric Johnson and Frank Zappa's son. Then Billy Cox (who played with Jimi Hendrix) goes to his bus and doesn't do an op. He then leaves his bus to go back to the venue as he lost his cell phone. On his way back out I get a photo op. Then I get a photo op with Chris Layton. This ended the evening.

Now normally I would have been happy with my Emilio photo op, but I had a Young Guns laserdisc signed by 3 people! I couldn't let Emilio go without getting that done. Plus 2 of my buddies didn't get him at all. Thanks to info divulged by Emilio himself during the q&a, he basically pointed me in the right direction in regards to his flight out. So thanks to his own words, I was able to easily find his early flight (which turned out to be early in the morning).

Of the 2 people I mentioned that didn't get him, I sleep at the place of one of them while the other decides to spend the night at the airport. It's now the crack of dawn, we go to the airport and wait. Finally see him and he's denying. I show him my laserdisc and tell him I already have 3 and he goes "just one" and I score a beautiful autograph on my laserdisc (now I really need Charlie Sheen)! Person A scores a full combo and person B scores the photo op. I then get another photo op with him just because I could.






Friday, April 19, 2019

March cons: CSA Show and NJ Horror

Still not done with street celeb meets for March, but let's get done with cons during March. First up I would attend CSA show. Sadly one of the names I wanted, namely Tonya Harding, canceled. I was also thinking of a Mike Tyson upgrade but since he was pro op only and had a beard that was promptly scratched off my list. So I was down with two acting names. Michael Beck of Warriors fame and Gianni Russo of Godfather fame. And thankfully they were vendor names so I didn't have to deal with the main part of the show.

I go for Beck and see someone who wants the auto only. We split the combo price and I get the photo op. Then go to Gianni Russo. The handler lets me get a free photo op. Can't beat that. Overall an easy and quick con for me. 

Michael Beck

Gianni Russo


Next up, NJ Horror in Atlantic City. Haven't been there since I went for Johnny Depp. Parking by a hotel was a steep $25 but I found metered parking a short walk away for $3. My main want is actress Frances Lee McCain of Germlins and Patch Adams fame. Got her then saw Road Warrior Animal. I figure no time like the present to upgrade as I don't have any really good shots with him. I asked him to put on the spikes which he did and got a great shot!

Then went for my second biggest want, Jimmy Workman AKA Pugsley Adams. His price was steep but he gave me the full combo for the photo op price so that made it easier to swallow. Then got Mark Patton and Kim Myers of NOES fame. Saw the writer of Happy Death Day, Scott Lobdell. Haven't watched Happy Death Day yet but it looks like I'd enjoy it and Scott's price was right. Free. Got the free photo op and he signed me a picture on his table and gave it to me. I also got the Night of the Demons actresses. Thankfully manage to team up with someone who had multiple autos.

Now I wanted a photo op with Omen child actor Harvey Spencer Stephens. He was $30 an auto free photo op. I was trying to negotiate a photo op for $20. He kept saying things like he's under contract and can't do it (even though he was the only one making decisions at his table). After I try again he gives me a signed personalized 8x10 at his table saying this is a gift from him to prove he can't do a paid photo op at this table (even though he was doing photo ops for people that bought the auto). I am left completely dumb founded as I was trying to give the man some money for an op and he outright rejected it and gave me a free signed 8x10. 

Finally Ari Lehman of F13th fame who was late at his table. But I had a spot in line where I was behind a family of four. I wanted to be done with this con not stay an extra day. So if he didn't show up Friday night I'd be SOL. When he showed up he told me to get to the back but I said I've been waiting and told him I had a long drive back to which he responded he drove from Chicago. When he started he goes "you want a picture, go, quick so you can leave". I promptly get a free photo op and thank him. With that I was on my way.

Frances Lee McCain

Jimmy Workman

Animal

Full list of photo ops

Autographs

March meets: Andy, Winston, Lupita, and more

Around mid march there would be an event with a host of celebs. I had most of the celebs but my main want was actor Andy Garcia. I arrive to try entries and literally miss Andy by a minute, though he was wearing shades. By then most are inside and I wait. 

Sadly I blink and miss what I think is Andy's exit. And most celebs don't stop. The only one to stop and do a roll down is Jose Feliciano who is blind! Luckily I had a good shot already so I got autographs. 

Day is off to a bad start. I leave and come back just in time to see a well dressed Andy enter. And he blows me off. Wait till the end of the evening and most celebs are driving off, including barely valids. But when I see Andy I scream for him and he walks over, does photo ops and autographs! SCORE! One woman criticized my screaming but I simply rebuffed it with "he came over, didn't he?". Other celebs that drove off include Patti LaBelle, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and Quincy Jones. Luckily I have ops with all of them. Cyndi Lauper does send ins in her car. I had an 8x10 to somebody and I get two 8x10s signed. Luckily I have 3 photo ops with her. Among all this I got Latin singer Gian Marco whom I never heard of and some barely valids including a group shot with 4 females (I think they are stage actresses from the play about Gloria).

Moved on to the next spot (namely the hotel) to see what else I could get. Play the waiting game. Get another Cyndi graph, get some Gloria graphs. I get child actor Kevin Tellez who has been in some TV shows. There were more Latin singers and actors but we didn't know who they were in order to call them over. Andy blanked at this spot.

It was a long day but I scored Andy combo and extra plus bonuses. So I'd say success.

Andy Garcia

Group shot

Full list of photo ops

Autographs


About a week later actor Winston Duke, actress Lupita Nyongo, and director Jordan Peele had an event. The venue I knew would be a mad house. So I literally spent 4-5 hours looking for flights or trains for them. And I found nothing. More on the reason why in a bit.

The next day I go to the hotel they would stay at. Play the waiting game. While waiting I see another combo hunter take a photo op with a celebrity spotted randomly, so I grab the shot. But sadly it turns out to be actress Minnie Driver whom I already have (and this is a downgrade as she has shades). Wait some more and then I finally find out 1) why I couldn't find them and 2) that they're not actually here. Via IG they released a group shot of them flying in on a private jet!

Sadly it was now venue or bust. The venue was on private property so I feared being harassed but shockingly this wouldn't prove to be a factor. I try entries and had both Winston and Lupita one on one. Winston ignored and Lupita goes "where did you come from" and denies.

Now it was the situation I feared most. Exits! As expected many from the audience would stay. I was literally the only non-black here. Winston comes out first and I ask for the photo op. Remembering me from earlier he taps me on the shoulder and says "thank you" then enters his car (which garners laughter from the crowd). He rolls down the window to greet the crowd and I ask for a selfie which he agrees to. From then on people from the crowd copy me. I also get autos from the window

Next up, director Jordan Peele. I ask and he denies. Goes in his car. When I see him do a car selfie I quickly go and grab one! Lots of cars leave and I assume this is done as I figure Lupita snuck out in the chaos. I am leaving and look back and see her walking a ramp. I quickly run and ask for an op. She agrees but is moving so the op comes out blurry but I'd still say an upgrade from my hat and shades shot from NYC.  Plus getting her with no hat or shades (even at night) is very rare!

While the end result is not what I'd call perfect, considering how hopeless this situation was looking I'd say I'm on the plus side. 

I then went to another spot with director John Lee Hancock and writer/producer John Fusco (Young Guns). Mooched into the venue and they were nice as can be.

Winston Duke

Lupita Nyongo

Full list of photo ops

Autographs


Couple days later I go to a spot for actress Tichina Arnold. While there I got an update with Chad L Coleman plus some barely valids. Tichina was nice as can be. Then go for actor Justin Hires who had a comedy show. He came out and greeted the audience and I got a photo op

Full list of photo ops

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Big Event, Patrick Wilson signing, plus various NYC street meets

Prior to Monstermania I would be in NYC and get a tip from Vanessa and friend for a spot with Brie Larson and others. I didn't bother with her as I figured she would do nothing (which turned out to be the case), but with her departure the spot was ripe for the taking. It was a nice indoor spot in the NYC cold. Not only that it was a very active spot in terms of celebs. Lots of great celebs. Sadly all the celebs I pretty much had.

There were blow offs such as Morena Baccarin, Annette Bening, and many others. Thankfully I have them. I somehow missed Daniel Davis of The Nanny but it's ok cause I have him. Barbara Eden was there but I have a great shot from Chiller and she was old and frail so I had no reason to try and get her. I left that for the ones who really needed her. 

The only fresh acting name I got was Isiah Whitlock. I almost didn't even get that but someone else broke him down for me. Got other fresh names in Valerie Simpson and Ashley Sara Haas. Got upgrades in Zachary Quinto and Sami Gayle. Beyond that more repeat names. I guess it's to be expected when you've been combo hunting as long as me.

After this event drove a few minutes to an "easy" show spot with actress Phoebe Wallar Bridge from Solo: A Star Wars Story. She took a little while to come out but was super nice and got her to sign some programs.

Isiah Whitlock

Phoebe Waller Bridge

Full list of photo ops


Next up is Monstermania Friday night (already reported). Saturday morning The Big Event, my first one in a while. Not too much for me here just some trinkets here and there. I actually got a Jasmin St Claire autograph because the 8x10 I needed her to complete is pretty damn cool (signed by Velvet Sky and Tod Gordon). She actually said I was the "cutest thing" to pass by here in a while. Gorgeous George saw me before I saw her and called me over. Told her hello. She's actually looking pretty good. LA Smooth probably the best fresh photo op I got at Big Event. Got upgrades with 2 Cold Scorpio and Chavo Guerrero Jr. The Abominable Dr Chud was an awesome suited photo op. Su Yung another nice suited op. Taya Valkyrie had the impact belt which was pretty cool. 

Full list of Big Event photo ops


Then it off to Jersey City at Word bookstore for a Patrick Wilson signing. The Aquaman art book cost a whopping $45 + tax but thankfully I found somebody who had two books and he let me hold one. He also bought some pops to get signed. Patrick Wilson and book author Mike Avila started with a speech and q&a. Patrick also showed off some props from the movie. When it was time for the signing I got Mike Avila and of course Patrick. Got an 8x10 from The Watchmen signed which he inscribed "Night Owl II". 

Got a little bit of rest then headed back to NYC! I try for the "easy" show spots first. First up is Gerry Bamman of Home Alone and Home Alone 2 fame. Waited for the show to end, mooched inside the venue where he was hanging out in the bar, and got a combo no issue. He was nice as can be.

Next up, Joey McIntyre of New Kids On The Block. His show ends and I snap ops with a slew of barely valids. Finally he comes out and is as nice as can be. This marks my third member of that band. Sadly I do miss Stephen Speilberg at another spot. However, he only signed and did no photo ops despite some people apparently pleading. 

After this I join Vanessa's friend David and he fishes out the location of the next spot. We have a choice to wait for Speilberg coming out of this spot or going into the next spot. I suggest the latter because I know his habits all too well. He already signed going in at this spot so he won't stop leaving. Indeed I turned out to be right about that. Sadly he didn't show up at the final spot.

One random at this spot was Robert Smigel AKA Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. I met him before but got an upgrade. I then pulled out the 8x10s I had of him in my car to get them signed when he would eventually leave. 

Next up, actor Idris Elba who I never got! He was quick but I managed the full combo here. Was also waiting for singer Khalid but he never showed up sadly. He is pure Pokemon for me but I printed two 8x10s of him including one photo where he was wearing a Hulkamania shirt. After this got Heidi Gardner and Kate McKinnon updates. But then it really began pounding rain. When Smigel left I had a huge umbrella and managed to get him to sign my 8x10s. For his troubles I escorted him to a cab via my umbrella. 

Idris Elba seemingly snuck out. That coupled with the rain me and David drove to Philadelphia to meet Vanessa at the bus station and get Fairuza Balk at Monstermania on Sunday (already reported).

Patrick Wilson

Gerry Bamman

Joey McIntyre

Robert Smigel

Idris Elba

Full list of post Big Event photo ops


Autographs obtained

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Monstermania Cherry Hill Report

Prior to Monstermania I would do some NYC meets. Those will be a separate report. Friday afternoon I would arrive at Monstermania after picking up Vanessa the Jersey shore stalker and David from the bus station in Philly. They wanted to split a Craft group shot. Craft wise I only cared for Fairuza Balk since I had the others. She was my top want from this con.

First meet was Phil Fondacaro. I split the combo price with former markedout board member OverTheTop. Next up actor Tommy Flanagan. He was wearing a hat and shades. I asked if he could remove the shades and he took one photo with the shades and one without. 


Now to the room with Halloween actors. Got Sandy Johnson, Jibrail Nantambu, and Mickey Yablan. David informed me that Dolph Lundgren's daughter Ida is a model and actress. Here I have flashbacks of my Kate Upton blunder so now I have to get her. I ask her from a distance for the photo op she said "later". Then when they were leaving their table I asked again and she took a photo op with me.

Finally got James Jude Courtney AKA Mike Myers in that room (who had a huge line). Now it was time for my main want, Fairuza Balk.

I go to the table and a line is forming. Earlier they gave some people tickets so I stood behind the last ticket holder. One other combo hunter also joins me in line. Ahead of me in line was former markedout board member Andrew (he was first row I was second). There's also an empty chair where I set both my bag and my coat. 

I stood in that spot for what I estimate to be 30 to 40 min. Meanwhile more ticket holders joined the line and lined up behind me. Now you know how lines swirl. Somehow Andrew advanced himself to a point where we were close in line. Essentially my corner of the line was next to him (if that makes sense). Here is a visual. Note this picture is NOT the line that day but another day.


Basically, imagine the guy holding the black poster is me, and the guy wearing the black coat in front of the guy in orange is Andrew. 

Out of the blue Andrew lashes out on me and accuses me of trying to cut in line with him. I explain to him that I have no intention of cutting with him and I'm content with my spot. I then ask him to mind his own business. He then goes on and asks if I have one of those tickets that he had, I tell him it's none of his concern. He then yells to security screaming "line cutter" pointing at me, basically ratting me out to security. 

Now here is where security saw a black mark. There were ticket holders behind me that were added after I stood there. With that security chose to believe I cut the line. I explained that I was standing here for the longest time and pointed to my bag and coat on the chair next to me. He went on to even say a handicap was sitting in the chair and that was the handicap's coat. I told him that no one was sitting on the chair when I got here and this is in fact MY coat not his. But he insisted someone else was sitting on the chair. I tried to compromise and tell him I'll accept to be after the last ticket holder but he wouldn't accept that and said I had to go to the way back. After more arguments all this was for nothing as she ended up cancelling Friday. She drove cross country from LA and would not make it in time. One guy in charge of her table then wrote me a ticket to come back get her another day.

Full list of Friday Monstermania photos

Phil Fondacaro


With this we went back to NYC where I would drop Vanessa and David home, park in Queens across the street from the Big Event convention. Report for Big Event and NYC will come later.

Fast forward to Sunday I had to come back to Monstermania. Me and David drove up to Philly where we picked up Vanessa at the bus station (who was in Atlantic City).

Waited at the con with a group of other people who were there Friday and we were escorted to her table without paying admission. We were also inserted in the front of the line. I got my photo op no issue. Vanessa and David got their group op, I dropped them to the bus station, and drove home.

Fairuza Balk

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Some meets in late February and beginning March

February was mostly chill but I did do a couple of days of meets. First off a venue with the cast of Schitt's Creek. Of the 6 actors I had Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy but needed the other 4. I also wanted autos from Catherine and Eugene and an upgrade with Catherine. 

Arrive at the venue and wait. Sadly it is crowded. A van pulls up in the driveway. The actors come out, Eugene and Catherine enter the van while the other 4 greet the crowd. I manage to get ops with all 4. So I'm officially on the board.

Tried to go to the next stop but they wanted no part of it. My next attempt would be at the airport the next morning.

We are 3 people in one car. Pull up and we literally see the van and the actors on the pavement. We basically arrived at almost the same time! Park illegally by the curb. Luckily I didn't have to bother the lower 4. Catherine and Eugene did one each for all but refused photo ops. I got an 8x10 signed by Eugene and my Nightmare Before Christmas laserdisc signed by Catherine (already signed by Chris Sarandon). I then ran back to the car before I could get in trouble.

While I would have liked more autographs and a Catherine upgrade, I'd say operation Schitts was largely a success. 

Annie Murphy

Emily Hampshire

Dan Levy

Noah Reid

Signed laserdisc and 8x10


Next day I was commissioned by a NYC Master to get Ted Koppel autographs. It was back to the airport. Sadly Ted refuses autographs. I did get an upgraded photo op.

Later that evening I went for actor Dane Cook (Good Luck Chuck, My Best Friend's Girl). Unlike the Schitt's Creek cast we are only two people! Eventually Dane comes out and we call for him. He walks over and does photo ops. Considering this was a $200+ m&g it felt good getting him for free. 

Ted Koppel

Dane Cook


Next day it was time for a different airport. I start by waiting for actor Laz Alonso (Fast & Furious, Avatar). Wait for him at one spot and never see him. At this point I decide to go to the area where I'm guaranteed to eventually see him (figuring he may have gone in before I arrived).

So I go to that area and I immediately see him going into the bathroom. I wait for him to leave the bathroom then ask for the photo op which he was more than happy to oblige.

Grab some Subway to eat as I wait for the music legend Paul Williams to land. He did the soundtrack of several good movies. Already got a great shot with him so this was an autograph only mission. We see him and he is nice as I get my items done.

Laz Alonso

Paul Williams autographs


Ended February with the Band Kansas (Dust in the Wind). Sadly only two original members in the band, the guitarist and the drummer. A third member has been with them for a long time and is on a couple of albums but none of the hits. So he's basically a scrub. The rest are barely valid. Went to the airport and saw Rich Williams (the guitarist) and some crew but no other members. WTF! The rest must not have come to baggage. So went to another spot and waited where we saw EVERY single member walking about except the the drummer Phil Ehart, sadly. I got a photo op with with scrub Billy Greer and barely valid David Ragsdale. I saw the other two barely valids but was afraid to go up to them and make myself known as at that point I was still waiting for Phil. I could have come back the next day for Phil but I didn't feel like that was worth dedicating all the extra time and effort.  

Kansas photo ops

Kansas autograph


Started off March with a cool name, namely director Phillip Noyce. He directed movies such as Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, Salt, among others. Arrive at the venue and wait. Eventually he walks out and is as nice as can be happy to do a photo op. Wow why can't they all be this cool.

Phillip Noyce