Friday, December 25, 2015

I WAS FEELING SO BAD as 2015 ended

Felix Cavaliere, the frontman of The Rascals, was doing a show. The venue he was playing is not prime for meets so I didn't feel like messing with it. But the day of the show a music combo hunter calls me up and tells me that he found out Felix was doing a signing after the show. Since this would mean it's relatively effortless I decided to try for it. 

The show ends and with some stealth I mooch my way inside the venue And sure enough a signing table is setup. In order to look like I belong I buy a $5 8x10 from the table and kept it visibly held up. 

Felix arrives and is signing. I get up to him he signs my stuff and takes a picture with me. A nice smooth and relatively effortless meet.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Final big report of 2015: The horrid two day ordeal

This is the weekend I was dreading all year. Between fatigue, waiting, hunger, getting blown off by celebrities, and the aggressiveness of all the graphers it is just so agonizing and painful through and through. 

Starts off early with combos from Rosie Perez and Sara Bareilles. Got a photo op with Gina Rodriguez, Seiji Ozawa, and Ben Folds. George Lucas came and signed I managed to get one awesome looking autograph on my Star Wars laserdisc which features the vintage artwork. It was a great feeling that I didn't have to get a photo op. 

Aretha Franklin started signing and I got one then she went inside and started doing send ins. Sadly I could not get my other item to be taken in. Cicely Tyson and Carol King did nothing for no one as we expected. Rita Moreno was doing photo ops and signing and promised she would do a photo op with me then gets pulled away! 

Then got photo ops with Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Renee Fleming, and Terence Blanchard. 

Stephen Colbert is someone I could never get a photo op with. But with some pleading I managed to get that plus the autograph. James Taylor is his usual friendly self. Then leaving I manage to get another Colbert combo and upgrade my Terence Blanchard to a no shades shot. Wow I've never seen Stephen Colbert that nice. You're usually lucky to get a single autograph from him. Finally Miranda Lambert who ignored everyone going in leaves and does it for everyone that is left waiting. I manage to get the photo op plus 3 items done. 

We then try a spot for Matt Damon but never see him. So we give up. 

Full list of Day 1 photo ops

Stephen Colbert

Miranda Lambert

Now for another day of agonizing misery. Starts with photo ops with Chris Bartlett (C3PO fill in for Anthony Daniels), Yo Yo Ma, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Paul Nolan, and Chilina Kennedy. I fail to get a Tyler Perry photo op going in but manage to plead him for a photo op leaving. This is a good score because he's Baxter Stockman in the second Michael Bay TMNT. 

Sara Bareilles, Eric Jacobson (Muppets voice), and Kerry Washington do nothing for one. 

Now here is where I made a fatal mistake. I went to another door to secure a good spot for the next wave of arrivals. After I go there Speilberg arrives and signs for everyone there Wow I was beside myself. But he didn't do photo ops if he did I would have truly felt like total shit for weeks to come!! Essentially I don't think anyone would have wanted to be around me if he didn't reject photo ops for the few people waiting. I did wait for him to leave but he did nothing for no one. 

Play the waiting game and the new witching hour arrives. I get a Linda Carter autograph. Martin Scorsese arrives but sadly does the other side.  A Master Combo hunter who has marked security guards with sharpies in the past arrives but he doesn't have any prime spot. He points out that I have the good spotting position and I failed to call out Scorsese. Since I'm not known as the best spotter I believed that he made a good point. So I invited him to stand next to me which turned out to be the smartest move I could make! Cause being the Master that he is he knew exactly how to call people over and from then on people either did only my side or both sides (most just my side though)! George Lucas came over did my side only. I got two laserdiscs done. Janelle Monáe did only my side as well I got two autographs already had the photo op. Got the Rita Moreno photo op that I missed out on the day before. And actress Viola Davis came and I got that photo op. That's a good score since she's in the Suicide Squad movie. 

Sadly this is where my evening was cut short. The security guard was yelling at people for being too aggressive then when I asked Viola for an autograph AFTER I got the photo op he got upset at me and kicked out out!! WTF? In years past they kicked people out for getting multiple graphs but I always got one combo per celeb no issue. Did the rules change? In years past they would even warn people about multiple graphs before kicking them out and here I didn't even get the warning or heads up! So I got unjustly singled out and could get no more combos for the rest of the evening  Everyone I spoke to said I was unjustly ejected. I cannot believe that more opportunity was taken away from me. These people don't realize what they do to us! I didn't miss out on anything major but I missed out on things like more George Lucas autographs and a no shades Rosie Perez but. At least I made it through 75% of the event. And Speilberg did nothing for 5 people when he left so I didn't miss that. 

Overall I guess it was pretty decent and worth the effort. Got some fresh mid tier photo ops and some George Lucas autographs among other things. 

Full list of Day 2 photo ops

Viola Davis

Tyler Perry

Now to showcase some autographs

Rosie Perez, Sara Bareilles, and Stephen Colbert

Miranda Lambert, Linda Carter, and Janelle Monáe

James Taylor

Star Wars laserdiscs and Aretha Franklin vinyls 

Sadly one of my laserdiscs didn't come out well.
Dark on dark  If he did it more on Darth Vader would have come out better. I guess I'll try to get it redone in gold in the future and when I do rub off the current one. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A bunch of scattered meets in November

Mid November starts with two days of busts. Day one I attended an event hoping to see Natascha McElhone, Ray Stevenson, Vincent Kartheiser, and some others. I arrive at the event and try to confirm which actors are actually going to attend. What do I find out? Michael Jibson and Kalani Queypo 

I had obtained a free ticket to the event but decided these weren't even worth dedicating an evening for. So I simply scoped out the premises for a possible future event just so I know what the layout is like then began to exit. As I walked out I literally saw those two actors walk by me (I had googled them to see who they were so I now had an idea of what they looked like). I got photo ops with both of them and I continued to leave. 

The next day I tried for Henry Kissinger. First I had his train info so I hoped to get him there. Unfortunately we didn't see him so he must have garaged it. On to the next spot where the event is I wait with other graphers. While waiting we see Bob Schieffer. I had a photo op but it needed an upgrade so I got another. Sadly we don't see Kissinger therefore he must have garaged here as well. Since he garaged in he would garage out, I cut my losses and gave up, another day of failure. 

Two days of failure photo ops

Next day was a music related event. I arrive and get some lower names. Rosanne Cash (Johnny Cash's daughter) who is nice as can be. Get Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson (Willie Nelson's son) and Buckwheat Zydeco. Unfortunately for both entry and exists Paul Simon refuses to do anything saying he's done signing and taking pictures. Couldn't have been a calmer setting we were only a handful. We all begged and pleaded. 

We find Neil Young's tour bus and wait there. We see him and his people come out and his handler says "we're just gonna keep walking". But Neil stops to sign. I ask for a photo op he says he will stop doing anything if I don't put away the camera . Since an autograph is better than nothing I get my 8x10 signed and say "thank you Neil" and he goes "eye contact, eye contract" so I look at him and say "thank you Neil". Instead of saying things like "eye contact" why can't you do the photo op To boot he was a strict one per. After I left I got a call asking me what the situation is. I debrief the situation and he said he's coming to try. I had left but when that guy plus one grapher tried for Neil he goes "I already signed going in" the guy responds that he wasn't there and Neil laughs and responds "well you should've been". 

Full list of photo ops from the day

Neil Young autograph

The next day I didn't make it which was a huge mistake cause Willie Nelson racked it out (thankfully I have that combo already) and Don Johnson did photo ops leaving! Though both Paul Simon and Neil Young did nothing for no one. 

BUT I had a chance to redeem Don Johnson. Went to the airport the next morning to try for him. His guard tried to say he is late and I say "no he isn't the plane doesn't leave for another hour". When walking he says he's not stopping and to take pictures with him as he's walking. Thanks to some help from a Master pap I manage to get a valid photo op.  

Don Johnson photo op

Next up I had a major quest. Get a photo op with Stephen Speilberg, who was attending an event along with Barbara Streisand, Gloria Estefan, James Taylor, and others.  

Arrive and we get Gloria and her husband Emilio who are nice as can be. Already had Gloria but Emilio is a first time meet.  

Speilberg arrives and sadly does nothing for no one saying he'll do it on the way out. A guard on the gate was demanding we stop harassing celebrities and that "they're here for the event" even though we were 110% on a public sidewalk. Streisand arrives and does nothing. We are again yelled at but we all completely ignore him and try to approach her anyway. There was one of him and several of us so not much he could do. James Taylor arrives and is his usual nice self. Streisand's husband James Brolin arrives is nice as can be. Got the photo op but I had it already. 

On exits James and Gloria are still nice. Streisand does autographs and I get one on a vinyl but sadly she didn't do a photo op with me despite my best begging and pleading. Speilberg turned out to be a liar as he drove out. I've seen Speilberg like 15 times and each time it's either auto only or nothing. When will I break this curse 

Full list of photo ops


Towards the end of November I had a seemingly simple quest. Get Thomas Dolby. 

He was advertised as a "special guest" so was he the opening act? Was he the final act? Would he come in the middle and leave? No idea. I arrive there after doors open. In hindsight I should have tried earlier in the day because another combo hunter got him coming into the venue. Sadly as it turned out he played in the middle of the show, stayed till the end, and did the final song. But when he left he was nice as can be, signed and did photo ops. Dedicated more time than I would have liked, but thankfully it was a success. 

Sucks the upper right one is in rough shape and the upper left one is in garbage shape, but for $1 per vinyl one can't complain. 

On the final day of November I embarked on a short quest to get record producer Berry Gordy. He signed but wouldn't take pictures even citing "facebook" as a reason not to do photo ops  TV host Mike Rowe is randomly spotted and we get photo ops. 

Breaking Bad cast and some music

Around mid November five cast members of Breaking Bad were at a spot. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Johnathan Banks, Dean Norris, and RJ Mitte. I needed photo ops with Aaron and Johnathan the rest were autograph only missions. I had a Breaking Bad poster plus photos for Aaron.

I arrive at the spot. I see cars up front, it is looking so promising as I wait for them to exit. But a big fat black dyke looking security guard says we can't stand here. Unfortunately where we could stand we had no access. 

This sadly meant I had to formulate alternate plans and improvise. I had to go to the next spot which was a restaurant. I am not crazy about bothering them at restaurants but blame that security guard. She even saw that I was heading there and she looked on as she could do nothing. 

Upon entry to the restaurant I got a combo and two extras from Aaron Paul! Yes! Success and my evening is officially not a total waste. Bryan Cranston refused to sign saying he doesn't do it in this kind of situation and restaurant staff was starting to tackle me as I tried to get a Johnathan Banks photo op. 

More graphers arrived, a couple because I gave the info, and a couple because they found out the spot like I did. 

On exits I got Johnathan Banks to do a combo with me. A woman was saying he had to go and I told her that HE agreed to take a picture with me. Dean Norris does nothing but as he's going to his van I whip out the poster and he signs for me. I told him I got a photo op with him at another event and he seemed happy about it saying "ohh really, good". I was the only one to get anything from him.

I sadly gave up hope that Cranston was going to sign my poster (now with 3 autographs, Aaron, Johnathan, and Dean). But I advise all other graphers that he loves photo ops and if they want to walk away with something over nothing to ask for photo ops. One guy even responded "a photo op IS nothing can't sell that". 

Upon leaving Cranston was ready to ignore everyone then the grapher who said "a photo op is nothing" asked for one and he goes from ignore mode to "YES let's do pictures". I got one just for the hell of it already have that photo op a couple of times. 

At this point some garphers went home and some went to a music spot for Ry Cooder and Ricky Skaggs. I hung around more cause we didn't see RJ Mitte yet. I wait some more I see him smoking. I wait for him to finish but he approaches me, signs my poster, and shakes my hand. He asks not to take pictures of him smoking I told him that I got a photo op with him at a previous event and thanked him. 

While I dedicated more time than I intended and my poster is sadly Cranstonless, this was basically a success. Why couldn't that security guard bitch just let me get them at the original spot? I would have been done, the celebrities would not have been bothered at the restaurant, and my poster would have had Cranston on it since he generally signs at events 

After this success, I decided to head to the music spot. I had never really heard of Ry Cooder but he is known as one of the greatest guitarists. Since I was already there why not get it. As I arrived at the spot the show had ended and he was doing a signing along with Ricky Skaggs. When I get up to them they were nice as can be signing and doing photo ops. 

Full list of photo ops from that day

Johnathan Banks

Aaron Paul


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Quest for Caine in November

Day 1

Towards the end of November Michael Caine was in NYC. He was someone I greatly regretted missing over the summer. Especially since he's getting up there in age. So I did not want to miss another opportunity for Caine. Had all sights and cross hairs focused on one Michael Caine

I arrive in NYC and meet up with and at the spot. 

First I get a Paul Dano photo op he was very nice. Then I get a photo op with Harvey Keitel. He said he couldn't sign but I talked him into the photo. I skipped an event of his in the past where he did photo ops so I was happy to rectify that. Sadly Michael Caine was rushed in. He signed two autographs and that was it. Rachel Weisz then came and signed but did no photo ops. Sadly she tainted my Oz The Great and Powerful 8x10 where she slightly went over James Franco and Michelle Williams 

Jane Fonda was being nicer than usual signing for people. Thankfully I had a photo op so I concentrated on getting my two items done despite her saying "one per person". 

Now there were two sides for exits. As luck would have it the two people I needed photo ops with (Weisz and Caine) are exiting from the same side. A fat woman was trying to cry no photos. And Weisz's driver pointed out that she signed for me. I told him I still needed the photo op. He goes "oh c'mon"

They both come out. Caine seems better guarded. I beg Weisz for the photo op and to my shock I got it! This is a hard photo op to get so I felt like a Master right there! I then try to run to beg Caine but he's in the car and denies me 

I rush to the next spot. For another shot at Michael Caine. Sadly at this spot security is brutal. You basically couldn't get to anyone certainly not Michael Caine. Only thing I got at this spot was a picture with Radioman's bike. Caine is rushed to his car both going in and out and that same fat woman tries to cockblock us! 

Rush to the next spot for Caine where that same fat woman comes out of Caine's car. Caine goes inside his hotel and ignores all 5 of us at this spot. 

After this Caine failure it was off to a spot for Quentin Tarantino. He's actually not that big of a want of mine but getting something sure beats getting nothing. I arrive at the spot and mooch my way inside. I get a photo op with Walton Goggins and Jennifer Jason Leigh. I also get Kevin Kline but I had him before. Now it's  Quentin's turn. Two of my buddies get perfect shots with him then when it was my turn he goes "I don't do photo ops inside theaters" but he would shake hands and converse.  Really? he did say he would do them outside. When we got outside he was MOBBED and I finally managed to get the selfie! 

I called it a night. While eating $1 pizza slices I get a tip from a Master combo hunter for Keanu Reeves. Already had him but would love to get him John Wick suited. I waited there and was joined by Vanessa and Dave. Sadly it seemed Keanu was not coming back for a while. And I wanted to try for Michael Caine again in the morning. Not wanting to wear myself out since Michael Caine was still my primary target I decided to give up on John Wick suited Reeves, get a free parking spot, and get some rest to prepare for another shot at Michael Caine. 

While I failed on my main target, I would hardly call this day a bust. Weisz, Keitel, Tarantino and then some is a pretty damn good evening. 

Full list of day 1 photo ops

Harvey Keitel

Rachel Weisz

Quentin Tarantino

Day 2

I wake up and walk to last spot where Michael Caine ignored everyone the night before. I wait and I wait and suddenly he comes out with his wife. I asked for a photo op he goes "quickly". First photo op is blurry I get another and it turns out good! The pressure is off and my reaction is this face I simply couldn't believe it! The pressure was off and I was now in bonus mode. I waited more cause I still needed autographs. I would be joined by a Master combo hunter and then bywho just arrived in NYC. Joresky then spots Nana Visitor from Star Trek and I get a photo op with her. We wait longer and see Caine's vehicle. He comes out I get my autographs and the others get combos. I guess hindsight is 20/20 I could have stayed up for John Wick suited Reeves and gotten my Caine combo. But I should just be grateful I got Michael Caine. 

We go to a spot where we hope to see Chris Hemsworth, Ron Howard, and Tom Holland (the new Spiderman). Hemsworth comes out and is nice as can be despite handlers rushing him. I get a photo op but sadly it's really just an update for me. We wait and no one else comes out and all the Masters left. We assume Holland wasn't there but that was a huge mistake cause we later found out he was in fact there 

We were about to go eat but then saw some Masters outside a spot and decided to wait. We didn't know who we were waiting for. We see Ray J and get a photo op but that's not who everyone was waiting for. When all Masters leave we gave up which in hindsight was another huge mistake because someone got a photo op with John Boyega from Star Wars. After getting some $1 pizza slices we go for Mamie Gummer where we meet up with Greg. She is nice as can be unlike her mother.  

We then go for Stephen Root who plays Milton in Office Space. He does a combo but doesn't sign more than one thing. We also get photo ops with Kristine Nielsen, Lois Smith, and Noah Bean. Then to a spot with Larisa Oleynik who I didn't really need as I got before. And then a spot for Matt Ryan AKA Constantine. He is nice as can be as is Judith Light who I get another photo op with. Then I go find information for the next spot where I hope to get actor Matthew McConaughey and Adele. I fish out the info then off we all go. 

Now this spot is chaotic, in part because Star Wars actors were expected. Wow the crowd was so big that it was impossible to get anything. Matthew McConaughey goes in does nothing. We were also told JJ Abrams came in but I had him so no big deal. Daisy Ridley goes in but again nothing. Finn Wittrock is spotted and I get a photo op. Since this spot is a nightmare a lot of people decide to bail and try other spots. Me, Joresky, and others stayed. Since ironically the crowd caused so many people to leave suddenly the spot wasn't so crowded anymore. So exits are a little more fruitful. Daisy Ridley comes out and does photo ops! Masters who tried for her at the next spot didn't get her!

I then see Kate McKinnon who ALWAYS blows me off and she did so again. Joresky then points out that she's doing photo ops across the street I then run across the street, beg, and SCORE! Wow I guess 100th time asking for the photo op was the charm! 

Joresky spotted singer/actress Jenny Lewis (lead singer of Rilo Kiley, actress in the 80s video game movie The Wizard) and I get a photo op. Sadly there were blow offs, namely Jonah Hill and Emma Stone who did nothing for no one. Emily Blunt also left and did nothing. John Boyga and Adele never came to this spot. 

After I dropped off Joresky to the bus station I stayed over to try and get some other names the next day

Day 3

I wake up and go to a spot to redeem missing Boyega. I am joined by Greg and soon after others combo hunters join. At one point we thought we saw Daisy Ridley whiz by. We wait some more and two combo hunters go to another spot and lie to us about it. When they come back I told them my plan to go for Ron Howard later this evening to get him on my Apollo 13 laserdisc. One of the graphers who left earlier told me that Ron Howard was just on the other side of the street and he's about to come out (essentially telling me this was where he snuck off to). So me and Greg go to the other side. Chris Hemsworth also comes out but I had no need for him. I get a combo with Ron Howard and his autograph on my laserdisc comes out fantastic. 

Back to the Boyega spot, we find out that both him and Daisy left earlier in the morning. So that was it. I went by Al Pacino's spot but it was too late to get a good railing position. So I just called it and went home. Thanks to the combo hunter who initially lied then told me about the Ron Howard spot right there and then to save me from staying the evening. With that I decided to quite while ahead. 

Now to showcase autographs obtained: 

The laserdisc has Kevin, Bill, Ed, Gary and now Ron Howard signed in gold at the bottom. Now only missing Tom Hanks. I actually got the same vinyl signed in the past but this one turned out better so I'm selling my old one. 

Of course, Weisz had all the space in the world yet she chooses to go over other graphs at least it still looks ok. While her graph is horrid I checked an autograph I got from her on a program when she did a show with Daniel Craig, and the one on this photo is slightly better than the one on the program. So I guess this is her standard graph. 

Rhode Island Comic Con weekend 2015

With some good rare names at RICC, me and embarked to NYC for some meets and then to RICC. 

The first stop for the evening was a Viggo Mortensen book signing,  thanks to who first texted me that tip. 

We arrive at the book store and meet up with inside. He informs us there's a book signing. Soon after we are joined by Vanessa the Jersey Shore Stalker and her friend Dave. 

The book is about $16 with tax. We buy the book. Looking at that book it didn't even seem correct for him to sign it. But whatever gets us the photo op. 

We were in line Greg gets the photo op. When it came to our turn he said didn't want to pose and says to take it while he's signing! WTF? To add insult to injury not 5 minutes after us Vanessa gets a perfectly valid selfie! So we went to the end of the line to try again but a few people trickled behind us. Then when he rejected us saying he did take photo ops (wrong, he took no valid shots with us) and again and told us to go to the end of the line we did so yet again. Then when we were at the end he yelled at us yet again telling us to go to the end and I told him, "but this IS the end of the line" 

He then scoped it out and did not want to do photo ops. When me and Joresky were walking away with our heads down he begrudgingly agreed to photo ops with us saying "come on, just do it, quickly". This is where we got a good shot and Joresky sadly got a blurry one. 

We waited a bit and I had to make a semi lie saying that his camera battery died so I'm using my camera. He said he didn't believe us and told us to leave. As we did yet again with our heads down he begrudgingly agreed to do photo ops with us saying "come on, just do it, quickly" and I took Joresky's second shot. 

He then yelled at ME again when Vanessa's friend David couldn't get his cell phone to function and I volunteered to take his photo op and he was saying "I already took photos" Really I'm trying to help and he's STILL cursing me out?

After I took David's photo op he then told us to get out and literally was shoving us out the door. At that point I was too afraid to ask him to sign the 8x10 I printed. 

While it would be different if he was a dick to everyone, he seemed to single both of us out. And others got extras signed without any issue. 

Of course, this was no doubt a success. But it was quite the traumatizing success. I never imagined succeeding would leave such a bitter taste in my mouth. Of course it's still miles MILES ahead of not getting the photo op.

And yes, I could care less about that book as he pointed out. I just wanted a Viggo combo. It was barely even correct for him to sign it. He is not even the author. I believe that book was even out before his involvement. Then he contributed some content to it and it was re released. The back of the book has a long list of names that contributed to it and his was amongst them (and near the bottom). I had no interest in even keeping such an item in my hands, and I didn't believe it could be sold as it was personalized (he insisted). I asked Vanessa if she wanted my copy and she took it. No idea what she can do with a book signed to me. But if she has more use for it than me, more power to her. 

But again he singled us out in that respect as well. Other people were bringing him items and did not even BUY the book at all. At least me and Joresky *pretended* to care about that book.

Up to the MSG to meet some 80s rock bands. We circled about 2-3 times till we found the place to stand. When we did someone was waiting for Ansel Elgort. He came out and we got photo ops sadly this was just an upgrade for me as I already had him. 

Then we wait some more we see DMC come out of the door and does photo ops no problem. Two other graphers stand next to us. Then we see people trickling out from somewhere else including Dee Snider. I get a combo with him. Already had a photo op but here he has no shades. We quickly figure out the right door where everyone else is coming out from. I spot Mike Score from Flock of Seagulls and he seemed surprised we all wanted combos from him, but was as friendly as can be. Then off to Lou Gramm where I didn't need a photo op as I got a perfect one in the past. I get all my stuff signed he's nice as can be. 

We sadly didn't see Tone Loc so he must have left earlier. And we did miss Tiffany and Debbie Gibson but I had those two so it was no big deal. Plus I actually didn't bring anything for them to sign. Now we wait for Howard Jones. He finally comes out and says 2 things per person. I get my vinyls done and get a photo op. Then MTV VJ Jesse Camp comes out and I can't believe how nice he is. He was chatting, posing in many poses, talking, wow I couldn't believe it. He was actually inviting us to take a picture with him! Me and Joresky actually wondered if he was even valid because how could any celebrity even the lower ones be THAT friendly, but upon googling him and reading his wiki page he is valid. 

Despite no Tone Loc, a very miserable Viggo, and struggling to find where to stand, this was a refreshingly successful evening 

After this it was off to Rhode Island. Asian Dave was generous enough to offer us a room and I thank him for it as I could have let Joresky sleep there while I get sound sleep in my car, but it would have added 30 minutes more to our drive plus another 30 minutes coming back from the hotel to RICC. Rather than adding another hour's worth of driving, we chose to simply park in the RICC garage and sleep. 

Full list of Friday photo ops

Viggo Mortensen

Ansel Elgort

Mike Score

Dee Snider

Howard Jones

Signed photos

Signed vinyls


Wake up for RICC. I enter and have to run around from one place to another till I found out where to redeem my Transformers voice actors tickets. Then I'm told they don't have tickets and to come back to the stand to collect them! 

I make my first task is to get Amy Jo Johnson. I was helping someone out getting two figures signed in the hopes that I could jump the line (due to pre order) and get a table op, but sadly this plan failed. Pre orders couldn't jump the line and table ops weren't happening. 

After I get the Amy Jo autographs I redeem my Transformers ticket. While waiting in line for Amy Jo photo ops I debrief Joresky on where to go to redeem his Transformers tickets. I then send him off on a mission to get us both some items to be signed. Without going into detail on why I had nothing to get signed it was because I wasn't initially planning to get their autographs. They gave out a 3D poster but it wasn't suitable to be signed. And they gave a comic book but since the voice actors didn't have any part in the comic book that item wasn't correct.  

The Amy Jo photo ops were delayed due to trouble with the camera and Amy actually went down the line to apologize and explain the situation. Wow that was very nice of her. When going up to pay for the photo op they asked if I wanted a print out, jpeg, or both. I said jpeg. I took a gamble because print + jpeg would have cost more. I wanted to save money but that mean I was leaving the con without my Amy Jo photo op. But the gamble paid off cause I eventually got the jpeg without issue. Amy was friendly and did not make you feel rushed or anything. This was probably the best experience I had in a pro op. Not too expensive, didn't have to pay extra for the jpeg, didn't have to pick up a print I didn't need, and Amy was genuinely appreciate of everyone. It really felt more like a glorified table op rather than a pro op (which was a good thing). 

I then joined Greg, Sean, Joresky, and Asian Dave in the Transformers line. Sadly Joresky picked the 80s Transformers movie poster where Megatron and Optimus didn't have a big role. Granted it would be correct to have them sign it but I wanted a better item for them. So I ventured down and found something better. Both voice actors were cool and I got the dual shot. I sold my poster on ebay for $100 which helped me recoup money I paid for that photo op. 

After my "big two" tasks were done, it was smooth sailing for me. Went to Brian Barth's table and got Lorenzo Lamas, then got Tami Stronach AKA the Childlike Empress from Neverending Story. She was sort of Empress suited for the photo op which was a nice touch. Me and Joresky then went by Austin St John's table and saw that he was clean shaven. Sadly that meant I had to get that photo op again. So we split the photo op. Then it was on to some lower tier Star Wars names in Michael Carter, Clive Revill, Garrick Hagon, and Dermot Crowley (had Garrick but needed a better shot, the rest were new). My final get at the con was Will Friedle from Boy Meets World. 

Full list of RICC photo ops

Amy Jo Johnson

Frank Welker and Peter Cullen

Lorenzo Lamas

Tami Stronach

Austin St. John

Poster that I sold

On to NYC for some more meets! Our first stop is Piper Perabo who I need a better picture with but sadly we are too late. We then go to another spot for Lea Salonga and George Tekei. Joresky had to get the front spot for a Lea photo op but for me I only needed an autograph as I got her before so I didn't need the front. As soon as she comes out I get the autograph. 

The next spot is a Donald Trump spot. Thankfully I have two photo ops with him so this was a stress free autograph only mission. First person we see is Aziz Ansari and I get a photo op though I had him already. We see Larry David and I try to upgrade my shot but sadly it comes out invalid as he looks away. Radioman also shows up at that spot. I also get a photo op with actor Tyler Labine. Trump arrives and is mobbed. For some reason he is ignoring my 8x10, so I have him sign my other 8x10. I also get him on an ECW belt buckle for Scorpion Faced Tony and Trump marks out for that. I then sent Scorpion Faced Tony a picture of it and he was overjoyed. Singer Sia arrived and is wearing a mask. Wow I hope other celebrities don't get ideas. 

On exits I get Trump to sign for me again despite Trump's security trying to stop me (and on the photo he ignored on entry). I also manage to get a photo op with Bill O'Reilly and with B52s singer Kate Pierson. We also thought we saw basketball player Amaury Studemire go in but when he exited turned out it wasn't him and the spot's security guards laughed at us. 

Full list of post RICC Saturday photo ops

Kate Pierson


This day's we go by the philosophy of "aim low and actually get". We go to our first spot and get Patrick Breen (Quellek in Galaxy Quest) who was very nice. The next person we spot is actress Tammy Blanchard (Florinda in Into the Woods) and she was nice. Next is John Benjamin Hickey. After this we spotted actor Hoon Lee (Master Splinter in Nickelodeon's TMNT cartoon) and he took photos with us no problem. After this we saw Kellie Overbey and we asked for a photo but she declined saying she had no makeup on but said she would do it after the event.

Next up I decide to try for Mamie Gummer but never see her. We then head to the Piper Perabo spot and thankfully we didn't miss her this time. She was nice as can be she signed and took photo ops. We then wanted to roll the dice for Mark Strong for Green Lantern. We drive there, park for free, then run to the spot. To my shock we didn't miss anything. Get some lower names and of course a Mark Strong combo! Success! 

We pick up $1 pizza slices then head back. Joresky wants to stop by a concert in Baltimore for the band Dead Sara. I questioned my sanity in embarking on this but we did. Got photo ops with all four members. 

Full list if Sunday NYC photo ops

Dead Sara photo ops

Piper Perabo

Mark Strong

Saturday and Sunday NYC autographs

Monday, November 30, 2015

Some meets in late October and early November

In late October a few days after Chiller I attended an Exorcist signing with director William Friedkin and author William Peter Blatty. I already met Blatty before so Friedkin would be a new meet for me. 

I arrive and wait in line. Blatty is late but William arrives and goes through the line to say hi to people. While he does that I ask for a selfie. I get the shot, primary objective is done early. So I was essentially in bonus mode from this point forth. This was a fantastic move because at the signing anyone that did get a photo op while he was signing got an over the table shot.

I go through line and I get Friedkin on my Exorcist digibook blu ray (already signed by Blatty the previous time I met him). I tried to get another item signed but he wouldn't do it. At this point Blatty arrived so I had to juggle a spot in two lines. I was successful because I got Blatty on two Exorcist photos and went back in line and got Friedkin yet again on the other photo. Did not bother with a Blatty photo op as I had it. 

After the signing a Master combo hunter got Friedkin to sign more for him so I joined in and I got him on yet another photo for me. 

They were doing a post signing event commemorating the steps, but after this sweeping success I chose to go on a craigslist hookup. 

William Friedkin photo op

Signed blu ray digi book

Photos signed

Both Williams signing

Next up a day in early November where I have two objectives. Original Guns and Roses drummer Steve Adler and actress Helen Mirren. Steve Adler is such a nice guy he's basically a guarantee, and Helen I did not have hopes. Two reasons: the venue wasn't the best and she is known to blow people off for the photo op. 

So I go to the art gallery where Adler is trying to sell art that cost $500 and up. I stand in line and it is my turn to meet him. He is nice as can be, takes the photo op, shakes my hand, and even sits down and changes pens to sign autographs. Wow I wish all meets could be this pleasant. You have Ringo that charges over 3K and doesn't even sign the book he's promoting, and here you have Adler that is as accommodating as can be for nothing. 

I then go to try for Hellen Mirren. The setup is she is leaving one spot and going to the next spot. I choose the next spot since she has been known to garage at the first spot. I go to the next spot and watch cars pull up and people go in but don't see her. 

After entries are done an elderly couple arrive to meet her. They point out another side door that I didn't know about. We wait there and suspect that's where she came in. There was a dinner and after the dinner there was a dance. We were concerned she would stay for the dance. People trickle out after the dinner and I actually spot Helen before the others. As she is entering her car I ask her for an autograph from across and she says to come on over. My reaction was this face I ask her to sign a picture from calendar girls where she is nude and holding her breasts. She refuses to I have her sign another picture. While she signs for the elderly couple I ask for a photo op at first she refuses but as luck would have it she was signing a photo op. I ask again and she poses I could not believe it! After the elderly couple were done I ask for one more item signed and I got that. 

In this sick passtime it is truly rare you hit all your targets, especially when you were not expecting to. 

Steve Adler photo op

Signed Guns and Roses CDs

Helen Mirren photo op (strangely the full autograph was actually the second item she signed)

Helen Mirren autographs 

Next up was music legend and Beach Boys front man Brian Wilson! He is someone I failed to get 3 times in the past month. 

I see him again and I get a photo op! YES, perfect shot. I then try to get autographs unfortunately it's a semi bust autograph wise. First on my primary item he signs literally a silver dash, blemishing it Then when I get him to sign it again he signed a half decent autograph. Then on another item he almost ruined it and signed a horrid line next to Mike Love to a point where you can't even tell there's another autograph. 

I ended up removing the dash with minimal damage on my primary album resulting in an item signed by Brian, Bruce, and Mike. And I manage to almost seamlessly remove the "invisible" autograph from the other album. Sucks I got 3 scribbles and ended up with just 1 autograph, but I got a full combo from a top music name that I previously failed at so I can't complain about the end result 

Brain Wilson photo op

Now let us look at the autograph. Here you have the albums "before and after"

Notice the white one has the "dash" next to the word "The" which I had removed. I took another shot of the aftermath of the blemish close up on the lower left.

 The ugly scribble on the bottom right is the decent graph. You can clearly see Br~~ W~ And on the other album you see a long line with a curve next to Mike Love which I erased. Perhaps I would have kept it if it were far away from the Mike Love autograph. 

I was actually fortunate fortunate cause Masters actually had their items ruined as he signed completely over other autographs.