Wednesday, March 30, 2016


On a day in march I had two goals. Pete Townshend, lead guitarist of The Who, and Don Cheadle (Ocean's Twelve, Ocean's Thirteen, Iron Man 2-3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, among others). 

In previous days Pete has been sick and did nothing for no one and Roger Daltrey was being a total dick even denying people before they ask for anything. 

I arrive at the Who spot. Already other graphers are there. More arrive including markedout's adelta with two graphers. He was actually playing minion to one of the graphers who gave him a ride (in exchange for autos) while the other grapher was using his mom (yes his mom) as a minion. 

Time passes we do see Roger and of course he blows us off. The old lady even tried for him at the car window he still ignored her. When Roger came back the grapher was upset his mom was sitting aside reading a book because he thought if she went up to him in time he would have signed for her. 

Pete's security guard tells us that he is still stick and won't be signing today and "maybe tomorrow". When Pete shows up one grapher spots him and he still ignored. Then we all pop up and Pete just goes in the car. Big bust. 

Now I still have two opportunities ahead. A late train for Don Cheadle and Pete coming back from the venue. Both Don and Pete somewhat conflict, but I decide to go for Don and rush for Pete.

So I go to Costco to kill some time and eat some hot dog and ice cream, then head for Don. I park the car, go inside while two people are waiting outside with a car parked out front. 

I see Don and ask right off the bat he says he can't stop. As he is walking I ask for a shot while he's walking he says ok. First shot is blurry and invalid, but I get a second shot that is much better. Looks almost invalid but he is clearly posing so I think it counts. 

He goes outside and denies the two waiting outside. Then when he goes in the car he signs and one guy gets a car shot. 

The grapher heads directly to the Pete spot, and I go to the car and head directly there. I'm about 2 minutes away from the spot and get a call. He asks where I am I tell him. He said he arrived, 30 seconds later Pete arrives and signs 5 things for him. I arrive at the spot and the grapher shows me 5 albums done and is dancing in celebration. I was beside myself. Other graphers heard the news and were upset but said I should feel "really" bad because I was there and just missed him. I don't think I felt as bad as I should have with the many many misses and blunders over the years. It's like I'm desensitized. To make matters worse Don's train as about 15 minutes later. Had it been on time I would have made the Pete spot with minutes to spare 

With news of Pete success spreaking, the next morning graphers were waiting yet again. And I decided to give it one last ditch effort. After all how many other opportunities for Pete Townshend will present themselves in the future? 

The witching hour arrives and we approach, he tells us to back off and his security guard is also there, but moments later CHAOS ensues. I guess it makes too much sense for the guard to tell everyone to calmly line up To make matters worse, Pete had his own shitty black sharpie. Triple Ugh! Despite shoving, pushing, and Pete yelling at people to back off I get two things done in the bad sharpie (one bad autograph and one really bad autograph) and somehow manage to get a valid photo op! At one point someone got him to switch pens then when the grapher who got him mom the day before put up 5 things to get signed (he had gotten 3 things done with the bad one) another grapher shoved him away yelling "don't put your stuff on top of me"

Pete left and the two graphers ended up in a HUGE fight/argument, head butting, cursing each other out, and throwing punches. Meanwhile a third grapher was trying to play peace keeper saying "guys, not here". The one who brought his mom the prior day said things like "you prevented me from getting stuff with the good marker, now I won't be able to pay my bills". 

I was recording and when they realized one of the graphers attacked me and threw me into a cab. The cab driver then said he wanted to call the cops on him because his car was damaged. But the grapher went to the cab and said "this can easily be removed" as he used his saliva to remove the marking. 

After the fact everyone shook hands and made up. We did not even bother to wait for Roger to exit. 

What a difference 2 minutes can make. The night before I could have had perfect autographs and a photo op and not dedicated any more time. But at least this story has a happy ending since I got the photo op 

Don Cheadle photo op

Don Cheadle autograph

Pete Townshend photo op

Pete Townshend autographs 

On another day I decide to try for another Avengers related name, namely Tom Hiddleston AKA Loki. Sadly he had been soured up in NYC so I was bracing for the worst. I arrive at the airport, graphers are there including markedout's adelta. We wait and never see him. We then found out he bumped his plane to the next one. So we wait longer. Meanwhile Joe Lieberman is spotted and we get photo ops. 

Finally he arrives and right off the bat he denies everybody. Airforce guy tried to use the military card but to no avail. As he walked outside I beg for walking selfie and he agrees and I get that. Photo is slightly blurry and not the best, but passable and valid. Thankfully a pap takes a MUCH better shot. When that shot was sent to me my reaction was this face 

He gets in the car and people beg for a roll down but he does not bite. 

With this photo op, I am now officially out of the Wizard World fuck money fest in June. I will still go for other names but as far as the Marvel names go I am good! Only way I would pay for anything Marvel related at that fuck money fest would be if any of the announced guests are fully suited or if they announce someone named Samuel or Scarlet. 

After this success I go to Costco, hot dog and ice cream, charge my phone, relax, and go to Hiddleston's event. At the event the only other grapher is the old timer. He wasn't happy when I told him that Tom signed nothing for no one at the airport but said "maybe he'll see me with my cane and feel sorry for me". 

He arrives at almost the last minute. The venue folks are trying to back us off but we ignore them completely and do our thing. First I get a photo op with director and producer Marc Abraham who is nice as can be then we ask Tom he says he has to go in. Marc apparently told him to sign (according to the old timer I didn't hear that) but he does one per for 3 people. He was wearing spectacles so I didn't even ask for a photo op as that would be a downgrade. 

While I dedicated more time than I would have liked, overall I'd say fruitful and successful.  

Joe Lieberman

Tom Hiddleston take 1

Tom Hiddleston take 2

Marc Abraham


Monday, March 28, 2016

I went to the BARBERSHOP

There were two events that featured Regina Hall, Cedric the Entertainer, and Ice Cube. Of those 3 names I need Regina Hall who I know best from the Scary Movie films, upgrade with Ice Cube since he is wearing a cap and shades in my shot, and a decent "get if there" name in Cedric. So this was worth embarking on. 

The first event was an in writing meet and greet. So it made sense to go there. I arrive, find a free parking spot about 7 blocks away, walk to the event, and line up. We are taken inside and right there and then things start to go sour. There are TWO seats instead of three! I asked and apparently Regina would be "late" which would turn out to be code for "no show". This sadly meant I would have to go to the second event regardless. 

We start and they say someone will take your photo op. Seconds pass and now you can take selfies if you're quick. More seconds pass and now photo ops are not allowed! This all happened within a 1 minute time span 

It is my turn, I get Ice Cube to sign an 8x10 plus the poster they provided. Then I ask for a selfie he goes "if you can get it" then on to Cedric who signs the poster and poses for a selfie as well. 

The photo ops, whilst valid, where not very pleasing to look at. Ice cube seemed like a downgrade even though he was wearing no hat. Plus no way I could call it a day as I still didn't have Regina. So I stuck around and hopped to the end of the line for another shot at photo ops. But at that point they were being REALLY strict on photo ops. I did however get another poster signed. 

I then waited outside and both actors came in the barbershop bus (where they were offering free haircuts). There was a crowd so any shots would be tough, but as they went to their cars I somehow grabbed selfies that look much better than the table shots. 

Killed some time and then headed to the spot for the next event. It was a big ass mall where I've never ever been. But I commandeered an almost free parking spot and went. I scouted it out and eventually saw a old timer combo hunter. I wouldn't call him a "Master" but he has been doing it since the 1940s so he's not without experience. He told me that he's done many events here and 90% of the time this is the door they come in from. Perfect so now I was a little more at ease. 

We wait and the cars pull up at that very door. I see both Cedric and Ice Cube enter and I'm looking for Regina. I finally see her and ask for a photo op and she is nice as can be. Signed and did the photo op. Sadly she signed on a dark spot on the two posters but still valid (to be specific she signed on Ice Cube's crotch). 

I waited for exits cause I heard Common might have slipped inside as I was looking for Regina (already had him but could add him to the posters) but that turned out to not be the case. On exits I got much better shots with Ice Cube and Cedric (though Ice Cube is wearing shades at night, still an upgrade over my old shot). 

One older woman who was randomly walking by was on orgasm as she saw Ice Cube and got a photo op with him. 

Hindsight is 20/20 I should not have wasted time with the meet and greet and should have done the second event. Goes to show you that there are no rules when it comes to success in combo hunting. The non-guaranteed event was better than the "meet and greet" in every shape and form. Better photo ops, more celebs, the works. 

Full list of photo ops

Regina Hall

Ice Cube

Cedric the Entertainer


Thursday, March 17, 2016

The A list scores in NYC

After Monstermania I was on my way with to NYC! Our friend Suzanne had already obtained Will Smith. It was a bit heart crushing that she got Will Smith while I was getting scrubs at Monstermania (albeit guaranteed scrubs) but I would have a chance to redeem this. 

But before we would hit up this spot we would arrive at an "easy" spot for Robin Tunney and Zachary Quinto. And this spot we would meet up with our Australian buddy Josh. Josh tends to rack a lot of good names whenever he combo hunts. So me and Joresky decided to stick with him so that his good luck rubs off on us. 

First we spot Zachary Quinto who is nicer than he used to be in the past. I have a picture with him from before but got a nice upgrade. Also got my photo signed. 

Robin Tunney comes out she says quickly cause she has to go but does multi combos anyway. I got my three items done plus the photo op. 

Off to the spot for Will Smith and Helen Mirren. We arrive and figure out the right place to wait by spotting Masters. None other than was also at that spot. A Master asks me to help him with autos but I said truthfully I had my own items. Also it turns out Helen Mirren is not there. Didn't affect me cause I had her. After a wait we see Will Smith and I ask for a photo op. WTF my camera is acting up but thankfully Will is a nice guy and I get the shot! I then manage to score not one but TWO autographs! I couldn't believe it. My luck turned around!  

I then ran down the street to yell and scream in victory then came back. I then told the Master to give me items to get signed. He has helped me with info in the past so if once in a while I play temporary role of minion and get him some autos it is the least thing, in my opinion. 

When Will Smith comes out he says he will do walk along selfies but no autos. Despite that one guy manages to get an auto and I get right to him for an auto but he didn't sign for me. Oh well at least I tried. 

From this point one, everything else was just gravy. I got an A lister that has eluded me for a long time plus autographs! This was a rare victory for me. Additionally most other photo ops I've seen he either has a hat or a cap, but this is the only time he had neither! Wow just wow! 

After this great victory we went to a spot in the hopes of seeing randoms but saw no one we recognized. We then got some $1 pizza, commandeered a free parking spot for the day, then went to sleep. 

Wow I can't believe it, hindsight is 20/20 I did every single thing right that day. I got the guarantees at Monstermania, hit up the "easy" spot and didn't miss Will Smith in doing so, then I got a perfect combo and extra with Will Smith, no hat or cap to boot! This is such a rarity for me, so I REALLY appreciate it when that happens. 

Zachary Quinto

Robin Tunney

Will Smith

The next day was more or less the classic bell shaped curve. It would start off slow, shoot up, and then plummet again.

We wake up, and I go wash up, take a crap, and charge my phone. Meanwhile we get a tip for a My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 spot. Me and Joresky go there and after a while see nothing. We decide to go to other spots. We wait for Wayne Brady. We see him coming in wearing a hat and shades and on the phone. As he is about to enter Joresky asks him for a photo op. He then says he's on the phone with his daughter and if he has to choose it will be his daughter every time. He says he will come back out to take a picture but told Joresky to watch his face. 

Minutes later true to his word he does come out and does photo ops with us. I was hoping he would at least take off the hat or shades but no luck on that front. We then go to a spot for Saiorse Ronan and Ben Whishaw but sadly never see them go in. However, going to this spot would turn out to be a brilliant move. Because we saw a Master who conversed with us and told us the technique required to increase our odds for Ed Harris and Lupita Nyong'o photo ops! On a side note, according to this Master he can stay home for 6 months and be ok. "That's how much money I have" according to him. 

Next up we try for Forest Whitaker but sadly he didn't come out. We got Frank Wood. Then we try for Ed Harris using the new info we got. Sadly Ed doesn't come out but we do get  Bill Irwin, Larry Pine, Taissa Farmiga, Nat Wolff, Paul Sparks, and Rich Sommer. Not too shabby.

Stopped by the Lupita Nyong'o spot to obtain materials and she never came out. Then off to the Saiorse Ronan and Ben Whishaw spot but they don't come out either. Did get actor Jim Norton though. But wow 4 spots and not ONCE did we get the main person we wanted. 

Back to the My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 spot didn't see them but we do see Howie Mandel and I get a photo op. 

Now it's time to hit up the previous spots in the hopes that our luck would turn around. On our way we see Danny Woodburn randomly. He blew off Joresky for a photo op. I had no reason to chase him down since I got a photo op at Chiller, but Joresky did and still failed. After some $1 pizza we go back to Forest Whitaker. After two failed attempts we finally see him and get the photo op. Sadly he didn't sign merch. Off to the Ed Harris spot. We did exactly what we were told to increase our odds. But even that wasn't enough because when him and his wife came out neither one did photo ops. Ed said there were too many people but then would waste time BS-ing with everyone. WTF Ed also signed my 8x10. After most of the crowd left we had our Australian buddy try to break him and it worked and we all got photo ops! I couldn't believe it! This is a tough photo op to get we had to use the tip given to us which put us in the playing field AND we had to use the "Australian" card. 
After this success I ran over to the
 Lupita Nyong'o spot. I had to follow the stealth related technique I was told in order to get that photo op. When it was time to strike I commandeered my front rail spot. Since Joresky didn't run he got there too late and was behind me (ie second row). Lupita finally comes out after taking her sweet time and signs my item. I ask for a selfie and she agreed to it! Sucks she has hat and shades (at night) but she is a tough photo op to get so I'll take this valid shot. 

Wow I couldn't believe it. I successfully sniped 3 for 3! Forest, Ed, Lupita! The day is redeemed! Although to be honest I'd want another Ed because hat plus beard kinda screams upgrade. After I got Lupita I gave Joresky my spot but sadly his shot came out blurry. 

Now it was off to a spot where I wanted Three Doors Down and Joresky wanted Stevie Wonder. Since Joresky felt defeated he thought it was too late for Stevie. He stopped by McDonald's for a chocolate shake and I continued to the spot. Not 5 minutes later Stevie came out! His handler said no autographs but he will do photo ops. Everyone lined up and he took photo ops. I got two shots since the first looked invalid but this is my second time meeting him so it wasn't much of a victory. I wish it were Three Doors Down. Australian Josh came 10 seconds too late as he was already in the door when he arrived. And Joresky arrived about 5 minutes late and had the look of death in his face as Josh recorded me showing him the Stevie Wonder photo op. In an unusual twist (for this spot) an employee at that spot tried to kick us away. We backed away to a certain point yet he still wanted us to go. At this point we all simply ignored him and he gave up telling us to leave after a minute or two. But shortly after I went to get the car in order to be ready for the final spot for the evening. 

The final spot for the evening was one for Ariana Grande. I have her but could use a better shot and this spot typically gets randoms. Sadly the only good random was Larry David and he did nothing for no one. Ariana attracted a huge crowd and this pretty much made the spot worthless. 

Here is where the annoying part lies. They pulled her car to the side door on private property implying that it was game over. Then they moved the car back to the front door and setup barricades implying that she intends to take care of her fans. But of course when she comes out she rushed out covering her face 

The evening ended on a low note and it was then off to sleep. 

Forest Whitaker

Ed Harris take 1

Ed Harris take 2

Lupita Nyongo

Stevie Wonder

Full list of photo ops for the day

The final day starts with the Stevie Wonder spot, but then we move to a spot for actor Campbell Scott since this is his last day at the spot. Joresky spots him 20 minutes later and he does photo ops no issue. He sees the 8x10 Joresky has and is shocked that someone actually has merch for him. I got him on my Amazing Spiderman 2 poster already signed by director Marc Webb. We made his last day a day of happiness, and he started our day with happiness. Why can't it always be that way. 

Next up we get a tip for a Robert De Niro spot. I already have him but wouldn't mind another shot. We arrive and stand in one spot and get blocked by a security guard. We re position ourselves away from that guard and we see Harvey Keitel. I let Joresky have that since I got it already. He goes "make it quick" and Joresky gets the shot. 

We wait for returns and see director Taylor Hackford and he blows us off in disgust. One of his assistant thanked us for being polite. 

When De Niro walked back it was just me and Joresky, no security guard, couldn't have been a calmer setting, he said "not now" when we asked. Seconds later Australian Josh arrives.

We eat and Wendy's then try again, same response and this time a grapher was present. Damn. 

More people arrive, with the presence of more photo op people and more dealers we contemplated giving up, even went to get the car and $1 pizza slices, but decided to make one last ditch effort. To our shock, he actually posed and we all got selfies 

This being my second photo op with him it wasn't so much of a victory, but I guess this was Joresky's "Will Smith". 

To be honest I was more glad he got it than me, because that meant I would not have misery, whining, and complaining on the way home. Instead Joresky was happy and in a state of major drug induced euphoria. 

Campbell Scott

Robert De Niro

All the autographs obtained 

Laura Prepon book signing and Monstermania

During the weekend of Big Event my initial plan was to go for Laura Prepon and do other NYC spots in addition to Big Event. For a couple of reasons I decided to change those plans, something I regret doing after Jonah Hill did photo ops and seeing those cool gimmick shots at Big Event (among other info that popped up). BUT I did go to the Laura Prepon book signing. I had two people in the car with me and I had someone to buy the book off of me. Plus the photo op was a guarantee. So this quick in and out made sense. 

I left for Bookends with and one other friend. 

The line at bookends was not long at all. Laura had pre signed the book and the other author Elizabeth Troy 
was at a table signing books as well. I asked Elizabeth for a photo op and she goes "of course, thanks for coming". Then got the nice standing photo op with Laura. Wow I wish all book signing were that smooth and stress free. 

After the signing we waited for her to leave in order to get extras done. One of my travelling buddies only cared for the extra so he didn't get his "photo op" so to speak. In an odd twist, one girl who was already inside and got a photo op said she was outside "to get a selfie". My reaction was this face It's like if you already have a perfect shot and nothing to get signed why even waste your time? 

She finally comes out and she looks like she doesn't know why we're there even though we have our merch out. I call for her asking to sign she goes "ohh sure" as if no one has ever asked her before. It's like, doesn't she know she's a valid celebrity?  On a side note she ignored all requests for photo ops.

There was a Will Smith spot I was thinking of hitting up but turns out he wasn't there. On our way back we hit a buffet. It was priced more than your typical buffet but any tiny plate on the menu was like $12 so might as well pay a little more and feast like a king. 

Laura Prepon

From the "barely valid" realm, author Elizabeth Troy

Book that I instantly sold

Extra item I got signed

With changed plans, I decided to stop by Monstermania with Joresky. No one there I really needed but it was a good prelude of guarantees as a pre NYC stop. 

In this Monstermania I went the "photo op only" route. First I got Jordan Ladd who was looking damn good. Upgraded my Robert Carradine cause my previous shot is a NYCC table shot. Sadly he had a beard which took away from the shot. Then Zoe Bell and Abraham Benrubi. Kate Hodge had no photo op only price so I found someone who only cared for the autograph and split with him. That worked out well. Then I got free photo ops with Lost Boys G Tom Mac and Billy Wirth. Then Lost Boy Jamison Newlander. I ended Monstermania with a Alexandra Breckenridge split with Joresky. 

During my time at MM our friend Suzanne said she just got Will Smith and that he's at a spot. With that news, it was off to try for an A lister who has eluded me, Will Smith! 

Full list of photo ops

Robert Carradine

Alexandra Breckenridge