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


Full list of photo ops


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


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


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