Another Hollywood Show has come and gone, and I came, I saw, I kicked its ass.
I just went and had a lot of fun.
I was gonna ask this Christian Bale dummy for a photo but was afraid it would berate me
This was one of my longest trips out to Burbank because I combined a bunch of networking meetings with the show, which to be honest was not as thrilling as some have been in the past due to a lack of massive stars. But even though the show only had a few really big draws this time (Henry Winkler, Tab Hunter, Dean Cain and Barbara Hale (pictured) seemed to be the most wanted), it had a large number of people I was after for one reason or another.
I even got my friend's autograph—he was in Night of the Comet (1984)
Yet again, my buddy Ivan was my sidekick, taking pic-withs, shooting B-roll and obsessing over my hydration—I try not to eat or drink for these things until after all photo ops are done!
Chris is a man of the (loin) cloth
Right off the bat, my pal Roy from Baby Jane introduced me to Christopher Atkins, 51, of The Blue Lagoon (1980) fame. I can't be the only one for whom Chris was a teenage dream—he was all over the teen mags and was shirtless (and totally nude in TBL) in most of his movies. I'm not usually a blond-chaser, but he was just cute as a button.
I think I make a better pair with Chris than Kristi McNichol did
Now, Chris is a handsome guy, supertanned because he's a nudist (life imitated art), and was very nice. He has done these shows before, bringing with him a stack of awesome original mini-posters from TBL of himself in a loin cloth pre-signed. But he also had a great folder of nudes to choose from. I went with a really beautiful Greg Gorman shot (above) in which he almost looks like Jon Bon Jovi (no?) and is showing off his best ASSet. When I asked him what it was like to work with Greg Gorman, he laughed and said he was working with him when he was just his friend Greg.
His daughter, an actress in her own right named Brittney (pictured), was right there to help with the transaction. If you think it must be an odd thing to sell men photos of your dad's butt and dick, you don't understand Hollywood and never will.
When I asked about his teenybopper-magazine memories, Chris's reaction was to exclaim, "I don't know where all that time went. Back then, it was...every day, it was another magazine." He told me he'd just been hanging out with Leif Garrett and his best friend Scott Baio (can you imagine?) and that he has movie nights with Scott all the time where Scott's wife digs out all the old teen mags with them on the cover and shows their daughter.
Next, we went for Henry Winkler, 66 (can you believe it?), who already had a decent line even before the regular attendees had entered (I always pop for "early-bird" admission, an hour before). He'd been set to attend the last show but bailed, so I'd mailed him my vintage photo to sign and he'd returned it signed, "Matt is great!" It was a great way to make me feel I was in third grade again.
Move over, babe, here comes Henry
But I wanted an in-person autograph and of course a pic-with, so we braved the line. In no time, we were up to him and he was being pulled in various directions. I seem to have a knack for attracting people who line-jump and try to infringe upon my experience with the stars. It's so annoying. You're only with them a minute or less and yet there are always people walking up who just wanna shake their hand or say hi or who once worked with them.
A Fonzie scheme
That happened, but I think the real reason Winkler wasn't especially warm to me (and he wasn't) was that my buddy Ivan was filming him and was spotted immediately. Some stars care, some don't. Winkler seemed on the fence. He signed my photo but it was all very business-like. Another friend had asked him to give the Fonzie "thumbs-up" in their photo and he'd refused. He was also asked about getting a business address for one of his celeb friends and replied, "No." Wasn't a prick, just wasn't all hugs. And hey, he has no reason to do these shows—it's a total gift to fans. A gift that costs money, but a gift.
Tab's signature is huge
Next we queued up for Tab Hunter, who just turned 81. Tab was bright-eyed and very sweet to everyone who approached him, very conversational. Too, in my case, because an elderly lady came right up as we were beginning to speak and reminded him they'd worked together. She turned to me and said, "You wanna take our picture and send it to me?", pressing her card into my hand. So I agreed to do just that and then waited while they kibbutzed. "We're lucky," he told her, presumably meaning, "...to still be alive."
As of midnight last night, it was exactly six years since my first post. It's been a tough thing to keep up with a dayjob and outside activities, and just when I think I might walk away, a valuable connection or interesting opportunity or a kind word comes my way. Thank you all for reading me.