It has been a jam-packed weekend of gay-themed soap events. Gays of our Lives brought together stars from Verbotene Liebe, Alles Was Zahlt, Queer As Folk, Greek/Dante’s Cove, Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten and One Life to Live for meet-and-greets with the fans and passionate panel discussions about playing gay roles on television and the challenges therein. But, for me, I think the most compelling and touching part is the fellowship.
There’s always something about getting together with a bunch of people who all love the same thing that’s energizing. Throw in that you’re literally uniting people from across the pond to do something like this, and it’s really mind-blowing. It was great to see the work all the organizers put into this weekend pay off in such a big way. And I met a ton of people who were just awesome — especially the folks who became my companions for the weekend. Anyone who reads this blog probably realizes I’m more than a tad neurotic, so it was great to be welcomed that way! Otherwise, I would’ve been standing in a corner like I was at an 8th grade dance!
I finally got to meet Jo Weil (Oliver, VL), Thore Scholermann (Christian, VL), Dennis Grabosch (Roman, AWZ) and Igor Dolgatschew (Deniz, AWZ), after interviewing them for the magazine via e-mail. (Can you imagine the logistics of doing international phoners? Yikes!) And it was so organic and natural, it was like we’d met in person time and time again before this. Felix Isenbugel (Carsten, GZSZ) was the only actor I was unfamiliar with and he, too, was as nice as could be. I also reconnected with AWZ head writer (and former VL head writer) Tom Chroust and briefly met Andreas Jancke, who played VL’s Gregor. Would you believe I didn’t get home till almost 1 this morning? Yes, me, the person who is always in bed by 10 and moaning about how tired she is. The mind boggles!
And, seriously, that charmer Mr. Weil has some intense powers of persuasion. I was SO ready to sleep in today and maybe do some laundry and generally not do anything soapy, but he pointed out that this might be the last time I see everybody for quite a while. I defy anyone to resist that argument, especially when it’s accompanied by one of Oliver Sabel’s best “you know you want to give in” looks.
Representing the U.S. were comedian Hal Sparks (ex-Michael, QAF), Scott Evans (Oliver, OLTL) and Gregory Michael (Grant, Greek; ex-Kevin, DC). And though Hal was funny as hell, he also had a lot of serious and resonant things to say about the state of the industry and the time and commitment required to make meaningful steps forward in the fight for equality. Gregory shared a few things about his time on ATWT that you’ll see at some point soon in the magazine or on our Web site, and was candid about the cracktacular insanity that is Dante’s Cove. (Protip: Only watch the show if you’re comfortable with full-frontal nudity and simulated sex, and if you thought Passions was hilarious. Don’t come back to me clutching your pearls and going, “Mala! I was SO horrified!” You’ve been warned!) Scott, I’ve met and interviewed before, at various New York-based events. This weekend I got to know him much better. Naturally, a huge topic of discussion was Oliver and Kyle being written off OLTL, and that thread of bittersweetness definitely ran through the weekend.
In a few hours, I’ll be headed to the last hurrah, a farewell brunch — and it will be even more bittersweet to see this crazy soap lovefest come to a close.
12 thoughts on “These are the gays of our lives…”
Thanks again for the play by play. I seriously lived off of the Twitter #GOOL postings for most of Saturday night.
J had tweet me about Andreas’ special appearance late Friday/early Saturday morning, so of course I was kicking myself for most of the day. I could have dealt with some folks, who probably would have gotten on my nerves, for the chance to see ALL of my fabulous German men in the flesh.
If they do it again, especially if it’s in the States, I’m going to go.
We really missed you there, Denise! You would’ve loved it. The guys are all such fun…so enthusiastic and excited to talk to their fans.
The whole experience was fabulous, immensely satisfying and more than a bit surreal.
I’m glad that everyone had a fabulous time. I do hope that there’s another GOOL event next year, with new guests and well as current fan faves.
I’m also glad that you, along with Roger and Damon from WLS covered the event.
I’m not sure if this will make any sort of difference or impression with the remaining daytime soaps that are still on the air, but with the topics that were discussed, maybe someone SOMEWHERE won’t be so damn afraid, put off or cautious about GLBT storylines and characters in daytime serials.
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It was a fabulous weekend. And one of the highlights was meeting and hanging with Mala. She’s a great writer, but an even more wonderful person. I can’t gush enough about what a treat it was to meet and get to know her a bit.
As for the German boys, it was great meeting Jo, Thore, Dennis, Felix and Igor. Those German guys aren’t just good actors, but sweet guys and being sexy helps. I just loved their enthusiasm in their first visit to this country and their obvious love for their respective shows and their characters. I got some amazing interviews with them.
I can’t forget the American guys,of course. Scott and Gregory were both sweet and charming.
Denise, I wish you had been there. It would have made things even better. The only bad thing that happened (besides me losing my Ipod) was missing Andreas! I didn’t get to meet him. Darn!
Anyway, I can’t wait to see you at the ATWT lunch, Mala!
The spam filter was hating on you, Anthony! Sorry about that!
I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!
I was so glad I was outside when Andreas and Thore were chatting with a few people and got to say hi.
Great article. It was nice to meet you on Sunday – I was the old guy that showed up on the last day all excited & making a fool of himself, when you all were so over the star struck thing after 3 days of hanging out with international soap royality :D
Thank you so much! And what old guys? I didn’t meet any old guys! All I met were a ton of charming men in their prime! ;)
And, hey, being “so over” the star struck thing is sort of a job requirement for me, so don’t feel bad. LOL.
Hey Mala! I said I would start reading your blog and here I am! I can’t but agree with you that the GOOL week-end was a total success! I too loved the panel discussions and can’t wait to see it all again on YT!
All the actors were very sweet and accessible! I even got to see Andreas Jancke briefly!
Can’t wait to read more of what you (and Anthony) write about GOOL and can’t wait to see pictures! (o:
Hi, Claudia! So much good stuff came out of GOOL, didn’t it? I was thrilled and I hope this is just the first of many international events to come.
This past weekend, Where was Van Hansis ? was he even invited …
Was Van/Luke’s storyine ever mentioned at all ?
The event organizers absolutely wanted Van Hansis to be there, but I don’t think they were able to make it happen. I don’t know the details.
And, yes, Luke was mentioned. I remember one instance that was in the context of daytime being totally lacking in LGBT representation when ATWT goes off the air in September.