Hi, friends! *waves*
It’s taken me a month to really process everything that happened at RomaDrama Live! and even longer to actually documenting my experience. My husband finally looked at me the other night and said, “I know you had a really good time, because you just won’t stop talking about this.”
So, I better write this all down before I lose my mind and forget. But first– the most frequently asked question I’ve received:
How’d We Get Involved with RomaDrama?
As y’all know, I am a part of two podcasts. I’m a co-host on Hallmarkies Podcast (focused on tv romcoms) and two of my friends and I host Deliver Me a Podcast (focused on Hallmark’s hit series, Signed, Sealed, Delivered). Way back last year, Gabrielle and Sara from RomaDrama asked us if we could host the Signed, Sealed, Delivered games during RomaDrama. And of course, we said “Yes! Anything for the POstables!”
Jess, Kami, I got to work and we planned several SSD themed games including a letter mystery, doppelgänger contest, scene re-enactments, and of course, trivia. Several months later, Gabrielle reached out to us and asked if we would be interested in hosting the cast panel as the original host was no longer able to do it. We accepted the offer and were deeply touched and humbled because that’s kind of a big deal!
So, that’s the story on how we ended up at RomaDrama!
But first. If you’re one of those “TL;DR” folks, let me spare you my ramblings. You can just watch our RomaDrama recap on YouTube.
And now for the fun stuff.
Day 1 – Thursday
Actually, let me back up to Wednesday night. The adrenaline and the excitement was running all day. I got 3.5 hours of sleep and my dad took me to the airport at 4 AM so I could catch my 5:30 AM flight. Flying into West Palm Beach was a dream and I arrived around 10:45 AM.
As soon as I got off the plane, I got Starbs and then ran down to baggage claim to meet my first POstable friend, Natalie! Natalie was a guest on our podcast back in 2020 and we had become pretty good internet friends.
Then the adventure began. We ended up running around the shuttle area trying to find the hotel shuttle and we kept thinking that we had missed it. I happened to see another crowd of travelers exit the airport and saw another familiar face. In true Kaycee-fashion, I yelled across the terminal, “Fotoula!” Natalie and I waved her down and she joined us in our hunt for a shuttle. Since Fotoula rented a car, we took a different shuttle to the car rental area and eventually arrived at the hotel. Thanks, Fotoula!
By the time I had lunch it was about 1 PM and while I was physically tired, I was mentally overstimulated by the new sights and new people I was meeting. Rachel Fordham, one of my author friends, joined us for lunch. I waved down Catherine, Julie, and Sarah from Suspenders Unbuttoned. And FINALLY Kami arrived, and we reunited with jumping and squealing and hugging.
Kami and I hurried back to our hotel room, and we started putting little prize bags together for the POstables. Then, we started getting ready for the Two Tickets to Paradise screener at The Breakers Hotel.
If you’ve never been to The Breakers, you absolutely need to visit if you’re in West Palm Beach. It is GORGEOUS. I wish I had spent more time exploring the place. Kami and I were in complete awe. I joked with her and said “I better start saving for my 40th birthday. Because I want to have it here.” (I miiiiight not be kidding. Good thing I have 8 years to save and plan for this.)
The cocktail reception prior to the screener was so fun. We connected with several of our podcast listeners and internet friends we had made over the years. We also met Dan, Panda and Bran from Deck the Hallmark, as well as Jacklyn “Jacks“ Collier from Hallmark Channel’s Bubbly Sesh. SO DANG FUN.
The talent started to arrive, starting with Erin Cahill and Trevor Donovan. Then Ryan Paevy and Andrew Walker showed up. As the talent trickled in, I just assumed it was just going to be the Hallmark Channel people. I didn’t think that the cast of SSD would be at the event because that show runs on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.
SO. Imagine my shock when I turn to the right and see Kristin Booth, Crystal Lowe, and Zak Santiago walk in. I was NOT ready for that. And I died.
I’m pretty sure I actually died because the next thing I knew, I was hugging Kristin, being greeted European style by Zak, and Crystal jumped out of her line to hug me.
WHAT. IS. THIS. LIFE.
Then, Crystal said really loudly, “Where are my POstables?!”
Kami and I cheered to represent our people all while I was trying to hop on Instagram live to showcase our cast to the fans who weren’t at the screener.
Fun Fact: One question I have received several times is “Where was Eric Mabius??” I found out later that he was at dinner with Gregory Harrison, his TV dad on SSD.
The rest of the night was pretty much a blur and I felt like I was in a dream. Here are a few more highlights from Thursday night.
- Watching Two Tickets to Paradise was SO FUN. There was so much energy in the room and it was a totally different vibe watching a Hallmark movie with other Hallmark fans.
- I finally met Andrew Walker who is the most down-to-earth and the nicest guy ever. More on him later.
- I met Brittany Bristow and her fiance Dustin. They were an absolute delight.
- Julie Sherman Wolfe, one of the queens and Hallmark screenwriter legends, recognized me and Kami from Hallmarkies. (Insert me dying hearing the words: “I know you…! You’re from the podcast! I’m Julie Wolfe!”)
- I hugged Ashley Williams. (From Jim Gaffigan Show and How I Met Your Mother)
- I ate dinner with Neal Bledsoe. (From Ugly Betty, Timeless, Man in the High Castle)
- I didn’t take enough photos and my phone died before the night ended! Still mad about that.
When Kami and I returned to the hotel later that night, we were on cloud nine to say the least. It was such a magical night!
We also ran into more POstables! And while everyone seemed to recognize my face from the podcast, I was quickly trying to put Twitter names and real life faces together. It was so fun meeting everyone!
Day 2 – Friday
As soon as Kami and I got up, we got going. It was a mad rush to the event center to figure out where and what we needed to do. As we headed toward the convention center, lo and behold, the queen herself, Dara Alston from Dear Hallmark turned the corner.
No one was ready for this meet and greet. Dara threw her papers up in the air and we both ran to each other screaming and jumping. It was a sight to behold and I wish someone had recorded this. Needless to say, we were thrilled to meet in person!
Jess finally showed up and I turned into Ross in “The One Where No One’s Ready.” Random tidbit about me– I get really stressed before a new event and would much rather be prepared way too early than rushing around last minute trying to figure out all of the details.
Our plan was to find the SSD cast and to give them a quick rundown of the panel so that they’d be prepared. However, we couldn’t find them until last minute, so Kami and Jess ran to everyone’s tables to let them know the game plan. Eric Mabius was MIA for a hot minute but when he finally showed up, Kami practically ambushed him as we had about five minutes before the panel was to start. At this point, my nerves and adrenaline are running a mile a minute because…
Finally Show Time.
We did a thing. We hosted a live panel featuring the cast of Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
Did that actually happen?
I know. I have to remind myself that it actually happened.
Listen. Hosting a live show is TOTALLY different than hosting something that’s pre-recorded because there is no edit button in a live show. Not to mention that I’m also not used to a crowd watching live. And I’m used to prepping everyone before we record, but with all of us so busy, we didn’t have time to do a quick run through… so we just ran up on stage and did the thing.
Despite my nerves and my heightening anxiety, the cast made it so easy for us to host. It helps that we had interviewed all of them at least once before. We ended the panel dancing and singing Signed, Sealed, Delivered with the cast which was SO FUN.
Special thanks to my friend Nicole who recorded the panel!
After the panel was over, I ran into Zak and had the sweetest conversation with him. He told us that he had so much fun and that we did a great job with everything. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Zak. He is so fun and incredibly sincere and he reminds me of the big brother I never had. He’s also fantastic in improv! More on that later. I thought I had gotten a selfie with Zak, but I actually didn’t!! And I’m still SO bummed about that!
The rest of the afternoon included Jess, Kami, and I meeting and chatting with Brittany Bristow, Wes Brown, and Colin Egglesfield. I think they talked to a few more others while I sneaked off to introvert and talk to Dara from Dear Hallmark and the guys from Deck the Hallmark.
Our final panel of the day was “Flipping the Mic – Podcaster Spotlight” featuring Neal Bledsoe as host and Deck the Hallmark, Dear Hallmark, Suspenders Unbuttoned, and us! Neal was a fun host and kept us laughing the entire time.
After the panel, we ran downstairs to the POstables Cocktail Party and then decided we were way too hungry to stay and decided to run across the street to get pizza at City Pizza in Rosemary Square.
The final event of the evening was Karaoke with the Stars! Karaoke with the Stars was a charity event fundraiser for No Kid Hungry. Kristin partnered with RomaDrama to also do a live charity auction of Shane’s wedding dress for the night.
And I’ll just let this video speak for itself. (Also, excuse the screaming. Like I said– being live is a different ball game.)
First of all. Fotoula is the most generous person ever. Love that lady! And I was absolutely thrilled and excited for her donating Shane’s wedding dress to little Sarina! Ahhhh! Such a Hallmark moment.
Karaoke could have lasted another hour, but alas, time was going to turn us all into pumpkins. However, Kami was able to squeeze in as the closing number of the night. And I’ll let this video speak for itself.
What a way to end Friday night!!!
Friday was such a crazy busy day and by the end of it, we were exhausted. Everything we got to do and all of the people we got to talk to was such a whirlwind of an experience.
And now it’s time for me to wrap this all up. If you made it this far, congratulations and I salute you!
As far as Part 2… some time I’ll get to it. 😛