Philadelphia

More Whoopi & Raven-Symone at Valley Forge Casino Music Fair on Saturday Night

Yesterday I did a fun piece on Philly Mag about Whoopi Goldberg and Raven-Symone at Valley Forge Casino Music Fair on Saturday Night

Here’s a few more interesting tidbits. On Saturday night Whoopi met fans backstage before she hit the stage. Many of the fans brought gifts, and this young man, Quintin Mayfield, brought a story. He told Whoopi that they had met 10 years ago, at a the show “Wake Up With Whoopi” She was his “Make a Wish” as he was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Whoopi spent a lot of time with him and she signed the back of his photo for him. It was super sweet to witness this interaction.

Then I went all crazy girl fan on Whoopi. I watch her nearly everyday, and really appreciate her contributions to society. I’ve photographed her many times in NYC when I was a working celebrity photographer. She was always super sweet. Sad she’s had such a difficult year with deaths of great friends and mentors like Robin Williams and Mike Nichols. Then her mother and brother died within a few years of each other.

Whoopi water

Whoopi started out her act relating her brother’s death. Now you wouldn’t think that was funny, except how she was told and by who. It was her brother’s girlfriend, who was hysterical and seemed to be making a lot of familial decisions until Whoopi found out they were only dating for one month. It was a great delivery. Reminds me of the episode on Good Wife when Will dies, and Diane confronts an intern who’s been there for a week, crying hysterical. Diane fires her on the spot, less funny, but same principle.

Then there was a period, no pun intended, where Whoopi talked about menopause, vagina’s and dicks. That was less funny to me, but the crowd laughed uncomfortably, hysterically with husbands pointing at wives.

 Then she tackled current affairs starting with Ben Carson, then Donald Trump, lots of laughs, even though the audience was split GOP/DEM. You’d be surprised how many Republican’s like Whoopi’s sense of humor.

 At one point in the show, Whoopi stopped and pointed to an audience member and said “Lady stop recording the show. Put down your phone. This show is for you, it’s intimate, personal and it’s happening right now. Don’t spoil it by watching it through a view finder.” And that was that, everyone seemed to put away their phones and enjoyed watching Whoopi in real time. After the stand up routine Whoopi took questions from the audience for about 35 minutes. It was great. She advised people on life, love and even adoption. Stressing to one gay couple that it would be great if they adopted an older child around 5 – 7, those kids are the ones that need the most love.

 

She was propositioned over and over for appearances on the View but stressed she had no pull in getting people scheduled. She spoke of her co-workers and said there is no stress with them. “We all have co-workers, and it’s a normal workplace. Sometimes you get along, sometimes you’re at each other, but for the most part it’s a normal day.” She loves her job and says she’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. She wakes up every morning, looks around at her digs and says, wow I live like a queen. To maintain that lifestyle, she has to have a job that can afford that.

During the show I heard  Raven-Symone was in the audience. I immediately scoured the crowd, when I didn’t see her I positioned myself near the stage door to catch her going in. Turns out she watched from backstage, and was nice when she let me go backstage and meet her when asked. She was super nice and told me it was her first time seeing Whoopi on stage. She loved it. You can tell that  Raven-Symone really respects Whoopi, when they duo spotted each other,  Raven-Symone ran towards Whoopi into a long, loving hug. i didn’t get that shot, I really felt it was too personal. It would have been the money shot, but sometimes those moments just have to be memories.
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