Sara Lunsford and Gabrielle Graf Palmer, the founders of RomaDrama Live!

Sara Lunsford and Gabrielle Graf Palmer, our new besties. (Image: RomaDrama Live!)

These women started a convention for Hallmark fans. We can't thank them enough.

Lovers of all things Hallmark converged on downtown Nashville recently for the immersive fan experience RomaDrama Live! Stars such as Jesse Metcalfe, Trevor Donovan, Ryan Paevey, Wes Brown, Eric Mabius, Gregory Harrison, Brian Krause, Brittany Bristow, Teddy Sears, Rob Mayes, Drew Fuller, Paul Greene, and Tyler Hynes, mingled with fans, posed for photos, and signed autographs.

The event was put together by friends and business partners Gabrielle Graf Palmer, an entertainment and sports sponsorship executive, and Sara Lunsford, a management consultant.

“We love Hallmark movies, Lifetime movies, they are an escape from our everyday life,” said Lunsford, in an interview posted to RomaDrama’s website. “And we’ve always been able to get on the phone and talk about them. It’s just been a fun thing for us over the years and we know we’re not alone.”

“We love Hallmark movies, Lifetime movies, they are an escape from our everyday life,” said Lunsford, in an interview posted to RomaDrama’s website. “And we’ve always been able to get on the phone and talk about them. It’s just been a fun thing for us over the years and we know we’re not alone.”

The three-day event was held at the Factory at Franklin outside Nashville. One was scheduled for September 17-19 in Atlanta, but it was cancelled due to COVID concerns. A third is scheduled for January 7-9in Palm Beach, Florida.

“We wanted to give women like ourselves the opportunity to escape everyday life,” Graf Palmer said. “And truly live in that fun, happy, nothing bad ever happens, everything is perfect world where they can escape their husbands and their children and their pets and all of their work experiences, and they can melt into a true VIP experience where they get to live for a whole weekend with their friends and meet those actors.”

A panel at RomaDrama Live! in Nashville.
(Image: Instagram/RomaDramaOfficial)

A long friendship

Lunsford and Graf Palmer have been friends for 25 years. In an interview with Forbes, they said they met at the airport in Atlanta when they were both wearing the same outfit. They stayed in touch — Graf Palmer lives in Columbus, Ohio; Lunford in Arkansas — and attended several VIP events together. A few years back they began talking about putting together one of their own.

Before they could get anything set up, both women experienced personal tragedy. Graf Palmer’s marriage ended, and Lunsford’s husband was killed in a car accident.

The women persevered, pitching investors, but with COVID lockdowns in place, no one wanted to give them money. Graf Palmer and Lunsford were faced with a choice: give up, or use their own money to fund the event. They took the leap, starting BriteStar Events, LLC.

Trevor Donovan and Ryan Paevey at RomaDramaLive! in Nashville.
(Image: Instagram:Trevor Donovan)

“Regardless of how many people tell you, ‘You’ll fail,’ or ‘You need to get a real job, stand your ground,” Graf Palmer told Forbes. “Have confidence in your strength, and do not lose sight of your dream. It’s terrifying and painful more than not. You will have sleepless nights, you will lose half a head of hair, and question your decision with every other breath, but keep going and do not take no for an answer.”

Successful weekend

Their dreams were realized when Hallmarkies and stars gathered in Nashville the last weekend in July. The actors seemed to enjoy the event as much as the fans.

In an Instagram post, Ryan Paevey wrote, “Man, what a weekend….super grateful to have gotten to meet so many new friends, and catch up with old ones. Thanks to everyone who hung out with us at @romadramaofficial at The Factory in Franklin! Such a fun weekend, so many good memories….and maaaaaaybe I’ll be back from filming in time to hang out with you guys in Atlanta in September.”

An Instagram post from RomaDramaLive!
Behold the hotness that is RomaDramaLive! (Image: Instagram/Ryan Paevey)

RomaDrama Live! has a great Instagram page, with photos and interviews from the event. Be sure to check out the video, “I asked four leading Hallmark men to make me fall in love with them without saying anything.” A link can be found here. It’s freaking hilarious.

Back To Top