Friday, May 11, 2007

LA 2007 ~ Adventures

Travelling on a friend's birthday can be a very fun idea ~ especially if you are willing to embarrass said friend in public as much as possible during the day.

Hussy turned the amazingly young 36 the day we left Canada, & so Peanut & I found it only fitting to sing loudly & off key to her while in the long lineup for security at Stoon airport. Everyone was quite tolerant of our efforts, & took the time to wish her a happy birthday {quite nice at 6:00 AM, don't you agree?}. We tried to pin down some of them for free drinks later in Calgary airport, but were unsuccessful in securing any real promises. Got a lot of laughs, however.

For her birthday meal while in LA we went to the always fun
Saddle Ranch Chop House "where rock meets western!" just across the street from our hotel on Sunset Blvd. It's a great, fun place with an excellent staff {& many, many staff running around} where you can get a good drink {$$$$}, a plate of food that would feed a hockey team {$$}, & you can watch some city fools attempt to ride the mechanical bull {priceless!}. It is THE BEST place for customer service that I've ever stumbled into. You are greeted outside by the valets, you are greeted before you are all the way through the curtain {no door, just a curtain hanging there} by the girl who seats you, you are served by two very attentive bartenders, plus there are several other servers running around & the manager comes out at least once a night to personally check on everyone. It was a fun time, & Hussy procured us free shots & a free dessert cuz of her birthday! Excellent!

Peanut arranged an adventure for us that turned out to be pretty amazing. On the Friday, we went to the taping of the pilot of a new TV show
"Back to You" starring Kelsey Grammar & Patricia Heaton {who everyone calls Patty}. The surprise cast member was Fred Willard {I had done some before research & he was not mentioned} who I think is just incredible. This show has a dream team of creators, including James Burrows, Steven Levitan, & Christopher Lloyd.

We arrived at the arranged rendezvous site {a parking garage} at 3:30, stood in line until 6:30 {weren't they nice to supply 2 relatively clean porta-potties for those of us with small bladders?}, were put on a bus to take us to 20th Century Fox, seated in the audience & the show started taping at 7:00 PM. The taping lasted until 10:00 PM {I am so glad I brought a bottle of water & a granola bar with me!} & then we were bused back to the parking garage. It was such a good experience for us. Being theatre people I think we enjoyed seeing all the backstage stuff as much as the acting!

It was amazing to me how many different "sets" they could include in such a small space. I think because of this experience, I've solved the mystery of why the camera adds 10 pounds {or more}. The sets are a lot smaller than they appear on film, which is why I'm convinced they use a wide-angle lens to film so the rooms look bigger, & as a result, all the actors will look bigger as well. Just a note for anyone hoping to attend a taping ~ be prepared for an slightly annoying "MC" to keep you "entertained" in between takes.

Because this was the pilot, many friends & family of the cast & crew were in the audience, so of all the people that were lined up in the parking garage, we estimated less than 25% actually got to see the show. Interesting to note: it was recommended that we be at the garage at 5:00 PM. If we had done so, we would not have attended the taping.

A man behind us in line asked us why we chose this show to see. We said it was the only sitcom that was available {} & we weren't really big fans of Leno or any of the other talk shows. He said that we were really lucky to get in because this is one of the most anticipated new shows for the upcoming season. In fact, he went on to inform us, 13 episodes have already been ordered {unusual for a 'pilot' to already have shows ordered, apparently}.

So, these were our main adventures of LA 2007. Had a great time! Hussy & Peanut stayed for a few days longer than I did, & spent some time in San Diego going to Sea World & the Zoo.

No comments: