Surprises on Set: On the set of Kirstie (And other such silliness.)

Living in the Los Angeles area, sometimes I get strange opportunities to experience a brush of the Hollywood kind of life.  Last week when we were at the Sara Bareilles concert, Janice told me Kristin would be taping an episode of Kirstie Alley’s new sitcom, Kirstie, this week.  She suggested I go but I knew I wouldn’t be able to go unless she went with me, so we worked it out.  We also decided we weren’t going to tell Kristin, and it should be surprise.

Let me tell you something about me:  If a surprise involves me surprising someone with my presence, I suck at keeping it under wraps.  Why?  Because by nature, I get jubilantly excited to spend time with my angels and heart family.  I take in every moment, and it fills me up, no matter what we’re doing.  In the almost eight years that I have known Kristin, I have never surprised her anywhere for this reason.  She just makes me so happy that it’s so hard not to go running to her as soon as I know I am going to see her.  This time though?  I did it.  I held it in from the moment Janice suggested I go until the moment she saw us sitting in those seats in the audience.  I was quite proud of such an accomplishment, and her reaction was everything I wanted it to be.  It just brings me joy to know we made her day and then some.

If you are unaware, Kirstie is a new sitcom premiering on TV Land in December.  Here is the synopsis from the TV Land website:

“Kirstie” revolves around Madison “Maddie” Banks, a renowned Broadway star who finds her life turned upside down when Arlo (Eric Petersen), the son she gave up at birth, suddenly appears hoping to connect after his adoptive parents have died. However, Maddie doesn’t exactly see nerdy and schlubby Arlo fitting in with her luxurious lifestyle. But when Maddie’s assistant and best friend, Thelma (Rhea Perlman), and outlandish driver Frank (Michael Richards) encourage her to give Arlo a chance, Maddie is shocked to find that perhaps she has motherly instincts after all.

In the show, Kristin plays Brittany, Madison’s understudy.  Yeah okay, so sit with the mental picture of that for a minute, because that alone is hilarious. It was much like the combo of Annabeth and C.J. on screen together during The West Wing.   Anyway, they showed us the pilot, which was hilarious, and then we got to see them film an episode.  Like I said, I’ve done a lot of Hollywoodland-like things over the years, but this was my first time going to a sitcom taping.

Some things I learned on this day, both on and off set:

  • Pro Tip: Every time you tell a friend about Eat24, a unicorn high fives a t-rex in outer space.  (From the email for my lunch delivery, pre-show.  Worthy of a bullet.)
  • Accessible golf carts are AWESOME.  Even if Janice told me of a woman that fell out of one once, as I was getting strapped in.
  • Kirstie shoots on the old Will & Grace stage.  I salute you, Karen Walker!
  • Sitting in the elevated audience area on a sitcom set in a wheelchair is an adventure in itself.  You’ll be stepped on all night, basically.
  • Sitcoms feed you pizza and granola bars.
  • When you’re having a great time, the warm-up guy will give you free stuff.  I was given a script cover signed by the whole cast.  Thanks, warm-up guy!
  • In another life, I’d like to be a camera operator for film or television.  Just because I want to ride on the camera back and forth across the stage.  I loved it every time they set up for a new scene, okay?!
  • Jokes are hard to laugh at after about the third take…
  • …But great actors know how to keep it fresh to keep their audience from becoming bored.
  • It really is hysterical when someone misses or messes up their lines.
  • I laughed through the whole show.
  • Playbacks make filming shorter.  Full scenes!  No cut!  Fun!
  • Dance breaks between scenes are a blast.
  • We really hope they ask Kristin back.  She is more hilarious than usual in sitcom format, and that is where she belongs when  on television. It was so easy to tell what a good time she was having.
  • Things we were left to ponder:  Why is this show called Kirstie when Kirstie Alley’s character’s name is Madison?
  • Once you’re home post-show, you’ll have to pee.  And sometimes when you’re peeing people feel the need to call you and you answer.  You could choose not to tell them you’re peeing, but you tell them anyway, because your relationship has no filter.  Their response on the other line is to just keep talking.
  • This causes your best friend to tease you about it for the rest of the week.  And probably until the end of time.  Janice has now requested a weekly segment on my blog entitled: “Toilet Talk: Conversations From the Loo.”  We’ll have to see about that.

Alright, in all seriousness, it was a fantastic day.  Kirstie is a great show and I’m not much of a sitcom person.  Completely hilarious and a lot of fun.  I really hope it does well.  I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait to watch it when it premieres in December.  Be sure you all check it out as well.  You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

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