The Simple Joy of Attending The Hollywood Show

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2011 by hollywoodshow

CLICK ON THE ABOVE YOUTUBE VIDEO AND READ ON ….

If you have the luxury of living within driving distance of the Burbank Marriott then you know that attending every show becomes a part of your life. And, one of the most memorable, enriching ingredients to boot!

The upcoming July show marks my ONE year anniversary and FOURTH show but the amount of inspiring thoughts, enlightening conversations, stolen glances, and new friends is innumerable.

Hello, my name is Tara, and I am a Hollywood Show addict. But, this is an addiction from which I will never want to recover.

For those of you who have experienced it  … well, you know. And, I would love for you to chime in here and post your gems if you feel like sharing.

Here are some of my thoughts and experiences from the past year that I will remember for the rest of my life and these are but a few.

I hope that our collective sharing will illuminate the fact that when the celebrities are there … they are SO there. As I often remind people on Facebook, they are people so it would be wrong for me to making a sweeping statement like, “They are ALL so grateful and so happy to see their fans,” because some of them are not as good at showing it, some have come with life circumstances on their mind but decided to honor their commitment, and some probably are … just plain jerks. (There is a little bit of chum for the snarky-sharky fans who have been chomping at the bit ever since our “Be nice!” rule went into effect!) However, it is true that the majority of the celebrities who attend THS are TRULY grateful and sincerely and deeply happy to see and chat with their fans.

One example of this is something that I witnessed. I walked into the room on the first day and heard the eternally lovely Shirley Knight exclaim, “My daughter is going to have a heart attack!” She was radiating with delight. I butted in and asked what was going on and she immediately flashed a copy of the movie “Champions: A Love Story” as the fan who had just given it to her stood beaming with joy and Shirley excitedly told me the story of how her daughter had loved that one movie above all others that she’d done but that she did not have a copy of it. Well, now she does! She turned to the stellar fan and said, “I love you more than I can say.” Then she looked back at me and said, “This alone is worth me being here.”

THAT WAS MY VERY FIRST-EVER MOMENT AT THE HOLLYWOOD SHOW! Can you imagine?!!! No wonder I was hooked!

Being of a curious nature and never one to be accused of shyness, I realized that celebrities love to chat about themselves as well as their careers. One of my favorite questions to ask them is, “If you could do ANY role in ANY medium, which one are you most passionate to play?”

Here are a few of the answers:

John Schneider (who is just about the loveliest man on the face of the earth) flashed that killer smile and cheekily said, “Jeff Bridges just did it!” … He wanted to be the one to revive the great Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit”.

It was SUPER fun to hear Erin Murphy answer without hesitation, “Criminal Minds!” … immediately David Lawrence, one of the twins who played Tabitha (Erin) Stephen’s brother, Adam, on the show “Bewitched” wanted to know what we were talking about … (see how these fun conversations spread like wildfire?!) so I asked him and he as well shot back, “Oh, BURN NOTICE! I love that show!”

Probably one of the savviest business minds to attend THS is Eric Roberts who’s first choice was to be on “Oprah” but with only 16 episodes left, I fear he may be (pardon my acronymical French), S.O.L.!

If the studios were as savvy as Mr. Roberts they would step up to the fact that Sherilyn Fenn’s answer was a mind-blowing winner … she would like to do a movie about “THE ‘IT’ GIRL: The Clara Bow Story”. And WOW is she delightful! I know I’d be there in line buying my ticket on opening weekend.

Bub Gunton, as many of you know, is an acting force of nature.  Besides his well-known, stand-out  performance of the Warden in “Shawshank Redemption” he also played Eva Perón’s husband, Juan Perón, in the original Broadway production.  Bob has his sights set on the role of King Lear but after a bit of soul-searching, he admitted that his true passion project is to do a one man show about Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

In the music world, Mickey Dolenz felt that he had just satisfied his passion piece with his most recent CD.  A work of love that he recorded with his sister, Coco Dolenz that, if you have not heard … I highly recommend you get it.  It’s called,  “King For A Day” and is an album-length salute to Carole King,  His pride and joy being the cut of “Cryin’ In The Rain”.

My personal favorite conversation the day I decided to use my degree in Journalism and ask as many of the celebrities this question as humanly possible … was both the most surprising and the my most cherished. I certainly knew who France Nguyan was from watching “South Pacific” over and over and over and over again as a child (she played the gorgeous Liat opposite the even more gorgeous Lt. Joe Cable) but I simply did not know the scope nor depth of Ms. Nguyan’s career and therefore, I felt such a beautiful connection when I struck up a conversation with her and she recommended a book to me the description of which I am going to share with you here because it is a TERRIFIC book and one which she would like to see made into a feature film:

Leslie Li
“…tells the life story of Li Xuewen, wife of the first democratically elected vice president of China, who began her life as the unwanted fourth daughter of a peasant farmer and rose in prestige and fortune to become the number one wife of a brilliant military hero. Her story reveals a scope of history and changes in Chinese culture that few Westerners have glimpsed. Inspired by the events of her grandmother’s life, the author engages the reader in an engrossing novel about love and war, and the indomitable spirit of a woman determined to keep her family and self-respect intact.”
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I will caution you that it IS true that sometimes a handler or a celebrity can be not only rude but hurtful and my suggestion to you is – DON’T LET ONE CRAPPY MOMENT RUIN THE ENTIRE BANQUET OF FUN!  It’s happened to me … Just soldier on and GET HAPPY!
As you probably know, Robert Blake caused a horribly inappropriate scene at one of the shows and, in his grand display of narcissistic personality disorder, ended up being incredibly rude to two of the hardest working men in show business … and two of the NICEST … the owners of the show, Kevin Martin and David Elkouby.  (I’m hoping to pin them each down for an interview for the next blog posting because YOU NEED to know how wonderful these men are and what good intentions that have and, most importantly, the level of integrity at which they work.)

Timothy Busfield  (surprisingly handsome in real life!) started out lamenting the fact that he now feels too old to play “Hamlet” but was intrigued enough by the question that he kept asking me to come back in a little while because it was clear that he was having fun thinking about it. Ultimately, as is often in life, he realized that what he would truly LIKE to do would be a guest spot on “Family Guy” … like the show itself, he spent the day distilling his otherwise “grand desires” down to the fact that, what really counts … the thing that you will remember at the end the proverbial day, is the simple things that you thoroughly enjoyed.
I can honestly say that The Hollywood Show is the greatest gift that fell in my lap since I moved to Los Angeles just over a year ago.

I hope that you will come and experience it and that you will allow yourself to have as many sparkling moments as I have had.

Forget your troubles, come on get happy … join us at the July Hollywood Show!

… and I get a KICK outta you!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 by hollywoodshow

Today was the first of two glorious and fun-filled days at The Hollywood Show being held at The Marriott Convention Center in Burbank.

So many wonderful celebrities came out and they all looked GREAT!  At 100, Carla Laemmle is as sharp as a tack and when I asked her how she does it she attributed her fitness to being a Buddhist.  If you didn’t see her today, don’t miss out on getting in a chat and an autograph with her tomorrow!

Truly, everyone looked so good and it was so much fun to see them having fun and meeting their fans.  Many fans attended and everyone was getting a kick out of meeting someone different so I decided to go around and ask the celebrities who they got a kick out of seeing at the show.

When I asked Barbara Feldon, she immediately shot back “KAYE BALLARD!”   (Kaye was actually quite popular in my little unofficial poll and her biggest kick from the day was getting to see Ann Rutherford.)

Miriam Margolyes who plays Professor Sprout in the HARRY POTTER series of films said that she got a kick out of seeing Millie Perkins because of her performance in the title role of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK.  Sitting next to Miriam was the ever-beautiful Judy Geeson (“To Sir, With Love” and “Mad About You” among many credits) said that she got a kick out of seeing Ty Hardin with whom she starred in the movie “Berzerk” along with Joan Crawford.

Many of the celebrities were most happy about getting to see people they had worked with or been friends with from many years ago.  Little Joe Micale said he got a kick out of seeing the prolific Coleen Gray (who’s first movie was “State Fair” in 1945) noting, “We go back to the mid-70’s!”

Steve Moriarty said that Tom Hatten‘s role of hosting “Popeye” helped him “grow up out here” and Jamie Rose was adorable as she exclaimed that seeing Diane Baker in the film “Krakatoa: East of Java” was pivotal for her as a young girl growing up.

Diane Baker said “Robert Fuller.  He was darling then and he is just as darling now.  So handsome.”

It was really fun to see them all light up remembering fun stories as they bumped into each other.  Jennifer Edwards said that it was most fun for her to see Don Murray “but even more fun to see his son, Chris, who threw me in the pool on my 13th birthday with my new outfit on!”  (Sorry, Chris – she’s not forgiving you, but she did have a smile the whole time she was telling the story.)

There were a couple of “mutual admirations” in Mamie Van Doren & Carla Laemmle and Tahnee Welch & Richard Roundtree (although his biggest kick was Gloria Hendry “because we started out modeling together in New York”) and many got a kick out of seeing Peter Marshall the most.

Cerina Vincent said, “I’m obsessed with Caroline Munro and Martine Beswick!”  And Apollonia said, “Oh, Barbara Feldon.  Agent 99.  She’s HOT!”

At the end of the day, after signing so many autographs, Ms. Ann Rutherford said, “EVERYBODY!”  And, frankly my dear … I’d have to agree.  It was a real kick to see them ALL!

A Heartbreaking Loss – Dixie Carter: 1939-2010

Posted in Breaking News! on April 11, 2010 by hollywoodshow

Designing Women actress Dixie Carter, who used her charm and stately beauty in a host of roles on Broadway and television, died of endometrial cancer Saturday morning in Houston, Texas at age 70.  “This has been a terrible blow to our family,” husband Hal Holbrook said in a written statement. “We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family tragedy.”  

A native of Tennessee, Carter was most famous for playing quick-witted Southerner ‘Julia Sugarbaker’ for seven years on Designing Women, the CBS sitcom that ran from 1986 to 1993.

She was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for her seven-episode guest stint on the ABC hit Desperate Housewives.  Carter’s other credits include roles on the series Family Law and Different Strokes.   She had been married to Hal Holbrook since 1984.

We would like to extend our prayers and sincerest condolences to Hal Holbrook, her daughters, and co-workers.  Dixie was an amazing woman who lived her life with the dignity and grace of a Southern Belle.  She will be greatly missed.

When You Wish Upon A Star… Eddie Carroll: 1933-2010

Posted in Breaking News! on April 11, 2010 by hollywoodshow

Eddie Carroll, an actor who for decades gave voice to ‘Jiminy Cricket’ in Disney projects and impersonated Jack Benny in a noted one-man stage show, has died. He was 76.

Carroll died Tuesday from a brain tumor at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Los Angeles, said his wife, Carolyn.

“He was so proud to do both roles,” his wife said. “He just admired the whole fantasy of ‘Jiminy Cricket’, and he loved the man … who was Jack Benny.”

In 1973, Carroll became the second actor to voice the cricket, who was the title character’s conscience in the 1940 animated film Pinocchio.

A Childhood Favorite Passes Away: Meinhardt Raabe – 1915-2010

Posted in Breaking News! on April 10, 2010 by hollywoodshow

Countless generations have viewed the MGM Classic musical The Wizard of Oz, and it is with sadness that we add Meinhardt Raabe to the list of those whose passing we announce.  Best known for his role as ‘The Coroner’ who proclaimed the ‘Wicked Witch of the East’ dead, Meinhardt was loved by hundreds of thousands of people.  He passed away yesterday morning in a Florida hospital at age 94. 

Meinhardt appeared at several Hollywood Shows over the years, and never tired of repeating the lines that made him famous.  “As coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her, And she’s not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead.” 

Now it is our turn to add a few thoughts of our own.  “As an actor, we’ll remember you, and as a person, we will treasure you, for you’re not only merely in our hearts, you’re truly part of our hearts.”  Farewell, Mr. Raabe.  May there be a yellow brick road be waiting for you in Heaven.

“Dynasty” Fans Mourning The Loss Of Another Cast Member – Christopher Cazenove 1944-2010

Posted in Breaking News! on April 7, 2010 by hollywoodshow

The British actor Christopher Cazenove died today after contracting septicaemia. He was 66.

Cazenove, who was best known for playing the role of Ben Carrington in the 1980s TV soap opera Dynasty, had been in a coma since collapsing at home in February after a trip to California during which he had complained of migraines.  His family, who had been at his bedside at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, said in a statement that he had fought a “valiant battle” against his illness.

The Winchester-born and Eton and Oxford-educated actor’s film career began in 1970 with an uncredited role in Julius Caesar. He went on to several parts in British TV, most notably in The Duchess of Duke Street. More recently he appeared in A Fine Romance and Judge John Deed. He played Henry Higgins in Trevor Nunn’s stage production of My Fair Lady.

He had been married to the actress Angharad Rees; they divorced in 1994. In 1999 his elder son died at 25 in a car crash. Cazenove had been with his partner Isabel Davis since 2003.

In a statement released through Lesley Duff, his agent for the past 12 years, Ms Davis and his family said: “Christopher died peacefully on April 7 surrounded by his loved ones having contracted septicaemia at the end of February.  Despite a valiant fight and the untiring efforts of the wonderful team at St Thomas’s, he was overwhelmed.  All who knew and loved him will be devastated by the loss of this incredible man who touched so many lives.”

Hollywood Loses Another Legend – John Forsythe – 1918-2010

Posted in Breaking News! on April 2, 2010 by hollywoodshow

The entertainment community has lost a true gentleman, and it is with unbelievable sadness that I post this announcement of John Forsythe’s death.  John was an amazing man with tremendous humor, incredible understanding, and a gift for acting that through roles in Charlie’s Angels and as ‘Blake Carrington’ in Dynasty, will go down in the pages of Hollywood history as being nearly unparalleled. 

John Forsythe passed away at his home last night at 92.  He’d been battling cancer for the past several years, but had been in remission until it unfortunately returned last year.  He had also been battling pneumonia, which is what finally ended his life. 

On behalf of everyone at The Hollywood Show, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Nicole, daughters Page and Brooke, his countless friends and co-workers. 

On a personal note, I had the great privilege of having several conversations with John while working on assorted projects over the past decade, and this post, although I knew it would be one that would eventually be done, is without a doubt one that I wish we could have not needed for a few more years.  Rest in peace, dear friend.  You will be incredibly missed… JM

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