Ryan and I took Monday off of work to make a day out of traveling up to Santa Monica for the Glee screening. We left early enough to give us a few hours to hang out at Disneyland on a quiet Monday afternoon. We rode some rides, tried some photography stuff in front of the castle, and had an overall nice time. Oh! And we found baby ducks in the pond by Frontier Land? Lots of time spent taking pictures of Mama Duck and her three little ducklings.
Then we headed north for Santa Monica High School. We found the place easily enough, and luckily found a Subway right down the street, too. Made it back to the school around 5:30 and wandered around while things were being set up.
At 6:30 they let everyone into the outdoor amphitheater and Ryan and I snagged front row seats, and two medium-sized Glee T-shirts (no smalls, sadly), then took turns running back up the stairs to the main area which was set up with tons of carts giving out popcorn, cotton candy, slushies and stuff. On my turn running up for more popcorn, the stars of the show began to arrive for the makeshift “red carpet” interviews. First up were Jayma Mays and Jessalyn Gilsig, who’ve both been on Heroes, so that was kind of cool to see some first season Heroes show up.
But we all know we were only there for Lea Michele.
So Lea Michele showed up about twenty minutes later, and Ryan and I strategically placed ourselves to where we could hopefully get to meet her before the show started, since we weren’t sure if they’d do a meet and greet kind of thing, like they usually do with theatrical shows. Sadly, the interviews were taking forever, and Ryan went back to the front to watch our stuff when the program started off with the Santa Monica cheerleading squad and band performing to some of the Glee songs.
But I stuck it out in the bitter cold, and finally, finally, she finished her last interview. Someone handed her a bag of popcorn and she started to come into the amphitheater to watch the show from the top, where I just so happened to be waiting with mine and Ryan’s Spring Awakening books. She was definitely in a hurry, and her people were trying to keep her moving, but she graciously stopped to sign both of our books. The only bummer was that I couldn’t get Ryan’s book open to the appropriate page fast enough, so she ended up signing in the front, where there’s a red pattern that makes autographs hard to see. But- hopefully it was made up for by the fact that she used her teeth to pull off the pen cap (she laughed when she handed it back to me, saying sorry her spit was all over it now), and so Ryan’s lucky Jeopardy pen just so happens to have Lea Michele’s DNA on it now. 🙂 He likes it.
The screening was fun, although the show wasn’t quite as funny as I was expecting. Ryan really enjoyed it though, and when we watched it later with the OSF, he seemed to like it too, so I figure it’ll grow on me soon enough. After the screening, the entire cast came out on stage for a Q & A, where they told us about some of their audition ordeals (car accidents on the way, bitten by a spider and covered in hives), working with Kristen Chenoweth when she guest starred, and how the songs each week will be available for download on itunes, which Ryan and I are definitely happy about.
It turned out to be a good thing I stuck it out waiting for Lea Michele earlier, because once the Q & A was over, a bunch of security guards stationed themselves around the actors, as if we were all going to rush them onstage. So ridiculous. I think it’s funny that people seem to think TV actors are so much more special than theater actors. In theater, the stars come right outside and talk to people on the street, take pictures, etc., with no one around to really protect them; But here the security guards kept them all away from the crowd, even though most of the actors are either no-names yet, or are known by a select few (like Ryan and I and a few other SA fans) for their theater credits.
So it was pretty ridiculous, but we waited it out anyway. Unfortunately Lea Michele left before any of the actors broke the security guard line to come talk to people, but we were able to talk with Jenna Ushkowitz for a bit. She was a replacement swing in the New York company of Spring Awakening until it closed in January, and she was definitely fun to talk with about it. She said she’s played all of the girl characters but Wendla, and Ilse was her favorite to portray. Then she signed our books, took a picture with Ryan, and then, ignoring the security guard’s warning that that would be the last picture, asked if I wanted one too. So sweet!
By the time all the hoopla was over, we were pretty much frozen for life, so we headed back to Ryan’s truck and cranked up the heater and Spring Awakening tunes. Just out of L.A., we started looking for a McDonald’s to recharge with 79 cent caffeination, and Ryan decided we also needed a $5 pizza. So at 11:30pm, we sat in the McDonald’s parking lot, macking down on Little Caesar’s and giant cokes. It was pretty fantastic.
Thanks, TGO, for a great friend date day! Hope there are more to come, and I just know you’ll meet Lea Michele sooner or later! 🙂