Knowing I was only going to be in my job in Southern California for 1 year, I tried to take advantage of living in a cultural and entertainment mecca. Whenever I could, I went and did “tourist-y” stuff and I covered a lot in 12 months.
I did the fairly typical LA event from a concert at the Hollywood Bowl to a TV Show taping to Disneyland to catching the US Open of Surfing just a couple miles from my house. I got lucky in seeing 2 baseball games decided in the bottom of the ninth and 1 hockey game won on penalty shots (all for the home team). I met a few celebrities at events including George Takei at his musical Allegiance in San Diego.
I also was lucky enough to have a special opportunities not always available to the general public. I was given a tour of the live set of Franklin & Bash. I got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Jim Henson Studios. And I got lucky in realizing the Arrested Development Banana Stand was only few minutes away one morning in LA.
Drive far enough north in LA and you arrive at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Just a mile further and you can uncover Santa Clarita Studios – the TV home of Justified, Vegas, and Make It Or Break It. The independent filming location is nestled among non-descript office space. I was there thanks to one of those who-knows-who type things. My congregant, Bernie Kessler, knows Pamela Chais, a veteran TV writer of such shows as Love, Sydney and Maude. Pamela is the mother of Bill Chais, a TV writer and producer, who is also the co-creator the TNT Dramedy Franklin & Bash. Bernie was driving Pamela up to see her son’s set and got me an invite along. Now that’s an excellent congregant. And I got a great tour.