Visit to the Set of General Hospital and the Nurses Ball

While on a recent trip to LA, we were able to visit the set of General Hospital.  It was very cool to see where the show was made and meet some of the actors who play the characters on the show. It was also fun to see the greenroom, sets, props, and costumes from the show.

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While on the set, we met Frank Valentini, who was very nice and gave us a tour.  There were times and places we were able to or not take photos, because he didn’t want to give things away.   We also met Finola Hughes (Anna Devane), LuLu Spencer-Falconeri (Emme Rylan0), Dominic Zamprogna (Dante Falconeri),  William Devry (Julian Jerome), and Maura West (Ava Jerome )as well, it was a fun afternoon on the set of this iconic TV show.

abc general hospita group

We were also able to see (while visiting) the Jerome Art Gallery, the hospital, the “patient rooms”, nurses station, police station, and Maxi’s apartment.

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We were able to check out a room full of props and costumes over the years the show has been on, including (interestingly) a track suit that Richard Simmons wore.  I love him, I don’t care what any of you naysayers say!  Ha.  I was amused, he cracks me up, and so did his outfit. We also got to visit the green room while they wrapped up filming.
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My Visit To The LA Zoo and DisneyNature’s BEARS

While we were in LA, we had the chance to visit the LA Zoo (the trip was inspired by the movie we screened, DisneyNature’s Bears out this Friday).  While there, we got the chance to tour, visit some of the animals, and learn about what makes the zoo such a great place.

randaOne of my favorite animals was Randa, the Indian Rhino.  Having suffered from illness, she is one tough cookie and doing well now.  You can meet her at the zoo, and for a VERY small fee, touch and even feed her if you make reservations to do so.  See below to make a reservation and for more info.

“Come meet Randa, our beloved Indian Rhino, up close and personal! The Indian Rhino Encounter includes a behind the scenes direct contact opportunity for participants that may include touching and feeding an Indian Rhinoceros.

The Indian Rhino Encounter is available every Saturday, Sunday, and on holidays (separate fee required). The encounter takes place at 1pm.

  • General visitors may purchase tickets on site at any Admissions Ticket Window.
  • Zoo Members may purchase tickets onsite at Admissions Window #11.
  • The minimum age requirement is four years old.  All children must be accompanied by an adult
  • All participants must sign the Waiver and Release of Claims included on the e-ticket.”

scoutAnother cool animal we met was Scout, the bear- which was fitting, since we just saw Disney Bears earlier.  Scout lives by himself at this time, but enjoys a close relationship with “his people” at the zoo.
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Meeting the Moms of ABC TV

While in LA, we were able to chat with the starts of several great ABC TV shows.  Want to meet some of the lovely ladies yourself?  Enter, and check out the mom’s (both on and offscreen) of some of the latest hit shows you love to watch.

win ph 03 15 14 260The lovely Malin Akerman from “Trophy Wife” was a pleasure to talk to, and was excited to tell us about her young son and adventures in motherhood.  You can read more about her and the show in this post, or watch the show Tuesdays at 9:30 eastern/8:30 central on ABC.

win ph 03 15 14 261Photo-Bombing myself, ha.  Got tired of the “posed” pictures- so this is what you get!  Me and Patricia Heaton, of “The Middle”.  Want to know more about her?  Check out this post and get social with The Middle on Facebook on Twitter @TheMiddle_ABC.  Keep up with the fun on Twitter with the hashtag #ABCTVEvent. You can watch on Wednesdays at 8 EST on ABC.
She has kids that are a bit older then mine, so she told us all what we were in for when they got older.  She told us all about the set of “Everybody Loves Raymond”, raising kids “on sets” and how being a mother is a priority for her.

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Hanging Out on the set of Grey’s Anatomy

While in LA, I had the chance to check out the set of Grey’s Anatomy.  It was a lot of fun.  We got to check out the set, as well as meet some of the actors and creative people behind the scenes, like costume designers and prop creators.

win ph 03 15 14 224This is the outside of the set, which is really on the outside of the building.  It was neat to see how and where they filmed. It also looked like a real hospital building, so that amused me as well.

win ph 03 15 14 226This is the living room of the “Dream House” that belongs to Meredith Greys and Derek McDreamy. A lot nicer (and neater!) then my own, I will tell you that 😉

win ph 03 15 14 228The very well organized kitchen in the McDreamy House  🙂

win ph 03 15 14 233Costumes on the set of Grey’s Anatomy, all labeled and ready for the cast to use.

win ph 03 15 14 231The hospital on the set, complete with toys and brochures, which made me laugh  🙂

win ph 03 15 14 239I loved this picture, it was just the hospital floor, but still.  Made it “authentic”.

win ph 03 15 14 245The “guts” of Grey’s Anatomy, as shown to us by the prop master.

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Interview with Sebastian Stan AKA The Winter Soldier

While we were in LA a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to interview some of the cast of the new Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie, including Bucky himself.  Most comic fans will tell you that there are two characters that NEVER come back to life- Uncle Ben and Bucky Barnes.  Even I know that!  So what’s it like to break ‘da rules, and risk the wrath of fanboys and girls everywhere, Sebastian Stan?  (It’s cool!  Most of them are over it- the comic cam out quite awhile ago.)

bucky 2

Question- Was it difficult to switch roles from Bucky to The Winter Soldier?

Sebastian Stan: Well, yes and no. I would say no in the sense that everything is so spelled out for me in the comic books that I sort of feel like I have that to follow as a guide. Yes, in that certain things from comic books often aren’t so easily translated to the screen. There were things visually that were new that we had to discover about the character.

I mean in the comic books there was a lot of information but in terms of how the Winter Soldier moved, how he behaved, what his presence was like on screen, those were all things I had to discover once I was in the outfit and we were actually shooting the movie. And that was more difficult I suppose. At the end of the day the most difficult part was playing someone that’s very different while at the same time the same person.

Question- How do you mentally prepare for a role like this in terms of playing someone who doesn’t even know who they are?
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Interview With Anthony Mackie, AKA “The Falcon”

anthony mackie

While on our visit to LA, we were able to chat with the very funny Anthony Mackie.  I was laughing so hard I was holding onto my chair so I wouldn’t fall off of it (yes, I’m graceful) and was gasping-breathing.  Read on to hear him talk about his hatred of diets, his insane workouts for this film, his sad breakup with Jack Daniels, and why flying sucks.   This is my kind of superhero.

Question- How was the whole Falcon costume experience?

Anthony Mackie: It was no fun. The hardest working actors in Hollywood are flying superheroes. I said it, I don’t care what Thor says with his hammer. I don’t care what Wolverine says. If you fly, it sucks.

I loved my costume, I loved everything about it. I love doing stunts. I have the best stuntman in the business. We’ve done like five movies together. And literally it’s like that Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny cartoon, where like the missile is coming and Bugs Bunny’s like paused and then puts Daffy in. And he just takes the brunt of every hit for me. And I love it. [LAUGHS] There’s nothing natural about flying to humans. There’s nothing we do that’s like flying. So my first day on set I walk in, I’m like, “What’s up, yo. Falcon in the building, what’s up?” Right.

And so I get up on like a 60 foot platform. And I’m like, all right, let’s do this. You know, brother in the building. And they said, “All right, stand on the edge of the platform, there’s a jet coming at you. We want you to stand up, turn around, shoot your guns and jump back backwards head first, into this mat.” From 60 feet in the air.

And I’m like, “Whoa!” The first day is usually like walking down a hallway, or eating or something. You know, just to break you in. Not jumping off the platform to your death.

So once we did that, in the scalding heat of the day, I kinda knew what I was in for. And it just got worse from there. It was really painful and exhausting. But Aaron Toney, my stuntman, literally, he fell out of a car at 40 miles an hour. He got messed up on this movie. So kudos to him. [LAUGHS]

anthony mackie 1

Question- What did you do to train and prepare for this film?

Anthony Mackie: Salmon, chicken, tuna fish, asparagus. And a cup of brown rice at noon. Every day. For three months. When I played high school football we used to do these things called two-a-days. Basically at six a.m. you wake up, get ready, go to the gym for an hour. And you do cardio, just like Jane Fonda s*it. And then you come home, and you just rest and eat every three hours. Then at 7 p.m. you go to the gym, and literally lift whatever you can find. For about an hour and a half. And then you go home and go to sleep. And then you wake up and do it again.

I did that for three months. Fitness is a lifestyle, you have to eat a certain way. You have to do a certain thing, you have to live a certain way. So you know, me and my homeboy Jack Daniels stopped talking. You know, no more, pizza. Me and my girlfriend Haagen Dazs broke up. She’s French, it was crazy.

And then I show up and you know, Chris looks like a Greek god. And I’m feeling good about myself, I’m like Spandex ready, you know. And I show up and he’s like, Captain Tiny As$. And I’m like, “Dude, how’d you get your as$ that small?”
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Interview with President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige


A few weeks ago,  I was able to interview Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios and producer of the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, coming out in theaters this Friday, April 4, 2014.

Here is an excerpt from the interview about Captain America, his filming experiences, and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. 

captian america producer

Question: Can you tell us what comes next?

Kevin Feige: We’re spending a lot of time now in the cutting room on Guardians of the Galaxy, which comes out August 1st. We just released the teaser for it recently. In about two weeks we start filming Avengers: Age of Ultron. That’s coming up very fast and that will be the next movie up in May of 2015.  In about ten weeks, we start filming Ant-Man with Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd. That comes out in July of 2015.

We haven’t announced what comes after that in 2016/2017 but we’re actively working on any number of things and are beginning to hone in on sort of exactly what the movies will be in ’16 and ’17.

Question: Is it intentional that you always incorporate older superheroes?

Kevin Feige: Well I think its indicative of our development process. We just believe that’s the best way to bring the villains into it. It’s more personal in this movie than in any other movie because of who the Winter Soldier is.

Question:Were you worried about any fan controversy surrounding the Winter Soldier, like there was when he (Bucky) first showed up in the comics?

Kevin Feige: Comic fans always knew sort of two things – characters die and come back to life in comics, like in soap operas. But there are two characters in the Marvel Universe that are never going to come back to life – Uncle Ben and Bucky Barnes. About 10 years ago a comic book writer, Ed Brubaker, went to publishing.  I didn’t have anything to do with it. He went to publishing and said, “I have an idea to bring Bucky Barnes back.” And I’m sure they’re like “what are you talking about? You can’t do that.” And they pitched the idea and it was great. And it was the Winter Soldier idea and it was done so well. I think fans went “No, you can’t – Oh that’s great, we love that.”

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Set Visit to TV’s “The Middle”

win ph 03 15 14 283The Middle set looks like any other real house in America- messy, stuff everywhere, a crack in the wall here or there- you know, lived in?  Not like what you usually see on TV. The Heck family is more like a regular, dysfunctional-to-be-functional kind of family that we all know or are.  Likely are.

I'm an amazing chef, in a pretend kitchen.  Mom!  Look at me!  MOM!  MOMMMMM!

I’m an amazing chef, in a pretend kitchen. Mom! Look at me! MOM! MOMMMMM!

The Middle has been on for a while now.  If you have not seen it yet, let me ‘splain it to you. The mom, “Frankie, who is played by Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton ,Deb from “Everybody Loves Raymond”), and her husband, Mike (Neil Flynn, Janitor from “Scrubs”), have lived in Orson, Indiana, their whole lives. A man of few words (every one a zinger), Mike is a manager at the town quarry and Frankie is the third-best used car salesman (out of the three) at the local dealership. She may not be a high-powered career woman, but when it comes to her family, she’ll go to just about any length. And with kids like these, she had better. There’s Axl (Charlie McDermott), her semi-nudist teenage son conceived while under the influence of Guns N’ Roses; Sue (Eden Sher), the awkward teenage daughter who fails at everything… but with the utmost of gusto; and their seven-year-old son Brick(Atticus Shaffer), whose best friend is his backpack.  Sometimes it seems like everyone is trying to get to the top, or struggling not to hit bottom, but we think Frankie and her family will find a lot of love, and a lot of laughs, somewhere in The Middle.” (From

the middle tv show

photo credit: (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

We were able to screen the episode that is coming on tonight, called “The Walk”.  I think it’s one of those things that eventually happen with all married couples- you run out of things to say and stop “trying” as much as you used to.  Very relatable to most people.
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