One of the best things about working for the Company is, undoubtedly, the perks ~ movie screenings before public release, celebrity sightings any day of the week, the Love Rocks concert at the Kodak Theatre, "Friends" tapings, etc. Nothin' but love!
Last week, the Company held a lottery for employees to be an audience member on the new Matthew Perry/Bradley Whitford show "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" with Sting as the special guest. Um. Hellooooo! Firing off an email to enter while still reading the announcement, I kept thinking "Sting AND Matthew Perry. Sting AND Matthew Perry." This doesn't happen all the time, People! Wouldnyaknowit - I'm a weener! Woo hooo! Mandy too! BFFs on TV with Matthew Perry (he's on our laminated cards)?! What do we do? We go shopping. Of course!
Because production has no set schedule, and we were at their mercy, our call time changed right up until the day before the shoot. I'd heard a lot of people complained and canceled because production couldn't say *when* the taping would be finished. Whatever! It's a unique opportunity - take advantage and enjoy! Don't get me wrong - it was a long effing day. It's Sting, People. Sting! *sigh*
I got to Stage 25 @ 11:35 a.m. There were several tables & chairs, with small groups of people scattered all around. I filled out my release, sat down and waited. M&I looked *totally* fabulous - she in her gray tunic, me in red & black & pearls! Food services had a huge spread - donuts, bagels, bags of chips, granola bars, water, soda, cereal & milk, oatmeal & raisins, peanut butter and jelly - "Help yourself!" Around 2:15 p.m. there was some movement near the door. I saw Fusske make a move...so I pulled Mandy up to the door. Chatting up the security guard, the Producer came in and asked Fusske "are you background?" He said "Yes! We are!" She told him to go. All 7 of us from the table fell in step behind the Producer and walked across to Stage 19. As we walked in, there was definitely a buzz in the air...though it was dark and smoky, the air was electric - you knew this was something special. The set had a stage w/candleabras and stools placed toward the back of Stage 19 ~ a very gothic, romantic feel/look. Three gorgeous tapestries were hung from the ceiling as backdrop for Sting's stage setting. Rotating lights with cut cels shone on the tapestries, making it look like clouds were moving across them; really beautiful. Three rows of seats were directly in front of the stage (these people would be facing Sting) with 2 risers/bleachers positioned off to the left and right. Five or six rows of seats were placed on either side of the stage - this is where we were seated. As we waited to be seated, Sting was standing there. Just standing. There. Umm. Hi. You're Sting. He was backlit - not for show, he just stood right there, in the light. Nice. We're sitting, gawking, watching, waiting, staring, etc. The Producer walked over, standing at the end of my row. I leaned over to her "Thank you very much!" She looked at me - a bit startled and surprised. "Thank *you*! And just for that, when he gets up (she's pointing to Sting's accompanist who's sitting in the first seat of the first row), you can sit there." Yeah I can! Yippeee! She goes to talk with him, he moves and she points to me. I abandon Mandy without reservation or hesitation (Sorry! LYMI!!). I wind up sitting directly behind Sting, next to my former boss, in the camera shot. I am less than 6 feet from Sting. Less than 6 feet. From Sting! Umm. Helloooo! You're Sting and you're standing. There. I'm a bit giddy and giggly at this point (no duh). Sting and his accompanist take the stage with their lutes (sooo...does that make them loutists?) - loud applause, lots of "wooooo"-ing and smiles all around. Umm. Helloooo! It's STING! Lauren Graham introduces Sting for the "Studio 60" show and he performs. He sounded beautiful! Mind you, I'm looking at his back (nice suit, BTW)...but staring up at him in total adulation. We tape that scene a couple of times, then we're released for lunch (again, kudos to Food Services for a great lunch spread - mac n cheese, chicken, fish, steamed broccoli, lots of cakes and pies). After a couple more hours, we're called back into the studio to tape a scene with Matthew Perry (swoon!) and Sarah Paulson on the balcony above the performance area. Again, totally in the camera shot! It was weird to watch Sting, who is just pretending to sing, while MP and SP are conversing. I did sneak a couple of sidelong glances at Mister Matthew Perry, my supersecret boyfriend. No Bradley Whitford, though.
When all was said and done, we'd watched Sting perform the song 4 times through. We were finally released from the production around 9:30 or so. What a long effing day! But soooo worth it!
Look for me on "Studio 60" Monday October 16th (check your local listings)!