Seeing Stars

Liam:

I had two celebrity encounters this week! The first was at The Grove, the outdoor mall where the entertainment news show Extra is filmed. While taking an afternoon stroll through the complex, I walked by Matthew Gray Gubler. You may know him better as Reid on Criminal Minds. If it wasn’t in the middle of a crosswalk that I spotted him, I probably would’ve asked for a photo.

My other celebrity encounter took place at CBS Studios. This week, I scored front row seats to a taping of the Tim Allen sitcom, Last Man Standing. As the crew was setting up to film a scene on the Outdoor Man set, actor Héctor Elizondo came over to me and said hello. Héctor is an amazing actor. He’s played so many characters and worked on many great projects from Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries to The Rockford Files and Grey’s Anatomy. It was great to meet him and find out he is so nice!

The Last Man Standing taping was not only a good opportunity for me to gawk at celebrities, however. I also viewed it as a learning experience. It taught me a lot about making a sitcom. For instance, I never realized that the process of scripting a television show continues right up until the moment of filming. Throughout the taping, there were several instances in which jokes fell flat or didn’t have the desired audience reaction. To make sure that the jokes being told were actually funny, the show’s writers were kept nearby to rewrite certain lines at a moment’s notice. It was also eye-opening to see the types of things the crew do to keep the audience engaged. Since audience reactions (laughter, gasps, etc.) are recorded as part of the show, the taping attendees needed to sound interested in the show. As such, a comedian was brought out to entertain the audience and give away prizes in between takes.

It was truly great to witness the production process for myself. As I have mentioned on this blog before, I hope to someday work on a television show as a writer. To learn these key details about what goes into a production was very important for someone like me. I am so glad I got to have this experience! I wouldn’t trade it for anything!