T7S – Holy Crap ~ By Nellie
By Nellie Harbour
I might need to give some background details, for those who don’t know me that well, before I start telling this story. First, some might not know that my first language is French, because I live in Quebec, and I’ve been learning English in school since I was 8. Also, I’d never traveled alone before. But on March 1st 2000, I took all the courage there was in me, packed up all my knowledge of English and took my little myself on a plane to Los Angeles (that’s a 6 hour flight)
So on March 1st, my parents came to the airport with me and I tried to act tough, like it’s no big deal, I’m just going to California. But when I started walking towards the plane, all alone with my suitcase my backpack and my ticket, I realized this was a whole lot scarier than I tried to convince myself it was. I started wondering what the heck I got myself into and exactly why I wanted to do this in the first place. If my parents hadn’t been watching me and I’d have had the opportunity to run as fast as I can from the plane, I probably would have. But I unfortunately (or fortunately in this case) have always been caring a bit too much about what people might think of me, so for fear of being laughed at and called a coward, I walked up to the plane like a “big girl”, though I felt more like a three-year-old inside. But after the first hour on the plane, I calmed down. It REALLY wasn’t that big a deal and I was doing just fine, I enjoyed the flight, which really wasn’t that hard because I love flying.
I finally got to LA and when I walked off the plane, there was the greatest thing about the whole trip, Krysta, whom I’ve known for two years on the net, was standing there waiting for me and we finally met face to face! She was everything I expected her to be, one of the nicest and sweetest persons I have ever known.
I was in L.A. for three days. Thursday, March 2nd, was my birthday, and we were attending a taping of Boy Meets World. Friday, we went to the taping of That ’70s Show. We got to the CBS studios, where they tape T7S and went in looking for the gift shop to buy some memorabilia. The girl who worked at the store told us (when we asked her) that we could walk around the studios, as long as we didn’t go inside any of the buildings, did not disturb anyone and did not take pictures. So we happily set off and started walking until we arrived near the set of T7S and we saw Danny Masterson and he waved us hello and a bit later we ran into Debra Jo Rupp to whom we were lucky enough to speak to for about 30 seconds, but she had to go back to hair and makeup. But then, a security guard arrived in his little golf cart, saying he’d been looking for us and that we weren’t allowed to be there. He escorted us back to the entrance, but we weren’t in any trouble, thank goodness!
So we were back outside waiting for when we’d start to wait in line to get it. There wasn’t a line yet, so we found an outside door, some kind of metallic rotating thing, for staff and through it we could see VERY clearly the That ‘70s Show stage door, so we sat on the sidewalk and looked through the door. Very soon, a few celebs started walking around the stage door. Wilmer Valderrama and Ashton Kutcher were having fun with a unicycle and we got to take a whole bunch of pictures of them. Wilmer’s really good at it, he
came and went, but Ashton kept falling off. Then Danny Masterson walked by and when we took pictures of him, he waved at us, really nice. We also saw Laura Prepon and Topher Grace. It was really great.
Then we had to park the car inside and we basically ran to be in front of the line, and we were like 3rd, 4th and 5th, but because Ryan (a friend of Krysta’s) wasn’t 18 they wouldn’t let him in. I felt really bad for him because he had been so nice and helped Krysta and I a lot because we were almost lost in the city without him, but I had come all the way to Los Angeles to see the show. So he had to go back home while Krysta and I were sent a little further in line. We felt really bad about Ryan having to go back home, and though it was a bit selfish, I just couldn’t walk away from That ‘70s Show. While we were waiting, we met two really nice people, Michelle and her friend whose name I unfortunately forgot (I’m really sorry! If you or Michelle are reading this, email me and let me know what the name is!) Michelle had this big kind of scrap book with pictures and T7S stuff, it’s really cool. We stayed together and sat together inside. We were in the back row in front of the Vista Cruiser. The set was, stage right to left, The Hub, the basement, the driveway with the Vista Cruiser, the kitchen and the living room. You could never guess how different it looks than on TV! Well, first, everything’s real and in 3D, instead of just flat against my 13-inch TV screen. When I saw the set, I thought “Wow, it looks so different! It’s so cool to be here!” But when the cast members came in, there was a voice in my head screaming “Oh my God, it’s REAL!!!!” The entertainer is called Jim, he’s funny, he makes fun of people and teases a lot. He mostly talks to people in the front rows too, so that kinda sucked. But at one point during the taping, Krysta and I let him know that the day before was my birthday and it was also the birthday of another guy in the audience, so that guy and I went in front of everyone and we were sang Happy Birthday and given little pieces of cake, it was really nice. Jim kept making fun of me because I’m from Canada, but I wasn’t offended because though I don’t know why, I’ve accepted the fact that we’re very often made fun of (and anyway, if you really want me to get into politic stuff, I would claim I’m not Canadian! lol). The birthday stuff was really nice though. And after the show, we were able to figure out where our cake came from, they had a cake made because it was Laura Prepon and Lisa Robin Kelly’s birthday too!
The taping itself was very interesting. What I found really weird was when they moved from the kitchen scene to the driveway scene, they had to take a part of the wall away and add a part of the other wall. They also had a bunch of pre-taped scenes. Many of the scenes we saw at the tapings were cut off when aired on TV, though, and some of those were hilarious, but at least I saw them (too bad you didn’t).
Finally, when the show was over, they gave scripts and I was lucky enough to get one and some of the actors were signing them and I got mine autographed by Wilmer Valderrama, Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher. But we finally were more or less forced to leave, so we did.
We spent Saturday driving around L.A., mostly getting lost but always ending up in nice places like Beverly Hills and Sunset Blvd! At one point, we were in a small desert street taking pictures when a car stopped next to us and this man neither of us knew wished me a happy birthday and asked if I was enjoying my trip! We freaked out for a few moments until we found out the man and his family were at the taping of That ‘70s Show the day before and he happened to be driving by and recognized me! Talk about a coincidence!
Finally, Krysta drove me to the airport and I had to leave (my flight was at midnight) I don’t know when or how, but I know I’ll go back someday. It might take a few years, but I’m going back, I had too much fun. I didn’t stay long enough, Krysta and I were having so much fun, she really is the amazing friend I knew her to be from the net, except like everything on that trip, she was real. Again, though it might take a few years, I can’t wait to meet her again! Thank you Krysta for giving me the opportunity to take this trip and for bearing with me because I was so freaked out to be in Los Angeles!
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