Our Visit to Home & Family!
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Watch out our segment on Home & Family below!
We just got back from our trip to California where we shared a DIY project on the TV show Home & Family. Vicki kept a journal of our time in Los Angeles as a way to document and share our experience.
May 1, Travel: We have arrived! A PA from the show picked us up curbside and dropped us at the hotel, but not before handing us a per diem envelope of cash for meals. That was a surprise! Steph peppered him with show questions the entire ride.
May 2, Studio Tour/Prep: Up early to greet the day! We were still on Florida time. Since our driver wasn’t picking us up until 10am we ventured out to see what was outside our hotel. Universal Studios is about 1/2 mile away nestled into the Hollywood Hills. The weather was perfect—cool with no humidity--like that one day of spring and fall weather we have in Florida. We checked out the LA chain of grocery stores, Ralph’s.
Our drive to the studio took all of five minutes. Our driver, Borna, took us on our own private backlot tour. We drove down Wisteria Lane, took in the aftermath of “The Day After Tomorrow” and saw the original Home & Family house, all the while stopping and waiting for trams, golf carts, and production vehicles to pass. Best backlot tour ever!
Literally everyone we met was friendly and helpful. Co-Host Cristina greeted us with a great big hug and co-host Mark chatted amicably with us during several breaks throughout the day. Our segment Producer Peter and the prop people (Tara, Monica, etc.) were great at explaining and helping us get our ducks (doors) in a row. We were invited to wander wherever we wanted, to view the rehearsals, and tour the set and to talk with the crew.
Lunch is catered through Craft services everyday which we got to enjoy. Everything was fresh and tasty. It was some of the best catered food we've ever had. It was Indigo Bistro good (our tallahassee local favorite food)!
After the show started taping for the day we met with the props folks to start working on our props and to prep for taping the next day. We caught the ending of the show and got to hear the hosts promo our segment for the upcoming show (Steph and I silently screamed at that point!) we had one final meeting with our segment producer, then Borna took us back to our hotel.
Next up, what to get for dinner?! We walked to In-N-Out burger—best burger ever!
May 3rd, Show day: We got to the studio on time and were immediately whisked into the media room set, where we would rehearse, film our pre-tape, and ultimately tape the show. We set up, consulted with our segment producer and our prop folks and worked out the last minute details of our taping. Our mics were put into place, and then we got into place to do our pre-tape. This was probably the most awkward part of the day as we basically made our DIY with a room full of people watching us tape together popsicle sticks—that is some must see tv! A quick rehearsal followed with the hosts and then we were given the news that we had to be ready after Martina’s cooking segment to live tape a teaser for our segment. That was a little stressful.
We were then off to a quiet meeting with our segment producer on the large deck where the opening would be shot, for some last minute tips and encouragement and a review of our segment. Then we were taken to hair and makeup. That was a treat. The hair and makeup ladies made us look good and feel special. Lunch followed at 11:30—to my credit I didn’t spill anything but I did elect not to have coffee just in case! Then it was just time to wait. Longest 1.5 hours ever!
A producer escorted us to the large deck for the opening, lipstick and powder was touched up and suddenly it was “go” time! Yikes, this was happening and happening fast! We were the first guests in place on the stage, and then as if she magically popped in, Martina McBride was on stage and just feet from us! We have to say, it didn’t really feel like a comfortable breezy conversation on someone's back deck! There was a small live audience which actually made things feel a little more comfortable! I knew it was important to keep smiling but it started to feel a little forced, but I kept it up as I don’t have a pleasant looking “resting” face! Ten minutes later, it was over and I had no voice!!! Evidently the air in LA is dry and I’m particularly susceptible to its affects. I drank all the water I could and Monica our props guru found me a cough drop. I was still raspy when we went on but at least I had a voice!
We did the tease for our segment right after Martina McBride’s cooking segment—even though we were on the same show, we did not get to meet her. She arrived just as we started taping and left right after her segment. The teaser was a little intimidating because there was a giant camera lens about two feet away and we had to act like that was an everyday occurrence!
Home & Family tapes live but airs the next day. They shoot in real time which means the show is shot in order and the cameras are constantly moving throughout the 12 sets where the segments are shot. After our tease, all of a sudden there were 4 cameras, their operators, 4 grips and an assortment of directors, producers, and others in the room along with the hosts. The five second countdown was given, a finger pointed at us and it was “go” time! Nine minutes later, and after posing for pictures with the hosts, we were done! I didn’t feel comfortable until about half way through and was actually able to enjoy the experience a bit. Everyone told us it went well so I hope it did!
Steph’s segment thoughts: I was tasked with talking during our pre-tape, which is an edited section that I basically voiced over live. I felt like it was going well but half way through I could see the crew talking to each other and all I heard was the word “stain” and what looked like discussion. I was still talking during the pre-tape but I was also thinking, “Did I say something wrong? Are we going to have to re-shoot? Wait, we can’t re-shoot! Oh no, WHAT DID I SAY???” And then the pre-tape was over and we were back live with the hosts and Mark asked me a question about the stain and that’s when I realized I must have flubbed on that in the pre-tape. I didn’t let it faze me and moved on with the segment. I’m dyslexic so words can be a struggle for me sometimes. I was bummed when I learned that I said we “sanded” the door instead of “stained” the door. But let me set the record straight- I do know the difference between sanding and staining!
After our segment, we packed up our crafting supplies, hung out and watched some of the segments, and got to talk with a couple of the family members. We actually got to meet Woody Frasier of Woody Frasier Enterprises who had just gotten back from a scouting trip to Dollywood. I pretty much “fan girl-ed” all over him. He inquired of Steph’s age and he wondered out loud who he could fix her up with! Great guy, very easy to talk to.
We were included in the show closing where we all squinted into the sun. Thankfully, it was very short. We said our goodbyes, and Borna drove us back to our hotel.
Takeaways & Random Thoughts:
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