March 30, 2013

Conan Taping

Monday morning, I woke up bright and early (which I never do) and got ready for LA (the only time it's really worth it...other than church). My friend, Viviyan, picked me up around 8, then we picked up our friend, Febe and headed back to Viviyan's house to meet up with the rest of our group. It was nice, because it gave the three of us (and Viv's sis) a chance to catch up, because we haven't been able to hang out in quite some time. So, that was good. Those girls make my heart happy! :) Just being around them, even without saying anything, makes me happy.

After everyone got there, we split into two cars. So, Febe and I went with Viviyan and her aunt, while everyone else drove in the other. We listened to Justin Timberlake's CD, which is amazing, and also great road trip music. We talked, laughed, and sang along to the music.

We made our way into LA, parked at the WB parking structure, and sat in the waiting area. It was a different spot than I've been to in the past, but in the same area of town and in the stretch of the studio. We waited for a couple hours before they checked us in and all that jazz, and we all had to use the bathroom so BAD, so that was an interesting time. As soon as someone checked us in and we got our tickets, we were free to go. In the meantime, we all brainstormed about how I'm going to have my own talk show, and the roles my friends will play with it. Febe will be my first guest, and Viviyan will be the girl that checks everyone in and books the guests. As soon as we could, we decided to have lunch at Carl's Jr, since it was just up the street and would be quick, so we could get back sooner. We were able to get in and get out in plenty of time, and even had a few minutes to spare, as we played "Four pics One word", which is a lot more fun than I realized it would be. It's kind of like pictionary...But, not really, I guess. Just look it up, it's definitely something to do when waiting!

When we finished lunch, we went over to CVS for a few minutes, to get some art supplies to make posters for the taping. I guess sometimes he pays attention to those and will come over and shake hands or whatever is being asked for on the paper! After we got the supplies, it was time to head back to the studio. We only waited 30 minutes or so, before they started lining up people to go into the taping. Everyone had their last bathroom break, snacks, etc. We all saw two gecko's while waiting for the restroom...SO CREEPY! Pretty soon, we were all anxiously awaiting to walk across the street to the lot. It's crazy how nervous/excited people get before a taping. You can definitely feel the energy, and honestly, I'm finding that there is nothing that fuels me more than a live audience. I want to feel that on a daily basis...Or weekly!
We waited in line and I realized that we were right across the way from the Gilmore Girl house (also used on Pretty Little Liars) and the Stars Hollow gazebo was right off to the side and in clear view (which made my heart hurt a little...jk), but thought it was so cool, even though I've seen it before! And we could also see the back of the facade of Rosewood, which is my favorite part of the studio, since it was Stars Hollow. After waiting awhile, the "pages" took us to Conan's stage! It almost felt like we had more freedom than when you're on the tour and just sitting on the cart. Obviously, we didn't and there were plenty of people watching, so there was no room for funny business! LOL. We walked past the sound stage for The Big Bang Theory, Two Broke Girls, and Two and a Half Men. I'm sure there were plenty of others, but those were the main ones. And all along the way, there were prop carts or doors open, and we'd all peek inside to see what we could see, and people running around with a purpose; probably on a mission to get the new script to the actors or to talk production with the team. There was so much excitement going on, and it's the kind of place that I want to be after college. Where it's enough of a routine that you're not too surprised, but never a dull moment.

We liked the mirror above us in the elevator!
Our group made it into the Conan taping. There was a lego statue of Conan when we first walked in, and a stack of books on a cart, which I'm assuming was for one of the segments he tried out that night. Then, they led us to our seats. We were split up into two rows, which kind of sucked, but it's not like we would've had a chance to talk much anyway, so it worked out. We were still close enough to everyone.

Before the show started, there was a guy that came out to warm up the audience. He told some jokes, talked to people in the audience (including us), and introduced the band to start playing. Wow! They are incredible; they're jazz style and had a lot of energy. They were going through the audience and really jamming! It got the crowd pumped up and helped the time go by faster. Soon, the show started. I know I talk about this a lot, but I absolutely love the process of how a TV show comes together. Each show has their own system; some work better than others, some are more entertaining than others, but the production team always comes together and puts on one heck of a show. And it's cool to observe the things you like and don't like when you start going to different tapings.

Most of the time at tapings, while the show is going on, I kind of zone out and watch all of the behind the scenes stuff that I can't at home. I love watching the cameras guys running around, trying to get that perfect shot of whoever's on stage, or the lighting guys working in places that you can't really see them but know they're there, and of course, you have the writing team that is always running up during commercial breaks to talk about what's coming up next or if they need to change anything. Everyone has their part, and that's why it works so well.

Conan did the monologue and a couple other segments, then brought out his first guest, Magic Johnson. It was exciting getting to hear about the Dodgers and the Lakers, and his viewpoint, since he's such a legend in the sports realm. The next guest was Thandie Newton, who I had heard of and seen before, but couldn't really remember what she was in, but she ended up being very delightful. She's so cute and petite, and has the most adorable British accent. The musical guest was Langhorne Slim, which sounded really interesting, but I ended up knowing the song they sang, because it was on a commercial. They were really good and had a lot of energy, which was fun! And Conan even joined them for a little while. The funniest part was watching him get ready, by bouncing up and down on stage, getting pumped up. He's so tall too, which made me chuckle a little more, with his hair flouncing back and forth.

The taping ended, and earlier some of Conan's crew, had said there would be a surprise. Well, the last time Viviyan and her sister went (and had invited me to go) Ryan Gosling ended up being a guest on the show, that they just had to film ahead of time. I was kicking myself for not being able to go and having class that day, so I knew I had to go this time since I was free. Conan came out and talked to the audience for a few minutes, and said he was going to be filming a segment that would be on his birthday show coming up in a few weeks, and also wanted to show us a video portion that they had just shot. He changed his blazer and tie, then came back out to shoot. We were all whispering and making faces at one another, trying to figure out who he could possibly be bringing out.

After the break was over, Conan sat back down at his desk, and made the introduction for the next guest, including, "one of the sexiest actresses in Hollywood!" It ended up being Eva Mendes, who I've never really been a fan of, but after this interview, I was really surprised with her. She really is gorgeous in person, so now I see why so many people talk about her all the time, and she seems fun to hang out with. She talked about her new glasses line, dish line (Vita) and her new clothing line with New York & Co. that she is working on. But, her primary goal was to promote her new movie that'll be coming out in a bit, with Ryan Gosling. We saw a clip from the movie, after she set it up, and told Conan she had a surprise for him... If you're a Conan fan, then I won't say anything else, and you can just watch it! But, it was pretty clever and hilarious. When the interview ended, Eva waved to the audience and did a little bow, thanking everyone. She truly seemed gracious; I might have become a fan that day!

We watched a short clip of something that Conan had just filmed of him at a "manner's school" because he's getting ready to go to Atlanta in a couple weeks! It was hilarious...He's a lot funnier than I gave him credit for, even though, I still don't think everything is appropriate, but what can you do?! That's late night television. It was exciting, because we were the first audience, outside of his team to see it; it's like we were testing it out, to see if it was any good! It was! I used to think he was so annoying, but he actually seemed really cool and more laid back, so that changed my view on him...In a good way.

After the taping, they had us file out and we walked back through the lot and across to the parking lot. I kept my eyes peeled for any celebrities as we were walking or any other action, and snapped a few pictures along the way, since we couldn't have our cameras out in the beginning. Never saw anyone, but it was still so good to be on the lot. Febe, Viviyan and I walked with one another, while the others trailed behind further in the back. We were talking all about the taping and how fun it was, and I was filling them in on how bad I want an internship at Warner Brothers! They agreed that would be a fun job!

We made it back to the parking structure and made plans on what to do for dinner and the ride back. We hit the road, got stuck in traffic, and made our way into Valencia to stop for bathrooms and dinner. We spent a few minutes in the gas station, picked up some snacks and went over to Taco Bell to eat. I have to say, they were playing some really good music, too! We were all talking about the day and other random topics, then decided to head back to town.
Let's just say it was REALLY cold on the way home...HAHA! I was busy brainstorming for my next story, because we were all tired from the day and just sort of quiet. It's always comforting knowing that you have friends that you don't have to talk with 24/7, that you can just enjoy each other's companies and understand one another in silence.

It was a really fun day, and I was wiped out by the time I got home. I told my parents about the experience, and decided to call it a night a little earlier than usual. 

I'm definitely looking forward to the next Conan taping, whenever that might be!

That's all for now,

Shania Twain In Vegas! (*Spoilers*)

Last weekend, my parents and I went to Las Vegas to see Shania Twain for my dad's birthday! We didn't leave until almost noon, because my dad had some things to do, and when he was finished, we hit the road. It was pretty much a "turn and burn" trip, but totally worth it!

I love road trips. It's kind of my dream for Ryan Seacrest to make a reality show about my family going on a road trip across the country in an RV. I have no idea where that idea came from, but probably just my love for road trips. To me, it's like you see everyone's true colors and it just gives you a chance to be outside of yourself, and see things from a different perspective, because you're in a new setting and can really think, instead of just being stuck in a certain situation.

Our car ride consisted of listening to music, playing random games to pass the time, and just talking about whatever. There are always a lot of laughs, which is something I'll always treasure the most about trips-the people and the conversations exchanged.

After several hours of driving, we made it to Las Vegas! We checked into our hotel, Excalibur, and didn't have much time to dilly dally. We unpacked the car, freshened up and changed, then headed downstairs. We had planned on having a nice dinner, but ended up not having time after we got there, so we went to a burger place in our hotel. It was pretty good...Burgers are burgers.

By that time, it was getting closer to the show and we still had to make our way over to Caesar's Palace, and traffic was pretty heavy. Well, the streets are weird, so we had to go down several side streets and take detours, etc. It felt like something out of a movie. Either a high action chase type scene, or something out of a chick flick; something really cliche, where the guy is trying to get the girl back and he has to get to the airport or something like that.
Well, we FINALLY made it. My dad found a parking spot, and we were almost running to the casino part of the hotel (which never happens), and had plenty of time to spare. We made our way inside the Colesseum, bought a program, and glanced around at some of Shania's clothes that were set up in the lobby area.
Then, we found the way to our seats. We were in the balcony, but it worked really well for a show like this, because there are so many aspects that you want to be able to see in full effect; graphics, lighting, dancers. 

When we made our way into the theater, there was a backdrop that made you feel as though you were in the forest. There were green trees, logs, and other little woodland creatures hanging around, and the sound effects were so real. It really felt like you were hanging out in the middle of nature, which is very Shania! It felt comforting! As the show got closer, the sun started to shine through the woods more, and finally...SHOW TIME!

I was excited about the concert when we bought the tickets, and obviously in the weeks and days prior to it, but I was feeling extremely excited right before the curtains were lifted. She was a huge reason of why I loved Country music so much when I was younger, and I just remember watching specials with her on TV and hearing her on the radio as I got ready for school each morning. To finally be able to see her perform live?! Definitely a dream come true. And she was every bit of what I thought she would be and more.

Having just finished reading her book, I felt like I knew her! I found out so much about her life and what she went through; things I never would have known or realized just by looking at her. So, to know all the struggles and trials she's been through in her life and has still been able to rise above all of that, standing before thousands of people in an arena like that is proof to me that I really can do anything in my life. It doesn't matter what walk of life you come from. You have the power to change all of that.
It's definitely on my top 5 concerts I've been to! Even if she hadn't had the dancers, the horse, the graphics on the screen, costume changes or any of that, she just has this commanding stage presence that has everyone's eyes on her. She sang all of her uptempo hits, as well as a few of her slower ballads like, "You're Still The One" and "From This Moment On" (my personal favorite). Then, of course, she sang her earlier songs, like "Any Man Of Mine", "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" on the steps of a saloon set, while wearing pink cowboy boots and plaid shirt, and it still felt like I was seeing her in her prime days. In fact, she hasn't gone ANYWHERE. She worked that stage and got the crowd going. I still can't believe she's like 47...Or something like that?? I don't even look like that and I'm 21. This is just not right. HA!
My favorite part of the show was the "campfire" type setting, where they set up a fake bonfire with a nature-esque background with rocks and logs to sit on. Shania said that her husband, Fred, picks a few people out of the audience to bring onstage each night, so he brought them to her, and she picked a few more people out of the audience herself. It definitely reminded me of something Taylor Swift would do, or that her husband in the future might be doing, if she's still wanting to tour when she settles down. Shania was very laid back and seemed very personal in those moments. You could tell it really is the part of the show where not much is planned and she just gets to know the audience and hang out with the few fans on stage. They played the acoustic guitar and she sang a few of her more folksy tunes, like "Today Is Your Day." It really opened my eyes to how sincere she is...and also, just how badly I want to meet her.
The only pic I snapped because we weren't supposed to take pictures. This was at the end!

She closed the show out with "Man! I Feel Like A Woman" and just like that...It was over. She truly is an artist and one heck of a performer! I was truly blown away by her presence, as an entertainer and as a person. And she does seem really happy now, which is good. After all this time, she deserves that.

After the show ended, we spent A LOT of time in the gift shop. I got a shirt from Shania's organization, perfume, and guitar picks! Let's just say there was a lot to choose from in the store..But, most of it was overpriced. When we finished up there, we made our way back down the strip and to our hotel. We ended up stopping at Starbucks and Pizza Hut and brought them back to snack on in our room, since we'd eaten pretty early.
We watched TV, ate, and got ready for bed. Obviously, much earlier than I'm used to, because I stay awake until 2-3 a.m on most nights. So, while my parents fell asleep, I was staring at the ceiling, brainstorming and daydreaming, as usual. It's good for me! And pretty soon, I was fast asleep.

The next morning, we were able to sleep in a bit (like I don't do that enough), get ready and get our things together to leave. We checked out of the hotel and had lunch at Claim Jumpers, which is at the outlets that we usually go to. It's a nice outdoor shopping center, and since it was for my dad's birthday, he got to pick the place. They weren't open when we get there, so we killed time at this store called, Fry's. It's basically like an electronic heaven, and in all of the trips that we've taken to Vegas, I've never been there, so it was cool to be able to check it out. They had just about everything; DVD's, CD's, books, appliances, etc. It was amazing! I definitely could have bought plenty of series' on DVD if I'd had money...So, it's probably a good thing I didn't.

We headed back over to Claim Jumper and had lunch, which was yummy! And we had some great conversation, while my mom and I explained a few scenes of The Office to my dad...Good times! When we finished, we looked around at a few of the stores and tried some frozen popcorn at one of the little booths. It was scientifical and tasty, oddly enough. After an hour or so, we realized we should probably get on the road.

The road trip felt a little longer this time around. I guess that's always the case with vacations, right? On the way, you're excited and anticipating everything that's going to happen...And on the way back, all of your memories that could have been made, have been and now it's back to the town or city that you belong. *Sigh* To pass the time, I watched One Tree Hill, wrote in my journal, stared out the window, and checked Twitter quite frequently. Then, I got a text from one of my friend's, asking if I wanted to go to a taping of Conan the next day. I said YES! So, I had that to look forward to as we continued the drive back to town. I was really excited! :)

We got home around 6:30 or so, ate dinner, and got some stuff ready for the next day! It was a relaxed night and a great end to an incredible weekend. And the official start to spring break, even though I technically don't get one, because I only have one class, and it's online...Oh well... ;).

That's all for now,

March 29, 2013

Just Checking In

Wow! I can't believe that its been a couple weeks since the last time I updated. That is probably the longest I've ever gone without getting on here to blog or at least check things out/brainstorm, since I faithfully started writing on here almost three years ago.

I have started another blog (, and I've been toying around with the idea of quitting this one, to focus on the other, just for a change and part of this new season in my life of being 21. I thought maybe it was time to say goodbye to this one and start a new journey, and just for a new project to have with designing the layout, starting new stories, adding pictures, which is something I always look forward to.

I feel like there have been a lot of transitions and changes going on in my life lately, but there's no reason to abandon this blog just because of that! If anything, I should hold onto it as long as I can, to remember all of the past memories I've had and to keep moving forward with new memories to be made. I've been thinking a lot, dreaming a lot, and hoping for the best in the future. I've been thinking a lot about what I truly want to do with my life and who I am right now...Who I want to be in years to come. I don't want to sound "new agey" because that's not what I'm going for, but I have been doing a bit of self reflection; trying to change some of my ways and figure out what I want. I have so many goals and things that I finally want to get started on all of the things I've been talking about for years. I forget how young I am sometimes, and this is the time to experiment with new ideas or whims of things I might want to try, within reason, of course. And I forget that I still have time to achieve everything...I just need to give myself time and actually get out there and apply myself. I just feel like there's so much I want to do, that I don't have anything figured out. It's all part of the experience, right?

Well, that's all for now! I hope to update about my life and what I've been up to very SOON!