Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hello Hollywood!! Goodbye Hollywood!!

My last few months have been insane! Between radio segments, print and radio interviews, television and the array of events, it didn’t surprise me when I ended up in the doctor’s office sick with walking pneumonia. He blamed the plane trip to (or from) Los Angeles. I blamed that along with lack of sleep for well over 30 days.  

When I received the call that I was going to be on The Ricki Lake Show, I went through a gambit of emotion, most of all nervousness. I only had a couple days notice and I couldn’t possibly have liposuction, or a face lift (oh, don’t think I didn’t search out feasible ways of doing this!).  I had my best friend who came over and helped me choose outfits (I had to bring several choices), a husband who was telling me that I was beautiful and to stop fretting, and another person in my so-called entourage negating just about everything else.

“Don’t bring pants that make you look heavier.”
“Maybe you should color your hair another color.”
“Umm, maybe I need to coach you on what to say!”

I was ready to scream and my insecurities played out even more. Instead of being a confident forty-something year old, I felt like a freshman in high school all over again. How was a chunky - err...curvy, red-headed Midwest gal going to do a National Television program and not faint? I didn’t know. First I had to deal with my fear of flying.  

The beautifully haunted Culver Hotel
The plane trip there went smoother than I could’ve dreamed, except for the hard landing that actually made the whole plane say, “Oomph!” But we were on the ground and ground was good. Trying to figure out how to get to the car rental place was a bit of a fiasco, but after almost an hour, we found the right shuttle, got a beautiful white beater up car (I was on a budget) and headed out to find The Culver Hotel in Culver City, California. 

We had been warned that LA traffic was a nightmare, but we didn’t’ find it much different than rush hour in Michigan, and definitely not as bad as Chicago traffic. Thank goodness for Mapquest on the iPhone, which made it simple to find our way.

The Culver Hotel is a gorgeous hotel and well known for being haunted, and for being the home to the many Munchkins as they filmed The Wizard of Oz. We were given our key to a top floor room and instructions on where to park (a block and plus away). Although it was only noon LA time, it was 3:00 p.m. our time, and we hadn’t eaten and had been traveling since 3:30 a.m. our time. We were exhausted. It was also our 6th year wedding anniversary, so instead of napping like I really wanted to, we ran over to a Mexican restaurant where the food was good, but much different than the Mexican we were used to, and then headed out to see some of the sights. It was just a few hours later that both of us were ready to drop from exhaustion and we just headed back to sleep, the sun still high in the LA sky.  We woke up in the middle of the night to our hotel phone ringing. I answered, only to hear breathing. After no response, I hung up and called the front desk.
A crystal clear day!

“No, Ms. Robinett, there was no calls to your room, but this is a common complaint. We are so sorry your sleep was interrupted.”

Darn haunted hotels.

An hour later I was awakened to the noise of footsteps next to my side of the bed, and when I opened my eyes, I found the mirrored amour door opening.  I threw a pillow at the door and muttered, “Come back tomorrow night when I can talk to you – I’m tired!” Nothing else happened that night.

Both Chuck and I woke up at 4 a.m, which would’ve been our normal Michigan time, and did what every anniversary couple would do – played Words With Friends. No, really. That is until breakfast which was granola, yogurt and fresh fruit, and then a walk around town, and finally back to our car where we decided to go sight seeing some more. The show wasn’t until the following day, so we were pretty excited to have an entire day to just chill and relax, or at least try – I was still a nervous wreck.

Picture Perfect Venice Beach. No editing needed!
We made our way first to Venice Beach where they were filming a television show, then to downtown Hollywood – where they were filming a television show. And then to Rodeo Drive – where… they were filming a television show.  One of the prominent things that I took back with me from our sightseeing was that I was astounded at the magnitude of homeless people.  And how there would be a multi-millionaire dollar home right next to a slum neighborhood.  But, I have to say that everybody that we ran into was so friendly and polite – even the homeless.

We had a quick bite to eat for dinner, and then hung out at an outdoor café, drinking raspberry iced tea, and enjoying the breeze and California sun, and once again crashed early.

The studio was walking distance from the hotel, and Chuck and I walked over in the morning so that I could get my hair and makeup done, my wardrobe chosen and miked up. Everybody with the show was absolutely awesome – I can’t say enough about how lovely and friendly everybody was. As soon as I got into the studio, a gentleman came over and said, “You must be a Midwest girl – Michigan, maybe?”

I just laughed and nodded.

“I’m from Detroit!”

Small world!

Everybody with the show reassured me that everything was going to be okay, and they prettied me up enough where I started to feel confident. Until I walked out on stage. I knew I was doing a séance, but I didn't have a clue with whom, and I didn't know how it was going to work on cue. And I didn't at all expect that they would have celebrities at the table, one being a comedian. So while I was trying to do a serious segment, Loni Love, dressed as Honey Boo Boo’s mom joked and I had to roll with it. Thank goodness it went well (and from what I could see, nothing was edited out), and although I was shaking and a nervous wreck, it didn't look like it (I hope). In a blink of an eye, it was over and Chuck and I were hurrying back to the airport to fly home. Just like that.

On the plane ride home, I had a lot to think of, thanks to the lady next to me – the one person on the entire humongous plane who decided to leave her light on for the entire plane ride, and who drank wine and chomped on chips, making it impossible to sleep. Yeah, thanks to her, I had time to think about what my priorities were. The first thing was that you should never ever put sand in a water bottle and put in your suitcase. TSA doesn't like it. But more importantly, I pondered how I always wanted the Hollywood life. Or I thought I did. And although my time in LA was fabulous, I realized that I am a Midwest gal through and through, and proud of it. My nose is mine, my chunk is mine, my boobs are mine – there isn't a facade like a movie set, and I don’t want to change that (well, maybe some of the chunk). I am grateful for the experience, and grateful for everybody who helped me get there, but most of all I am grateful for the new found perception because without it, I might’ve been wishing on Hollywood stars that were put together with unglued glitter waiting to be blown away.


1 comment: