On March 16, we took the winners of the My Boys set-visit auction to Paramount Studios to the set where the hit TBS show is filmed.....Kellie and Andrea got a glimpse of what goes on during filming and had an amazing opportunity to meet the cast, crew, writers, entire production team and basically just hang out with the cool kids.
They were greeted outside the set by My Boys cast member Kyle Howard (who brought out the whole cast and crew to build with Habitat for Humanity last year, and then came back out to build on his own many times, totally under the radar, cause that's how he rolls)... Kyle also was amazing in making sure everything was all set up for the visit, including setting them up with Veronica for "handling" and then arranging for a tour of the studio lot by Jeff who is a PA on the show...the tour included not only a visit to all sets used on My Boys, but they also got to sit on the famous "Forest Gump" bench and see the sets of Dr Phil and Dirty Sexy Money..
Kellie was the winner and told us she bid on the auction because it was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go see behind-the-scenes and the money went to a good cause." Kellie flew to Hollywood from Atlanta just for the set visit and on very short notice too, as production season was almost over! Kellie was joined by her friends Andrea and Hillary, who (small world) is friends with the real Crowley (who owns the real life bar the show is based on!)...Hillary already knew many of the cast members especially Mike Bunin and a good time was had by all.
An added bonus for the girls was that Fred Savage was guest directing the episode...they were thrilled when they walked in and saw him directing...and they even got to take a photo with him later in the day.
After being welcomed to the set, the girls met all cast members and got to spend quite some time with Kyle, Reid Scott and Mike Bunin. The ladies of the show were shooting at the time, but cast member Jamie Kaler showed the girls that if they stood in the proper place outside his trailer, they could take a photo with both the set and the Hollywood sign in the background.
Veronica, one of the assistant producers on the show took the girls on a walking tour of the set which included the production office, craft services tables, bar, PJ's apartment and she even let them sit at the poker table where the cast plays poker on the show....they also took pix in the kitchen where a lot of the action on my boys is set.
Andrea said, "This was the best day of my life! Kellie is the sweetest person ever to invite me, she has tons of friends and I feel really special being here. Everyone here is so nice and I’m so glad I could be a part of this. Do we take too many pictures?" The girls took photos wherever they went, but always were respectful of cast and crew and asked permission first...everyone was having such a good time, they all agreed and posed with the girls.
The cast and crew really went out of their way to make sure the girls had a great time, including them in a closed "table read" (where the cast and writers read through the following weeks script for the first time), taking pictures with them, and even taking them up to their hang-out room/production office where they challenged them to a game of foosball....it was a tie score when it was interrupted so the cast could go back to work...but it was intense for a while.
Kyle and the cast really went above and beyond to make sure that the girls had a blast and spent lots of time with them during breaks, even inviting them to eat dinner with them in the break/recreation room upstairs in the production office....and then another foosball challenge began....I won’t be able to tell you how it ended....but a rematch is in the cards for sure.
After dinner, the girls watched several scenes being taped while sitting in "directors" chairs on set, amongst the director and producers...they got to chat with Jacob the sound engineer and they even got to ring the bell (signaling "action")....they then also turned on the red light (to let people outside know not to come in as taping was going on)...they really felt like a part of the production and they were so gracious that the crew welcomed them into every part of the production. Way to go, Ladies!
Kyle said "In these situations, when you have strangers winning, you usually don't know if they're going to be fun to hang out with at all...but not today, these girls are just so cool and fun to hang out with and it was just as much fun for us as it was for them!" (Mike Bunin seconded the comment and cracked "Didn't that sound like a sound bite?...wait for it....good time had by all... well, I mean, We don't just invite anyone up to play foosball, that's our sanctuary," he added!
The girls stayed until production wrapped for the night and then spent some time speaking with Jordana Spiro and Kellie Stewart (who play PJ and Stephanie on the show.)
Highlights of the day included being invited into the closed table read, just hanging out with the cast and crew, learning more about Habitat and our programs in the US and around the world (Several cast members are getting more involved now as a result of Kyle's enthusiasm – thanks Kyle) and of course, the girls taking a photo with Fred Savage, their childhood hero.
Thanks to Kyle, Mia, Teni, Veronica, Jeff, Reid, Jamie, Mike, Jordana, Kellee, Jim and the entire staff and crew of My Boys, TBS and Sony for making this an experience that these girls will remember forever....Thanks to Fred Savage for taking the time to be so gracious to our winners during what was a hectic day for all...they appreciate it and so do we. We hope that all of our auction winners go home so happy and we welcome the chance to provide you with unique experiences like this through our work and our auctions. If you want to volunteer in your hometown, we can arrange this too...and EVERYTHING we do, directly benefits our Habitat for Humanity families in need....thanks to all....you've gone and done a great thing!
Now, check out the pix to see how happy the girls were....