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A Brief Change of Pace

My life last week experienced a pleasant change of pace.

On Wednesday and Thursday I  got up super early in order to do my usual sanding, sealing, mod-podging etc.  Lots of coasters due.  Lots of blocks needed.

Then, after a quick shower and shave I headed off to the studio to spend my afternoon(s) with these lovely ladies.Betty White, Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves

Through a bit of protracted auditioning and waiting I ended up with a role on Hot in Cleveland.

Although acting has become a bit of a “back-burner” item for me I do still get a huge thrill when I walk on to the studio lot to work.

Hot in Cleveland is filmed at what is now called CBS Radford but the studio has a very long history.  cbs-radfordIt was built in 1928 by Mack Sennett (keystone cops, early Charlie Chaplin etc).  It’s also where Gunsmoke, Gilligans Island, The Wild Wild West, Mary Tyler Moore and hundreds of other iconic shows were filmed.    Backlots, soundstages – these places are little cities unto themselves and it’s totally fun to be there.Hot In Cleveland soundstage

The Hot in Cleveland people couldn’t have been nicer or more welcoming.

Doing little gigs like I do can most closely be described as being a temp in a very, very busy office.  You’re essentially jumping onto a moving train – TV casts and crews have been working together for a while – there is a shorthand and a camaraderie that can be a bit intimidating at times.  My job is to come in- do my thing and not get in the way (which is actually quite hard to do as there are a lot of people and a lot of equipment moving around).  But these folks made it easy.

My dressing room was unusually poshDressing room

(usually they are pleasant but not very comfortable trailers)

But I spent no time there as I wanted to be on set as much as possible just to watch and enjoy.

It was a total honor to meet Betty White who couldn’t have been more charming or more funny.  She made several off-the-cuff jokes over the course of the two days that had everyone rolling.

I had only one problem.

Valerie Bertinelli was my first official crush.  valerie-bertinelli-014As a kid, sure, I’d liked a lot  of other women on TV– they were pretty and seemed very nice – Valerie Bertineilli was the first one that I thought “oh… I think I LIKE her.”

I wanted to tell her as much but was confronted with a dilemma.

If you say “I’ve had a crush on you since I was a child” it probably isn’t going to go over quite the way you’d hoped.

Conversely, if you say “I’ve had a crush  on you since YOU we’re a child” you just sound suuuuper creepy.

In the end I didn’t say anything.  I just contented myself with small talk and the awkwardness (due to camera angles) of having to stand, basically, with my butt in her face for two takes.  She was quite gracious about it.

The next question is “when will it air.”  Honestly, I have no idea.  Also I don’t have my hopes up.  Due to the situation (I’m making a solo speech at the top of a scene rather than interacting with anyone) it is highly likely that you’ll hear my voice and see me for about half a second.

But it was a terrific way to spend a couple of afternoons and a truly lovely break from being covered in sawdust and paint all day long.

About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

9 responses »

  1. Congrats a wonderful experience and a life memory. Betty White would be a hit for all of us

    Sent from Samsung tablet

  2. Oh how fun! Betty White, isn’t she royalty?

  3. Please keep us posted when the show will be airing. Wow, to meet Betty White! Yeah, I know what you mean about Valerie Bertinelli. She always has seemed like someone that is so real and that you would really like to be around. David, you are a rock star!

  4. How wonderful for you. I’ll be watching out for that episode. Now, did you hand out coasters or any of your fabulous creations?

  5. very cool!

    I earned my SAG card filming a commercial for Clorox.

  6. You’re writing is so funny! Wonderful stuff.

  7. how awesome is that!! and I met Valerie Bertinelli once too; at a Van Halen concert in Birmingham, AL. She was sitting behind me watching the show just like she was a regular fan. It was when she and Eddie Van Halen were splitting up and she cried thru the whole concert. It was so sad……..but she was so gracious to sign autographs. I didn’t have the guts to ask her for one though, she just looked so sad. 😦

  8. I love everything about this post!!! 🙂

  9. Wow, pretty cool! I will have to keep watching for that show. Maybe you can make some heart-shaped coasters depicting you and Valerie as children, and send to her as a “nice working with you” gift. Would that be creepy? 🙂


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