Our visit was so much fun today. We arrived at the studio at 11:30 and went on into the administration building after getting through security. We found the Publicity Department much more easily this time, and met Petros. He introduced us to an intern who was going to come with us to the lunch and then we waited on the couch for him for a little bit. We had a chance to look at some early publicity pictures from the show on the walls there.
It wasn’t long before Petros walked us down to the studio area. We went by a bunch of buildings. We came up along the building where they tape, and Petros asked someone what stage they were taping in this morning, and someone said Stage 4 (I think), so he said we could go into Stage 5 to see the sets that were set up. But before we could go in, Tracey and Ben appeared outside the other studio. It was so good to see them again. We talked about what we had been doing in LA before the visit, and all the problems Priscilla and Tammy encountered flying yesterday – especially Pris.
Tracey had on a white sleeveless top and green shorts, and Ben was wearing a gray t-shirt and shorts. They looked so good! Ben’s hair was significantly longer than it was in recent shows that have aired. It looked so good that I couldn’t help myself from telling him that. Tracey’s hair was beautiful too, straight and parted in the middle. Pris told her how much she loved it. Tracey said how easily damaged it is from rollers, etc., and that she would wear it in a style like this that doesn’t require the use of devices that would damage her hair as long as she could.
While standing in that same area, we saw Brook, and got some pictures with her. She remembered Tammy from last year’s fan event! She was just beautiful, and was showing off the ring Chad gives to Whitney. We saw Lindsay right after that. She was wearing a white robe. We didn’t take her picture since she was in the robe but we talked to her about the hassle with the planes, and Pris losing her stuff. She was sympathetic.
On the way to the commissary, I made my comment about Ben’s hair. That’s when Tracey let us know that even though we may like his hair, we are not going to like what we see on our screens soon – not us Evian fans anyway. We, of course, countered with the expected moans. And then Ben said it was all my fault! LOL, I am used to Pris saying things like that, but not Ben! So I said, “My fault?” He said something about the Evian water we had sent. I guess the push for more Evian gave us Evian, but not the way we wanted! I didn’t have the chance to tell Ben that the campaigns weren’t truly designed to keep Evian together, although that would be a nice side effect. But the purpose of the latest one, especially, is that TPTB see that Julian and Eve are popular and beloved, so much so that they never, ever keep them offscreen as long as they were this past winter and spring. I’d rather see them on, tackling problems, than not at all. But boy, tackling problems may be an understatement for what lies ahead. Petros said something about them finishing some really good stuff recently, and he mentioned something about the hospital rooftop. Not sure what exactly happens there, but it must be good drama, but bad for Evian. Ben and Tracey hinted that the scenes they just finished this morning were going to be tough viewing for us Evian fans. It sounds really heavy.
We entered the commissary, and they had so many food choices there. Tracey got the swordfish special. She said it was really good some days but tougher others. I think she had a tough one today because Ben gave her some of his more tender fish after they sat down. Tammy and I got sandwiches and salads, but we didn’t eat a lot. We were too busy talking. Pris ate hers though! It was good food. We had a nice long lunch and got to talk about a whole lot of things, mostly the show. Tracey and Ben were in such good spirits, which was great. They have been taping a lot of tough scenes but it sure didn’t show. They told us they taped four episodes this week. When was the last time Julian and Eve have had four shows airing in one week? That is so awesome for them, and Evian fans…but of course, there is a catch. And the catch here is that things are going to get bad – really bad.
They couldn’t tell us exactly what was going to happen, but apparently, Julian and Eve are going to have some truly heavy scenes ahead, where he is going to say things we never dreamed of. But Tracey did say that whatever we see, we will feel for him, in the way you feel for Oliver Twist. It should be some truly gripping scenes.
Priscilla said she wanted Julian to run CI. She asked if Evil Julian was coming. We didn’t really get an answer, but it sure seems like something must be in the works. Tracey said how cute he was as Evil Julian, but I said we loved our romantic Julian, and had a sad look on my face as I thought of the possibilities of losing our Jules! She saw my pout and thought I was going to cry. I will if we lose our beloved Jules, but I have a feeling we won’t really lose him…he’ll be there underneath all the pain. It sounds like what’s coming is not like last year at all…it’s going to be so much more intense. Priscilla asked if there would be a happily ever after for Eve and Julian, but they said not in the foreseeable future!
We talked about so many things. They asked what we wanted to know. LOL, I pulled out a little list I made but realized we had already covered some of it. I asked Ben how tall he was – 6’1! I then asked Tracey about the conflicting birth years for her – 1959 at IMDB, and 1958, that this Jason47 insists is right. Tracey asked what the third question was! I think maybe Jason was right, which is to me all the more wonderful, because this woman doesn’t look a day over 40. She truly looks younger in public, as does Ben. I think their new hairstyles help take years off both of them!
I asked Ben if he still had his boat, Elan. The reason I thought he may not is because he said in an interview last summer, I think, that he didn’t know if he had another winter on the boat in him. But he still has his Elan, so that’s a good thing!
I asked Tracey what she thought about that recent horrible montage , and if she had to tape any scenes for it recently…to add to the montage. She said she thought the montage was going to be about family, and said that she didn’t think she taped anything recently for it…definitely not the love scenes.
We talked with Ben about the December attempted rape scenes at the hospital. Tammy discussed Amelia being put on recurring, and how upset we all were with that. Ben said what a great actress Amelia is. We talked about all the things they still needed to resolve with Liz.
Ben said that so far, the layoffs haven’t affected him and Tracey, but that you never know. That would be just utterly horrible if the show did that to them! He did say that perhaps they are going to try all the teenage pairings they can to see if that helps boost the ratings. But the things is, ratings have gone up slightly recently, after the vets came back onscreen, so I sure hope TPTB focus more on them and less on those at Tabby’s house who have been the center of attention for so long this year as the ratings spiraled downward.
Ben told us how Sheraton Kalouria once said that NBC used focus groups to help tell them what was popular on the show, etc. I guess he had asked him if he checked out the boards. Not sure who makes up these focus groups or how they are selected - probably randomly by telephone. But Tracey, for some reason, looked at me and said, "No, you can't become part of a focus group." I have no idea why she thought I might try to...
Tammy asked Tracey about how Eve can overlook all that TC said and did, like calling for her head. We discussed whether Eve could have some sort of mental problem that dates far back. It's hard to understand just why she is behaving this way.
We talked about the continuity of things…about how one day pictures would be here, and the next day, same scene, somewhere totally different. Pris and Tammy pointed out how Mad Dog somehow got into the Crane Mansion after Evian’s first love scene, and not only found the room they were in, but immediately found the light switch in it, even though it was in a strange place.
We talked about scheduling, and how they find out what days they work. They really only know 10 days ahead, so as Tracey said, it’s almost impossible to schedule a dentist appointment. I mentioned how they probably can’t call in if they are sick, and it sounds like they go even if they are really ill. Ben mentioned some scenes he taped years ago where he had such a bad flu that he had to lie down between taping and take a cab home. It has to be tough to not have sick days like that but the cast are such troupers. You have to be in this business, I guess. Tracey mentioned how things do get shifted around though if something big happens, like the birth of a baby. Passions added another little bundle of joy to its cast this week, when Galen’s wife gave birth to their little boy. We talked about how there was definitely something in the water, with all of these babies lately!
Tammy mentioned Eric’s twin boys, and the talk turned to how much she enjoyed him in that black t-shirt he wore to the 2004 fan club event.
I asked Tracey if she had been working out. We told her how you could really tell it looked like she had recently. She asked if that was right after the break, and we said yes, the scenes where Evian kissed just before she got the phone call about TC (at Tabitha’s). She said she had worked out maybe four times before that, and that when she worked out years ago, you could really notice it right away. I think she was pleasantly surprised we had noticed how toned she looked. I think she is going to get back into it now.
I gave Tracey a magnet I had made of the kiss she and Ben had at Tabitha’s. She said she had gotten some magnets in the mail. She also mentioned how much she loved the bookmarks. I told her Jess had designed them. I can tell Tracey is enjoying our campaign goodies. I gave them some t-shirts Mike and I made for them. They are black t-shirts with a black and white design that is just like the postcard jess made for the campaign. They say “Catch the Evian Fever” on them, and yeah, we warned her not to wash them, based on what happened to me! I figure she could wear hers sometime though if she wants and save Ben’s as a souvenir!
Priscilla mentioned how we are trying to push awareness of Evian in other ways too…like in her nightly Coffeerooms pic. Ben said he knows all about the pics and that Tracey goes there to see them too. We discussed CR a little. Pris also mentioned her Naked Julian poems. Tracey said she had to see them. LOL.
Pris mentioned her boss and the way he was teasing her about being Ben's stalker...he said she was going to hide in the bushes out here. I told them he said that because of her shrine to Ben at work. LOL, she had a picture of the wall behind her desk and all the B&T stuff on it with her, on her cell phone. She showed it to them. Tracey said she wouldn't worry until she saw smoke curling up in front of the pictures. Ben, however, remained mum on that so I think maybe he agrees with the boss.
Tracey did say that someone sent her flowers a couple weeks ago and shouldn’t have! Not sure who she is referring to, but it may be someone on the board. I told her the guilty party might have been pwtala! LOL. She said it was too much. I asked if she meant birthday ones too, but she said no, those were fine but she doesn’t want people spending all this money on her. She said sometimes she doesn’t see the flowers right away (I am not sure where they keep them), so sometimes they can get wilted. So you hear that, pwtala? Be good!
I asked Ben if his salami was rotten when he got it, but he said no, it was delicious and they just got done eating everything in that basket. They loved it. The folks in Publicity kept it cool for him, and that was so nice. I was afraid the meat and cheese would be spoiled when we saw how long he was off there in May. I told him that it had been a running joke with pwtala that someone who worked in Publicity had finished off Ben’s wine. LOL.
Pwtala, it was fun to throw your name around since you weren’t here to defend yourself. But I forgot to tell Ben what you told me to tell him about his little Alabama comment! I did remember to tell them you said hello, and Evian10 and stefanie, and they definitely knew who you guys were! (Oops, I just realized I forgot to tell them my mom said hi. That's the second time I forgot to do that!!).
After talking for well over an hour, Ben realized it was 1 o’clock, and time for them to get back to work. We headed out to take some pictures before they went back to the set. We ran into Charles right away, looking all handsome in his white robe. Ben said, “There’s Freak Boy” in jest to Tammy, who called Chad that at lunch. He went up and gave Charles a kiss on the cheek. We took an ex-family pic of Julian, Eve and Chad. Charles said they were still using the couch, and we joked about how come a billionaire can’t afford a bed. He was funny.
We talked about how we were going to see Marilyn Monroe’s grave tomorrow, for Pris, and Ronald Reagan’s for Mike. Tracey said you can see the old Air Force One at the Reagan Library too. That sounds cool! Pris mumbled something about how she’d rather go to Clinton’s Library than Reagan’s. We were good though and didn’t get into politics.
We posed for a group picture. Tracey held up her t-shirt in it, which was cool. She is such a sweetheart. Then it was time to say goodbye. We hugged them both. Ben said he was heading off to the bathroom. He is too funny.
Petros took us to see Stage 5 then. We got to see a lot of CI offices set up, and a bedroom for a flashback. As we were walking out, Ben waved to us from across the way and said something about see you again. I hope we do get to see them again someday!
Petros walked us to the front gate. I gave him an Evian magnet as a souvenir. He picked the one like I gave Tracey. He said he already had the Catch the Evian fever kind, that one had fallen out of an envelope he had handled. Apparently, all the mail goes through Publicity, so they were well aware of our campaign. I am glad he liked the magnet. We thanked him for everything.
Mike was waiting for us outside the gate. It was 1:26 when we got out there, according to Priscilla and Tammy. What a terrific day!!
I can’t thank Tracey and Ben enough for everything…they were just awesome hosts, and so sweet to agree to this lunch for charity in the first place, to set the date up with us in advance so we could get flights, and to talk to us for so long and show us such a good time. They totally rock!! Thanks, Ben and Tracey!!