Saturday, April 12, 2008

Filming Slim Series Express w/Debbie Siebers -- I Made It!

Yes, I caught my delayed flight to Los Angeles the following morning. I was extremely tired -- probably only slept for 3 or 4 hours. I was able to sleep a little on the flight, so when I arrived at LAX, I felt like I could take on the day without feeling like I was in a fog. The other cast members flew into Burbank airport, which was across the street from our hotel and just down the street from where we filmed. But since I live so far from a major airport (6 hours), it was much cheaper to fly right to LAX. So I had a 45 minute Limo ride to get back and forth to the airport. Very fun! (That's me when we arrived at the rehearsal studio above and my Limo driver to the side -- we took pictures of each other because no one else was around :)).

Here's the post I wrote from the hotel computer room the morning after getting there. I didn't have a chance to write that first day:

Hi ladies -- I'm here!!! I made it!!! I had to get up at 3:00 a.m. yesterday, but I made it! I have to be quick and this will probably be my only post while I'm here (unless I find a friend with a laptop or something) because I'm on the hotel computer and they are charging a TON for me to be on here. But I just wanted to tell you about our rehearsal day yesterday. When I walked in and saw Debbie, I said something really bright, "You're a real person!" and I gave her a hug. I actually walked in about 45 minutes late because of my plane delay (oh, and the Limo service really WAS a Limo -- not a stretch one, but a really nice black car with all leather -- the driver was up front, I was in back with drinks and candies there for me -- they treated me like GOLD! That was so fun. The driver liked our visit so much that he said "I wish I had my camera so I could remember what a wonderful rider you were" and I told him I had mine. So we took pictures when we got there and I'm going to e-mail him.

The rehearsal was at Madonna Grimes' Dance Studio (giant pictures of her body all over the place -- wow that woman has muscles!) When I got there you could feel the tension in the room. There were about a dozen people there and there were probably a hundred exercise tops in boxes and on the floor -- they were trying to figure out what we would wear in the videos. Not everyone was agreeing. So they kept sending me and Jocelyn into the dressing rooms to try on different shirts. The first few were yellow and quite see-through. One funny moment (for me anyway, I don't think anyone else was laughing) was when they told me to go take off the shirt I had on and give it to Jocelyn to try on. When I got in there, I thought "Do I put my old one back on? Do I try on another?" and there were about a dozen shirts all over the chair. So I grabbed one that I hadn't tried on yet and walked out. Debbie said "That's my shirt you have on" -- I was just hoping I wasn't stretching it out. She is very tiny -- probably 5'4" or something. And yes, I was the biggest one there.

At first I thought they all must think "Why did we choose her? She's not that in shape" and then once when I came out of the dressing room, they said "Wow, you have 6 kids" and were marveling at that. And I thought maybe that gave some clout to me being bigger than Debbie and Jocelyn. Jocelyn is tall -- 5'10" and is much leaner than I am, but probably close to the same size. She's adorable, has this mid-western accent, and is a lot of fun.

Fast-forwarding to the photo shoot and interviews yesterday afternoon-- I stopped feeling like I was too big or looked out of place. Well, when I first got there, Monica was shooting her workout wear photos and looked AMAZING! and I thought "What am I doing here? I don't look like that at all!" but once I met with the stylist, got dressed up in what they wanted and I felt comfortable with (I kept saying "I like to keep my tummy covered" and stuff like that), I felt really great and felt like everyone there thought I belonged there too. The Beachbody staff and Infomercial staff were so warm and wonderful. Oh, I'll have to save all that for later because there's so much to share there.

But I'll just give you the story on being with
Debbie for now. When we started the workout, Debbie came over to me and helped me with my form on my arms and it was surreal -- I looked at her and thought "Debbie is right here NEXT TO ME helping ME with the workout!" -- It was so much fun. The Cardio Sculpt workout took a few times to get right, but the Stretch one was a dream and I think will be easy to film today. Oh, yeah, the changed our film date to today instead of tomorrow. So they're picking me up at 7:45 to go start the shoot and it will go until about 6:00.

After our rehearsal yesterday, they brought in lunch from Quiznos and a lot of the staff left and it was just me, Jocelyn, Anna, and Debbie in the little kitchen area. We started talking and that was when the fun truly began for me because Debbie talked about these workouts, what Cardio Core is like (sounds like a lot of functional fitness moves that work the core while getting cardio), and how she approached Carl and told him she wanted to find real people to do these workouts with her. She talked about how her sister really loved being in the other workouts (and would love to do it again). I told her how she may not realize it, but she is a big part of our lives because she comes into our homes each day and helps us reach our goals. I told her I love when she talks a lot -- it keeps me going.

I told her a lot of things that she seemed to appreciate hearing and didn't realize from our perspective.
oh, and the music -- Debbie hand-picked it and said it's the best of what she had to choose from, which wasn't wonderful, but it's definitely more upbeat than the Slim Series. It's techno -- no words and not like Cathe's music or Turbo Jam or anything, but it's got a better rhythm than Slim Series or Slim in 6.

And I got to see the set yesterday. They said it's one they've used for other Beachbody productions, but it can change with the lighting and coloring. I can't remember the other workouts they noted -- I think Turbo Jam and something of Tony Horton's. But I asked to go see it yesterday (it was in the same bldg. as the infomercial) and it's looks like wooden walls with some wooden pillars -- some yellow, but they said it will look different today. So we shall see.

They also said it's HOT on the set.
I asked Debbie about the Slim Series set (I've always been curious if it's a set or a house -- if anything was out in that court yard ) and she said it's a mansion in Topanga Canyon (here in L.A. if you're familiar with it) -- and it's gorgeous. She loved filming there, but said it was hotter than other sets and was tough to film the longer workouts in. (She said "and they're something like 60 or 80 minutes long" and I was thinking "78 minutes for Shape It Up and Tear It Up -- 57 or 58 for the others" the crazy vidiot that I am). Okay, this has probably cost me $10 to be on by now so I have to run. Off to eat breakfast before my ride comes. More when I get home (unless I find a laptop -- the limo driver yesterday let me use his to see how he watched Cable while he's stuck in traffic -- so you never know when an opportunity might arrive!)

That computer post actually cost over $25, if you can believe it, but it was fun to be in touch and to have my first hand account for me to read later on. And Beachbody gave me so much cash for meals that I didn't mind having to spend a little on the computer.

Tomorrow I'll post a more detailed account of the first day from after I returned.......I'll go see if I can find any pictures to post. TTFN!

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