I moved out to Los Angeles after I graduated from college because I was interested in acting. I loved Calabasas and found a wonderful place to live. I did extra work on sets such as Glee (Lea Michelle is just as amazing in person as she is on screen and Cory was a sweetheart), The Longest Ride, The Crazy Ones and other famous movies and TV shows. I was even featured in the pilot for Monday Mornings/Chelsea General starring Ving Rhames (which of course never went on air). This was a really special experience because I was cast as an ER patient who had just been in a car accident due to having a brain aneurism, and Ving Rhames was my doctor. The director told me what he wanted from my character and I acted it out for the camera, and afterwards Ving came up to me and said ‘are you a real actress’ and I was stunned and said ‘yes.’ He said ‘I was just asking because that was really impressive.’ I don’t remember if he said ‘impressive’ or awesome’ or ‘really good,’ but it was some kind of really kind and inspiring compliment and it totally made not only my day but my year!
While on the set of The Crazy Ones I had an incredible spiritual experience meeting the one and only, late and great Robin Williams (Jesus Christ in disguise). I have never met someone so beautiful and wonderful and his soul just shined from the inside out. I will forever be so grateful and happy that I have that moment forever to keep in my heart.When I first got to set on The Crazy Ones I honestly had not looked up anything about the show. I was also having a bad morning. I had driven for 2 hours through traffic to work that morning (typical CA morning I guess?) and had spilled the spinach protein shake I had brought from home for breakfast all over my clothes in my bag and wardrobe had to give me a new set of clothes for the day. When we were being placed for the first scene, they say a bunch of us on a bench in a classroom-type area and a bunch of kids sat on the floor in front of us. Then a hunched over older man tip toed past us whispering, “hi guys, hi guys” and I leaned over to the girl to my right and said, “is that Robin Williams?” I kid you not, I asked her that question at least 5 times because I was in shock.
When Robin sat down in front of the kids he proceeded to read a children’s book to them and acted out the voices of the characters in the book. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and it made me feel like a child again to have this man that created so many beautiful memories in childhood to read to me a children’s book as if I was five years old. It was surreal. This man had ruled my childhood with Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Flubber, and his other hit movies. After the scene I walked over to krafty, and when Robin walked over I just died a little inside because I wanted so badly to go introduce myself but felt like this would be unprofessional. A lady standing next to me noticed my anxiety and said “what’s wrong” and I said, “that’s Robin Williams.” She said something to Robin about me, I forgot what it was, and he hurried away, which hurt my feelings. At that point I felt like I would never get to meet him and tell him how amazing he was and what wonderful things he had brought to my life.
As I would learn later, Robin had this habit of walking up to extras on set, introducing himself and shaking their hands. I did not know this at the time. For the next scene we were all organized and placed in an office space area, and between scenes Robin went and introduced himself to extras. I was one of the extras. The girl in front of me extended her hand and shook his as he approached her and introduced himself with a smile. Then he came to me. I was dying inside. This man was an angel and I was going to have the chance to meet him. He walked up to me with that kind, genuine smile and pure light and goodness in his eyes and shook my hand as I extended it to meet his. “Thank you Robin Williams for my amazing childhood” were the first words out of my mouth, and to his he smiled and laughed and said, “bless you, bless you.” He asked me what my favorite project was that he did and mentioned Mork and Mindy, and I had no idea what that was at the time. I said the Genie from Aladdin was my favorite character he ever did, and he told me that was his favorite project. We laughed and smiled together for the few minutes he had before the next scene was to be filmed, and then he went back to work. I sat there wondering if I was hallucinating.
As the day went on, Robin and I walked past each other on set maybe a few hours later. When we made eye contact we both turned around as I could tell he had something to say to me. He said, “that was really nice what you said,” and to this I put my hands on my heart and said “I love you.” I am not totally sure how this made him feel, as he turned and walked away. Maybe it was overwhelming for him, I don’t know, but I surely hope it was a good feeling of being overwhelmed, hopefully by my adoration. I will never forget his genuine kindness, sincerity and the beauty of his soul when I met this amazing creature and for the rest of my life I will cherish this memory.
I had another great experience with another celebrity as well. I was at Costco trying on glasses and the guy helping me, Patrick, said he knew the guy that voices the character of Squidward in Spongebob Squarepants and directed me to his hang out place on Thursday nights. I went to that place and did meet Rodger Bumpass, the voice of Squidward, and he invited me to his house in Burbank, CA where he had a huge collection of SpongeBob paraphernalia on his wall and a beautiful backyard with rose bushes. Rodger was very nice. The story is funny because when I graduated from high school, my friends and I went to Universal Studios where there was a painting of a life size version of Squidward’s house, and I posed in front of it acting like I was about to open his door. Fast forward 10 years later and I really am opening his front door. Life is crazy sometimes!