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I pretty much just had the greatest visually rewarding weekend ever. See, I’ve had my heart set on taking the WB Studio Tour for quite some time now and considering the fact that she forgot my birthday, it wasn’t too hard to convince my best friend, Elizabeth, to join me. (That and I agreed to go to Disneyland with her on Friday.) My last class of the week was on Wednesday night and she’s on spring break so we drove over to Burbank on Thursday ready to spend the weekend having some serious fun.

Turns out they have some hardcore rules about what you can take with you on the tour. Apparently some idiots stole plastic bread from the Friends set so we weren’t allowed to have bags or purses with us; they had to be locked underneath the tour cart’s seats. No cell phones are allowed either on account of ‘fire danger’. I have no idea why …

Our tour was late in the day – 3:30 – and our super cute guide, Derek, was pooped out. Apparently he conducts three tours a day which translates to him spending seven hours a day talking. Poor guy.

So anyway, not only was the lot not at all what I expected, but it was way better than what I thought it would be like. I’ve always lived in or near big cities so I’m quite used to the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas and I just assumed that the studio lot would be similar to the city around it. But it’s not! It was the most bizarre thing. I expected people and energy and buzzing around but the place was practically deserted! Sure, the parking spots were full of cars, there were construction people working on their things and there were people here and there riding around on bicycles but the atmosphere was completely calm – as though we’d found ourselves in a Podunk town on a Sunday afternoon. And I swear, it’s as though the walls surrounding the lot are sound proof or something. Even though the Ventura Freeway acts as a border around part of it and Olive Avenue around another part, none of the city noise is apparent once you’re inside – it’s just so calm and quiet. Strange. But after I got over the oddity of it all, it kind of grew on me. It’s this fantastic island, cut off from the rest of the LA. This city inside a city. I can’t even describe how utterly peaceful and at home I felt. Which sounds even more bizarre, I know, but the atmosphere was just so mellow and at ease. And the bicycles! I’m in love with the bicycles. They’re everywhere! These adorable wide handled bicycles with baskets in the front and workers and crew and cast members just ride around the lot on them. It’s incredibly quaint. Especially since I got the impression that they are simply WB property and not individually owned. People just pick up random bicycles and ride where they need to. There’s no ownership – no bike racks to lock them up to – they’re just free to use on the lot. I don’t know, I guess there’s something egalitarian about that, that just thrills me.

More than that, though, there’s something strangely Utopian about it all. In fact, if you ignore the huge discrepancy in paychecks, it’s almost like a mini socialistic country. I know this is incredibly idealistic of me and it doesn’t actually work that way but it was so cool to see how incredibly integral all the behind the scenes people truly are to each and every production – how diligently the artists work on their canvases – how extensive the wardrobes are – the sheer quantity of props and even just the incredible organization of it all. They are this fantastic well-oiled machine. It was incredible. Especially because all these “normal” people work side by side and co-exist on a daily basis with these huge celebrities and they are altogether very un-fazed by it. The atmosphere is one of near equality. They are all simply co-workers who contribute their own parts. And yes, there is obviously a hierarchy but it was neat to see that really, every single worker was clearly contributing, despite the relative anonymity of their jobs.

So anyway, we’d already been through the famous ER ambulance bay so I was just basking in it all, wishing I could somehow ditch my tour cart and take a stroll, vaguely listening to the random tidbits of historic information that yummy Derek was spouting off when I felt Elizabeth smack me in the leg and heard her whisper my name urgently, all the while gesturing with her eyes to my right. I swiveled my head around just in time to see the most beautiful human being I have ever laid eyes on. In fact, if she hadn’t later reassured me it was really him, I think I would have thought he was simply a figment of my very active imagination.

But no. It was real. He was real.

I really, truly saw him, with my very own eyes: Dr. Luka Kovac in the flesh; Goran Visnjic in all his Slavic wonder was standing in front of a trailer, in the company of two unknown women, and smiling such a gorgeous smile, literally inches away from me. And just as the realization of who he was began to sink in, no longer yummy Derek sped up our cart. I craned my neck the entire time, watching him, memorizing him, silently threatening to castrate now very ugly Derek if he didn’t stop the cart right now. And even as his 6″4 figure became smaller and smaller, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. Tucked into his black slacks was a lovely, long-sleeved, pale blue button down shirt, with the top three buttons undone. His dark hair, longer than it was on the last episode, was swept across his face and it looked so glossy and thick. His face was much more youthful and carefree than that of his on screen counterpart. He’s thinner than he appears on TV; very tall and svelte. In fact, as corny as it sounds, he was actually hotter in real life. I know, it’s hard to believe.

Hideous Derek took us to one of the Gilmore Girl’s sound stages after that but not even Alexis Bledel herself could have gotten me to care. I walked around in a literal daze, my heart in my throat, trying to ascertain just how many yards away he actually was and while we walked around, I entertained thoughts of making a break for it, possibly hijacking the cart, or maybe one of the bikes. Heck, sprinting wouldn’t have been bad, as he was merely one row over.

Dumbass Derek took us to the WB museum right after that but my heart wasn’t into it. Not even flirting with Derek cheered me up. I did find out that he had to audition for his job as a guide, that he’s an aspiring stand-up comedian, that he gets paid by the hour, that he works five days a week, that even in the summer they’re required to wear pants, that he’s from Connecticut, that he’s been working as a guide for four months now, that Matt LeBlanc is an asshole, that John Stamos is apparently super nice and that eventually he’d like to go back to school to get a degree in journalism, but alas, despite my best efforts, he did not take me back to my soul mate. He did, however, inform me that it’s procedure that they speed up when celebrities are present. Pfft.

On the way back to our hotel I cursed myself for not being smart enough to accidentally fall out of the cart as I’m sure Goran would have helped me to my feet; he’s European after all and very courteous. And the fact that Elizabeth did not push me out is simply further evidence that she is a horrible friend. I mean, a birthday is one thing but a real friend would have pushed me out. Clearly. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive her.

My only consolation is that for but a brief moment, we shared the same air.

Well, that and a little while later, while waiting for the light to change at the intersection on Mulholland Dr. and Laurel Canyon Blvd. I looked over to my right (Elizabeth was driving as I was still far too shaken to be competent behind the wheel) and was absently reminiscing, when a blonde hottie in the black SUV next to us caught my eye and smiled. I smiled in return ’cause I’m super polite like that and then he raised his eyebrows suggestively and I froze because there was something strangely familiar about that receding hair line. Then it was my turn to smack Elizabeth and point to my right all the while whispering “Who is that? I know that face. Don’t stare!”

Yeah, that’s right. Ian Ziering flirted with me.

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