I have a day off and it’s a glorious 40 degrees and blue sky. Alan, Damion and I want to put in a half day of snowboarding at The Canyons but we hear the conditions are hard, not a lot of snow and we all are worried we are going to injure ourselves the day before we have to work. Man, we are sooooo lame.
The crew goes into downtown Park City, while I have no desire to shop so I head up hill to where the homes are. I find some beautiful trails. I must look strange hiking these trails while holding a purse.
Ate lunch at a great local spot called Karleens. Homemade soups, salads and baked goods. It’s such a local establishment that the same people who are sitting next to me are also in the pictures that are posted all over the walls. I am listening in on the town gossip right now.
I got to experience bobsledding at the Olympic Park here in Park City. Anyone can do it. You just have to want to go 80 mph dropping 40 stories in 53 seconds. I didn’t secure my neck so my helmeted head kept bouncing from one side of the sled to the other like a pinball. Pure adrenaline rush.
Next up: An afternoon with Sarah Hendrickson. At 14 she’s the youngest member of the US Ski team. She goes off the 120k jump soaring like a bird. At 14, I was just worried about boys.
Brought the crew to my favorite lunch spot, Karleens. While talking to the owners, Karleen and her daughter Niven, I find out that they are letting in only locals beginning tomorrow for Sundance. You have to show a ski pass, library card or no entree. They have even hired a 300 lb doorman to make sure everything runs smoothly.
We ask immediately if they wouldn’t mind going on camera and giving us a locals perspective. Niven was fantastic and she even gave me the password so I can gain entrance for the next few days. Of course, I can’t tell you what it is.
There really is no attitude at Sundance. There’s a huge bouncer outside a gallery holding a party. Alan asks if he wouldn’t mind doing a little scene with us where I get turned away. He says sure. Cameras rolling and I go up to him, he points me to the young woman with the clipboard, I give her my name and she says YES, you’re on the list. “I am?!” We fill her in on what we’re doing, she laughs, says no problem. Take two! Bouncer show’s me the young lady with the clipboard who this time says “sorry, you’re not on the list.” The big bouncer echoes her statement and points for me to leave. While I’m walking away I hear “Excuse me is there a problem?” It’s the party’s publicist and I’m thinking I just got her front door people in trouble for going on camera with us. Instead she doesn’t see the camera but wants to make sure I know I am invited to go in. Is rudeness, snobbery and a pervasive feeling that I am cooler than you too much to ask from people?
Allstate Insurance is a godsend to us — they have let us use their conference room in their office as a resting place. Sundance is packed and being able to sit, use the bathroom, and change wardrobe is such a luxury. Thanks Allstate! Nothing endears me more to people than providing comfortable bathrooms.
I also helped hand out fliers for a documentary called Afghan Star. This is a TV show in Afghanistan just like our American Idol. The difference is that singing there, one is risking their life because of the old Taliban beliefs.
I feel privileged to be able to talk to Doaud (the Ryan Seacrest of Afghan star). First time out of Afghanistan and he’s into the frenzy of Sundance. He tells me that the mountains and climate of Utah remind him of his own country. What he wants most is for Americans and people abroad to realize that Afghans are just like everyone else.
We are at an event and just heard that Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Kristen Wiig are on their way. They haven’t showed up and now we have to leave.
Stella party next. Free sushi and beer — who cares I haven’t had any celebrity sightings.
Ahhh just got my picture taken with Efren Ramirez (Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite). Now, all my dreams have come true!
Long day shooting. Shooting cocktails and other venues of media frenzy is unbelievably exciting and completely exhausting at the same time. After a full on day, Ginny my producer asks me if I want to cancel the early morning scene snowboarding. No way, I have been looking forward to that more than anything.
Being outfitted for a snowboard and gear at the Oakley House. Had a chance to talk to Alan Cummings. We have something in common; we both hosted the Conde Nast Traveller Awards. But Alan then tells me that they gave him a trip to Costa Rica as a thanks. I guess I didn’t do that well, but then again do I really need another opportunity to travel? A trip home, that’s what I would love.
We just finished shooting the Happy Hour for Slamdance (alternative film festival) where we were told Ralph Macchio would show up. He didn’t and I was pretty disappointed. He was my first really big crush since Outsiders and Karate Kid. I used to sign all my notes passed in class “Stay Gold.” I loved him so much that it hurt because I couldn’t understand at 14 how I could feel so much for someone when they didn’t even know I existed.
I went into a separate room to take a break, and close my eyes for a bit when who should walk in and sit right next to me but RALPH MACCHIO!!!!! I just sat there slumped in my chair not knowing what to do next. Alan and Ginny creep into the room and motion if I want to approach Mr. Macchio on camera. I give them the dirtiest look like they are my parents embarrassing me. I decide that I just can’t go up to him, what if he is mean? My inner 14 year old would never be able to recover from that.
The crew is packing up the gear and we are getting ready to leave, I swallow hard, turn back into the room and walk up to Ralph Macchio and say hello. I honestly have no idea what I said to him but he was as gracious and genuine as you could hope someone you have always admired to be. I really regret not getting a picture of the two of us.