September, David said they'd be
delighted if I dropped by the
Monk set the next time I was in
the L.A. area. It was a casual
invitation, because apparently
when you work on a television
show almost every day for a few
years the glitter starts to wear
off. It might not occur to you
that the invitee, namely me, would
consider it an unparalleled pleasure.
me all of four milliseconds to
decide that I'd take David up
on the offer, casual or not, and
arrange that my "next time
in L.A." coincided with the
Monk shooting schedule. I didn't
want to drool on the phone or
seem too "fangirl" and
jump all over the offer there
and then, so I waited a few days
before dropping him an email to
test the waters. He hadn't forgotten
at about this point that I brought
fellow Bay Area chick/message
board poster Kim (Fan4sure) Densberger
in on the deal. I felt slightly
remorseful that Kim had waited
around Washington Square Park
all day on a tip from me that
Monk would be shooting there back
in November 2005. It seems they
shot "Mr. Monk and the Big
Reward" everywhere in the
neighborhood except the park and
she saw no filming at all. It
was a scary trip over the bay
bridge for nothing. (On the other
hand, it was a beautiful day and
Kim got to meet some um... interesting
Skip right to
the Set Visit part
wasn't small enough to fit in
my pocket for the first set visit
in June. So I figured she was
past due for some Monk magic and
I was happy to provide a little.
"You really are my Monk Fairy
Godmother!" she declared.
(Flattering, but I know I'm not
qualified for the Godmother title
and I'm not so sure about the
fairy part either.)
coordinating with Kim, I emailed
David again and proposed the first
couple of weeks in November with
as much fake nonchalance as I
could muster and he responded
Teresa, Monk Fairy
(Dramatic Recreation) |
"As it happens, I am slated
to be directing a Monk episode (my
first!) in only a few weeks time.
MR. MONK AND THE THREE JULIES will
be the last show to be filmed this
year (not the last to be broadcast
, mind you, but the last to be filmed),
and I will be doing it the first
couple weeks in November! In other
words, the timing with your planned
visit to Los Angeles just couldn't
be better, and if you can still
manage it, we'd be thrilled to have
you stop by the set and hang out
when you're in town."
took us a little while, but eventually
we settled on a specific date, Friday
November 9th. We counted down the
hours to our departure, while dithering
about travel arrangements and what
to wear. Kim and I PMed furiously
during the last week before the
visit. The messages were vaioursly
I'm REALLY Excited!!"
"Four More Days" (How
cool to have a picture of us sitting
at Natalie’s kitchen table
or on Monk’s couch. I wonder
if he would make us cover it with
plastic first?— Kim's prophetic
remark a few days before we left.
am So Not Ready"
what are you going to wear?"
(This was a question to which Kim
eventually did find an answer: "My
daughter is my wardrobe consultant
and is picking out my clothes for
me since I can't seem to do it.
If I am dressed like a 10 year old
when you see me, you'll know why.")
Kim, Monk Fashion
so forth... until the big day (November
9th) arrived... make that the day
before the big day (November 8th).
So here's the story. (Kim's comments
are in blue.)
remember, don't quote me on
that goofy statement I made
on the set or any other goofy
statements I made. Actually,
most of my statements were
goofy that day. I was under
the influence of... of...
well, of the power of Monk.
Almost like an out of body
the long and the short of
it... actually, mostly the
record I don't remember any goofy
statements on Kim's part, but
that may just mean we don't have
the same definition of goofy.
Still, I don't know how it can
get much goofier than me bringing
along my Monk Bobblehead and taking
pictures of him where ever we
went. Goofy, but fun. That's my
at Borders SF
left bright and early on
November 8th. Actually,
it wasn’t bright at
all. It was dark. 5:00 a.m.
dark. Teresa flew out of
San Francisco and I flew
out of Oakland. "We
arrived in Los Angeles within
5 minutes of one another
and had three full days
Kim and Teresa at
November 8th 2007
nervous before a trip and I was
up until after one o'clock that
morning, cleaning, packing and
printing out maps. I got a couple
hours sleep before the 4:00am
alarm and then the 5:00am airport
shuttle. The airport was dark
and almost deserted. Too dark
to take any real Bobblehead pictures,
but here's what it might have
though I wasn't certain if the
plane had been disinfected, I
slept all the way to LAX. For
all I know Monk Bobblehead counted
the clouds, spilled wine and solved
a murder. And I'm pretty sure
he got my peanuts.
picked up a rental car at the
airport and made an amazing discovery:
they now have Bobblehead car seats
installed in all the vehicles....
I hear they can also be used as
only got a little lost leaving
the airport. I think I was somewhat
disoriented by the lack of L.A.
sunshine. It was like I'd never
left San Francisco. We made it
to our hotel, The Ramada
Hollywood Hotel, by 10:00am.
Check in time wasn't until three,
but they liked us enough to let
us check in early. I was expecting
something just a cut above the
Spinner and I stayed at a few
blocks from Paramount on our set
visit in June. Except for the
eggs (more on these later) the
Ramada far exceeded my expectations.
Bobblehead arrives ar The
Bobblehead waits to check
we'd settled in the first thing
I did was call our soon-to-be
host, David Breckman. We firmed
up the time for the next day:
11:00am. 24 more hours to go.
We dropped in at a local diner
for a bite to eat after passing
up a really confusing Chinese
restaurant. (I live in San Francisco's
Chinatown, but this place had
me flummoxed: no menus, no prices,
no service.) I already had the
day's adventure planned, but first
we had to make a drugstore stop.
after arriving, I noticed
my eye had exploded –
or at least that’s
what it looked like to me.
Although I didn’t
take a “red eye”
flight, I had one. I think
the altitude from the flight
may have burst a blood vessel.
Oh, lovely. I looked something
like Mr. Monk did in "Can’t
See A Thing". But at
least I could... see a thing,
that is. I tried to not
let it spoil my trip.
of Visine later, I still had
a red eye. And to make matters
worse, I really couldn’t
wear my sunglasses because
there was NO sun. LA was foggier
than San Francisco. The only
solution was to style my hair
a bit like 'Cousin It' from
The Addam’s Family,
masking my eye somewhat. Sounds
was cute. Kim did, briefly, consider
an eye patch, but we hadn't brought
themed clothing or our
pirate dictionary or any rum
so that option was dropped. (Thanks,
Kim. This story needed a little
with the Visine we picked up a
map and some caffeine and headed
out to beautiful Pasadena,
home of the Rosebowl, the Rose
Parade, hot-rodding little old
ladies and Supreme
"Other than the set visit, we
spent our time eating, shopping,
and sight-seeing at the
usual tourist spots . .
. and some just a little
off the beaten path. In
other words, Monk filming
of my official jobs on the
trip was “navigator.”
I got off to a bumpy start
when I got us lost in the
heart of downtown LA.
amazing what missing one little
turn-off can do! But then
again, we wouldn’t have
driven through the little
known, often overlooked, “Historic
Filipinotown" if I hadn’t
messed up. Actually, I think
we drove through it twice.
just being kind: I'm the one who
missed the turn off. In fact I think
I missed quite a few of them. I
was also pretty confused by Historic
Filipinotown. I've been lost
in L.A. lots of time (maybe that's
something I should have told Kim
before the trip) and I'd
never run into it. Seems that although
it's "historic" it wasn't
officially established until 2002.
say there's no better way to learn
a city than by getting lost.
back on course, we visited
the mini market known as “Vinton
Street Market” which
was featured in Buried Treasure.
The proprietors surely thought
we were crazy as we pulled
out the Monk Bobblehead to
take his picture in front
of the market. We
explained that a TV show was
filmed there and we were fans
of the show. I told them we
had flown hundreds of miles
just to visit the location.
I hope they realized I was
assured them we would buy
something as a gesture of
gratitude for accommodating
us. I’m sure we were
the topic of conversation
during their evening meal."
the actual set visit, by far the
best part of the trip was the
look on the faces of the store
owners as they stuggled to understand
the purpose of our visit... without
of the store isn't "Vinton
Street Market" of course.
San Francisco doesn't have a Vinton
Street (no matter how many times
they work it into a Monk script.)
I don't think Pasadena does either.
The store is actually called the
Drive-In-Dairies. Not that
there was any sign to indicate
that fact. I had to look it up.
I got the address from this
blog which has some pretty
nifty pictures of the scene from
"Buried Treasure" in
which the store was featured.
If you're in Pasadena and you
want to drop by, the address is
1750 E Washington Blvd. Tell them
Kim and I sent you. That will
really confuse them. Don't forget
to bring your Bobblehead.
Market scene from "Buried Treasure"
Long shot of
the "Vinton Street Market" |
Street Market scene from "Buried
made our way back to our Hollywood
hotel and managed not to get lost...
resting and freshening up a bit
from our first adventure we headed
into the heart of Hollywood to dine
at the now traditional Monk hot
spot Miceli's, the restaurant featured
in "Mr. Monk and the Godfather."
On the way there we made a fortuitous
cruising down Sunset Blvd.,
we passed a grocery store
and I excitedly exclaimed,
“Hey, I think that’s
the market they used in
Mr. Monk Makes a Friend...
Maybe.” We took pictures
with the bobblehead just
in case. Upon returning
home, I watched the episode
and I was right. That clinches
it... I do watch the episodes
waaaay too many times."
no such thing as too much Monk.
it was a already a little too dark
for bobblehead pictures at that
point, so we went back on Saturday
morning to get them. It was too
dark at Miceli's as well, but we
took a few pictures nonetheless.
first evening, we dined at
Miceli’s where the Godfather
episode was filmed. It was
a charming and delicious experience.
Then we went for a walk down
Hollywood Blvd. I have to
say it was a little scary.
Hollywood has some real characters,
both on the silver screen
and roaming the streets. I
had my English Policeman’s
whistle close at hand just
in case. I bet you didn’t
know that, did you, Teresa?"
have a clue, Kim. There were a
few rowdy people on the boulevard,
right in front of McDonald's mostly,
but I wasn't worried. I've been
walking around in big scary cities
for a long time now. If there
had been any trouble I could have
handled it. Nobody runs and hides
as well as I do. I'd advise you
not to blow the whistle, Kim.
It just makes you easier to find.
up a little gift for David Breckman
on Hollywood Boulevard. I was
looking for one of those cheesy
little "Best Director"
fake Oscar statuettes, but turns
out there's some sort of rule
against selling them. Instead
we picked up a lovely director's
megaphone. I figured since it
was his first time directing he
probably didn't have one yet and
it filled the cheesy bill pretty
it safely back to the car and our
hotel and our beds for a good night's
November 9th 2007
hotel had a nice continental
breakfast which was included
with our stay. We both had
the same reaction when we
served ourselves the “square
eggs” from the buffet.
Mr. Monk would surely approve.
We took a picture of the eggs
with the bobblehead. Unfortunately,
Mr. Monk would not have approved
of their taste. They looked
like little square sponges
and tasted like them, too.
think we got some strange
looks from the other diners
as we photographed the eggs,
but what the heck; we were
from out of town and would
never see them again."
Worst. Eggs. Ever. I'm not a picky
eater. I've always felt when I put
something on my plate, and even
more so in my mouth, that I've made
a clear-cut commitment. The buffet
eggs were so deceptively enticing,
so beautifully... square. In reality
they were tasteless, spongy (not
in a good way) and ice cold. I had
to break that commitment. I managed
to swallow the first bite, but the
rest was unceremoniously dumped.
Nevertheless, we brought Monk Bobblehead
in for a photo session the next
Kim, who wisely decided
against eggs on Day 2
of course, I'd feel bad about taking
food I knew we weren't going to
eat just so Monk Bobblehead could
get his picture taken, but in this
case I figured we were doing the
other diners a big favor.
a positive note the sausage was
of our excursions served as
a nice distraction until it
was time for “the main
event” . . . the set
visit . . . which was scheduled
for November 9th at 11 a.m.
That morning, we received
a call from our host, David
Breckman, informing us that
they had worked until midnight
the day before, and therefore,
would not be filming until
"We had to wait another
2 hours before we could
go. The wait was excruciating.
Among other things, we watched
the weather channel to see
where the sun was shining
since it wasn’t shining
they have this rule, and I think
it's a good one, that the cast
and crew must have at least a
12 hour break from one day to
the next. So if they knocked off
at midnight they wouldn't have
to be in until noon the next day.
For us, however it was a tough
lesson in the "hurry up and
wait" culture of Hollywood.
it was time to head to the
studio, and as if I didn’t
have PLENTY of time to get
ready that morning, I made
us 5 minutes late! As we drove
to the studio, which was only
a few minutes from our hotel,
I thought about how exciting
it was to think our names
would be on “the list”
at the guard gate. The first
time Teresa visited, her name
was not on “the list”
when she arrived, but she
did eventually make it through
the entrance gates.
I did and, as thrilling as it
was thinking I might be kicked
out at any moment, I liked being
on the list much better.
on our way to the studio we passed
a Sears on Santa Monica. Naturally
we thought of this quote from
"Mr. Monk and the Astronaut":
Why don't we sit here and
name really tall things. I'll
go first. The Sears Tower. Oh
wait wait wait. Mmm no. That's
too tall. Just a regular Sears
maybe. A regular Sears... department
store. — Monk
had Monk Bobblehead hop up on
the dashboard for a picture. Of
course we had no time to stop
and confront any phobias.
before arriving at Paramount
Studios, we passed Raleigh
Studios which has a glistening
and modern facade. Then Paramount
came into view on the opposite
side of the street. Paramount
is a monument to the golden
age of Hollywood. Its architecture
is California Spanish/Mission
style and has a historic and
stately appearance. Merely
driving up to the impressive
gates was exciting. They seem
to allude to the grandeur
on the other side which we
would be visiting. And it
have to confess I was just a little
disappointed we didn't see any writers
out front striking, even though
we were warned they might be there.
Maybe they were on a lunck break.
I'd planned on taking a picture
of Monk Bobblehead on the picket
line, but no such luck.
Here are the
writers at a different gate on a
different day (Dec. 13th). |
"Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife
Click to enlarge
presented the Paramount gate attendant
our IDs and he handed us our passes.
Our names were indeed on “the
list!” We parked the car, and
with map in hand, we navigated our
way to Stage 7 where Monk is filmed.
I insisted on doing the “navigating”
because, after all, it was my job.
Weaving our way through the streets
and alleys, we passed lots of people.
For most of them, it was just another
day at work. For me, it was better
arrived at Stage 7 to find the red
light flashing next to the door. A
sign said 'Do Not Enter' when the
light was flashing, so we didn’t.
It stopped and people came in and
out. We didn’t. Teresa called
David to let him know we were there.
People came in and out. We didn’t.
The light flashed again and then stopped.
People came in and out. We didn’t."
woman drove up in a golf cart with
a license plate that said “cruzin4ahusband.”
She had a couple wigs in her hand
and went inside when the light stopped
flashing. I wondered what the wigs
were for. “Maybe Randy will
be wearing one,” I said.
the HUGE sliding door next to the
“regular” door opened
slightly to reveal what was on the
other side. I saw the directors’
chairs with the Monk logo on the back,
the production monitors, and the crew
think my heart skipped a beat when
I heard someone say “Traylor”
and I excitedly said to Teresa,
Turns out she wasn’t. Teresa
later pointed out they were probably
saying “trailer.” Dang!
big sliding door closed. People continued
to go in and out the “regular”
door. We didn’t. We weren’t
sure if David was going to come out
to get us or we should just go in,
so we waited.
I had a horrible thought . . . we
would stand out there all day waiting
and never see anything. Been there,
done that (at least for me)! No way
this time. We decided the next time
the light stopped flashing, we would
go in behind everyone else. And we
did. We slipped in the door and stood
off to the side, trying to keep out
of the way. As my eyes adjusted to
the low light level, I noticed a huge
room-length, room-high backdrop of
the San Francisco skyline. Slightly
rolled up above it was a Victorian
neighborhood backdrop that I assumed
was used outside the windows of Natalie’s
looked around trying to see if I recognized
anyone. And I did. There was Tony
Shalhoub. Mr. Monk. Adrian. This time
I’m positive . . . my heart
DID skip a beat.
was facing us, talking to a couple
people, when suddenly he tilted his
head to peer between them and looked
our way. Then he smiled and waved.
I immediately thought he was waving
at someone behind us, but there was
no one there. He WAS waving at us!
I rudely did not wave back because
I suddenly forgot how to wave.
spotted David Breckman as soon as we walked
in, Tony as soon as he came off the set
and quite a few other familiar faces. I
was just trying to blend in, watch quietly
and not trip over anything. Just like Kim
I thought he was waving at someone else...
anyone else. Nope, nobody else there. Of
course, Tony and I spent many hours together
on my last visit so it's not really a surprise
that he recognized me and waved at us, but
in the moment I just couldn't get my head
wrapped around the concept. <sigh>.
Note for next time (if there is a next time):
wave back at Tony.
quickly finished his conversation
and came over to greet us. “OMG,
he’s coming our way,”
I thought. He warmly welcomed Teresa
back to the set and shook her hand."
he looked over to me.
this is going to sound really silly,
but I had thought about how I would
react the moment I met him.
I have never met someone famous,
let alone someone famous that I
admire. How would I react? Would
I be speechless? Would I say something
stupid? Would I faint? Would I trip?
(Even though I was standing still,
I figured I’d manage to find
someway to trip). Now was the moment
extended his hand to me and I shook
it, introducing myself and thanking
him (hopefully, not TOO many times)
for having us there.
Tony wasn’t at all like I expected.
I anticipated extreme nervousness
and clumsiness on my part. But it
was almost like meeting a dear old
friend after a very long separation.
is so genuinely friendly and welcoming.
Later I would tell Teresa that I didn’t
want to wash the hand that he shook
until I absolutely had to. Tony has
very nice hands BTW.
know Tony hates it when people say,
“You look so much better in
person,” BUT he really does!
I attribute it to the fact that as
a movie/television star, most of us
have only seen him in 2-D. Tony cannot
be fully appreciated until you see
him in 3-D!
was called back to the set to film
a scene. We continued to look for
familiar faces and admired the set
and props. I am particularly fascinated
with the sets. They were putting the
final touches on another set on the
opposite side of the building.
mentioned to Teresa that the building
smelled just like Home Depot with
all the lumber and building supplies
in the room. Then I saw a box in the
corner that was labeled just that.
Now I know where they shop.
spotted the director, David Breckman,
our host. He was busy preparing for
the next scene. He appeared to be
in complete control and very comfortable
in his role as director. Teresa had
previously mentioned how handsome
he was. She was right.
Gray-Stanford walked by and onto the
set. Suddenly, “Quiet on the
set” was announced very loudly,
the bells rang, and, I assume, that
red light outside the door flashed.
had no idea Kim possessed a superpower before
our trip, but it's true. She has a "super
sniffer"! Not only could she tell by
smell alone that the Monk soundstage supplies
came from Home Depot, she can also tell
the difference between a Home Depot and
a Lowes the same way. Amazing! I'm not sure
if her skills extend beyond lumber and home
improvement, but it was cool that she got
to use her special talent while we were
David's a handsome guy. So is Jason... and
so is Tony. In fact there's a lot of nice
scenery on the Monk set that doesn't come
from Home Depot.
Everyone stopped what
they were doing . . . even chewing.
I think I stopped breathing. There
was complete silence. The actors played
out the scene. Then the director said
“Cut” and everyone went
back to doing their thing. Carpenters
hammered nails, people chewed . .
. oh yeah, and I started breathing
stuff! It never got old. With each
“Quiet on the set” I held
my breath and relaxed when they finally
I thought how terrible it would be
to sneeze or cough or have your cell
phone go off. “OMG!! I did turn
my cell phone off, didn’t I?!”
I thought to myself. Yeah, I did.
had a free moment while the crew began
to rearrange the set and he came over
to us again. He asked us to follow
him so he could show us the inside
of the set. From where we had been
standing, we could only see the back
side - the framing of the walls. We
now could see the inside – an
apartment – nice enough to live
in. Tony explained what the scene
was about and what the crew was about
to do with the set.
You know, if
things don't work out for another season
and Tony doesn't have any other attractive
prospects, he would make an excellent
tour guide. Despite the fact that he's
the busy star and producer of a hit TV
show, he was delighted to show us around.
It was at just
about this time that I had my most embarrassing
moment (of the day, not my lifetime).
In my eagarness to keep up with Tony,
I stepped on a large rubber mat that a
crew member was dragging away and it slipped
out of his grip as a result. I mumbled
an apology and he glared at me. "This
way," Tony was urging. I just had
to shrug and move on, but I felt bad about
getting in the way.
crew was preparing to shoot from the
opposite side of the apartment. They
would be putting a wall on the open
side we had just peeked into and removing
a wall on the opposite side. I was
fascinated. Home improvement is one
of my hobbies but I’ve never
moved walls around . . . at least
not that easily.
then took us to the set on the other
side of the building. He had a little
trouble finding it and the entrance.
He should have asked me for help,
after all, I am the “navigator.”
led us into the set which was a bedroom.
The attention to detail and meticulous
craftsmanship was amazing. I am really
fascinated by the sets. Did I already
explained a little about the set itself
and the episode they were filming
which was "Mr. Monk and the Three
Julies." The following week they
would be on location at a house in
which they would do some more filming.
He was then called back to the first
set to do another scene. We happily
followed him. Along
the way, we stopped at the catering
cart and he told us to help ourselves
to something to eat or drink. I couldn’t
eat a thing since I was so excited,
but now I wish I took something as
and I went back to our previous positions,
trying to stay out of the way of the
busy crew. Shortly thereafter, Tony
walked past us with a soda and something
else in his hand which he placed on
the back wall of the set before he
entered to do his scene.
we heard “Quiet on the set,”
and instantly, it was. Then “Action”
and the actors began speaking.
there was a loud vibrating sound from
a cell phone and everyone looked around
for the culprit. It vibrated again
loudly and Doug Nabors jumped up to
grab it from the wall. It was Tony’s
Doug Nabors w/ Tony's
shouted “Cut” and Tony
learned that it was his phone that
interrupted the scene. He “scolded”
himself and everyone had a little
chuckle. I was just so thankful it
wasn’t my phone.
zipped by quickly and disappeared
around the corner. He did that a lot.
David checked on us to make sure we
came back over and offered us each
a director’s chair to get a
better view of the monitors. We no
sooner sat down and got all comfy,
when someone came by and wanted to
move the chairs and we had to get
up. Oh well, it was nice while it
chair I got to sit in, briefly, was producer
Anthony Santa Croce's. Back in June I also
got to sit in his chair. I guess that sort
of makes it a tradition now. I was starting
to think he just never shows up on the set,
hence the empty chair, but moments later
he arrived at the soundstage. I'm not quite
sure what his job entails, but now that
I think about it, he must have a pretty
important job if they always keep a chair
ready for him. I recognized Anthony because
he appeared in "Mr. Monk and His Biggest
Fan" in the crowd at the auction scene.
Anthony Santa Croce
(far left) in
Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan
Director of Photography
quite a few other familiar faces
on the set including assistant director
Anton Cropper, a.k.a first AD in
charge of discipline. Anton has
directed a couple of Monk episodes
himself: "Mr. Monk is at Your
Service" and "Mr. Monk
and the Wrong Man."
of photography Joe Panella was on
hand and seemed to be offering sage
advice whenever David needed it.
Wardrobe lady Brigit Jones was also
on the set ready to handle any fashion
emergency. We saw a lot of the hair
stylist who'd driven up in the "cruzin4ahusband"
mobile earlier. I never did catch
her name or the make-up lady's either.
They always seemed very busy.
Brigit Jones |
Hair Stylist |
playing the Landlady
was one guest actress involved in
the first scene we watched being filmed
(and, as it turned out, the only scene
we watched being filmed.) They said
her first name, Del, quite often,
but we never found out her last name.
She plays the role of a landlady.
She got to stand next to Jason most
of the afternoon. When it came time
for her to leave, Tony thanked her,
embraced her and gave her a kiss on
the cheek. The rest of the crew gave
her a round of applause and bade her
farewell. I thought about trying to
grab her for an interview, but I didn't
want to miss any of the action on
playing the mailman
think it may have been shortly thereafter
that the mailman arrived. Here's how
gullible I am: I thought he was actually
there to deliver mail. He was that
convincing. It was only after people
started shaking his hand and welcoming
him to the set that it dawned on me
he was an actor. I should have figured
it out sooner. He was much better
looking than the average postal worker.
I was keeping an eye on the new arrival
when Kim leaned over and whispered,
"Should we ask him if he always
Kim. Was that one of the things you
characterized as goofy? Because I
thought it was pretty darned funny.
didn't see him get to do a scene,
so it's hard to say just how good
a mailman he'll be.
also want to add that it's really
no wonder that they get such great
guest stars: they seem to treat all
the guest actors like gold, even the
not so famous ones.
filmed some more scenes on the first
set. Then they were ready to move
to the bedroom set Tony had shown
us. David soon came over, and, regretfully,
told us that we would not be able
to watch the next scene play out because
they really wanted it to be a complete
surprise when it aired. I promise,
I won’t tell anyone and I’ll
act surprised, just let us stay,
cast and crew moved to the second
set. A man with two young girls and
a woman came into the building. They
went over to the second set to watch
what was going on. Teresa and I did
the same. We stood off to the side
and watched a little bit as the scene
when they are rehearsing, they want
quiet on the set. Someone was even
scolded for chewing. We could hear
discovered who would be wearing the
wig we had previously seen (and it
member of the crew kicked a nail out
of the way towards someone and he
kicked it towards me. There it was
on the floor, right in front of me.
Later, I wished I had picked it up
as a souvenir.
the rehearsal, Tony stopped the scene
and consulted some of the crew about
a prop. We witnessed first-hand his
meticulous attention to detail. Something
was not “right” and he
wanted to make it so. A few people
scratched their heads and tried to
come up with a remedy.
of attention to detail a little earlier
when we were hanging around David, a prop
man had come over to consult with him about
a particular prop. I can't tell you what
it is, because it might be a clue for all
we know. It was an item on which I thought
Kim might have some expertise (as a mother,
not as a lumber sniffer) so I encouraged
her to offer it. She did and they seemed
glad to hear it. Not enough for a consultant
credit Kim, but at least you did your bit.
took a break from rehearsing the scene
and Teresa and I went back to the
first set. It was then that David
came over to whisk us away. He emphasized
that TPTB wanted the next filming
session to be a secret (although we
probably already saw it.) See, we
can keep a secret!
exited Stage 7 and Teresa asked him
if it was possible for us to see the
standing sets – Monk’s
house, Natalie’s house, the
graciously and speedily took us next
door to Stage 5 where the standing
sets were housed. The building was
fairly dark inside. We passed by the
exterior of a set with vertical blinds
and a stuffed duck inside. It was
the captain’s office. There
we met up with Stacey and David asked
if she could stay with us while we
looked around. David had to get back
to the set.
very hastily said our “thank
yous” and “good byes”
as we handed him the gifts we had
brought along with us - a director’s
megaphone we had purchased for him
the day before and multiple copies
of the updated, new and improved,
bigger and better, Monk Goes to South
Park collage, which was now officially
a “poster” with more of
Liv’s terrific characters. David
appreciatively accepted them. And
then he was gone.
patiently led us through the various
sets. Teresa pulled out the bobblehead
and we asked if we could take pictures.
She gave us the “okay”
and we snapped away.
things were covered with tarps to
keep them clean when the set was not
in use. The lighting was poor for
photography purposes but we could
see the sets just fine. They were
VERY cool. I am really fascinated
with the sets. Oh yeah, I already
showed the bobblehead the captain’s
desk, Randy’s desk, Monk’s
kitchen/living room/dining room/ bedroom/bathroom,
and Natalie’s living room/kitchen.
The dark hallway of
police headquarters |
Teresa at the Captain's
Teresa at Randy's desk
Kim at Monk's front
Teresa in Monk's kitchen |
Monk's Livingroom |
Monk's Coffee Table |
Monk Bobblehead on Monk's
Monk Bobblehead on Monk's
Monk Bobblehead on Monk's
Me by Monk's Fireplace
Monk Bobblehead on Monk's
Kitchen Counter |
Absolute proof Monk has
a bathroom... |
...and a toilet
Natalie's Shelf |
Natalie's Living Room |
Monk Bobblehead on Natalie's
|*This one's a mock up.
The bedroom was such a mess we couldn't convince
the bobblehead to go in.
tried to not overstay our welcome
since we knew Stacy did have a “regular”
job, other than accompanying two crazy
fans on a tour. I resisted my urge
to swipe a souvenir from one of the
rooms, although, we did make one prop
“adjustment” – Monk’s
coffee table was not crooked. We fixed
let Stacy get back to work and we
headed to the Paramount store. I was
sure I’d get a souvenir there.
We had a latte and relaxed as we reminisced
about our fabulous visit on the set.
I still didn’t get a souvenir.
The store was a little disappointing
and had no Monk merchandise at all.
I contemplated sneaking back on
the set to get that nail.
was a remarkable day. The only disappointment
was that the visit was somewhat
short. I could have easily stood
there on Stage 7 forever. Okay,
maybe not forever, but a really,
really, really long time.
was an amazing experience to observe
first-hand the talent and enthusiasm
of the Monk team as they worked
in harmony to film segments that
would later be edited together to
produce a Monk episode.
End of story... almost.
the Paramount store, which is really just
a coffee shop with t-shirts, Kim demonstrated
another mad skill as we enjoyed out lattes.
She's a prodigous eavesdropper. I think
she picked up a little scoop on the then
only days old writers' strike. I'm not sure
what it was, but it took me so long to write
this up that it's not news now.
wanted to show Kim the commissary where
I had lunch with Tony, but it was closed.
We had a golden opportunity to roam around
the Paramount lot and get as many pictures
as wanted, but did we? Noooooo. We just
walked back to the car and left. Another
"D'oh" moment. Oh well, we were
losing the light anyway. Yeah, that's the
Monk Bobblehead... |
...has left... |
...the Paramount lot.