On January 12, 2001 I was lucky enough to be in the presence of Danny Masterson. I got to go see a taping of "That '70s Show". I had already seen "Titus" and "Spin City" being taped, but I hadn't really gotten to meet any of the actors (although I did get to shake Zack Ward and Micheal Boatman's hands).
I went with my mom, older brother, and my best friend, Ashley. On the way to the show, we even had a good omens: we saw several different beautiful rainbows.
When we got to the show, almost late, we checked in and waited for about 30 minutes in a long line of people, mostly older teenagers and kids in their twenties. When we finally got in, Ashley and I sat beside each other with my bro and my mom behind us.
This is probably a good time to explain the seating at the studio. It is best described as stadium seating. There is nothing under the seats, so anything that accidently falls falls right under the entire seating area, until someone can return it to you at the end of the show. I learned this the hard way. I was the only person (out of about a hundred people) who dropped anything under the seats at that taping. And everyone around me knew it, too. So, everything I had in my purse, incuding my That '70s Show Jammin' Soundtrack I was planning on getting signed, had to wait under me in a dark oblivion until the very end of the 3 hour taping. It wasn't really off to a good start.
On with the story. After my friend and family had laughed at me, the Master of Ceremonies, or the dude who makes jokes and hypes the audience up, walked by. I talked to him and asked him if I could win a prize (they give away prizes between takes), along with the nice girl sitting by Ashley. He promised us something, and I already felt better, now that my prize had been secured.
Before the taping started, he went around and talked to the audience a little. It was then when he found Hope. Hope was... a big Danny fan, to say the least. The MC brought her up to the front of the seating. Hope started crying (not out of embarrassment, but excitement) and talking about how much she loved Danny. Now, the cast had already done the cast call, so they were already getting ready for the next scene. Danny was sitting on a washing machine in the Forman's basement, waiting for the first scene to start. The MC asked Hope if there was anything she'd like to say to him. Hope said, "Hi,". Then, almost seeing her chance for Danny communication slipping away, said,"Do you remember me? I met at that party?" Danny couldn't really answer, because he was too far away. The MC gave Hope the first of her many prizes that night. Just because Hope started crying, he decided to play favorites with her. He talked to her and gave her, her friend, and her friend's family every prize they wanted. He even played favorite with Hope's friend. And because he talked to them so much, throughout the course of the night everyone learned that Hope's mom lived in LA (she thought), her friend had a crush on her older brother, her older brother was in Juvenile Hall for selling drugs, and basically every other tidbit about her life.
Anyways, the night goes on. We watch the filming, which, sometimes, can be very slow. They film a scene at least 2 times, and then they usually do some type of pick-up for it. It was a very funny episode, but I can't tell you too much about it, since it hasn't aired yet. If I told you I'd have to kill you, lol.
And now, the climax of my long story. Right before the last scene, the MC finally gives Ashley, the nice girl by her, and me our prizes. I got a genuine script, Ashley got a groovy postcard, and the other girl got a script. I was, of course, very excited, and glad to have something to have signed (my CD was still under the seating).
They finish the last scene. They do the final curtain call - of course, I cheer extremely loud for Danny. Then, the show is finally over, people, especially me, rush to the front of the seating. The cast members are below us, with us kind of looking down on them and them looking up at us. I got right in front of the bar, as other people pushed around me. First I got Kurtwood Smith's autograph, then Ashton Kutcher's, then Wilmer Valderrama, then Mila Kunis's, then Laura Prepon's, and finally, Danny's. I was on the right side of the stage and he started on the left side and worked his way to the right, so it took longer. Topher Grace was standing near the stage but he wasn't signing autographs, and I didn't see Debra Jo Rupp, Tanya Roberts, and Don Stark.
And so Danny came closer. And closer. He was going through the line fairly slow, because he would stop and talk to whoever's autograph he was doing, and ask their name. Hope and her friend were on my left, and I said that I was going to ask Danny if I could shake his hand. Hope said,"I'm gonna ask him for a hug! He gives good hugs. And kisses, too." (I'm not sure I want to know how she knew). I was tempted, but not nearly brave enough to ask a complete-and hot- stranger for a hug. Maybe next time, lol.
Finally, he was in front of Hope. She asked him again,"Do you remember me? From that party? My friend's dad works for that magazine and I met you there." Danny said,"Oh, yeah, were you there with your brother?" Hope responded, "No, I was with my friend." I can't really blame him, I mean, he is famous and meets a lot of people. I wouldn't remember me. So, the chit-chat continued for a minute - and then, he was in fornt of me.
He was still kind of talking to Hope when I handed him my script, so when he stopped talking to her, he looked at the script in his hand and looked at me and asked, "Is this yours?" Somehow, without peeing my pants, I managed to respond, "Yeah." He looked at the script and then looked back up at me and asked, "What's your name?" Smiling the largest smile I had in a while, I said, "Sarah." Still looking at me, he said, "With an 'h'?" That was great, because everyone always spells my name wrong. Most people spell it without the 'h', and a lot of people have spelled my name "Shara". But he was right on the first try. I was ecstatic. "Yeah," I managed to croak out again. As he was signing, I asked, "Can I shake your hand?"(***This is the bravest thing I've ever done. Sad, huh?***) "Sure," he said. He handed my script back to me. Ashley had given me her postcard to get signed, and I asked, "Can you sign this for my friend?" "Sure," he said again, and asked, "What's her name?" "Ashley," I said, hoping he had not forgotten that I had asked to shake his hand. He finished signing, handed me the postcard, and with my sweaty right hand, I reached for his. This next second I will never forget. He had the pen in his hand as he shook mine, so it wasn't a very strong handshake between us. But when he did, he looked right into my eyes. His eyes are incredible. No one had ever looked me in my eyes with such an intensity before. I felt like he was looking right into my heart. It was like those scenes in movies: the 2 people in love see each other, and the rest of the world slows down and disappears. It was like we were the only two people in the world. I know it didn't seem that way from his point of view, but my mild obsession makes it seem like that in my point of view, even though it probably wouldn't have been like that if I hadn't been so excited/mildly obsessed. I was smiling so huge I must have looked high, lol.
And so our hands parted, and I turned away to find my family and go home. So, that's my Danny story. Send me yours!