Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences For Your Consideration Panels
Spring 2018

This spring I have been fortunate to be an active member of the Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences in the Children’s Programming peer group.  This membership has allowed me to attend numerous FYC “For Your Consideration” events put on by the Studio/Network creators of the nominated shows.  With what appears to be minimal restrictions on event venues, these range widely from the Saban Theater at the ATAS headquarters (most are held here) to outside sister organizations (WGA) and studios (WB/Disney) as well as an occasional random locales of LA and NY.  Here are just a few places where these show’s soirees have been held in 2018, so far:

*The Warner Bros. Stephen J. Ross Theater and Lot (The Last O.G. & Search Party) TBS

*The Writers Guild of America (American Horror Story – Cult)  FX

*The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood (Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE) NBC

*Wallis Annenberg Theater (The Alienist) TNT

*Netflix FYSEE at Raleigh Studios (Ozark) NETFLIX

Each event is similar in that they generally screen an episode or clips of the show they are promoting, then they have a panel that follows with actors, directors, producers and sometimes set or costume designers or specific crew that contributed to the series.  For instance, at the “Jesus Christ Superstar” panel that NBC held at the Egyptian Theater, the choreographer, Camille A. Brown was featured because of her huge contribution to the magnificent stage production brought to life.

At every one of these events there has been delicious, catered foods either handed out in a box dinner or served on trays by the waiting staff.  Most of the events are held at night and feature a wine/beer bar as well.  Sometimes, but not always, some of the cast/crew from the panel will come out after the discussion to mingle and take pictures with Academy members.  I was very lucky to have grabbed a selfie with Tracy Morgan at “The Last O.G.” panel.  Tracy also encouraged a more playful atmosphere by enticing co-star Tiffany Haddish to dance with him and the crowd.


May 29, 2018 A friend and I attended the Twentieth Century Fox Television & NBC FYC panel for “This is Us” (2nd season) held at a lovely LA landmark in downtown, The Ace Hotel Theatre.  We arrived early and stood in line for about an hour until the doors opened.  We checked in and were given a gold band and a paper ticket.  The band was for official entrance (an Academy Member + Guest) and the ticket got us a nice boxed dinner in a collector item “This is Us” metal lunch box.  The vegetarian meal was a Caprese sandwich, a bag of kettle potato chips, a large cookie and a bottle of water.  

My friend and I found our seats, put our coats on the chairs for placers and then explored a bit of the gorgeous theatre lobby.  Wine and beer were generously being passed out to the guests and we imbibed as we perused the costumes of various characters on display from the show.  Inside the theatre, highlights of the season’s episode were playing on a loop as guests enjoyed the dinner and drinks.  At 7pm they introduced and played Episode 14 from Season 2, “Super Bowl Sunday.”  This episode was a very emotionally charged chapter with the audience of professional/fans so the tears were flowing and the applause was going.

After the screening, some of the cast including Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Sullivan was introduced along with Writer/Producer/CREATOR, Dan Fogelman as they took their seats on comfy living room type furniture positioned onstage.  The moderator proceeded to pose multiple questions to the panel about the seasons best moments, what the hardest scenes were to film as well as what the cast expected in the season to come.  Dan Fogelman was generous when giving out information on what was to “come” of the Pearson family in Season 3 and beyond of “This is Us.” Click HERE for the lowdown, recap from CNN.

There was a surprise Skype “call” as fellow cast member, Sterling K. Brown (Randall Pearson) dialed in from out of town and was projected onto a large screen above the panel.  The cast quickly gathered to take a selfie with Sterling in background!  This sealed the camaraderie of the cast  for the “voting” audience members, creating a cohesive campaign front because, after all, the events are not just to celebrate the success of the show but to gain voting confidence from the Academy of TV, Arts & Science Members.

Thanks to Twentieth Century Fox Television and NBC for a truly lovely evening reminiscing with the “This is Us” cast along with a few nuggets of knowledge for future seasons thrown in.  


Comic-con San Diego The Cosplay Art of "PinPlay"
July 2015

Having gone to many Comic-Con conventions in San Diego, CA over the years, I was quite intrigued with the latest trend in Cosplay – specifically “costume play” where people dress up as characters of their favorite film, tv show, comic book or video game.  Don’t quote me but I think I’m coining a term when I say there was a trend setting with “PinPlay,” a mash-up of normal costume play antics paired with the lovely Pin-up trend that has become so popular within the last few years.

The classic “Pin-up” style made popular in the 1940s-1950s is glamorous, feminine style highlighted by crinolines, coiffed hair and the always required red lipstick.

Pin-up boutiques pepper the sidewalks of Magnolia Park in Burbank alongside salons, coffee shops and antique stores. Add that aspect to the already entertainment heavy production of the DC Comics, Marvel and other super hero happy studios and this was bound to combine!

Queen Mary
October 2014

Let the Ghoulish Games begin!

This Halloween Haunt it not your average Los Angeles Horror Night!  With a plethora of creepy, touchy-feely Halloween options in LA, an event with “Evil Lurks Within” should really ante up.  2014 Dark Harbor does just that.

This was our very first visit to the “DARK” Harbor.  We had been to the bright and delightful “Chill” event the previous December at the Queen Mary so boy…were we impressed when the land of sugarplums and giant lollipops was transformed into a seething, dark carnival of heat and horror!  We were greeted by a macabre cast of characters nodding a bit to “Rocky Horror Picture Show” as well as a live band, dressed devilishly appropriate.  The Ringmaster definitely had control over his cast of collaborators however, it was the Captain who demanded respect (and repulsion)  I think he needs a bit of drying out for that barnacle problem.

The Captain of the Grey Ghost has hatched two (of three new) mazes on the Queen Mary that really raised our goosebumps.  Mainly because both the B340 and Soulmate are ON BOARD the QM and are very, very DARK.  I tried using my iPhone flashlight but that didn’t even help.  Needless to say, we do not have any pictures on the inside, in the mazes on QM.  If you do visit Dark Harbor, there are six different mazes to chose from and although we only went through four of the six, we were very impressed.

One event that we did not take part of but should be worth mentioning, is the exclusive “Encounter.”  Guests can pay $15 for a guided ghost hunt where the paranormal spirits might just reach out and touch you! (so we’ve heard)  The Queen Mary has a haunted history of it’s own.  B340 is a stateroom that was closed off due to a negative history and paranormal activity.  Legend has it that a purser on the ship was murdered there so it is fitting that they have a maze through that area.  And the added illusion of actual ghosts is quite frightening.  Additionally, the Soulmate is another new feature maze onboard.  Graceful Gale (a bloody Marilyn Monroe type) haunts the ship and lures men to their death as she eternally searches for the perfect (ship) mate.

Again, it was super dark in those two mazes, so we couldn’t take good pictures.  Other mazes include SUBMERGED (featuring Scary Mary), VOODOO VILLAGE (featuring Voodoo Priestess) , CIRCUS (in the big Dome Structure) and DEADRISE (featuring the Grey Goose Captain’s dead sailors)  All have definite personalities and a variety of sets, great casts and ambiance.  In particular, we had a great time in CIRCUS because not only was it scary but it was playfully sinister – a match not easily achieved.  

The food choices at Dark Harbor were very gruesome in choice.  All were meaty, greasy choices and not many for Vegetarians. (they did have cheese pizza though)  I finally gave in and had a pulled pork sandwich that I regretted the next day.  It was tasty at the time!  Plenty of booze to be had – several bars peppered the grounds and there was a VIP area.  You can go and rent a VIP Tent as well.  Or, be really daring and stay in one of the rooms aboard the Queen Mary!

We would love to go again sometime this Halloween season.  Definitely worth it to check out the acting, the ambiance, the makeup and the ship itself.

For more information and picture coverage on LA events, check us out on Twitter @SpinsPlates

Check HERE FOR QUEEN MARY updated calendar for the next DARK HARBOR.


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