Evening with Laurel Holloman and Miki Turner – Report
Evening with Laurel Holloman and Miki Turner – January 23, 2010
I flew to Los Angeles to get away from the winter only to arrive in the middle of a mild rainstorm. You’d think that getting wet and cold would dampen my excitement but even the heavy rain couldn’t accomplish this. My current trip to the City of Angels held a double excitement for me…actually, triple excitement.
I was meeting some old and new friends, I was going to see Janina Gavankar at the comedy theater and I was having a dinner with Laurel Holloman and her good friend, Miki Turner, where I was invited as one of the winners of the Maasai Auction that Laurel and Miki had in December. So you can see why I cared so little for the rain.
Improve comedy with Janina (ACME)
Our trip started with a visit to ACME Comedy Theater (www.acmecomedy.com), where Janina Gavankar was performing as a celebrity guest. I always enjoyed theater and I was anxious to see “Unscripted Hollywood Dream Role” improve comedy.
We were sitting in front row and Janina was introduced first and she said that she wanted to play a femme fatale. The host/director asked the audience to come up with the name for all the characters and their professions. The name of the play was combined from two different suggestions and it became “Sun sets twice after the moon over Los Angeles” or something ridiculously funny like that.
Janina ended up playing a dame with two first names who was followed by a private eye who was hired by an evil tax man. The whole thing was hilarious and as all improve comedies go, we could never know what was coming next. I really enjoyed it and I laughed so hard, the muscles on my neck began hurting.
After the show was over, we went outside and were greeted by all the actors in the foyer. I introduced my friends to Janina, we exchanged a few words and we were on our way back to the hotel to get our beauty sleep to be ready for the dinner on Saturday.
Dinner with Laurel and Miki
First of all, I want to make sure that everyone understands that this report is not a transcript of the entire dinner conversations. I didn’t come there to memorize every word spoken or every gesture made by Laurel and Miki. As one of the winners of the Maasai Auction I came to enjoy the company of my friends, to meet Laurel and Miki…and of course, to have a delicious Italian food. I’ve been living on Ramen Noodles since the auction ended and Saturday night dinner was a pleasant diversion from that.
We were seated at the long table in the dining room at the Maggiano’s, a very nice Italian restaurant at Farmers Market. Talking about a fancy place to eat, I haven’t been to one of this in years. We saved two seats for Laurel and Miki and then took our chair around the table. I ended up sitting right across from Laurel so I had a very good view and was able to participate in some conversations.
When Laurel and Miki arrived, our table became alive with activity. It seems like everything began all at once: talking, ordering food, asking Miki’s advice about wine, and taking some photos. Laurel looked really lovely in her casual outfit and one of my friends, who had never met her, remarked, “Wow, she looks so much younger and so much more beautiful in person.”
I had never met Miki Turner but I saw her photos and talked to her on twitter, and let me tell you, this woman is what you expect to be and so much more. She is funny, full of life, very nice and also very beautiful. I felt at ease with both of them right away and it felt like we were having dinner with old friends we haven’t seen in a while.
There were a lot of conversations flowing around the table and I can only recollect some bits and pieces, so here’re the highlights of the evening:
- Gigantic is a show about teenagers and adults are not really in it a lot. Laurel is playing a mother of one of the main characters and actually she is doing this show for her kids, because they are too young to watch The L Word. Lola loves to watch Nickelodeon and keeps asking if Moose A. Moose came to visit mommy on the set because for her he’s not an animation.
Laurel was actually shooting until 7:30 Saturday morning and she got just a few hours of sleep before coming to dinner, which is another sign of how considerate and generous Laurel is with her fans.
Laurel also told us that she was filming a scene with a girl about 17 years old who looked familiar and finally Laurel realized that she played the girl’s mother in one of the episodes Touched by the Angel that was shot in Salt Lake City.
- Australian Convention – Laurel was appalled that majority of the fans still didn’t get their refunds. Laurel, Marlee and Rachel agreed to come because they were promised to be able to have an auction to raise money for their favorite charities but even they didn’t hear anything about their accommodations or flights.
- French Convention in Paris – Laurel really liked the French Convention in 2008 because it was small, intimate, there were young people involved and the proceeds went to support local LGBT Center, which always appeals to Laurel.
- Paintings – Unconditional Blonde is one of Laurel’s favorite and she really loves the green color on it and the curves of the body. Green is Laurel’s favorite color. Freedom to Love is also very precious because it was supposed to be a part of the series that she will continue to paint. It’s used to be the red painting that Laurel posted on Twitter once.
Actually, Unconditional Blond and Redhead were the latest addition to the paintings that Laurel submitted for the auction because at first she was only planning to go with the three larger paintings. No need to mention that I’m glad she painted them because these two paintings are both beautiful and I’m honored to offer “The Blondie” my humble home.
- Laurel’s daughter Lola – they were first going to name their daughter Reiko because it means “gratitude” in Japanese but on its own it sounded a little edgy and they named her Lola Reiko. She is so Lola.
One of Lola’s best friends from her pre-school has two mommies and Laurel really likes how diverse it is and that she can also explain to the children that there are families who have mommy and daddy but there are also families who have two mommies or two daddies and it’s okay.
- Pregnancy on The L Word – When Laurel was pregnant on season two, someone told her that they had never seen more believable prosthetic belly. She had to tell that person that she was filming from when she was four months pregnant until her water broke, so nothing prosthetic about that belly.
- Maasai Auction idea first came from Edward Norton and then Laurel and Miki decided to raise money for Maasai to honor Miki’s father. Edward Norton actually sent Laurel a few emails thanking them for doing this auction. The money they were collecting is going to a particular tribe.
- The L Word Cast – We told Laurel about stand-up comedy with Janina and Laurel said that Janina is awesome, she can do a wide range of roles and she is so different from Papi. They were planning to do some crazy ‘Push It’-type of dance to kick off the Australian Convention before it was canceled.
- Logo TLW re-runs – Laurel really doesn’t like The L Word re-runs on Logo because they cut some scenes and edited language, which is really funny when Tina sais, “Gee, gosh and golly” while going down on Bette.
- Dancing With The Stars – something she’s thinking about because of Marlee who made a great impression on everyone. They were all very excited to see how she changed when she came to Vancouver for season six, because the dancers have to train so hard and Marlee looked incredible. And Marlee is really competitive.
- Miki’s travels – Miki told us a few stories about her travels to Africa and I asked her about the photo that I got from the auction “Zulu Eyes.” Miki told us that she first had met that boy two years ago when he was only four years old. When she came back, she asked about him and the tribesmen led her to him. He was now six years old, a warrior in training. Miki also told about a few other photographs, including the four girlfriends that became the subject of at least three photos. Miki said that she had never seen girls hanging out together like that and they were more than happy to pose for her.
There were obviously more things said but I don’t remember anything else, especially after a few glasses of wine that Miki chose. The dinner lasted over two hours and it was amazing. Both Laurel and Miki tweeted later that they had a very good time and they thanked everyone for their generosity.
When the dinner was over we went outside and Laurel handed us our paintings and photographs we won at the auction, and she signed them on the back. This is when Laurel told me again that she really likes the curves and colors on “Unconditional Blonde”, the painting I got at the auction.
We took a few more photos, hugs were exchanged and Laurel left, taking Miki with her. Again, this was an amazing evening, one that none of us will soon forget.
Miki mentioned that they are working on another auction and are still deciding on the charity but I have no doubt this auction will be as exciting as the first one and will support a worthy cause.