This story is by Idina-Here’s creator Kim, all notes are hers!
The First Time I Met Idina
DISCLAIMER: So this meeting was several years ago, and I’ve just read through it again for the first time in forever… and wow, was I a lame-o. Read at your own risk, and prepare to roll your eyes at me.
So I really didn’t think that I would ever have a “meeting Idina” story to tell, even after a last-minute trip to the SF Rent film set in March 2005. But as luck would have it, my small group of friends really lucked out and got the chance to talk with Idina for a bit, and she was gracious enough to take pictures, sign autographs, and chat with us. If you are at all interested, here is my extremely over-excited, “fangirly” recount of the day (probably parts are a little paraphrased, but you’ll get the idea.)
Alright, so I took a trip into San Francisco on March 21, 2005 with a bunch of my friends — We were hoping to just hang around the city and then travel down to 6th St to see if any filming was going on.
Well, around 2:30, we start to travel down in the pouring rain to the Tenderloin near 6th St…. and oh god, it was gross. There was really nothing around except for bums and the like. We continued to walk down a little bit just in case they were further towards the water, but no luck. There were no signs, no production equipment, no nothing.
So we figured that if they were filming there today, they would have started putting stuff up already. But I’m guessing because of the weather, they decided to postpone until later in the week.
Then, all of a sudden, my friend Jay tells me that when he drove into the city that afternoon, he drove past this huge line of white trailers between 1st and 2nd St on Mission, but he didn’t know if they had anything to do with the movie — but of course, we decide to try it out down there.
We walked for awhile, then finally spotted the trailers. As we walk the line, we see a two-room trailer marked “Director” and “Producer”… and then another with all these costumes in it! and we peek inside and see a costume marked “Roger — RENT”
Oh my god… my heart was seriously beating so fast. We were right next to all the trailers! We walk down further and see another two-room trailer that says “Mark #1” on one end, and “Joanne #2” at the other! Behind that… another marked “Maureen #6” and “Benny #8”.
[the line of trailers on Mission, between 1st and 2nd]
[the … “name tag”-like things on Taye and Idina’s trailer]
There wasn’t really anyone around except for a few security guards around — So we decided to ask one of them who was here, what they were filming, and where, yada yada yada….
He said they were inside today because of the rain, and they were on the 13th floor of one of the nearby buildings… I asked who was here, and:
Guard: Well you probably wouldn’t recognize them, because they’re not all really popular, they’re just Original Cast members…
Us: Uh… we know! that’s why we’re here!
Guard: oh! well, um…. Anthony is here… He’s really nice… Um… Adam Pascal was here, but he just finished makeup and he’s left for the day…
Me: What about Idina? Is she still on set?
Guard: Yeah, she’s up there filming now with Tracie and Anthony…
Me: How about Taye?
Guard: No, he’s not here today. He is Idina’s boyfriend I think…
Me: (sigh…) yeah… We know.
Needless to say, we had to hang out and wait awhile. It was raining so we took shelter in a nearby cafe… and we just waited… For like… 2 hours (we’re crazy)… And we were seriously about to leave. The production people kept walking by (I was really intrigued by them actually, since I’m hoping that’ll be me someday – I was tempted to start chatting with one of them, but they were busy and I hate disturbing people) – and after awhile I stood up outside of the restaurant to wait. I was so anxious.
Anyway, we kept talking to the production guy, and he said they would be filming later this week and this weekend, and most of the cast would be there. Soon, I just started to walk towards the building they were shooting in, waiting near the entrance where the guard said they would come out.
Well, about 15 minutes later, I get a call from my friend Jay (who was with a bunch of my other friends back near the trailers) and he’s screaming “Come now! She’s here in front of us! Hurry!”
and… I ran my ass off. Ok, that’s sort of an exaggeration, because running would have resulted in my face hitting the pavement. So I merely… walked quickly :) It wasn’t even that far, but as I was approaching, there she was… :) smiling at me. Hahaha, I think they told her that I was coming and if she wouldn’t mind waiting. She was all decked out in her Maureen outfit: tight black pants, knee-high boots, leather jacket and cute french braids in her hair.
I walked up to her, trying to be as cool as possible. I tend not to freak out in front of people I admire… That all comes afterwards.
(close, but kind of paraphrasing the convo)
Me: Hey, How’re you?
Idina: I’m good. This rain is really annoying.
Me: Yeah, it sucks. We just came by because we wanted to see how everything was going. We hoped we’d run into you. If you wouldn’t mind, maybe could you take a few pictures with us?
Idina: Yeah, totally — (she looked around) Can I run in and change really fast? I need to get out of these clothes. They’re freezing!
Me: Totally. Thank you.
So she went inside, and we tried to find a space where an overhang would cover us from the ridiculous rain. I was still trying to keep my cool. My like… EIGHT friends, who aren’t huge Idina fans, just Rent fans, all said they’d let me talk to her when she came back out. That was totally sweet, because there was so much I wanted to say, but I couldn’t get all my thoughts organized.
A few minutes later she came out.
Idina: (smiles) Hey! How are you guys?
Me: We’re so excited that we caught you. We were afraid we’d miss you guys because of the rain. How is filming going?
Idina: It’s going so well! We’re having way too much fun!
Me: I’ll bet — We were all so happy that you all came here to San Francisco. It’s really exciting!
Idina: Yeah, it’s great. We just spent a few weeks in New York to do some exterior shots, and we’re here for a few weeks before we go over to Treasure Island — They have a sound stage and everything.
Me: That’s so great!
Idina: I was just excited to get cast! (she’s seriously too cute) I keep feeling like I need to pull my skin back! (she literally… pulled the skin on her face back…, probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen)
Me: Oh my god, no you don’t at all. You look great!
Idina: Aww! Thanks!
Me: Would you mind taking a few pictures with us?
Idina: Oh of course! Can I do it in like… hahaha, small groups?
so we start to take pictures — then:
Idina: Hey, would you mind e-mailing these to my manager? I can have these pictures put up on my site!
Oh my god, I know!
Me: Um… Of course! I actually have a site for you, I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen it…
Idina: Oh wow! Thank you! Send the link to my manager too! We’ll have him put it up on the site!
More pictures took place, and I had her sign some of my stuff… And she signed everything we had! Some of my friends bought things for her to sign, like little booklets and such, and my friend Ken, who saw “Wicked” back in Nov… well, she saw him an remembered him! She was like… “I remember you…” He was like “Yeah, from New York”… Idina: “Yeah! wow! I don’t remember your name, but I totally remember your face!” — That was pretty awesome. While she was signing my Wicked insert, she asked me what my name was, and when I said “Kim”, she smiled and said “Oh cool! That’s my middle name!” — That was sweet. She also commented that I “had her entire resume” there with me for her to sign (see below… it was kind of true.)
But these are links to the things she signed for my sis and I:
RENT CD insert – (already had Anthony)
The Wild Party CD insert – (already had Andrew Lippa and Julia Murney)
WICKED CD insert – (already had Stephen Schwartz, JLT, Chris Fitz, and Joey Mac)
AIDA CD insert (on top of “My Strongest Suit” lyrics) – (initially for Adam, but… oh well. :))
Idina’s autograph to my sister, Stacey -(she personalized ALL of our things! — i love her)
Anyway, after she was done signing, I reminded her that she wanted us to send the pictures to her manager.
Idina: OH! Yeah! Thank you for reminding me!! Do you have something I could write with?
(we gave her a piece of paper and pen)
Idina: Um… (she writes his name… and stops) Shit! Hahaha, I can’t remember the e-mail… Oh whatever! I’ll just give you the phone number. Just call him, tell him we hung out and that I said the pictures should go on the site… ok?
Us: OF COURSE!
She thanked all of us for stopping by and seeing the set and supporting them. We wished her luck with the rest of the run, and she walked off towards Anthony’s trailer (in her really cute Uggs.)
Well that’s the story — God willing, there will be more to tell in the future!