Jessica had agreed to do a few reenactments of her scenes as Natalia, Inez and Ani. Those who might have requested a reenactment of the shower scene from Venice were disappointed but volunteers were found for three other scenes: the rooftop encounter between Ani & Lara and Gina & Tracy (Venice), Inez confronts Eddie and slaps him (OLTL), and the Otalia spa fight (GL).
My personal favorite was the spa fight with Desiree Pernaselci (@DesireePernasel on Twitter) playing the part of Olivia. Napkins took the place of the bras that were flung in the original scene and both Desiree and Jessica substituted some great zingers for the original dialog! I thought the best one was “Olivia's” crack about a chastity belt and “Natalia's” comeback: “I was gonna give you the key!”
Let me just say that I was delighted a few months ago when I saw Crystal Chappell ask Desiree, via Twitter, to be in Season 3 of Venice. Now that I've seen this little bit of improv, I can't wait to see what she'll be doing! And I really wish somebody would cast Jessica in a primetime sitcom because her comic timing is right on the money!
After the scene reenactments were over we had more time for talking with Jessica and taking pictures. Brian showed up to join in the fun, too. And when Jill Lorie Hurst arrived I think I heard a genuine “Squeee!” from Jessica who greeted her with a huge hug. It was obvious that they were delighted to see each other again! As they were talking I had several of my friends, who knew that I knew Jill, come up to me and ask, “Is that Jill Lorie Hurst? I would love to meet her!” So I had the honor of introducing them, giving my friends a chance to tell Jill how much her work has meant to them and giving Jill a chance to see that she really does have her own fanbase!
When the luncheon was officially over we went back upstairs and Denise, Lynn, and I talked with Jill, Jessica and Brian. Jessica said she'd seen me being all “ninja-photographer”, suddenly appearing out of nowhere to shoot a picture with no flash, then disappear again. Brian demonstrated the way I'd slowly peeked around someone to see if I had a good angle, then disappeared again without taking the shot. Then Jessica started doing it, too, and we were cracking up! Wish I'd gotten a picture of that! I explained to them that when I worked as a photographer years ago in Texas I was doing PR photography on a small Baptist campus and I was often shooting in worship services there and for my church. I learned to get my shots without disturbing anyone, shooting with no flash, just available light. It was good training if you want to be a ninja-photographer!
When the luncheon was over Denise, Lynn and I left with Jill, walking to who knows where. I never care where we're going because Jill always knows interesting places to go and it's all about the time with friends, anyway. We got as far as Union Square park and found a bench there so we could sit and talk for a while and decide where to go next. Lynn took a couple of pictures of Jill, Denise and I while we were there. We decided on an early dinner and Jill found a great little diner where Lynn presented her with a copy of the Otalia Virtual Season, Season 1. Jill said she'd wait to read it until she finishes her writing for Venice since those characters were already in her head.
After dinner Jill had things to do at home so we made plans to meet the next day. The three of us went back to the hotel but didn't stay long. Denise took us walking through her old stomping grounds in the theater district while Lynn and I took pictures of nighttime in New York. We stopped for a moment at the Marquis Theater Stage Door and she told us a bit about why that one was special to her:
The Marquis Theatre stage door IS NY to me for a lot of reasons. It's where a lot of really important events in my life have happened, from the birth of the website I run (MeganHiltyOnline.com) to the start of several incredibly important friendships. It's where I said goodbye to the first Broadway show I was with as fan and supporter from virtually its first preview performance until it's last moment on a Broadway stage (9 to 5). It's where the life I have now really came to be. Every time I come to New York, I walk past the Marquis stage door, and if he's there, I give the stage door manager Rey a big hug and catch up on what's been going on at the theater. It's like visiting a childhood home - I can never go back, but I will never, ever forget how it shaped who I am.
We walked through Times Square and on to Rockefeller Center to watch the skaters, taking pictures all the way. I still have more to edit, but I'll share a few of my favorites here. I spotted a couple of familiar faces in the crowd and grabbed a quick shot... can you spot Cutter and Joey from One Life to Live?
Only one more day left of my weekend in NYC so come back for Part Four for the rest of the tale!