On Sunday, March 18, 2012 ten actors from ABC's long-running hit TV show, Grey's Anatomy,
took the stage of Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA. Extending the concept of season seven's musical episode,
the cast performed in a concert, "The Songs Beneath The Show", to benefit The Actors Fund, "a nationwide human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment." By the end of the evening $100,000 had been raised and the GA
fans in the audience had a memory to cherish forever, but that's not the whole story. In my review of the concert
I promised a second article focusing on the question and answer session that followed the performance. Read on for the scoop!
Other than priority seating for the concert, the best perk of having a VIP ticket to the benefit was admission to the Q&A after the performance. Following the briefest of intermissions while the rest of the audience left, VIP ticket holders stayed in the hall to participate in this exclusive bonus event. The stage was reset and then they appeared (in order): Eric Dane (Mark Sloan), GA
Creator Shonda Rhimes, James Pickens Jr. (Richard Webber), Jessica Capshaw (Arizona Robbins), Sarah Drew (April Kepner), Sara Ramirez (Callie Torres), Kim Raver (Teddy Altman), Justin Chambers (Alex Karev), Kevin McKidd (Owen Hunt), Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey), and Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang). The panel was moderated by Grey's Anatomy
director and producer, Tony Phelan, who also served as the director for the evening's activities. Questions were solicited on index cards before intermission, which I think was a better (and less risky) approach then giving a bunch of excited fans (ahem) an open microphone! Another plus to this strategy was that the questions were varied in scope and everyone on stage got a turn to respond, so there was something for everyone to enjoy.
Here are the top Q&A moments, paraphrased to the best of my ability, in chronological order:To Kevin McKidd: Does your Scottish accent ever come through?
McKidd: "All the time!" He mentioned that a vocal coach used to work with him regularly (Owen Hunt is an American) but my inference is that that's no longer the case. Apparently, it's gotten easier to maintain the American accent over four seasons but the occasional slip up still occurs, particularly when he's tired or there is an unusual word. McKidd mentioned, for example, that at a recent table read his cast mates teased him for pronouncing the word schedule the Scottish way (shed-you'll) rather than the American way (sked-you'll). To Jessica Capshaw: Boy or girl? (she's pregnant)
She doesn't know, but will consider tweeting the answer when she does!To Eric Dane: Favorite hospital hook-up?
Bearing in mind, I think, that a few of his "conquests" were sitting on the stage next to him and that he probably didn't want to antagonize fans of Lexie, Callie or even Addison, Dane went for the funny saying, "Teddy and the chocolate!"To Shonda Rhimes: What is your Favorite Episode?
She said it changes all the time but cited the pilot, the shooting, the Super Bowl (Bomb), prom, and musical episodes as examples of her favorites. She went on to say that it's really impossible to pick just one, similar to someone asking which cast member is her favorite. It can't be done.For Chandra Wilson: Has it been fun to explore the romantic side of Bailey with Eli and Ben?
"Yes." Hee. It's hard for me to imagine a downside in that scenario. To the whole cast: What was your craziest fan encounter?
James Pickens: The elderly lady he met in a hotel lobby who proclaimed to him and Isaiah Washingston (Preston Burke, seasons 1-3) that "I go to bed with you two every night!"
Sarah Drew: Her encounter with a woman at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem---"Anatomy of Grey!"
Sandra Oh: When she was naked in a Korean spa when a fan approached her and Oh was "trying to be really cool about the nakedness..."To Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw: Tell us about working together and particularly on doing the musical episode.
This answer was long and drawn out but I loved it when JC talked about how she got so caught up in the moment that she forgot to sing! Whoops.To Sandra Oh: What's your favorite part about working so closely with Kevin McKidd?
She replied that she couldn't say enough about him, that he's really "talented, blah, blah, blah" but that there were two more things. "He's a great kisser!" At this the crowd erupted in delighted shrieks. She went on to say that he has "amazing" skin which she gets to touch all the time. At this point I'm quite sure I saw fan girls fainting dead away. "It's your skin, your lips, babe!" Related aside: When a fan shouted, "Save Them Shonda!", Oh responded, "You'll see! You'll see! You'll see!" Full disclosure: This particular exchange made the entire experience worthwhile. There. I said it. To Shonda Rhimes: Will Grey's Anatomy suffer because you have so many projects going at once, including Private Practice and a new show, Scandal?
She seemed quite surprised by the question and said that GA
remains in "the forefront of my mind", that she enjoys doing the show and will continue to want to do the show as long as it's still feels "vital" to me. Translate that as you will.
And with that, they were gone. That's a wrap, folks!Grey's Anatomy
returns on Thursday, April 5 at 9pm followed by the new series, Scandal
at 10pm. Private Practice
returns later in the month, moving to Tuesday nights on April 17. All three shows air on ABC.
For more information on The Actors Fund visit their website
or Twitter page
.(Image courtesy of ABC)