A couple weeks ago, I flew out to Cincinnati, Ohio to shoot a corporate video for Kroger. (Wait, she’s acting? Is this the right Lalaland?) If you don’t know who Kroger is, they own you already, so don’t worry about it. Actually, they own grocery stores and products across the country. Fred Meyer, Ralph’s, Albertson’s, Kroger, Turkey Hill… Ya’ll know where you are. Since it was all for Kroger eyes only, I can’t tell you anything about it.
But I can tell you everything around it. Kroger put me up in a swanky art deco Hilton downtown. I love staying in hotels and this was no exception. Here’s some hard evidence:Me. Cheersing myself in the bathroom mirror. (Fabulous — and hydrated.) Seriously, my organizey OCD was giddy with crispy clean glee. My own bathroom. Fresh towels. A coffee maker. A tiny closet with hangers. TV.
People, it does not take much these days.It didn’t take me long to realize I could swipe my neighbor’s mini Grey Poupon’s from their ABC (– already been chewed) room service tray, in the hall. I made it to 2 before I think they checked out. Or caught on to me.
But really, I wasn’t there to poach mustard. I was there to WERK! Day 1 of our week-long shoot, started out like this:You guys. I had planned on showing you the amazing transformation from duck to swan, but I completely forgot to take any “after” shots. SO. Keep this in your head. The puffy face of success!
Thankfully, there was an amazing craft service spread, including some ridiculously good coconut granola, made by our girl Franny. “Oh yeah — I’ve worked on set with her before. It’s so good,” said almost every Cincinnati actor. An UN-perk of being the LA hire: getting homemade coconut granola on this shoot – only.
Among other delicacies, Franny also made Puppy Chow for us. I am *sure* she used some kind of secret ingredient to kick it up (she’s a gourmet chef), but for the rest of us, here’s the recipe. Be warned: It’s easy, it’s Chex cereal, and (whispery voice) I think the powdered sugar might be cocaine.
Being a responsible actress (snore), I stuck to the fruit and water (and caffeine… I have a thing in my contract where one of my vices must be coursing through my veins at all times.) The camera is Judge Judy about what you’ve done to yourself lately. And totally not like the kind of friend who says you still look good, after you’ve eaten a bunch of salt and slept on your face.
Every day, I’d return to my hotel, exhausted, then go bang out 5 miles on the treadmill in the gym downstairs. Just trying to sweat out my tortilla chips, while catching up on Parks & Recreation and The Mindy Project.
I tried to save room in my suitcase by bringing minimal workout options. So I had to hand wash and hang them in my shower. When my sisters and I were young Caucasians growing up in PA, we used to play “Mexican housekeeper” when my Mom asked us to fold the laundry.
How to play: Fold the laundry, while playing the Spanish radio channel.
A fun game.
In my downtime, I tried to get out and explore a little bit of downtown Cincinnati! Famous for 3-way chili (and not how you think), and a burgeoning arts district. You know, get a samplinz of the local flavor! (This is one of my favorite things, by the way. I wanna know what the natives like.)
I’ll be honest with you. I think I spent most my time in the Chipotle, ordering a salad bowl and too many chips, and skittering to my room to watch TV and hunt for Grey Poupon. But I did manage to check out adorable Mica down the street, have dinner with everyone at Taste of Belgium (they do chicken and waffles with hot sauce and syrup – why is that good – but it is!), nearly get suckered into buying a Bond No. 9 NYC candle at Saks for $95, throw a whiskey back with a penguin at Metropole, and check out the Contemporary Arts Center. Which was rad. Have you ever played the game Simon? My Ma-Ma and Pop-Pop had it at their house and we used to play it all the time at Christmas. Had I known it at the time, it would have made for a great drinking game. (With our kids-size 2% milk, of course!)
Well, this was my favorite exhibit at the museum. SIMON:That’s the green side. It makes all those same weird sounds, and you have to run across the room to hit the buttons, as the whole place floods with neon green, red, blue and yellow light. It’s so much fun and SUCH A GREAT WORKOUT!
Whenever I have my mansion, as much as I love bowling, I’m commissioning a really big Simon. This was kid art from the youngin’s section. I think she has a future, here. And I would know… (Wait… oh… where’s my Ringling diploma when I need it…?)
I’m not gonna lie. I had a really hard time reentering the atmosphere, upon my return to LA. No one cleans my room every day. I have to pay for my own mustard. The only acting I’m doing is when I’m pretending I enjoy driving in rush hour traffic to deliver people their fancy dinners.
But. At least I had a taste of the good life. Eventually all these little tastes will add up to a whole meal, right?