On Sunday night I attended the conference, ITA TechWalk, at the Marimont Hotel in Santa Monica from 5-9:30 p.m. The show is organized by the Interactive TV Alliance. Sounds fun, right? [Being sarcastic] Well, it was definitely more out-of-the-box than traditional trade shows since each exhibitor has their own cottage, instead of a booth, and has different kinds of food on their balcony lounge area, so attendees then walk from cottage to cottage looking at the displays, demos and talking to that company while sampling sushi, BBQ etc.
My client had the sushi part of the dinner in their cottage so were quite popular. Anyway, two hours in, after having helped set up, it was becoming a bit redundant telling guests about the company and who they are. I was also standing the whole time and chilly in my wrap around dress since I was out on the balcony. Then, in walks NYPD Blue actress, Sharon Lawrence. I did a double take, figuring that she wouldn't have a reason to be at the conference despite the entertainment overlap of interactive TV. Yet, it was her, dressed in a tight dark camel colored leather jacket, beige pants and cute light brown leather handbag.
Friendly and approachable, she introduced herself to everyone in the room and conversed with my client about an interactive TV project, entitled "Buzz," that she is working on, which will encompass broadband and the Internet. The site is being developed by Cynergy Films (producers: Bruce Hickey and Sharon Lawrence). The multiplatform drama series makes use of interactivity and user-generated content and focuses on a college newspaper. Sharon's father meanwhile is a broadcast journalist and she said to me she's had some experience in the field as well.
Sharon and the project's co-producer already seemed quite knowledgeable on the subject of ITV, but were attending the conference to gain even more insight and to see what is new. My client made suggestions in regards to advertising and encompassing other cutting edge online applications in their upcoming site, which the duo seemed earnestly happy to receive.
After the shop talk, Sharon and I briefly talked one on one about my move to Los Angeles, PR and fun stuff to do in the area as well as about my blog. She was super sweet, poised and engaging. I also gushed about how much I liked her short lived comedy show on NBC called, Fired Up. It starred herself and Leah Remini. My dad and I used to like it and I even taped a few of the episodes when it later was picked up by the USA channel. I thought the scripts and cast were really witty, but back then female buddy comedies apparently weren't the rage and they kept moving their time slot. Get this; I even quoted a line that she had said on the show back to her, lol. Don't worry I don't think I scared her, she said she was very happy to hear that I had liked the show and got a kick out of me quoting back dialog to her.
Besides her interactive TV project, Sharon just finished filming a new series, Hidden Palms, for the CW network. While filming the show out in Arizona she said that she was remiss in not checking out local blogs in the area for an inside opinion, which didn't necessarily know that they were talking to her, thus getting the real deal. Hidden Palms, meanwhile, is written by Dawson's Creek's Kevin Williamson and is a blend of The O.C. and Twin Peaks. It debuts in January.