Monday, December 17, 2012

18 Hours with Julie - Part 5 - Goodbyes

continued from previous blog....

This time when Julie came out she was dressed as a dairy maid with a little cap. She was so very tired, but still lively. She walked with her toes turned in, hands on hips and elbows turned in so it looked like her arms were on the wrong way.  As she walked, she watched the monitor so she could trip at the right moment on the cartoon path. She was in such a funny mood, and spoke with a high cockney accent. It was perfect. In one night I have never seen, nor could I have imagined Julie, or any actress for that matter, playing so many different characters for which a complete change was necessary. She is quite amazing.

While they waited for the next scene to be shot, Julie stood on the side talking to one of the cameramen. She was telling him about a navy blue jacket in Emma’s closet and wondering what she should do about sleeping on the plane. She wanted to be awake for the family, but she was so tired, she was thinking of taking a sleeping pill and sleeping all the way to Gstaad. She said they would be gone a full three weeks, not two. The plane would fly as far as Lake Geneva, and then…

When Julie looked up and saw Keith coming in with huge horns out of his head, she burst into her bubbly laughter. She was bent over laughing.  She was the only one left with enough energy to laugh!

For this part, Keith had to bend over because he was going to play the cow. He wanted to rest on a stool, but he couldn’t – I guess because they’d see it on camera.
“Couldn’t they get a real low stool for this?” he asked.
“I offered to,” said Julie, “but they wouldn’t take me.”
Nobody laughed and the scene went fast.
Julie was finished and left to change, so we got up to go. Kelly was going to drive both myself and Elizabeth home.  
“Oh, no!” said the camera men, “We’re going to loose our audience.”
“We’ve got a lot more to do. You’re not giving up and leaving us!”
“We’re leaving when Julie does,” said Elizabeth.

Yes, truly, we had been staying there so she’d have an audience. We would have felt we had deserted her had we left earlier.
As we walked out, we got a chorus of goodbyes.

When we got outside, I learned that Kelly had decided that we should go talk to Julie.  Elizabeth was agreeable to that as, even though Julie had spoken about a blanket onstage, she wondered if she had really gotten it. The two girls discussed whether or not they should go see Julie for about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, someone pulled a big, black car up to the stage door exit.

Melinda had a long, black cloak and twirled it around herself.
“I’ve worked with famous people, but now I’m so nervous,” she said.

We went and stood by the car to wait. I felt so dumb. It was 5:30 in the morning and I was holding the cue cards in one hand and holding a pile of school books on my other arm. I felt very out of place.

“I hear someone coming,” one of the girls said. 
Julie was way down the passage, but talking away in her stage voice, I don’t know about what.  I was so tired and I afraid she’d be angry seeing us standing there.

A man walked by to open the car door for us and said, “This is not the right time.”
Julie had her arms full, but I was even afraid to look at her. I crossed over to the other side of the car, but stayed aloof while the other two girls went right up to her.
“May we speak to you,” asked Kelly.
“Why certainly,” said Julie.
“Did you see your blanket?” asked Melinda.
“Oh, yes! It was lovely.”  Now, Julie was getting into the car.
“Well, have a good time and be careful. Merry Christmas,” said the girls.
Expressions like that were exchanged between them, but it is all a blur now, but for the remembrance of sounds and feelings in the air. The car door slammed, the motor was on.

“Oh, it’s so impossible,” said Elizabeth. I could tell she was in shock.
As the car passed us, we ran and waved.
“Julie is so aloof,” Elizabeth exclaimed. “I used to go to the Judy Garland Show and Judy would come out and wave and wink at those of us that came every week. Julie never does!”

For a moment I felt cheated, and even a little angry, but when I woke up the next morning I thought of the twenty hours or more of work Julie had done that day. I could not be angry with Julie. She was exhausted, but still she had been willing to talk to us. What star or person would be willing to talk to strangers after twenty hours of hard work? More than anything, I was worried that she wouldn’t like me because I had been there. As we left ABC, it crossed my mind--
“Maybe, I’ll never be able to go back again.”

When I got back, to International House I was shocked when I looked at the clock. It was six am! People would be getting up. My roommate, Lynn, woke up when I came into the room.
“What are you doing? I thought you went home.”
“No, I’ve been with Julie all this time?”
“What?” she said, “You’re kidding.”
I showed her the cue cards. Of course, she couldn’t help noticing my English accent, but I didn’t want to talk; I was exhausted. I took a shower, got into bed and went to sleep.


December 16th -
I got up at ten am and went downtown to look for the building where the music store is – the one where Julie and Liza buy their music. Elizabeth had told me where it was and I was hoping to find some special sheet music.  Meanwhile, I was still stuck with the British accent and a little embarrassed about it so when the guard there asked me what I was looking for, I mumbled, “The music store…”
“What?” he said.
“The music store,” I said in my best British accent.
“Oh!” he said.
From there, I caught a bus back to Vermont. Walking down the street, I was very conscious of last night, as if I had just stepped out of the studio. I almost felt as if Julie was still beside me, and I couldn’t help wondering how she felt this morning.

I had to usher at the college in the early afternoon, and my English accent was still there. People looked at me rather oddly. “Oh, a girl from England” I thought they must be saying to themselves. After I finished ushering, I hurried back to International House to pack for West Covina.

All day I could hear Julie’s polished voice speaking. When I got on the bus, when I ordered a hamburger; whatever I did, I found myself pronouncing things like her. But by late afternoon, that sense of being in the studio had begun to fade and so did my accent. At three o’clock, I knew that Julie and her family were on the plane to Switzerland.

Then, my step dad arrived and drove me back home. I couldn’t sleep much, and I told no one how late I had been up.

A few nights later I had a dream that I was at ABC Studio, sitting in the audience with Joan, Julie’s secretary. When Julie came down into the audience to speak with Joan, I asked her what time it was and her eyes changed from blue to green. Considering how late she had been at the studio, I’m not surprised!

Next: A commentary on The Julie Andrews Hour Christmas Show – December 20th.

If you would like to see The Julie Andrews Hour back on television and released on DVD, along with music releases of Julie and her guests, please e-mail a polite request:
If you prefer, you may look up ITV in London or Los Angeles, and send a letter there. 

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