Any fan of The West Wing would be jealous of the day I had today. A few months ago, my mom went to a charity auction to benefit MS. One thing up for auction was a personal tour of The West Wing. Knowing what a big fan of the show I was, she bought it as a gift. This week she was going to be in LA anyway for a business conference so I flew up on Monday to join her.
First of all, the weather is beautiful. It more than makes up for the rainy conditions when I visited several weeks ago. I spent Tuesday walking on the beach and sitting by the pool. But that wasn't the exciting part of the trip.
Today we went to visit the set of The West Wing. It was Bradley Whitford that had put up the tour for auction so it was his assistant that arranged for us to come and show us around. At first we had some difficulty with the gate guards. We ended up circling around 3 times, before we were able to convice them that we actually belonged there.
It was exciting to meet several of the actors from the show. First we talked to NiCole Robinson who plays Margaret. Of course, we saw Bradley Whitford, we said hi to Allison Janney briefly, and we also were able to talk to Martin Sheen. We also saw Richard Shiff who wasn't acting but directing. Everyone was really nice. We actually got to hang out with Martin Sheen for a minute in his trailor, he signed some autographs, we took a picture with him, and then he invited us into the West Wing to watch a scene they were filming. It was quite surreal because of how similar people seemed to their characters.
We did take a tour of the set. Another thing I didn't expect was how much it was like a normal building and didn't feel like a set. You imagine the set with the fourth wall missing, but the whole thing was there. I was able to take my picture in the oval office behind the desk. That's not something you could do in the real oval office.
We saw two scenes being filmed, for two different episodes, on two different stages. While watching them shoot in the oval office, we sat in the Roosevelt room. I won't talk too much about what we saw since it hasn't aired yet.
We also took a tour of the whole WB studio. We saw the ambulance bay from ER, mom was happy to see the town of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, and we saw Central Perk from Friends. In the little museum they had I saw the program for when the president went to see War of the Roses in Posse Comitatus.
Talking to the actors, I learned some interesting things, that I probably shouldn't share here. Besides the pictures and autographs, I left with the call sheet for that day and Brad Whitford signed and gave a copy of the script for "25", the last episode that Aaron Sorkin wrote. All in all it was an amazing day. Pictures are in my gallery
i read every inch of your day on the west wing set with envy and severe jelousy, how lucky are you what an experience. its my fav show i live in australia and am in la now. i am going on the wb tour next week and am just wishing for a photo op with richard shiff or martin sheen, forget the oval office i am sure i have no chance of that
good luck to you and hope you enjoyed it
Can you still take tours of the set? How do you get there? Anything special to do?