(This is the original introduction of SecretOfLO's story from the Larisa.com discussion mail list in 1998)
David60: As many of you know Larisa is in Seattle making a movie. This reminded me of the best true story of a fan meeting Larisa I have ever read because the fan involved is from Seattle. Some of you have already read this story. It was sent out in August 1997 in Larisafan's newsletter "Alex Weekly". It was also discussed at the old LarisaPlace discussion board where some fans raised some questions about its authenticity. It turns out this story (again, sent out in August 1997) includes details about the last Alex Mack episode MADE ("24 Hours") that could not have been guessed (in fact the visit was made on the last day of shooting ever). Anyway there are a lot of people on these lists who have not seen this story and I think they would enjoy it. The fan that made this visit is known as "Secretoflo" on the discussion list. I asked him if it would be OK to post his story and this was his response:
SecretOfLO: "Sure you can post it. Glad you liked my story, but really, if you meet Larisa, there's no way you can have a bad story. Shes so awesome! Also, for the same reason I'm not still doing Alex Weekly, my previous "issues" were deleted as well as the member list so Ive actually lost that story. It'll be cool to read it again. I'll be sure to keep people posted on the filming here, and hopefully I will be able to meet her again! Later!"
MY VISIT TO PARADISE VALLEY (by Secretoflo a.k.a. Larisafan)
Well here it is! My visit to Valencia, CA and the set of Alex Mack! The weather is very nice as the sun glares down on the partly deserty area of Valencia, CA. Hoping to see the set of Alex Mack I started up a hill and through some suburbs. I glanced around and the neighborhoods surrounding me look very familiar. They are exactly like the ones in Alex Mack!! As I traveled further up the hill the neighborhoods start to disappear and I started to see some dirt roads, which also look very familiar. It's just like the ones that Vince used to chase Alex on! After looking around for a while, I got in the car and started to leave until something catches my eye. It's a school. But the school itself isn't what catches my eye. It's what's in the parking lot! Lots of cars and trailers. The kinds of railers that they use for dressing rooms and make-up for the stars when movies and shows are shooting on location! Totally psyched, I went down there to check it out. As I passed by the trailers I saw a catering truck with people around it getting food and eating too. On the side it said "Hollywood Caterers". It is the set of a show or movie! Is it Alex Mack?
That question would soon be answered as I took a peek at the trailers. On the door of one of them it said "Ray"!!!! It is!!!! I got out of the car and started to walk toward the school. The doors were open so I thought I might take a little peek inside. I saw a open courtyard like area with lots of cameras and stuff. In a far area inside were lots of cafeteria like tables with a lot of cast and crew members eating lunch. I didn't want to bother them while they were eating so I went outside and sat on a bench by the entrance. I noticed on a bench by me an Alex Mack backpack! Totally cool! N e wayz, after a while a crew guy with a walkie-talkie came out. I asked him if there was any way of meeting Larisa and the rest of the cast. He said it was a closed set, but he would ask. So he went back inside and I waited.
As I was waiting a man walked out of the entrance. He looked very familiar and after thinking for a while I realized it was Michael Blakely, Mr. Mack!!! He was wearing sunglasses so I didn't really think about it, plus they were filming at a school so I didn't think Mr. or Mrs. Mack would be there. A few minutes later I noticed another familiar face walk out. It was Larisa's mom Lorraine!!! A few minutes later another crew guy walked out. He asked if I was the one from Seattle, and I said yes. He was like, "cool! The set is closed today, not even family members can go on the set, but I'll go and get Larisa and Natanya Ross (Robyn) for you. They are the only ones filming today." I was like WOW!! Thank you soo much! So I waited some more. After 10 mins he walked out with Natanya!! She was extremely nice signing an autograph for me and taking a picture. Then she went off to get ready for filming.
I waited some more and as I glanced over at the trailers I noticed a girl wearing a orange shirt and black snow cap with pony tails! Could it be??? She started walking over here and as she got closer I noticed it was Larisa!!! I got up and said Hi!! The crew guy with her said, "He's from Seattle." She was like really? Cool! I asked her if she could sign the picture I had and smiling she said sure! After she signed it I took some pictures with her, then she had to go in to film. Before she went in she said bye with a very nice smile on her face. She really is the nicest person you can meet.
After she went in her mom stayed and talked for a while. She is extremely nice also, as is EVERONE on the set! Before she left she went to her car and got 2 pictures for me. One a publicity shot of Larisa, and the other an entire cast autographed photo! I couldn't believe it! It was signed by Larisa, Darris Love, Meredith Bishop, Michael Blakely and Dorian Lopinto!! It was VERY nice of her to do that. Everyone was going into the school to start filming so it was time to leave. I didn't want to, but all good things must come to an end. But one thing was for sure, it was a trip I would never forget.
Fan's from the discussion list comment on SecretOfLO's story:
Chris O: I remember reading this story. But for one, how do you conclude that 24 Hours was made after the Paradises???
David60: I know from the Nickelodeon episode number system it is the last episode made. "24 Hours" is episode 409; "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained" are 407 and 408.
Chris O: Also, how do you conclude that this description contains details from 24 Hours?? Unless she actually wore an orange shirt w/ a ski cap in that eps.
David60: I just watched part of that episode again last night. It's exactly what she wears!
Dan: I remember that story, but where were the details in it about the episode, exactly?
David60: The most significant prediction was exactly what Larisa was wearing and how her hair was done in that episode. I can't remember any other Alex Mack episode where she looked exactly like that. Remember that SecretOfLo sent out his story in the summer before any forth season episodes had been shown or previewed. All the other details also fit; for example she was dressed that way at a school.
SecretOfLo: Ken Lipman told me that that was their last filming day for the show.
David60: Ken Lipman is the head writer of Alex Mack. Before someone starts in on this multiple fans in the Alex Mack / Larisa community have been independently contacted through email by someone claiming to be Ken Lipman (I am not one of them). I have been privately shown some of these messages and they appear to me to be authentic. If this guys a fake he's a great one. This would also explain how at certain times some members of the Alex Mack / Larisa community have had information that appeared to come from a mysterious inside source. I thought the story was very likely true when I first read it last summer. On the day I watched "24 Hours" everything was confirmed.
David60: During the making of the movie "10 Things I Hate About You" SecretOfLO (who was an extra in the movie) sent me updates from the set that I obviously could not make public. Now that the movie and video is long released he has given me permission to make them public. Note this includes a first hand account of the picnic scene (Larisa's favorite) that did not make the final cut.
Subj: Re: [larisa-dl] Re: very trivial movie news (no mention of Larisa)
Date: 98-07-16 17:55:36 EDT
In a message dated 7/15/98 4:35:27 AM, you wrote:
((OK, I would like to know. :-) I will keep this information confidential. ))
Ok VERY confidential now :) The scene is the ending of the movie. This involved filming with a helicopter. The extras (me included) were in the first part of it in the parking lot where 2 of the main characters (Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles) were kissing by a red and white old car (I also filmed the regular camera shots of the beginning of this scene leading up to the kiss a few days before). The helicopter then flew down to the football field where (guess who?!) Larisa and Joey Levitt had their kissing scene. They are sitting right in the middle of the field (in the prop P which stands for the schools name Pandua in the film) at what looked like a table which Joey Levitt's character probably set up for a romantic end of school lunch or something. The helicopter then flew to the top of the Stadium High School (Padua, their high school in the movie) where a band was playing. The copter circled 3 times then it was done. This was reshot several times (lucky Joey :) and then again several more times because instead of the band playing on top of the school, 2 other characters (David Krumholtz and another actress) were dancing and kissing. So I guess either they are gonna use the band playing or the couple kissing on top of the roof, don't know. But it was very cool seeing Larisa doing a kissing scene and actually being somewhat a part of it!! Larisa looked BEAUTIFUL (as always). If I remember correctly she was wearing a red shirt with black pants. Julia a tan/whitish shirt with a purple dress, and Heath dark pants and a grey shirt. Later the whole cast went to wait for the shuttle to take them back to the trailers which is where I got to meet the whole cast and Larisa again briefly. So far that's the only scene I've filmed with Larisa, but I'm going to be doing the prom scene later on in the week, so I might even get to be in another scene with Larisa! Don't know. But this sure was an awesome experience and this movie looks very good too!
Subj: New Ten Things I Hate About You info (remember confidential) :)
Date: 98-07-29 16:37:08 EDT
Just got done filming the prom scene for Ten Things. Thought I'd tell ya a little about it since I trust u and you might wanna know about it. This will probably be especially interesting to you since Im pretty sure youre a big fan? Well, the band playing at the prom is Save Ferris!! One of Larisa's fav bands as u probably know. They made 3 new exclusive songs for the movie and played them all as the scenes were filmed. Yesterday as they were filming just us extras dancing to the band (where all 3 songs were played in their entirety compared to when they were played with the actors in which the songs cut off so the actors dialogue could be heard) Larisa came down to watch and hear the bands new songs!! I just knew she would and she got up and danced with us!! It was so cool watching her dance to one of her fav bands! Shes also knows them real well, probably from hanging with them at the Big Help and concerts. Monique the lead singer waved hi and everything when she saw Larisa. They talked a lot between takes too. Belows more of a spoiler for the movie itself involving Larisa if u wanna read it, its very cool!!
The prom scene is basically a climactic fight scene involving Andrew, Larisa, Joey, David, Heath, Julia, and Susan (the whole cast basically) After Andrew punches out Larisa's date (Joey) she taps Andrew on the back and basically kicks his ass!! She punches him once in the face ("for making my date bleed") again in the face ("for my sister") and then knees him in the nuts ("for me") pushing him to the ground as she goes to lovingly comfort Joey. This scene was also totally awesome to watch being filmed cuz they had to do it over and over again. It was hilarious! And Larisa even accidentally hit Andrew for real a few times. This was definately an awesome scene though. I even saw some of the playback on the screen and it looked really good! This movie just keeps looking better and better! Just thought I'd let ya know! Feel free to email me any questions you might have. Later!
Subj: Re: Ten Things I Hate About You
Date: 98-08-14 22:36:07 EDT
In a message dated 8/9/98 4:52:09 PM, you wrote:
((I know from the last article that I posted to the lists that the movie shooting is over. I was wondering is you had any final comments on your experience now that it's done. I was also wondering if you ever had a chance to speak with Larisa or any of the other actors. Thank you again for the items you have already sent me.))
Sorry it took so long to respond. I was on vacation in LA and Vegas. Final comments....... Well, the Pier 70 shoot was a club scene consisting of "Beautiful girl extras over 18". Although most of the time Gil "rehearse the actors until they're performance-ready, then roll film, shoot two takes and move on." This forunately wasnt the case with the Larisa ass kicking scene, which was totally hilarious and fun to watch and be in. It was all good though. All the stars were totally nice. Andrew Keegan's a real jokester as is David Krumholtz also. I did have brief conversations with Andrew, Joseph, Julia, and Larisa. Larisa jokingly thought the picture she autographed was ugly which it TOTALLY was not!! The best picture i have seen of her actually. Thats the second time shes said that though, she said the same thing when i met her on the set of AM. Andrew was amazed at the picture I asked him to sign. He'd never seen it before. It was one from BOP magazine. Guess the stars dont read those teeny bopper mags :) Its really hard to have lengthy conversations with the actors and actresses while on set though. Theyre either filming or learning lines, or getting makeup done or something. You gotta catch them on break, and even then theres little time, but its cool when you finally get to meet them and talk to them. I also briefly met Save Ferris and had them sign my cd. They were really nice as well. And I guess a last little tid bit bout the movie is the party scene took place in a mansion in a really bad part of seattle (which you cant tell by the looks of the mansion). Its the real house of former Seattle Seahawk Mike Tyce (dont know if u know who he is) I just visited the set that day, wasnt an extra, but i heard (unofficially from other extras) they got to break stuff and sang some song called I shot the sheriff or something. Cant wait till it comes out though!! Oh yeah, and definately get the soundtrack. From what I heard at the prom scene its really good!!