I am now part of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

{Before reading this post, do yourself a favor and grab a cup of coffee or tea. Might as well get a cookie, too, since this is quite a wordy post.}

I just realized that by meeting someone famous, I’ve now inserted myself into the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Never would have guessed that!

When I last left you I was going to interview Roma Downey. (Still sounds strange to me.) So here’s how it went down (you got that coffee and cookie, right? You won’t want to miss one detail of this story.

We were whisked away from the hotel Monday morning. There were 5 of us going to interview Roma Downey & Phil Lollar, the producer and writer (respectively) of Little Angles. The interviews were to take place at Roma Downey’s house in Malibu, CA. The drive to her house took about 15 minutes. The day was dreary, filled with clouds and a cool temperature but I was full of excitement. Everyone seemed to be going about their normal everyday business. That is, everyone except those of us in the van.

As we pulled into her driveway, we were all in awe. It wasn’t a mansion but it wasn’t your average Monopoly house, either. She, her husband Mark Burnett, and their three children live in a large, white house with a beautiful garden, complete with a waterfall. We were taken inside and, oh my. The entry way was just as beautiful as the outside. You could see into the 2nd floor loft area and it was full of bookshelves. All around the perimeter were books, books and more books. And art. Lots of art. Large orchids, full of blooms, greeted us at the door and the house smelled like an Anthropologie store. Candles were lit everywhere. The foyer included a Matisse painting and two Chagall paintings (yes, they were real, not reproductions). One of the guys that worked for the media company interrupted our gazing and asked if we wanted to see the view out back. I felt that it would have been just a tad unprofessional if I answered, “Well, DUH!” so instead, I quietly agreed that that would be a delightful idea. 

Her backyard is unbelievable. The view is unbelievable. The pool and outdoor furniture were unbelievable. The flowers and plants were unbelievable. It was all…unbelievable.

My senses were in high alert in her backyard. Her house sits high above the water but you could still hear the waves crashing down below. She had a simple, rectangular pool but the plants and trees around it made it appear simply grand. The rear of the house was just as beautiful as the front. The smells from all the plants were so luscious. The sounds of the crashing waves were almost sublime. It was all so beautiful. Of course, with permission, we snapped a few pictures but were told that they were not “for public consumption.” So, I’ll just have to do my best to describe everything to you.

As we headed back inside to the waiting area, we walked through the kitchen with pots hanging over the island, an eat in dining table with a huge china cabinet filled with dishes (I secretly imagined she brought these over from Ireland and they were family heirlooms. I have no idea if that story is true, but I like to think so). On our way we saw more art, family pictures, a christening gown sewn to a quilt and wedding pictures in front of the family pool. But my favorite thing about this house? On the doorway to the kitchen, she had marked where her children had grown. There were dozens of marks showing the growth of her children over the years. I found it endearing that she would note each milestone just like you or I would. Out of all the things in the house, this was my favorite.

Our waiting area was the movie room; a huge room with 4 large couches situated like movie theater rows and about a half dozen (comfy) bean bag chairs. When not watching a movie on the large screen, one could take in the view of the waterfall at the front of the house. This room was filled with more art, candles, orchids and more family photos. There was even one of everyone on camels! We used this time to get acquainted with one another. It seemed to me that some of the others had met before. There were eight of us there, including interviewers from The 700 ClubHomeschool Movie Club and Movie Guide. Everyone was kind and easy to talk to.

After a time of chatting and breakfast, the interviews started. We all interviewed the writer, Phil Lollar, first. Phil is best known for his work on Adventures in Odyssey. He was a few minutes late (one of the downsides of traveling through Los Angeles) but was quite the gentleman and apologetic. He’s the writer for this project and I found to be a very interesting interview (not that I have a lot to compare to). He said he used to watch Saturday morning cartoons (I’d like to interject here that I think it’s a shame that my kids don’t know the joy of waking up Saturday morning to see the cartoons.) and then try to mimic the voices that he heard. After a while he tried to make up his own characters and voices. As you can imagine, the road from there to writer/director isn’t a long one. I took great comfort in knowing that there’s hope for my son (who is always pretending – and I love that).

Once we were each through with our interviews, we waited until Roma was ready. She didn’t keep us waiting long. And in fact, just a few minutes before the first interview was to begin, she came in and greeted us! She was absolutely stunning. She’s a teeny, tiny thing. Did I mention that she’s stunning? She was so welcoming to us, asking if we had seen the backyard and told us that there was a walkway down to the beach that we were all welcome to use. I know that it’s in her best interest to be kind to those that will writing or talking about her project, but she seemed to be very sincere. She talked about her giant Irish Wolfhouds, Fin McCool and Maximus. And when I say giant, I mean it – I hardly had to bend down to pet them. She chatted about her garden and the flowers they planted to attract butterflies. Very down to earth and welcoming.

By the time I was up to interview her, all the “bad” nerves were gone. If you’ve ever performed on stage or in front of people, you know that there are good nerves and bad ones. You want to have a little bit of butterflies in your stomach but not so many that it’s crowded in there. She was very pleasant to talk to. You can tell she is passionate about this project. Part educational and part Biblical, Little Angels teaches preschoolers numbers, ABC’s as well as Biblical principles. In the series, twins Alex and Zoe have eight little angles painted on their ceiling that come to life when the children need them. Each episode teaches the basics of numbers and letters and also has a Bible story. I’ve seen David & Goliath and Joshua. Each DVD also includes a lesson from Roma to the parents. The lessons talk about different things that all parents have to tackle. For example, one lesson is on sharing. The series is very well written, visually pleasing (no mediocre animation here) and I really think it will appeal to preschoolers. I was not paid to write a review but I find that well done Christian things (especially in Hollywood) are hard to come by. We’re getting better but we’re not there yet and when I see something that’s worth noting, I like to tell everyone about it.  

The idea for the little angels in the story was from a prayer that Roma’s mother used to say to her. Roma has big dreams for the brand; music CDs, clothes, books, you name it. Little Angels has their own Facebook page, their own web site and even apps for your iPhone or iPad. Roma was so cute when she said she just started tweeting and joked that she called it “twittering”, evoking an eye roll from her daughter. I guess even Hollywood stars have to deal with teenagers rolling their eyes. 

The whole day was so much fun and I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to do something like this. I’d love it if the opportunity arose again, but who knows. Right now I’m content to stay on Cloud Nine and delight in all the details.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some photos of my trip (I think this is the only post I’ve ever done that didn’t include one single picture) and a cool story of a unique way that I connected with one of my favorite bloggers, Ocean Soul.

See you at the fence tomorrow!


5 thoughts on “I am now part of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

  1. Thanks for sharing Amber! I could smell the ocean and the flowers in your story…love that she marked the kids height on the wall….we have the same thing on a kitchen wall in our Chicago house for Kayley…the project sounds really great too

  2. You showed such class…I would have said out loud, “Well Duh”. Still so excited that you got to do this!!!! I mean seriously…how cool was this?!!!!! Woooooooo Hoooooooo! You are just on fire! Here’s to exciting new adventures! And thanks for the sweet accolade (I made it into the favorite category!) Once again you make my day!

  3. Well, as I told you yesterday, I read your blog entry out loud in the car with George on the way to church yesterday! Your words just made YOUR whole experience come alive for US!! We enjoyed it so much!! Now back to the “real world” — right??!!! Have a great day!

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