... Also known as the continuing true-life adventures of Bergl's search for the real Alaska.
I write this blog from yet another airplane (I think that the last three blogs have been at least partially written from the air) after a delightful seven-hour delay at O'Hare airport. What should have been a five-hour flight from New York to Vancouver has turned into 19. Of course, I have waited until the 16th hour of that journey to begin this blog, upholding a well preserved Bergl tradition of procrastination. And there's a whole lot of turbulence and lightning going on right now. If the character of Annie mysteriously disappears on
Men in Trees
, you'll know why. Tell Tyler I love him! All right, sorry for the drama, but I am an actor after all....
I have to apologize first off for the fact that last week's blog was billed as "the dirtiest blog to date." I know that Coley Laffoon,
's handsome husband, was one of the many disappointed. It seems as if it was a little too dirty for some people's tastes, and was censored. So I'll leave it to your imaginations, which I'm sure will be a lot worse. But there is not much need for dirtiness this week, as you will get it this Friday [at 9 pm/ET] on
Men in Trees
! There is a reason why we nicknamed this week's episode "The Sex Episode." I won't give away who's involved, but I will say that there is love happening for more than just a couple of people... and also a couple of amphibians. (Not at the same time! I
this blog isn't dirty!) One of the more amusing aspects of working in this business is that one gets to work with people with titles like "frog wrangler." I've also worked with a "drunken-cat wrangler" and a "cockroach wrangler." I was very impressed with how chill the frogs were on this episode, until I found out it's because they were, quite literally, chilled. At one point there was some discussion about getting new frogs for the scene, and the wrangler said, "I can fetch you the other frogs we brought, but they're going to take about 20 minutes to warm back up." OK, I don't think they were actually frozen - no frogs were harmed in the making of
Men in Trees
- but I couldn't help laughing, picturing the frogs being taken out of a deep freeze.
But onto my journey to Alaska....
In the wee small hours of the morn, Tyler and I boarded a plane to our final destination, Sitka. We were wearing souvenir sweatshirts from a small town we'd just visited called Pelican, and this afforded us some Alaskan street cred. Several people in the airport and on the plane asked us, "Wow, did you really go to Pelican? I've always wanted to go there." I suppose even Alaskans need to get away from it all sometimes. We arrived in Sitka and headed to the Sitka Hotel, which had just been remodeled after half of it burned down, and, quite frankly, it still smells like it. As usual, the "one good night's sleep" we had been vowing to get for our entire trip had eluded us, and we decided to take a little rest while checking out the local community television. In Juneau we had found a TV station that was just a live shot of the Juneau ice field with classical music playing in the background. (The TV camera that broadcasts the ice field used to be located on the first floor of the TV studio, until the local kids figured out where it was and started mooning the camera.) Why, with hundreds of cable channels, can't we get the Juneau ice-field station down in the "Lower 48"? It was really quite relaxing. But I digress.
During our visit to Haines earlier that week, we met some high-school teachers who lived in Anchorage (Cord, Alexa and Adam) and we had made plans to meet in Sitka at the Backdoor Café. Even though I'd now spent a week in the presence of some of the friendliest people I've ever encountered, my Los Angeles skepticism reared its ugly head, and I have to admit I was a little dubious that they would be there. The Backdoor Café is situated in the back room of an amazing bookshop where I picked up a book about famous Alaskan prostitutes for my castmate,
, who plays Elmo's beautiful "hospitality provider." But lo and behold, when we walked into the coffeeshop, there was Cord, greeting us with a hug. In the middle of the room was a large round table where a bunch of bluegrass players were having an informal jazz session. (The writers on
Men in Trees
tell us we'll have some music at the Chieftan in an upcoming episode, with a very famous singer, but I can't tell you who!) We sat down for an amazing blueberry muffin (in case you've been wondering, I'm Irish, so there has to be a running commentary on everything we ate) and met some of the local residents of Sitka.
Everyone was very excited that I was about to shoot a show set in Alaska. It was a nice change from being in Los Angeles, where the typical response to my being an actor is usually a bored sigh or a less-than-subtle eye roll. Alexa introduced us to a lovely woman named Tiffany, who was there with her beautiful baby boy, and she immediately invited us to dinner at her house that evening, "although if we don't catch any fish today we'll have to eat some salmon we caught last week, if that's OK." This was the second time during our trip that someone we had just met invited us to dinner at their home. Alaskans are the best!
Cord, Adam and Alexa were nice enough to invite us on a hike, and drove us out to the mountains with their gorgeous poodle, Lupé. We hiked uphill on some rustic steps, and then through some beautiful fields to a brilliant blue lake. We then came across a rowboat tied to the shore, and decided to take an impromptu spin around the lake. (When I showed the pictures of our hike to our writer-producer, Chris Dingess, he said, "You let a bunch of random people take you into the woods and out into the middle of a lake? Weren't you afraid they were going to knife you?" I think he was channeling Jane from
Men in Trees
.) I had honed my rowboat skills on the lake in Central Park, so I was glad to be able to do one Alaskan activity moderately well.
After hiking back down the gorgeous mountain, we agreed to meet up again at dinner, and headed off to see the Sitka landmarks. I guess a cruise ship had docked in our absence, and we experienced a sudden wave of hundreds of shoppers, so after we'd seen the sights we ducked into a fund-raiser for the local drill team.
I'm blabbing a bit this week, so I'll save the rest of Sitka for next week. I think I'm dragging this out more and more because I have no idea what I'm going to write about after I'm finished talking about my Alaskan journey. If anyone has any questions, or ideas, or vague fragments of thoughts, post away, even though I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone posting might be related to me somehow. A friend of mine once looked up my name on eBay and told me that the highest bidder on a signed movie poster of mine was... my dad. It turns out that "rbergl" is not the most incognito of usernames, but you gotta love a dad twho will bid for you! I know that people have already posted some questions, so I'll start answering those in a couple of weeks. (Oceanknitter, I'm on it!)
So enjoy the sex tonight! (Hope that isn't too dirty.)