Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Event

Taylor Lautner Frenzy Eclipses Mt. Lebanon’s Virginia Manor As ‘Abduction’ Continues to Film in Pittsburgh

15 Jul

Today I set out on Day 2 of my Taylor Lautner adventure. Writing an entertainment blog in Pittsburgh, and having one of the most current and relevant “heartthrobs” of our time filming a movie here in my hometown – well, it’s like hitting a blogger-jackpot.

So, today I went star-seeking, and, set out to talk to other Pittsburghers about what it meant to them to have  a movie star in our presence, and to see what they thought that this meant for our region. Additionally, as a writer, and always the observer, I really wanted to be able to soak up this experience and be as “in it” as all of the fans were, to be able to take it all in, and truly be a part of it, from all perspectives and all sides of the situation, as much as I am able to, with it being a closed set, and my not having and press privileges….(yet! But, as always, I’m determined!)

So, on this 90-degree summer day, I played two very appropriate roles: journalist, and fan girl.

Last night, I found out from a source that Lautner would be filming scenes today Osage Road in the relatively affluent subdivision Virginia Manor where he resides in the Mt. Lebanon neighborhood of Pittsburgh. I got there around 11:00am to find that there were about 60 others already anticipating his arrival – just waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite star. The majority – as you’d expect – were women, ranging from toddlers to tweens, coeds to cougars, Hollywood types to housewives – it was quite a mix, with an age ran spanning 5 months to, I’d say 50 years!  (And even including true-blue paparazzi!)

Osage Road was lined. Two police and a number of Abduction crew members and security had the road blocked off at Valleyview Drive, where barricades were in place. No one – and I mean no one, including the postal worker and street residents – was allowed down the portion of the street where they were filming. I witnessed some desperate attempts – some of which were pretty funny. There were quite a few “joggers” who were rerouted (many of whom you could simply tell were SO not runners), a younger couple in a car who were “looking through the high school” (in a housing plan?) and a little girl who said she lived on “Pine Street” (the police informed here that there were “5 other ways to get there, and this definitely wasn’t the most efficient.”)

Devotion was unswerving, though, amongst the diehard Lautner fans! Some girls who I talked to from the Hookstown area, all 13 and 14 years old, were there since 8am and made a handcrafted sign for the actor. (The same group, Sarah, Jess, Elaina, and Sydney, sat for 9 hours in the rain on Monday at Lautner’s Abduction shoot at Hampton High School, but did not meet or speak to the actor.)  Two sisters who I also spoke to, Alexandra, 21, and Beatrix, 19, from Sewickley, are such Lautner fans that, in the past, they’ve traveled to the “real” Forks, Washington, where the “Twilight” book series is based. (As most of you know, the Twilight movie series is what shot Lautner to fast and furious fame, though he’s in Pittsburgh filming the thriller, Abduction.)

Many residents of Mt. Lebanon think that it is “neat” or “interesting” that a movie is being filmed in their neighborhood, and the teenage girls (and some of their mothers!) are certainly smitten by Lautner. However, it doesn’t seem that all of the residents are pleased. Many teenage and twentysomething boys walked or rode past making snide remarks, teasing girls about Taylor Lautner, or making otherwise rude comments, and a sense of jealousy or simply being “territorial” was in the air. Additionally, many older residents expressed disdain and/or annoyance at not being able to drive down their own streets, or were simply annoyed by the inconveniences imposed by the hoopla and spectacle of it all. One woman named Mary complained about the “circus” in her “once quiet” neighborhood.

The goal of everyone in attendance was the same: to meet Taylor. Fans wanted photos, autographs, handshakes, and hugs.Many people had Twilight memorabilia or Taylor Lautner posters to be signed, some came unprepared but just wanted to see their favorite star in person. One girl told me that she “just wanted to see him” and admitted to sitting outside his house for hours. “The police have escorted me off of his lawn more than once.” Another woman was advising the crowd “not to scream” because it would “make Taylor run away.”

This brings me to my next point: when is enough enough?

Lautner has a reputation for being a nice star – very down to earth, friendly, and known to take pictures with fans and sign autographs. However, I do agree that some of this behavior WOULD make him “run away.”

Here’s an example: after I went home for the day, I decided to drive on by, again, after a Starbucks run, since I live 5 minutes away, out of curiosity, to see if there were still people there. THERE WERE. Not only were there still people, with chairs and coolers, lining Osage Street … but there were 20 people or so CAMPED OUT on his LAWN. Where he is LIVING.

Now, I admit that watching the scene unfold earlier on in the day was intriguing; a little exciting. “Lautner-hunting” has been fun, and I still hope that, during his time in Pittsburgh, I somehow cross paths for him, get a hello, a quote, a handshake, or, best yet, a photo! But, that being said, as enjoyable as the day was, I didn’t obsess. I stayed for a couple of hours and left, went back a couple of hours later, and left again. Some people were literally there from 8am until, well, probably 10pm when I drove past again later in the night. I’m not judging them, by any means – to each their own – but, it makes me feel badly for him, or any celebrity, really. It’s one thing when he’s on set, doing his job. However, when they’re at home, or “off the clock” and just living their life…I personally say, let it go. Give him some space! But, that’s just me, just my personal opinion, that’s all.

But …

I hope if any of you are still camped out in front of his house that you at least brought your laptop and are reading the Glitzburgh blog!

I will continue to update you on all things Taylor Lautner as I get news and information!

(I’ll be out of town for a week, though, so you all will have to give me the scoop as I am away from Pittsburgh!)

BTW: Pick up a copy of Saturday’s Tribune-Review! A quote from me will be on the front page of the Living section in the article about the Taylor Lautner movie and it will talk about the Glitzburgh blog!!

Some of the crowd lining Osage Rd. scoping out Taylor Lautner

From the Abduction Set in Mt. Lebanon - July 15, 2010

Pssst… I’ll have more news on the Katherine Heigl movie, too, when I return from my trip! She’s also filming here in the Ambridge/Sewickley area in a movie called, “One for the Money!”

Mashable Social Media Day 2010 ~ Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Tweetup – #SMDay2010 #SMDay

14 Jul

June 30th, 2010 was the first ever national “Social Media Day” and to commemorate this special event, Pittsburgh held a Mashable Social Media Meetup  at the esteemed Andy Warhol Museum. I could not think of a better place than the Warhol to talk one of the biggest influencers of pop culture today: social media.

The first 50 guests to “check in” on Foursquare (showing proof via their smart phone of choice, naturally) received a free Social Media Day t-shirt. Attendees enjoyed a cash bar, a luxe yet relaxed atmosphere, and got to chat up their online pals IRL.

Tweeps linked up with LinkedIn friends in real life, as Facebook acquaintances friended one another in the flesh. The networking that was done was social indeed, but it was done without the benefit of emoticons, Twitpics, or hashtags.

Naturally, words with friends were exchanged, but most iPhones were kept in purses and pockets as true friendships were developed and explored in person.

The crowd was diverse, ranging from chic to geek and everything in between, and, everyone went back to blogging, poking, and tweeting in near anonymity just minutes after dispersing, but, for those hours at the Warhol, it was a nice occasion where two worlds nicely collided, cultivating and developing friendships new and old.

I think that Social Media Day will be an ongoing success.

Please enjoy my photos, below.

Social Media Day 2010 t-shirt

Me with friend Andy Q (@Techburgh) of Tubu Solutions, Inc.

JW (@Dubzburgh) and I at Social Media Day 2010! #SMDay

Robin D (@SixDegreesPgh) and me at Social Media Day 2010 #SMDay

the BNVz opening for Kid Cudi tonight at PITT campus concert!

27 Mar

Pitt Program Council Presents Spring Hip Hop Show

Tonight at 7pm, Pitt students can enjoy the musical stylings of local “progressive rap pioneers”, the BNVz, and widely-recognized #1 selling rap artist and producer, Kid Cudi at the William Fitzgerald Field House. Tickets are $5 for students and the show begins at 7pm.

A Cleaveland native, Kid Cudi is best known for his “always-stuck-in-your-head” Billboard hit, “Day N’ Nite” and he’s worked with and/or written for the likes of Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Clipse, Travis Barker, Emile, and Pharell. He is currently starring in a Mark Wahlberg-produced television show on HBO called, “How to Make it in America.”

Joining Kid Cudi are local hip-hop artists the BNVz who have a progressive, house style to their rap music.  Some of their members even have jazz and classical backgrounds. Their flavor is unique and they’ve garnered a large local following here in Pittsburgh, winning a Hip Hop Battle contest held on the Pitt campus on Monday, which is how they’ve been selected to open the Kid Cudi show. Formerly known as “Beats N’ Verbz,” they want to change the face of rap music by incorporating elements of heavy bass, dance, alternative, and house while straying from  being labeled as a “hip-hop” band. Their music is heavily laced with lyrical storytelling and they do not like to be defined in generalities or strictly pigeonholed into one genre. They are currently serving as the opening acts for many big names in and around Pittsburgh, and hope to have their album come out in due time.

As for Kid Cudi, he’s most recently been known for a take on Lady Gaga’s song “Pokerface,” entitled “Make Her Say” and has reached the Billboard Top Ten with “Day N’ Nite,” which peaked at #4. He has sold over 450,000 copies of his debut album in the United States.

Get your tickets at the William Pitt Union now…Call 412-648-7900 with any questions. Or email ppc@pitt.edu … and don’t miss DJ Bonics at 7pm as he warms up the stage for the BNVz and Kid Cudi. Show starts promptly at 8:00. Join DJ Scottro from KISS fm at Pitt Cafe on Meyran for the after-show party.

More details at: http://www.pitt.edu/~ppc/hiphopshow.html