Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Day with Fabian and Marlee

(Sign in Fabian and Jackie's Dance Studio)

Last night, Fabian Sanchez welcomed to his home town of Hoover Alabama, none other than academy award winning actress, Marlee Matlin. Marlee, in case you have been under a rock or aren't one of the three people who regularly read this blog, Marlee has been Fabian's dance partner of this season of Dancing with the Stars. The Comedy Club Stardome in Hoover and local TV station ABC 33/40 hosted the event at the star dome. Fabian and Marlee were greeted by a large number of fans, that not only left Marlee overwhelmed and surprised at nights end, but also me! I teared up at the legions of fans that came out to show their support of Marlee and my friend Fabian. I was so joyful that Fabian and Marlee could actually see and feel the support. I am just so proud, as I have said again and again. I am thankful that they could see how they are loved.

(Leigh & Fabian)

Marlee, after recently undergoing lasex surgery, soldiered on through the bright spotlight. She and Fabian met and greeted fans, signed autographs and posed for pictures. A large number of people from the deaf community also came out to show their support for the highly talented deaf actress, who did well in the Dancing with the Stars competition, despite the ability to actually hear the music she was dancing to. I was excited because it allowed me to communicate with some of those in the deaf community and brush up my signing skills (a/b 18 years ago, I had gone to school to become an ASL education interpret or so it allowed me to recall some of that I learned.)
Revelers were treated to a sneak peek of their polished up version of the mambo (which can be seen on the video below). That is the dance that they will preform in next week's DWTS. Marlee said that she felt she had something to prove in doing that dance. It was also the one that was chosen by the producers for them to preform. When asked who each of them thought would win the DWTS competition, Fabian quickly answered Jason Taylor and Marlee thought that Kristie Yamaguchi could win. It took some prodding to get an answer from Marlee though, she and star Marissa (my girl!) are very close friends. She would love to see her win it. Fabian and Marlee expressed their appreciation to the crowd and went on to say how much fun they had in doing the show. It is evident that beyond the show their friendship will remain. Marlee was guest of honor of the entire Sanchez family. She didn't stay at a hotel in town, Fabian wouldn't hear of it, She stayed with Fabian and his wife and son at their home in Chelsea.

(Marlee & Fabian prepare to shoot a TV promotion shot)

All season long, Marlee has given Fabian heck because he had never seen Marlee in her award winning movie, "Children of a Lesser God". "I will watch it when you are beside me watching it too", Fabian has said. So last night, after greeting fans at the Star dome and then catching a bite to eat, Jackie reported that the two of them (Fabian and Marlee) sat in the family den and watched the movie together. Fabian loved the movie.
I had the pleasure of going up to Fabian and Jackie's studio this morning to meet up with Marlee and Fabian. They spent the morning doing live television shots and TV station promos. Fabian and Marlee were very gracious. It was my first real chance to get to talk to Marlee (other than the infamous phone call and the night prior, which was rushed). I was very impressed by Marlee. She is the epitome of grace! She is very approachable, funny and beautiful both inside and out. She and I even chatted about getting her some southern comfort food next time she is in town. She told me that she had to watch what she ate-for at least another week, when she and Fabian return to the dance floor. She laughed at my gross and highly immature jokes (and got them! my kind of girl!) like about such things as having "the runs" when eating certain foods.

(Leigh & Marlee)

I can see why the Sanchez family, Marlee's competitors on DWTS and much of America is enamored with the lady. I am too. She receives high marks in my book. In signing to her ("I can understand you!" she said) I felt as if I were talking and cutting up with a friend. She puts you at ease. She texted her husband last night regarding the fan fare of the evening, "Security escort, the number of people.." She was genuinely surprised at it all. As I prepared to leave I got hugs from both Marlee and Fabian and Marlee turned to me and signed, "When I return, we'll go eat!". I plan to take her up on it. Thanks Marlee and Fabian and the entire Sanchez family for your graciousness. You are to kind.

(Blog Fans)

(ABC33/40 News personality, Roy Hobbs with Marlee & Fabian)

(Marlee with Birmingham interpreter Lin and Fabian)

(You really didn't expect any less from me than a dance pose, now did you?)

***Freddy and Zinnia, I missed ya'll!!!!***


Charnita's Xpressions said...

Love, Love, Love the post!!!
What an exciting time you must have had!
And might I add you look wonderful in your dance pose and I am loving the jeans and shirt!!!!!

Dullbert said...

You told an academy award winner immature jokes ... I'm so proud of you :)

Very cool story !!!

Anonymous said...

Okay.. so you made me a fan of Marlee! p.s. you are up to four people reading your blog...

Abbey said...

I just knew that you were there! Totally awesome, Leigh! And I second Charnita's comment - da'ling, you look ma'velous!!!

Just trying to get back to reading everybody's blogs again! You are definitely over the top, girlfriend!

Anonymous said...

too cute!

Leigh said...

Charnita- Thank you hun-e! You are much to kind.
Dullbert- I should know you would appreciate it!
Anon-is your name Carol by any chance? It makes no difference, I am glad. Marlee is one very special lady. Amazing.
Abbey-Thank you hun! I appreciate that. You all make me feel good. I feel large everyday but standing up against the tiny and gorgeous Marlee and be photographed takes balls. She a beaut! Glad your back Ab!

HEWY said...

This is great! I love the action shots!

The Troll said...

Very cool post. Love the 3 of you in the dance pose picture!

"J" said...

WOW-WEE I love it...the whole post!!! It's GREAT!!! Looks like ya had a blast...I sooooooooooooo WISHED I could have been there! Love the last pic "the dance move shot" lol you crack me up! =) I would have done the *SAME* thing! For sure!

Welcome to Our Lives... said...

How awesome!! I bet you were on cloud nine!

Travis said...

That's so cool!