Best. Day. Ever.
Ever thought about what it would be like to meet the guys from This Old House, or wondered what really goes on when they’re working on the houses you see on the show? Well, this lucky group of This Old House Insiders and guests got to learn all that and more on July 24 at the Brookline Mid-Century Modern House. Keep reading to see what happened!
Want the chance to be part of events like this? Become a member of This Old House Insider!
Live and In Person
Having a group of guests—and a barbecue lunch—made the work day different than the usual for This Old House cast and crew members, but it was seeing the day-to-day routine of how the show gets made that fascinated Insiders. The first scenes they got to see were shot outside the house, as master carpenter Norm Abram helped Generation NEXT apprentices Carly Comitino and Erick Ellison finish the sill on the living room addition.
How It’s Made
A monitor set up outside allowed the guests to watch the action being shot inside the house as the cameras captured it. Senior producer John Tomlin (standing, left) and director Thom Draudt (right) came outside during a break in shooting to introduce themselves and chat about how the show is put together.
The Big Scene
New support beams are needed to open up the kitchen in Brookline, so Norm lent his expertise as apprentices Carly and Erick replaced the old beam. General contractors Tom and Charlie Silva assisted, too; here Tommy’s explaining which screws are right for the job.
Quiet on Set!
Wait, you didn’t think everyone just watched from outside, did you? In order to accommodate the needs of the work (and the filming), only a few Insiders and guests could come on set at a time. But everyone got the chance to watch the show being filmed in person. Now that’s a sneak peek!
A Star is Born
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better: Insider Cal Schmidt, who with his wife Julie traveled all the way from St. Paul, MN for the event, got to make an uncredited cameo appearance on This Old House! Fingers crossed that his big scene—carrying the new beam into the house—makes it on air.
Break for Lunch
This event wasn’t called the Brookline BBQ for nothing! When the show broke for lunch, everyone was able to sit down for a barbecue lunch with all the fixings. It gave Insider Don Donahue (center) and Charlie Silva a chance to talk about getting younger people involved in the trades.
Training the next generation
Don’s a career counselor at the nearby Shriver Job Corps in Devens, MA. He brought vocational student Lequon Moran, who’s learning carpentry through the Job Corps, to the event. Lequon enjoyed comparing notes with apprentices Carly and Erick.
Ten-year-old Julian Gardner-Stockstill may be young, but he’s already a serious TOH fan. (Favorite TOH project house? Carlisle—Julian likes the oldest houses best.) He was ecstatic to meet the entire cast, but was especially keen to talk to plumbing expert Richard Trethewey. Just the week before, Julian actually repaired his parents Ashley Stockstill and Julia Gardner’s dishwasher by carefully following along with a video of Richard.
And don’t worry, he got Richard back for these bunny ears! Look carefully at the other photos, and you’ll see.
Meet the Apprentices
Jamie and Amy Miller, who came up from Duncansville, PA, enjoyed meeting Generation NEXT apprentice Carly Comitino and learning more about what it’s like to be part of This Old House. Jamie (left), who sometimes works as a plumber, was especially happy to meet Richard—though he also noted that Kevin reminded him of his son!
So Many People to Meet
Insider Melvin Irish (left) came up from Aiken, SC with his son-in-law John Regan (right). Melvin had met several cast members over the years, and was happy to finally cross paths with Norm and Richard. He and John also snagged a photo with This Old House executive producer Chris Wolfe (center).
Insider Tom Chrzanowski, who came up from Catonsville, MD, had a “spectacular” day meeting master carpenter Norm Abram and the rest of the cast. Tom especially enjoyed seeing how different the filming process looks from what you see on TV.
Insiders Bill Seesselberg and Charlotte Placilla came up from New Jersey for the event. It turned out that Bill, who’s worked in TV, had actually worked on shows with TOH TV senior producer John Tomlin! The two had a great time catching up.
A Man With a Plan
Plumbing expert Richard Trethewey grabbed the floorplans for the Brookline house to help him explain some of the changes being made to the home. After the guests left, it was back to work for Richard—inspecting the house’s sewer line with a couple of local tradesmen.
This Old House host Kevin O’Connor signed a mug for Insider Julia Gardner. Guests got to take home Silva Brothers tees, too—though at least four showed up already wearing them!
Insiders and guests were also treated to thermal tumblers from Otterbox.
Hurray for Charlie!
General contractor Charlie Silva, who’s in charge of construction at the Brookline house, took photos and signed autographs throughout the day. Sandy and James Lengel, who drove out from Quakertown, PA, made sure to snag a photo with him. Charlie also deserves serious kudos for the work he put in before the event to make sure the job site could accommodate guests.
Want the chance to be part of amazing live events like this? Sign up to be a member of This Old House Insider!