I got you there with that title right? Let’s just say these real life Hallmark adventures continue to surprise me.
As I worked my way through my Christmas Getaway Best Christmas Ever To-Do List (see previous post here), things started out according to plan. I had success setting up a real Christmas tree (see previous post here), and I attended not one, but two neighborhood Christmas Tree lighting ceremonies (see previous post here). However, when I made plans to check off another item on my list—attending a festive Christmas-themed event—those plans took on a life of their own.
Most Hallmark fans are aware of Ruth Hill, who has been covering and promoting the Hallmark Channel through her blog My Devotional Thoughts for years. It’s a rite of passage for Hallmark actors and actresses to be interviewed by her, after which she becomes a loyal and staunch supporter, always rooting for these individuals to succeed. I was fortunate to connect with her as I began my own writing journey, and we made plans to meet In Real Life when travels brought her to New York City this holiday season.
Ultimately, I had the pleasure of accompanying Ruth to the Christmas with Tim Janis and Special Guests: Tori Kelly, Colbie Caillat, and Us The Duo concert at Carnegie Hall. It was a beautiful evening listening to talented musicians from a range of backgrounds, and the event placed an emphasis on supporting worthy organizations such as the Forever Young Foundation’s music therapy initiative, Sophie’s Place, and The Golden Hat Foundation.
Although our outing checked off number seven on my Best Christmas Ever list, initially I had no intention of writing about it. Not that Ruth doesn’t warrant a blog post—I intend to interview her formally at some point—but I viewed this as a girls’ night out, not fodder for a formal blog post. Our plan was to just have fun . . . and boy did we ever!
I never expected to meet a Hallmark actor. I was hanging out with Ruth, attending a beautiful concert (which ya’ll should attend next year, by the way) as her guest, and, at the close of the evening, expected to call it a night. After the concert came to a close with a crowd singalong, Ruth and I took shelter from the cold in the Carnegie Hall lobby. Paul Greene, a Hallmark actor who had been featured in the concert, was also in the lobby, surrounded by friends and fans. This led to an opportunity to meet him . . . and then something even more astonishing happened. Paul, excited from participating in a concert at the iconic Carnegie Hall and seeing old friends, wasn’t ready for the night to end and suggested we all grab a drink. So we did.
Our party of seven moved to the Westhouse Hotel bar to hang out. Needless to say, it was great fun and super relaxed. Paul is as delightful and charming in Real Life as he appears on screen. He shared with us the heartwarming (and even dare I say, Hallmark-esque) story of his performance: as he was preparing for the concert, he was experiencing restricted vocal cords and was concerned that his voice might falter. However, he ultimately came to understand that the purpose of his being there that evening was not to promote himself through his voice, but was in fact to be of service to others. Recognizing and refocusing on the true meaning of the evening—the good causes he was there to support through singing a song of praise—enabled him to relax and do his song justice.
After further conversation and snacking on bar peanuts, we realized Paul was starving. (There had been no time pre-performance to eat!) The bar wasn’t serving food this late, so I recommended Seamless. Paul, being from LA, failed to fully understand the concept of Seamless at first, but once we overcame that hurdle he was ultimately able to place an order on my phone and, in true NYC fashion, received the delivery at the hotel bar.
So there you have it. I hung out with Ruth Hill, a Hallmark community staple, and met Paul Greene, a real Hallmark actor, all in one night. What better holiday Hallmark moment could I ask for?