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A Week of Gratitude

Producer Dave Rupel gives thanks.

A week of gratitude.
This week’s blog -- though delivered late -- is an easy one for me to write. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year for two reasons. First, it’s about an awesome meal, but more importantly, it’s a day to remind us to be grateful. (Hang in for a special picture at the end!)

(Note: Vegetarians should skip this paragraph!) I am not a foodie by any stretch of the imagination. I once lived in NYC when I didn’t have much money and was quite content eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every night for dinner. However, Thanksgiving dinner was something I always looked forward to each year growing up. My mom’s a great cook and our family gathered for the traditional turkey, but was also rounded out by pheasant and quail my dad had hunted. (I’m not a hunter, but I do respect my dad’s motto that if he killed something, we ate it.) But if I’m being perfectly honest, my absolute favorite meal of the year is the day after Thanksgiving when we ate the leftovers. A turkey sandwich with Miracle Whip (not mayo -- it must be Miracle Whip!), on a white (not wheat!) bun from Heyerly’s bakery, cheddar cheese (orange, not white!), olives (with pimentos, not pits!) and potato chips (straight, not curly!) I’m actually salivating as I write this sentence!  That meal must make people go “ewww” in a bad way, which makes me smile.  I am what I am, and like I said, I am definitely not a foodie.  But my favorite meal of the year is only days away!

(Note: Welcome back, vegetarians!) Now, on to gratitude. What a great theme for a holiday. I’m not big on candy (sorry, Halloween), I’m not a great gift giver nor am I religious (so long, Christmas), I’m not overly romantic, (apologies to my husband, Fred / see ya, Valentine’s Day), and I’m not fond of putting so much pressure on one day to represent a whole year (adios, New Year’s Eve!) But a holiday where we gather with loved ones to give thanks for what we have in our lives?! Oh, yeah, I can definitely get behind that sentiment! So for the next few paragraphs, I’m going to ignore the seemingly never-ending  recession, the horrible housing market, and the utter ugliness of modern politics and focus on what’s good in life. Because I have so much to be grateful for from the past 12 months. The following is a list of things I am thankful for in no particular order.

The RHOBH production crew. Every time a show I’m working on wraps shooting, I go into a bit of a funk. Because when we wrap shooting, it means I’m no longer spending my days with some very special people. When I hire people, I like to encourage a team mentality. I have no interest in divas, no matter how talented, and believe me, there are as many divas behind the scenes as there are in front of them. Life is too short to not enjoy the people you work with. Of course, on RHOBH, I’m grateful to have both. Incredibly talented people who also happen to be equally kind, generous, intelligent and funny. Brenda, Chris, Larry, Sallyanne, Matt, Beth, Yavir, Parker, Pablo, Meagen, Calvin, Shawn, Tom, Jenny, Mike G., Josh, Julian, Ken, Lila, Heather, Chloe, and Shana -- I hope to work with you all very soon!

The year-round RHOBH production people. These are the people who make my dreams come true -- literally. If I toss out, “Camille wants to take the ladies to her home in Colorado, and I really want to shoot the ladies skiing,” they find ways to make it happen. If I say, “we’re traveling to Hawaii and I want to shoot every moment of the travel,” which consisted of clearing two airlines, two airports, two resorts and one very bumpy bus ride, they make it happen.  You know how they send canaries into a mine as a barometer for if the air is safe for the miners? Well, I have my own barometer on RHOBH. Mine isn’t for toxic air -- it’s for stress. My line producer Dave Patry and my production manager Mark Grzesiuk both fiddle with their hair when they are stressed. So any time I come out of my office and see they have inadvertently given themselves fauxhawks, I know I’m pushing too hard. (It’s random, but totally true!) So thanks, Patry, Shark, Lour, and Nick for all the dedication and hard work!
The RHOBH post-production team. These are the people responsible for everything from making sure the sound is in sync with the video, to making sure we tell stories is the best and most complete way possible, to the artistry of blending the right music with the right images. Led by the ridiculously talented and calming presence of Co-EP Toni Gallagher, and the incredibly patient and organized Post Supervisor Paul Trombetta, we have a pretty dazzling post team. Thanks to the story folk, James, Robert, Zena, Bill, Heather, Brett, Molly, Ewa, and Monica.  Thanks to our kick-ass editors, Tony, Devin, Bil, Teresa, Brian and Sean. Thanks to our awesome composers, Alan and Mike. And thanks to our post support team of Tennille, Samantha, Mark, Shawn, and Patricia.

The RHOBH ladies. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  No matter how talented the people are behind the scenes, if you don’t have a compelling people to follow, you can’t make an interesting show. To each and every wife, husband, child, extended family member, co-worker and friend, a million thanks for opening up your lives on-camera!

The RHOBH fans. As many of you know, I spent a good chunk of my career writing for the daytime soaps, General Hospital and Guiding Light. Soaps have some of the most dedicated fans in this business. A soap fan is a fan for life. What’s cool about Bravo is they seem to cultivate the same kind of fan dedication.  Maybe it’s Andy’s Watch What Happens: Live, maybe it’s the participant blogs, or maybe it’s the website. Not sure what it is, but Bravo fans are invested! Thanks fans!  You notice every little thing we put in and even some things we never noticed! You’re the best!

The execs at Bravo. I first worked with Bravo when I was the showrunner on the very first season of The Real Housewives of Orange County back in 2005-06. The execs at that time were Lauren, Frances, Andy, Shari, and David O’Connell. (We have four significant Davids on our show, so every Dave has to include a last name.)  When I resumed working with Bravo in 2010 to start up RHOBH, they were all still there. Titles had changed, but the people were still there, which shows tremendous stability in our very unstable profession. (There’s a reason the Bravo brand is so unmistakably clear!) And special thanks to the newer additions Dave Serwatka, Ryan, Kimberly, and Galen. It’s really special when you like the people you work for so much!

The execs at Evolution. I first worked at the production company, Evolution Media, back in 1997, when it was still called Evolution Film and Tape. (Ha! Tape! That’s so last century!) The show was called Bug Juice for the Disney Channel and it was the first time I got a producer credit. I’ve worked on many shows for Evolution over the years, and they are my favorite company to work for. They are as kind and generous as they are creative. To Doug, Greg, Kathleen, and Alex, it’s a joy working for each and every one of you!

The significant others.  We work long hours in reality TV and we couldn’t do it without our significant others.  So to all the husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, kids, and pets that put up with our schedules -- THANK YOU!
 And hey, we won an award!  Hollywood pats itself on the back more than any other industry I know. Awards are kind of silly.  They sit on a shelf, gather dust, and they definitely don’t keep you warm in bed at night. However, they are a reality of our business, and we were very fortunate to win a Critic’s Choice award this year for best reality series (tying with Hoarders -- can you imagine two more opposite series?!) And while I’m thrilled the critics liked our work, the absolute best part of the day is that we got to win an award with people that we love. That is absolutely priceless!  Here’s a picture of that very special day!

Thanks, viewers, for allowing me the chance to share some gratitude!  I hope you all can take some time this Thanksgiving weekend to think of the things in your lives that make you grateful!    

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo on Wednesdays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo App.

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