Warm and happy greetings, my Fabanistas. The first thing I’m doing today is handing the keyboard over to the lovely and talented Dennis Ritchey of the Disneyana Fan Club. He’s got something important to talk about. Then on to other fun stuff – but the Ryman Arts evening is ALWAYS fun!


The Disneyana Fan Club presents an Evening to Benefit Ryman Arts

Each generation stands on the shoulders of the past… Our civilization can only maintain itself by passing on our dreams and our talents to the next generation.

Herbert D. Ryman

Herbert D. Ryman (1910-1989) was a master artist and teacher whose career spanned more than fifty years as a production designer, art director and illustrator at Hollywood studios such as MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Walt Disney.  Disney fans will remember Herbie as the person who worked with Walt over one weekend back in 1953 and drew the now famous map of Disneyland that Walt would use to convince East Coast Bankers to help make his dream of a Magic Kingdom a reality.  Herbie also drew the concept renderings for the centerpiece of Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Sleeping Beauty Castle and Cinderella Castle.


Herbie encouraged young artists throughout his long career as an artist, designer, and Imagineer at Walt Disney Studios.  After his death, his friends and family established Ryman Arts in 1989 to carry on his philosophy of teaching foundation skills of drawing and painting, and commitment to encouraging young artists to reach their full potential.

From a single drawing class for 12 students in 1990, Ryman Arts has grown to 36 classes for 600 students annually.  They provide intensive out-of-school studio art instruction, college and career counseling, art supplies, and support services – all at no cost to the student.  They have campuses in Los Angeles County at the Otis College of Art and Design and in Orange County on the campus of California State University, Fullerton.

Over the past 26 years, Ryman Arts had engaged over 6,000 Southern California teens in their core program and provided outreach activities to more than 18,000 inner city students.  Almost all graduates go on to college, many alumni work in the creative industries, and all are poised for personal success.

Herb Ryman was awarded the Disneyana Fan Club Legends Award posthumously in 1999.

Once again this year The Disneyana Fan Club will kick off its DisneyanaMania Convention with a very special evening benefiting Ryman Arts on Wednesday July 13th.  This has become a tradition with our Club since the first benefit in 2007 and has continued every year since.  The evening will begin with dinner and each table will be hosted by a very special guest.   As of the writing of this article the following guests have RSVP’d.  Former Imagineer, sculptor, puppeteer and friend Terri Hardin, creator of Disney audio-animatronics magic Garner Holt, Disney legend and DFC Legend historian Dave Smith,  Disney paper sculptor Dave Avanzino, gifted photographers from Tours Departing Daily Matthew and Michaela Hansen,  artist Bob Elias, author Jeff Barnes and Ryman Arts Executive Director Diane Brigham.

Of course a major part of the is the silent and live auctions.  We are still in the process of cataloging all of the items that have been donated for the auctions and more information will be available soon.  However I can share a couple of the “experiences” that has been donated.  Garner Holt has graciously donated an opportunity for the winning bidder and up to 9 guests to join him for a personal tour of his studios in San Bernardino, California followed by lunch.  I see a group getting together and pooling their bids for this exciting afternoon.

Jeff Barnes AKA “Dr. Disneyland and author of the book “The Wisdom of Walt: Leadership Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth” will be offering a personal tour of Disneyland for the lucky bidder and up to 3 guests.  Experience many of Disneyland’s classic attractions  and be treated to details and fun facts often missed by the average guest.  Theme Park admission is not included and is the responsibility of the winning bidder and their guests.

So, as you can see this will be an exciting evening that you won’t want to miss.  This event is open to everyone and Convention registration is not necessary.  A registration form can be found HERE

If you are unable to join us for the evening you can still be a part of this event by making a donation, 100% of which is totally tax deductible.   If you wish to do this, please make your check payable to Ryman Arts and mail it to the Disneyana Fan Club post office box address on the form.

Thank you for helping make the dreams of young artists come true!

Portrait by Disney Legend Sam McKim
Portrait by Disney Legend Sam McKim

Ryman Arts Auction Items

The Ryman Arts foundation is a charitable foundation created in honor of Herbert D. Ryman, an artist, designer and Imagineer at Walt Disney Studios. The foundation provides high school students the basic skills of drawing and painting and is committed to helping young artists reach their full potential. The foundation provides up to three years of full scholarships to young Southern California artists at no cost to the students. More information on the Ryman Arts Foundation may be found at: http://www.rymanarts.org/

The Disneyana Fan Club is a strong supporter of the Ryman Arts Foundation. To that end, each year at the annual convention in Anaheim, California, we auction off items donated to the club and immediately release the proceeds from the auction to the Ryman offices.

Some of the items that are to be auctioned off this year include the following:

  1. A Marc Davis limited edition lithograph of the Pirates Battle Scene. This lithograph is stunningly beautiful and it is signed by six Disney Imagineers and artists, four of whom are Disney Legends.
    Pirates Battle Scene
  • A stunning piece, this is number 110 of 1,000 and is a dramatic example of the art work that went into the creation of the attraction. This piece was offered only to those who attended a special Pirates of the Caribbean event held at Disneyland on May 20, 2000. The print itself measure approximately 35 x 10”. It is professionally matted and framed with the overall dimension of the piece measuring 45 x 28 inches.
  1. Two Madame Alexander dolls, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.
    1. Madame Alexander was one of the world’s premier doll makers, due to her love of the craft, strict attention to detail, and long hours spent in creating and perfecting her dolls. She once said, “You have no idea how I labored over noses and mouths so that they would look real and individual.” It is reputed to be Lillian Disney who so loved the Alexander dolls that she requested Walt to carry them in the Emporium. Each time she went into the Emporium, she always went straight to the counter where the dolls were sold.
      Mme Alexander Aurora 1595 Mme Alexander Snow White 1557
    2. More information on Madame Beatrice Alexander and her dolls can be found at: http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/alexander
  2. Disney Store Animated Mickey and Minnie Christmas Figures.  The perfect Disney couple to have in your home during the holidays.
    Disney Store Mickey Minnie
  3. Art of Disney Red Car Trolley Medium Figure.  Return to the days when the Red Car traveled around the streets of Los Angeles and neighboring cities.  You will treasure this piece that features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Horace Horsecollar.  The headlamp on the trolley lights up.
    Art of Disney Trolley
  4. Buena Vista Street Red Car Trolley Resin Pin Box with three pins.  This was issued at the grand reopening of California Adventure and is a limited edition of 250.
    Trolley with Pins
  5. Mickey’s Greatest Moments Plate Set.
    1. This is a set of six ceramic plates (no boxes). The set was produced in honor of Mickey Mouse’s greatest movie roles for the 50th anniversary of his first movie. One of the original plates was made with a misprint on it. The plate was printed as the Nifty Fifties while the original film was the Nifty Nineties. The Fifties plate was pulled and reissued with the correct title. The set to be auctioned will include the original misprinted plate as well as the reprinted, correct plate.
      Rare Mickey Misprint plates Plates More plates
  6. These items are offered as a set which consists of three items, all new and in original packaging. The items are:
    1. A Donald Duck Model Sheet pin set with three pins. This pin set was created to honor Donald’s 65th birthday and was inspired from original model sheets of that were used to draw him. It is approximately 13.5 x 15.5 “
      Donald Duck Model Sheet Pin Set  5532-7500
    2. A Donald Duck Vintage poster puzzle. Assembled size is 27” x 20”.
      Donald Duck’s Vacation 1000-piece Puzzle
    3. Donald Duck alarm clock with feet. This item is sold out in the Disney stores.
      Donald Duck Two Bell Alarm Clock with Feet
  7. A signed Olszewski “Moonlighter” Rocket to the Moon from Tomorrowland Statue. This piece is an Annual Passholder Edition.
    Olszewski signed AP Moonliner

All of these items and more could be yours! All you have to do is place your bid at the auction on the night of the Ryman event. Remember, all proceeds go directly to the Ryman Art Foundation. You will be participating in a very worthy cause as well as receiving valuable Disney collectibles and a feeling of having done something for young men and women that can use your support!

Thank you, Dennis! I hope I’ll see you there July 13th! Last year’s was a blast! Our own Dusty Sage was one of the Special Guests and Marty Sklar was the featured speaker. 

Fab News is made possible because of support from my Patreon Patrons and sponsorship from DVCResaleMarket.com. 

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The BFG Roundtable Interviews: Mark Rylance, Penelope Wilton, Ruby Barnhill & Stephen Spielberg

(Edited from the transcripts. ~Fab) 

Mark Rylance on his character’s look and walk for the film:


Normally as an actor, you see yourself in the mirror before you go on set.  But I had no idea what this would look like.  And I thought a lot about whether I should ask Steven to be involved in the input.  But I thought, “Well, He’ll know what’s right.”  And so it wasn’t as uncomfortable as seeing myself normally on film,  This was different enough that it was a little more distanced, and actually it was more comfortable watching it.


I think Steven asked me, “have you got the walk?”    And the first thing we did was him being discovered in the street, when she wakes up and looks out the window.  And then walking towards the house.  And I said, “Well, let’s just have a go,” which he says was a great help, But I just tried the walk.  And actually, I didn’t know what the walk was for a week or so.  And then – I’m a stepfather; and the biological father of my daughter, Chris, he’s a runner. – and that’s one of the things you can say about BFG is he has a good run every day, doesn’t he?  A really good run.  And Chris is a wonderful runner.  But when he walks, Chris, he walks like – he doesn’t do the cross swing that most of us do.  He does this wonderful kind of a lovely – lovely walk.  And I realized, oh, this is – this is Chris; this walk would be good for Chris – which my daughter, Juliette, hasn’t seen the film yet, but I’m looking forward to her recognizing her dad – who I think read the story to her, before I came on the scene.  Yeah.


How they filmed his scenes:

I have a camera on my head, with a camera here.  And I’m wearing a funny suit with kind of silver nipples and silver ping pong balls or something on it, all over the place.  And I’m in a volume.  So I’m existing – there’s no camera.  I’m existing in a computer.  There’s hundreds of cameras.  And so I’ll have a doll on the table like that, which would be Sophie.  And then Ruby would be kneeling behind the table there.  So I can actually have eye contact with her.  If she then tries to run away, Steven would be standing right here; he would have a tennis ball on a stick, and I’d follow that.  So we’d film something like that, and – and actually, it was very sensitive, because initially they were worried that Ruby would get tired.  And they had another wonderful, young actress doing the off camera work for me.  But when I did – went in the afternoon and acted with Ruby, I said to Steven, “This girl’s great in the morning, but Ruby’s unique, and she makes me laugh, and moves me in a totally different way  So if the film is about a kind of friendship between these two, I think we should always be together.”  And he did that.  So from then on, we always worked together – very much in the same space.  Then in the afternoon, we would go to her set next door, and this table would now be much bigger than this room, and these props would be, you know, six foot high.  And there’d she be, standing in scale.  And now the camera would be there, with Janusz, and Mitch, and everyone filming.  And I would be up a high tower, to get the – standing on a high scissor lift tower, to get the eyesight.  If then I moved and she had to follow me, a gentleman with a long stick would be holding an iPad, you know, and a camera would be on my face, and my face would be on the iPad, and that would – he’d run around – never faster enough.  Steven was always saying, “Why are you so slow?”  And then Steven would be looking at his screen that had a composite, a very rough composite of my performance from the morning here; with the actual image through that of Sophie, and trying to get our eyesight, our eye lines together, and also our performance matching.  So that was the kind of nature.  And then when the other giants arrived, they’re 50 foot tall, that was a whole ‘nother problem.


On his favorite Gobblefunk Words:

Scrumdiddlyumptious!  I like the Telly-telly Bunkum Box for the television.  Yeah.  You’re going to put me on the Telly-telly Bunkum Box.  They’re a lot of fun to say, these words.  I know country people in England who speak like this, too.  Yeah.  Yeah.  You know, have their own words for things – yeah.  “If I don’t see you through the week, I’ll see you through the window.”  So they say things like that all the time.  What does that mean?  It’s either very funny, or very, very violent – which is how you feel in the English countryside, don’t you?  Something rather charming and dangerous about it.


On working with Ruby Barnhill:

Well, I – you know, W.C. Fields advises against it, but I think he works with very violent kids.  I find kids inspiring, because for me, the work is to be spontaneous, you know, to appear to – that nothing’s ever written – nothing’s been written down, no one knows what’s gonna happen next.  That’s the job.  And she’s just a natural.  She’s just gifted at that.  So she’s not a trained actress, but she just really brought herself.  And so I – I don’t know how to explain it, but she just – she just keeps reminding you of how simple it is, really, and how natural it can be.  I guess that’s maybe the danger, is that if you’re challenged by that, then a kid’s going to show you up. So you have to be there with her.  It was also fascinating because it’s also – the relationship between Steven and her was much more important, really, than my relationship with her.  The person she really needed on the set was Steven.  Every morning, she would run and jump into his arms, and he was the one who had cast her, and was helping her with the emotional scenes, and with the different things.  I was just her tennis batting partner, in a way.  I was just the person she was hitting the ball to.  But Steven was, I mean, of all directors you might work with, working with children – he must be the most fascinating one to watch.  So I was the close-up witness of how he works with children; how much he truly adores the imagination of a child, of a young person. It was very nice.


On working with Steven Spielberg:

Steven’s interest in this film, underneath all the technological challenges for himself, was a love affair, a friendship, over a great distance of mortality, immortality, youth, age, three foot, 24 foot.  Someone asked him at Cannes, you know, what about Roald Dahl’s anti-Semitic expressions at certain points?  And he said, “Well, I don’t know about that.  This is just a film about a bridge, a friendship between people who are very – beings who are very different.”  You know, I think that – you can – I can start to see that as a theme in his storytelling, isn’t it – very much a theme in his storytelling.  So he was always very attentive that we were connecting, and there was a space between us.


Penelope Wilton on Playing “The Queen”…How Real is She?

I think you have to start from trying to catch the person. And then Roald Dahl’s put words into her mouth which the queen of course would not – and not just words, a situation she wouldn’t be dealing with. But if you don’t have a real person, then it wouldn’t be fun. If I made a fantasy queen in a fantasy, they’ll cancel each other out. So it has to be based on reality, so you do a double take all the time: “did she say that, did she say that?” And then it makes it interesting, and that’s what Roald Dahl does, that’s why he uses the queen ‘cause in a little girl’s mind, the person who is on all the stamps and all the money in England is the person who will be able to – if they have a problem, she will fix it. And so in a 9 year old’s mind, that is what she does.

TheBFG576d817aac052 (1)

On keeping it real for the palace scenes:

I had Mark there on a scaffold, and so it was him and I was relating to him and his face, he was on a scaffold 20 feet high. And Steven had shown me the ears and what he would look like, and I’d actually seen Quentin’s cartoon, which is in the book, so I knew what he looked like, but it was Mark, so we all related to Mark, and so did Ruby in those scenes, we just related to him up there. But it was a naturalistic set, when they built the ballroom at Buckingham Palace, it’s exactly how the ballroom is at Buckingham Palace, so I’m told. I’ve not been in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace. And I’ve been to Buckingham Palace, but not to that particular room. And then her bedroom I think was obviously, they’ve done their homework and found out what it would be like.


Who helped you get the look just right?

Joanna Johnson, who did the costume and things. I had a wig that was made exactly like the Queen’s. I mean, she looks exactly like — the hair was brilliant. And then Joanna went to the Queen’s glove maker, so I had the same gloves as the queen would have, and apparently she wears them to there in – up to her wrist for the daytime, and halfway up her arm in the evening. There are two different sorts of gloves. And then she has shoes which have a certain heel, ‘cause she’s standing all the time. And she wears very bright colors ‘cause she has to be seen at a distance, because she’s usually in crowds. And everyone says, where’s the Queen? Oh, there’s the Queen, you know, that’s what happens if you’re the Queen. And her hair is like that, because when she puts on her diadem, it doesn’t make a terrible mark – you don’t have a sort of hat hair when you take it off, you know. So the whole thing is worked out, and a good, sturdy handbag with a good clip that doesn’t come undone when you’re just being interviewed, or introduced to people. And all that, it’s all worked out. And her glasses that were very much like the glasses she wore in 1982, because it is 1982, so it’s the Queen then. The only thing we did different was that the Queen in 1982 didn’t have gray hair, but any little girl seeing it now has seen the Queen with gray hair for the last 20 years, so we made her have gray hair.


On her Corgi Co-Stars

The Corgis were the best-trained Corgis I have ever – well, I say “ever worked with” – I don’t work with Corgis an awful lot. These were the best-trained. I have worked with other dogs, and they always come, they say, you know, this dog, it’ll sit here and it won’t move. Immediately the trainer goes away, the dog gets up and goes away. So and you spend hours trying to get a Labrador to sit, especially in Downton (Abbey), to sit there and behave. But these really did. Where they were told to go, they went and they sat there. Also they’re the most good-looking Corgis I’ve seen. I mean, they were really nice-looking Corgis. I’ve never gone much for Corgis, but after this film, I’ve changed my opinion of Corgis. They’ve really gone up in my estimation.


On working with Steven Spielberg:

Well, if you get a phone call saying: Steven Spielberg wants you to be in his film, you say, yes, thanks. Thank you so much, yes, I’ll do that. I was a wonderful experience. I said to him, I wish I could do every film with you. Because it’s wonderful. He’s very, very clear; he works very quickly; you understand exactly what he wants. He could not be more straightforward in his direction and I respond tremendously well for that, ‘cause you know, you leap into the world, and he’s leapt into that world, and you leap into that world too, and you make it a reality, and if you do that, you work very well. If you start being clever about it, then it goes out the window. If you’re doing this sort of thing, especially a child’s film, you have to enter into that world and you have to do it very quickly, because filming is expensive, so everything is very quick. But actually once you’ve done it and you stay in that world while you’re there, and then at 7:00, Cheerio and I’ll see you tomorrow. So it would seem to me to be the most perfect person to work with.


On Co-Star Ruby Barnhill:

Oh, she’s gorgeous! Well, she comes from the North, and she’s very, very down to earth, and had gotten very, very – her father’s an actor, so she understands about actors, and she takes direction extremely well, and she listens. And all those things, you know, things that we take for granted, but when you’re young, it’s not always easy, especially with a room full of people and having to expose yourself, you know. I mean, you have to do something like show emotions. It’s not easy, and she – ‘cause of course, Steven is marvelous because he makes it fun, and he also doesn’t do too much repetition, which is boring. It’s very, very boring, especially if you’re a child. You know, when you get older you want to do it again ‘cause you think, you have another thought about it and you think I can improve on that, or sometimes it doesn’t get any better and you’re better off with the first take – but often you do, as an adult. But as a child, it’s, you know, you’ve done it once, you think why do it again, you know? But she’s extremely adept and a clever actress, and I loved working with her.


Steven Spielberg on Working with New Technology

Well, I think that the whole – you know, the whole nature of my approach to the BFG was to be able to do both; was to be able to use technology to advance the heart, and create a flawless transposition between the genius of Mark Rylance, to the genius of Weta, as they were able to digitally translate Mark’s soul onto film in the character of the BFG.  And so all the work we did was to get back to basics – which was, I knew Mark was gonna really knock this out of the ballpark, but I didn’t want the ball to land at the end of a motion capture volume.  I wanted the ball to land in the lap of the audience.  And I think Weta spent more careful attention – paid more careful attention to how to preserve what Mark had given us on the day.  They just did – their artists did an amazing job translating Mark accurately.  And there’s about 95% of what Mark gave me, and Ruby, on the screen now.  And that’s because technology today allowed us to do it.  Five years ago, we could not have made BFG this way – the technology wasn’t there for it. I think if I had the computer, and if I had digital artists the way we have them today, in 1975, ’74 – I probably would have ruined the movie, because you would have seen nine times the amount of shark.  And I think what makes the movie is the dearth of shark.


Why this story appealed to him:

What really appealed to me was the fact that it was: the protagonist was a girl, not a boy. And it was a very strong girl.  And the protagonist was going to allow us at a certain point, to believe that four feet tall can completely outrank 25 feet of giant.  And I got very excited that this was going to be a little girl’s story, and her courage, and her values, was going to, in a way, turn the cowardly lion into the brave hero at the end – which is what she turns BFG into.  And I saw all kinds of Wizard of Oz comparisons when I was first reading the book, and I said, “Oh, here’s a real chance to do a story about Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion – just the two of them.” (My jaw dropped when I read this. Now I HAVE to see it.  ~ Fab) 


How they found their “Sophie”:

Casting Ruby was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do – because she’s so impossible as you can see, sitting right here, you know.  [WHISPERS] I love her.  We – I looked at – I didn’t personally – Nina Gold looked at three or four hundred girls, in about five English speaking countries.  And I looked at about 150 myself.  And when I saw Ruby’s reading, I went crazy, ‘cause I had been looking for over half a year – actually, longer – eight months, I had been looking.  And we’d get the Ireland tapes in; then we’d get the New Zealand tapes in; then we’d get the Australian tapes in; we’d get the Wales tapes; and we’d get the English tapes in; and the American tapes in.  And we’d be looking, and looking, and looking.  And I was shooting Bridge of Spies, and I thought I was never going to find my Sophie – until halfway through the Berlin shoot, which was almost done with the [Bridge of Spies] movie, when I saw Ruby’s reading.  And I immediately went crazy.  My wife was with me, and I showed it to her.  And she had seen a lot of the tapes, and she was – she was – what’s a good word I can use here [context: looking at Gobblefunk glossary] – my wife was, let’s see, umm – she was, umm – oh, yeah, glumptious – she was glumptious over it.  She thought Sophie – Ruby was glumptuous.  So we flew Ruby to Berlin, and I met with her.  My wife interviewed her while I videoed it on my IPhone.  I didn’t talk to Ruby at first; my wife did, because I wanted to stay out of it and let them just get in a conversation.  And I cast Ruby before the day was over.


His favorite part of the filming:

I think my favorite part of the filming was when BFG and Sophie were chasing dreams in Dream Country; they were catching dreams.  And she was just – BFG says to Sophie, “Use your titchy little figglers.  Go on,” you know.  And so she just starts chasing dreams.  And we had a whole set built. That was a big, big set with these big, a whole root system of big roots deep into the ground, and she gets to run under all the roots, to chase the dreams.  And of course, there were no dreams there; there were just a lot of lights on sticks, that you didn’t get to see.  But that was a fun four or five days, that whole sequence, chasing dreams and talking about dreams — that was my favorite part.


Ruby Barnhill on her first meeting with Mark Rylance:

That was – when I first – I wasn’t – well, when I walked in, first of all, I was quite surprised to see that there was a table in the middle of the room, with some plants and vegetables on it.  And I sat down, and I was like, “Okay.”  And then Mark came up to me and said, “Hi.  It’s really nice to meet you.”  And I – and I just like, realized, and I actually thought to myself, “Oh, whoever gets to work with him is going to be so lucky, because he’s such a nice and gentle guy.”  And – that was good.  And – but then – and then I sat; I sat down, and we did some improvisation, and we did some scenes from the book.  And I – so Mark had brought in this plant; and he wasn’t sure whether or not I was allowed to eat it, but he said he’d tasted it, and so he thought it was okay.  And – well, well, he bought – so he brought..some props, basically…And I started eating the props, because you know where – so he was pretending it was the Snozzcumber…And so I started eating it, and found it was actually quite nice.  So I was there going, “Oh, this is just disgusting.”  And so that was very funny.  And then we – and then we did some – it was just so – it was so fun, the whole way through.  And he really, again, like Steven did, made me feel really comfortable, because I was also really nervous meeting him.  And so yeah, it was – I had loads of fun.


Disney got hold of me to invite me to cover the Premiere, I RSVPed, then they said, sorry, we’re full. Again. So, I’ll see it when it gets to the El Cap. But it looks adorable.

Thank you!

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Shelly Valladolid, aka Fab, has been writing about Disney and theme parks for about two decades. She has written for various fan and pop culture sites, Disney Magazine and OCRegister.com and participated in several books, including Passporter's Disneyland and Southern California and Disney World Dreams. She was co-founder and president of the Orlando, Florida chapter of the NFFC (now Disneyana Fan Club). She taught a class on theme park history at a Southern California University. She is creator and co-owner of Jim Hill Media, one of the creators of MousePlanet and was a consultant on MSNBC, The Motley Fool and others about Disney and various media matters. She was a Heel wrestling manager on TV and a voice artist on the radio in Honolulu, HI, where she grew up. She has a blog and a podcast with her daughter, Mission:Breakout Obsessive Alice Hill: . She and her husband, MiceChat columnist Noe Valladolid, live in Southern California with Alice.