First Lady Michelle Obama is in Los Angeles for just a day, but her to-do list is a mile long.
She started the morning in a panel discussion about how to better integrate military families' stories into television and film. Katherine Fugate, creator of Lifetime's "Army Wives," joined Obama on the panel, as well as a National Guard pilot, a retired soldier, and the wife of an Army officer, reports the Associated Press. The panel was moderated by director and producer J.J. Abrams.
Obama used the opportunity to promote Joining Forces, an initiative she started with Dr. Jill Biden to help support troops and their families. Obama thanked the Hollywood audience for "telling good stories" and being able to "seep into our conscience." She also encouraged the group of producers, directors, actors, and writers to continue doing what they do best: "Be creative. Be funny. Be powerful. Move us. Move America to think differently about these issues and about these families and about our men and women who serve so graciously."
Read the whole transcript of the event.
The event was hosted by the entertainment guilds (which include Directors, Producers, Screen Actors, and Writers) at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, according to Wilshire & Washington.
After the panel, Obama is off to Pasadena for the first of two Southern California fundraisers today. Tickets start at $1,000 for the Pasadena luncheon, where $10,000 buys a photo with the First Lady as well as some personal time, according to ABC 7. About 500 people are expected to attend, reports NBC LA.After Pasadena and before her Bel Air dinner, Obama will be filming a scene for Nickelodeon's "iCarly," whose main character plays the daughter of an Air Force colonel, according to Reuters. The show is reportedly a favorite in the Obama household. The First Lady spoke briefly about her cameo at this morning's panel. From the Associated Press:
Obama's daughters are "iCarly" fans, so the first lady's role on the show makes her "the coolest mom on the face of the planet," she said. Though she has been diligently studying her lines, Obama admitted Monday: "I am terrified."
Obama's final agenda item is a fundraising dinner in Bel Air at the home of Michael S. Smith, an LA-based decorator (and White House interior decorator), and James Costos, an HBO executive. According to Deadline Hollywood, those expected to attend include "Sex and the City" creator Michael Patrick King, actresses Ellen and Portia DeGeneres, producer Brian Grazer, and former NewsCorp president Peter Chernin.
While the First Lady's presence is expected to snarl traffic in small ways, her impact will probably be minimal. During the Beverly Hills event, Doheny Drive between Wilshire and Charleville was closed by the Beverly Hills Police Department according to the Beverly Hills Courier, but it's already open again.