Behind the Scenes: On the set

By
From the November 1, 2012 edition

When I was an intern at U.S.News & World Report, I hung out with the magazine’s library interns. We would play kickball on the National Mall with that summer’s D.C. lawyer interns. It was a little bit like Globo-Gym playing the Bad News Bears. But the thing I remember most about these interns (I’m a really bad three-month friend) was a surprising aspect of their job — they would mail copies of the magazine to television and movie production companies per the studios’ request.

I had never considered where props on sets came from and the science that must go into selecting them. Props can lend to the legend of certain shows. It’s great northeast Ohio-trivia night fodder that the newspaper in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is the Cleveland Plain Dealer. And consider the recent Reddit topic of discussion that actor Ed O’Neill can be seen reading the exact same newspaper in “Married with Children” as in “Modern Family” decades later.

Local viewers of “Melissa & Joey,” the ABC Family show that stars ’90s child stars Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart, may have recognized a set prop more recently.

In episode six of season two (two?!), a Columbus painter’s work hangs in the set of a hip cafe. Yup, that’s a Stephanie Rond painting right behind the Teenage Witch’s pretty blonde head.

“It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time,” Rond said.

Rond’s art, at least, was in the right place at the right time. A set designer from the show had seen the Rond painting “Smile” in an office in Studio City, California. The designer asked Rond in March if the show could borrow the painting for the scene.

“The set designer was really nice and friendly, and after I had signed all the release forms she mailed me a check,” Rond said. “She even sent me pictures of it on set. My sister was a huge MJH fan as a kid, but I’m more of a Joey fan. The Joey Lawrence jokes are endless amounts of fun. Whoa!”