The Burbank Report,
Steve Akahoshi

Posted by Erika/Kaj/Lindy/Mel/Pen/Sheila on 2/24/2007

* * * * * * * * * * STEVE AKAHOSHI * * * * * * * * * *

Erika: Steve is one of the sweetest, most heart-on-his-sleeve, humblest guys you could meet. And funny. He loved telling us stories, and smiled and laughed a lot. He went to tremendous lengths to satisfy us fans. I enjoyed meeting him and he was incredibly easy to talk with, a very fun guy.

I think it surprised him at first that we spent a lot of time "hanging out" at his part of the table and talking with him, and that we were truly interested in him and all the guys, not just Terry. I don't think he realized till the convention just how deep our love of ToD was. He seemed excited about our enthusiasm, and you could tell he really loved talking about ToD and telling us as much as he could. We totally lapped it all up.

It also didn't hurt that he had a lot of photos we'd never seen before. 

Lindy: I really liked Steve. I'm so glad he agreed to come to the convention.
He was just a really sweet guy.
Well worth taking the time to talk to.
He was just so giving of his time. Nothing was too much trouble.
And everything we asked him, he answered.
I cant believe the trouble he went to.
He drove 4 hours from San Diego just to come to the convention.
And he didn't expect to have any fans even remotely interested in him.
He came merely to catch up with Terry, Josh, Tony, and Eric.
As it had been years since he'd seen any of them.
The last time he saw Terry was back in 1998 when they did a film about black/Asian race relations called "At Face Value." Steve wrote and directed the film and Terry played the part of a construction foreman.
Steve said he had originally only planned to stay the Friday. But after meeting us, and knowing we'd come such a long way, and realizing we were genuinely interested in what he had to say about his time on Tour of Duty, he made an extra effort to return on the Saturday.

He went to extraordinary lengths to make sure we got the most from our visit.
He brought along his private TOD photo collection album for us to look at.
And we got to see some quite rare photos of him on set.
It was so fabulous that he shared his most treasured memories with us.
We felt very special indeed.
And even more so, when he said we could make as many copies as we wanted.
He even brought his dog tags in to show us. (after I asked if he'd kept anything from his days on set) And would you believe, they are still taped together, LOL.
And did you all know Steve has still got his boonie hat, and boots, and his fatigues?
He said he just couldn't bear to part with them because his time on the show was so special and meant so much to him. he wanted something to remember it by.
He was just so honest and right down the line with everything he said.
What you saw, is what you got.

I loved what he said to me when we had our photo taken.
He snuggled up to me and gave my arm a squeeze and said, "Oh this is real nice. You can stay there as long as you like. You make me feel tall." roflmao
We both laughed. I knew exactly how he felt. I said to him "Its hard being short sometimes. It must be even harder if you're a celebrity and under 5ft 4 LOL.
You tend to feel like a child because of your lack of height. And sometimes get treated that way. Which can be quite belittling when you're 40+."
"Oh yeah, tell me about it." he replied.
We both looked at each other and agreed. "We shortie's have to stick together. LOL"

Steve is not acting so much these days. But is more into the writing, directing, producing side of making movies.
His most recent works have been the movie "Fatal Beauty" with Whoopi Goldberg and Sam Elliott
and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3.
He told me he has a Dalmatian at home and it played the part of "Little Runt Fidget" on "101 Dalmatians" and that the puppy's real father was Pongo.

Sheila: Steve is the loveliest guy imaginable.

Erika: On both days, towards the closing hours of the convention, he asked us if we knew where to go for dinner, if there were places we wanted to go see, etc. He recommended we go to Citywalk for dinner Friday, then on Saturday suggested Pasadena.

Sheila: He didn't just tell us where to go, he went into detail of asking the sort of place we wanted to eat, and details of how to get there.

Erika: Yeah, he really cared about whether or not we had a good time in LA. He was very thoughtful of us!

Sheila: Steve said the reason he came was to catch up with the other guys, he didn't think anyone would particularly remember him.

Ernie: I was aware that Steve said he felt that he was not a significant member of the cast and was surprised at our interest in him. I told him about the little election we had on Bravo 344 and he was "elected" Surgeon General. I made a point to say that he got almost all of the votes and Doc Hock lost by a large degree. And, he said, "Doc Hock! Booooo!" Then laughed!

Sheila: I talked to Steve about the amount of time they spent getting wet, in rivers, swamps etc. and asked if they really got wet or if they wore any waterproof clothing underneath their fatigues. He said they got wet and filthy.

Sheila: On the second day, Steve brought some of his own personal photos from the show to show us. Brought an entire album of stuff he's done. We spent a lot of time talking to Steve when he brought his personal photos in. Terry couldn't understand why we were all crowded round him and the other three had nobody talking to them - he said something like, "he's a nice guy, but not that nice!"

Erika: Terry also said, "What's this? The guy comes in late and he gets all the attention." LOL We spent the first hour or so that Saturday meeting Joshua's and Eric's beautiful, happy families. It was a very merry scene with those energetic babies around! And then when Steve showed up, his personal photo album in tow... how could we resist?

Steve got a lot of photo ops, too. There were these two women who got their pics taken with the guys. Later that day they came back to the ToD table and took pics of us with the guys. I asked them if they were also fans and they said they weren't, they were "just working at the convention and looking for the cutest guys to be photographed with."

Sheila: They picked Josh and Steve. After they had gone, I told them that they should be flattered as the women had just been looking for the best looking guys for photographs. Steve got all red and smiled big and said, "Oh you're making me blush!" and he did.

Sheila: Steve said he would consider chatting with us in the chat room for sure.

Sheila: When I asked Steve to sign a photo to me, as he wrote my name on it he said, "There goes the value, you can't sell this on eBay now."

Erika: And Steve got all our autographs!

Sheila: The thing behind this was the fact that they had been there signing all the photos (and between us there was quite a few), and when Erika gave Steve a copy of the reunion movie campaign postcards, and he was really pleased with them, I said as a joke, "You want US to sign them?" and he took us up on it.

Erika: It was great! We all signed the back of that postcard sheet, can you believe it? I gave one to Terry and one to Joshua, too, explaining we had had a reunion movie mail campaign, sending these cards to the press and networks to try to drum up their support for Sherry and Deb's venture. (I didn't get a chance to give one to Eric, and I regret that--the convention was chaos!) Steve actually laughed aloud when he saw the one of him, Ramón, and Joshua, with the words "We Love These Guys" splashed across the bottom. He asked me, "You made these?" and I said I did. I was so glad they liked them and that they knew we were all rooting for a ToD reunion.

And when we handed Steve's postcard sheet to Pen to sign, telling her Steve wanted our autographs, she said something like, "You've got to be kidding me. Oh my God."


The Burbank Report,
Steve Akahoshi Part 2

Posted by Erika/Kaj/Lindy/Mel/Pen/Sheila on 2/24/2007

* * * * * * * * * * STEVE AKAHOSHI (continued) * * * * * * * * * *

Sheila: Steve was telling us that he wasn't cast till the last minute and had to go immediately to Hawaii, and the first night he didn't have enough money to buy something to eat. They stayed at the hotel where Steve McGarrett was filmed on the balcony for the credits of "Hawaii Five-0." Josh said that Terry was staying in that same hotel, but Terry wasn't so sure.

Sheila: I asked Steve if considering the fact that it was very easy to kill off their characters in a show like that, were they careful about upsetting the producer. He said yes. He also said that if a guest star that they all liked was due to get killed in the show, they told him to just moan a lot after getting shot, to show that he wasn't dead, so that he could be invited back for another episode sometime!

Erika: He said that's what happened with Clyde Jones, who starred in "Notes from the Underground" and then in "Nowhere to Run."

Sheila: Steve knew that I would have loved to have met Ramón Franco. He told me he was in touch with him and speaks to him quite often. I think I said something like, "you couldn't call him and get him down here, could you?" and he said he'd try. The next day he told me he couldn't get hold of Ramon. I thought it was sweet of Steve to try.

Erika: Steve used to live in LA but moved to San Diego. He said he likes San Diego and that being there has put him in touch with people in the military.

Pen: Steve A. was a great surprise to me. He's a very generous man with his time, really enjoyed talking to us about the episodes and looking at all the paraphernalia he had from his TOD days. I was very impressed by the gentleness of his soul.

Erika: I think it spoke volumes about him and Joshua that they trusted us with their personal ToD photos so that we could make scans. It wasn't like we had asked for these--they had offered them to us.

There was only one scanner at the convention, and Lindy and I stood in line making scans of Steve's and Josh's photos for what felt like 1.5 hours, so I wouldn't be surprised if anyone started to wonder if we had just r-u-n-n-o-f-t'ed with them. LOL Not that we would have--hey, we wanted to be back there at the ToD table talking with the guys! He and Josh trusted us with their treasured ToD mementos and I really appreciated that.

Sheila: I told Steve that I was very sorry when his character was killed. Quick as a flash, he replied, "So was I!"

Lindy: Steve and Joshua both asked us if we had the original CBS episodes of the show or the box sets? And wanted to know our thoughts on the music used. I made mention of the power of the 60's music in the original episodes. Saying how the music helped get the viewer in the mood for the content of the episode.
While the generic music was ok... It didn't move me anywhere near as much.
I gave the example of the woodwind flutes in Brothers Fathers Sons. That music, while not pop music, was music relative to the country and was very haunting. Then I gave another example. In U.S.O down, the end really teared me up where the guys of Bravo Company were waving goodbye to the two surviving women from the U.S.O group as their chopper took off. They were finally going home. Where it was safe. Yet Bravo Company were all stuck there. And would be until their tours ended.

As the chopper lifts off, the song that plays in the background is, "We gotta get outta this place...if its the last thing we ever do...we gotta get outta this place... girl theres a better life, for me and you." I sang the song, hoping Steve would remember it.
That song had me in tears. It really made you feel for the boys who were stuck in the 'Nam, as compared to the USO group members who, while they did a service in Vietnam, could leave any time they wanted.

When I finished singing it, I noticed Steve wiping some tears away from his eyes.
I put my arm around him. "Oh No? Steve I didn't mean to make you cry. I'm so sorry."
He said "Don't be sorry. I just really love that song. I remembered doing that episode like it was yesterday. They played that song over the loud speaker when we filmed that end scene. It was very emotional for me, even back then. WOW? You just brought back a wonderful memory for me there".
"The power of music huh?"
The poor guy was still crying. And mopping tears from his eyes.

Erika: I think he also said something like, "With that song, the minute they played that song, it just kind'a did something." After Lindy sang it, Steve said something like, "This means so much to me, that the acting has touched you in that way. You just brought back a wonderful memory. I miss that so much."

Lindy: Last few hours of Saturday, Steve and Josh agreed to post a hello on the message-boards.
And We'd so hoped they would.
But would have understood if they couldn't.

We all felt so high and mighty walking through the hotel lobby in the company of Josh and Steve LOL.
Were almost expecting the paparazzi to jump out from behind the indoor plants and invade our privacy.
So Into the business centre we marched.
Left...left...left right left....
Josh went first. We were all very impressed he could type.
He took his time. Wording everything just so.
And left a lovely heartfelt message for the fans.
Then Steve jumped on.
He checked what Josh wrote.
So they didn't say exactly the same thing.
Then he began typing.
GOSH???? These guys are so multi talented LOL.
Steve wasn-t sure what to call himself
Doc? TOD medic? Steve?
I committed a mortal sin and suggested he just type in Doc Hock LOL. Forgetting in all my excitement just which DOC we had in the room with us LOL.
Poor Steve? he was already feeling unloved and not very important.
He turned and looked at me and grabbed a pencil, mock stabbed me in the hand for mentioning his replacements name.
When both guys were done posting, they had to rush off home.
We all thanked them most sincerely for a great few days and wished them well.
And said we hoped we'd see them again one day.
They thanked us all for coming
Then there were hugs and kisses all round.
Then they left.

Erika: We looked over Steve's shoulder as he typed the message, watching him type every single letter. We couldn't help it. And that business centre was not that big a space, either. I think it was about 10 feet by 10 feet, and all five of us plus Steve plus the two people using the other computer were packed in there. I guess actors are good about not feeling claustrophobic, LOL.

When he typed "'Doc' '87-'88," we all went, "Ah..." We got nostalgic.

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