Monday, September 12, 2011

Sam Trammell at Surfrider Celebrity Session

As featured on The Vault -

Lynnpd with Sam Trammell
Yesterday, Saturday, September 10, 2011, I went to the Surfrider Foundation's Sixth Annual Celebrity Expression Session where True Blood's Sam Trammell was one of the celebrity surfers, just like last year.  I also attended last year's event, which was held shortly after I had moved to California and I remember that it was the first time I had been in Malibu. At the time, I was just awestruck by the gorgeous landscape there and I still am.

About the Surfrider Foundation:

The event is held by the Surfrider Foundation to help raise awareness for the need to clean up our oceans. Sam is a member of the organization and told me that he is proud of his association with them. The Surfrider Foundation's  mission is "the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network."

You can think about it as three concepts.
  • "Protection and enjoyment", they don't want to put a velvet rope around a beach and tell people to keep off. They're surfers, beach goers, watermen... they enjoy the coasts. They're a user group.
  • "Oceans, waves and beaches." Think coastlines, they're engaged with environmental issues that affect our coastlines.
  • "Powerful activist network" speaks to how they go about this mission as a grassroots organization and are local in many coastal regions.
Their association includes moms, surfers, kids and teens... in other words, they're you. They're engaged to protect what we love; oceans, waves and beaches.

To donate to this worthy charity, go to:

About the event:

As a member of the press I was told to arrive at 9:30am to check in. Alexis who is the Communication Manager for the event, was just great and very helpful throughout the day.

As we waited for the celebrities to arrive, sadly it started raining and those with large and very expensive camera equipment began to worry, so the staff set up a new canopy just for us. Luckily the large drops were short lived so very soon the canopy became unnecessary.

The celebrities began to arrive. The participants for the day were:

Of course I was there primarily to see and speak to Sam. He was one of the last to arrive, and immediately posed for some photos for the photographers:
After his session with the photographers he began his round of interviews. I was second up, so he was still really fresh and ready to talk. See my interview with Sam below where he talks about the the charity to save the oceans, what it was like to "be Tommy", the season finale and what he "didn't" know about Season 5.


It was so awesome to spend time and talk with Sam. After the interview, I pretty much shadowed him the whole day.  I've also included a video of the event which is at the end of this article.

Sam seemed a little worried about the lack of waves and how calm the ocean was; which he said was just like last year. You could tell that the celebrity surfers were all seasoned professionals and it was a real shame that they didn't get to "hang ten" because of the calm surf. However, for me, being on that beach in Malibu, which is well known as one of the best spots to surf in the world, and where all the surfing craze really started, was very exciting. I expected Beach Boys music to start playing at any time.

The surfers posed for group shots and got ready to go out for their hour long surfing session. It was really funny because as you can see in the first image below, Sam was the only one "sans shirt".  They all started to tease him saying, because he was on True Blood, he of course was shirtless and was used to it.  Sam noticed, looked around and then said, "Hey, I'm no Joe Manganiello!" and promptly put his wet suit all the way on.

The group then posed for another group shot down by the water, and finally Sam has his "official" Surfrider shirt on.

Then, it was time to go to the starting point. By the way, I am also a huge fan of Mad Men and I loved seeing John Slattery among the group of celebrities, he sure held his own and more during the surfing.

They got their boards ready and all swam out into the surf:

They stayed out for their hour and some actually did catch a few waves, but it was mighty hard to do. Here's the one photo I caught of Sam riding one:

See all the photos here in the Vault Photo Gallery:

When they all came out of the water I could tell that they were all glad to have helped their favorite charity. I heard someone say that the winner of the event was John Slattery who caught the most waves. I didn't know that it was a competition, but want to say, "Congratulations John."


The video below is a full account of the day from Sam's arrival to the very end of the event. You will hear an onlooker ask if they "hung ten" and John Slattery jokingly says, "NO!"

It was still a great day and I was so happy to have been able to participate.

Thank you Sam for allowing me to follow you around and to Alexis for her wonderful organization!

Video credit: Shadaliza

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