M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, August 15, 2008  

On the Air II

Now that I telecommute I don't shave, shower, or mousse nearly as often as I used to, so when I do all three in one day, it must mean I'm going on TV.

My spot on the local ABC affiliate's live afternoon show had been rescheduled a few times when Wednesday rolled around, but since I hadn't been bumped again from the 3:00 show as of 1:00, I figured it would be best to get ready. I picked a different outfit from the one I wore on the local NBC affiliate, just in case anyone watched both shows. And also because I didn't want to go on TV with a broken zipper again. You didn't notice that the last time, did you?

I was running about ninety seconds late when I went out our back door. Unfortunately, those were kind of a critical ninety seconds. They were the ninety seconds in which the mild summer shower turned into a full-on squall. I remembered that Trash's car windows were open, so I ran around to the front to take care of that, and by the time I got back to my car the minor wrinkles in my shirt that Trash had warned me about were literally the least of my worries. They had been more or less eliminated by the simple process of the shirt becoming saturated. Yes, even carrying an umbrella, I was soaked from head to toe. And after spending two whole minutes on my hair, too.

The storm made me even later, as I had to pull over for a minute to wait out the blinding rain, fogged up windshield, and some threatening buckshot-sized hail. And also to attempt to dry my pants using the defogger setting. Which didn't work and only got my belt tangled up in the shift lever.

I did beat the storm to the studio; in fact it wasn't raining a drop when I got there, almost fifteen minutes late and only a half hour before air time. The very chatty guard at the front desk had me sign in, and then someone came to conduct me down a hallway past any number of technical-looking rooms to the basement studio area and the green closet. Normally it's called a green room even though it's not really green, but I refuse to call this tiny space a room regardless of broadcast traditions. It was so small and crowded I couldn't even tell what color it was.

More interesting was the cinder-block hallway outside, where literally decade's worth of celebrity guests had left their autographs. I saw the names of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy (although the handwriting for both names was suspiciously similar), Uri Geller (who I assume signed from across the hall), and Rudi Valli ("micraphonically yours"), to name a few. I also learned that the show apparently used to be called Treasure Chest, back before it was Good Company or even Twin Cities Today, the latter of which is as far back as I can remember. Of course, some of those signatures dated as far back as the early 60s. Some might have been even older, but Myrna Loy's was too faded for me to read the date.

This was all quite a handy distraction from my nervousness about going on the air with moist trousers and flattened hair. I did notice that this production goes with a little more preparation than the one at the NBC affiliate across town. I met both hosts before air time to talk about the segment, the producer gave me a printout of a loose synopsis, and there were even video clips to go with it. I kind of regret not exploiting the opportunity to get some Space Ghost Coast to Coast or something on local TV, but I had my own concerns.

Afterward, they told me the segment went well, even though I could hear every one of my stutters and pauses and poorly chosen words rattling around my cranium the whole time. The hosts were very nice and shook my hand as they saw me off the set during the commercial break, and I was out of there. And I got clear before they asked me to sign the wall. I think it was a near thing, though.

posted by M. Giant 9:48 PM 1 comments


We DEMAND a Web link to a clip. DEMAND, I say!

Congrats on another awesome exposure. It's the people who are all cavalier about being on TV that are the boring ones. I'd rather have you as an expert than some douchebag media-studies PhD from California.

Plus I'm sure that outside your noggin, the pauses sound reflective and intelligent. It took me years to figure out that what feels molasses-slow to me is quite a natural rate of speech to others.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at August 16, 2008 at 2:54 PM  

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