The Costs of Appearing on the Tee Vee

$2.50, as it turns out, when the car that is scheduled to arrive to take you to 30 Rock for your first ever television appearance doesn’t show and you have to take your party heels down the subway steps to the B train. Of course, you then miss the B and sit, waiting, feeling like you might giggle or vomit. Or both!

When you finally arrive in the labyrinthine subway station that is 47th-Rockefeller Plaza, you wander around looking dazed, ready to turn a corner and find a minotaur or a sphinx, and instead finally, and purely by luck, see the NBC peacock. “I’m supposed to be on television?” you tell a guard, and instead of laughing, he points you in the right direction. It’s 11:00. Your segment airs at 11:25.

Upstairs in the prep room, the hair and makeup ladies take down your hair and examine you. “Can we do this?” “There’s no time! Just put it up. Pin! Pin!” Even after you get shifted over into the cake-your-makeup-on-you chair, the hair lady continues darting around, pushing in yet more pins. You make it to the green room with minutes to spare and take a selfie. An eager young employee appears and complements you for having a belt on your dress under your blazer, the better to hook all the audio equipment to, my dear. The earpiece he fits you with is too big. The one he returns with fits somewhat better, so you go with it, because it’s time to go! They’re talking about you! On television! You can hear it through your awkward earpiece.

Step gingerly in those party shoes across the shiny floor of the studio to the very high table where you sit with the gorgeous Tamron Hall, her notes, and her two smart phones. Monitors, cameras, lights everywhere. The teleprompter looks like something from Flight of the Navigator. And then someone cues you, and you’re on.

I haven’t watched the clip myself yet. From what I recall, I was flummoxed by her first question, said “Absolutely” a whole bunch of times, and then had my earpiece fall out. But it was fine? I think? Then it was done, really fast, and the driver who took me home gossiped happily about Rachel Maddow, and it’s all over but the blogging.



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