I drove down to St. Petersburg, Florida on Sunday afternoon. From Hilton Head, SC, the drive is 6 hours. Most of it is on interstates, but 80 miles of it is on highway 301. It's full of speed traps, gun and jewelry pawn shops, a designer taxidermy, a state prison, a federal prison, and then some farms. But I digress.... this is about HSN!
On Monday, we had a our pre-pro meeting with the buyer, producer, AP, research specialist, and guest coordinator. Pre-pro is "pre-production." AP is "associate producer". I learned so many new TV terms!
In the afternoon, I had the on-air guest orientation where I had the opportunity to meet other on-air guests. Highlights for me were Dr. Levine & his wife who own Glo, the tooth whitening revolution, Michelle with Or by Oriani bags, and Kym Johnson from Dancing with the Stars. The point of the orientation wasn't to meet and greet, it was practice - and practice, I did. We had a stage coach named Stephen, and I want to be his best friend forever. He gave me a real confidence that I didn't have before.
Tuesday, I woke up at 1.45 am to a blackberry alarm that wasn't mine. Turns out it was Lori's in the next room over. I had to be at the studio at 3 am to meet the host, so it was time to get up and shower anyway! Hair and make-up was at 4 am. I felt ultra glamorous sitting in the hair and make-up chair.
At 5.02 am, I was really getting nervous. Not to go on-air as much, but because they still hadn't put my microphone pack on. Finally a PA (that's "production assistant") found me.
At 5.22 am, I was nervous to go on air. This was my conversation with Ross, the stage manager.
- Me: "I am nervous to go on air!"
- Ross: "Don't worry, if you stink, they'll never invite you back."
- Me: "Haha, that's not funny - I am really nervous."
- Ross: "Don't be! There are only millions of people watching."
Then he ushered me onto stage. You can see what happened next. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP9yM8ILHG4
Note: This version of the video is temporary! Working on the high def direct version.
Between the shows, I ate about 6,000 calories at the buffet and tried to take a nap. At 10 am, HSN pulled a fast one on me and changed the show host. Turns out Bobbi Ray Carter, who was our 1 pm host, has been on HSN for 30 years, and is one of the most followed. I really loved her! She was warm and friendly at our meet and greet, and was genuinely interested in PSA.
Hair and make-up again at 11am.
At 12.35, I was more nervous than at 5am. This time, I wanted it to go better - I had things I wanted to improve upon. More to think about! Then the director and the producer came into my greenroom to introduce themselves and asked me to work on my "camera cues." I wore an earpiece, so I could hear the director and the producer talking while I was on-air. They told me to look at camera 1, or look at camera 2, or slow down, or smile. I had a really hard time listening to them and focusing on what I was doing!
At 1:20ish, you can watch what happened. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivyRNf2QnXg
There are things I wish I had differently on-air, but so many things that were great. We sold quite a few, too! I hope I proved to Ross the stage manager that I didn't stink and HSN will invite me back. I'd love to give it another go!