Monday, March 31, 2008

Don't Be Scurred

I've been in a rut. Nothing's exciting. Also, I'm so into the idea of working that I sit at my desk all day but there isn't really any work, per se, know. Youtube - check. Pop Candy - check. Facebook - oh, you don't wanna know.

Sunday I went to a kids show taping. When I got there, I asked a PA for help. I told her I was a guest of the host of the show. A PA had to stand guard over me while the other went to find him in wardrobe. She came back and said accusatorily, "He says he doesn't know you." All of a sudden, the three of us were standing there and I felt so embarassed. I was shocked, actually. However, after she sauntered away again (I told her my full name this time) I got mad. Does she seriously think I'm a children's show groupie? That I want to sneak into afternoon tapings at Nickelodeon? At this point, I didn't know what to say to the PA babysitting me because now small talk was even more awkward. We just stood there.

The PA came back and said, "You didn't confirm. You can stand right here until the show starts taping. Then you'll have to wait in the lobby." That tone! Such a bully (which is really just a clumsy way to try and manipulate people - not very clever).

Anyway, why does she have to be so blame-y about whether I "confirmed" or not? (I was casually invited to swing by and I took him up on it - do I have to quadruple-check? Am I trying to land a Lutz or just visit a guy at work?). I icily gave the PA a stare-down until she slunk away. I don't want to be like that but girl was rude. It made me realize how a tiny encounter can wreck your day.

Anyway, she probably should have just kicked me out. The taping went 5 hours and it was freezing backstage. I felt like I was in a meat locker surrounded by stagemoms. I don't know what was worse - that in my thin tee I was so cold I was doing a full-body, violent shiver or seeing a stagemom shriek and undulate when Akon came out. It's like, Lady! That man will hoist your kid and toss him or hump her on stage! Seriously.

At first I didn't understand how all the kids ended up there. I can understand if a child wants to be part of the audience of their favourite show but this show had just debuted the night before. How had they seen it? I asked a stagemom and she told me her kids are extras and are with an agency. Some of them had been there since 9 in the morning (it didn't end until 7:30) and this particular taping didn't even pay (they pay for weekday tapings, not weekends). The producer and floor director were respectful to the kids but it wasn't exactly a Sunday afternoon picnic - it felt! The producer would give them directions and the kids would dutifully respond (usually by freaking out and waving their arms, as they were told to - not hard for them at the beginning but by the end their energy was flagging).

I marveled at the kids' confidence. The floor director and warm-up guy would goad them with promises of being on TV, which would have been my nightmare at age 12. These kids, however, wanted to work it. They'd shimmy shimmy ya in the audience and on risers, angling and flirting with the camera. I was crouched in the shadows like some weird Phantom of the Opera. They were all cool and had dazzling smiles. How are they so sure of themselves? After the incident with the PA, I was scared of being banished to the lobby, too scared to move or touch the craft table, leading me to starve all aft (btw, this craft table had every type of finger food on it and even a basket of allergy meds - what a tricked-out craft table!).

The only reason why I wanted to stay until the end is that my friend had mentioned that he could introduce me to peeps at the production company, who also produce a reality show I'd love to work on. But by the end of this freeze-a-thon, I was in a bad mood and it was all I could do just to thank him for inviting me and then flee, far, far away. I know - I can't believe it.

So these days, I feel like a potato bug when you touch its tummy. A pathetic example of this timid phase is that I am scared to use a carwash (the non-driver in me rears her ugly head) but my white rental is dirrrty. So I took the cloth I use to wipe my kitchen counters and tried to wipe down my car. I've learned this is bad. It just smudged dirt around and around and around, now visible in very discernible streaks. I kept wiping, back and forth, in little circles, over and over, trying to make it better instead of worse and thought, "Why am I standing in the parking garage wiping my car with a kitchen shammy? Am I that much of a chicken? Everyone else just goes to a car wash. What if someone comes in here and sees this? Those dancing 12-year-olds would just cruise down the street with one hand on top of the wheel and pop their status cars into a carwash. While crumping. Then they'd ghostride it." Wipe, wipe.

Perhaps salvation comes in the form of yet another book to add to my pile. Last night I went to a workshop on writing a TV pilot and the instructor (the most engaging and confident guy on earth) held a little trivia contest at the end.

"What big sitcom star just announced his comeback to primetime today?"

Someone guessed Jerry Seinfeld. Wrong.* Next question.

"Who just announced her return to talk...."

"OH! OH! OH!" (Waving my hand at the back of the room).

"...TV to host the fourth hour of the Today Show? Yes?"

"KATHIE LEE GIFFORD!" That was me! I won. My prize? A copy of this. I need it. So while I'm reading Variety online because I have nowhere else to be (how else would I know the comings and goings of Kathie Lee?), I got to win a book. And it ain't over yet. Hello April! I have one more month to go.

*The correct answer is Ray Romano.


Blogger Sophie said...

I hate that stupid PA.

Why are you afraid of the car wash?

4:04 PM  

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