Seeing as I started with a base knowledge of, oh, zero when it comes to all things TV related, it’s probably not any surprise to you that I learned a lot from the 20/20 and FOX shows. The former was taped (and will air sometime in May and no I don’t know exactly when yet but hey it’s kind of nice having the notoriety without having you all see just how crazy I really am) and the latter was live but other than that, there were a lot of similarities.
Everything I Know About Television I Learned In Kindergarten
1. Nobody on television looks like that in real life.
I know, I know, you already know this but as Sagan pointed out (at least I think it was her!) on The Weighting Game, you may consciously know that those magazine abs are airbrushed but subconsciously you still believe the illusion. For one thing, they spackled us with so much makeup that I’m sure the laundry staff at the hotel has my name on a Most Wanted poster for dirtying so many towels getting the stuff off. My pores are still revolting in both senses of the word. PS> I’m Casper the Ghost in real life – that tan that only went to my neck? Makeup.
2. Everyone is thinner in real life. Again, duh, “the camera adds 10 pounds.” But holy C-R-A-P people! Even the wee ponies with their twee little shoes were tinier in real life. The other former anorexic on the show with me this morning (man, that still feels weird to say) and I were giggling about how we were the ones with eating disorders and yet you could see every rib in the host Juliette’s chest – they put body glitter and makeup from sternum to clavicle to camouflage it. When us real folk get ultra thin, we’re eating disordered, when Hollywood types get thin, they’re celebrities.
3. 2 hours of interview = 2 minutes of show time. I had to condense a five-year experience into a one-hour interview and then distill it again to like 3 sound bites. I honestly don’t know how anyone manages to say anything coherent on TV! After we got off the stage I looked at my sister and gasped, “Did I really just say I went to Anorexic Bootcamp on national television??” Yes, yes, I did. And the Windex? I’m going to put that one on a t-shirt. (For those of you who didn’t catch it – what you’re not sitting at home randomly waiting to see me pop up on TV? Where are your priorities?? – I’ve emailed the show to see if I can get a copy of the segment to post here. If not, you’ll just have to use your imagination, which will probably be less embarrassing in the end.)
We’ll have to wait and see what they use from my 20/20 interview. They took like 6 hours of tape so I was bound to say something stupid in that time. I remember talking about my period at one point. And asking them if my bra strap was showing. That’s good stuff, there.
4. TV audiences are pretty small. I can’t speak to every show – I believe Oprah’s studio seats 50,000 with tickets getting scalped for more than Hannah Montana’s – but at least on the Mike & Juliette show, the audience was teeny weeny. 20 people, maybe? But it looks and sounds like so much more! They are champion clappers, those people.
5. The best job in TV is the sound person. First of all they get to tag everyone like they’re grad-student zoologist and you’re the last Polar Bear in Al Gore’s back yard. Secondly, they get to hear everything everyone says even when they think no one else is listening – and you know they’ve gotten to hear some pretty awesome stuff. Third, they get to run mike wires up everyone’s shirts – maybe not a plus when it comes to Jack Nicholson but Justin Timberlake would totally make up for it. PLUS they get to say stuff like, “You’re allowed to pee. But hold on to the mike pack so it doesn’t fall in the toilet. And cover the mike with your hand so we don’t hear you go.” Never mind that that occupies both of your available hands thereby making it impossible to pee. And the fact that they just told you to pee means you have to rightthisveryminute. And now you can’t. They say it all with a totally straight face! Best job ever.
It’s true – NYC really is the city that never sleeps. Which means I had SOOOO much fun there with my sister (love you Laura!!). It also means I only got 3 hours of sleep last night so I’m going to bed. Sorry for all the trivial posts lately. I promise to get back to our regularly scheduled programming (see what they’ve done to me??) tomorrow. I’ve got updates for you on the Ballerina Experiment that will definitely surprise you plus some new research that will a) make you look at Aunt Flo in a whole new way and b) help you get less sleep (’cause that’s what you need, right?).