evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

I'm On TV, Again (The camera loves me, you see)

I was on TV this morning! I got an email from CoHo productions (a theater company I am a friend of), asking for people to represent them in the audience of a local morning show. They said it was too bad they didn't have T-shirts, which gave me a great idea. I spent a couple hours yesterday making an excellent "Ask Dr. Eldritch" shirt! I mean, it's free publicity and all...

I bought a packet of iron-on labels for an ink-jet printer and a blank white T-shirt. The process of creating the excellent shirt went fine except when I read on the instructions that I had to print the image BACKWARDS, so it would appear correctly on the shirt. Well, Microsoft Publisher has no such setting for its text, although I spent time trying. I couldn't get it to work, so I searched the "Help" function. No reverse print, mirror print, or backward text entries. I then spent time on a brute-force method; making screen-shots of the text as a graphical image, flipping them, and re-inserting them into the piece. It worked, but the text was a little rough (since it was an image of the screen version, not the smooth printer version). I got that all done and tried a draft version to see how it came out, when I saw the "iron-on transfer" option on the PRINTER setup. It quite cheerfully and easily printed a reverse image! So, I wasted some time, but got the desired result. Oh well. I printed two copies, and carefully ironed them onto front and back of my shirt.

So this morning I went down to the TV station, wearing my new shirt. I was a little nervous that they might have some silly rule about blatant self-promotion, but nobody seemed too bothered. They filed us into the studio, and gave us the rules (pretty standard for television: Don't touch or talk to the hosts, no eye contact with them, speak only if they speak to you, if you do speak, be obsequious, autographs for $49.95 (exact change only), laugh at their jokes, no matter how lame; that kind of thing). Then they taught us how to clap (Yes, they really did. The secret is to CLAP FAST. Now you know). The good news is that I was on camera for about fifteen seconds while they were talking about CoHo, and in the final audience shot, the camera starts RIGHT ON ME! The bad news is that I was in the back row (I could have made it closer if I was willing to push aside the elderly and infirm, but I have a rule about doing that when anybody's watching), so my shirt was VERY hard to read. But I had a good time, and now have an excellent Dr. Eldritch shirt as a keepsake.

The event did make me think about how I could enjoy working in television, especially as crew. I mean, NONE of those people had to wear pants! They're not on camera! (It's common knowledge that most news anchors go pantless, since they're behind those desks, except for a certain national-news anchor that likes wearing a black stocking-and-garter set with stiletto heels, which he says helps him relax.) The drawback is dealing with the "Talent." If you've ever worked in theater, radio, music, TV, movies, pro sports or small-appliance repair, you know what I mean. Believe me, that rule about lame jokes was necessary. These hosts were still fairly nice when the cameras were off, though, so maybe they're not all spoiled-brat divas. Maybe.

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