Several years ago, on Valentine’s Day I received a the best present ever. I got to be on television. It was my first live television appearance ever. Of course I didn’t know it was a live show until I got there, which was both exciting and scary. My boss Bruce wanted me to blast the company all over Good Day NY, and dress in my cute heart costume. I was to sing to the newscasters, and then go out and deliver.
The show filmed from 5:30-7:30 AM, and I had to be there about 5 AM for hair and makeup to go on about 6. It sounds horrendously early and it was. Welcome to the wonderful world of television. When I got there, I remember alerting the security guard who looked peeved he was made to wake up that early. He called someone down to get me. Arriving was a butch lesbian stage hand who had a stern, businesslike look on her face. I had my heart costume in a laundry bag and was holding it in my hand.
“I’ll take that.” She announced in an authoritative tone.
“It’s okay, I got it.” I told her. If you know me I am super OCD about props and costumes and there was no way I was letting this stranger touch it. Plus it was all of 5 pounds.
Grunting with a mix of distain and the believe that I was in fact a moron, she snarled, “It’s a Union job.” With that, she snatched the laundry bag from my hand. I stood there shocked. So far, I only had one cup of coffee. This was something I needed three to deal with. The security guard gave me a sympathetic glance. Up on the elevator we went.
As soon we got upstairs, I realized my escort was not being difficult but rather carrying my things was part of her responsibility not only as a stage hand, but also as a Union member. So instead of being an asshole without adequate coffee, I decided to take the high road and apologized. She said it was okay and didn’t show emotion either way. Still, I do think she appreciated it. You always want to make friends with your crew. They are the last people you want to piss off, EVER! Even though I was unaware of the Union job, I was aware of that.
As I readied for my screen time, my hair and makeup was done by this gay man who was in a bitchy mood because not only was it early, but he had a busy morning. Bruce had suggested I look one way on television. This man had other ideas. While Bruce knows his stuff, this man was quick to tell me that would not fly on “his show.” Later, I learned he would tell people what they should look like and what they should wear whether that individual liked it or not.
Of course after I was waiting to go on, I began to talk to the campaign manager of a Senator from Illinois named Barak Obama. I learned that Mr. Obama was running for president and people were discounting him. Note: That is how long ago this was. Anyway, his campaign manager was a very nice man, and we were fast friends.
I went on in between stories to sing and perform for the newscasters, and the whole appearance was fun. However, there were fireworks behind the scenes. The hairdresser, king of his domain, kept stealing me to fix my hair and makeup. In turn, the producer, a woman with a Type A Plus Plus personality freaked out when she could not find me. She and the makeup artist screamed at each other as a result. From what I understood, this was a normal day on the job and they were friends in real life.
In between my turn on the air, the news team was covering an exciting Valentine’s Day story. Of course, this was after my splits and tumbling from my days as an acro dancer at Dance Connection. While I was somewhat spry, I was not nearly as good as I used to be.
One newscaster, a perky Asian lady who’s name escapes me, said, “The theme for Valentine’s Day is safe sex and they are giving out New York condoms. The slogan is, ‘Getting Some.’ What do you think of when you think of getting some?”
There was an awkward pause in the studio. The producer looked like her head was about to explode. This was live TV with no editing, and one wrong word or move could cost the station a few grand. This could go real wrong real quick. Even as the hair and makeup man attempted to steal me for another touch up, he glanced sympathetically in our direction. At that moment, the poor news woman realized she had opened a door accidentally, and now the battle ship could go down right quick.
Oh shit. It was early and had already been a long day. Now things were about to get much worse. For what seemed to be a few seconds but felt like an eternity, we all held our breath.
“Well, when I think of getting some, I think of getting some sleep!” Said the nice looking, male, talking head who looked like the white bread boy you would bring home to Mama. The rest of the team laughed, and the energy of the place eased. That was a brilliant save. A smile crossed the stressed out producers face. The make up dude shrugged. Barack Obama’s campaign manager let out a muffled laugh. God bless television. God bless New York.
Later that day, I tackled a full break neck schedule of telegram deliveries. Then I performed standup that evening with May Wilson. How did I do it in those days without killing myself? The thought makes me tired. How did I complete that day without dying of exhaustion? To answer your question I got no action that night. None, zippo, nada.
Since that day, I have been on television several more times. I have done a lot of shows, some scripted and some not. I have done a lot of shoots, some live and others pre-recorded. Still, the memory makes me laugh. Over time I have seen a lot and that still is one of the best saves ever. End of discussion.
Lately I have been thinking of getting some. No, not sex. Relax. Get your mind out of the gutter. It has been forever and a day since I had a man though. Not that I would have time for one now. If I did what would I do with him. “Hi Baby, I have a huge writing assignment. Could you clean my apartment and cook me dinner?” Some dudes would be game for that.
Or, “Hey Baby, I am about to be on national television. Could you go away so I can prep? Yes, you ca play poker with the boys. Or better yet, you can cheat with that red head down at your hang out. It’s okay. I need the stage time and moments alone to prep for the next two weeks. I ain’t mad.”
Or, “Hey Baby, I never had an honest dude with a job before. I don’t know what to do or say. Since I am used to guys who have been to jail, can you just step in this cage? That way I know you won’t go anywhere.”
So far, I don’t have any takers. Who wudda thunk it?
But yes, I have been thinking of getting some, as in sleep. Since last week I have been living inside a treadmill on a pressure cooker. The workload has been insane. I have a photo shoot for this, a writing deadline for that, I have to get my video ready for this one, and then I have to send paper work to that one. There is always something to be done.
The upside is, much of this action is because years of hard work and keeping a break neck schedule have paid off. While many of my peers either were chasing the social life or gave up the dream to have a family, I kept chugging. Now as a result doors are opening for me, and that is not an accident. There can be a great many things said about me, but one thing no one can argue with is I have a hell of a work ethic.
I am grateful for a lot that has happened this week. For starters, I am performing as a part of the Guinness Book of World Records World’s Longest Variety Show. I perform January 2nd at 11:4 PM at the Metropolitan Room. (PLUG) Tony Danza is on that afternoon. We perform for four days straight. I still have to decide what jokes I am doing. We had our photo shoot this week. Then I got some good news on a writing project, but it included a deadline which meant I was working all night. The next day I woke up looking like someone who spent the night writing only to find out I was asked to be on a local show. At first I passed. I was too tired and looked like the camera and I weren’t going to be friends. However, they were paying me a decent day rate and were up the street. I am glad I went. I got the best Christmas present ever aka I got a Taft-Hartley into SAG-AFTRA. While I have been on TV a bunch, I never joined the union because I wasn’t working on TV consistently enough, and wanted the experience so I could book the jobs. Now I have it.
Of course then fans are ordering DVDs and I had to mail them along with personalized photos. Add in I had to do some video stuff. Oh and I had a full telegramming schedule. To say I am tired is the understatement of the year. Friday was a decent delivery day though. I delivered to the IAB aka the cops who investigate other cops. They were good people, and the guy I delivered to is actually a published author as well. He has another book coming out which is awesome. It was cool to meet one of my people. We are now twitter friends. I cannot wait to read his work.
I did another delivery Friday where my brain was leaking and I could barely complete a sentence. The dude I delivered to was cool, but the contact did not tip. People get stingy with tips around holiday season. Still, it was fine. I got paid. Whatever. Either way, afterwards, my poor little legs were so exhausted they could barely carry me. Mind you even before the Guinness Book photo shoot I had filmed for another TV show, did an animal benefit, and attended the Heisman’s and had family in town not once but twice during this whole time……that’s another story.
Either way, I am leaving to see my parents. Like most young adults, it brings up a mixture of love but also anxiety and dread. However, I also welcome the rest. I will be able to sleep in and I need it.
Of course my dad asked me when I will be releasing my next book. While I am so exhausted and worn thin I hurt when I move, it is sweet when your family dreams with you. My dad also asked if I am dating any dudes.
Before any of this can be done, mama needs a nap. So yeah, I am getting some. Getting some sleep. And when I wake up, perhaps I will get started on my next book. And in my dreams I will get lucky with a handsome prince that loves puppets and is gainfully employed.