Saturday, July 2, 2011

On Becoming a TV Star

The following was written in March, when I taped two segments for the TV show "It's  Sew Fun".

The show is beginning to air on PBS beginning June 30.  Contact your local station and request that they pick up the show to air in your area.

In my never ending quest to become a sewing celebrity I accepted the invitation to appear on the upcoming TV show, “It’s Sew Easy.” To tape my segments, I journeyed cross-country to Cleveland, Ohio, which seems to be the Hollywood of sewing shows. As in every good journey I had to conquer a variety of obstacles, the biggest of which was the weather, which bestowed an irritating blizzard in my path.
Because of the kindness of strangers, strangers who later became friends, the weather proved to be more of a worry than an actual impediment.
During my time in Cleveland I was befriended by one of the other newly discovered TV stars, Trish, of Two Peas in a Pod and her one-woman entourage, Kristen. Kristen generously expanded her entourage work to include us all. She performed not only the expected entourage tasks, braving the snow for Starbucks for lattes, checking each of us for stray threads, lipstick coverage, and no unruly hairs, but she also rose early and attacked the snow with a snow shovel to make sure the van was available for transport.
It was lovely to have an entourage, even if I was a peripheral entourage-ee.
In addition I had the luxury of having my make-up done by Karen, the make-up artist.
She exposed the real me, the Angelina Jolie rival. I’m currently choosing which venue to attack next: America’s Top Model or Dancing with the Stars. Can’t decide which will showcase my new-found beauty most.
Most of my time in Cleveland was spent in the Green Room, the area assigned to stars awaiting their taping time. I’ve heard stars recount their time in David Letterman’s, Ellen’s and Oprah’s Green Rooms. Odd, not one of them mentioned that the green room was populated with sewing machines and sergers.
I had scheduled the time in the Green Room to finish last minute preparations for taping, and I did do that. But, thanks to the help of my my wonderful friends/helpers (you can read more about that on my previous blogs ) and my oft mentioned friend, Tecla, I finished my prep work by noon the first day. Tecla had made the step-outs I needed for the show (the multiple versions of the works in progress you see so often at sewing shows) while I was at the Sew Expo show in Puyallup.
I’m look forward to repaying that debt; a task that will be completed as soon as I learn to spin straw into gold.
Anyway, because of everyone’s help, I was able to focus on the real work taking place in the Green Room, socializing and eating.
I loved my fellow Green Room inhabitants; a wide range of sew-ists ranging from young to old, from those re-working sweatshirts to those sewing bags, from those in the home-sewing industry to a Project Runway participant. And then there was me.
The Actual Taping
Part of the fun of the Green Room is watching as each presenter tapes her segment. We gathered around a TV just a little larger than the state of Rhode Island, commenting on the important stuff, nail polish color and how many times someone said, ‘uh.’ The studio is soundproof so the ‘star’ never hears the peanut gallery’s comments, luckily for me.
HD has added an interesting dimension to television, a clear view of the presenters’ pores and facial flaws, giving me something to really look forward to; seeing my facial imperfections broadcast to all of America.
My studio time started with a director attaching a microphone to my clothes and placing an earbud in my ear. This had the potential to be strange but for me it was a good time as the director was a cutie. After a sound test and a light test, it was go time.

I taped two segments, the first on multiple hoopings in the embroidery machine, the second on re-working jean jackets.
I’m not going to write much about the actual taping. You can see the results when my segments air. They went well. I didn’t forget and pick my nose or scratch my crotch or anything. I didn’t say forbidden words.  (One of the tapers said “Oh, my God” 6 minutes into her taping and had to start all over again).  I know that I paused a squinch each time the producer talked into my earbud (she gave me time warnings at each minute mark) and once in a while I faced the wrong camera, but in general the taping went well.
I loved it! I loved the whole thing, from the Green Room experience to the time in front of the camera. OK Letterman, I’m ready for you.