Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tales from the Greenroom: Six Minutes on Television

Quite a lot of work can go into six minutes of TV.

I heard from my publicist on March 4th that I'd gotten a slot on AM Northwest, which is the local Portland morning show, aired on the ABC affiliate station. "That's going to be rough for you," Danny said when I told him about it. "You're going to have to be up early."

My publicist and I went back and forth discussing recipes - because I had a six-minute slot, I decided to play it safe and make the cherry crostini that first debuted on this blog. The one complication? No fresh cherries. I prayed for weeks that the grocery stores would have some early cherries in stock, flown in from somewhere in Argentina.

Last summer's crostini
A few days before the appearance, I discovered that in addition to making the crostini during the show, I would also be presenting two other recipes from the book as finished projects.

Which meant having two more recipes prepped -  I made the frittata and cornbread the night before to make sure they were as fresh as possible.

Which wound up meaning that I was up until after midnight.

And I got up at 5:15 - the last thing I wanted was to be late, and we had a drive across town during rush hour ahead of us. My mom had arrived the night before, and the three of us packed up all of the food and equipment.

I was the first guest to arrive, which worked out great because I had the greenroom to myself. Not knowing what else to do, I started plating the food and getting things ready - I had no idea when I'd go on, so I wanted to be prepared. I plated up the frittata and peach cornbread in the makeup room and then moved it to the coffee table.

...Which the first guest, actor Peter Coyote saw. Not that I had any clue who he was, he was just the guy who walked in and said, "That looks good, is that for us?"

Dear Reader, I chased him away. I didn't care who he might be - I wasn't about to have a "Oh, the girls got thirsty backstage" Miss Congeniality water glasses moment.

Shortly after, one of the backstage assistants took me back to where they stored the kitchen counter - it was on casters, so I could set everything up and it would be rolled to the set when they were ready for my demo. Once I was ready, with my thawed frozen cherries (Argentina had nothing for me) all nice and drained with paper towels, I sat back down on the couch with Danny and my mom and waited.

What's great about the greenroom for a local morning TV show is that you're hanging out with everybody else who's presenting - and it's an eclectic bunch. I didn't see Peter after the food incident, but there were extra-glossy cast members from the Portland Opera's production of Show Boat, and Donald Olson, who's the author of The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour and an all-around delight.

There was chatting to be had, but not unlike a horror film, people left to go on set and did not return. Soon enough, it was my turn to go and be fitted for a sound pack (which handily clipped into the back of my belt) and have a microphone clipped to my cardigan (which would be moved, for reasons I can only imagine, were Lina Lamont-ish).

I attempted to turn on the oven, but whether it turned on or not remains a mystery. And after getting into position - we were on!

It's a blur. And I haven't quiiiiiite been able to get myself to watch the clip for myself, but you can watch it all happen here.

So no, the bread wasn't toasted. But I SWEAR TO YOU that if you make them at home, the bread will be ready for you by the time you throw the rest of the ingredients together (unless you're pitting cherries - and then by all means pit the cherries first).

But overall, it was a lot of fun, - I had this moment about half way through, where I thought, "hey, this does not suck. It's going okay. It's all going to be fine." And I'd love to do it again when the third book releases.

Peach Cornbread

So that's the full story! What was the most fun was getting to chat with the crew members and production staff. Everyone was super nice, and one gal came and found me after to ask about details for the peach cornbread, so that she could make it for the station's potluck. Stuff like that makes me happy.

What about you? In what ways have you been challenged and discovered what you're capable of doing? 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed your segment and enjoy your blog! I need to do a better job at challenging myself to be able to report on anything recent and uplifting. I did tell myself that I would learn how to knit this year...:)


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