I was on KCRG’s morning show today. Yeah, that’s TV. Live TV. I’ve done taped segments on TV before (once when a teenager job-shadowed me and once when I had an author event in my hometown), but I’ve never done live TV before.
I wasn’t there to talk about my books; I was there to talk about our Iowa City R.E.A.D. program (where kids read to therapy dogs). Why me? Luck of the draw, I guess. Somebody at KCRG saw R.E.A.D. listed on the community schedule and they called the person who started the program in Iowa City. She told them to call me since my dog and I were scheduled at the library today. (Apparently a few people in town saw that segment on TV this morning…there was a crowd of kids waiting to sign up to read when I arrived at the library half an hour before we were even supposed to start!)
Funny, I joined Toastmasters to get me through the public speaking I needed to do as a childrens book author. Now I am willingly going out and speaking about something other than being an author. On Live TV. Somebody better check my DNA, see if I really am the person I claim to be.
It was actually kind of an interesting experience. Not the being on TV part…that was a little bit scary (especially because I was given questions ahead of time, but the anchor didn’t ask me any of THOSE questions. She asked me completely different questions.). It was the whole this-is-how-we-do-the-news thing that was really interesting.
I think Buddy needs to go on TV in an upcoming book! Getting him there won’t be a problem…like me, Mom could be invited to come talk about what she and Buddy do at school. I sure picked up a lot of good TV details I can use in the book…most of which I probably shouldn’t actually share here.
I will tell you this, though…the set is MUCH smaller than you probably think it is. I knew it would be small, but I didn’t expect it to be that small. The whole set is in a big garage-like room…it’s got a concrete floor, tall ceilings with lots of lights (and some sort of filter clipped over each of the lights), three cameras, the green screen area where they do the weather, and then the place where the news anchors sit (again, that’s MUCH smaller than you’d think it is) is up on a little riser; it’s all plush and nice (though there are things the camera doesn’t pick up behind where the anchors sit…things a crime-solving dog could potentially get into).
I was scheduled for a 3-minute segment, which is both a very long time AND a very short time. It’s a long time to have a camera pointed at you…but a short time to tell viewers about R.E.A.D., especially if you’re limited to the questions you’re asked.
And if you’re wondering whether the banter you hear between the news anchors is real or staged, I can tell you that at least this morning at KCRG, it was real. I was watching the teleprompter.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be invited to be on TV again, but if I am, it should go easier now that I’ve done it once. And you know what writers say…that which doesn’t kill us will end up in one of our books!