A Woman Visible

Search for beauty. Search for adventure. Search for the visible you.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My Fifteen Minute Walk through the Twilight Zone

Well, as promised, CNN arrived at my school at eight o'clock Tuesday morning. For the first time in my life, I had an entourage. It was odd. This entourage included me, my two friends who were also being interviewed, the producer, the interviewer, the camera and sound guys, and three people from PR at school. We were followed all day by this group.

First we were interviewed. That was the easy part. We sat in our chairs, pretended the camera wasn't there, and talked. I can honestly say that none of us made fools of ourselves, or the school. We were sincere, told the truth, and generally had a great time. The PR folks from school said that they approved. This was a big relief for me because I was really worried about saying or doing something that would bring their scorn down up all of us.

Then they went to lunch with us, and even picked up the tab (if I had know this was going to happen, I might have suggested a nicer restaurant.). The camera rolled as we ate and talked. It is really weird trying to have a conversation while two guys are sitting at one side of the table with a huge camera and a boom hanging over you. The whole crew came to the restaurant, but couldn't eat with us. The waitress couldn't figure it out. She even asked our producer if they were mad at us or something.

After lunch, they interviewed Mike's wife, and shot us walking down the hall (kind of like Law and Order) over and over and over and over again, until the producer was happy. They also shot in our offices. Lucky for me I took time to clean my office that morning. Before they arrived, it looked rather like a paper bomb had been detonated in that small space.What was surprising is that they were able to fit all their stuff into my little tiny space. The producer wondered if my office was stuffy because it was small and windowless. I assured her it wasn't, but considering how warm I like to keep my office, perhaps she found it to be stuffy.

Soon the day was over. The crew went home with their video, the interviewer went on to talk to more people, and the producer headed back to New York. We went back to our offices in a poor attempt to work. I think we all were ready to leave.

What I liked about the experience was that I discovered that all of these TV people are human. Not that I'd never considered this before, but I think we get this idea of TV people being...well...more than human...maybe. I had a great time, particularly with the camera crew. They were so relaxed and fun. It made it ok to have to film the same shot fifteen times. I also liked the fact that we never felt that we were being led to say things we didn't mean. Now either that means that they are really slick, or that they were sincere about creating a fluff piece.

We've been told that the piece might air next week unless a huge news story breaks.As soon as I know, I'll post the information. I'm really hoping we won't be pre-empted by the latest Saddam-rant from court. I'd hate to have my few recorded moments in the Twilight Zone displaced by an attention hungry madman.

I have learned a bit about visibility from this. In spite of what we're taught my the very media that I interacted with this week, people are interested in things that are curious, and don't much worry about how the person with the curious experience might look. Yes, you do need to look pretty when you are on tv, but I believe that if you are interesting enough, looks don't mean as much.

What I'm trying to say is this--being visible is more than skin deep. People will see you if you have something to show for besides good looks. Visibility of interest is much more valuable than just being pretty. So this week try to find ways to extend your visibility. Take chances, have an adventure. Perhaps there's a Richard from CNN in your future!

PS: I almost forgot to mention what show we're featured on, and when to watch. We will be featured on Paula Zahn Now! I'm not even sure what time it airs, but as soon as I'm sure, I'll post it for all of you.


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