On Air and Scared

Never say never.

In my wildest dream there’s one thing I thought I would absolutely not be doing again and that’s co-hosting an hour-long live TV show. Back in the day, like way back in the day, being on morning television was my gig. As my kids grew older I gently segued to print journalism.

Three of my favorite things about working in print are that it’s primarily a Spanx, contour concealor and wrinkle filler foundation with space age polymers free environment. In other words I’m not sucking in my stomach or worried about smoothing out my crows feet while I type. It’s a lifestyle one can get used to.

So, when I was asked to do a brief vacation fill on KCTV’s Better Kansas City with Bill Hurrelbrink, who is one of my favorite people, I said a very enthusiastic yes please! I love the thrill of live TV and add in the amiable camaraderie of a morning show and I’m all in.

The reason I was scared is that doing live television is not easy. The challenging part is making it look effortless and it’s not like I’ve had a lot practice in that arena lately. Television can be unforgiving. It’s like your mother – it sees everything from your posture to your sincerity.

My initial challenge was making sure I was high definition TV ready. I was working in TV when high def cameras first debut and we would play a game called connect the pores. It was brutal. Now, I have more than pores to worry about. Today, I’m “stylin” some prominent wrinkles and no amount of make-up is going to camo those bad boys.

I was also a tad panicked about what to wear. Most of the females on TV favor the sleeveless dress. I, not blessed with arms of steel, (they’re more like arms of cookie dough) prefer to keep my upper limbs swathed in fabric. So, I decided to kick it old school and wear the most forgiving of clothing items ever – a blazer.

After I got passed the appearance conundrums it was time to open the floodgates on worrying about the twin terrors of the teleprompter and the IFB. The teleprompter masquerades as a very helpful friend but it can turn on you in a millisecond. One minute you’re besties. The next it’s having a tantrum, you’ve lost you place and don’t even know what you’re reading.

The teleprompter is why I started wearing clinical strength deodorant. There’s no sweat worse than the “I’m on live TV and I think the teleprompter is trying to tank my career” sweat.

The IFB (Interruptible Feedback) is another helper that takes some getting used to. It’s an earpiece where someone can talk to you while you’re on TV. I was excited to dig out mine yet worried. My last IFB was made twenty years ago. Basically, you have a mold taken of your ear so it fits securely.

My concerns were two-fold. I was dreading to find out if my ear had fatten up like the rest of my body in the last two decades and it wouldn’t fit. I was also worried that it would no longer be up to date. Thankfully, my ear was still in shape (I know that’s not really a thing but I enjoy telling myself that I have very svelte ears so let’s just leave it at that.) and it still worked. Yippee!

When it came time for me to go on TV I was surprisingly not nervous. It felt almost normal and was very akin to being a mother. You’ve got someone talking in your ear while you ask someone else a question. Then there’s someone else in front of you that also wants your attention and all you can do is hope for the best and pray nothing goes rogue.

So, yeah pretty much exactly like motherhood.