Let me back up a tiny bit. I wrote a book. When you write a book you get to do stuff that you wouldn’t normally do to help promote the book. Like go on TV.
So I got invited to go on TV. On HLN’s Raising America. It broadcasts nationally. Live.
But I’m not a little bit nervous.
I’m a lot bit nervous.
The night before, I have my first irrational fear attack. I decide that I simply cannot go because I won’t be able to find the door of the building. What if I can’t find the door to the building? What if I wander around and around the building crying because I can’t find the way inside? What if the building has no door at all?
Then I beg Crappy Papa to switch bodies with me. Let him go on TV. Can’t we just press the triangle button and change characters?
These little details are the things I obsess over. This way I don’t actually think about what I’m really afraid of.
After a sleepless night, the morning arrives. I have to get up at 5AM because I’m on the west coast and it is three hours later than where the show is filmed.
It is still dark outside.
I take a shower.
Then I try to blow dry my hair.
And it doesn’t work.
It is 5AM, I’m dripping wet and I have to leave for the studio in an hour and my blow dryer doesn’t work.
Panic sets in. Oh no! I’m going to have to go on national TV with wet hair!
Fortunately, it is just the outlet in the bathroom that isn’t working. So I dry my hair.
After what felt like mere seconds, time is up and I have to leave.
I am quickly putting things away when I reach over the fish tank and accidentally drop my glasses in. (Yes the tank has a glass cover, but it has a 3 inch wide opening for the filter on one side.)
But I’m freaking out about getting there on time so I leave them there.
It is still dark outside.
I get in the car at the top of the driveway.
Our driveway is a steep hill. Plus, it has a slight curve to it.
Did I mention that I’m taking Crappy Papa’s car? Not mine? His is parked on the opposite side of the driveway. So I have to back down at a slightly different angle than I’m used to.
And I do it wrong. All wrong.
My back wheel gets stuck in the dirt pile next to the driveway. Because of the steep angle of the driveway, I can’t pull forward.
Car. Won’t. Move.
Now this is the part where I should have just said, “Okay, clearly, I can’t handle this. I am a non-functioning human. I’m so nervous and tired that I can’t even drive a car. I most certainly shouldn’t go inside, wake up Crappy Papa and ask him to push me out of the driveway.”
But that is what I do. And soon, I’m on my way again. Driving down the freeway towards the building that likely has no door.
(Okay, the CNN building doesn’t actually have a scary face on it. I just added that because most people aren’t afraid of a building. I needed you to see how scary it was for me.)
I park in the structure next to the building. When I take the elevator down to the ground level I see the doors! Right across from the elevator! I did it! I found the door to the building! I know how to get inside!
Triumphantly, I walk in and tell the security guy who I am and what show I’m a guest on. He phones some other security guy to come and get me.
I’m escorted through locked doors and through more locked doors and taken to the green room to wait.
Green rooms supposedly were painted green in the old days. This one was beige.
There are big screen TVs all over showing the news. People are saying important stuff and sounding smart. Crap.
I quickly google the potential topics that we might be talking about. They’ll talk about some current news topic and ask for my opinions. And then they’ll talk about my book.
Current events? Dude. I just released a book. That is all I’ve been focusing on for the last two weeks. I don’t even know what is going on in my own family much less the rest of the world.
I have this fear that they’ll say, “So Amber, what are your thoughts on the Cuban missile crisis?” And I’ll be all, “Who? What? Is that a restaurant? I love Cuban food.” Then I’ll spontaneously combust.
But my panic loop is interrupted by a girl from hair and makeup. She takes me into another room and starts layering my face with creams and powders. Which is pretty cool actually. I’ve never had a makeup artist do my makeup. Not for my wedding and not even at the department store where those counter girl Sirens wave samples and make promises.
She then asks me if I’ll let her do my hair.
She sprayed a can of something in my hair then she curled it then she took parts of it and teased it underneath and then combed the top layer over it so you can’t tell it is actually in knots and not actually all thick and luxurious. Super tricksy. But it worked.
And my makeup looks amazing too.
Immediately after that, a security guy comes and gets me and takes me into the satellite room.
Now let me explain what being “via satellite” is like.
I’m in a very small and very dark room. Like a large closet. The back wall has a backdrop. I sit on a high stool in front of the backdrop and under the lights. They put a ear thing in my ear and a mic on my shirt.
A few feet in front of my face is a black box that looks like a TV screen that isn’t on. This black box is the camera. I’m supposed to look at it and talk into it. And somehow act like this is a normal thing to do.
So the only connection I have to the person interviewing me is what I hear in my right ear.
I can’t see them. I also can’t see when I’m being filmed.
I only hear them in my ear and then I look into the black box and answer the question.
I’m sitting there waiting for it to start. My back is starting to hurt because I’m trying to sit up straight. I’m actually doing pretty well though because I’m remembering to breathe.
I say some stuff. (No recollection of what it was, sorry. I’ll share the clip when I get it.)
Next they ask another blogger, Krystel, her thoughts and she starts to say something also via satellite but I guess there was a technical problem because her voice cut out.
Then they talk about my book and they say they are showing a couple of pics from the book. I hear laughing so that is good. I think they also show the cover. (Again, I can’t see anything that is going on. I can only hear the sound in my ear. No idea if the camera is still on me or not.)
We cut to commercial.
After the commercial, they mention the book again then then I hear a whole bunch of people talking at once. Five people? Four? Not sure. When they all laugh it is so loud that all I hear is static in my ear. I can’t hear anything! I can’t make out what anyone is saying!
Crap, this isn’t good.
Just laughter and static. Laughter and static.
Then suddenly I hear, “Amber, weigh in.”
For a moment, I just freeze. Completely dumbfounded by the realization that I’m now supposed to say something but I have no idea what they were just talking about because I couldn’t hear it.
And the camera is on me and I’m on TV.
Then it is over! And I am still alive!
Yep. My interview ends with me looking confused and scared and saying, “I’m sorry? What?”
Not exactly a strong ending.
But at least I’ve found my catchphrase.
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