On Monday, I had my first ever television interview. While I cannot speak to everywhere you might be interviewed, here are a few things that I took away from the experience.
1. Bring a friend with you if you are the nervous type. You might be afraid to enter that scary little door between those two buildings. You might be even more afraid to walk down all those steps into what looks like a pit of doom. But fear not! Big things come in small packages. A green room awaits!
2. A green room is a place where guests wait before they are called by the producer. The room is not always green. In fact, I hear people joke about this all the time, so I don’t think any of them are green.
3. I was told to come make-up ready. Not being much of a girly-girl, I went to a make-up salon and had someone who knows what they are doing make me look like a girl and make sure all of the colors were deep enough for television. When I got to the television studio, I was called into make-up, and was surprised when she seemed ready to do all my make-up. The only thing she did was pile on the blush since I was already painted. I looked like I had a terrible sunburn when I left. She promised me that the lights would flood it out. I hope she’s right.
4. Prepare, prepare, prepare. I had a pre-interview where we discussed the questions that would be asked. I practiced them for a week before the actual interview. It helped. I didn’t have to deal with the “ummmm…” factor.
5. Practice being interviewed facing left or right. For some reason I envisioned facing right, but when I got in there, the hosts were on my left. I did fine, but this might freak you out if you are nervous.
6. No matter how much you prepare, the questions will probably NOT be asked in the way you anticipate, and maybe not even in the anticipated order. Be ready so that doesn’t throw you.
7. The hosts are not subject matter experts. Listen to what they say. They might get something backwards. This I DID NOT anticipate, and I hope I handled it with grace. I think I did okay. I will have to wait for the interview to air to see for myself.
8. Be prepared in case something goes wrong to brush it off mentally and move on. In their introduction, the hosts mentioned my novella THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW instead of FIRE IN THE WOODS. Well, it’s nice that they did their research into my past works. [Slaps hand to forehead] At least “Tomorrow” is still an active title.
9. See number eight: If you are promoting something, and the mention of the book will only be in one spot… double check before the cameras go on. – Even if you discussed the correct book in the pre-interview. No biggie. Like I said, NEW TOMORROW is still an active title.
10. You are in. interviewed, and you are out. When I stepped into the live studio, the make-up lady was touching up the hosts after their previous interview, while the producer put on my microphone. I sat down, spoke randomly in circles while they took levels on my voice, and then the studio cleared out. The hosts said we would not get through all my information, and try to keep it concise. No pressure. As soon as the interview was over, I stood up and the makeup lady attacked the hosts again in preparation for the next interview. Boom! In a flash you are done, and these people are rustling in the next guest. For one day, you are the cog in a well-oiled machine.
All in all it was a great experience. The best advice I can give is to relax. Whatever happens, happens. I can honestly say that I forgot there were three cameras in the room. It was probably good, because that might have made me nervous. I just focused on spitting out the information as quickly as I could in the eight minutes allotted.
When the host asked the last question, I glanced at the clock and it said 7:34. I figured they had a little slack on the time since they weren’t closing the interview, so I spoke quickly, and tried to get all my thoughts out. After the two lovely hosts saying we would not get through it all, I’m happy to say we touched on all ten topics and only went over by 38 seconds. Not too shabby.
I know most of you will not be able to see this interview when it airs in October, but I will be getting a copy and posting it here so everybody can laugh at me learn from all the valuable tidbits of information on editing.