I've started co-hosting a TV program on local cable access television. NOT because I'm a free airwaves kind of freak, but because I have to for my job. My boss and I cohost a talk show about public education in our little town - kind of like "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" for the municipal junkie set.
This is what I've learned so far, in my short TV production career.
1. People actually watch cable access television. I've had probably a dozen colleagues make amused references to my being a "tv star" and wanting to TiVo my next episode. Not just the municipal junkies, but real people - ranging in age from under 30 to over 70.
2. TV shows can be enormously complicated to arrange. I have 14 guests coming on to this little 1 hour program. I'm so stressed out about timing, that I asked an admin if she could play Stage Manager for us.
3. It is hard to watch myself on TV. BMG and I were channel surfing the other night. He heard my laugh come through the speakers and wanted to hold it on the local Education Channel. I said "No." Because I think I look fat and ugly and need a real hairstyle.
4. The sphere of influence in people's lives can be really narrow - so narrow that they take cable access as seriously as if they are appearing on CNN or The Today Show. I've had potential interviewees say no, because they are too anxious about it. Other interviewees have called repeatedly asking for help preparing what to say, what to wear, how to act naturally.
I'm going to learn how to ask for help, how to handle my event manager stress, how to interview people, and how to web stream video on my blog, so you can all watch the show.
Won't that be fun?