entertainment

The best part about Twitter is the instant feedback

So on Friday, I posted about Ralph Lauren here and pointed out that maybe he and his people had LOST THEIR FREAKING MARBLES. The 7pm Project called to see if I wanted to come on the show on Friday night and even though I was meant to be going out for an early dinner with a couple of friends, I took the radical decision to push my dinner back to 7:30pm so I could do it. I know. Crazy stuff.

The show often does live crosses to different cities around Australia because it’s filmed in Melbourne and that meant I had to go in to Channel 10’s studios in Sydney. No drama. Easier than jumping on a plane.

I arrive at the station at 6:30pm to allow half an hour for make-up. I had the option of arriving at 6pm if I wanted my hair done as well but I couldn’t be bothered. I thought (foolishly) that I could just whip the GHD through it myself before I left home.

The station was almost deserted and it was just me in the make-up room with the lovely Trinity working some magic. Fortunately, she was fast enough to also do my hair because my own job had been very bad. At about ten to seven, a producer came to escort me through the bowels of the building (every TV station seems to be a rabbit warren) and up to the room where you do the live cross.

Actually, ‘room’ is a lie. ‘Cupboard’ is probably closer. Let’s compromise and say it was about the size of a small bathroom. A green curtain hung at the back and in front of it was the guest’s chair. In front of that was a huge camera with a small monitor in it. An audio person came and helped me thread the radio microphone cord up under my shirt and clip the box part to my jeans (audio people are always very discreet which is good because they see more people’s underwear than you could possibly imagine) and then put an earpiece in my ear so I could hear people talking to me and left.

The camera operator told me where to look and then went to walk out of the room too. “Are you leaving me here on my own?” I said and there must have been an alarmed tone in my voice because she kind of sighed and said “I guess I can stay here if you want but I usually have to be out there with the monitors”.

Clearly, she thought I was needy and claustrophobic or scared of abandonment or something so I assured her I’d be fine. “Just didn’t realise it was like this” I said to her back as the door closed.

Right. With a few minutes before the show was due to start, different people would occasionally appear in my ear to make sure I could hear them and let me know how long until we were on air. Directors, producers, host Charlie Pickering. And then the show started and I settled in to watch it.

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I had been instructed to look at the small black and white, slightly fuzzy monitor on the camera when it was my turn to be interviewed. That showed me in live time what everyone could see at home on TV. But like most live shows, there is a few seconds delay so the image I saw was not in sync with what I could hear through my earpiece.

This is all totally normal for live TV but I’m not at all practiced at it. Next time you see someone talking straight down the camera not in a studio? Remember that it is much harder than it looks and that they are clever.

So the show starts and it’s the first section where Carrie reads the news and it’s the top stories of the day. One of them was about that pram that fell under the train and I made sure I looked away when they showed that clip because I can barely stand to think about it let alone watch it (even though the baby was OK).

Then they started talking about balloon boy and I was intently watching the monitor just as if I was at home watching the show on my own TV and the suddenly, there was my face on the TV. Have you ever looked in the mirror while you are watching TV? If you did, you would see a blank, droopy face. That’s how we tend to look when we watch TV and that’s fine UNLESS YOU ARE ON TV.

The worst part is that even when I saw my face and registered I was on and woke the fuck up, it took several delayed seconds for my face on the monitor to make the same change. Oh dear. This is distracting.

The rest of the interview was fine until Jo Stanley threw me an unexpected question about how I felt about deceiving readers which is nothing I haven’t been asked before and was a totally valid, excellent question. If you watch the clip you can see my mind do that blank thing before I struggle for some words, finally settling on, oh, any that spring into my head, changing my mind and then changing it back again. Slick.

(Watching the clip back, I happened to notice that Jo was wearing the same Willow dress I wore in the Sunday Life shoot that I wrote about here – how spooky is that? Lucky the monitor I was looking at during the cross was black and white because had I noticed that at the time, my mind would have buckled under the strain of it all and I would have collapsed, alone, twitching on the floor).

Anyway, the interview ended, the 7pm cast moved onto the next story of the night and I unhooked myself from my microphone and staggered back into the corridor (only to bump into the charming Andrew Gunsberg and his lovely brother who were waiting for Andrew to do HIS live cross, undoubtedly 1000x more professionally than mine).

As I wait for the lift, I check my Twitter because it’s sometimes nice to get instant feedback after you do something like that and also because I’m really bad at just standing still, waiting for lifts.

There were a few nice tweets from people saying they’d liked the interview and this:

‘God that @miafreedman is an annoying c***’

I had to laugh (after I blocked the bastard). And then I had to go out to dinner and drink a large cocktail and eat much calamari.

Also – both my mother and mother-in-law noted that I looked very orange. I don’t know why.

Here is the clip from the show. My interview starts at about the 6 minute mark.

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