Many years ago, I’d met a young man named Scott; he was a regular at a local club I used to frequent during my “wild” days. He eventually settled down and began dating a fine young lad by the name of Mike. So, long story short and into the realm of synergy we go, I eventually met Mike’s mom, Doreen.
I drove to Doreen’s humble abode in New York State one fine afternoon, flowers in hand, to discuss energy and life path choices, and we really hit it off. She was such a beacon of light and positivity, that she did wonders for my self-esteem at the time. And little did I know that Doreen was well-connected to all walks of life – from world travelers to queer artists and everyone in between.
Skip to present day – a few months ago – and I received a group message on Facebook. It had been from Doreen, and she copied two other gentlemen. She gave a short, sweet and somewhat vague introduction, then left the conversation shortly after. It was her style to set an intention then leave the group to do what they may.
One gentleman, I never connected with, and the other was Eric Faria. He immediately private messaged me on his own regarding his line of work – which is in television and running a talk show – and wanted to know more about my debut novella and also inquired about me being an upcoming guest.
Having labeled 2018 as “the year of continued opportunity,” I immediately jumped at the chance to reply with a “yes” and gave Eric detailed information regarding my first self-published book. He responded quickly and set-up a conference call to discuss it further.
About two weeks later, Eric called me and we hit it off right away. We shared our special stories about how we’d met Doreen – the proverbial glue that cosmically brought us together – then he conducted a pre-interview in order to learn more about what I’d bring to his talk show as an upcoming guest. Well, it went swimmingly, to say the least. All I had to do then was pick a date and time of my appearance. I was ecstatic – not only at the thought of being on television, but also because I’d been given the chance to take advantage of a unique opportunity t0 share my newly-evolved, authentic self with people I’d never met before.
If you know me, you probably know the story of how I was on the once-popular children’s television show, “Romper Room,” in the 1980s for my third birthday. I was a special guest that day, and thanks to the technology of the day and to my brain for filling in the gaps, as we humans tend to do, I recall it being pretty fucking special. I mean, come on, it was the day of my television debut.
And, if you read one of my older blogs, you would have gone on another journey with me – one that took place last summer… a journey of being in my first feature-length film. That was an experience to say the least… You really should check it out sometime – both the blog and the film.
Right, so, yes… Once I solidified plans to travel to Mamaroneck, New York, I began working on preparing for my spot on “I Am” with Eric Faria. My assistant interviewed me in the style similar to how Eric interviewed his past guests. It did wonders because there was no way I would have gotten through a full hour of taping without some preparation. And let’s face it, I always like to put my best foot – in this case, best face – forward.
The day of the taping of the show came and I felt like a star. I got a fresh haircut and gave myself a manicure. I even took it very easy that Friday, assuring I ate light and sat by the pool to get last minute sun for that extra glow. I was beyond ready.
Later, I left for New York with plenty of time to spare, just in case I got lost. The trip over the G.W Bridge wasn’t too treacherous; I had RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez and other pop stars to keep me company along the way. By 6:50pm, I made it to the studio. I took a deep breath, pushed the “lock” button to my car, and walked away with pride.
The nicest people greeted me and led me to the green room. There, I cleared my throat, checked my hair, and conducted facial exercises to assure I’d speak with exceptional diction. Then, Eric came to greet me and walk me to the studio itself. It was just about go time.
Once I was in my chair, staff powdered my face and mic’d me up, then did a soundcheck to assure the acoustics were where they were supposed to be. Before I knew it, I heard a woman say, “Three… two… one…” She pointed in my direction and began rolling. On went the plastered smile and I shoved the nervous butterflies away for another day. “Hi, I’m Eric Faria…” were the last words I remember coherently hearing for the better part of an hour.
Before I knew it, the second of three segments had been in the can, and we were about the film the final one. Now, I’d been fine up to that point… but, for some reason, time slowed down during the third segment, and I became aware of my surroundings. “Shit, I’m on television. Don’t freak out,” I told myself several times. I only had a few minutes left before the camera crew yelled “cut.” I snapped out of it and finished up with gusto.
I blinked and it was over… one full hour of discussing Voudou Juice, publishing, and the ins and outs of being a writer. What a trip. The staff took my mic off, I posed for a few promo shots with Eric and was sent on my merry way. To say I was riding high the next few days would be an understatement. I was proud of my accomplishment, my preparedness and, well, even prayed that the editors would cut out a bit of my on-screen awkwardness.
My video and podcast should be released soon for you all to enjoy. If my words touch at least one person out there in TV land, I’d consider it a great success.