September 8, 2008

TV Star

i do believe i promised more television-appearance stories about yours truly.

the summer after my sophomore year of college i had an internship with twin cities public television (TPT). it was an opportunity ripe with so many different challenges and experiences. i was responsible for researching story ideas, typing up interviews, organizing the story script, helping the producer, greeting and prepping guests. i also got to work a little in the editing room and created a few of the over-the-shoulder boxes displayed during the broadcast. i worked on a show called Newsnight Minnesota, which is sadly no longer on the air. on monday nights i worked during the show, which was broadcast live. i wandered between the set and the production room. listening to the producer call up the different camera angles and shots, talking with the reporters, announcing orders for 30 minutes straight. on set, i watched the camera men move around, adjusting shots, the teleprompters spinning lines of text. on thursdays i did more administrative type things, most of my list of responsibilities above were done on thursdays. during morning meetings, we discussed ideas for that night's show. this is also when some of my greatest opportunities with TPT struck. my first adventure was with cameraman butch, we headed to the saint paul farmers market to ask people on the street their opinions. we were filming filler footage, in case of a slow show or need for it. i never saw it air. a week or two later, another opportunity came about, we went out to the mall of america to promote flag day. at the last minute, butch decided that i should interview the owner of the flag store. i was completely unprepared. luckily, i'd worn a cute and more-professional outfit that day. he mic-ed me, gave me a quick run-down of suggested questions (most of which i forgot just after he said them), then we were rolling. i fumbled through my questions, barely listening to the responses, as i was trying to come up with another question. the interview went pretty well, considering i'd never interviewed anyone before.

my second tv appearance was brief and a non-speaking part. again we headed out to the mall of america, but this time to report on a new adventure-land, the general mills cereal adventure (no, i'm not joking). the attraction was to teach children about grains and products that go into cereal. at the end of the "learning segment" you could make your own mix of cereal (which was really expensive, but we got to do for free), complete with a specially printed box, just for you. the reporter i was with, did most of the talking, but my name was mentioned and i was seen in a few of the shots.

the best part of that whole summer, though, came towards the end of my internship. i walked into morning meeting, excited for my bagel...un-aware of what laid in store for me. the red barron WWII bi-planes were in town, and butch was going to shoot footage. there are two planes, and the reporter who was supposed to go up in the second plane had to cover a different story. did i want to go? YES! i had to ask my parents permission (even though i was over 18), i had to sign my life away that if something happened to me TPT wouldn't get sued. (luckily, i was again dressed appropriately for my adventure.) butch and i drove down to the st. paul airport. i met my pilot. a delightful 40-ish man from down south. he called me "miss" and "little lady" he was all southernly gentleman, like in the movies. i climbed in the front seat of the plane, he explained how to strap on my parachute (whoa, like we might have to jump out of this thing?! that's exciting, although scary), how to buckle in, and the escape procedure. "don't worry," he told me, "i wont leave a lady behind, and i've never haid to bail before." i put my leather flying helmet and goggles on. i had a two-way radio to talk with my pilot. i was thrilled and a little nervous all at the same time. our plane took off, teetering a bit. we headed out to the fly-zone and started our adventure with a barrel-roll. it was the most exhilerating tumble i've ever taken. so smooth, so free. the plane ride was better than any roller coaster or ride i've ever been on. we did dips and turns and tumbling tricks over and over again. i felt the pressure of g-force straining my head backwards. i saw land develop above me (which was actually below me, as we were flipping upside down). my stomach didn't churn or lurch like roller coasts sometimes cause. the wind flew across me, it was almost like i was flying all by myself. i didn't speak on camera for that tv appearance, but it was a very exciting and fun day for me. that was my summer internship for TPT. it was more a great story that i get to take with me in life, than it was a job-experience. i can't say that i learned a lot career-wise that summer (mostly because i'm not working in tv), but i had a lot of great experiences.

1 comment:

doahleigh said...

So fun! The plane ride sounds amazing - I would love an opportunity like that.