December 14, 2008

Worth Losing Sleep Over?

I find the weirdest ways to weasel my way onto television.

In fact, I've been on TV a bunch of times before, but nothing is like QVC. I can't say I ever aspired to appear live on a home shopping channel - especially because I don't think it'll help me get cast in something legit - but once I did it, I was pretty pleased with myself.

Live TV ain't easy. Heck, taped TV ain't easy. But I focused on being comfortable instead of nervous. I channeled my energy into being relaxed.

Relaxing was perhaps my greatest challenge. I'd had a harrowing trip down to West Chester, PA from the Hudson Valley, which had been hit by a bad ice storm Thursday night that cancelled or severely delayed all the Amtrak trains coming from the north. On Saturday morning at the Rhinecliff station, still full from Mike's wedding brunch and still a little tired from the reception the night before, I had to jump into a local cab headed for Poughkeepsie so I could instead take the Metro-North to NYC and continue my trip to the Philly area from there.

Fortunately, I've taken that Amtrak to Philly a lot lately (including our Eastern State Penitentiary trip), so the trip didn't seem so long or arduous. In my past excursions to QVC, I've either driven from New York or taken a limo from Philly (with the divos The Irish Tenors), but this time I decided to take the regional rail service all the way out to Exton and let the Sheraton Great Valley shuttle come pick me up and drive me around for the duration of my trip. I needed to focus on QVC and not exhaust myself by dealing with traffic.

I've always liked that Sheraton, but mostly because of the Outback Steakhouse in the parking lot. A business dinner there one night in the late 90s marked my first QVC visit as well as my first Outback experience. I think of it fondly.

With the discovery of the shuttle - which brought me to/from the Exton Amtrak station as well as to/from QVC - and of the Bliss body products in the bathroom, my opinion of this Sheraton improved exponentially, especially after our mediocre experience at the Four Points for James and Nany's wedding last month.

I managed to get to the hotel early enough for a Queensland salad at Outback, an attempt at blowing out my own hair, and getting to bed by 10 p.m. for seven hours' of sleep before getting up at 5 a.m. for my early morning cable TV appearance. Unfortunately, the heater in my room kept turning on and off all night, waking me up every 15 minutes from an already-fitful sleep replete with work-related nightmares.

And I kept worrying about my hair.

In fact, the whole time I wasn't worried at all about my demeanor, composure, or intelligence on live television. I was worried how I was going to look.

But I guess nobody every really likes the way they look on camera so I don't know what I thought could possibly make me happy with my physical appearance.

In the end, all that really matters is that the product I was hawking is a good product, and it sold well, meeting our expectations and probably getting us an invitation back. I can watch the clip over and over again and think what I would have done differently, but the truth is, I did a good job, even if I could have done better.

And it was fun! I'd never been on live TV before; I'd never had makeup airbrushed onto my face; I'd never been wired for an in-ear monitor. All that, and to be able to talk about Little River Band and Air Supply for work.

I wonder if my QVC-addicted mother, who has disappeared for two years, saw me?

The Easy Rock Collection on

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