Yesterday’s TV interview was unlike any I had done before. The host was in Oakland, and I was in New York City, so it was one of those “joining us via satellite” deals.
But let’s start from the beginning…
I woke up with five hours of sleep and a sore throat, cabbed to the midtown studio at 11:15am, avoided making eye contact with the security guard in the lobby, took an elevator to the 13th floor, and called the receptionist on an intercom outside a set of glass doors.
The place was sleek and elegant and shimmering with natural light. There were conference rooms and flat-screen TVs. There was designer furniture and a full bar. But best of all, there was an autograph book on the counter, signed by the REAL celebrities who’d recently been interviewed there–people like Bruce Willis, Ozzie Smith, Jerry Springer, Tony Parker, etc.
At 11:30am, a young woman led me to a small room with a backdrop of New York City, and she clipped a microphone to my shirt.
Then she gave me an ear piece and told me to look straight ahead into the camera, which she was going to operate with a remote control from the next room.
She closed the door behind her, and after a brief pause, I heard her voice in my right ear. We did a sound check. She told me to keep looking straight ahead and smiling because I wouldn’t know exactly when I’d be on. Then I heard another voice in my ear.
“Hey, Zack, it’s Chelsea. We’re gonna be live in two minutes.”
Chelsea was in Oakland. She’s the segment producer who first contacted me about doing the interview.
By this point I could hear the audio of KTVU/Channel 2. First a few commercials. Then the weather.
“Ten seconds,” said Chelsea.
I counted down in my head, kept smiling, and assumed that at some point my face was being shown to a whole bunch of people in the Bay Area. The host started talking. He introduced me and said baseball is a great game and asked why people are so crazy about it. Or something like that. And the interview was underway. It was quick. Only about five minutes. I was asked about the Rangers’ 30-run outburst, about AT&T Park and McAfee Coliseum, about the value of Bonds’ 756th home run (which is about to be auctioned), about advice for a kid who was heading to his first game, and so on. I wasn’t nervous. It was just kinda strange to be alone in that little room, hearing a voice 3,000 miles away in one ear and directing my portion of the conversation into a camera.
Anyway, that’s TV for you. I think I did a good job with the interview, but I won’t know for sure until I see it.
(Happy birthday to Cal Ripken, Jr.)