I just finished taping my first TV show.
Wow. That sounds cool.
Ok, to be clear, it was a local cable channel, so it’s more Wayne’s World, and less Oprah, but it was still exciting to do and I’m very proud that they asked me to do it. The show is called Contempo and runs on local Comcast Cable in the northern Illinois region.
The 30 minute program was a 1 on 1 interview with Roberta Markbreit, the host of CONTEMPO, the Comcast Local show. She was lovely to work with, and we worked very well together. I was supposed to talk about high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but she quickly wandered into Managed Healthcare, Insurance Reform and the hazards of residency training. So, she had me on my toes to say the least!
We started with a little pre-programming where she told me how the interview would go, and what topics she would be covering (in a general sense), and that it was important that we keep talking when the credits were rolling. She then made sure my credentials were accurate, and had me check the spelling of all the graphics which would be used on the show. She was very glad I wore a blue shirt since I guess White and Red are big no no’s due to how the colors come across on camera! I had also inadvertently left my stethoscope on, and she asked to leave it on while we taped. She thought it was a nice professional touch.
So we get on the set. 3 cameras. Hot lights.
No wait, that’s not quite right.
HOT LIGHTS !!!
Really hot. Like, Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot. (a la Neil Simon, Biloxi Blues).
The director put a mic on me and on Roberta and they began the set-up. That’s when the fun started.
First, a light had to be readjusted, which meant climbing up into the light tree and adjusting it by hand. Then, there were some minor snafus with the engineering aspects of the taping.
THEN…we were off and running! I was glib and exciting…smiling, friendly, authoritative and knowledgeable…
The director realized we were only taping onto one channel and there was only a single channel of audio. Instead of trying to deal with an editing nightmare, and a sub-par shoot, he decided to stop the interview 9 minutes into the taping and start over.
Me and Roberta sitting in the hot lights for another 15 minutes while they fixed the mistakes and reset the cameras. We chat. I sweat.
Finally, we start over…credits roll…Roberta begins to introduce me again.
Brain Fart. She forgets my name. Doh!
We have to reset again and start over. Take #3.
Happy to say, take #3 went swimmingly well for the most part. I was supposed to talk about Hypertension and Hyperlipidemia, and we did. Some. Roberta very quickly steered the interview into murkier territory. She wanted to talk about Insurance Reform, the rigors of Residency training and Corporate takeovers of medicine. She also wanted to know about the state of medicine for primary care. Ok, no problem…a little Improv. I’m game!
All in all, everyone was extraordinarily pleased with the result. So much so that Roberta asked me to come back before I even got out of the studio. So, it looks like my ugly mug may be on the Idiot Box on a semi-regular basis, even if it’s only to a small audience that watches local cable.
For those of you who have Comcast Cable in the greater northern illinois region, I will post when the show will air at the bottom of this blog (it’s different for different regions). Feel free to watch, and laugh. I know I will!
Comcast Skokie Region (includes Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Des Plains, Glenview, Golf, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Streamwood and Wheeling)
Channel 35, September 16 and 23 @ 7:30pm
Comcast Skokie Region 2 (includes Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Lincolnwood, Maine Township, Morton Grove, New Trier Township, Niles, Northfield, Northfield Township, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette)
Channel 19, Sept 16 and 23 @ 7:30pm
Channel 6, Sept 9, 13 and 16 @ 5pm
Comcast Region Highland Park (includes Deerfield, Highwood and Winnetka)
Channel 19, Sept 13 (6:30pm), Sept 15 (11am), Sept 20(11am) and Sept 22 (11am)
Comcast Region Elmhurst (includes the bulk of the northwest and western suburbs not included in the regions noted above)
Channel 19, Sept 14 and 21 at 7pm