Me as host, September 2010, Furlong, Penn.
Now that it’s over I can come clean: I was up for a job as host of a new TV show for a home and garden cable network you’ve probably heard of. This week I found out it’s a no-go. The show was green-lit; I was not.
Last spring a designer friend of mine recommended me to a production company that was casting a new decorating reality show. The producer viewed my Editor TV segments, called me in for one, two, three screen tests and BAM, (months later) I was standing in the driveway of a townhouse in a swank subdivision in Bucks County surrounded by three cameras, two producers, a guy that reflected light onto my face using a metallic board and a dedicated makeup artist who claims she has never applied so much Frizz-Ease in her 30-year career. For almost two weeks, I was the Tim Gunn of home design, sparring with a designer about his use of vomit-colored Corian in the kitchen or praising one for her deft application of pendant lights in the bedroom (sexy!). It was a full-on blast.
The tapes were overnighted to LA and I was told I’d hear the news by Halloween, but that, it was pretty much a sure thing—a one-hour, primetime cable TV show (hosted by a woman who had been googling “talent agent” just months prior). Don’t make plans, they said. Don’t get a job. (Don’t get fat, pregnant, busy.) Halloween passed. Then I was told I’d hear by Thanksgiving. That passed too. AndI waited by the phone. And waited. I didn’t go to parties because I couldn’t stand to answer the question: What’s going on with the show? I regretted ever telling anyone about it.
My agent called this week to say that I could reintroduce cheese and bread into my diet and get a real friggin job because, while the show is getting picked up, I’m not. Turns out the producer who plucked me out of the wild—and dressed, groomed and trained me—left the project for another show. And the network exec who championed me now has a new boss who wants a host with a bigger name (and perhaps less big hair). The direction of the show is changing and I don’t fit the bill any more.
I cried for 30 seconds, cleansed my apartment with sage and sweetgrass, cut my hair and am ready to head back into the party. So I’m sending this missive out to the universe: I’m still ready for something really big. I haven’t laid into the brie just yet.
Update: This is a probably a sadder story than I meant to tell. The whole experience—show or no show—was wickedly fun and introduced me to a team of producers, designers and crew who were delightful, patient and entertaining beyond all reasonable necessity. It was, in retrospect, super awesome.
The big take-away for me? Apparently everyone wants to be on TV. I have colleagues who were so devastated by the news that you’d think they had themselves failed. I appreciate all that support and nodded along to the “fuck them!s”, but I’m OK with the outcome. I wish the new producers sunny days, quiet neighborhoods, witty designers and likable talent. And, hey, if that last part doesn’t work out, call me.