What To Do When A News Crew Wants To Film In Your House

August 26, 2013

When Ali Touhey, a lovely reporter from News 8-WROC-TV asked me last week if she could come to my house to interview me about The Dollop Book of Frosting: Sweet and Savory Icings, Spreads, Meringues, and Ganaches for Dessert and Beyond I immediately envisioned the judgmental looks on viewers’ faces at the sight of my barren walls and dusty floors on their TV screens. Typically you get to be choosy about who sees the inside of your home—mainly family, close friends, and the plumber. Not the entire community. Currently I don’t live like an adult. And I’m embarrassed to admit this let alone show my entire community this. My walls are bare (aside from a couple of stray cupcake photos haphazardly hung), my dining room is still empty, and my living room is a holding cell for an orange futon, Target coffee table, folding chair, unused guitar, and two boxes of author copies of The Dollop Book of Frosting. Since I’m admitting all of this I may as well also admit that I have not vacuumed in ohhhhh… maybeeeee three two months? But when the news wants to do a story on your new cookbook, you mustn’t say no; regardless of how many cobwebs are gathered in the corners. What To Do When A News Crew Wants To Film In Your Non-beautified Home
  1. Enthusiastically and gratefully accept the interview. If you have a business/book/product/service then you must always gratefully accept exposure. You want sales, don’t you? You must be seen to sell.
  2. Propose an alternate location for the interview. Not sure you’ll be able to spruce up your house in time for the interview? Suggest an alternative. I initially suggested conducting this morning’s interview at my dad’s house instead of mine.
  3. Clean your house. Even if your alternative location is accepted. The alternative was just your backup in case you absolutely couldn’t get your ass in gear to clean your house. But really, you have no excuse for not cleaning your house. And it’s always going to be easier to film early in the morning if you don’t have to drive 20 minutes to someone else’s house to do it. Besides, the reporter will appreciate you fulfilling his/her first choice location. So clean your house and then call the reporter and give her the good news. A happy reporter is a repeat reporter.
  4. Now that your house is spic and span (great job!) it’s time to prepare for the interview space by setting up some visuals to showcase your work. Is the interview about your book? Have a couple copies of your book out. Is it about your home-based website design business? Set up your desk and turn your computer on to show your best work. Last night I made and nicely plated the Pumpkin Spice Pizza recipe from The Dollop Book of Frosting to have on display for my interview.
  5. On interview day, wake up early! Get some work done so that you feel productive. Meditate, exercise, or drink loads of coffee; do whatever you need to do to get amped, pumped up, and energized for the camera. I’m always up early so this morning I’m doing my usual morning routine of two cups of black coffee while writing.
  6. Shower, brush your hair, and try on outfits. No, you can’t get away with just smoothing down your hair and throwing on a sweatshirt. Get yourself together and take a moment to feel confident and feel like you look good. There was this one time a few years ago when I forgot that I was supposed to be interviewed at my shop for the news. By the time I remembered I was 20 minutes late, un-showered, with un-brushed hair, and wearing a zip-up hoodie. The humbling video evidence lives online to this day. Don’t let this happen to you.
  7. Lastly, take a deep breath, greet your interviewer and cameraman warmly, and have fun. You’re very lucky that you get to show the world what you’re made of; not everyone has that opportunity. So above all, don’t forget to enjoy every minute of it.
  8. And when it’s over? Send your reporter a thank-you email and tell her you hope to stay in touch.
To see today’s interview go to http://www.rochesterhomepage.net/news after 6pm or if you’re in the Rochester, NY area tune into channel 8 at noon, 4pm, or 5pm for shortened footage, or 6pm for the full interview.

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