An Artist’s Observations on How to Prepare for a TV Interview
For the first time ever, I will be making a TV appearance this Friday, April 6 from 4-5pm! Linwood Jackson, of The Urban Compass on Comcast Channel 28, interviewed me about my recent coloring book, A Portrait of Delaware: A Coloring Book Meet and Greet. About the show: it is a great local program that features a host of interesting characters! Musicians and performers, local politicians, artists, varying local businesses – you name ‘em, Linwood has interviewed them! For this week’s show, he had 2 musicians, although I unfortunately only caught the name of one - Skip Boardley Jr. Both were amazing! He also interviewed Kathy McGuiness, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and Stacy Shamburger with Lily Elite Affairs, LLC. Here is a pic of us looking quite dapper before the show!
What’s it like to be interviewed for TV, you ask? Let me tell you. NERVE-RACKING! I was so stressed about it, that the day afterwards, I actually got a migraine from the whole experience. (I still have said migraine, in fact.) Was it REALLY worth it, you ask? YES! I would do it again in a heartbeat!
I probably should have read a bit more on how to prepare for such an interview, but I did at least read 2 articles about the most important factor – what to wear, of course! Unfortunately, I came to the conclusion that you should wear a ton of makeup (which causes migraines) and solid blue. Black? Bad. White? Also bad. Red? Nope. Stripes, patterns, checks? Obviously not. Seriously. That removed pretty much my entire wardrobe. One of the silliest lines I read was, “Dress in a simple, boring manner, unless you are a fashion designer.” Right-o. Wear blue, be boring. Got it. Instead, I wore black, red, and stripes. Oops. I also had hideously short, bitten, raggedy nail-bits, rather than the suggested beautiful manicure…
That said, I did straighten my hair AND iron my shirt, so for me, who likes to roll out of bed approximately half an hour before I leave the house, I was looking pretty good! Per my friend Susan’s instructions, I also made sure to hit up the “Power Pose” several times that morning and right before the interview. It’s legit, people! If Wonder Woman does it, that’s enough to convince me. Not only was I prepared to nail this interview, I could have taken on an evil villain at the same time!
In addition to considering my wardrobe and powering up, I prepped by making notes and considering my verbal strategy. While on the phone with Jackson the night before, he asked me a few questions, such as “How long have you been making coloring books” and “What inspired you to do this project?” so at least I had a general idea of what I’d be talking about. I even whipped out some of my notes from grad school, which was the last time I really had to do any public speaking. (They were mostly useless). I practiced a few times in front of the mirror, and then tortured my step-mom the following morning by practicing a few more times with her. Even so, it was hard not to be caught up in the moment during the interview! My natural tendency to wax enthusiastic took over for most of my answers, which means I gestured a lot and was far from concise. One thing I’m certain of, however, is that the viewers will understand my passion for this project and how much I love meeting and talking with people for the sake of art!
In terms of what the experience was like, it was a blast! I got to sit in the “green room” for a bit – note: it was NOT actually green. I also got to sit on the sidelines while Linwood interviewed some of his other guests. It was interesting watching the interplay between the cameraman and Linwood; a lot of communication was necessary even for just a short segment. Of course, when it was my turn for the interview, I was so wound up that I was mostly oblivious to what was happening around me. There were 3 different cameras – all of which I ignored and tried to copy the guest in front of me and focus on Linwood. Was this the correct strategy? Frankly, I have no idea. At the end of the interview, I was directed to look straight at the camera – which I eventually did, but to be honest, it took me a bit (and a lot of gesturing on the poor cameraman’s part!) for me to finally catch on and fix my attention to the correct camera. Note to self: be more spatially aware!
All in all, it was an exciting experience! Thanks so much to Linwood for thinking of me, and also my friend Julie for showing him my coloring book! Strangely, the whole thing came about from salsa dancing at Delaware Park, which is how I know both Julie and Linwood. And of course, thanks to everyone who participated in the coloring book and I hope you enjoy the show!