6 years ago

by Tracey Jackson

You want to go backstage to the  taping of a live TV show? Well, I don’t think I could show you a better situation than The Martha Stewart Show.


Okay, so Martha rocks and I mean it. Between Lucky Ducks and the book I have to say I have done  a lot of shows in the last 18 months, but today at The Martha Stewart Show I was really impressed. Just to be fair, everyone and everywhere I have been people have been welcoming, kind, and for the most part professional. I’m not going to so start handing out grades and making lists, I have been very blessed. And due to the cutbacks and the economy many shows have been left with little staff and there is often only one person to do the job of six where there used to be ten people to do the jobs of three.

The only truly bad experience we had was that show in LA that turned into The Talk. But that was the fault of the cast and not the crews, crews work their butts off and they seldom if ever get to stand up and take a bow.

But Martha Stewart runs her show like she does everything she does with perfection, the thing is like a swiss clock. It starts before you get there, you get your call sheet, with everything broken down to the nano second and it’s on the MARTHA letter head.

Fran Brescia, the producer of the show,  who oddly I met when Taylor and I did the pilot of The Talk always said someday we would meet again. That’s not exactly what she said, but some things are private. So when we started communicating about Martha, we already knew each other. She told me “Whatever you do, don’t get coffee at Starbucks before you get here.”( if you do enough TV you know to always get coffee at Startbucks before you get there, no matter what the show) But Fran said “We have great cappucino.” Little did Fran know she had me at cappucino.

The game plan usually is you get there an hour before you go on. Some places do hair and make-up, these days some do not. At  Martha they do. They also have a great Green Room.

Hester Van Eeghen green bag in the Green Room

Usually you just sit in the Green Room which is seldom green. Sometimes you meet other people who are appearing on the show. Sometimes you meet cool people you end up becoming friends with, like that’s how I met Robin Wallace. This Green Room was very nice. A cappucino was immediately brought to me.

Fran was not kidding they had great cappucino in a lovely cup. But hey it’s Martha!

Signing a release. You are always supposed to sign a release when you appear on a show or someone takes film of you. I don’t know what is happening now with You Tube and all. But it’s standard practice, so you don’t sue them or something. It is surprising how many shows don’t bother to do it. But hey, this is Martha, the release was waiting for me by my chair when I arrived.

If you are lucky and they are nice, you get to have friends come and hang out with you and watch the show. This is my friend Barbara Tannenbaum, I know she is out of focus, but it’t the only photo I have and I wanted to put something up. Barbara sat in the audience when I was on, but hung out in the Green Room before the show started. Martha is live – so if you screw up you screw up in front of many.

This is my friend and publicist Sandi Mendelson.

Shows that have not had huge budget cuts still do hair and makeup. Martha had a lovely make-up room with really good people.

This is Deb Jones she did my make-up.  She did it perfectly. Sometimes you get clown make-up, I won’t tell you where, but not at Martha.

This is wardrobe. It usually doesn’t look this good. Most shows don’t even have it anymore. My guess is this is Martha’s own stuff she wears. She always dresses very simply on set, nicely, but simply, she does do a lot of cooking and glue gun things and so she has a wardrobe that fits her job. But all her shirts were hanging perfectly.


She has a lot of Emmys!

Eventually they come and mic you up. Now if you ever do a show and get miced up, remember to make sure it’s turned off if you have to pee. That might be TMI, but look everybody pees and you would be surprised how many people have made the mistake and well….you can figure it out.

Getting the mic put on, for a change I was wearing something that was easy to attach the equipment to.


Fran Brescia

This is the kitchen, workroom, it's where a lot of things get done. And it is so organized.

There were still some leftovers from the Easter Shows they did last week.

I love how clean the sink is. I love the flowers by the sink. This is a freaking TV show and they have flowers by the sink. It is Martha. But I'm going to start putting flowers by my sink.

How great does that look?  Oh, and I almost forgot, they gave me a gift. Now, this is the first time I have ever left with a gift. But, waiting for me in the Green Room was a bag of Martha Stewart cleaning products.  And one of them was this soap, it’s DISH AND HAND soap. OK, fess up how many of you have used the hand soap for the dishes? I do it all the time. And I’m always thinking should I be using the hand soap for the dishes? Now Martha has made it easy – I can, they are the same soap!

The segment was broken into three main parts. The first part was Martha and a bike specialist, they went over getting your bike in shape for spring and summer.  And then we talked about using that bike to get yourself in shape for those who don’t exercise. Martha is a really good sport and rode the bike onto the set. Here she is just about to ride on and the show is about to start.

The second segment was cooking some really yummy looking chicken and corn cakes.

Remember I had to take these photos from the Green Room. Once I was on the set I couldn't take photos.


The third segment was Martha talking to me about the book. I have no photos of that but will post the link once I get it. It was lots of fun, really relaxed, it was just two girls over fifty talking about being fifty. Martha is very funny and easy to talk to. I loved it.

The last segment was about organizing a handmade pegboard. I don’t know how she does all these things but she does. It’s really amazing. She is a great role model for women of all ages, but especially those of us over fifty! I have to say, the bike segment made me want to ride, I am so going to make the chicken and corn cakes, the pegboard, probably won’t happen at our house.

The girls got it going on! Thank you Martha and Fran and everyone who made this a great experience!

For the link go to

I’m telling you there is a great chicken recipe if you click on that link!



Screenwriter/Director/and Author Tracey Jackson's new book:

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HOT PLACE-Why Fifty Is Not The New Thirty

is available now:

Join me at:

Twitter: @TraceyJackson4


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