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What it's like being the talent on a TV show

Publisher, editor-in-chief and author at Chicken Soup for the Soul.

As the director was giving me instructions, I wasn't even paying attention to the makeup person powdering my neck or the sound guy reaching under my sweater to adjust the microphone. I acted like it was normal when someone brought me a water bottle with a straw so it wouldn't mess up my lips.

Making a TV show is like entering another universe. Now when I see a woman on TV with a bulge on her back I know that some burly sound guy has zipped down her dress and clipped a microphone box to her bra and she hasn't paid the slightest bit of attention. Because when you’re "talent" you might as well be at the doctor's office for all the attention you pay to people touching your underwear.

It's amazing how you become accustomed to being treated as "talent" when you are making a television show. We spent days making our one-hour show, Chicken Soup for the Soul: food & family, which will air during the pledge campaigns on various PBS stations this month. The show explains the benefits of getting together around the dinner table with our families and friends, and also shows us how to make quick and easy healthy meals. It also reminds us that making food for the people we love doesn't have to be stressful, because no one expects things to be perfect.

But getting back to me, the "talent." I'd been on national TV back when I was a young financial analyst on Wall Street Week and other business shows, but way back then I don't think I even wore makeup, and the whole process seemed much simpler. Now, I'm representing my company and it's important that I get it right. Plus, it's very different doing a one-hour TV show versus the five-minute interviews I usually do on talk shows. And of course now everything is shot in HD and I have wrinkles that need to be hidden.

My husband teased me the whole time we were making the show, calling me "the diva" and calling himself "the entourage." I would just like to point out that the moment we got home this "diva" is the one who was walking the dog and picking up its poop, and the "entourage" is the one who resumed asking me what I was making him for dinner.

Nevertheless, I must confess that after I watched the next TV interview I did, on a local station, I complained that the lighting was unflattering and declared I "would never go back to that talk show again." So maybe there's a little bit of diva in all of us, just waiting to peek out from under all that makeup. Contact the diva at amy@chickensoupforthesoul.com.

Photo credit: Fuse/Getty Images
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