Because it seems unlikely that my second GMA segment will ever transmit me through airwaves and beam me into your TV boxes, I’ve decided to give those interested and disappointed what I can; a first-hand account of what happened.
On Monday, I had my publicist ask GMA if Cricket and I could dress up like Diane Sawyer as an homage of love– we would wear blond bob wigs, black turtlenecks and fancy lady necklaces.
On Wednesday, GMA said, “Naaah.”
Cricket and I were flown to NYC on Thursday and because of some rare and lucky foresight on my part, (the GMA studios are in Times Square, aren’t they…oh dear lord, please please please don’t put us in a hotel there.) we stayed at the brand new and already described on this blog Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District (vegan irony not lost on me).
On Friday, GMA called me to ask if Cricket and I could dress alike for the interview. This is not to say that they were willing to buy us matching outfits. “Um, we’re already here…we didn’t pack for twinsies.” Not that that would even be possible. Cricket and I both rock pretty unique senses of fashion– and I’m not so sure there’s a lot of overlap, which is the point, and why I love her so! Beyond that, I had absolutely zero desire to be on international television dressed up like someone else if that someone isn’t Diane, and they said no to that– so I said no to this.
On Sunday, GMA called to ask if it’d be ok if we didn’t do the segment live anymore. “What?! Why?” This was their very convincing argument: If we do the segment live, it will only be three and a half minutes long. Diane loves this story so much, she wants to do a full fifteen minute sit-down interview. So we’ll bring you in later, which means you can sleep longer, and we’ll tape the segment right after the live show ends. This way, you can re-do answers if you mess up or anything, too.
Fifteen minutes on the couch with DS? Who would say no to that? No one. Nobody would say no to that.
With our new plan, GMA tells me to expect a call from a writer to be pre-interviewed. He’s going to ask me the same questions Diane will be asking me, to get a feel for my answers.
The guy calls, he is nice enough, but asks me the same 10 questions everybody has asked me and that I have to keep pretending are brand new to my ears. I can act! These are the same questions that they asked me in the first GMA segment…but in my more typical and not full of luck or foresight fashion, I didn’t really think about it.
My friend Lola, who does PR for up & coming fashion designers came over to the hotel with a bag full of clothes for me to borrow, if I wanted to wear any of them on air. With Cricket and Lola as my jury of peers I tried on Lola’s clothes, I tried on the things I had brought, and with overwhelming response, the verdict was that I needed to NOT dress like me, which the outfits I had brought were classic examples of, and take this opportunity to show off m’bod and dress sexier. More irony, not lost on me, seeing as I plainly stated above that I didn’t want to dress like someone else. Lola left me with a beautiful dress, a decision to make, and the bra off her body as I don’t own a strapless one and the dress required it. That is friendship, people.
Very little sleep was had that night for a whole host of reasons not worth wording out. At the butt-crack of dawn I showered in my open-air, view of the statue of liberty, glossy black tiled shower and then dressed m’self. Two or ten times. Could I be comfortable and still be “me” in Lola’s sexy dress? Yes, yes I could. This is dress up! A game I highly enjoyed as a child and clearly still do. It would be better on all accounts, to present a body-secure, hottest possible version of me to the world.
Cricket and I arrived at GMA and were put in separate make-up rooms. My artist yelled at me for having dark puffy circles under my eyes and not moisturizing. Ahh, I love NY. I told her I specifically DIDN’T moisturize that morning because a previous make-up artist yelled at me FOR moisturizing, saying that it created a sauna like effect under my glasses, causing eye make-up to instantly raccoon-ify. She “hrmpf’d” and then suggested I buy a $100 per 4 oz bottle of eye cream for people with “serious dark circles.” not funny ones. Cricket’s artist, meanwhile, was so inspired by her face-canvas that she created a masterpiece of eye-shadowry that I am truly sorry you won’t get to see. She looked Ah Mazing.
Left to our own devices, Cricket and I wandered down the hall to the green room, where we saw Sam Champion (!) and smelled old breakfast foods that were stomach turning. Our guy quickly found us and escorted us into another abandoned make-up room, told us it’d just be a couple minutes, and then shut the door. This should’ve been tip off number 13 that all was not right, but again, we were too pre-occupied to notice the red flag. Guys came in to mic us, I felt myself up for the gajillionth time, and they left us in there some more. They left us in there for a long time.
Finally, we were collected. It was go time! We were led down the hallway like Dead Men Walking. We walked into the studio and there was the radiant, glowing, blurry Diane, sitting on the couch waiting for us. There were also cameras. A LOT of cameras. Why is there more than one hand-held in addition to the 3 studio floor cameras? I wondered this (red flag! red flag!) and then quickly shoved all thought of cameras down inside so deep that I forgot that they were there at all, on purpose, so as to be able to get words out of my mouth. I shook hands with Diane and told her that it was the most surreal moment ever to have her talk directly to me, ME, through the TV at the end of the first segment, and with that we started the interview.
I was the meat in the GMA couch sandwich, sitting in the middle with Cricket to my left and Diane to my right. She asked us five or six questions that I can remember none of. They weren’t, however, the questions from the pre-interview, and they weren’t particularly good ones. At one point, Cricket struggled to answer one, not seeing the point of it, and it seemed like Diane wasn’t really listening or caring about our answers. It felt really weird, and then it got weirder. Diane turned to me and said, “Okay Andrea, now let’s get personal.”
To which I replied, “Okay, well, I’m single…” with a smile. The bevvy of camera mens laughed, but Diane was not listening. In fact, I could hear a man’s voice talking to her through her earpiece, (red flag! red flag!) but I figured it was the director, in the control room, directing her. She asked, “SO. You were in Othello in high school?”
“Uh…(me trying to remember) yeah, I was.”
“And you kissed Justin Blatnick in that play. How was that?”
“Geez Diane, this is like ‘Andrea Wachner This Is Your Life.’ I did kiss him, and I guess it was good because we won first place in the California Drama Competition.”
“You went to Hebrew School…what was that like?”
“Um, horrible?! Have you ever been to Hebrew School? It’s not fun–”
“But Aaron Rudin, you went to Hebrew School with Aaron Rudin?”
“Yes, and actually, he was at the reunion. He was the first person that Cricket talked to that I knew quite well and it was really different, for me, sitting up in the hotel room, than when she talked to other people–
“I can’t understand what you’re saying!”
Wha?! Diane grabs my hand.
“Come with me, quickly!”
We start running through the studio. Cameras following us. I am terrified that I am going to trip and fall. I am terrified that they have set up a stripper pole somewhere and are going to make me learn some moves with cameras rolling.
We run into the control room and two people stand up– a guy and a lady. Right away I recognize him as one of the twins I went to high school with. One of the identical twins that Cricket was propositioned by at the reunion and who she gave and received an in-lap dance. Which twin? I don’t know.
I have been Punk’d. I touched his shoulder and smiled, “Hey! It’s so nice to see you!” or some such thing. But the point being, I was just nice and friendly and smiley, and totally okay with it. Diane asks them what they thought of my stunt during the reunion. Peter or was it Jamie says he thought it was funny. The lady, whose name I still don’t know, says she was offended. Very offended at the reunion. She used the word ‘offended’ two or three times before I cut in-
“Do I know you? Were we friends in High School? Do we even know each other?”
“No.” pause “But now I think it’s funny, and thank you for bringing me to New York!” or something to that effect. Now I realize that this is the same lady that is in the trailer. She’s the one at the end who accosts Cricket in the hallway and says, “EXCUSE ME, STRIPPER CHICK! You don’t have us fooled, the eyes aren’t the same.” Now she thinks it’s funny cause she’s on TV and got a free trip to NY for her and her husband and kid.
And that was it.
There was no follow-up interview.
She didn’t bring us all back to the couch to talk about it, that was just it.
It wans’t funny. I knew this right away. Nobody laughed. There were no good reactions, I certainly didn’t give them one, or what they wanted, which, I’m not sure what, exactly, that was. They picked two people who barely, if at all, knew me, so the information they provided Diane through her earpiece (which, apparently she had trouble even understanding) just came across as anti-semetic. Hah! I did a better job with my reunion “prank” than Diane Sawyer and all of GMA and its resources. If anything, I thought this will just prove I am a highly capable person, and once again, helps prove what my classmates were like and why I wouldn’t want to reunite. Apparently the lady from my class was the one who demanded the piece not be live-to-air because she became “afraid how I might react.” I love that she was afraid of me. How ridiculous!
Oh well. I got a free trip, and got to show Cricket NY for the first time. GMA’s still denying that it didn’t turn out, are still saying it will air, and that we’ve just been bumped for breaking news and because it was sweeps, but the same gut that told me to do the Today Show instead knows it won’t. We got bumped for a segment on Doggie Doors. Diane doesn’t look good in it. A segment they won’t even let me see, for “ethical reasons” cause it’s “news.” A segment that could have been good; they could have asked Ashton Kutcher for help and I’m sure he would’ve said yes cause NOBODY SAYS NO TO DIANE SAWYER (who btw, this was apparently all her idea, so clearly sometimes people SHOULD say no to her). Did they even think this through? Clearly not, as they BOOKED US ALL ON THE SAME FLIGHT BACK TO LA that was leaving in three hours. Sigh. And what hotel were they staying at all weekend? ONE IN TIMES SQUARE.
Lesson learned, sexy dress, lesson learned.