The Interview

I was consciously aware of my red cheeks and wet nose.

It was about 40F degrees and I could have been walking in a wind tunnel. After a good six block walk, I arrived at my interview for host of a new travel show 30 minutes early, and did my best to compose myself before ringing the buzzer.

One of the producers opened the door to the small studio and one glance put me at ease. He was wearing jeans and a dress shirt just as I had (after struggling against the urge to wear a tie just because people say that you should) and being an ex-hacker type, I felt at home with the cables draped across the floor and computers humming all around. The room screamed productivity – this was my kind of place.

As it turned out, they were my kind of people as well. Despite being nervous, I might as well have been chatting about travel with a group of old teammates from IBM. They did their best to put me at ease and kept me busy with questions, which went fairly well, until the inevitable happened…. they decided to see how I handled myself in front of a camera. Interview for the host of a show and they want me to practice on camera, go figure. 🙂

Mind you, this wasn’t like standing in front of Uncle Bob’s handy-cam at Christmas. I had my shirt wired, I stood on a small make-shift stage setting, and I could see my reflection in the giant lens of the Sony camera. It might as well have been a bazooka pointing in my direction for all the drooling and stuttering that I did. If I had thought through some things to say I might have done better, but I found it physically impossible to pull BS from thin air in front of this contraption without looking at them or at the ceiling when I thought of what to say next.

I also realized what an annoyance that having two arms is because I had no idea what to do with them as I talked….I tried for a compromise somewhere between a mad Italian arguing his cause and dangling them at my sides like two trunks of dead meat. Next time I will just opt to chain-smoke Bourdain style.

To tell you the truth, I left slightly pissed off at myself for having had such a great opportunity and not delivering at the crucial moment. Thanks to playing Army for 6 years, stress usually makes me perform better, but in this case, I felt like a guy on American Idol that had just forgotten his words. Fortunately for me, there were no Simons among the producers.

So the second half of the interview did not go according to plan. But then again, neither does anything in life. The important thing for me lately is that: 1) I learned something from it and 2) I had a good time. So in this case, mission accomplished!

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One Response to “The Interview”

  1. I love Chicago…….let’s go back soon. Next time we go up the Hancock Building without fail!

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