5 Things Lou Learned Behind The Scenes at The Nite Show with Danny Cashman
Jeff and I ventured north to Bangor this week to guest on The Nite Show with Danny Cashman, my first talk show experience and I believe the first time I've ever willingly appeared on TV (I'm more of a sound-only gal, if that wasn't clear). It was a really exciting experience and I learned a lot about how talk shows work behind the scenes. Follow along, children!
1) The Green Room Is Awkwardly Awesome
Upon arrival, we were shown to our dressing room, which we shared with two musical guests, Hall and Riff. The slightly awkward part was the charismatic performers telling story after rad story to awkward radio personalities followed by, "so what's your shtick?" "uhh, we mostly just wake up at 4am to talk about our lives..." (sound fx: crickets).
What was awesome was that we got a private show to their toe-tapping rendition of Toto's Africa featuring a banjo. Still a little awkward in that I didn't know whether to appear nonplussed or totally into it, but I think that's a small price to pay.
2) Microphones (or "lavs"?) Are Hard
What you never notice about talk show guests is that they have little mics clipped in awkward places throughout the show. When you're the one wearing the "lav," short for lavaliere microphone, it is MUCH more cumbersome than it looks. As a wearer of women's jeans that come equipped with zero pocket space, I had to clip the transmitter to my waistband and snake the cord up UNDER my shirt, clipping the tiny mic itself to the front of my lapelless shirt. I had to move it a few times to avoid my hair causing interference or white noise... it was a difficult process around.
3) I Don't Know What to Do With My Hands
As an on-air personality, I never have to worry about how I look. As soon as I walked out on the set, I second guessed everything I do with my body. How big of steps do I usually take? Do I cross my legs at the knee or the ankle? Where are my hands supposed to be? Suffice it to say, I'm cut out for radio.
4) Audiences are Underappreciated
After our taping was done, I got to join the live studio audience (they're real!) and cheer on Jeff as he played the part of game show host. There's a warm-up guy who motions for everyone to cheer and scream and everything. Since it's not live, the audience gets an inside scoop of bloopers and retakes, and for every single one they have to muster up the same hoop-hollerin' energy as they did the take before. After the half-hour taping, my hands were stinging and my ears were ringing. I'm lucky I didn't lose my voice! I'll be the first to say it - live studio audience, you the real MVP.
5) Jeff is More Fun Than He Looks
I wouldn't say I was hesitant to take on four hours alone in a car with Jeff, but let's give it due credit as an impressive commitment. Lori and I could chat til we're blue in the face (our introductory phone call lasted a good 45 minutes, and that was before we even met in person), but Jeff is more... reserved. I wondered how much of the car ride would be spent sitting in silence, watching the trees whizz by. Come to find out, Jeff is a story-telling chatterbox! We bonded over nerdy things like games and phones, personal things like family drama and past relationships, and shared curiosities like why the traffic signs along I-295 have suddenly become hilariously snarky, and how come there are redundant "no right turn on red" signs in conjunction with red arrow stoplights. With Lori being rather 2-dimensional on this trip (see below), we found commonalities to fill the void between the front seats of that Ford Focus. And when we reached a silence in conversation, Jeff was surprisingly tolerant of my meowing along with his 80s playlist. Compromise, people. That's what friendship is all about.