- Sophie &Friends
Since July of 2014, when my book was published, I have been making promotional appearances on television and elsewhere. One of my first local appearances was on Sacramento's ABC News 10 daily show, Sac and Co. I really clicked with the production team there and since that time I have been making monthly appearances. Each month I do a project with host Mellisa Paul. Mellisa is a extraordinary talent. She's been in the news business for over 15 years. She’s one of those amazing pros who makes a very difficult job look easy. She and I have a blast crafting, chatting and laughing together.
On set with Mellisa
Last week I invited my sister Freda and my parents, Sue and Al, to come along to watch the production. They’d never been in a TV studio before, so for them it was a real treat. Little did I know that there would be cherries on top of the treat, because once the show was over, Mellisa, in her ever generous way, gave us a backstage tour!
Mellisa has made her way through the ranks, working all over the country, doing everything from field reporting to meteorology. I think her true talents lie in being a host. She has an uncanny ability to make guests feel comfortable in what can be a very nerve-wracking situation. Being on live TV is a bit scary for most people. It’s one of Mellisa’s many talents to make them shine, even when their hands are shaking and they are stuttering through their presentation.
Mellisa’s day starts early with a meeting with her producer Samantha. Sam and she go over the content for the day. Mellisa was trained in the theatre, so she has a talent for memorization and having a pretty good sense of “lines”. Remember, she is responsible for 30 minutes of live television (minus commercials of course). This means keeping the show going even when things like teleprompters (electronic cue cards) stop working, a video doesn’t play, a guest has trouble, or something major goes wrong in the control room. All the while, Mellisa has Sam talking in her ear through an earpiece. To get an example of what this feels like, have a friend ask you questions over the phone as you try to read an article from a magazine outloud. It’s like having schizophrenia.
The impressive control room
The fact that Mellisa took so much time with my family was unbelievably generous. She’s an incredibly busy lady. I’m so thankful to everyone at ABC News 10. Our time there filled me with a renewed respect for the people who report the news. It’s a job that few of us could handle, let alone excel at. You try writing copy, editing footage, and presenting a story in a digestible 2 minutes of video in less than an hour. Oh, and did I mention, do it while you’re in a moving van...or better yet...a helicopter.
Mom and me on set