Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ABC News and the Contest Winner

OK, so the contest winner is… Bad Ass Geek. Not for guessing correctly, but for the sheer number of guesses. I love the enthusiasm. So I’ll be sending him a DVD since he already has the book.

So the contest is still sort of open. If anyone scrolls down and then finds the job I’ve never had, they’ll still win a free book or DVD. I have more.

Recently I did an interview with ABC News. Here’s the link:


Now, it was a very surreal experience for a number of reasons. First of all, it taped in NY. I live in LA. I went down to the ABC affiliate and taped my segment there. I had never been in a newsroom before. It was small. No makeup, no nothing. Just a chair. Being a comic, other comics tell you to bring your own makeup. I didn’t have any. I borrowed my wife’s. I THINK we’re the same shade but I didn’t want to look shiny so I went with it.

I was nervous. No host in front of me, since she was in NY. I just listened in the earpiece and talked into the one camera in the whole studio. The crew guys were awesome. There’s just something about old union crew guys that just puts you at ease immediately. They talked to me, helped me to relax, and told me to stop checking my notes. The camera guys asked me for a signed book for the tech director who just had a baby. I gave him one. I learned to always bring extra books in case. Plus, you always want to keep the camera dude happy. Otherwise the host will be interviewing your feet.

The other reason that the whole thing was surreal was that the ABC lot was where I used to temp as a computer tech and then later worked as a writer for Port Charles. So it was really cool to go from being a temp on the lot to coming back as a guest. Not that anyone remembered or recognized me, but it was still really cool.

I remember when I was temping I has such a detachment about my job. I did the work, but the weird thing was I made all these crazy demands because I didn’t care, and they let me do whatever I wanted. Unlimited time off to go do stand-up, I was the highest paid tech although I was the least experienced, and I realized that it was so hard for them to get competent help that they put up with me because I did my job, didn’t complain, and made everyone laugh. I think that helped the most. I just didn’t care about having or losing the job. It’s the best bargaining position you can have.

I remember I even tried to sabotage the interview by showing up in jeans and answering a question incorrectly but honestly:
“What would you do if someone asks you for a keyboard extender but you know they don’t really need it?”
“I would give it to them, because it’s not worth the hassle.”
The interview ended with my boss saying “I’ll show you where your office will be.”

Then of course the tech bubble burst and all the internet tech support guys flooded back into the market and all the jobs were pretty much gone. But by then I had moved on to being a working and often not working writer.

So it was good to be back on the ABC lot. Sometimes your accomplishments are measured in years, others in moments. It was good to have a moment while sitting in a newsroom chair with my wife’s makeup on my face.


Badass Geek said...

Rock and roll, dude! Thats the first time I've ever won for being a loser.

Loved the interview, too, btw. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

“I would give it to them, because it’s not worth the hassle.”

That is funny.

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