Always a Publicist, Never a Guest
I've always been a competitive person. If I saw someone win something huge - like Beth, whose last name escapes me, who won the Best Performer Award in my high school more than 20 years ago, I decided, I had to have that trophy too. And so, I set my sites high, performed with the best of 'em and actually won the coveted honor two years in a row. Of course, now that I'm married with two kids, the trophies are dusty and broken in the back of my basement, and since that glorious moment in my life, I haven't really won anything - except some random giveaways and a shout out from the Graco website.
These days, I've found that as I attempt to promote myself or my book, I get really perturbed when I see other parenting authors and everyday moms winding up on the Today Show or GMA or Martha Stewart and me, who knows every booker known to mankind (yes, including producers at Oprah), can't get myself arrested.
I don't know why I never make the cut to the talk show couch and I have tried to rationalize it over the years. I'm not a parenting expert. I don't have an advanced degree in medicine, child psychology, bed wetting or nursery design. Maybe I'm not a good talker - oh who are we kidding, I am so a good a talker. I'm not special enough. Or, sometimes I think that because these producers know me, they've taken pity on me and feel like they'd be doing me a favor if I were booked on their show so instead, they choose to ignore my calls. They will however book my own clients three, four and five times and when I casually mention I have a book out too, they'll say, "Oh, that's nice but we're totally booked up at the moment...can your client appear this Tuesday though, we have a hole and he'd be a great guest!"
WTF? Would it be that difficult to put me in a segment with Rachel Ray? I mean, she could teach me how to make a mean macaroni and cheese for my kids and I can show her how to whip up my grandmother's signature kugle. And over at Martha Stewart, I could offer priceless tips on how to throw the perfect wine party (hire a caterer and make sure the package comes with someone who will clean the dishes). Over at Regis & Kelly, I could shoot the breeze until the cows came up with Kelly Ripa. And I'd have a few zingers that would make Regis laugh too since he totally reminds me of my dad and I hurl one liners at him all day. Then I'd zip on over to the fourth hour of the Today Show where I'd wax nostalgic with Kathie Lee about the time she had little kids and maybe teach her to create a blog. Then I'd walk over to Mike & Juliet where they'd throw me into a segment about parents addicted to technology and they'd have some on-air intervention with a parenting psychologist.
At noon, I'd hit the Maury Povich Show where I'd give Maury a big hug (I used to be a publicist on that show) and then he'd stick me in a segment about women who want to have plastic surgery to get rid of their cankles. At 1 pm, I'd waltz over to CNN Showbiz and share all the secrets about stars who were totally rude to me when I was an entertainment publicist working on some of the biggest shows on TV. Then a car would whisk me to New Jersey where I'd appear on MSNBC, CNBC and the Donny Deutsch Show. On the first two shows I'd talk about why I've flip flopped and have decided to support Hillary Clinton because I think Barack Obama is a bit too big for his britches and they should totally allow those votes to count in Florida and Michigan. Then on Donny's show, I can be one of those millionaire wannabes in the audience who talks about how I'm trying to build a successful business from my basement and he and a panel of gazillionaires start counseling me on what exactly I'm doing wrong.
Then, my town car (I could have had a limo but opted to downsize to save gas and the environment), would take me to David Letterman's studio where I'd be reunited with the former hairdresser from the Maury Povich Show (I used to have so much fun with that guy, what was his name again anyway?) and I'd get all glammed up, squeeze into a dress with a jacket (since it's ice friggin cold in that studio) that covered my cankles and would get ready to go joke for joke with Letterman. No, I wouldn't do stand-up but I've got enough funny stories to tell that I could keep the audience in stitches for at least 3 minutes. I may not be waif thin and have a movie to promote and I may not be famous, but I'd certainly make a great conversationalist.
The very next day, my whirlwind PR tour would consist of a few local appearances and then I'd race off to the airport so that I could catch a plane to Chicago. Where am I headed you ask? Not iVillage my friends. But the big O herself. I'd be booked on Oprah because she inadvertently picked up a copy of Peeing in Peace and decided to put it on the O List. This is my fantasy so in my world, this totally could happen. Sure, she doesn't have kids, but her friend Gayle does and so O gives it to G and in the words of Emeril Lagasse...BAM!!! We've hit the big time. So on Oprah, I reunite with her chief of staff (who used to work at Maury) and one of her top producers (also a Maury alum) and we'd hug and reminisce before it was time to go out on stage. And when I get the chance to take my seat and Oprah starts asking questions about my book and how incredibly successful my website has become, I'd finally be transported back to the day I won that trophy in high school for best performer. The feeling of euphoria that courses through your veins when you've made it is indescribable. But unfortunately, I haven't hit the big time just yet and for now it's still just a pipe dream.
I guess I have to face the cold hard truth that I'll always be a publicist and never a guest.