The other day I went to The Martha Stewart Show. She was doing an entire show dedicated to blogging, and the audience was filled completely with bloggers, including yours truly. And the guests were all bloggers. I Twittered what was going on up until the point they made me turn my phone off:
Getting ready to go to an all-blogger-audience taping of Martha Stewart’s show.
wish i had brought my laptop, didn’t know it was allowed!
ok, i’m going to live twitter this until they make me turn my phone off.
sitting waiting to get into the studio. letting people in by stripe codes on tickets – mine’s purple
they announced that paris hilton would be the guest and i rolled my eyes, but it’s perez hilton!
my stripe still hasn’t been called, i’m starting to wonder if i’m going to get in
ok, purple stripe is in.
ok, snagged a great seat, first row of the regular section (there are other seats on the floor)
is this a good time to confess that i’ve never seen the martha stewart show?
they are playing some crazy bass-heavy music that’s shaking the studio!
ok, the warm-up guy is outthe show is over, i totally had to turn my phone off.
highlights: martha referring to palin as cheryl, and getting a free hp printer
also got two books and a calendar, will blog later.
I was really aggravated to learn when I got there that not only were laptops allowed, but an email had gone out encouraging people to bring their laptops and blog from the show. I totally didn’t get that email! I had packed up my laptop that morning and made it all the way to the sidewalk before deciding to bring it back inside. Just feeling the weight of it made me think twice. I figured that they’d probably make me turn it off and then I’d be stuck with my laptop all day for no reason. So when I got into the studio I discovered that everyone with a laptop had seats in the center section and were getting all the attention.
Martha Stewart was not at all like the image I had in my mind. I’ve never really been a fan. I’ve never seen her show, never read her magazine, and just briefly flipped through one of her wedding books when I was planning my own. It only took a few pages to discover that I just wasn’t the right type of person for a Martha Stewart Wedding. She seemed from afar to be very stuck up, very formal and proper, very condescending, and pretty much the opposite of down-to-earth. But I really liked one thing about her: she handled the whole stock debacle with class and grace. She was treated so unfairly during that whole ordeal. I’m sorry, but I think that once a court determines that you haven’t done anything illegal, you shouldn’t go to jail for lying about it. You have to figure that if the government hadn’t screwed up by prosecuting her for something that wasn’t illegal, then she wouldn’t have had an opportunity to lie about it. But instead of dragging things out and fighting and appealing, she simply wanted to get her sentence behind her and get on with her life. I really admire how she handled herself.
She didn’t chat with the audience at all during the commercial breaks, except for a few people she already knew. She was all business, but I would think she’d have to be, since the show is live in most markets. No second takes. She got through the show just fine. Well, except for when she referred to “Cheryl Palin.” She corrected herself a few minutes later, after someone on the staff made her aware of her gaffe. She surprised me (in a good way) when she talked about how she wouldn’t be comfortable having a president who didn’t know how to use the most common method of communication (John McCain doesn’t know how to use email).
The warm-up guy (shows like this always have a comedian come out and warm up the audience beforehand), Joey Kola, had made the mistake of talking about how well we were going to be taken care of, meaning that we were going to get a lot of free stuff. So when Ms. Stewart started talking about the Canon G9 camera that she uses, I thought to myself “Wow, I really need a new camera. Maybe we’re going to get one.” Then she brought out four of them to give to four of the special guest bloggers who are regulars on her show. At that point I was pretty sure I was getting a Canon G9. It’s a great camera, and I was salivating over the thought of getting one for free. I was just waiting for her to say “And you’re all getting one!” But it didn’t happen.
It was an interesting mix of guests. Perez Hilton, who makes a shitload of money blogging, had a much quieter personality than I though he would. He seems to work very hard at his blog, getting up at 3:57am (to blog on NY time from CA) and blogging for twelve hours a day. The other guests were a blur. There was someone from Cute Overload, and we got a calendar which, frankly, is just too cutesy for me. Unfortunately I know people who would love it. And we got a neat book, chronicling in pictures two women’s mornings on opposite ends of the country. They would each post one picture each morning to a common blog, and gained quite a following. Not only are the pictures beautiful, but there are often eerie parallels between the two – both posting what they ate for breakfast, for example, or one posting feet and the other posting shoes.
It wasn’t until the very end, almost as an afterthought, that an HP printer was brought out, and we were told that we were each getting one. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a great printer, and I love HP (I have an HP printer already, although not as nice as the one from Martha). And I know I shouldn’t complain about getting a $200 printer just for showing up. But hosts like Rosie and Oprah have kind of ruined the whole free-talk-show gift thing for me. Rosie used to give away TiVos as if they were tissues. And Oprah brought audience gifts to a new level with her Favorite Things shows, the time she took the entire audience to Disney World, and the time she gave everyone in the audience a car. So now, someone like me is told that they’re going to get something great, and my expectations are so high that I find myself being disappointed that I ONLY got a really nice $200 printer! What’s wrong with me? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with me: I want that Canon camera! The pictures on Filming In Brooklyn look like crap with my old camera, especially when I have to blow them up.
After the show was over, we all had to stay so that Martha could tape a PSA about the armed services, and then judge the preliminary round of a hot dog contest. Now, I’m a vegetarian. I’ve never had a hot dog in my life. But by the time they brought out two huge tables of hot dogs, I was so hungry that they were smelling sooooo good! And some of them were covered in other things that I like, like macaroni and cheese, and cole slaw! Luckily I was able to sneak in a few bites of the granola bar I had in my purse.
Tasting each one of those took a lot of time, but she surprised me by how into it she was. She had invited one of her editorial directors, Kevin Sharky, to taste with her, and towards the end Joey Kola jumped in as well. Good thing, because while Martha was still going strong, Kevin Sharky looked like he needed a bucket. I would not have expected Martha Stewart to like hot dogs, but they’re her favorite food! Doily-loving, wrapping-paper-making, grow-your-own-everything Martha Stewart loves hot dogs. Who knew? And she asked for a beer before the tasting started. One never materialized, but by that point I was seriously embarrassed that I had let myself build up an image of her based on not much of anything that was true. She was especially endearing when Kevin Sharky started making lewd comments about the bigger hot dogs. They were pretty hilarious together.
Anyway, it was a fun morning, despite having to get up at 5 and not bringing my laptop and not getting a free camera. I went out for lunch (actually, just a Diet Coke and most of the bread on the table because I had to run) with some of the other ladies who write for the SVMoms group (I also write for the NYC Moms Blog), among them the bloggers of chefdruck, Jersey Bites, and this full house (who has the best tagline: don’t make me have to use UPPERCASE!). If you’re ever in NY and you get the chance to go to a talk-show taping, you should, they’re fun! And you just might get a cool free gift.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom