The Feather Boa
Several years ago, a counselor joined me on the Bridges set. We were at the top of a new year and my guest was eager to give tips on how to start the new year off right. I was excited to hear the tips and I knew our viewers would benefit also.
I admit I was a little surprised to see my guest dressed in what looked like evening attire, complete with a feather boa. However, I appreciate that we all have different personalities and fashion styles, so I didn’t spend too much time in surprise mode. My guest and I enjoyed some very upbeat pre-interview chatter and it seemed to me that all was going well. Very well.
Feather Boa and All
Then in what I can only describe as confusing my guest — feather boa and all turned and looked away from me. I mean she turned her whole self in the opposite direction so that I was looking at the back of her head. Surely, she didn’t think we would film the interview that way? What in the world? Since I was unclear about what was happening, I said “_______” we are going to be LIVE on the air soon. My comment didn’t elicit a response.
Then I tried again. I said something like it’s best if you look in my direction and we make eye contact during the interview. At that my guest turned around and looked me straight in the eye. What she said next baffled me for just a moment. She said, but I need to look the other way – I want the camera to capture my best side. Your best side? Really? Please tell me this is not happening.
The Life of a Talk Show Host Monica Schmelter
Oh, the life of a talk show host. I told her I understood her concerns as television is a visual medium. However, I went on to explain that the goal of Bridges is to have an authentic conversation, and that’s best accomplished if we make eye contact as we talk with each other. With that, she turned herself around, smiled brightly, and re-adjusted her feather boa.
To this day I do not remember what tips my guest offered to start the new year off right. I do remember she donned evening attire, a feather boa, and that she wanted to showcase her best side for the camera.
Today’s Secret from the Studio – sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.
Monica Schmelter is the General Manager of WHTN, Christian Television Network and host of daily television show Bridges. When people ask her why she smiles and nods so much while she’s interviewing guests she replies, “Oh that’s simple I am trying to think of what to say next”. You can watch Bridges on demand at monicaschmelter.com