There I was, walking the Grand Canyon, minding my own business when your producers called and asked if I would be on your show. I was so flattered and excited at the prospect. Of course, I made room in my jam packed schedule (who could say no to Katie Couric?), and left for NYC two days later.
Nine hours of travel time landed us at JFK airport. A lovely man in a town car picked us up and took us the hotel. So far, so good.
Not so fast.
The accommodations provided by ABC Studios (aka Disney) … not so wonderful. While it was decorated in a cool kind of funky couture with animal print seats and snappy metallic decor, between us girls, it is not the place you ask your girlfriends to stay, let alone your out of town guests. I’m quite sure Mickey and Minnie would have declined the invitation.
Girl, let me tell you, the room smelled of mold, and was damp and cold from the window air conditioner (which wouldn’t turn off). The king bed had only one pillow, the bathroom was so small you had to squeeze aside to close the door, the handle in the shower fell off, our room door wouldn’t latch closed, the lighting in the room was almost nonexistent and there was no internet available. If you knew me at all, you would give me a medal for not complaining and raising the roof. But I didn’t. Mostly because I adore you and didn’t want to cause your staff any grief. Between you and me, if we hadn’t arrived so late into the evening (11:00 p.m.) I would have absolutely changed hotels.
Besides, I was being offered the chance to sit down with you, my darling Katie Couric, and chat about all the fab info I have stashed in my brain. The opportunity was worth a few hardships.
I awoke at 7:30 (with a newly developed raspy cough) and headed to the shower. The wand promptly broke off in my hand. I made the best of it, managing to get my hair wet enough to swish in some shampoo and rinse. Once out of the shower, I maneuvered about the itsy bitsy bathroom using the toilet seat lid as a place to hold my toiletries. I was undaunted.
At 8:05, I received a phone call from your wonderful co-producer (she really is a darling) who advised me that in an unprecedented move, the Katie Couric show had cancelled the scheduled tapings for that day.
What? My inside voice was whimpering that I didn’t understand. That I sacrificed a lot to be there, the trip wasn’t easy and the hotel was harsh. But my outside voice was saying that I understood. Things happen. And I agreed to stay in NY for another day in the hopes that taping would resume. *deep sigh*
We quickly moved to another hotel (our cost), as we waited for the opportunity for a following day taping. It didn’t happen.
I wanted to call you and tell you that whatever horrible thing befell you or your show, I was there for you, that it was nothing that a big bar of chocolate, a couple of martinis, and a sit down with me couldn’t make better. Of course, I didn’t have your number, so I ended up eating Fritos in bed.
On the selfish side, I couldn’t have been more disappointed. Then it hit me. I’m pretty sure I sent out about a billion emails to my colleagues, friends and family. Dear God Almighty. …let the emailing begin.
And so, it was over. The window of opportunity shut tight.
Some would say I should be happy for the invitation. I am.
Others would say that I got a free trip to NYC out of the deal. I did.
I would say that the trip cost me some decent bucks, half a week of lost time, a good bit of disappointment and the cost of a new computer, since on the ride home, my computer screen was cracked while in the overhead compartment. Not to mention a cough from hell and a raspy voice that made me sound an awful lot like Kermit the Frog in heat.
The valuable lessons I learned from our almost meeting are: 1. If you’re lucky enough to book a national television spot, don’t notify anyone until the taping is in the can. 2. Ask where you are staying, and make sure it is habitable. 3. When flying with your computer, keep it under your feet, NOT in the overhead compartment. 4. Bring your own internet hot spot when you travel. 5. Never lose your sense of humor. 6. Pack your pillow. 7. Take your loved one with you, you will need them to muffle your screams.
Still, I would do it all again, in a hot New York minute. It’s all about opportunity. When it knocks, I’ve learned to answer. If it doesn’t pan out, I’ve learned that there was something in it for me somewhere.
I also know that if you respect opportunity, it will visit you more often. I’d rather regret the cancellation of the taping than regret me not taking the chance to contribute.
So, Katie, if you’re listening, I’d like to remind you that I’m here in sunny California, waiting to be asked back by you and your staff. I hope that whatever happened that day worked itself out.
Should the stars align, you can tell Disney that they will save a few bucks on the accommodations, as I will book my own hotel. And if Mickey and Minnie want to join me, they are more than welcome.
Hope to see you soon,
Your loyal fan,