For our first day of shooting the producers wanted to do a reenactment of my hair dying experience and then off to the salon to meet Kyan Douglas and fix my hair. Since I was in New York and not home we went to Ms. M's apartment to do the reenactment. Here is where I met Dan a director of sorts and the camera guy Ira and sound guy Kenny. Dan was great but I love Ira and Kenny. They were the friendliest guys and what I hope are typical New Yorkers.
Ira and Kenny set up lights and the boom mic. Looking at what the camera would see and making sure it was flattering. They both wanted what was best for the segment but also had me in mind. I truly felt that way. Especially since Ira would let me know if my nose was a little shiny or to straighten my shirt. All the while they were spot on professionals. I could tell they knew their trade like no others.
Dan wanted what was good for TV. Not that it was a negative thing but at the same time boring wasn't going to cut it. Off camera Dan would ask me a question and after I would give my answer he would critique it a little. "More animation", "give me a big hand gesture." He at times would reword what I said but if I felt that I wouldn't personally say that or it was not fully true I would just repeat what I had previously said. It didn't frustrate him at all and for that I was thankful. I wasn't pushed to say or do anything that wasn't me. Mainly he would help to rearrange my words which wasn't a big deal. In fact if I could get an editor for what I write I would jump at the chance.
At the apartment we filmed the interview section and of course the re-dye. No it wasn't real dye. My hair was already a problem they didn't want to make it worse. They used conditioner for this scene. Here was the only point that I wish I hadn't done something. During the reenactment I was asked to hold a hand mirror as if I was trying to look at the back of my head while dying it. Okay I would have never done this in real life but I did for the filming. Seriously. What woman does that? None. Not a huge deal but of course I felt foolish.
During the filming Ira was trying to get artistic shots so he is standing on the counter zooming in and out on my head. It was hard not to laugh. I'd be mimicking putting on make-up or applying hair dye and he'd be an inch from my face zooming in and circling my head. At one point I shot him a crazy eyeball and he laughed saying "just act natural" and he laughed some more. At least we were both feeling the funny vibe. Like I said I love Ira.
We broke for lunch and then we were to regroup at the salon where I'd get to meet Kyan. I guess it's a New York thing but not a soul blinked when a camera crew walked in or when Kyan did. Smooth I tell ya.
When I was formally introduced to Kyan all the first time jitters were gone. He immediately put me at ease and I swear it was if we had known each other for years. I've met a few celebrities (plenty of wanna-be's) and Kyan is by far the most genuine and down to earth star. I'd like to think it's the native Floridian coming out. It was a pleasure to get to meet him and I will forever hold it as the highlight of this entire adventure.
We shot a couple of intro scenes. In fact I got to "intro" hug Kyan five times before it was a good one. Not complaining. We both found it funny and kept giving each other smirky smiles.
I got miked me up for the next segment and this is why I love Kenny. As I said the previous post my lovely friend Kristi came on this journey with me. She was over on a couch, avoiding the cameras like they were the plaque. I went over before taping the dye and cut because I just knew I had a booger and needed to blow my nose. Of course I said this to her while requesting a Kleenex. As she is looking through her purse, Kenny on the other side of the room is waving a box of Kleenex saying "Jenn, here you go." Never talk privately with a mic on. I love Kenny.
At this point we start the next scene. Here Kyan discusses what he wants done with the dye and has Laurie, the supremely awesome terrific hair stylist extraordinaire, take over. She is the best. Not only because she is a Mother of two young kids so of course we have endless things in common but what she does to lift and redye my hair is beyond phenomenal. It came out beautifully.
Next Dean comes in to cut and style the new coiff. He gave me a very modern cut. I'm still not sure if it is "me" but I get compliments on the style all the time and it really is flattering. I guess I'm just not as hip as my hair now looks.
We take a few pictures and say good buy until the next day.
A staffer picks up at the hotel and walks us down to the studio. After he drops us in a conference room we wait. And wait. And wait. No one is coming to get me for hair and make-up and the time is getting closer to when we are to begin taping. Finally some one comes and is astonished I haven't been made up yet and rushes me into the hair room.
Here I find Dean and an assistant ready to go. Yesterday Dean had said not to wash my hair. I should have known better as my hair absorbs and freakishly uses any product. The stuff they used the day before left my hair wild and untameable. So they decide to wash me. Have I said the time was short? After the stage head came in and warned them I needed to go to make-up they decided to up the ante and put two hair dryers on me at once. Oh, that blew a fuse. So as we wait for the on-site electrician to come in they are trying to air dry my hair by running four hands through it. It was like a bad hair styling at a wine infused slumber party. The electrical guy comes in and pushes a button and we have power again. He pushes that little red button that is on all outlets. Jeesh.
They get the front done enough to start straightening it while blow drying the back and this time when the stage head comes in she is followed by the head of make-up. Who proceeds to apply base as they are straightening, blow drying and balming my tresses. Real movie star here.
Finally the head of make-up gets snippy and says my hair is good enough and whisks me away. Okay I broke out and laughed at this. It was frantic and their stress was making me surprisingly calm. In the make-up room the head of make-up starts in on the full face. She tells me "I'm so thankful you don't have some disfigurement or ugly skin I have to worry about covering up." I bust out laughing again and tell her I'll be sure to thank my Mom. She dead stares at me and says "You do that, you thank your Mom" and laughs as well. Barely finished with my lipstick and the stage head says "I need Jennifer now." It's nice to be wanted.
Next thing I know I'm in the green room before heading to the stage. I was still not nervous. I guess with rushing through the preparation I didn't have time to dwell on the studio filming. The stage head takes me by the hand and she leads me down the hall giving me pointers. Do this, don't do that. The only thing I really remember is her telling me to look at Rachael during the before/after shot and the rest was honestly a blur. Back stage I get reunited with Kyan. He gives me a cheek peck and reassures me I'll be great and to just be myself. He goes on stage for a minute or so and I watch the background piece of me backstage. My first thought was of course, damn I'm fat. With this lovely contemplation they take me on stage to sit me under a dryer. Here is where I meet Mrs. Rachael Ray.
We are introduced and she flashes her comforting smile and says hello. She then tries to break my cool by telling me how beautiful I am which of course is always a compliment but even more from her. I think I muttered a thank you or maybe just a mix of a laugh and a grunt. Some gent then breaks my hypnosis by running through what was going to happen...look straight ahead...look at Rachael during the before/after shot. I'm sure the same thing the stage head had told me, yet once again I barely remember much of it.
1...2...3...(action) These few moments went by so fast that I'm not sure if I did anything but grin like a drunk fool. They talked to me and from the tape I see I talked back but I was in the land of in-between a dream and the facts are not clear. Next thing I know the camera guy yells "clear" and Rachael is once again personally talking to me. She tells me I did great and that she she loves my hair but liked the calico look too. We say good bye and that was the last lovely moment of our meeting. Short and sweet and from what I experienced, all be it brief, she is as wonderful in person as she portrays on TV.
I waited back stage for a moment then was taken back to the green room. Here I get to snag a couple of pictures of me with Kyan and Ms. M for my scrapbook and I'm bid a fond farewell and it was over.
It was rushed from the get go and I didn't really absorb all of it for days after by replaying the events in my mind. I had a wonderful time and met some extraordinary people. It was everything I expected with a little more humor. I would like to thank every one associated with the Rachael Ray Show as they have given me a memory that I will look back on fondly. And a special thanks to my wonderful friend Kristi who made my trip a thousand times more fun and memorable than it would have been without her. It was amazing to be on TV and all that goes with it.
Come back tomorrow for pictures.