JULY 11, 2002
Warner threw a get-together for me, a celebratory party where I met everyone in the office and did an impromptu booksigning for people there. Not only was I getting spoiled, but I had a new appreciation for friends—those who loved me before, during and after, who stood by me when I couldn’t return phone calls because life was insane, and those who called to say, “I love you.”
JULY 12, 2002
At this point, although I was not “dealing” with the concept of live T.V., I wasn’t stupid and discovered I was a bit vain. I made sure I had manicure, pedicure, haircut and color appointments all set before national conference. Thank goodness I am good friends with my stylist, who also happens to live in New York City and convinced her to wake up at 5 AM to do my hair for the show. It didn’t take that much convincing, since she’s one of my biggest supporters and always had my books out at her station.
JULY 16, 2002
RWA’s Conference arrived and with it, the online Chat with Kelly Ripa. It was scheduled during conference so I had my publicist reserve a computer and phone in the business office of the hotel. Imagine my shock when I checked out the location and saw the glass windows that were viewable from the hotel lobby! No way was I doing this chat publicly or becoming a spectacle.
TheresaThank goodness there was no need for me to be on a computer. My publicist called to tell me LIVE had a typist who would create a transcript while Kelly and I were on the phone. I sent my roommate downstairs to watch the chat on the reserved computer while I talked on the phone from the room, with my longtime idol, Kelly Ripa! I had never been so nervous. I thought I was going to faint. I almost did when Regis called in during the segment. He’s never done that before or since and I nearly fell off the bed when I heard his voice. “Hi, Reeg!” (I still can’t believe I said that.) Adrenaline kept me going and I not only survived, but I enjoyed the experience! Needless to say, RWA was the greatest conference for me this year.
JULY 19, 2002
I realized my family was eating worse than usual this summer and they were getting used to phone calls during dinner. I can’t remember who called when or why, but there wasn’t a quiet time throughout all of July or August. I love my family and appreciated their understanding. It was hard on the kids, but they’re troopers and they’ve learned a valuable life lesson—follow your dreams, they can come true.
AUGUST 4, 2002
Before I turned around, it was the weekend before my TV appearance. Thank goodness Warner agreed to fly my publicist in from Washington State to prep me. We did hours of media training practice sessions where she asked questions while video taping me. We played it back, critiqued, and went back to try again. I discovered there’s nothing more painful than watching yourself on television. It Hurts! But I stopped fidgeting. I stopped looking down. I kept smiling. I spoke clearly, confidently, or so she assured me. I was determined not to make a fool of myself, and oh so grateful I’d already be seated when the camera went on, since I could envision myself tripping onto the stage.
I went online and looked at the week’s guests on LIVE. Tuesday, August 6th: Antonio Banderas and author Carly Phillips. I was listed along side Antonio Banderas. For the first time I thought “I am somebody.” Then I wondered if I would actually be in the “Green Room” with him or if they’d give him his own dressing room. The bigger question that loomed in my mind was, could this be the guest celebrity they told me would be present at the round table discussion? Not taking any chances, I packaged autographed books for both Antonio and his wife, Melanie Griffith. I made sure that when Kelly asked who I envisioned casting as my Chandler Brothers, I added Antonio to my answers. I was primed, I was pumped, I was ready.
AUGUST 5, 2002
BAD THINGS HAPPEN EVEN IN FAIRYTALES
The day before the show, my manicurist came to my house as a favor since the salon was closed on Mondays. I was sitting in my kitchen, toes in a bowl of warm water, hands being manicured, phone ringing and my publicist answering my calls in between drilling me with my message points, and holding the phone to my ear like the pampered Starlet I was pretending to be.
One call couldn’t wait. The day camp nurse was on the phone. My oldest daughter fell in gym. Her arm was swollen, her knee hurt and she needed to get X-rays. I looked down at my bare feet in the bowl of soapy water and did what any Jewish girl would do. The heck with fairy godmothers, I called my Mother!
While making arrangements to have Mom pick up my daughter at school and take her to the doctor, where I planned to meet them, my publicist was massaging the muscles in my neck. “Relax. Everything happens the way it’s supposed to.” Hah.