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The Bethenny Experience

October 2, 2013

These past several weeks have been a complete whirlwind & I love every minute of it.

 You may have read my post on meeting Bethenny Frankel or what happened after I gave my first talk show interview on her show. You may have read about that crazy airport story and my 48 hours in NYC, but today I want to show you the more lighthearted fun side of my Bethenny experience.

 Initially I was journeying to the Big Apple to attend the Bethenny show taping, see a Third Day concert, visit my best friend Abbey, and surprise another dear friend Joe at his new hair salon. But then, in true Michele fashion, the morning brought on the crazy.

Michele & Stacy in Chicago

Michele & Stacy @ Calling My Girls Party in Chicago

 Bethenny’s producer Stacy, who had arranged our meeting in Chicago, called me to ask if I would be a guest on the show, instead of just sitting in the audience.

Uh…  YES!

 A platform to reach and inspire other women? That is the whole reason I started this blog to share this journey! Who wouldn’t take that opportunity?! I followed the golden rule of improv to never deny and I said, YES, and… I hopped on that plane with a whole new adventure happening.

My head was spinning the whole way: Had they planned this all along? Did they get a last minute cancellation and needed a stand in? Am I even prepared? What will I say?  WHAT IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW?

 Thank the Good Lord I had my best friend by my side. She was coming to the taping anyway and would be able to stick with me the whole time and the nerves set in.

 She arrived at my hotel after work and we took the time to catch up. I hadn’t seen her since her wedding almost three years ago and we were giddy, laughing, and having fun—a good old fashioned girls’ night sleepover.  We woke up early and traded turns in the bathroom like the old touring pros that we are, and got out the door right on time. We even had time to stop for coffee and a muffin (score!). The cab ride to the studio gave us the quiet space we needed before the adventure started.

Dressing Room Sign, Oh Yeah!

Dressing Room Sign, Oh Yeah!

 When we arrived, I assumed we’d be taken to a prep “area’ or holding room. Instead, I was led to my very own dressing room. No joke! My name was on the door and everything! Inside there was a couch, some chairs, and a table of coffee, water, teas, and tasty tasty snacks, all healthy.

When can I move in? Will they let me stay for a while?

The producer (another Stacy) who spoke to me the day before for phone prep came in and went over details and when she left, Abbey and I had a few minutes alone to jump up and down, squeal, and take pictures. THIS WAS HAPPENING! The production assistant even took my dress (that I had nabbed the night before for $50 at a discount store called Fox’s. Sweet!) downstairs to be steamed. Shoot. I want a “downstairs” to have things pressed upon request!

Yummy Dressing Room Snacks

Yummy Dressing Room Snacks

 A minute later, Stacy came to start my prep. Then, Terence Noonan. Bethenny’s Executive Producer, came in to talk to me. From my experience in the TV world, I knew who he was and this was a huge deal to me! It isn’t typical for the Executive Producer to prep a guest, after all. How awesome is that?!

Meeting Terence added so much to this experience. We talked a bit and found we had quite a bit in common. We swapped spousal stories and I hope to have another exciting encounter like it in the future.

Next, we went down to hair and makeup. What? Hair AND makeup? None of my career experience was in the talk show area, so this was all new to me. What a rock star I felt like!

While I was basking in the glory of feeling like an A-lister, the producer was going over the interview and what we would cover. I’ll admit it was difficult to balance emotion and keep focused on the interview prep, all while trying to enjoy the taste of getting pampered so thoroughly. After the glam a session, they whisked me back to my dressing room where my dress was fresh and pressed and waiting for me!

Me & Abbey Audience Stylin'

Me & Abbey Audience Stylin’

We had the option of watching the show from our TV monitor in the dressing room, but we wanted the full Bethenny experience, so we sat in the audience for a portion before my segment. The audience team was revving up the crowd getting us all ready for Bethenny’s entrance. We were dancing and goofing around with total strangers and loving every minute of it!

We watched Loni Love talk about her book, and man, is she hilarious. I am most definitely a fan and if she ever comes my way, I’ll be going to her show for sure. She’ll have you in stitches, check her out!

Then I was grabbed from the audience, we went over some last minute tips and pointers of what to go over and talk about, then I was walked to the stage entrance.  Loni Love passed me and stopped to wish me luck and that meant a lot to me. Like a sister thing.

I took a moment to be still and quiet. To say a prayer of gratitude for the opportunity and to ask God to lead my words. I took a sip of water (in the special way so as not to ruin my lipstick), and waited for my moment.

Bethenny introduced me and we chatted on her couch. The one thing the producers never told me was just how I was supposed to sit on that round piece of furniture. You’d think that might be a bit important. It makes me laugh that this little detail is so important but if you are ever on a talk show with a  round couch you will know how important this actually is.

Terence & Bethenny on that round couch

Terence & Bethenny on that round couch

I was trying to remember everything we had gone over in prep, but I hardly needed to. Despite the silence of the audience, it was very easy to talk to Bethenny. I almost cried once, but luckily my desire to keep my professional makeup job in place took precedence. She probably noticed how terrified I was, but I was glad to have already met her. I knew she was on my team.

The interview was a bit emotional, and after I exited the stage, I had a good cry over it. While I waited for Abbey back in the dressing room, I recomposed myself and had some snacks. Though it was all a blur, the producers said it went very well.

When Abbey got there, we laughed, we cried a little, and savored the last minutes of this special day. After we left, we grabbed a slice of pizza, Abbey went to work, and I went to the hotel and crashed. It had been quite a day.

I want to thank Bethenny for such an awesome gift. She gave me a platform to share my story and to inspire others which is what this blog and journey is all about. I don’t know if the segment will air, because it was mysteriously cut from the original show it was part of. But that is ok because I am forever grateful for the memory, the experience and the woman who came up to me after the taping. She touched my life forever.

I want to thank Abbey for sharing the day with me. She is my rock, my friend, and she is always on my team. So thank you, Abbey.

Me & Abbey on our way for Pizza

Me & Abbey on our way for Pizza

Through this experience, I followed the golden rule of Improv and the new Michele. I came from a place of Yes when I got the call from Stacy. The golden rule of Improv is to always say: YES, and…

So I ask you: Are you open to what blessings and surprise events are coming your way? Are you coming from a place of Yes?

  1. Congrats Michele! What a great experience for you:)

  2. Yay! I’m so happy for you to have gotten such an awesome opportunity and I can’t wait to see it!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Take The Inspiration, Leave The Disappointment |
  2. Take The Inspiration, Leave The Disappointment |
  3. Bye-bye Bethenny |

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