Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Dimwit Twit ... or tweet, whatevs (My Rachael Ray Return)

Hey there! So, as mentioned in my last post I got a second invitation to be on Rachael Ray's show last week! Do you know what goes into being on a show like hers? I'll give you the run-down ... aka my Dimwit Twit ... or tweet, whatevs

1) Weds 4/9/09 - On my birthday, my assistant (she's really my bff that asked if she could help de-stress all my scheduling and stuff when it got crazy last year. I really should talk about her more ... she has a full-time career wrangling a-list recording artists and more and she just slid me right into her program, very nice and effective.) Anyway, she gets an email from the p.r. department at Food Network asking me first if I'm available (yes) and then telling me the planned theme of the show (secret). Because I was busy that day (celebrating my 34th!), my girl, knowing my schedule and of course that I would never say no to Rachael Ray, confirmed me ... but I didn't know yet. No biggie, she knows when I need to know stuff. 

2) Sun 4/12/09 - I get the email forward from my girl letting me know she got the request last week and knew that I would say yes, so she confirmed. Now, reading the email I begin to stress out! It's what I do ... I stress out. Lol. The theme of the show was commonplace and I knew I could speak to it, but the stress is getting my thoughts together for the audition ... what kind of audition you say? Well, it's called a pre-interview, but to me it feels like an audition. Like if I don't say the right thing or have the clever ideas, I won't make the cut or something or I won't get a return visit. I gotta tell ya, this is pretty honest. I always just want to do my best and I get scared that I won't. Ick. Things usually turn out ok, but you can't tell me that beforehand and the funny thing is I know this and still can't chillax. Ok, so the pre-interview was set for that Friday. In a pre-interview, the segment producers talk to you about the flow of the show and ask pretty much the questions that Rachael could ask to see what your response would be. Now, to add to that, I've learned of the other guests on the panel and they are all chefs ... argh ... I'm not. So, will my responses be good enough? Sound crazy? Who knows? I was also told in the email that each host will demo a recipe and mine was a certain course. All week all I could do was day dream about that course in the meal and what I would do for that in the circumstances given for the theme of the show. Follow? Alright, so if you are in a creative field, you know what it is to have to be creative on a timer ... scary. Will my brain get in gear? Can I say the right things? Anyway, I was a bit stressed hoping I'd have it together by Friday. Good thing is I've been gardening lately and it gives me plenty of thinking time. 

3) Thurs 4/16/09 - I get an email with the conference call information for the pre-interview set for the next day! Surprise! Looks like the show theme has changed a bit, but I still need to be prepared with recipe suggestions and answers to questions I don't even know yet. Exciting and a teeny but stressful because I still am not sure my ideas are original and will stand up to the chef's answers. I start thumbing through my old recipe journals for more ideas and then I just do some quiet time. That helps me, just sitting and thinking and letting the brain relax ... If I were new-agey, I'd say I meditated. I went to sleep a bit nervous, but again, excited to get on the conference call.

4) Fri 4/17/09 - I call into the conference call number on time and greet a party that has already started. There are two producers from Rachael's show and my p.r. rep from Food Network. After the hellos, we got to work and the producer's begin by asking me general questions that I wasn't expecting ... I had to think on my toes and was very happy with what my brain spit out. Then we got to the questions I was expecting and those went well too. Really, this all felt like a conversation among friends. Rachael has a cool staff, really. We were laughing and I was doing my best to stay on topic because I can ramble, but before we knew it 40 minutes elapsed and we were at the end of the questions! They told my p.r. rep that they would get back to her after discussing my answers and let her know what my part in the show would be and what recipe they would use for the show. So now, the waiting and the second layer of stress ... did I give them something they can use? All I know is the show tapes in 5 days and I have to get ready.

5) Mon 4/20/09 - I find out from the p.r. department about which recipe they want to use. Turns out after stressing for a week about a particular course, my answer about another course was so good, they decided to use me for that! Yaaaay! So, now all I have to do is develop the recipe. All that entails is writing it and getting it perfect. Then naming it, which is tough, that too I feel is creative and hard to do on a clock. I immediately sat down after getting the email and began to work. Luckily, one part of my recipe was a part of another one if that makes any sense? So, all I had to do was the other half and bring to life the description I'd given over the phone of the recipe in my head. I had a deadline of getting it in by the next morning and I went to sleep that night feeling good because the work was done.

6) Tues 4/21/09 - I got my toes done ... a super-pedi ... and a mani. This show airs in the summer and has a similar theme so I was told to come looking summery. I thought, I think I'll wear some sandals or something, so just incase I wake up in the morning wanting to, lemme get my feet in gear. I forget about them in the winter months, lazy yes ... also cheap as well :-). I'm still nervous because this is the day they see my recipe and they have the right to kick it back and make changes. So when I can't take it any more I ask for progress and find out everything is ok, they loved the recipe and want no changes to it! Yaaaay! I go to sleep wondering what exactly I will wear and hoping everyone likes my new hair cut.

7) Weds 4/22/09 - Today is the day! I got up at 6:30, threw on my outfit and headed to my girl Hadiiya Barbel's studio to get my hair done at 8:30. Then at 9:40 I hop in a car to the studios. I get there and go right into make up to get my face hooked up. It was nice seeing the same staff as last time and catching up a bit. Then after I headed to the green room to chill and wait for the other guests arrive, I realize why I saw Ken Paves and Benny Medina in the hallway ... J.Lo is in tha building!! She's so cute and I sit watching her live stream in the green room. Minutes later our segment producers come visit and go over the pace of the show we are about to tape. We find out where we will sit at the table ... I'm Joy Behar, if ya dig. Then we are reminded of what we said to them on the conference call and that we have to pretty much say the same thing on the show so no one overlaps information. Very choreographed, but they produce the show so well it looks very natural. The rest you'll have to see on television, but I left the building at 3 something and headed back home. I don't have an airdate yet, but here are some flicks ...
Duh, food first :-). Like before, the green room food was delicious. I took a flick before we all dug in. It didn't last long. I mean only on Racheal Ray's show do you get pizza with quail eggs. I haven't been on many shows, but due to my radio background I've been privvy to many green rooms and the fare served there. Rachael's staff has everyone beat. Everyone. Everything was so good. Just like I'd mentioned before, it's a panel discussion again and on the panel this time ...

Ooops ... too close up, lemme see if someone else will take the pic ... maybe one of his several p.r. reps from his publisher!? That's smarter ... 
Now you can see it's Throwdown king Bobby Flay! He's in the Whoopi seat on the panel. He's just still one of the nicest dudes and hilarious. I told him I'd make a tough face, and he did too for a sec until someone told him to smile. Btw, he is eligible for dad of the year because he told such a cute story of getting his daughter face time with the Jonas Brothers for her birthday. Pretty hip daddy if you ask me. Then another panel member is ...
That's Rocco Dispirito (aka Elisabeth Hasslebeck on the seating chart)leaving the green room area in search of some more food, really ... he said he was going back for seconds of something we ate on the show ... it was Rachael's recipe and in her words, I must co-sign and say it was yum-o. So, I have to say kudos to the man that departs light conversation in search of seconds.

Then, I met this dude for the first time ...
This is Chef Adam Perry Lang, today's Sherri Shepherd in the seating chart teeheehee. (Of course Rachael is Babs). Ok, lemme tell ya ... the book I'm holdin' ... AMAZING!!! It's in stores soon and on first look the recipes are amazing and the pictures to accompany are equally beautiful. I've done plenty of time in the South on some good ole BBQ and his book brings it all together. We talked backstage at length about different types of BBQ and I told him how proud I am that I have an upcoming episode of Cooking for Real that deals with North Carolina BBQ, which doesn't really get much play. People always debate over rub or sauce, but no one ever talks about vinegar based BBQ. I mean, we just chatted away ... cool family dude and he cooks!!! If you are a meat eater, this is a must-have cookbook ... really. Aside from meeting him, if I were in the store thumbing through books for purchase, I'd buy it. You can pre-order it here on Amazon and it's in stores May 5th. Good Father's Day or birthday gift for the protein lover in your life. Ick sounds like a commercial, but really ... there's a full chapter on lamb, several recipes for roasting a full-hog, I dunno, it just lit up the southerner in me. I'd totally buy it and feel wack now I didn't ask for two so I could give one away. Luckily ... I took this one from him and in return he invited me to his restaurant, Daisy May's BBQ

Now, if I had a Twitter account, I could've told you all of this in real-time, but I gotta tell ya ... I don't think I am going to begin twittering or tweeting or whatever the proper terminology is. I'm afraid it's the next generation Myspace, then Facebook ... eventually something will eclipse Twitter. I dunno, still on the fence, but I also know there is something to be said for a little privacy. I don't think anyone cares about my day to day and I know how much work I put into just blogging and replying to everyone here ... I ain't leaving this anytime soon, which means I can't take on new stuff. I can't follow the flock on this one ... thoughts?

22 comments:

The Duo Dishes said...

First, happy belated bday of course! Second, your hair looks bomb! That length looks good. Third, so much going on for you, which is great for little 'ol people like us to read. Let us know when the show airs. As for Twitter, we haven't made one for our blog or for our personal lives. It's just too much! Don't follow the lemmings! :)

Lys said...

Now THAT is a panel, Ms. Sunny. Looking forward to seeing the show. Congrats!

As for Twitter - I know Rocco is quite the "aficionado." There is a whole new level of addiction that comes with Twitter - just a warning *LOL*

Margaret said...

I joined the twitter universe over the last couple of weeks. It IS addictive, but fun also. I never thought that I could post a complete thought in 140 characters or less. I had a blog for over 2 years while I lived in Germany. Now I'm twittering.

Darius T. Williams said...

LOL - so I TOTALLY followed you. Love it - every second of it!

And yes, I knwo what you mean about the creativity piece of you!

sleepybelly said...

It’s funny – my sis and her husband were hanging out with us tonight asking the million dollar “what is a ‘tweet’” question. After we explained it to him – he was like “so it’s just like text messaging all your friends?” I told him that was kinda an astute observation from someone who has never had a cell phone in his life. He told me to make sure I credit him the next time I am invited to deliver that summation on Larry King Live. I think this is close enough. : )

Sometimes it seems odd that we can even pack another social networking medium into our already overbloated internetting.

You are definitely right – there is something to be said about a little privacy.

I think the twitter makes sense sometimes - but its feels like a niche market to me. I understand the idea of little updates and quips of the day, but personally – I really don’t think our culture needs any more sound byte receptacles… we’re a little too headline news as it is. Just a thought…

I’m glad you don’t tweet – you’re such a good writer. Your posts are so fun! It would be a shame to give that up for tweets uploaded to iphones across the country. Maybe I am green, but I think you’re right to not “follow the flock” on this one… for now anyways. Perhaps its relevancy will unfold and be yet another inbox flooder. Or maybe it’ll start a return to snail mail pen and paper “revolution”… Perhaps I should start working on my penmanship now… :\

ken said...

hi sunny...

my my my you make 34....look like the new 24...and my yes....liken the new cut cutie...

hey check this out for your garden it may help....go to www.google.com...in the search type: (how to star a vegetable garden)....then click google search...you can then click on one of the links below or click on the images or video in the upper left hand corner....to get a better feel for whaat you're looking for...
also google search these...you may like....(chia gourmet herd garden) - (aerogarden) - (topsy turvy upside-down tomato planter)...i'm loven your gardeners (D) hat....

the good and all the best...on the rachael ray show....meee like...the new offical site of sunny-(kenny)-anderson home page....i'm gonna go eat some of your birthday cake...send me a piece....ken also know as a 1975 baby

Nikki said...

Let's see...Happy belated birthday! (mine is today, the 27th, actually!) I didn't know that Rachel's show is filmed in pieces like that. Boy, those editors are amazing. That's hot there were quail eggs on that...hmmm, was that flatbread pizza?

As far as Twitter goes: being a food blogger, it's changed the way I blog & conduct my online activities. I've connected with more bloggers than ever before and more people see my Web content because of the links & pics I post. I am more connected with my community and I've realized that Twitter it's not all about what I may be doing from one moment to the next. It really is an amazing tool to get messages across. Hey, I even won a t-shirt contest a few months back because I tweeted back a response this company liked.

Be like Rick Bayless, he uses TwitPic a lot & tweets pics of food he's making, eating, or growing in his greenhouse.

I understand not jumping on the bandwagon & joining up. You've got enough on your plate. You don't need another social network that you feel obligated to update. And I think having a ghost writer is a cop-out. Don't do that either! LOL

Christa said...

I honestly have no idea why I signed up for Twitter. Everyone said I must, and I still don't get why I'm doing it. Anyway, congrats on the RR show appearance (I'm sooo envious) and what a great new haircut!!

Sunny Anderson said...

the duo dishes, thanks and thanks! i needed a change, spring is here! and please, don't think you are "lil old people", i am pretty much just like you. trust me. i keep it simple, there's nothing grand goin on here. as soon as i know the air date, i'll post it!

lys, i know right? again, just happy to be nominated lol ...

margaret, yeah editing down to 140 seems like a fun challenge i'd enjoy, but i still think i'm gonna chill on it and if anything watch the trend as a voyeur.

dtdub, hope you catch it when it airs, i need to bookmark your new spot so i can visit regularly. hope you've been well!

sleepybelly, ITA

ken, you are so crazy! that some detroit for ya! that chia obama got pulled from shelves!

nikki, thanks and happy belated back atcha! yes, most television shows are taped in segments instead of a complete run through. that helps the producers and everyone involved keep track of time and make sure focus is kept on topic. pretty neat. i gotta check out rick bayless' page, sounds yummy.

christa, lol you are funny. well, i signed up and took my name to leave it dormant. just to own it, but i get what you mean ... it's a total peer pressure thing right? thanks for the congrats! hope you like it when it airs, we all had plenty of fun!

Nkoyo said...

Sunny,
1)First of all, loving the cut. I think it's very flattering.
2)I can definitely relate to those nervous, interview type situations. It's kinda like I get so pumped about myself in my private victories, but whenever I am called upon to do some sort of cooking demonstration, or present my food, I tend to get jittery thinking of myself in relation to the other chefs there. Sometimes just the titles can make them seem scary. But I came to realize that really Sunny,when it comes to food, there really isn't anything new under the sun. Feel me? Most of cooking today is really a handful of techniques and ingredients simply expanded upon. You know those and then some. Everything else is just culinary POV. Take for instance someone like Eric Ripert, a highly noted French chef. Now for all of his accolades and fine dining restaurants I bet he couldn't tell you the first thing about Southern African American dishes, of which you know well. And it's kinda like, ppl don't expect him to. So similarly with you (Although I do think it's important to be a well rounded artist), you stand alone in your own SunnyA niche. Kudos to you for the RR return. (BTW, isn't it kinda ironic that yourself and all these other chefs are jumping through hoops to get on the show of someone is also admittedly and everyday cook? Pretty cool:)

Sunny Anderson said...

nkoyo, thanks and you had all great points. nerves suck really, they are emotional and my brain is surely more confident. omg on the eric ripert comment, you are right ... we all have our pov, speaking of which, what do you cook? much success on your next demo!

Nkoyo said...

Thanks a lot Sunny! The type of food that I cook culturally speaking is all over the place. I love to eat everything from Thai to French to Indian to Mexican and then some. So I'm so open to all kinds of food, and whatever I'm exploring at the time is what I cook. Here lately I've really been trying to connect more deeply with my own culture by learning some new Nigerian dishes (I've even played around with a few and modified them with some readily available American ingredients). I'm a caterer (BTW I'm the one from Houston w/ the vermin phobia), so generally I provide my clients with their personal preference of menu. My main focus, though, is on creating ALL NATURAL CUISINE. I'm soooo passionate about this because I just believe that ppl should be able to pronounce the ingredients in the food they eat (call me crazy, right?). So in all the menus I cater, we use a lot of organic and local produce, and food products w/out unnatural and unhealthy preservatives. I try to do this while giving them a gourmet experience as well. It's pretty cool; I love it. I remember you mentioning before that you catered a while ago as well: What made you start? How did you go about it?

Sunny Anderson said...

nkoyo, i feel you ... i like the idea of eating healthy, but i am also in love with the idea of just adding water sometimes lol ... depends on my mood, but i don't like preservatives, so i do my best to cook fresh when i can. about the catering ... it was not a plan, i was kinda forced to with all the requests to cook for my friends. i think where i messed up is i began to just show up places with food and then had a hard time saying no when it was requested. a few too many requests and adding a monetary value to hopefully slow the requests down didn't work ... so i didn't fight it, i joined it. started the biz and enjoyed it while it lasted. i couldn't continue because i didn't see myself as a caterer, i just wanted to cook for people, share recipes and meet foodies. worked out pretty well!

DIANE said...

Sunny! Sooo glad to see you have a blog! I just did a search online because I've been watching your show and I've noticed that you always have the BEST hoodies on! Where do you get them?! Inquiring minds want to know! Scratch that...NEED to know! Love your simple 'real' recipes, your attitude, and your zest for life! Wish you nothing but the best!
Much love from Baltimore!

Sunny Anderson said...

diane, hi! thanks and welcome to the blog! most of my hoodies are from these brands: Lucky Brand, Akademiks and LRG Luxirie. The rest are usually finds while not looking for a hoodie, like i got one at a kiosk cart in denver while on the road. if there's a specific one, describe it or the show and i'll go through my closet at home or at work and check the label. thanks for watching and for all the support!

Cooking Mama said...

Sunny, this is so interesting to hear this whole "behind the scenes" story. I LOVE it! I can't believe you get nervous. You are always so chilled out and easy going on your show. I can't wait to see you on the show May 20!

Sunny Anderson said...

cookin mama, I am so glad u like the blog ... a teeny bit of background cuz you are fairly new here is-- the reason i started this blog is because while i was working towards the goal of getting my own cooking show i'd search the internet for a 1st person account of what it was like. i wanted to know as much about the gig as possible. i'm an info junkie and really just thought there was a need for someone to do this. right? like regularly and personally. i secretly hope a future co-worker or tv host is getting a better look at what is on the way and in the same line of thought, i really hope viewers can live vicariously through the blog and also gain another dimension of the show and my journey. some of this stuff is pretty neat, but some of it is pretty everyday and the neat thing is the blog is kinda like the request lines of my former radio career. it's a chance to chat and connect with like-minded ppl ... this time it's foodies! so thanks and welcome to the blog. everytime someone says they appreciate the behind the scenes, it's a huge compliment. as soon as it begins to seem superfluous, i'll stop. (hope it never happens) now, about my nerves ... they fuel me. i fight them just like i fight negativity. the nerves don't say 'you can't do it' they say 'hope you do your best' ... i know, like we should all know of ourselves, that if i work hard i can succeed at anything within my means ... prob is i want to be perfect and it's impossible.argh ... plus, i've always been most nervous when i'm about to change paths and move in a better direction. the nervous energy always pays off. it's like my lighthouse or beacon ... it shows me the way to go ... go towards the nerves carol anne! (poltergeist) lol ...

Nkoyo said...

Definitely speaking my thoughts on that one, Sunny. It really helps knowing the job behind the show esp. if it's one you'd like to pursue. I treat alot of your blog messages like mini classes, and they keep me excited about my goal of creating my own cooking show. It seems like with most other jobs, though, you can find info rather easily, but with TV, they have some sorta mystique going on. It's just not that available.

Nolan said...

Hey Sunny. I used to read your blog last year but started my first semester back at school in January and haven't had the time. I feel like I've been so busy with school and work just like you, hehe. Anyhow, I love reading your blog. I even took the time off tonight from reading that book named .... The Reader to read your page instead, hehe. Well, I just wanted to tell you that I plan on making your Cucumber Drink that I saw you make on hulu.com. MAN that drink looks so green and ah-mazing. My family thinks I cook weird stuff so I cannot wait to see the looks on their faces. Haha. Anyhow, I'll post some pictures on my blog. Congrats on everything and keep informing us!

Sunny Anderson said...

nkoyo, i know ... you wanna know my theory? maybe people are saving it for a memoir or biography??? i dunno, i'm sure it is also because people are super busy, but i don't really have a crazy life. no businesses or anything, just me and my knife!

nolan, nice to have ya back! don't leave the book though ... i just got back into reading again because for a while i didn't have time, boy what a release it is to read, right?! just total theater of the mind!

tammy said...

Ain't Rachael Ray your momma? Ya'll look alike and have alot of the samr mannerisms. Ya'll have to be related.

Sunny Anderson said...

tammy, cute, but impossible ... you see, she's too young to be my mother. :-) thank you for the compliment, i consider her a very hard working successful woman, something i aspire to be every day.