Lights, Camera, Action: Backstage at the Dr. Phil Show
When the producers of the Dr. Phil Show called and asked if I would come and talk to them about moms and leisure time, it was, as they say, an offer I couldn't refuse.
I wrote a piece about a researcher who said that moms have 30 hours of free time a week, and it sure did get readers' knickers in a twist. Moms said the good Dr. John Robinson, who conducted the time-use study revealing that fact, was crazy. Plenty of others weighed in, as well, with some rather -- ahem -- pointed remarks about moms, soap operas and bon-bons. The story, and your reactions to it, caught the eye of the good Dr. Phil McGraw himself.
Flying out to Los Angeles for the taping, I was as nervous as a long-tailed dog in a room full of rocking chairs. But once I got there, I was treated so kindly and so generously by everyone involved in the show that I was very quickly put at ease.
So what's it like to be backstage at a major television production? There are young production assistants dressed all in black, wearing headsets and fetching snacks and beverages for guests. There are producers with clipboards and lots of questions. There are hair and makeup people with fascinating stories about the tresses and faces of movie stars. The lovely lady who prepped me for my close-up shared how she went from jaded Hollywood insider to giggling teenage girl when she had the chance to do makeup for Michael McDonald, on whom she had a girlhood crush.
And then there is Dr. Phil, who could not have been nicer, even when I blurted out that my daughter thought I was going to see "Dr. Feel," the "Sesame Street" character based on him. He grasped my hand in his, smiled and replied," "Well, won't she be disappointed!"
The green room is neither green nor a room. The studio audience is, indeed, live. And how did I do with my hour in the spotlight? You'll just have to tune in on March 30 to find out!
Related: Blogger Kelle Hampton Touches World With Story of Down Syndrome
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.