Being Bold

Posted by mwallach on September 14, 2012 in New Yorkers |

Dear That’s Life,
With Rosh Hashannah approaching, the time for self introspection and review of the year past is very much upon us. And as I consider the last twelve months, I lose count of the blessings and opportunities I have been given because there are many. Someone recently told me that G-d must really like me, and I think it is more than that. He has my back.

So when a car comes to my home and takes me to FOX Studios in midtown Manhattan, no one in my house blinks. It does not come every day and I am not on camera all the time. When I am on set, however, it is no big deal. Since crazy follows me everywhere, why shouldn’t something like this happen as well? Anything is possible. The car arrives timely and battling the Van Wyck is not my headache as I sit in the backseat and prepare. Music blaring through my earbuds, I tune out the rest of the world and work.

The scariest thing about being live on national television, besides the moment when you realize you are live on national television, is that HDTV is not forgiving. Having previously declared that I have a face made for radio, I praise the wonderful work of the artists in the hair/make-up department. Besides being lovely to work with, they are good at what they do. Having done most of the preparation myself, I depend on them for touch-ups, and to undo the bad choices I may have made.

The first time I was there, the governor of Mississippi waited patiently in the chair next to me. That was pretty funny. All I could think about was how when my segment was over, I was going to go home, take off my make-up, drive carpool and make dinner. He, and his two staffers who kept calling me “Ma’am”, were going to hop a flight and go run a state while I went to the store to pick up milk. And he was waiting for me to finish having my nose powdered? The irony.

Convinced that I have no sense of style or fashion (and for good reason), one of my daughters suggested I get a stylist. “Are you for real?” I said, rolling my eyes. “I do not need a stylist , “I continued. “And do not even mention Rachel Zoe’s name.” Exasperated, she dropped it. I thought I was doing just fine until someone then reminded me that I wore orange on camera twice in a row. I rolled my eyes again. Seems no one cared what I said as long as I looked good, and the jury was not back on that one. Tough crowd, I thought. Teenagers make the court of public opinion look like Romper Room.

Last week, I invited Nomi, my mentee, to join me at the studio. Determined to give her as many experiences and opportunities as possible, I told her to get permission from her supervisor and meet me in midtown. While having my make-up touched up, I was told that I’d be doing a segment with Steve Forbes. Trying to stay calm, I said that was no problem, while inside I was screaming, “OMG – STEVE FORBES!” I immediately texted my husband. Almost instantaneously, he responded with quick bio information, including Forbes’s two presidential campaigns and that he has 5 daughters. I laughed. “And like a bazillion dollars,” I wrote back.

Camera ready, we then headed to the green room, where I noticed Mr. Forbes standing on the other side. After putting down our bags and seated on the couch, I then turned to Nomi. Forever the educator, I saw a teachable moment and decided to take it. “Sometimes you just have to be bold,” I said to her, and I stood up and walked across the room.

“Hi,” I said to Mr. Forbes, my hand extended. “My name is Miriam Wallach and we’re going to be on set together.” Warm and approachable, he shook my hand. “Hi,” he said. “I’m Steve Forbes.” Next thing I knew, we were exchanging business cards and talking about his tie.

Walking with me over to the other side of the room, he then introduced himself to Nomi. After he went on set, Nomi and I just stared at each other. We had just met Steve Forbes, who was sincerely nice, and I was about to follow him on national television. It was truly unbelievable.

Rest assured, I have put the business card in a safe place, lest it be touched by someone with dirty hands. I have been in touch with his office and intend on continuing a dialogue. Who knows? Maybe he’ll come over to dip an apple in some honey. Stranger things have happened – that is for sure.

As Seen in The South Shore Standard Sept ’12

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