At the ripe age of five, my non-show parents introduced me into the world of local television. Big eyed and even bigger-banged, I was a shoe-in for selling local donuts – and if not, they’re donuts, so really they just sell themselves. In a town that was known for its nut roll* – a recipe they shipped across the entire country – playing commercials was more of a formality. Besides, it wasn’t so much as a “You’re kid’s cute, we want to hire her” situation as a “Hey you go to our church, want to help us out?” type of deal.
A few weeks later, me and my Sunday school cohorts gathered to drink fake coffee and earn our respective mugs. And also a cookie – which is pretty much the only payment you need in kindergarten.
In a theme I’m sure the entire town thought clever, the commercial’s voiceover slated we were the local “coffee drinkers.” Since its existence, a steady 70-and-over crowd has spent countless hours camped out at this donut shop – just gossiping and power-bombing caffeine. Rather than scare off new customers, they substituted regulars with kids and pretended to make a joke.
Next, the camera panned to a shot of us gathered and sipping our air – or in one kid’s case, actual soda. Here, the acting was easy, I just gulped and gulped until they said “cut.” In my second shot, as counter clerk number two, I stood back and tried my best to not look at the camera … with varying results.
Then to end out the ad, a boy does gymnastics down the street, as if he’s so excited to get his hands on a world-famous nut roll.
Only there’s a flaw: the line, which mentions something about kids “flipping” for donuts, specifically mentions child customers. Meanwhile I’m playing a 67-year-old coffee-breathed clerk, and the gymnast is actually three grades above me.
This is the medium in which I made my TV debut.
Take Two: The Late Show
In New York, “late” equals 3 p.m.
My next TV appearance would come my senior year of high school, when I traveled to NYC. Along with my fellow dance team members, we saw about every touristy spot there is, including Letterman’s The Late Show. In this scenario, a lady with a huge clipboard asked us to stand outside the Hello Deli and explained she would tell us when to cheer. She was very specific. In our matching florescent red jackets, we stood for 45-ish minutes, until a camera came running through. We looked bored, unimpressed, and were still waiting for our “it’s time to yell and wave” signal.
The biggest highlight was a glance at the back of Rupert’s head.
Finally, we come to my last appearance, which took place on Fox’s College GameDay. No, they didn’t show up to see my beloved Wildcats, but purple exposure is purple exposure, even if it’s misplaced. In a crowd of K-State fans, Manny put me on his tall shoulders and I was able to cheer as an announcer introduced the game. Fairly painless, minimal wait, and a lady with a clipboard who spoke the truth.
Do I want to make these appearances a habit? No. In fact, in Ron Swanson terms of staying off the grid, I’m failing miserably. To reverse the effects, maybe it’s time to jump on his idea of gaining privacy and “delete all pictures.”
He was right that “Turkey can never beat cow,” and “Skim milk is lying about being milk,” – I bet he’s right about this one, too.
*They’re a love or hate type of situation; I hate them.