Yahosh Bonner, Brooke Walker and Natalie Riskas

I want to share with you my oh-so -fun experience of being interviewed for a TV show this week! I was asked by BYUtv in Utah for recommendations regarding supporting introverts in a family. A very special thank you to Jenn Granneman of Introvert, Dear for the referral to BYUtv. From beginning to end, this was a wonderful experience. The producer for the show emailed me a month before the interview to ask me if I would be interested in contributing to their show, Family Rules!. Since it was early July and the world was well into our Covid 19 nix on traveling, I assumed it would be a Zoom call. Stephanie, the producer, informed me it would be an in-person interview done on set in Provo, Utah.

Truth be told, I was starting to get a little anxious/stir crazy/down, being stuck at home with limited opportunities for outside world engagement. This interview sounded like the perfect antidote to my cooped up Covid blues. Yes, I’d have to travel and yes it is not exactly essential travel, but I was getting paid and they were covering my travel expenses. It was for work and pleasure.

An expert

Producer Stephanie and I had a spirited discussion over the phone about what I would talk about during the eight minute segment. I sent her an outline of talking points a few days later. It all went so smoothly. I’ve been doing this introvert/relationship writing, research and coaching for almost ten years, and it is very close to my heart. I’m so glad it has become easier to speak about it off the cuff.

Some of the topics covered in my interview were:1. A definition of introversion 2. How it is cultivated both biologically and socially 3. How society is so fast paced and stimulating 4. The gifts of introversion and 5. How to create a family friendly environment for all temperaments.

Calm but energetic

It was close to 100 degrees in Provo the day of my interview. I dressed conservatively in a short sleeved light-weight sweater and long skirt. I felt good in what I wore but between the weather and my nerves, I was afraid I was going to show up on set with sweat pools and stains showing through my clothes.

I’ve learned some tricks over the years on how to calm myself and still have adequate energy for big moments. My time to show up at the station was two in the afternoon. My husband and I had a late breakfast around ten at an amazing restaurant called, Guru’s. Everyone around town recommended it. I did not eat the whole meal of sautéed vegetables, eggs and turkey sausage. I know not to eat a lot if I want to feel energetic and agile. I did not eat again until after the interview.

When we returned to our hotel after breakfast, I still had about 40 minutes before I had to shower and get dressed. Showering right before something important makes me feel fresh and more confident.

No time to fret

I decided to run down to the Hyatt’s workout room and put some time in on the elliptical machine. Exercising stresses my body in a positive way. It gets out nervous energy and gets my heart pumping, like I am excited. My skin always looks better after a workout too — a nice healthy tighter pores glow.

After the elliptical machine, I did not have a lot of time to dilly dally. I jumped in the shower, got dressed and did my hair and makeup to the best of my ability. Not having a lot of dead time helped keep my nervousness at bay.

My husband picked me up in the front of the hotel and dropped me off right in front of the broadcasting station so I had minimal time in the heat.

I arrived at the front desk (wearing a mask). They took my temperature. All good.

This is how it goes down in TV land

I walked down a long hallway (I was wearing new heels, so not as easy as it usually is to walk) and was put in the ‘green room’ with the other guests for that day’s taping. It happened to be three of the six sisters from Six Sister’s Stuff, a group of real sisters from Utah who have a line of cookbooks and a huge instagram following. Check them out. I ordered one of their cookbooks right away. The three sisters were very chatty and friendly. They had been on TV quite a few times.

Several people popped their heads in and out of the green room including Stephanie the producer, my travel coordinator and a couple of the show’s hosts. They all graciously welcomed me. Eventually, someone came to lead me to hair and makeup. A sweet, beautiful woman named Dianna touched up my makeup — a little extra foundation around my nose and a rose colored lipstick. She spritzed me with a special spray that holds makeup in place, which is great since we had to wear a mask most of the time until we were on set.

I got miked back in the green room. A kind man named Travis ran a cord down the back of my sweater and had me clip a black box to the waistband of my skirt. He clipped a lavelier microphone to the neckline of my sweater.

I watched to sisters tape their segment. There was a live feed pumped into the green room. The behind the scenes activity going on during the recording and in between takes was fun to watch. The hosts made funny normal comments but then got laser focused when the cameras rolled.

My turn

At last, it was my turn. I was the final guest of the day. I followed my station sherpa to the main set for Family Rules! I walked in and instantly felt awed by the room, the number of people in it, the lighting and all of the cameras. The set was brightly lit and divided into two parts:a kitchen set and a sit down couch and chair set. I was directed to the couch and chair side.

Everyone knows or is an introvert 

The host, Brooke, chatted me up before we started taping. She mentioned she has a three year old who seems like a more introverted or sensitive child. She was very smiley and gracious as well. She asked about how to know if a parent should step in and pull their child out of their shell. I said if it seems like the child is missing out on being their true self because they are socially inhibited, it is alright for a parent to help that child become more comfortable engaging with others. On camera, we talked about the difference between introversion and shyness.

Fairly quickly, we moved to Brooke reading the teleprompter and introducing me and my book. Then we were off and rolling. I was told to treat the interview like a conversation. It was easy. I did not say many of the things I had prepared but it still felt like we covered many important areas. Before I knew it, she was thanking me for being on the show. I felt a huge surge of relief but then Brooke got a message in her ear piece. They needed to redo the very beginning of the segment. They wanted to change the camera angle. They said to do exactly like we did the first time. I was pretty spontaneous the first time, so of course I could barely remember what I said. I stumbled through. I believe I did better the first round but everyone seemed satisfied with the second take.

All smiles

Lastly, they had a photographer take a bunch of promo shots of me for the show. I was in such a great mood! It was kind of a high. The photographer kept saying, “Big smile” and “Now look pensive” and “Now fake laugh off to the right”. It was fun!

Interestingly, being on stage or on set is enjoyable for me. I get to take on a persona and amp up my personality, which could also go the other way and drain me.

Several people thanked me for being there and a couple of them said they really liked the statements I made. I felt like I did a service for the introverted and sensitive community. It was the very best feeling.

Have any of you ever been on TV? If so, how was it? Were you comfortable? What do you do to ease your anxiety before a ‘performance’?

The show will air in the beginning of December. I will put it on brendaknowles.com as soon as I can. It will be on BYU TV out of Utah. You can find previous episodes of the show at Byutv.org under Family Rules!.