Working on the Farmers’ Almanac is a truly unique experience. Every day is something different. You never know when you are going to get a call from a frantic bride-to-be looking for the best weather date for her big day, or perhaps from a national television network who wants you on the air tomorrow to discuss the Farmers’ Almanac predictions. This happened to me the other day.
There I was working on proofing a brand new Farmers’ Almanac calendar (wait until you see it — you’re going to love it) and I get a call from Fox National News. “Can you come to New York tomorrow to share what the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting for the weather the next few months… .” Of course I say yes, I mean after all it’s good publicity for the Almanac.
But what is it like to go to a National TV station?
It’s definitely an experience. They send a car for me, which is a great way to go to New York — they pick me up and drop me off and vice versa. There’s no catching a bus or looking at train schedules. While riding into the city, I of course scour my notes, read the Farmers’ Almanac and memorize as much as I can. It reminds me a bit of studying for a test — something I haven’t done in a long time.
For national TV shows, I get to have my makeup and hair done by their stylists. It’s really quite amazing how much makeup TV hosts — male and female — have on due the strong lighting. Sometimes I have to sit in what TV calls the “green” room until they are ready for me, but the other day after they fixed my face and hair I was taken to the studio.
To my surprise, I was in a studio by myself with a production person. I asked where the host of the show was, thinking maybe a different location, but she was actually up on the 12th floor, while I was on the first floor. So I get an earpiece, and microphone and watch a TV screen as I wait for my time on camera. I could watch the show I was going to be on as well as a clock that was ticking down the time. I was supposed to be on at 12:20, but think it was more like 12:22.
Fortunately the person in the room with me told me that when it was my turn that I should look straight ahead at what looked to me like a teleprompter (no I didn’t use one for my interview), but I guess it was a camera. (When I first started doing TV interviews for the Farmers’ Almanac, I never knew where to look, at the host talking to me, at the camera, or where. Now I know to ask the question if no one volunteers the information.)
I wasn’t that nervous, although I must admit I kept going over everything I wanted to say in my head, but when I realized it was getting close to my interview time, I felt my heart beating faster and faster. I actually worried that the microphone on my jacket would pick up my heartbeat, but I guess it didn’t.
Next thing I know I was on the air, telling people what I know most about — the Farmers’ Almanac and its long-range outlook. This time I didn’t have as much airtime, as I was on with three other people, but in 5 minutes it was done. I was now heading back outside to find the car that would take me back to my office. All in a day’s work.
It’s quite an experience. I have been on CNN, Fox National News, PBS, and many local TV stations. I also have been on hundreds of radio stations, but those interviews are a little easier as most of them are by phone and I can keep my notes in front of me.
Next month we release the 2013 Farmers’ Almanac. I hope that the anticipation of this new edition along with our outlook for the winter ahead will afford me more opportunities to be on TV again. Stay tuned and we will let you know when the next TV interview might be.