In December of 2003 I was lucky enough to be selected to
appear on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson. One of their
regularly scheduled guests had cancelled and I had been selected
to present my technique for making quilts out of hand dyed
fulled wool. I had less than a month to prepare before I flew
out to beautiful downtown Burbank, CA for the filming. I had
never appeared on TV before and it felt remarkably like when I
learned how to dive off the high board at the pool.
Let me start by saying the support crew at Weller Grossman
Productions (they produce the segments then sell them to HGTV)
were absolutely superb. They are a very calming, professional
bunch of people who take newbie jitters in stride (even when
they come across one of their guests laughing her head off in
the hallway upon seeing her name on a dressing room door). Prior
to the actual filming they send you pages of helpful tips and
they are right there on hand to make suggestions but always
telling you they want you to be comfortable during the filming.
There are well over a dozen support crew members you never see,
working away in the background and on the equipment, helping to
produce the segments you enjoy.
film studio surprised me: it is a huge, cavernous building with
the set taking up most of one whole wall. There's dressing
rooms, a lunch room, a rehearsal area, offices, a makeup room,
you name it. To the back of the filming area is the audio studio
and an area for a few friends or family to watch you stumble
through your first filming.
Okay, let's get down to the nitty gritty: what you really
want to know is about Alex: is she as nice as she appears on
screen? Does she really look like that? The answers are yes and
no. Yes, she really is as nice as she appears on screen.
Especially when you consider she films 40 segments in two weeks,
4 a day, for a workday of at least 12 hours. On the day I was
filming she had 1 experienced guest then 3 newbies in a row and
she kept her cool. She is VERY good at what she does, she
doesn't read from cue cards and she keeps you calm and on track.
She was perfectly willing to pose for pictures between takes and
she dresses to coordinate with what you are wearing. She
certainly has more patience than I do.
Simply Quilts Episode Filming continued, please click