Today Show Appearance (Behind the Scenes, too!)
Watch my Today Show Segment here and then scroll down for behind the scenes photos and details!
To visit my post with step by step photos of how to make Lela’s Fried Peach Pies, click here.
I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY PLAYED SWEET HOME ALABAMA FOR ME! I didn’t know they were going to do that and when I heard the music begin right before we started talking it was all I could do not to wake up in the middle of this dream and start crying. But that is a post for another day.
I almost didn’t make it to New York for my scheduled appearance on The Today Show. Can you believe a blizzard affected my life? Even crazier, there is a blizzard up north and I’m flying INTO it? My first flight was canceled but I managed to finagle a flight the next day and get there just a little over an hour before my rehearsal was scheduled.
This is at my rehearsal with lead food stylist, Bianca Henry. She is awesome. I have a lot of folks who email and ask me how I manage to travel and have all this wonderful food ready for tv and food stylists are the answer!
A few weeks before your segment you work with the program over what food they want you to prepare on air. The food stylist collects your recipes and goes over them, then calls you to go over presentation of the segment and any questions they may have as well as to get any of your preferences. For example, I prefer to use a regular fork instead of a pastry cutter and I don’t like to use fancy dishes so these are things the food stylist takes into account when setting up for my segment.
When you arrive, the food stylist has usually already prepared your recipe once to make sure there were no hitches. Then, they arrive before you do and get everything going so it will be fresh and ready for your segment.
If you’ll watch my 700 Club appearance where I told the story of the seven cakes, at one point I gave that away when I got to talking about Aunt Sue’s pound cake and I mentioned the sauce. I was surprised to look down and see the sauce sitting on the counter and I said “Oh look, you have the sauce!”. Of course, if I had of made all of that myself I would have known the sauce was there. But imagine me trying to get seven cakes on an airplane or how I would have looked if I woke up early enough to have seven complete cakes made by a nine o clock segment! hehehe
Oh, by the way, I didn’t realize until I was on my second connecting flight to NYC that I had silly putty stuck to my shirt. Hey, I’m a trendsetter.
This is the kitchen setup when we did the dry run through. The post it notes are all imaginary ingredients
This kitchen is beautiful. ~sighs~
Okay, I gotta tell y’all something. While I was waiting to go to meet Bianca (because I am chronically early and I like it that way) I mulled around a bit. You see, the Today Show studios are in Rockefeller Center. That meant absolutely nothing to me because I hadn’t a clue what on earth Rockefeller Center was but I found out that it is pretty much a mall. So while I was waiting I saw this really fancy looking chocolate shop and decided to dart in and maybe get a little chocolate or two….
See how pretty their window is? You’d probably wanna go in, too. So I saw this teeny tiny box of chocolate, it had four little chocolates in it. You know those little four piece tiny Whitman samplers? It looked like those. The Whitman sampler ones usually cost $1.00. I know this because I often buy thirty or so of them for Brady to give all of his teachers and school staff at Christmas time.
I thought “Well now that would be neat. I could eat a piece and save the rest for Mama.”
I nearly choked when I saw the price tag for that teeny box of four pieces of bite sized chocolate… $55.00.
I’m totally serious and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a diamond or gold nugget in the center of each one. I doubt they even have a golden ticket in the box.
Whew. I very calmly got out of that store as fast as I could!
Okay so everyone wanted me to see the Rockefeller Center tree and a really sweet family from Virginia took a photo of me in front of it so I could have proof that I did.
Is it just me or have you noticed that “Rockefeller” sounds suprisingly like it was named by a Southerner? Sounds like mountain talk to me.
and this is how I spent my big night in New York. I went back to my hotel room and embroidered a cute little design, then went to bed .
The next morning I walked through a whole lot of snow and slush to get to the studios.
This is Bianca and her team working her magic as they all work to get the pies prepared in time for the segment.
These are just random pics. I always think pics that show the camera men are neat
Behind me are food stylists feverishly working to get the rest of the pies done. This was about fifteen minutes before my segment and I was about to shoot a teaser.
I really wish I had video clips of the teasers, I think I did three of them. If anyone has a means of making them and putting them on line give me a holler, ok? I also want the full Today Show clip that shows Ann taking a bite and talking Southern at the end! They cut that out of the clip that is online and it was the best part!
This is me doing a teaser before the commercial break.
Another teaser spot. Notice Bianca is off to the side out of camera view!
No idea what this expression is about.
This is me meeting Al.
This is me and Al explaining to the crew that we are going to take over the world and there is nothing they can do about it.
or something like that.
Umm, this is me having lint brushed off my sweater right before airing.
I just think its neat that for a few minutes, I was considered by someone to be important enough that they brushed lint off of me.
Al darted out so I could do the final tease, which went on twice as long as I had expected it to so there was a very awkward pause of me holding a plate of pies.
In my second teaser I got to wave at the camera, which is really important and thrilled me because that is what Katy Rose always wants me to do whenever I do TV. “Are you going to wave at me Mama?”. I very sheepishly asked the crew “Do you think it would be alright if I waved during this one?” and they said “SURE! have fun!”
They really really are a FUN group of people at that show. The entire atmosphere is one of joy and fun.
After the teasers were done Ann brought the Davis family in to chat and meet us!
And this is us plotting how we are going to do that. We used a highly sophisticated form of ESP to work out the details of our plan and decided to meet back at old man Dither’s amusement park after we distract Scooby and the gang to put our plan into motion.
Or we could just be thinking about what flavor of pie we want to eat first. You decide.
We had a LOT of fun doing the segment!
If you tied up my hands I wouldn’t be able to talk.
Okay, at this point, I gotta tell y’all, I was looking up and thinking “Where is AL going?”. I knew we were live and was waiting to see if he actually left the kitchen. If he had of I was about to turn to the camera and close out the segment myself because I knew someone had to!
“Well folks, that pie must have tasted so good Al just had to leave and go slap his Mama for not making it for him as a child! I sure did enjoy getting to visit with you today and hope to see you again soon!”
Even though my closing monologue would have worked, I was pretty relieved when Ann Curry and the Davis family walked in to close out the segment!
In the past year I’ve learned that anytime you do tv, especially live, a good 99% of everything you do is just winging it.
I was relieved to see Ann burst through the door with the Davis family and rest of the Today Show crew!
This felt like home. I loved having everyone pile into the kitchen laughing and eating. It was wonderful!
This is the Davis family: Jim, Jessie, Little Jim, and Caroline. Jim is a police officer who is also in the Army and is being deployed to Iraq soon so they took a family trip to New York for Christmas before he goes. It was such an honor to meet them and their kids are amazing! Little Jim took one bite of my pie and I said “Now do you talk like me?” and he said “Yayus!” lol
Caroline wants to be an actress when she grows up and Jim wants to be an astronaut!
This is me and Al Roker. He is a VERY nice man. Just as friendly and personable as the day is long.
This is Al signing my book. I have two of my cookbooks that I take with me when I do big tv and such and I have the people I meet sign one for Mama and one for me.
This is Ann Curry signing mine and Mama’s books.
Let me tell you something about Ann Curry. This woman is the sweetest, most caring and compassionate person. It is impossible to meet her and not love her.
This is me talking with little Jim and Caroline after the show was over. Turns out their dad did some training at the military base in my hometown!
And this is Bri, she is in marketing and pr at my publisher and took all of these photos for me! She also went and actually got me tylenol when I had a headache – Bri that was SO SWEET and really kinda neat! I felt like I had a best friend with me!
Everyone keeps asking me if I met Duran Duran because they were there at the same time I was. I haven’t had a chance to go google and see what they look like or watch their segment so soon as I do I’ll let you know if I met them or not!
For now, I’ve really missed my family. I’ve been traveling a lot (a whole month of only being home on weekends in October) and you know, I was never meant to be away from my kids.
Being a mother is my most important job and everything else is just a side gig. So with that in mind, I’m going to go devote the next week to my family as we head off on a family vacation to end out their Christmas holidays from school. I have a few posts scheduled to help with New Years meals while I’m away.
I’ll try to post a little about our adventures and fun together on my Life At Bountiful section of Southern Plate so be sure and subscribe to that portion of the website if you like by clicking here. Regular Southern Plate Subscribers receive an email notification each time I post a recipe but I keep the non-recipe posts separate on most occasions so be sure and subscribe to both if you’d like!
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!