Monday, December 7, 2015

Look Ma, I'm on the TV!

I have a huge post about doing publicity for the book that I've been trying without success to finish, but life has repeatedly gotten in the way. Since I haven't done squat since August, here's something that just happened today. Cheers y'all.

Did my first live tv interview about the book this morning. Gotta say, it was an intense experience. Had to get to the studio in Midtown by 7 a.m., which meant a 5:30 a.m. revelee. When I got to the green room, all that was there was a person to do makeup, an empty kitchen where you could get a cup of water, and monitors showing what was currently on the air.

Milling about this morning were a bunch of guys with yarmulkes who were apparently some sort of glee club there to do a song celebrating Hanukkah, and a guy and a girl who went on before me to debate, in about 4 minutes, the President's comments on ISIS. You can imagine how enlightening that was. There was no food or coffee, and I'd had eaten since I woke up, but that was just as well, I didn't want to run the risk of getting an upset stomach and ralphing all over the set.

I had no idea leading up to this point what questions they'd be asking, so I'd done what someone once told me about tv, which is to go in prepared to make three points, and stick to them as much as possible regardless of what they throw at you. It was nerve wracking though, because I knew I'd only get about four minutes, and how often do you get a chance to talk directly to hundreds of thousands of people in their home?

The producer came in at one point and introduced herself, and said to be ready to talk about graffiti as it relates to popular culture and the genesis of the book. Ok, that helps a little, I thought. My mind immediately went to Banksy, Sheppard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, and maybe Tats Crus' role in Jennifer Lopez' ad for Fiat? It's so hard to know what to say in such a small window of time.

After what felt like an interminable amount of time pacing and rehearsing answers to these and other hypothetical questions, a security guard came in at 7:40 and asked me what time I was supposed to go on. 7:45, I said. Oh, come on then, he said, and led me through a door, down a hall, and up an elevator. I was shown into the studio, seated, and miced. The anchor, whose name I never even learned, confirmed with me that this is about legal graffti, right? I said yes, like 5 Pointz, which thank god, he was familiar with. We chit chatted for about 30 seconds before the cameras were wheeled over, and the teleprompter started. One of the first things he says to me is, "You don't look like Mr. Graffiti."

And the rest, as they say, was history. A gazillion thanks go out to the one and only Rolando Pujol, who made the whole thing happen. YOU ROCK DUDE!

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