A new "Alias" began yesterday (don't know what that means? See my glossary for the definition) as I was in Fort Wayne to give my presentation. However, the presentation was the easy part of the day; the hard part began in the morning.
Years ago before I was alive my dad was a television reporter for WPTA. I had heard many a tale of his experiences there and as fate would have it I would now be at that same station for the Noon Extra segment which is a half hour segment that includes call in questions. Was I nervous? Ha!
To say I was nervous would be the understatement of the decade, well, at least the week, but in any way you'd like to phrase it I was all but showed up on the Ricther scale because I was shaking up a storm.
I got to the station an hour before the noon newscast started and Rob and I took a seat as the newsroom was busy building the noon newscast. Phone calls were being made, stories were being compiled, and facts were being checked. This was something I never actually thought of as when one watches the news it runs and that's that, but the amount of hectic work to build it was a sight to behold.
As the big red clock ticked towards noon I began to have spurts where I was holding my breath. Sure, I have given 250 or so presentations and sure, I had given four television interviews, but all those interviews were taped; this was live television for half an hour in a studio.
I might have been nervous, but the time between 12 and 12:30 flew by. I remember staring at the walls, and then marveling at how amazing the green screen works for weather forecasts and then, before I knew it, I heard, "Aaron, you can come up now." This was it and it was sink or swim time. This was either going to go really well or end in a disaster that would surely end up on YouTube.
Wires and microphones were adjusted, an ear piece went in, and there I was, at the news desk, ready to say hello to the world, ot at least to Fort Wayne for what would be my live television debut. The following 30 minutes were the fastest 30 minutes of my life. Truly I don't remember what I said or what I was asked. I know that probably sounds horrible after such a build up to this story, but it's true. Wait, I do remember one thing I found unique and that was the way I looked at the camera, or lack of looking at the camera.
I was made aware that there were two cameras that would be used and that I should try and look at them while the timing was right. However, it felt just like making eye contact with a person. It felt strange and unnatural for me so often times I was looking at the anchor, or between cameras, but the "positional warfare" was certainly in effect. I tried to simply overcome it, but it was too strong. I think over time that will become easier, as this was the first time my television "alias" was experienced, but just with doing presentations practice will certainl make things better.
Once the half hour was over I wanted a picture to remember the day by and here is that picture.
As busy as yesterday was the following few days might be the busiest of my life. I'm off to Kokomo this morning to be on WWKI from 9:30 until 10ish or so then I come back to Indy and have a presentation tonight and from there it's a midnight drive to Chicago where I will get a few hours sleep and then have another television in studio interview, a radio interview, and then a presentation followed up by a drive to Peoria... yeah, I'm going to be tired at some point in time but right now it's all about spreading as much awareness and understanding as possible.
Oh, and if you're interested, here's a two-minute interview I gave to WCBS out of New York City.