Not Quite Ready for My Close-Up

The email was unexpected, even alarming.

It read, “I book guests for an Hispanic television show. We’re taping a program on Latino bloggers, and we’d love to have the Fanatic appear. Please let me know if you’d consider being a part of this show.”

Obviously, I replied that I was interested. What red-blooded American living in our reality-show culture of a society could pass on the opportunity to appear on television, which is the very pinnacle of existence?

In truth, it should be clear to everyone that if I really wanted to be a celebrity, I wouldn’t be a writer. I would be a rock star or, at the very least, a pathetic hanger-on to some washed-up actor (whichever is easier).

So it wasn’t about my getting my fifteen minutes. My only motivation was to publicize the blog.

I agreed to talk to the booking agent to see if I was a good fit for the show’s topic. After speaking with this very nice, albeit fast-talking woman from New York, I found out that I would appear as a panelist on the show, via satellite no less. I would debate, banter, cajole, and confront the other panelists on live television. It sounded good to me.

Later, I did some research on the show. The publicity for the program refers to the hosts as “multicultural journalistic powerhouses,” which sounds pretty damn cool. Of course, it also sounds like the hosts are Latinos who have been exposed to excessive radiation.

In any case, I was excited to appear on the show. This would be my television debut, unless one counts the myriad times when I was a teenager that I snuck into the background of a hapless reporter delivering an on-location news story. This time, I had no plans to stick out my tongue and wave rabbit ears behind someone’s head. Otherwise, my maturity level would probably be identical.

Alas, the producers decided that my blog’s subject matter didn’t quite fit the show’s theme, so I won’t be appearing. They broke the news to me via another unexpected email. In less than twenty-four hours, my small-screen debut went from genesis to untimely death. After my brief flirtation with fame, it is indeed a bitter pill to go back to a life where I cannot introduce myself with the phrase “as seen on tv.”

Nevertheless, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before some other television program recruits the Fanatic. And when that day comes, it will be a foreshadowing of my future multimedia presence, when I’ll be exchanging bon mots with Jon Stewart, snipping with Bill O’Reilly, and slapping high-fives with David Letterman.

Can’t you just see it? I know I can.


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August 2008
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