Sunday, February 1, 2015
Blog #7- Big Time Stars on UNC-TV
What a great experience this week! Justine and I were fortunate as we were interviewed on Carolina Now on January 29th. Although it was only public access television, there is still a buzz and a high level of excited energy when you are going to be interviewed on television.
After toil less hours of deciding what outfit to wear, reviewing and trying to memorize all of the statistics from my research and driving to the wrong UNC TV building, Justine and I finally arrived on time for our interviews. We were graciously received by the host as we entered the foyer of the studios. She was all smiles and made us feel at home immediately. (Her compliments on my outfit made me feel that all of my efforts were worth the struggle.) As we walked to the green room, the host began asking us questions about ourselves and our interests in our topics. While walking she asked “So which one of you is the Marine?” With the blue flower in my hair I humbly answered “Oh, that would be me.” “You?!” the host exclaimed. “With the flower and the nails and the makeup… I never would have guessed.” With her sentiments, my nerves relaxed and I knew that we were going to have a successful interview.
Once inside the green room, the host continued to go over her interview questions with us to clarify any information and make us continue to feel at ease. While she spoke and we primped, the sound man fitted us with microphones. Of course Justine and I had to make him work for his money as we wore dresses without waistbands for the microphone transmitter to clip to. After much taping and tucking we were soon fitted with our mics and walked to the set.
The layout of the set was similar to that of most studios, with two to three stages fitted into one large warehouse. I spotted out set right away. With the three grey chairs aligned facing the one lone host chair and the blue walls, I recognized it from the clip of last year’s fellow interview on the same program. My excitement grew as we walked closer to the grey chairs. The cameras were so large, yet the two cameramen moved them around smoothly like a hot knife through butter. We sat down and faced the host. Our casual conversation continued on into the mic check. (All the while I was fearing that my scarf would brush over the mic and washout the sound). “30 Seconds.” “5 Seconds.” …. And off with the taping of the interview.
The host began discussing the WomenNC Fellowship with Kate, one of the chairs from WomenNC and then transitioned to Justine and myself. I was surprised at the ease of the questions. All that worrying about statistics and figures regarding numbers of unintended pregnancies and access to contraception for active duty servicewomen… and not a single question about it. I was surprised at the host’s interest in my prior service and how it has impacted my motivations and inspired much of my research. (“These are easy questions” I thought. “Ask away.”)
One of the best “take-aways” from this experience that I can hold in my heart is “Here I am. I am a Marine. I am a grad student. I am a single mother, and here I am: sitting on stage in a television interview discussing my research.” If every person who ever doubted me while I was serving could see me now and open their minds to the critical points of my research, we might actually see change for servicewomen. We are smart. We are beyond capable. We are strong and valuable.
The interview concluded with a series of pictures of us on set and pictures from about the studio. We were lucky to snap a few shots of the various sound rooms and behind the scenes actions of what occurs at UNC TV. Overall, an excellent experience that I will take with me forever and inspire me to continue my efforts to support servicewomen everywhere.