Yesterday was, perhaps, the strangest day of my life. Before I get to all of that, let me tell you how it happened....
Seems like these bizarre events always start with an unexpected email. I received one of these emails last week in the middle of stressing over Crafty Bastards. My friend Katie was picked to be on the "Tech Panel" of crafty bloggers to document one of the craft week episodes of The Martha Stewart Show. The producers said they had one more spot, if she knew anyone, and she was awesome enough to suggest me! They said yes!!!!
SO, on the Monday after Crafty Bastards (still sore from the show, which was awesome despite cold rain!) I hopped a train to New York!
I am criminally punctual. I was at the train station by 6, a full hour before my train. It was nice to sip coffee and people watch though. Had a nice ride (in spite of the guy who walked into the bathroom on me) and arrived to a cloudy, but rain free New York.
I have only been to New York once, in high school, to see a Miss Saigon on Broadway. Thank goodness for my trusty dusty iPhone map app that helped me get around. Of course, I had to walk through Times Square and get the cliche "I'm in New York photo." Next, I was on a mission to find a place to charge my cell phone.
Found a tea bar with an outlet, took a rest and charged my phone before the show. The studio was across the street and I could see flower deliveries being made. I knew that had to be the place!
I met up with Katie in line and as we walked in together, a producer said "We need a mom with toddlers." Katie and I looked at each other like "should we speak up?" So I blurted out, "We both do!" She looked at me and said "Great, do you want to do a craft project with Martha? You can't be nervous at all, and you have to be extra animated and excited." I didn't think I could do it. Being put on the spot like that, I just knew that I would freak. Luckily, Katie is a an art teacher and was perfect for it! She took that bullet. They whisked her away for rehearsal.
I am in the holding tank filling out paperwork, when the producer comes up to me again and asks "Have you ever had Kimchi? We are looking for people who like spicy food to taste on air." I couldn't very well say no to her again. Clearly, she saw tv magic in me :) I agreed, signed some papers, and went to rehearse. I got to walk though the craft dept. and prep kitchen on my way.
[caption id="attachment_1385" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="rehearsal"][/caption]
The three of us practiced standing there and eating hot dogs. I was picked to stand next to Martha. NEXT TO HER. Ah! Once we knew what we were doing, we were sent back to the holding room.
They let the blogger group go up first. We were placed right in the front and were given a tour of the set.
[caption id="attachment_1379" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Me in Martha's Kitchen"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1366" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Behind the Stove. (even looked through the drawers.) Everything is from her Home Depot line and is fully stocked and functional."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1365" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Martha's greenhouse, modeled after the one at her home (only MUCH smaller.)"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1368" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The countertop with kimchi preperations"][/caption]
As soon as we got to the craft room, a stage manager pulled me out of the group and put a microphone on me. A MICROPHONE! Then they sent me to hair and make up. Hair and makeup to eat a hot dog!
When I got back to my seat, the show was ready to go on, Joey Kola was warming up the crowd and it was Katie's turn to be a crafty rock star. She did SUCH a great job, I was so happy she did it. Her teacher skills shined.
Next up were some gardening segments. I couldn't really see from where I was, so I spent that time freaking out that I was going to have to eat tubed meat on national TV next to Martha Stewart. The kimchi preparations began and I was too close to see. All I know is that about 100 cloves of garlic and gallons of chili powder went into some cabbage and I was going to have to eat it. The producers had warned us that it was VERY hot and they placed milk out of camera in case we couldn't take it.
[caption id="attachment_1372" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Waiting to be called up."][/caption]
Our segment starts with Martha and Marja Vongerichten (wife of Jean-Georges and host of The Kimchi Chronicles) grilling steak and making kimchi butter. Then they dress hot dogs and call us over to taste. She asked our names and where we are from and I am sure that I somehow sounded like and idiot saying "I am Juliet from Baltimore." Anyway, we take a bite of our hotdogs and nod in approval. Frankly, it wasn't hot at all. Next Martha carves into raw steak and asks who likes their steak rare. I went for it, took raw steak from Martha's hand and ate it. The teleprompter was prompting her to ask us to describe kimchi in 5 words or less. I hate these kind of questions, like you would get in a job interview. Luckily, Martha ignored their waves and kept chatting with Marja. My answer would have been Red, Spicy, Korean, sauerkraut.
Commerical break and we pose for photos with Martha. The the bloggers jump in for another photo with Martha. TWO PHOTOS! I think they will email them to me, but they also said something about sending them to local newspapers. Ack.
Show is over, we get some awesome swag, and Katie and I look at each other like "What just happened?" I don't know, but what I do know is that I am going to carry my giant bags of gardening tools and craft supplies to Eataly and eat some noodles.
Just what the doctor ordered. I REALLY wanted to see what the hype was about NY pizza, but I was too excited to go to Eatlay. It was overwhelming having to carry giant bags (and being so worn out.) but I did manage to eat noodles and to buy some ingredients to make a meal at home.
Finally, it was time for my train and I hiked back to Penn Station to return to the real world.
It was an awesome day. Thanks SO much to Katie for thinking of me. SO nice to meet fellow bloggers Craft Gossip, 100 ideas in the head, Stamp 48, Purl Bee, You Stir Me, Meg Allan Cole,Whit and Whimsy!
Show airs on Thursday at 10am on the Hallmark channel.