Earlier this month, I attended the taping of a pilot episode for a new TV show called “A Piece of the Game.” Think “Antiques Roadshow,” but about sports memorabilia. Scott Beatty, the co-owner of AU Sports Memorabilia, was one of the appraisers on the show, and asked if I would be willing to appear on the show and bring some of my hockey autographs.
I agreed to, and even bought a swanky card frame to display my 20 best Blackhawks autographed cards.
Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. Scott and the other appraiser invited reliable collectors who they could count on to be there, but the producers of the show did an online “cattle call,” telling everyone who wanted to come to show up.
Thus, the place was a zoo. It was crowded, and many people were angry because they sat there for hours and no one talked to them. Parking was expensive, we were not paid to be on the show, and the producers didn’t even feed us. Ironically, the show was shot at Harry Carry’s restaurant, but we’d have to pay for our own lunch if we got hungry while waiting hours on end to maybe be on TV.
Oh, and if us bored collectors got too loud talking to each other, the producers would yell for everyone to be quiet.
I’ve been on TV a few times in my life–twice interviewed by local news and twice as an extra on dramas shot in Chicago. But this was my worst-ever experience of being on TV. After 5 hours of sitting around, I left.
Yet, I somehow ended up appearing on the show twice. Some people were there for 10 hours, and you don’t even see them once.
In one scene, longtime TV newsman Walter Jacobson talks about his boyhood baseball glove. In the background, you can see me, bored off my ass (actually, I’m bored on my ass).
Here’s a closer look at me, bored and hungry, waiting to hopefully make an appearance on a TV show that may or may not get picked up.
Before I left, the camera crew wanted to take a shot of me holding up my autographed cards. While they did tilt the camera up and down to show all 20 cards, all you see is the image above for about 2 seconds.
For those interested, here’s a photo of all 20 framed cards.
This last photo is just me being meta or something.
5 thoughts on “I was on TV recently. Sort of.”
This is kind of cool and kind of sucks at the same time, so let’s call it a draw.
Well at least you got on. You didn’t think you would have. It just goes to show that there is nothing real about reality tv. Nothing.
Sorry, but I laugh so much reading your story! I’m sorry for you!
By the way, can you tell me where to get a frame like this?
I like it!
DFG is spot on about reality television. I wrote a short on the intentional and artificial structuring of an audience for a stand up show. It was a casting call for extras, the most ethnically diverse, youngest and attractive placed nearest to the stage and the free tickets for a white out college audience. You see these things on Comedy Central and think people bought tickets to go to a show. People were there paid through the Actor’s Guild or free to pack in the bad seats. The show sucked and the actors guffawed on cue.
Yannick, the frame was from JoAnn’s Fabric and Crafts. I think they have them at Michael’s also. Some silver staples holding the bottom edge of the card holder slides show, just give them a swipe with a black Sharpie marker and they fade to the background nicely.