I've been in broadcasting for 25 years. Done lots of things. Interviewed presidents, governors, heroes and everyday folks. I've traveled countless miles by car. I've even flown the world in pursuit of a story.
Today, something completely different happened.
As you probably know the hit Showtime TV drama "Homeland" films in Charlotte.
About 10 days ago, I was asked if I would be willing to "play" a reporter for an episode scheduled to air in September. I said, "sure, that sounds like fun."
On Monday, I was asked to come by "wardrobe." The office was in north Charlotte. I was asked to bring in some of my clothes they would probably just pick something of mine.
I had two suits in a garment bag, three shirts, a half dozen ties. Much to my surprise they picked what I was already wearing. I had to take it off and leave it with them. Glad I had those other suits with me.
Last night, I got a text, Wednesday was shoot day. I haven't been nervous in a long time. Now, I was.
I was told to report to "Base Camp" at 9:45 a.m. It was a parking lot next to Myers Park Baptist Church. It was the staging area for the crew and actors.
Now, much to my surprise I had my own trailer. Well, okay, it was part of a trailer. It had its own door, but was about the size of walk-in closet.
There was a star on the door. The name attached to it, "Reporter #2."
That would be me.
I was asked if I wanted breakfast. I'm thinking this kind of service would be nice at home. I was afraid to ask for too much. So, I just got some fruit and a bottle of water.
It was then quickly off to hair and make-up. Not a lot of hair to work with here, so that didn't take long. Makeup took about 15 minutes. While I was in the chair "Homeland" star, Morena Baccarin, came in. I'll just say it, that was cool.
After finishing hair and makeup, came the waiting game. I didn't want to just sit in my "trailer," so being a reporter, I started snooping around. Snapped some pictures of crews at work, views out my window, etc.
Finally, around noon they came for us.
Me, reporter #1 and reporter #2 (yeah, I had to share the spotlight) were led to the set.
I can't tell you anything about the scene. It's a secret. You'll have to watch in September. Sorry, them the rules.
Okay, I'll tell you one thing. I do have a line.
I can also tell you doing this sort of thing is much different than what I'm used. We're almost always live on-the-air. You get one take, don't screw it up!
Well, in TV land you do things several times to get it just right.
By the way the crew was fantastic, couldn't have been nicer. It was fun to meet the "extras." We did the scene maybe 8 or 10 times. Different angles, different shots. It went by really fast, after about an hour, someone yelled "done."
I though, "aww man, it was over." We were walked back to our "trailer" and free to go.
I kind of wanted to hang for awhile, but as it turned out, I was already late to my real job.