Seeing One’s Self On TV

I have worked with people who rushed to the VCR as soon as the “On Air” light went off, looking at every appearance on every show. There was probably a time when I did that. I don’t do it much anymore.

I still see an aircheck from time-to-time. I looked at my work when I sent my AMS submission to be judged (early November, still no word) and when I’ve entered the Emmys (not this year or last).

When I was thinking (in a misguided moment) ABC might consider me to replace Tony Perkins on GMA, I looked through tapes, squirreling away what I thought was my best stuff.

Mostly, when I see myself on-the-air, it’s the way I saw myself a few minutes ago – in short snippets, on the topical promos that run during Boston Legal – a show I watch on the DVR.

I’ll be sitting on the sofa, in pajamas, zipping through the show and… oh, there’s Geoff. Reverse. Play. Gaze.

It’s painful. It’s difficult. Four seconds of shear hell.

People come up all the time and tell me they remember me from 10 or 20 years ago. Me too. And, I don’t look like that anymore.

It’s nice when people say, “You haven’t changed.” I have.

I stare at the screen, looking at my own eyes behind the glasses I now wear. In a youth oriented world, I don’t see a kid. It’s depressing.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel like an old guy. I’m very lucky to have all my hair, and still with it’s natural color&#185. I just don’t look like I did.

I think I do a good job (Please – no qualitative judgments. This is not a compliment fishing expedition). I am not just going through the motions. I genuinely enjoy what I do, and am very lucky to be at a place where they (more often than not) let me do what I want.

I just wish I was still looking at the young Geoff.

It is difficult to look at yourself on TV. You see every physical fault.

In that way, this is a cruel business.

&#185 – My hairdresser says people still ask if I color my hair. I haven’t gotten one of those emails in a while.