So, What Did You Do At Work Today?

By the time we rejoined regular programming, I’d been on-the-air live for a little over an hour straight.

I got to work this afternoon as thunderstorms were firing. No surprise there. They had been well forecast by me (and everyone I would hope). As the afternoon progressed the storms increased in intensity until, just before 6:00 PM, we went to a Tornado Warning for Fairfield and New Haven Counties.

It might be different in the Midwest, but here we go wall-to-wall with Tornado Warnings and so we dropped what was scheduled for our newscast and began to do live weather.

When you start live coverage, you have no idea how long it will last–I certainly didn’t. Ten minutes in, Gil Simmons (our morning meteorologist) came in. He wasn’t dressed for TV, but he strapped on a mic and helped out off-camera. I can’t begin to tell you how helpful he was.

By the time we rejoined regular programming, I’d been on-the-air live for a little over an hour straight. It was all ad lib for me… and everyone else. You’ve got to remember, the producers, director and crew were trying to make sure we were all heading in the same direction, though we really couldn’t speak directly to each other. They were amazing–probably more than they realize.

I don’t think there were any tornadoes this afternoon. I’d rather have it work out that way. But while it was happening, who could tell?

Public Speaking

This past summer I agreed to speak to the North End Club in New Haven. I can’t always say yes, but this was at a convenient time, in a convenient place. I like speaking – once I’m doing it. I hope that makes sense?

Today was a significant weather day with snow/sleet/freezing rain/rain in various parts of the state. The president of the organization was nice enough to shuffle her meeting and get me on early – which got me out early.

I don’t work from a script, but I’ve given variations of the same talk for 20 years. I know where I’m going and where the laugh lines are. Actually, the laughs aren’t guaranteed and there are places where I can gage how my audience is accepting me. I’ll field edit if it isn’t going well.

I hate to bomb but audiences have group personalities… and not all are conducive to what I do.

Of all the people I’ve seen on stage Johnny Carson brought something I had never seen, before or after. It was in Las Vegas, and as soon as he walked on stage, he was a hit. For the rest of us, the first goal is to win over the audience. I’ve never seen anyone but Johnnybe a hit from second one.

The woman who introduced me read from my bio. Oops – a few of the jokes I wanted to tell were there and she was delivering them. Oh well, – my fault.

My program ran 30-35 minutes followed by some questions. They were very responsive while I spoke and their questions afterward were also very good. So, all in all, a success.

I won’t take money from a non-profit organization, but they did give me an honorarium to donate to charity. Since our morning meteorologist, Dr. Mel and his fight with cancer became a topic of discussion, I will be donating the check to the Cancer Center at Yale.