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.

Weather Opening

Tony Perkins is leaving Good Morning America after seven years. He’s returning to Washington, DC to do weather and stories.

OK – I’ll admit it, that is my ideal job. I can say that in public, because I’m sure even my bosses know. They also know how unlikely it is to ever come true.

The GMA weather position is very different from local weather. I used to fill-in there and remember hearing joking references to 50 states/60 seconds. But, it was loads of fun and is probably more so now with the addition of interaction with the Times Square crowd.

Just in case you’re Ben Sherwood&#185, reading this, wondering who to choose… here I am.

More than likely my heart will be broken. I have been without an agent for years. There was no reason to have one, considering I’ve been at one station for 21 years. I don’t think a submission ‘over the transom’ would even be considered.

However, I can still dream.

&#185 – Ben Sherwood is executive producer of GMA and probably ultimately responsible for making the hire.

Everybody’s Gotta Be Somewhere

Rick Springfield was on Good Morning America today and the ‘stalker tour’, featuring Helaine and Stef, followed along. There were better shots of them standing near Tony Perkins during the weather segment, but I forgot to capture the video on the computer until the very end.

Tomorrow it’s Helaine and Stef with Regis and Kelly. That Springfield guy’s there too, I suppose.

It’s Emmy Time

You’ve probably seen the Emmy’s on TV. All of Hollywood’s glitteratti, decked to the nines, attempting to be humble or gracious (depending on whether you’re a winner or loser) in front of a worldwide audience.

As much as I’d like to go man-to-man in competition with Tony Perkins or Al Roker , I’m not eligible. NATAS, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences nicely compartmentalizes the Emmys with national awards (day, night and technical) and local ones. Here in Connecticut I belong to, and participate with, the Boston/New England Chapter.

Obviously, the statue I go after doesn’t have the same cachet as the one that goes to a David Letterman or Camryn Manheim. It’s smaller, lighter and has a rectangular base as opposed to the circular one on the national award. Still, it’s a great honor to receive one… and I have been lucky enough to get seven, all of which sit in a cabinet in our family room.

If you belong to NATAS, you get a chance to enter the Emmys and an obligation to judge them. I have taken my turn a few times, looking at tapes from broadcasters in other parts of the country. This year I held a judging session in my home, looking at weather tapes from the Midwest.

It takes skill to be nominated and luck to win. It’s a trite phrase but it’s true.

Judging usually takes place over pizza, maybe some beer, and lots of shop talk. You try to be a good and fair judge, but it’s tough. Does tape 8 get the same shot as tape 1? How long do you let a tape that has no chance play? My fear is that some winners are arbitrary winners. That’s not because of a bias but because of human nature.

This year, while I judged, I noticed a ‘syndrome’ among the entrants. They often confused a ‘good’ weather situation with a good weather presentation. In fact, talented broadcasters should be able to get by with a tape from a day with nothing doing… though none ever have the guts to send that. I certainly don’t.

Helaine and I used to go to the Emmy awards religiously. Unfortunately, it tends to be very Boston-centric and the weather category is at the very end. So recently, we haven’t gone. And, over the past few years I haven’t always submitted a tape.

Part of that is because of the ceremony, but it’s probably more because of my scatterbrained, non-organized personality. In order to enter, you have to save some of your work… and I hardly ever do. Then, you have to meet the deadline. Hello! Deadlines are my enemy. I’m terrible when it comes to getting myself motivated and started.

Still, this year I wanted to try. We have two new guys in the weather department, both with a real chance of winning. I’d kick myself if everyone entered but me.

So, last night I pulled together a few airchecks. This morning, I digitized them on the computer in my office and edited together a 7:30 presentation. It’s now on a DVD, but tomorrow it will be dubbed onto a VHS tape and FedEx-ed to Boston – just in time for Friday’s deadline.

Since I have this website at my disposal, I thought I’d throw a copy here too. If you have a Real player and DSL or cable modem, click here and take a look. If you’re on dial-up, don’t even bother – it won’t work.

Later, I’ll let you know if I’m nominated. No promises. There’s more competition than ever before.