Before I was a kick-ass travel writer who came to call Berlin home, I was really boring. Like, painfully boring. I called Toronto, Canada home and here I worked as a “slave to the man” spending all my days holed up in an office cubicle. This job required an extraordinarily long commute to the suburbs every day (I refused to move out of downtown aka “civilization“). Somehow, actually someone found this interesting enough to put on TV.
This is my account of the experience:
In September 2008, a friend and I were on CBC’s television series, Living in Toronto. The show was doing a series on how people in Toronto commuted to and from work! Heather and I used to carpool to and from Toronto/Mississauga together, after we found each other on the Smart Commute website.
Heather and the CBC crew (host Mary Ito, a camera man and the show’s producer) arrived early one sunny morning in June. I was decked out with a new hair style (from Greg May Hair Architects) and a brand new outfit for my so called “television début“. Heather carried with her inside her small car, the camera man in the front passenger’s seat and the host Mary in the back. The producer trailed behind them in a CBC van.
When they arrived at my townhouse, they all came out to meet me and explain how things would work. They hooked me up with a giant microphone and told me to put my bags in the backseat of the car. I then had to walk back to my house and stage my walk back to the car. I felt so self-conscious that I found it difficult to keep from laughing.
They wanted us to keep our usual morning routine. That meant stopping for coffee at the local Liberty Village Starbucks. As we drove there, I was instructed to respond enthusiastically to Heather’s inquiry as to whether I wanted coffee that morning. I again couldn’t answer without laughing and we had to do 2-3 takes. This is when I discovered I was not meant to be on television!
Mary accompanied us into the coffee shop along with the camera man as we ordered our coffees and tried our best to act “natural“. We caused quite the scene, as people stopped, stared and wondered who we were and if we were famous. Sadly, no one approached us for autographs!
The interview began in earnest when we jumped on the highway and headed to Mississauga. Mary was an awesome host, asking us various questions and making it feel less like an interview and more like a casual conversation.
Before I knew it, the interview was over and I was soon at the office in time for my 10:00 AM meeting. And four months later the video aired on the nightly news and of course CBC’s Living in Toronto.
If you REALLY want to suffer, watch the interview below.