What to Wear



Speaking to the Camera


  1. When you go on TV, you are not being interviewed; you are simply having a conversation.
  2. The host/guest relationship is not like that of teacher/student or parent/child. You are the host’s honored guest, a visitor to his or her “home.”
  3. Just because five cameras and a studio audience are watching your segment does not mean that anything has changed from the phone pre-interview stage. You were passionate, articulate, and energetic then and you will be passionate, articulate, and energetic on television.
  4. Nerves are normal, nerves are natural, and nerves are a good thing. If you are not nervous, then I get nervous, because nervousness translates to energy on screen.



Peter Bedard, Topic: Is Marijuana less harmful than alcohol?

Speaking Point: As someone who has had to heal himself from everything from arthritis to fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, chronic allergies, an allergy to chlorine, asthma, etc. I am a HUGE fan of alternative medicine and especially Eastern holistic therapies.

Speaking Point: As an advocate for complementary alternative medicine I’m a big fan of new therapies and healing modalities that aren’t from the pharmaceutical giants, don’t involve surgery, and are beneficial to the entire person. Marijuana when used in this way may be exactly that.

Speaking Point: Medicinal marijuana is a God send for anyone dealing with neuropathy types of issues as well as HIV related wasting, severe emotional (anxiety/stress) disorders, cancer, and even arthritis. When used due to a true medical situation I’m a huge supporter of legalizing marijuana. In these circumstances marijuana use has little or no long lasting or harmful side effects, which is something that no pharmaceutical drug has ever been able to claim.

Speaking Points: The harm caused from alcohol is far greater than marijuana use. Alcohol is a 30% addiction rate.

Speaking Point: The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) shows that a survey of Californians reports the top three reported uses of medicinal marijuana: 40% Chronic Pain, 22% AIDS-Related, 15% Mood Disorders. That’s 77% of those using marijuana in a way that is directly health related. Portugal legalized all Marijuana use and crime rates and addiction rates have dropped.

Speaking Point: Marijuana is not a gateway drug. A specific addictive personality type may lead you to greater drugs but marijuana does not do it itself.

Speaking Point: Marijuana arrests. For a drug as passive as marijuana it’s surprising how angry many people, especially those involved in law enforcement, can become when the topic of legalizing limited marijuana use is broached. If anything, the user of marijuana becomes passive, tired, and unmotivated to do most anything besides satisfy some hunger urges.

Speaking Point: In the end, we still need to regulate marijuana and not sell it to children.

Watch the Video


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Booked, Bumped, or Cancelled: What to Do and How to Behave

EXCERPT FROM “GET ON TV!” By Jacquie Jordan

The Pre-Interview

Producers book guests on television through a standard process called the pre-interview, which is done by phone. Some producers may book you and then set up a time for a pre-interview. Other producers, in my opinion the majority, will call and pre-interview you before they commit to booking you, especially if you have not made any or many television appearances. I chose this latter process. Think of it like this: you are the car and I am a potential buyer. I am going to kick your tires and take you for a test drive before making a commitment to you.
It bears repeating: a producer stakes their reputation on you when they book you and put you on air. If you seize up in the middle of a taping, it’s my fault! I need to both know who you are and how you are before I take the chance putting you on the air.
If you’ve followed the previous chapters, than this is the part of the process that you have been waiting for—to get on TV. I am assuming that all the groundwork has been laid: you have built a media platform, made a press kit, etc. This preparation has been time consuming, but here is where it pays off, and a producer finally books you on the show of your dreams (or simply one that you have targeted). As the saying goes, it can take a few years to become an overnight sensation!
The process goes like this: you’ve pitched to the show producer, who has reviewed your materials and was impressed. A basic “Hello, how are you?” phone or email relationship has been established. The countdown to blast off has hopefully begun, but here comes the final hurdle: the pre-interview.

Think of a pre-interview as an audition that happens over the phone. Although it may feel like a casual, shooting the breeze chat about you and your product/story/pitch, it most certainly is not. I am carefully gauging several factors at once. You are in the spotlight here and you must come through. This is your big moment to shine, and it is just as important as that hoped for televised appearance.

I may call up with disappointing news: we may be booked solid until next year. You have been bumped before even getting booked. But in this conversation, I am still auditioning you. How do you handle the unexpected? How do you deal with cancellation and disappointment?

Or let’s say that I make a spontaneous decision to call you on your cell phone, thus increasing the likelihood that you are out and about, doing errands, picking up screaming kids from school, rushing out work deadlines, and so on. I’m sorry to put you on the spot here, but again, you response is being evaluated. Do you communicate clearly while under pressure? How low is your annoyance threshold? Get your game face on, pardners, because that ringing phone may be your lucky break, and you have to perform with grace and style. There are almost no “do-overs.” High energy is what we producers are looking for from a guest; we want to know that you contain the potential for a few minutes of great television.

So just know that a casual phone call from me or another producer is part of a critical decision making process, which will indicate whether or not I want to pursue having another conversation with you.

If I do decide to book you for a show, it will be because I have faith in your pitch and materials, and enough confidence in you to sell you to the rest of my staff. I am selling you to them without you being present. They are taking me at my word.

Let’s circle back to the pre-interview. I call you up, I have some ideas, I’m kind of sort of feeling you out, and I will be trying to pull out a point of view from you. Return to our “Marriage Makes You Fat” hook, around which I am planning a show segment. I’m trying to book a relationship therapist (your hypothetical specialty) who says that’s absolutely ridiculous. If I knock on your door, my point of view will be—“Marriage makes you fat, well what do you think about that?” I’ll want to know what you will and won’t say on the subject. How far can you take your criticism and rebuttal? I know exactly what I want from you. Why? Because I’ve written a script for the show before I’ve actually cast the “role” of the relationship therapist. If you feel that you cannot play this “role,” that’s absolutely fine. Saying “No” does not count against you at all, unless you refuse to back up what’s in your press kit. If I call you because you state “X” in your materials (Marriage makes you thin for instance), but you refuse to go on record and back up the statement, then you’ve been wasting my time all along. Put your money where your mouth is, and don’t make claims that you cannot or will not back up!

The flip side of this equation is that even though your specialty is well-represented in television (therapist, diet expert, etc.), producers are always looking for fresh talent and takes from these experts. And if my first pre-interview does not give me the results I am looking for, then I’ll call another relationship therapist, and another, and another, until I find the right person that I need for my show. Maybe that person near the end of my call list will be you!

The pre-interview is a serious stage of the game, folks. Treat it with professionalism and you won’t go wrong. And do not compromise your integrity just to get booked. If you are not comfortable being “devil’s advocate” and criticizing a point of view or issue or product, just say no!

To Perk or Not to Perk?

Congratulations! You’ve been booked. You’re going to be on TV! Here is a guide to perks and benefits. Rule of thumb: Getting booked on a television show does not equate with winning a jackpot prize! My show’s budget may seem high, but every nickel is squeezed tight. You are one of a hundred guests that will appear on my show this season. And as much as I’d like to give spa passes to each and every one of you, the budget will almost always say, “What? Are you nuts! Are we made of money? No!” (Budgets tend to get hysterical when asked for extras).

Your goal is not just to get booked, but to get booked again. So one basic strategy is: be nice and easy. We producers love working with a low maintenance, “say what you mean, mean what you say” guest. It pays to leave your ego at home. If it comes down to the end of a show’s production cycle and the budget is getting tight, then booking decisions are made strategically on fiscal viability and performance potential. Producers will book a low-maintenance, high-performing guest over the high-maintenance, high-performing guest every time.

Many guests see a car service as a booking perk. After all, shouldn’t they get something for donating their time and expertise to the show? Well, here’s a rule: Don’t expect car service and risk not asking for it. If it’s offered, still don’t accept it.


Most production companies prefer not to pay for your car service if you are capable of getting yourself to and from the studio location in one piece. Again, our expenditures for each show may seem high or even excessive from an outside point of view, but we really do run a tight ship. And many producers cannot authorize such extras anyway. There are always channels, people, and we can’t order you a masseuse any more than we can cut you a nice fat bonus check for being on our show. Help us out here. Your goal again is to get booked and booked again, so forgo a few nice perks and manage your own way to the show, so that you are saying that you are easy going.
Now there is an exception to the “refuse the car” rule. If a producer insists on your arrival in a car, then by all means accept it. The producing team has the ability to monitor a guest’s arrival via the car service, which they will want to do if the shooting schedule is tight, or traffic is bad at that time of day. Producers can check in with a car service and receive messages of “guest ten minutes out” or “guest five minutes out.” The producers thus have a sense of relief and control knowing that you are in a vehicle that they can keep close tabs on. In this kind of situation, car service is a necessity, and not a perk.

The Unspoken Trade-Out

Sometimes, you will get booked, go on a show, and everything will be just as you imagined it might be. The host will ask all the questions you expected in regards to your story, product, point of view, and so forth. You’ll leave the studio knowing that everything has gone according to plan, that the audience knows everything it needs to know and more about you and your content. But prepare yourself: there will be days and bookings that are quite different.

We’ve already talked about how producers cast experts or guests in accordance with a script that has been written in advance of any actual bookings. If my script does not match your platform or mission statement, then just let it go. I may come back to you. Don’t make promises that you feel uncomfortable keeping. Be flexible, but don’t be a pushover. The last thing in the world a producer would want is for you to regret an appearance on one of our shows. You are our guest in every sense of the world. We want you to go away happy.

If you do agree to the parameters established in my script and the pre-interview we share, there is the unspoken trade out factor. The trade out goes like this: you come onto our show, fit your pitch to our general scripted (pre-planned) requirements, and, in essence, do your thing our way. In exchange, you will get a plug on national television. Your plug will be for a book or a website or an event. That’s the trade-out, that’s how this works. And if you have built a solid platform with the potential base of ancillaries then this trade-out is invaluable.

Manager and brand visionary Angelica Holiday calls this “Dialing for Dollars.” She says, “I booked a client on Regis and Kathie Lee and it was a lot of work for him to deliver the six minutes, including being very expensive. He had to fly himself to New York, pay for the hotel room, and for everything used in the segment. But, in the end, the air time was worth $300K to him because he had done the preliminary leg work in building his platform.”