(song: Get Out The Map/artist: Indigo Girls)
I suppose the first thing I should tell you is that I was REALLY nervous about "performing" on live TV. When I was chosen by Leandro, he stressed that the models (it makes me laugh to hear that word used in reference to me) should be in sync. So naturally I was terrified, since it is widely known that I lack rhythm. And it is widely known that April, the other model, is a very talented dancer.
Four days before the shoot, April and I met at Leandro's studio and had a marathon rehearsal session. My head is my worst enemy. None of the moves were new to me - I've been doing them in class and at home since February of 2011 - I was just really nervous that I'd mess up (as I often do), and look like a total idiot ON LIVE TELEVISION. Plus, I love Leandro and I want him to be happy and I still can't believe he asked me to do this! So, we practice, April counts, I mess up, April tells me to chill, we practice some more, I mess up and say I'm nervous, April tells me to chill and that I already know these moves and to stop doubting myself and it's going to be fine and not to worry. Eventually I start to believe her, and I get it right. Leandro arrives about an hour into our rehearsal, and changes all the counts. I freak...internally. He wants less reps. The Butt Master has no idea how terrible I am at counting and/or how terrified I am of falling flat on my face. We do another run-through. I am starting to see worry on Leandro's face. I feel like Baby in Dirty Dancing when Johnny and Penny are trying to teach her to feel the moves in her body, but she's just not getting it.
|Don't act like you didn't love this movie.
As we approach the two-and-a-half hour mark, I feel like I've got it. April and I agree to meet for another rehearsal on Friday. We kiss Leandro goodbye. I go home and collapse.
On Saturday afternoon, as I'm waiting for Leandro and April at the train station, I started to get a little nervous. It occurred to me that I've never interacted with Leandro outside of a gym environment. I don't really know Leandro - the man. Just Leandro, the trainer. Seconds after this thought flashes across my mind, I see Leandro approaching. He's smiling, as always, and greets me warmly with a double kiss and then he says, "I've never seen you in clothes before!" It's true. In the fifteen months that I've known him, Leandro has only seen me in workout gear. His comment cracks me up and I immediately feel at ease. While we waited for April, we chatted comfortably and got to know each other a little better. On the train to Philly and the car ride to our hotel, he shared so much with April and me. I learned a lot about him as a person, not just the fitness guru that I worship for helping me shave my saddle bags. And frankly, after that train and car ride, I love him even more. He is such a warm and caring man. He has a light inside him that radiates and makes you happy to be around him. He's immediately likable. I'm may be a bit biased, but my position is that he's a pretty terrific guy.
So we get to our hotel in lovely Malverne, Pennsylvania. It's about 7:15PM and we have to be awake at 3AM for our 3:30AM pick-up. I give Leandro and April a kiss and scoot away to my room, where I immediately took a sleeping pill and put on my jammies. I was delighted to see this on my nightstand:
|I guess The Desmond is the hotel of choice for the QVC tourist...
After I washed my face, brushed my teeth and called my hubby, I snuggled in my hotel bed, turned on the TV and caught a little QVC (what else!) while I waited for my sleeping pill to take hold. It was lights out by 9PM.
I woke up at 3AM, a little groggy but so excited. Took a quick shower, gathered my things and headed to the lobby where a nice lady named Peggy was there to pick up the three of us. We arrived at QVC around 4AM.
|The home-shopping mother ship.
The place is massive. And remarkably busy at 4AM. There's a lot of crew walking around, and a jewelry model reading a magazine and having coffee near the stage entrance. I knew next-to-nothing about QVC before this gig. Now I'm so fascinated by the business. But that's not what this post is about!
Peggy showed us to the dressing room and we got dressed and put on make-up. Very lucky for me, April is really good at applying make-up and I am so grateful that she covered my old lady face as well as she did. Thank you so much April!
|Before you criticize my eye bags and crow's feet, keep in mind, (a) I woke up at 3AM and (b) I'm 37. So, suck it.
At 5:45AM, Peggy rounds us up and takes us to our stage. I'm so excited! I see the host on another stage, talking about the Keurig coffee maker. She makes her way over to our stage and takes a few seconds to meet Leandro. Then we are told to take our places, the show is about to begin!
Our segment is the first one, so after she gives the audience the rundown of the upcoming products, she introduces Leandro and the Brazil Butt Lift showcase is officially underway. April is strategically placed slightly in front of me so I can follow her lead. I was remarkably comfortable. April and I had a good rapport and since we had rehearsed so much, we were totally in sync and looked like we knew what we were doing, and that we were having fun, which I totally was. The environment was very casual and since there was no live audience, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be. Until the on-air interview. I knew they were going to talk to us, but I didn't know what they would ask. It was very well planned; they showed a series of before-and-after pictures, then when the last picture is on screen, the host says something like, "This is Alison. She's here with us today." She asked me a few questions and I gave rambling answers, mentioning how I hated my inner-thighs and didn't want to wear Mom Jeans anymore.
|How great do my guns look?
Of course I have now watched the segment about 50 thousand times and I wish that I had: looked at Leandro more, really emphasized the fact that I'm a mom so we could appeal to a broader market, not been so sweaty, looked at the camera more, stood in a more flattering way, kept my hands on my hips, reacted while April was talking...the list goes on. But it is very hard for me to view myself objectively. Compared to April, who was composed, comfortable and a natural on camera, I was obviously the the "model" with no prior experience. And, oh yeah, this is the first time I've ever done this! Just when I thought I had blown it, a call comes in! Susan from Pennsylvania has just purchased a Brazil Butt Lift package! When Leandro asks her what her goals are, she says, "I've got the thigh area, like the lady in the yellow..." Woo hoo, Susan From Pennsylvania related to my saddle bag conundrum! So then Leandro shows Susan a great move for inner thighs, which the adorable host Gabrielle does with us.
|Pay attention Susan From Pennsylvania, the "high heel" will melt those inner thighs in no time!
All joking aside, this was such a great experience! I loved everything about it. I'm so honored that Leandro wanted me to represent his product. I love that he's proud of me, and I think he's a genius business man for using a person to whom the Susans From Pennsylvania can relate. It shows that his product is for everyone, not just models or thin people with flat butts. I hope that my appearance served a good business purpose. Because I would LOVE to do it again!! Leandro, you know by now, I just keep getting better and better...
The day before I left for Philly, my friend Chad (we went to musical theater school together) sent me a text message, saying, "...I hope you do something horribly embarrassing on live TV." Last night I watched the segment on slow-motion, and Chad, this one's for you baby:
|Still, it's less humiliating than my days as chubby aspiring actress in musical theater dance class...
|But seriously, what am I doing?
(Swing on over to my Facebook page to see more pics from my QVC adventure...)