Fred Roggin Took My Cherry
Sure this is a cheeky headline and all, but it's perhaps the best metaphor about my experience last night at the taping of "Going Roggin."
I was invited to be one of the debating panelists on Fred Roggin's new show airing Sundays at 12 midnight on NBC4 locally alongside Jill Painter of the Daily News. She also happens to be the reigning sexiest sportswriter in Los Angeles since Baxter Holmes moved to Boston in January to be the Celtics beat writer for the Boston Globe.
What was perhaps most remarkable was the email I received from Roggin a couple of weeks ago saying that he was a "huge LAist fan" — his words, not my editorializing. While we were in the makeup room, he reaffirmed that saying it wasn't bullshit. He really likes what we do.
I have to say that it is a bit of a mindfuck for me. When I write, I tend to believe no one reads me. It just makes it easier for me to spew the filth, so knowing I have an audience tenses me up which will be evident when you watch the show.
But it was astounding that I, a scuzzy internet writer, was allowed to be on television to talk about sports in a somewhat legitimate manner with the Associated Press sports columnist of the year in 2011.
So it goes with out saying that this was my first time on television. I've never been connected to an IFB (interruptible feedback), a microphone on my lapel. I've never had to make sure I stared into Camera 1 and not across the set to where Fred Roggin was sitting. I've never had my makeup done for me — I did my own makeup when I was a goth in high school and college.
I wasn't nervous heading in. They emailed me the questions on Wednesday, and I made sure to know my summary points. After all I did well back in high school in the improvisational speech in the Academic Decathlon, so I got this.
We taped the whole show from the top. As Roggin did his opening commentary I realized how unpolished I am. What's the etiquette of television debate? Will I look like a complete fat fuck on television?
I didn't get nervous. My stomach didn't turn into a gelatinous pile of butterflies and other assorted maggoty creatures. I just sort of seized up and had an out-of-body experience. Words were coming out of my mouth. I could hear what Roggin and Painter were saying in my ear. I just couldn't hear what was coming out of my mouth.
We actually did a second take of that segment, and I got through it in one piece.
After a little touch up, since being a fat fuck I sweat profusely like a hog at a country fair, I decided to ditch my proper posture pose and just sit back a little in my chair. I knew I could use my face to express what I thought of what Jill was saying without having to utter a word. So I did a lot of that.
By the end I felt a lot more at ease although I felt my phrasing starting to come out like Jalen Rose's, but I got the nagging impression that I was a complete disaster. Like a kid having sex for the first time, I was a bit satisfied but the other person was ready to start singing "Is That All There Is?"
Aside from the second take of the first segment, that was it. No other takes. Now I felt complete empathy with actors who worked with director Werner Herzog. Everyone reassured me that it was great, but I knew better. I could feel the undertone of man-I-thought-this-asshole-would-at-least-be-able-to-be-coherent air of the congratulations.
You can all judge for yourself. The episode will air Sunday at 12 midnight on NBC4. So even if you don't cable, you can watch the glory that was this. And it was a good episode. There was a segment with Clippers play-by-play legend Ralph Lawler and an interview with Landon Donovan.
Because of broadcast restrictions only the final segment with Jill and me will be available online Monday morning. So I'm warning you now, you have only one chance to catch my television debut.
Also I probably broke the 10 rules of blogging for not taking pictures of the studios and what not. Idiot self-centered me for being too focused on myself than my audience. Shoot me.