I’d venture to say that not every television anchor is willing to share the makeup room with the random and ever-changing “guest on today’s show.” It’s kind of an intimate space, that room of transformation. But Moira Brown is not just every television anchor, and there we sat, side by side in the makeup chairs at a quarter-to-eight this morning, while Elizabeth and Anna painted our faces.
Moira has been on the cast of 100 Huntley Street for more than thirty years, this national TV show that’s the longest running morning show in Canada, and here I am, the newest girl on the block. I’ve been around just long enough to know that just because somebody’s name is on the show doesn’t mean they know very much about the story they’re about to air. In the last couple of years on this fast track of media appointments, one interviewer was well into our time together when I realized she didn’t know my husband had died…. which is kind of the boulder that started this whole avalanche.
Sometimes media producers are like labor and delivery nurses: they work round the clock to make things happen, and then somebody else swoops down in the eleventh hour to bring something new into the world, and that late-comer usually gets the credit and a whole lot more money.
Now, I also met many of the 100 Huntley Street producers, and they are a killer dynamo team. Still, Moira isn’t waiting for them to make her cue cards and tell her my name. She asked questions about my life, family, marital dynamics and grief process that aren’t exactly the low hanging fruits of the story. She had done her research, she knew me already, and that created a bridge of trust I was willing to step across with her.
I guess you could say she started our dialogue while we sat in the makeup chairs so that by the time we were on the set together, I felt like we were continuing the conversation we’d started more than an hour ago. She said, “It’s just a living room visit, and we’ll let the cameras watch. And don’t worry about them, just look at me. We’ll let them come to us.”
The producer did the countdown— “Five! Four! Three! . . .”
Moira whispered so silently that only I could hear her, “Tricia, you have fun. And that’s an order.” And then she looked at the camera and introduced me to the world. She even said my name right.
When we were all finished, she said I was a natural. She said she couldn’t believe this was my first time. She said, “Buckle up, sister. You’re too good at this to go unnoticed. And you can no longer say you’ve never done TV.”
I hugged her, this mentor who walked me right onto the screen. “From now on, I’ll tell them Moira taught me everything I know.”
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To watch Moira’s recorded interview with me on 100 Huntley Street, click here.