Feedback about my appearance on "Fox & Friends" ran the gamut from "You looked serious" to "You looked kind of stern." (Note to self: Try to lighten up.) Fortunately my fearsome visage did not deter the brave Lisa Takeuchi Cullen from posting the segment on her blog "Act Two," found on the new Web news site True/Slant.
I'm not being facetious when I describe Lisa as brave. A journalist, Lisa walked away from a terrific job at Time Magazine in the middle of an economic meltdown to pursue her dream of screenwriting. "Act Two" is about creating that kind of second act in your life, and is something of a high-wire performance. Lisa's dream is a work in progress and the outcome is not at all certain. (Lisa is also the author of a terrific book, which is how I got to know her. Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death is the most entertaining book about funerals you'll ever read.)
Another bit of feedback I got about Fox came from a producer at CNN, who said, "Maybe you and I should talk about future segments." But more about that another day.
A couple of things about the Fox experience: I'd been to their green room many times before, accompanying authors who were appearing on the show. Usually the author would be escorted to the set, and I'd stay behind to pick at the fruit plate. This time I was brought to the set and plunked down on a stool with those bright lights shining in my eyes. It's good experience for a publicist to know what it's like to be on the other side of the camera.
The other thing is, Jack Hanna was on after us and brought a menagerie with him, including a hyena, some flamingos, and a perfectly adorable baby cheetah. (As I have a strict policy of not posting cat pictures on this blog, you can see the segment with the cheetah here.) There was also a monstrous Burmese python, I'd say about 10-12 feet long, lying in the hall when we came back from the set. We had to literally step over him to get back into the green room. He just lay there, sluggish. He wasn't impressed by my fearsome visage either.