Friday, October 16, 2009

Stop the Pottery -Time for TV

Being president of the Allegany Artisans is one of those jobs pointing in more directions than a porcupine’s quills.
Last Wednesday was like that. I was trying not to skid into panic mode over the Studio Tour (just 11 days off) and was making one of my to-do-list/calendars that would map my way through the studio and end with all pots dried, bisque, glazed, priced and displayed when I remembered that one of my points of duty involved calling Lea DiCenso, executive producer at AM Buffalo. I had talked with her a week earlier and she said that hosting the Allegany Artisans on the show this year unlikely but she never knew what might happen. She has managed to feature the Artisans every year for a while now. We couldn’t complain about a year off.
I dialed expecting voice mail. She answered. I expected her to accept a few photos and information for WKBW’s website but she jumped into business mode. There was a cancellation. 6 minutes were available on Thursday – 18 hours hence. Could I make a few things happen?
My first use of the to-do-list/calendar was to flip it over to take notes from Lea while swallowing concerns for pottery. Pots could dry while I was on TV on Thursday.
I started mental calculations and plans. Sarah Phillips agreed to throw her gardening aside and go with me. She would pack up some paintings. I started taking tracking down 6 photos – 300 dpi – horizontal orientation.
Lea needed a poster that would work on TV. She had rattled off pixel dimensions that I immediately forgot. (Don’t tell her that.) The Allegany Artisans always have a vertical poster and she wanted horizontal. Sarah and I brainstormed options and I remembered that Hope Zaccagni had sent a pdf of part of the brochure for our website. Rick dropped what he was doing to work on that. If he cut off the top and bottom and photo-shopped the Tourism phone number and website over the group photo, we could call it a horizontal poster.
Hope Zaccagni designed the brochure so had all the photos but she was in meetings all day but Steve Walker had some and so did Kandace and Alec and so did I. Mine were from 2008 but a Bruce Greene teapot is timeless. WKBW had jpgs in a couple of hours.
Russ Allen agreed to drop off a wooden train and Bob Chaffee promised a carved plate and a never-wrinkles table cover. I packed my Pete Midgley vase from the mantle, Hope’s drawing from the dining room and chose a shirt that would show off my Jim Horn pin in googly-eyed splendor.
In the morning Sarah and I drove to Buffalo. Security at WKBW is strict. There are lots of doors but visitors go to the front door and call the person who is expecting them. Inside there are reception areas, offices and rooms filled with monitors, keyboards and blinking lights all held together by miles of cables and wires.
AM Buffalo is a live show and the studio has a few areas – the jackpot drawing set, the sofa set, the rolling table and the kitchen. There are 5 cameras aimed in different direction. Each wears a monitor for the text above its unblinking eye but there are no people behind the cameras. The people are off in those equipment-filled rooms. At least I expect they are during the show. When we arrived just after 9 a.m., the crew that came to work at 4:30 that morning was having lunch.
Sarah and I set up our art and talked about it. Linda Pellegrino laughed at my cow bank while Lea insisted it was a pig. Mike told me to bring in the table and clay demo stuff that Lea said to leave in the car. “Ask Lea,” I said, not wishing to be stuck in the middle of anything.
As if Sarah and I had a smidge of Linda’s experience and ease we were given a 2 minute sketch of our 6 minute show. It was my 3rd show and I knew not to try to prepare. What I hoped to say would never fit with what Linda would shoot out as a question.
I set my inner monitors to keep with the conversation and mention as many artisans as possible. Push the phone number. Name the website. Keep breathing. Try not to look doopy. Don’t cough. Don’t sneeze on Linda.
Seconds later the segment was over. Linda said it was easy to go on air with us. We were so confident and at ease. Could have fooled me.
I stopped at the Allegany County Tourism office on the way home. Patience Regan jumped out of her chair saying I should have warned her before getting myself on some big TV production. She had 18 phone calls in just 2 hours. Whether or not you caught us on WKBW, come to my studio for great pots, Jim Horn’s pins, and refreshments. Sarah says to see her in Rushford for paintings, silk scarves and better refreshments.
Of course there are more choices. Visit to find all 36 locations and all 47 artisans offering locally made, quality work during the 22nd annual Studio Tour.

1 comment:

Kim's Karma said...

Elaine - you guys rocked it this year with the promotion of the artisans tours! Way to go and I hope the weekend was a huge success!
Kim Driscoll