Show Up And Know Your Lines – Authors on Television

Yesterday, just after lunchtime, I got a phone call from the CTV television station asking if I could get myself downtown to Halifax’s Old Burying Ground for a brief interview regarding the history of Halloween. Well, it was 1pm and I had to be downtown at work by 3pm so I said “Sure, if we can do this at 2pm.”

I prepared a few rough notes for a very brief interview and then got my pants on and headed for the bus. I swung by a local Farmer’s Market to pick up a cabbage so that I could mention the French Shore tradition of Cabbage Night.

I got to the graveyard a little early. There was a cruise ship in town so the graveyard was fairly bustling with tourists going around snapping pictures with their telephones – and does ANYONE else out there really miss honest-to-Kodak cameras?

The interviewer and her one-man camera crew showed up and I greeted them at the graveyard gate with a firm handshake.

“What’s the cabbage for?” the camera man asked.

“That’s my lucky cabbage,” I explained. “I never leave home without it.”

They shot the interview and I went to work. I’d left a note on my Facebook page and phoned my wife to watch the interview for me. They will, apparently, be putting a link up to the interview and I’ll post it here when I can.

And – if you are wondering about the cabbage connection you can check out my blog entry right here.


That’s how it happens when you are dealing with television.

A reporter gets word that they need to fill a five minute segment in a half hour show.

Maybe they’ve got three days notice.

Maybe they’ve got one day notice.

So they go through their list of contacts.

I’ve been asked more than once to come and be a booga-booga expert. You have to be able to react to that sort of a call at a very short notice. You have to realize that you might talk for three minutes and have about one minute worth of screen time. You have to have some pretty good sound bites.

Maybe only a minute of my talk made it onto the actual broadcast – but that’s television for you. The main thing is that you have to show up and know your lines.


yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


2 responses to “Show Up And Know Your Lines – Authors on Television

  1. Sandra Hutchison

    Good advice, and let’s hear it for lucky cabbage!


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