The tour started at 11am. I arrive at 10:56. I made good time despite oversleeping and missing the 10:09 train. Also, I was supposed to meet up with Dominic before i left for the tour, a fellow lodger I met at the hostel, but I ditched him in favor of making it downtown on time. As I headed to the second floor observation deck, out of breath and slinging my camera bag, I spotted Dominic already standing in line!
So the tour starts with a short film on NBC studio history and an announcement that there will be no photography for the next hour. $@&%! After an elevator ride we exit onto a floor where the ceiling is lined with cable wires. We follow the Pages through various studios and learn how things run behind the scenes. We spend a considerable amount of time in the studio for the NBC nightly news. Brian Williams was not there of course, but in the event of breaking news he could be there and ready in under 50 seconds.
Our tour ends with a the pages asking for two volunteers. Awkward silence, then Dominic raises my hand and his own. “We’ll do it!” OMG, what are we about to do?? We all walk into a studio equipped with a camera, a desk, a green screen and rows of seats. As the audience takes their seats, Dominic and I divvy up responsibilities. I volunteer to do weather because it looked easier. Wrong. I stand in front of the green screen as the Page points out my tele-prompter and second screen. Problem is that everything I see on the second screen is backwards to what viewers see at home, so I have to keep that in mind too. Got it. Dominic does pretty well with his monologue! And then I hear my queue. A cold read on tape with no rehearsal bodes but my sense of direction’s all screwed up! Aaaaand they got it on tape. Yup. And thirty bucks later, I own a copy for my very own amusement.