That time I snuck on set at BNN
“Oh! You’re Andrew?”
That was the first thing the lady from makeup said to me.
I was in the waiting room scrolling through my phone and I hadn’t realized she had been sent there for me. Apparently, neither had she. A good 2–3 minutes had gone by while she was standing there. Waiting, I presume, for someone who looked like they belonged on BNN.
I laughed when I realized what had just happened. “Not your usual clientele, eh?”
Evidently not. Their usual guests are older, greyer and probably have more important things to talk about.
Oh well, not today!
To be honest, I didn’t really think they were going to let me on either. I had only recently reached out to Adeena, a producer I’d met a year earlier, and asked if she could get me on BNN in some capacity. We’re currently raising money at Rover and looking to expand our operations, so we’re always looking for more awareness. (Every bit helps — tell your friends, share your referral code!)
When she said sure, and oh, by the way, it’s going to be a live segment — my first thought was: oh shit, what did I get myself into?
But after we discussed the program, the host and that it was just going to be a casual chat about Rover and our mission, I calmed down a bit. She also graciously sent me some pre-interview questions to think about.
So when the day came I felt prepared. More so than the first time I pitched Rover to a hundred or so people with about an hour of prep time. And more so than the panel I had done last summer which I was asked to do the day before. But I talk about Rover all the time — it’s literally my job. So I felt pretty confident I could pull it off, and wasn’t nearly as nervous as those previous presentations.
But then the day comes, and it’s a commercial break and you’re heading on set for the first time, meeting the host for the first time, the schedule guy is fishing a wire through your shirt while reminding you not to look at the cameras, don’t fidget and just be natural! Okay, quick word or two aaannd — the camera’s up and he’s talking and OH MY GOD WE’RE LIVE! (don’t fuck up, don’t fuck up, don’t fuck up)
Of course, the only question I wasn’t really ready for was the very first one: where did the idea for the company come from? Umm, well, it wasn’t mine! I tried to recall and recite Tim’s story as best I could (our CEO). I think it went okay after that. Things tend to go smoother when there are no curveballs.
And in what felt like 10 seconds, it was all over. I probably prepared for a dozen more questions.
If I have one regret about the whole experience it’s this: as we cut to commercial and I was thanking the host he commended me for not looking at the cameras. “It was easy — I didn’t want to look at them!” I said. He laughed and said ya you just treat it like a conversation, pretend nobody’s watching. To which I jokingly responded: “ya I don’t even think any of my friends have TV”. What he probably heard: nobody my age watches your show, or anything on cable for that matter, you dinosaur. Whoops. Sorry Greg, Adeena and BNN, I didn’t mean it like that! Also, that’s not true, I’ve got friends in finance and BNN is pretty much all they watch. Plus, my friends immediately started roasting me in our group chat, so I can assure you — they were watching!
It was a fun experience. Really glad I got the opportunity. I managed to get through almost 5 minutes without swearing or saying anything inappropriate on live TV, so all things considered, definitely a win. (Adeena made me promise to not do finger guns at the camera, she’s no fun).
Now I’m just waiting for my phone call for the follow-up piece…