And then, thanks to the MTV After Show, I did.
That was the beginning.
Many, many months later, following a move to Toronto and various life changes that made me forget the email I sent in the first place, I got a call about an audition. I went. And suddenly, it seemed, I was sitting in a studio at MTV, right next to Jessi Cruickshank and Dan Levy, with shaking legs and two very attractive underarm stains (not to mention a decidedly sweaty belly) which -- thank goodness -- didn't show up on camera. (Yes, I said sweaty belly. I was nervous, okay?) I have little memory of my first show, but I guess I did okay because they next thing I knew, I was being asked back, and then back again, week after week after week.
I loved it.
In addition to appearing on the show, I wrote a few blog posts, and was blogged about. (One reporter even called me "amazing" - thankyouverymuch.) It was all very exciting. And a nice change from being called a sell-out and a Carrie-Bradshaw-Wannabe which is what I often got as a junior level journalist in the newspaper industry. (Thanks to my age and long hair, I suppose... Yuck, right?)
Being on live TV, in any capacity, can teach you things about yourself that are worth learning. I learned that I make comic, over-the-top faces. A lot. I do it unconsciously. (Which is worth keeping in mind, because lord knows, I've probably been pissing off strangers on the subway with my appraising scowls.) I also learned that I have a seemingly-affected way of smiling and laughing that can look fake, even when it's not. Finally, I think learned to give myself a break about my weight and my skin and my appearance in general, because in the After Show environment, how you looked mattered, but in my role, what I had to say mattered more.
As an After Show "Friend" (as opposed to a CTV Globe Media employee) I was allowed to say nearly anything I wanted (within reason) and that was a great thing. I was often the antagonist, bringing up things like feminism, equality, race relations and gay rights (in other word, things that aren't a part of the usual MTV lexicon) and I like to think that, thanks to popular culture and reality television, between jokes about Heidi Montago, Brent Bolthouse and boob-jobs, I got a few 14 year old girls to think about things they might never have considered otherwise... but that's self-congratulatory (and probably unlikely). Mostly, I just had fun.
As I sat in the studio for the last time on Tuesday night, I thought to myself, "you should remember this." I tried to take a mental snapshot of the scene. After all, the whole thing happened so unexpectedly. My minor fifteen minutes, spread out over two years, are already a blur. But I know the show was something I was lucky to have. And I'm grateful. Remind me of that the next time I complain about anything.
I'm a bit sad it's over, actually.
Thanks MTV. Thanks universe. Just... thanks.