If it sounds completely surreal and unbelievable, you would be right. Except it is true. And the joke is on me.
I knew I wanted to work in TV since I was a little girl. I started interning at a local news station in West Palm Beach FL when I was 14 years old. It was 1986. It wasn’t a paid gig and all I did was get coffee, rip scripts, (those were the days when carbon copy paper was running amok in the newsroom), and answer the phone. But I loved it. Zero desire to be in front of the camera. I wanted to produce. I wanted to create content, learn every day from the best in the market and get done with my education as quickly as I could so I could start my career.
Over the next twenty-seven years I went from producing local news, to directing music videos, and show-running programs like the Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC, Deal or No Deal (Telemundo) and the New York Magazine Awards Show at 30 Rock.
It was extremely hard work, late hours with not much time for a social life. I didn’t care. My social life was my work. And again, I loved every minute of it. Until I found something I loved more, my husband and the desire to start a family.
I left the business and never looked back.
After dying and come back to life, not much can throw me for a loop. I have done a few interviews and met many new faces who have replaced me and many others I knew from decades ago. But last week’s experience was a new one for me.
I was asked to come to New York to be interviewed at 30 Rock. Jonathan went with me. We walked in and were greeted by the NBC young page, signed into the security desk and made our way up the elevator. Having deja vu in this setting is understandable seeing as I had worked here. The bathrooms were still located in the same place, so was the commissary and the hosts of late night had changed, but their studios were in the same spaces.
When the makeup artist came to get me, she stopped and said “I know you.” I thought, yeah, you probably saw the story on Yahoo or on Good Morning America. (Am I allowed to say that while at NBC? :)) It was interesting because she looked familiar as well, but I couldn’t place her. Maybe a familiar energy I felt.
Then I was escorted on set and the stage manager explains to me, while looking at his notes, where I will be sitting, then he looks up and says “I know you. How do I know you?” I thought, MAYBE he saw the story.
Then sitting on set in between interviews, out of the corner of my eye, I see another familiar face and it made me catch my breath.
The only difference was, I was not producing with them. I was seeing the “talent” through a glass lens. The problem was, I wasn’t on the usual side of the camera. I felt like I was in a dream. This can’t be real. And just like I said to everyone after I survived when I was in disbelief of everything which had happened–“it can’t be real.” My husband likes to remind me, “Oh, but it was.” And he was here again to remind me… so was this.
We all hugged and we cried. Well, I cried mostly. Like true producers, my story was done, I was escorted out and they were onto the next segment.
I keep saying “There is no such thing as coincidences.” You might never know the reason you are in the right place at this particular time, but something is putting you there. And that moment was not lost on both of us.
I learned life takes some spectacular turns and like Ferris Bueller said when I started working in television in 1986, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” #NoCoincidences