Monday, April 1, 2013

Make-it Monday: How to Make you Small Screen Debut (Maybe)

Hello, all! Hope you didn't miss me too much on Friday. I sure missed you <3

It's April now, and the weather is finally cooperating. I tried to think of an April Fool's joke for you, but frankly, I lost interest. Instead, I'm going to tell you how the Burrow Gals make TV.

In college, Mandi, Katie and I were roommates. My senior year we lived in a sweet little house just off campus. It was an odd little structure - square and whitewashed and very, very old. We named it The Burrow, in honor of our favorite fictional home.

Our favorite thing to do in this house was watch TLC. So many hours spent on so many trashy TV shows - Half-Ton Mom, 17 Kids and Counting (now 19), Toddlers and Tiaras; we worshiped at the altar of mind-melting programming.

It's been three years since we all lived together, but this week we reunited to make our Learning Channel debut. That's right - the Burrowmates might be on TV! We filmed an episode of Say Yes to the Dress (starring Mandi) at Atlanta's own Bridal by Lori. There's no guarantee we'll get an episode (they overbook slots, filming an average of two brides a day for three months), but we did our best. Ever wonder what it's like behind the scenes on a reality show? Here's a glimpse:

First of all, Bridal by Lori is a beautiful store; the show really doesn't do it justice. When you see the boutique on TV, it looks very plain. In reality, it's a calm, beautiful space decorated with soft blues and rich wood paneling. The lobby is cool and inviting - I felt calm and ready to shop the moment I walked in.

It's a good thing that place is so relaxing, because when you're there to film you do a LOT of waiting. I was rushing like crazy to get there - I had two shows in the morning, and then a film audition. I arrived a good 45 minutes after the rest of our group, and I was terrified I was going to miss the action. I should have known better; television is a hurry-up-and-wait event. When I arrived, everyone was getting their mics on, and Mandi's mom was doing her first on-camera interview. You know the "talking heads" portion of these shows? Well they film one set of interviews before, and one after. Mandi had already spoken to the camera before I got there, and her mother, Judie was in the middle of hers. Guys, she was in there for an hour. I really hope we make it to air, because I bet she said some great stuff.

Judie was our not-so-secret weapon. She's worked in the wedding business for 35 years, in all manner of positions. She handcrafts veils, restores and alters heirloom gowns, directs weddings, and plans them from the ground-up. In fact, she used to manage a bridal shop just around the corner from Lori's. Bringing such a knowledgeable mama into this atmosphere was sure to spark some drama.

Our consultant, Robin, was lovely.

I meant in spirit, but she's also very pretty.

She was funny, easy-going, and very sweet. And she and Judie got along great. I'm sure if we make it to air it won't look that way - for the sake of ratings, they'll have to make some careful edits - but it was a fun and happy afternoon. She let Judie come up and poke and prod at Mandi while she did the fittings; Judie crawled around on the floor to futz with the hems and discuss alterations. Robin was probably glad she didn't have to get on all-fours for the cameras. 

Nana Heavern

For the rest of us, it was all about reactions. The producers asked us about the dresses in turn, and went down the line to get our opinions. They filmed us each seperately, asking us to address the producer as though she was Mandi, and give our opinions. I'm probably going to seem like the Jewiest Jew of Them All - I mentioned "deals" and "thriftiness" a few times, and my grandma surely rolled in her grave. "The stereotypes, Galen! How you play into them!" Sorry, Granny.

We were a very opinionated group. From what I've seen of the show, that's not the norm. Hopefully, our candor will play to our favor when they choose the season.

Katie, judging.

Mandi's sister, doing the same.

Judie, inspecting.

Goofing-off, as per usual

I'm not looking for a dress, myself, but I did fall in love with one - and so did another bride-to be! We'd been there an hour when this lovely lady emerged wearing the dress I'd admired - I snuck a few pictures while she inspected herself.

God, I can be so creepy. But can you blame me? The creamy fabric, the polka-dots, the ruching at the waist (only barely visible; sorry). This gal bought the gown, and I can't blame her. Wear it with pride, bride.

We each got to pick out a dress for Mandi to wear, but she didn't use any of them. She only tried three dresses, and the second one was The One. That's right - Mandi said YES to a DRESS! I'd show it to you, but I'm afraid her Boy Toy would get wise and come here to see a picture. No chance, dude. Instead, I'll show you some detail shots. You'll see the whole thing next January, after the Big Day.

It was a very fun day - full of love end excitement. My heart was full to bursting when we left. Seeing Mandi beam was worth the occasional slow moment in the filming process.

Guys, don't listen to the haters - reality TV is fun for the whole family. The ladies of the Burrow knew this years ago, and we finally go the chance to prove it.

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