A Father’s Day Post Featuring An Appearance On Cityline
“Truth be told, I’m probably the last parent that you’d want to go to for advice!” You can find those words on my About Me page. I wrote them when I first started this site, and they still ring true today. A parenting advice authority figure, I definitely am not. Sooo, of course I was on Cityline, a nationally televised Canadian talk show recently, giving some parenting advice.
Today’s story starts with a producer from Cityline reaching out to ya boy. For the uninformed, Cityline is the longest running and most successful daytime show for women in Canadian history. I will admit to seeing the odd segment on social media, but I am not an avid watcher of this program. The producer said that they were doing a ‘dad panel’ for their upcoming Father’s Day episode, and thought that I would be good fit for it.
Like any person in this situation, I only had one question for the producer:
“Why the heck did you pick me?”
The producer said that I was local, and the second name that came up on a Google search. Yay for analytics! After a few more questions, the producer said that they would be in touch with more information about the taping.
A TV panelist?
The one thing that I didn’t know was that Cityline is not live. It is taped, then aired 1-2 weeks after the fact. Big relief, as I know that I am not the most polished speaker, so the magic of editing would hopefully cover my mumbling and bumbling. Even better, the information that the producer sent me was an overview of the schedule for the taping, and included questions that I might be asked.
I’m the type who can’t really freestyle stuff off the top of the dome, and prefer to be behind the scenes, but when given time to prepare, I can do OK. More Dr. Dre than Eminem, in hip hop terms. As such, I couldn’t sleep the night before the filming. I was racking my brain coming up with eloquent, compelling answers, and hilarious, relatable anecdotes. The kids also wanted me to shout them out, so that had to be worked in, as well.
The Big Day Arrives
The schedule required me being on set at 9:00 AM, for rehearsal. My GPS said to allow two hours to get there. So, the morning of the taping, I was up, and out of the house at 6:30 AM. 8:15 AM ETA to Cityline’s studio. I could practice my answers the whole drive, too. I envisioned my witty banter with the host, Tracy Moore, resulting in a standing ovation by an adoring studio audience. Perfect.
Wait. Not perfect.
Traffic sucked, so my ETA kept getting longer, and longer. When it started to get past 9:00 AM, I started to sweat. I then realized that I forgot to put deodorant on, for the first time in my adult life. I sheepishly let the producer know that I wouldn’t be there on time, and, thankfully, they were cool with this.
Upon my arrival, I bypassed the audience lined up outside, and was met at the door of the studio by a security guard. He greeted me with “So you’re the infamous Mike”, and I was led to a room backstage, to hang out. I hadn’t actually missed my rehearsal, luckily, and the room was full of the other guests that day. Most of them had either appeared on Cityline before, or, exuded a TV ready confidence. I, of course, suddenly had neither of these going for me and was a nervous wreck.
My co-panelists for the day were Dave and Joey, the Bro-Laws. They’re two brother in-laws, who run a construction company. They’re also charming, funny and incredibly likeable. They have a significant following on social media, and were regular guests on Cityline, among other programs. The Father’s Day taping alone featured them in three segments, two of which even included their families!
A producer led the three of us out to the stage, where we were then seated at a Cityline branded table. We were surrounded by various staff members, and were advised to pretend like they weren’t there. Tracy Moore soon joined us, and sat beside me. I’ll tell you what, people. Tracy Moore was very friendly to me, but I was intimated AF, in her presence. She has this confident, superstar aura that you can’t help but notice.
The only other time that I felt that level of friendly aura was when I accidentally ended up at an after-party for the Canadian Screen Awards, and I found myself beside Sandra Oh, ordering drinks at the bar. I blurted out to her “Sandra Oh! My mom loves you on Grey’s Anatomy!” Instead of throwing her wine (Tequila? I don’t know what she ordered) in my face, she seemed genuinely appreciative of my comment. At the same party, I bumped into the late, great Alan Thicke, and blurted out “Alan Thicke! My mom loved you on Growing Pains!” He was not as appreciative, and looked at me like I needed to find some security guards to escort myself out of the party, or else he was going to find some himself.
Back to the story!
Anyways, Tracy Moore is a seasoned pro, too. The rehearsal, to me, seemed to flow like a natural conversation between the four of us. My well thought out answers came off OK, and I even ad-libbed some good lines, too. When it was over, Tracy Moore asked one of the producers for some feedback. The producers went over the stuff that they liked, and didn’t really like, and also noted that we went too long, and needed to cut the time down. Tracy Moore had some notes, that her and the producer went over. They were going to cut some questions out, and ask us some different ones. By the end, I had no idea what the questions during the actual filming were going to be….except for a new question about what advice I had for dads.
Sweaty Mike shows up.
I returned to the hangout room, which was more full than before, as it was almost showtime. I then noticed my polo shirt. Or more specifically, my armpits. Both of them had giant, unmistakable sweat stains, the result of the hot stage lights, my nerves, and my lack of deodorant. I went to a change room, to see if there was a hair dryer. No luck. The episode had a style segment, with cool dad fashions. I eyeballed the rack of clothes that the stylist had, to see if there were any extra shirts to borrow. No luck. I ran back to my car, to see if I had any other shirts in my trunk. I had another polo shirt, but it was light coloured, and almost assuredly would have led to the same problem. No go. I did have a hoodie, so I settled on wearing that, for my appearance, strategically positioned to cover the sweat stains. I should also note that we were experiencing near record high temperatures that day, so only a total doofus would be rocking a hoodie.
Wardrobe set, I now just had to wait for showtime, and think of a useful piece of advice to give. One that would make my fellow fathers proud. My segment was on last, so I had lots of time to fret, er, ponder. I wandered over to the side of the stage, to check out the proceedings, while eating the only thing that I had: a pack of Mentos (rookie move, as everyone else had brought snacks to munch on).
After the various cooking, interview and home improvement segments, plus the Bro-Laws doing their thing, it was time for the dad panel.
As expected, the rehearsal questions differed from the actual questions. Tracy Moore, polished conversationalist, and The Bro-Laws, experienced TV vets, easily went with the flow of our 4-5 minute talk. Not so much for me, a guy making his first TV panel appearance. We did touch on some good stuff, though, that I think any parent would appreciate. And then, the big moment came. Tracy Moore asked me for advice, to give to dads. No joke, my brain froze. Harkening back to my time at that Canadian Screen Awards party, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind:
“Learn to hold a baby!”
Sigh. I tried, people. I tried.
After our segment, taping for the day wrapped up. The audience were to be given gift cards and a sweet BBQ set, on the way out. Yes, I hung around to see if there were any leftovers that I could grab. No early Father’s Day gifts from Cityline for me, however. After I said my goodbyes, I went to the exit. Some audience members were there. To my relief, they all said that I did a great job!
Let’s put a wrap on this post. Big thanks to Cityline for giving me the opportunity to talk about fatherhood stuff. I do think having conversations like the ones that we had are important, and I appreciate them giving us such a big platform to do so. Sorry, B, J, and KJ, for not shouting you out on the show.
Until the next one, peace! Happy Father’s Day, y’all!