Kate’s Excellent Whirlwind Adventure
Well that was an excellent whirlwind adventure of a week! I can’t wait to tell you about it all. As you may know, I was invited to be on QVC’s In the Kitchen with David this past Sunday (7/24/16). There was quite a bit of preparation that went into the whole experience before I stood in front of the cameras. My publisher put the QVC folks in touch with me and the ball started to roll.
After a phone interview with the talent coordinator, I was then asked to complete an online training. It was some basic stuff like who would be who in the studio, and which producer did what for the segment, what colors not to wear (red, white, black), and presented the truly sincere philosophy of what QVC is all about—real people excited to share products that they have created. In my case, that would be a first book. Since I don’t have TV and haven’t for over 35 years, I prepped myself by watching some short videos of David Venable’s show so I would get an idea of what it might be like before packing up my bag with three jewel tone blouses that I hoped would be acceptable, my favorite apron, a brand new sun hat, and and set out last Tuesday.
I wouldn’t be flying until the next morning so I made arrangements to spend the night near Seattle and catch up with my second cousins who I didn’t even know existed until they reached out to me about 5 years ago. I’ll share that story with you another time if you would like to hear about it.
Early on Wednesday morning they drove me to the transit station where I hopped on the bus to SeaTac airport for my flight to Philadelphia. The bus was a really economical way to get there too…only $2.75 each way for the 45 minute ride! I was lucky to have TSA Pre so I breezed through security in less than 5 minutes. I settled in with an early morning cup of coffee and a little breakfast before heading to my gate.
After I landed in Philly and got out to the curb, I used one of the handy dandy apps you can download on your phone to order up a ride. It was a 45 minute drive to West Chester where QVC headquarters is located. After I checked into the hotel, there wasn’t much in the way of choices for a place for supper since I was on foot at that point. I’m not one for chain restaurants but I mustered up my courage and walked through the doors into a blissfully air-conditioned one that was right next to the hotel. I forgot to tell you that I was visiting the east coast when it was having a record breaking heat wave, didn’t I? When I left Pie Cottage it was 62 and when I arrived in Philly it was 95 so the blast of arctic air made me pre-disposed to like anything I ate there.
After, I walked back to the hotel and spent the rest of the evening ironing my jewel toned blouses, and since there was a TV in the room, I engaged in the sport of flipping the channels to see what I had missed over 35 years. The next morning I headed to QVC for the day long training.
Now, I have been an educator for over four decades and it’s not that easy to impress me when it comes to teaching, but I can honestly say that the QVC training program is one of the best I have ever experienced.
Me and my eleven other classmates were taken up the stairs to begin our 9:30 to 4:30 training with a quick 20 minute lunch break and we were kept busy the entire time!
I learned a heck of a lot, all of it useful in preparation for the Sunday live broadcast with David and probably for any future TV or live spots if they should come my way.
At the end of the day, the fashion consultant came out to meet with each of us and ok our choice of clothing (mine all passed), our make up (What? Me wear make up??), and even our nails. My only order was to make sure that I had a fresh manicure. We had a good laugh when I shared with them that the last time I had a manicure was probably in the late 1970’s! Before I left I met with the food stylist who would be overseeing all ten of the pies that would be freshly baked before the show (from my recipes) on Sunday. Everyone was unbelievably helpful, kind and just so darn nice!
One of my classmates was kind enough to give me a lift into Philly where I was lucky enough to meet up with one of my pie sisters for a quick nosh before I headed on to New York City on Amtrak.
I think the 30th St station in Philadelphia has to be the most beautiful train station I have ever seen anywhere!
The ride was quiet and it was the first time I had had to rest and regroup all day. Once in the city, I headed to the home of another one of my fabulous pie sisters where I would be staying for two nights near the East Village. On Friday morning, she gave me excellent walking directions to where I was to meet up with Andrew Scrivani who did the photos for the book, and also with my publicist from The Countryman Press. I had only gotten to hold the book a day before I left on the journey, and I was carrying it like a new baby across the country wrapped in tissue paper and bubble wrap so that it would be in pristine condition when Andrew saw it for the first time, too! After three pages he said that he was really really pleased with how it had turned out—color reproduction, quality of paper, heft of book, layout and design. Yes!
From there I went to have my manicure and enjoyed it so much I might do another one sooner than later!
My host and I had gotten tickets to see Waitress on Broadway and after a shower and freshening up we headed out to see the show. Since I am a devoted pie maker, it was almost obligatory that I see it. It’s a very cute show but I do like the edginess of the movie, too.
Saturday afternoon I reversed my route, heading back to Philly and on to West Chester once again with another dinner at the air conditioned palace. I ironed my shirts again, made a final decision to wear the blue one on the show, and tucked myself in for an early night. In the morning an author escort provided by my wonderful publisher fetched me at the hotel, drove me to QVC and stayed with me for the entire time.
I headed to the QVC Guest Salon where they made me look like a million bucks!
Then we headed in the direction where I could see the start of all the pies being placed on the table that would be showcased on air. Some of the pies had just come out of the oven and they all looked and smelled wonderful. I think the food stylists did a fabulous job. Those pies looked just like mine…well, they should have because they were following my own recipes!
Then a little further down the hall and there he was, David Venable, in person standing like a tall tree with staff around him.
He has got to be one of the warmest most genuine people I have ever met. Really! We had a big high five and he told me how much he liked my book. It was clear to me from the get-go that he is truly a pie aficionado as he was making mention of specific things in it that he could have only known had he read it. Wow! Then it was time for him to go on the air and me to head back to the green room to wait until it was time. Then as if my magic I suddenly was told it was time and there I was, live on national television!
I’m so glad that there is a youtube of the segment because it went by so fast. You can see it here.
Even my babies were watching in Colombia!
After it was over, the crew in the studio made a beeline for the pie table and what I heard and saw let me know that they loved these pies. I wish I had my phone camera with me so I could have taken a picture of that for you!
Then my escort drove me back to the Philly airport and I headed back to Seattle. It was a beautiful evening when I arrived. All the mountains were out in all their glory.
I retraced my route back to my hosts’ via the bus (for another $2.75) and spent the night there before heading back home to Pie Cottage the next day. My sweet Gretapie and I were overjoyed to see each other and Mr Fez, too.
And, when I got home, my publisher sent me some stats of how we had done. We sold over 8,000 copies on QVC and in addition it’s placement on Amazon went from #31,814 in books to #33 in ALL books. Wowza! And this little plaque I saw in one of the QVC studios says it all!