To celebrate my mom's retirement from teaching last year, I had been trying for months to take her to see a taping of Cityline. Since I teach during the week, and the show didn't tape over the Christmas holidays, March Break was our first opportunity, and we took full advantage of it. Accompanied by my aunt Sue and cousin Kerry, we headed in to the big city on Monday, March 14th.
Upon our arrival at the studio, we were given tickets for the prize draws, which would take place after the show, and taken upstairs to remove our coats and hang out in the waiting area. To help kill time, we watched Cityline host Tracy Moore on a big screen, giving tips for audience members (e.g. put your purse on the floor - no one will steal it!, and don't chew gum - looks awful on screen).
Since Tracy and I go way back (if you missed my earlier Momterview with Tracy, click here), I had arranged to come back to the makeup room before the show to chat and take some behind-the-scenes shots.
Hairstylist Janice Whelan from Fiorio and makeup artist Tracy Peart work their magic
I asked a few questions, but really I enjoyed eavesdropping on the natural conversation taking place. Some overheard Tracy tidbits: she was never a "food fight" kind of girl, as she hated to get stuff on her (makeup artist Tracy P. pointed out that that would make her the perfect target for food fighters), and she has an irrepressible urge to have everything for the day, including water bottle and change for transit, laid out the night before. (Seems perfectly normal to me, but apparently everyone doesn't do that.)
Tracy also told me that she loved my nails (Sally Hansen Haute Chocolate), which I think is a considerable step up from when Kelly Ripa told me my hair was the colour of lice.
Almost show time
Would you believe that Tracy gets this look in half an hour? These days she arrives at the studio around 9 for hair and makeup, and stays long enough to take pics with audience members and maybe have a quick meeting with a producer before heading home to baby Eva and toddler son Sidney. When her daughter is a bit older, Tracy plans to resume her regular 8-2 work day.
I excused myself before show time to go meet my family and get seated in the studio. We were directed to one of two sets of comfy bleachers...and later realized that our side of the room seemed to be shot far less by the cameras. Mom and I wondered if we had somehow (mistakenly, of course) been placed in the "unattractive" section, but since we were surrounded by gorgeous women (and the one man in the audience), we figured there was a more technical reason that the cameraman favoured the other side!
Tracy chats with the audience before the show
Monday is "Around the House" day on Cityline, and we got to see some great segments. There was flower talk with regular Frank Ferragine, Sandra Martin from Today's Parent magazine giving tips on fridge organization, and Shawn Gibson demonstrating an Easter-themed papier-mache activity.
Since the show is no longer live, it wasn't a problem that camera cords were hanging down during the intro, which had to be reshot, or that during a break one of Frank's lovely flower arrangements was knocked over, spilling soil which had to be cleaned up. Considering that these were the biggest bloopers, I think it's fair to say that the Cityline team has the whole thing down to a science. And truly, every staffer I came in contact with was kind and welcoming, especially to the several moms with babies who were in the audience that day (kids are allowed for certain shows), many of whom were tense about their children's coos and screeches, but were told not to worry.
I'd like to give a special shout out to some Ontario gals who also appeared on the show that day: "3 Greek Sisters" Betty, Eleni, and Samantha.
Three Sisters Around the Greek Table
These ladies were making their second appearance on Cityline to share some recipes from their book: "Three Sisters Around the Greek Table". Now, I have to admit that the particular recipes from this episode will not likely make their way into my rotation, considering they had a vegetarian focus, and, well, I don't eat vegetables. However, they piqued my curiosity enough that I came home and checked out their 3 Greek Sisters website for more info on the book...and I am quite certain that some of their delicious-sounding recipes for breads, potatoes, main dishes and desserts would be welcome additions to my repertoire.
(Speaking of potatoes, I wonder if my brother would like to collaborate on "Two Siblings Around an Irish Table?" Somehow I don't think it would do as well.)
In just over an hour, taping was complete, and Tracy was kind enough to take photos with interested audience members before heading home to her little ones. Staff members drew numbers for prizes (crock pots!) and handed out free samples (that day it was biscotti, a box of cookies, and the latest issue of Today's Parent magazine).
Tracy and me
As such a huge TV fan, I always find it fascinating to see the taping of a show (especially when I can get behind the scenes!) and my morning at Cityline is definitely one of my March Break highlights.
And remember, you can catch this episode of Cityline on Monday, March 21st on CityTV!
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