Six months ago I decided to take the bucket list that had been floating around in my head for years and transfer it to paper (or an iPhone app, to be more accurate). Towards the top of that list read, “Get on a TV show”. It didn’t matter what the show was, I just wanted to say that I had been on TV. In my mind, I was secretly hoping for something like The Amazing Race or The Price Is Right’s ‘Showcase Showdown”, but really, anything would do.
Having no idea where to begin, I sought out a long time friend; Google.
“How to get on a TV Show”, I searched.
Within seconds I was browsing through a long list of topics where casting directors were looking for certain personalities to fill their spots. I found one listing that caught my eye, and decided to toss my name in the hat. This all took place on a Wednesday around 10pm and by 7am the next morning, I was talking with a producer over the phone.
After a long series of interviews with the producers (more on that in a bit), Leila and I found ourselves sitting on stage with Steve Harvey talking about our marriage. Here are the 5 things I learned from that whole experience.
1.) Just About Everything You See On TV Is Scripted
The listing that I had originally applied for was titled, “Is your family addicted to technology?” I had no idea which show this was for, but I thought I could make a compelling case that me and my kids spent way too much time looking at digital screens. Again, my goal was to just get on TV and I was willing to stretch a bit to make it happen.
The original casting director did a video interview with us as a whole family, but decided that they wanted to just use me and Leila for a totally different segment. We went from being a happy family that was addicted to technology, to a happy couple that just didn’t have enough time to date because of our busy lives, to a distressed couple, on the verge of divorce because our personalities are so different. While the final segment (seen below) definitely had truth in it, it was also very scripted. Most of what you hear during the show were lines that we had to memorize. After 25+ hours of filming, I’ve learned that just about everything you see on TV is scripted.
2.) We Actually Need Help
My original goal from this whole experience was to simply cross off an item on my bucket list. Something much bigger happened. During the process of filming, I realized that Leila and I actually had some foundational issues that we needed to work through. What started out as a fun and goofy experience, turned into a spotlight that revealed deeper hurts in our relationship. We are wired as complete opposites, and instead of using that to compliment our personalities and make us more holistic people, we clashed in our communication. Being on the Steve Harvey Show actually led us to some really helpful conversations.
3.) My Friends Are Gracious
When we first started the process of talking with producers, we thought we would be on TV discussing how to set technology boundaries for our family. By the end, we were sharing some deeply personal marriage issues with all of America. It was a pretty vulnerable place to be in. One thing that struck me is how many of our friends, who couldn’t care less about the show, ended up reaching out to us and supporting us in our marriage.
4.) Not Every Woman Wants An Emotional Man
We all hear women talk about how they wish their man was more in touch with his emotions. Well, I can assure you that this does not apply to every woman. My favorite comment from the experience came from a Steve Harvey Superfan who left this comment on the Steve Harvey Facebook page:
“I wish this guy would just take a Midol and man up”
5.) I’d Absolutely Do It Again…. Maybe
One of the questions I’ve been asked the most is, “would you do it again”? and the answer is 'Yes!".... I think. Overall, the process was a lot of fun. The Steve Harvey Show staff were super cool people and treated us really well. We even got a free trip out to Chicago, which was one of the funnest date-nights we’ve ever had.
But beyond all the fun, it actually played a big role in our marriage. Since being on the show, Leila and I have gone to counseling together, and I’ve even started meeting weekly with a counselor one-on-one to try and deal with my own junk. That has seriously been life-changing, and I think being on the show played a role in helping me get there.
So yes, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I think.
What about you? Have you ever been on TV? What was your experience? If you could be on any show, what would it be? Comment below.