Sunday, September 13, 2009

Behind the "Starr" scenes on Dr. Oz


I'm always on the prowl... looking for openings, opportunities, and chances to get a step or two closer to my dreams and goals of fame and sharing my Rosieness. When taking steps in this journey I may wander in the wrong direction, but sometimes I leap toward fulfillment!

Back in July I came across a posting for a new show brought to us by none other than Oprah Winfrey herself called The Dr. Oz Show. For those of you who don't know, Dr. Oz is a medical doctor who has been featured on OPRAH multiple times and now has his own spin-off TV. For some, Oprah is like G-D and can do no wrong... so I figured that the show will be a complete success and being a part of it would be a good addition to my resume.

In the casting they were looking for a “Fast Food Junkie” and it read as follows:

Query:

National Medical Show Looking for Fast Food Lovers! Do you love fast food?Do you eat out almost every day of the week? Has it caused you to gain weight? Are you open to a diet intervention and makeover? If so, a new
national medical show is looking for you. We are also looking for women who feed their children fast food almost everyday. Please email me a photo of yourself and a contact number.


WOW!!!

Reading that felt as if they were speaking to me directly! I do eat out almost every day and it surely has caused me to gain weight and OF COURSE I'd be open to a diet intervention and a makeover! I thought I'd hit the casting jackpot!

I wrote to the address listed in the ad, and sent a recent snapshot of myself. I also sent a copy of my bank statement. Maybe that was extreme, but I REALLY wanted to be considered for the opportunity. I was trying to show the severity of my so-called addiction. In this digital and electronic age, I rarely use cash to buy anything, so my bank statement clearly showed all of my recent visits to the Golden Arches and other eateries.

Moments later... (I don't think 2 minutes had even passed) my phone rang, and it was someone from the show, interested in learning about me and calling for more information about my eating habits. After a few rounds of phone and email tag, we finally set a date start shooting.

This casting covered so many bases for me. After the call I began to fantasize that they would set me up with a nutritionist, perhaps they’d provide an alternative to fast food like one of those meal programs that are delivered daily to my home. I thought about what kind of makeover they would give me. I was on my way to ridding myself of this addiction to junk food, eating more healthy, looking great, and of course getting to shine on a nationally syndicated show.

The producers decided they wanted to film a "day in my life" as it revolved around fast food in a worst case scenario. I work from home, and spend much of my day on the road, so it wasn't as if they could hang out with me at my office... so they decided to outfit my car with cameras and record me as I drove around NYC. I had a 5:30 am call time and was surprised to meet them waiting outside of my home when I stepped out. They had their big cameras with them, and all of my nosy neighbors were looking on with quizzical looks on their faces. They proceeded to weigh me and take my measurements and blood pressure.

After the necessary release forms and paperwork were complete, we were off to have "breakfast" at McDonalds. They followed me around for most of the day and watched me eat. They suggested the way to eat for the camera and asked me to comment on what I was eating. “Mmmm Crispy!” Mmmn hmmm, that’s what they call reality tv! I wouldn’t have been surprised if my neighbors were around the corner awaiting my arrival with an applause sign flashing before them.

In the evening we got ready to tape me having dinner in my car. I was actually pretty hungry and wanted to devour my food, but was TRYING to eat as ladylike as one can eat fast food without the aid of a knife and fork... after all there were two cameras taping me inside of my car, and one from the outside.

All of a sudden there was a BANGING on my window. I almost spat my coke onto the dashboard! It was Dr. Oz, dressed up as an undercover agent. He wore dark glasses and a jacket that said “FOOD POLICE” on the back. I almost didn’t recognize him out of his usual scrub attire. He ordered me out of the car and to surrender the fast food!

He then proceeded to lecture me and tell me about all of the awful things that my glorious french fries and chicken nuggets were doing to the insides of my body. After the speech he offered me the rest of the food back, but I'd decided that if I were going to make a genuine effort, that there was “no time like the present”. I told him to toss it and that I was going to attempt to seek a healthier lifestyle and I meant it. My blood pressure reading earlier that day was the highest it had ever been and the things he told me kinda scared me. Afterall, I have big goals, and I need to be around in order to achieve them and enjoy the outcome!

For the next few days I managed to maintain my will power and stayed away from the beckoning golden arches. It may seem like a minor feat to some but believe me that in and of itself was quite an accomplishment! I was proud of my "fast food fast" until the day that I had to meet the Dr. Oz crew at a local hospital for additional testing. They tested my blood and hooked me up to an ultrasound machine to monitor the blood flow in my arteries. They did two sets of tests... one before I'd eaten anything at all for the day, and another after I'd stuffed my face with some grub from the local value menu.

A week later, I was sitting in a comfortable limo on the way to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to tape a segment of the very first episode. Being in the studio was fun and I enjoyed his staff with whom I'd developed relationships.

Although I had fun taping the show and loved being in the environment of the studio, I was a bit disappointed with the way things played out. Sadly, there wasn't much of a diet intervention, more like some suggested changes that I could make on my own. Call me na├»ve, but I misinterpreted “makeover” because it had NOTHING to do with meeting the lady from the show What Not to Wear and EVERYTHING to do with eating more lettuce and tomatoes, fiber crisps, and not eating the bun on my hamburger. The audience gasped almost as loud when they heard that suggestion as they did when he shared my test results.

The show was an interesting experience and surely one for the memory books. My favorite parts were the limo rides to and from the studio and the hospital where we did the testing. Sad, huh? Oh... and I really liked Dr. Oz. He's kinda cute and was fun to kid around with.

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