The Reality-TV Scout
Risa Tanania, 27, freelance casting director, Lion Television
JOE THE ART OF COFFEE
Grab coffee with partner before work. Watch man feed blueberry muffin to large, beautiful blue bird outside. Smoke cigarette.
WEST VILLAGE APARTMENT
Finish getting ready for work.
Check work e-mail.
Take call from sister to confirm weekend plans.
Send e-mail to boss about morning meeting with vice-president to discuss progress on casting families for a new pilot. Send e-mail to photographer friend who is looking for head-shot clients.
Check personal e-mail. Forward pictures of cousin’s new baby to closest friends.
Ask production assistant and associate producer if they want to order breakfast. Decide on egg, avocado, and tomato on whole-wheat toast from Jazzy’s.
Tell team that when breakfast arrives, we will meet in conference room.
Fill bottle of water. Chat with co-worker.
Delete, archive e-mail.
E-mail cousin about seeing baby this weekend.
Call family in Patchogue to confirm second interview tonight.
Meeting begins. Review interviews for this week—families with adult children willing to relive an experience from their childhood. Team has done pre-interviews, now they pitch new families.
Read latest Not in Our Name newsletter.
Send interview-confirmation e-mails to two families.
Watch footage from last week’s interview on digital-video player. It’s easier to be objective when watching tape. Fast-forward some parts.
Write thank-you note to the woman on the tape.
Associate producer re-pitches a family. Call them. Take notes during interview.
Read e-mail confirming rental car to be picked up today at three. Send thank-you e-mail.
Review this afternoon’s trip with associate producer.
Procrastinate over expenses. Call mother interviewed last week on cell. Leave message.
Call mother’s home number. Begin interview—the idea is to create a nurturing environment for personal meeting. She cries.
Hang up. Begin expense reports.
Submit expense report. Make sure rental car is four-door.
Sign for petty cash from production coordinator.
Check cell voice-mail. Bathroom break.
AVIS Pick up rental car.
Grab food from Dean & DeLuca. Finally get the car.
Arrive twenty minutes early. Sit in car until 5:30. Chat about associate producer’s boyfriend, my girlfriend, what we did last night. Discuss interview briefly.
Arrive at house. Set up camera. Ask for one-on-one interviews to elaborate on first group interview.
Interview with Dad.
Interview with Mom.
Interview with Son.
Head back to car. Interviews went well, but not enough color.
Drop off associate producer at home in Huntington.
Arrive in city, conduct a long search for a parking spot.
Snack on an apple with peanut butter and pass out.
Work day: 12:48