Well, I survived the KTLA Morning News segment! If you missed it, we’ll have a copy to post in the not too distant future so please check back often. I announced a big discount code on the Morning Show as a “thank you” to KTLA viewers for supporting animal rescue.
The segment went by quickly and if you didn’t have a pen or a working brain in that second (I know I didn’t)…you missed it! The discount is good until Mother’s Day- this coming Sunday. It’s the perfect gift for mothers of furbabies, AND human babies. As you can see in our Youtube video, it’s a darn good diaper bag. This week you can get a Rescue Me tote for a mere $139 when you type in this code at checkout: KTLA
BEHIND THE SCENES DISH. (You know you want it!)
I was contacted by the producer of the segment and invited to be a part of their Give Pets A Chance- Royal Edition. I was immediately charmed by the idea. Her concept was to get 3 English breed rescue dogs, dress them in royal finery, and show lots of doggie bling. I told her I was happy to donate a free Rescue Me Tote to whoever adopted a dog that day.
The producer asked me to contact some rescues to see if they had English breed dogs. I was a bit surprised that she asked ME to do this but, because of the cause, I felt it was no problem to lend a hand. I contacted 15 rescues that day, Facebooked, and Tweeted…to no avail.
You see, being picky about the breed of a rescue dog to fit a news segment theme is not very well recieved. Most of the rescues didn’t know what an “English dog” was.
It was also becoming clear that I couldn’t reserve 3 English dogs for a segment the following week because these dogs need to be available for adoption, not on hold. The West LA shelter agreed to hold 3 dogs two days before the show.
I alerted the producer of the challenges she would be facing with getting specifically English breed dogs, reserving them, and getting them fitted for the show. I found one English setter for her to approve. She asked that I find all the dogs at the same shelter. We ended up losing that dog by the time it was approved. She told me to try other shelters, find the royal dog bling, and get the dogs fitted. No English dogs, no show.
It was now crystal clear to me that I was the only one responsible for this concept materializing! I’m new to the news world. As an actor I show up and do my job. As a bag designer I thought I would show up and help get these dogs adopted by donating my bags. Now I had to decide whether or not to walk away or take on the responsibility of putting together this segment. I don’t know what posessed me, but I decided to give it my best shot.
Fast forward to 2 days before the show. I get a call from the West LA shelter informing me that the supervisor will NOT approve holding the dogs therefore I must wait until the night before to secure the dogs. This would be fine if I did not have to fit the dogs for tuxedos! I informed the producer of this new developement and was comforted with an email that said: Find the dogs at another shelter. We can’t do a segment without English dogs.
Cut to Jeanne having a mini meltdown. As I told the producer, I’m a bag designer (who also has a business to run). What she was asking me to do was not my area of expertise. Well, the verdict seemed to be: Tough!
I contacted the Beverly Hills Mutt Club as they were awaiting the sizes of the dogs. They were lending me the doggie finery and bling for the segment. I tell them that I will not have the sizes because I will not know what dogs I’m getting in advance. The owner suggests that we put the tuxedos on doggie mannequins. Fine. Brilliant. I can only do what I can do at this point because dogs are not like books that you can check out at the library!
The night before I am organizing doggie bling, going over the doggie bling price list, prepping my bags, thinking about how I’m going to squeeze in all 3 elements I’m presenting in one minute and 30 seconds, working with web admin so that the website is ready for KTLA viewers, and waiting for an email with the bios of the dogs…because- surprise! I’M the one who is announcing the dogs as well! The doggie bios never arrive in my inbox. I sleep for one luxurious hour. To top it off I’m on day 8 of my cleanse- I have only been ingesting lemonade for 8 days.
At KTLA I arrive hoping that at least an anchor, a dog, anyone… will be interviewing me. There are a few segments being shot at the same time so there is a lot of chaos, ducking, shushing, etc. going on. Kathy Ireland is taping a segment about something she’s selling as we are two feet away trying not to pop up in the background of her shot. Enter… Crouching Jeanne, hidden tote bag. Meanwhile, Mr. Truffle has somehow… been released from his leash. There is no dressing room or trailer like when I’m acting. There is no rehearsal. Its a free for all.
There are two English dogs hopefully in transit from the West LA shelter as I set up the table of bling.
There is no room for my Rescue Me totes and they are asking me to take the hanging stand off of the table as it is casting a shadow on the more important products. I was told not to bring my display rack, but I brought it just in case.
It’s time to grow a pair. I set my rack up. Come hell or high water, my bags will appear in this segment, properly displayed, after the lengths I’ve gone to to satisfy the “requirements” of this segment.
I’ve also decided to use Mr. Truffle as a model because he is the only dog I’m sure is ok with wearing a tux and guaranteed to be availabe for the shoot! LOL.
The producer flinches at Mr. Truffle when she meets him and tells me I can’t use my dog. I tell her I’m going to, and I’ll make it clear he’s not up for adoption.
Airtime comes very quickly. There is a 5 minute warning and I’m handed the bios of the dogs. With 3 people talking to me at once, I put a tuxedo on Mr. Truffle while the sound guy tries to find a place to clip a battery pack to my dress. 3-2-1… We’re live.
The whole thing went by in a flash. I focused on looking awake, being positive, remembering the cause behind all of this chaos, and getting all of the info. demaded of me out- quickly and concisely.
Afterwards, people came out from the sound stage to admire my bags. We packed up as quickly as we could. The Beverly
Hills Mutt Club needed their inventory back before the store opened.
I had orders from New York and the Philippines from the day before to tend to before I could take a nap. Done and done.
I finally settle down to watch the segment on the DVR. Miraculously, it does not look as frenetic, rushed, and tumultuous as it felt.
I hope I did something good for the dogs that day. Well, you can’t say I didn’t try! At the very least I learned a good lesson about standing up for myself.
Wimpy is so not ‘haute’.
Jeanne, Truffle, Doodle, Tweety, and her backbone.