It’s not all glamour…

This is something I’ve been thinking about putting out there for a while. A behind the scenes glimpse of a tv demonstrators job.

Let me just jump back a little.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times either myself or one of my fellow guest demonstrators has had to endure comments, very often on social media, stating that we are very lucky that we get to make cards all day. Full stop.

YES! We are all extraordinarily lucky, and I do not know of a single one of us that doesn’t appreciate that daily…BUT, as with any job, there are the downsides too.

So I’m thinking that maybe a bit of an insight into a snippet of our regular week might change a few of those opinions. 

Please do not take this as a moaning groany post. It really
isn’t! It’s just nice to be nosey sometimes and maybe it could open a few people’s eyes as to the hard work and commitment that goes into bringing you those few 5 minute
paper crafts demonstrations in each show 😊

So as an example, let’s cover the past four days of mine. Saturday to Tuesday. Half a week. This includes my first weekend off in months.

So after my sons football on Saturday morning (yes he scored!!!) I go home to prep for my shows. 8 straight hours with 5 kids and a cat and dog running around (and over) my work.

Then Sunday. The day of rest. Or a day of another 13 hours prep. I love the products, but inspiration can start to wear a little thin by the 7th or 8th hour. A quick break in between to eat a roast dinner and back to it.

I then try to get an early night on Sunday night. Set my alarm for 4am Monday morning, and my daughter has a tummy ache. My son has a wobbly tooth and can’t possibly sleep until it falls out in around a weeks time. By 11.30pm just as I’m drifting off, I remember that I haven’t yet loaded up my car and will need to do it in the dark in  the morning. Reset the alarm for 3.50am and try to sleep.

After a cold, wet 2 hour drive to the studios I drive at 7am. Everyone is always so cheery, even at this time of the morning, and we begin our day. img_2287Tea first, obviously, then shows. We have to arrive two hours before each show, so theres plenty of time to iron out any issues, and plenty of time to get prepared.

Between shows you may well have seen pictures on social media about the chatter and antics that go on in the well known ‘Green Room’? Yes this happens. we all mingle and catch up and it is very often a fun place to be. But also very often, we need to use this time to re-prepare demos due to product changes on our following shows.

Often also, there are schedule changes. We may be thinking we have a five hour break, until we are informed that our show has been bought forward to an hour away! It happens and we deal with  it, but when it is an additional show, this means we need more prep for later on.

After my early start, I finally left the studio on Monday at 7.30pm. Time to have dinner and go wash all this make up off. We have to wear enough makeup to not look washed out on air, but we need to do this and our hair ourselves. It is not something that we have stylists or make up artists for, as much as we would like to have!

After a quick check in and shower at the hotel, I can reply to emails and get in contact with home. The kids are slowly getting used to me being away a few nights a week, more so than I am. As a parent, even just being away a little, I find I miss so much. My sons school football tournament, helping my daughter with her school projects…little things that don’t last long while they are little. Thank goodness for video calls!

Today, my alarm went off at a better time of 5.30am. By staying a 10 minute drive from the studios, it cuts out the 2 hour drive home, and then back again the next day, and also means I can sleep in for 90 minutes longer! A quick sleepy cuppa with other guests or presenters is the norm until we can get in the studio and set up.

img_2286

Setting up includes putting out the example projects, making sure they look good, organising the demos so that that they are in order, all the tools are ready to go, and electrical tools are PAT tested, and we know as much as possible about all the items that are out, including pack quantities and contents, what works with what, and which we can demonstrate if something else sells out. This is very often a last minute decision if it happens, but we need to be prepared. Occasionally, we will come in and find out that in the past few hours, a product has already sold out, even more that one maybe, so we have to completely alter or change our demos.

After setting up in the studio, we need to prep with our producer and director. They usually come and find us, and we will go over demos, the general flow of the show, and what we will do if/when items sell out.

We get to go into the studio around 15 minutes before our show unless there is more setting up to do. We will have one of our lovely talent management ladies pop down and make sure that what we are wearing to go on air is appropriate, i.e.. not too patterned, and that our hair, makeup and nails are done correctly. Don’t even get me started on the regular upkeep of manicured nails!! Haha!!

So as I sit here typing this on Tuesday morning, just after my first show of the day, I have a wait of 5 hours before my next show. However…that is not 5 hours of blissful snuggling on the sofa chatting with crafting celebs! Ohhh no. That is opening this humongous box and getting demonstratioIMG_2288ns prepped ready for tonights two hours of USA shows.

I will be leaving the studios at around 12.15am tonight/tomorrow morning. By the time I get back to the hotel and into bed, it will be at least 1am. My alarm will be set to get up at 6.30am, ready for my 10am show tomorrow…..and so it continues. Wednesday night I will be home, but only to return Thursday evening for overnight filming until around 3am or later….

So…as amazing as this job is, and I honestly know how very, very lucky I am, it is a lot of hard work and commitment. I hope this has given you a little insight into the general flow of our work, and this is without other magazine commissions, social media posts, research and general crafting for pleasure (haha!) xx

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “It’s not all glamour…”

  1. Well said Lou! I don’t know how you all do the constant demo-ing… I can’t craft that quick for one and, like you say, the up-keep of manicures would drive me insane! You need a solid support network of husbands/wives.grandparents etc to help out with children too as you are away all time, driving long distances at daft hours. You all do an amazing job and yes, you are all lucky to do what you love for a living but I wonder how many of us could actually swap cope if the boot were on the other foot? High five to you all I say! xx

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  2. We have always just see and imagine what it would be like and forget how much hardwork it takes to be prepared. I so understand what your talking about. Creative juices don’t always come they sometimes runaway and you have to find it I know what that is like. I have no doubt what it takes . Being away from family is a sacrafice in itself Its hard to be away. You have to have the dedication and a strong family life to be able to travel as you do. Thank you for sharing. It is nice seeing the other side to remind us that it is hard work. Lou you are a amazing woman I do love your talent. and get so much inspiration from some of your ideas so thank you. Have an amazing day.

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  3. Lou, very interesting narrative! All jobs have their ups and downs and we so appreciate all you do!
    Thanks for taking the time to clarify. The live shows last night were awesome! The time constraints make it very difficult. I don’t want to get up at two a.m. when the shows are live, so I risk sell outs…..
    You always look lovely. Have an awesome rest of your week, Rozy

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  4. I am so in awe of all of those of you who demonstrate on the show. I always figured it wasn’t just show up and wing it, that a lot of prep had to go into it all. So nice to get a look, I did wonder how long you had to come up with ideas. I know I wouldn’t be able to do 5 to 10 projects in an hour period which all of you seem to do. Thank You so much.

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  5. Fascinating insight. I really enjoy the demos and I find the guests so inspiring, but I have had days where I’ve wondered how you, Mel and Corrine (i can’t remember a week I didn’t see one of you there more than two days) manage to stay so chipper and enthusiastic. Thank you for all the hard work, it really is so appreciated

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