Sunday, August 26, 2012

Behind the Scenes of a TV Appearance

Chad Stone on the set of "You & Me This Morning" with hosts Melissa Forman (left) and Jeanne Sparrow (right).
 It’s 6:15 a.m. in Chicago and I am getting into a cab. “I need to go to the WCIU-TV studios on North Halsted,” I tell the driver. I feel a tiny bit like Matt Lauer, heading for his job at the Today Show—except that Matt has his own private driver and he leaves even earlier in the morning. And I am Chad Stone, who is not anywhere close to Matt Lauer’s pay grade.

But hey, I’m headed to my first TV interview to talk about Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet, and I’m excited and a little nervous.

The taxi driver drops me off in front of a nondescript office building and a producer escorts me into the studio. Holy Live TV, the hosts of “You & Me This Morning” are sitting on a couch chatting about something silly with thousands of viewers in Chicagoland sharing their every word. Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow sit on the brightly lit set, pretending to be two best friends talking and hanging out over bagels and coffee.

What, exactly, is the Middle-Aged Babe Magnet doing here? I’m drinking bottled water and reviewing the notes I wrote for my interview. I need to make sure I’ll remember what I planned to say about how dating is like the Olympics and how a middle-aged guy like me became a self-proclaimed Babe Magnet.

A tiny microphone is clipped to my lapel. Then the producer takes me to the “Green Room” to go over my segment. I will be interviewed by the blonde TV host (Melissa Forman) while we sit at the “kitchen table” part of the set. Sounds great—just make sure I don’t look like a doofus, OK?

Back in the studio, the director sits me in a chair on the set and hands me a copy of my own book. During the “tease” for my upcoming segment, I sit under the hot lights and pretend to read my book while laughing and smiling like I’ve never seen the book before. It’s weird, but it’s TV—not real life.

During the commercial break I am escorted to my chair at the table. Melissa sits down, smiling, and introduces herself. The red light on the camera goes on, and Melissa introduces me by saying something like, “If you ever wondered what a babe magnet looks like, now you know.”

“No one ever mistook me for Brad Pitt,” I quip. “So if I can become a Babe Magnet, then anyone can become a Babe Magnet.” And that’s pretty much the point of the book. You can learn to be a good date. You can learn to be charming and a great conversationalist. You can learn what women want in a man (and if you’re a woman, you can learn what men want in a woman). This isn’t rocket science, folks. You just have to pay attention and be willing to learn.

Melissa the TV Host is clearly enjoying herself as she asks me about myself and how I came to write Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. Then we go through some of the Olympic Dating Styles that I coined to describe how some singles act like dating is a major sporting event. (See the earlier Olympics post on this blog.)

My mouth is getting drier with each passing moment. It’s hard to look relaxed and natural while trying to be charming and funny on TV. Perhaps that’s why Matt Lauer, Oprah Winfrey and the other professionals get paid so much money. Fortunately, the interview ends before I completely lose the ability to form words with my cotton mouth.

The TV cameras are off, and Melissa the TV Host is flipping through my book, laughing. “Don’t switch Babes in mid stream!” she reads. “This is hilarious!” It’s too bad she didn’t read the book before our interview. Oh well.

Then I am out on the street, left to find myself a cab back to the hotel. TV is done with me—for now.

Perhaps I should call Oprah or Ellen. What do you think?

By the way, here's the link to my TV interview: Chad Stone on WCIU-TV


  1. I actually got the book after seeing the program and it was delightfully entertaining. I'm also a divorcee in my early 40s actively dating and believe from personal experience that the vast majority of your rules are deeply inspired insightfullness that will educate and guide men of any age who have been out of the dating pool for awhile into successful interactions with women.

    Thanks for sharing your story

    1. Thanks for the positive feedback. It's always nice to hear from folks like you who liked the book. You're in the target demographic I was writing for! I would love to hear more about your dating adventure, so if you're so inclined, feel free to write me at And if you REALLY want to do something wonderful to help spread the work about Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet, please post a positive review on I'd love to hear more about your dating experiences-- maybe we can get together the next time I'm in Chicago. -- Chad Stone