I have been a Martha Stewart fan for years – I have subscribed to her Living magazine for almost 15 yrs now, subscribed to her Wedding Magazine for years (I stopped the subscription because I thought that was what was jinxing me from getting married, but apparently that was not the real reason…), her website is at the top of my Favorites list, half of the things in my kitchen are from the Everyday collection at Kmart (and the only reason to visit that store in my opinion) or the more recent Macy’s collection, I have her show on season pass on TiVo and even tried to try out for her version of The Apprentice. I have always admired her sense of style, her commitment to quality, her taste level, her inability to tolerate mediocrity.
So as soon as I had my dates to be in the city, I searched to see if there were tickets available for her show tapings. I sent an email with my desired dates and the reason why I wanted to attend. About a week later I received a confirmation that I was invited to be an audience member for the show. Our invitation was for October 7th, when they would tape the show that would air on Friday, October 10th. I was SUPER EXCITED, to say the least!!!
I went with my friend Karen, whom I met at the Conscious Gourmet cooking seminar last year. We were both hoping the show would have a predominantly cooking theme. We got there early as the invitation requested. Everybody was super excited to be there. We were definitely all Martha fans – as soon as people were seated inside the studio, they started to chant Martha’s name.
I was a bit nervous to be honest. I have been on TV before, in front and behind the cameras many, many times (due to my job in marketing). I have had the chance to meet many celebrities – local and from the US. But I was about to meet one of my idols – not only in the culinary, but also in the business sense. I was afraid I would break down like that girl in the Next Food Network Star did when she got the chance to meet Martha in person. I knew I would not get that close, but I am emotional and was not sure how I would react in her presence.
I was surprised at my reaction, the exact same way I was surprised by Martha’s demeanor and attitude towards me and the whole audience during the taping. After being pumped up by Joey Cola, a comedian who receives you and talks to the audience before Martha shows up, Martha came out and did not address or acknowledge the audience until AFTER the 1:30 hour taping. She was super serious during the commercial breaks and we even got a sense that she was not enjoying what she was doing. I am sorry, but it is hard to be enthusiastic about someone when you’re left waiting for a hello for over an hour.
I understand Martha is a very polarizing entity – people either love her or hate her. I have always been on the loving side. I have always identified with her because I feel we are both perfectionists, oriented to detail, we want to exceed people’s expectations. And many times people, that vast majority of people who do not strive to seek excellence at all times, misunderstand that drive and passion. I still believe so, however, I was very put-off by the way she ignored her live audience during the show taping. Not even a hello or a “thanks for coming” comment. She did it at the end, but doing it then did not have the same effect as if she would have done it at the beginning. Not doing it at the beginning set the wrong tone for my whole experience.
I saw the actual edited show this past Friday… I can honestly say that she looks and feels better and more welcoming on TV than on set. I guess my expectations were high, but how can saying hi to the audience before a show taping be called high expectations…
But the whole experience was not a complete bust. I was excited when the chef/owner of wich’craft made some peanut butter cookies that did not contain any eggs. I was almost sure that if they cooked something it would be something I would not be able to try and to my surprise, the cookies were AMAZING!!! They were made with white flour, but still they were delicious. I also received copies of 2 books written by the guests of the show that day.
I am still a Martha Stewart fan. I still want to buy her set of plain water glasses from Macy’s. I have not done anything to my Season Pass… but my experience of seeing her in person was a bit bittersweet. I hope we have the opportunity to meet again and to be able to create more memories that will blow this experience right out of the water… maybe she was having a “not-so-good-day” like we all sometimes have. I should not be so critical… but if her people are checking out the blogs and run across this post, I hope they recommend her to just say HI to her audience before the start of taping and the tone for the whole experience will definitely be more positive…
I still love Martha and chant, in the privacy of my home, MARTHA!! MARTHA!!! MARTHA!!!!