In the News

by J.D. Roth

Yesterday morning a crew from KGW (Portland’s channel 8 ) stopped by Rosings Park to interview me about my personal finance blog, Get Rich Slowly. Both Amy Troy (the reporter) and Rod Stevens (the cameraman) were awesome. They were interesting and fun to talk to. Most of all, they were very understanding when I explained how irrationally nervous I become when dealing with radio or television. They did their best to put me at ease.

The strange thing was that I was perfectly relaxed when I knew the camera wasn’t on. I could chat and carry on a normal conversation. But as soon as I knew Rod was filming, I became self-conscious. I could feel myself trying to analyze my words as I spoke them, could feel myself garbling what I wanted to say. But I was powerless to stop it! Craziness.

Amy and Rod were at our house for 90 minutes to produce a 90 second segment for the evening news. About 20 of those minutes were spent doing a formal interview on the couch in the parlor. The rest of the time was spent in my office and in the yard.

The final cut of the interview that aired is okay, though I wince at some portions. I think I look like a big dork. “No you don’t,” Kris told me. “I thought it was nice.” I do think it’s hilarious that they kept my ad-libbed pea-munching. I was just goofing around.

The KGW web site also has a couple minutes of me in my office talking with Amy about money saving tips. This part is less successful. Kris doesn’t like it. I had cleaned my desk before the crew arrived, but Rod said, “Don’t you have anything you can put up there? Stuff to make it look like you’re working?” I laughed and pointed at the stacks of paper on the floor. “Yeah,” he said, smiling. “That’s more like it.”

So I put some stuff on my desk, including the notebook I’d taken with me to England and Ireland last summer. While Rod began filming, I flipped through the book and randomly stumbled upon a page listing a bunch of money-saving ideas that I’d brainstormed while on a train out of Dublin. I read them aloud to Amy. I knew Rod was filming, but I never imagined the footage would appear uncut on the web site!

There’s nothing really wrong with it, I suppose. I just look like an even bigger dork. Heh. My friend Stephen comforted me via e-mail: “I often thought I was a dork on television interviews until I got used to em.”

Anyhow, I’m glad I did it. And I’m glad that Amy and Rod were the crew dispatched to film me. The best part of the experience was spending time talking with each of them about their own experiences with money. It’s those sorts of interactions that make what I do exciting.

“If you really do get nervous, you should join Toastmasters,” Kris said after we watched the interview.

“I want to do the Dale Carnegie course,” I said.

“Yeah. But why spend thousands of dollars when Toastmasters is free?” she asked. She has a good point. Time to talk with Dave about Toastmasters again, I think.

Updated: 12 June 2008

Do what's right. Do your best. Accept the outcome.
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