Random Blog A Musing Farf

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I like to think I learned some life lessons from watching Borat. The first, and most relevant to this post, is to always read releases carefully. I also learned life lessons from American Idol: It does not matter how ridiculous you sound, if you are cute, people will watch you. You can even be on-air talent for TV guide or E Television (one of my dream jobs).

Yesterday, Suzanne and I were filmed for a documentary on Haven Coalition. The director was this guy named Bruce Isacson, who apparently acted in Outbreak and a bunch of commercials. He kept name-dropping people involved in the film but I was unimpressed since I never know who actors are. (Case in point, during the film The Good Shepherd, I turned to Husband and asked him who played the wife – turns out it’s Angelina Jolie, but if she is not on the cover of US Weekly, I won’t recognize her). Anyway, Isacson specifically told me to come looking natural and as myself. However, he also told me we would be on camera and there would be lights. I immediately made an appointment for a blow-out from the local hair place and spent the night before the interview deciding which lipstick would look the most natural – me, only better.

So, after utilizing all the knowledge I had gleaned from years of girls-only sleep-over parties and Glamour Magazine (as well as techniques picked up from Sister and Sister’s Chicago Friend), Suzanne and I showed up at the film shoot, all made up and looking pretty. After that, it was easy. We looked cute on camera so the only thing left to do was carefully read the release.

I skimmed the release. It was boilerplate and looked like every release we had studies in law school. I knew I could be edited to look stupid but the idea of wasting my fabulous blow-out and not appearing on film was too depressing so I signed anyway. Suzanne and I, who had been chatting casually, got very quiet as soon as we were mic’d up. I know from the political press secretary days that everything on microphone is being recorded and, once we could be recorded, I tried to pick my words very carefully – talking only about Haven and its mission and refusing to speak about how I personally felt.

Once the microphones were off, Suzanne and I launched into a tirade about post-abortion trauma and people who use it as a vehicle to ban abortions as well as other “facts” used by the anti-choice movement, but refused to be put back on camera, informing Isacson and others that “We pick our words much more carefully when you record us.” He seemed vaguely disappointed, but if he really wanted something scandalous, he could always edit us to make us look like baby killing monsters so there was no reason for me to help by saying something stupid on camera. Plus, it couldn’t have been that bad since Isacson wants to film us again when he comes back to NY next month.

And maybe, just maybe, I will come out looking coherent, smart and passionate about helping women exercise their legal right to choose. But if not, hopefully I looked cute enough to jumpstart my career at E television.


Suzanne said...

I thought you not only looked excellent, but also sounded very smart, if I do say so myself. And you were too kind about my on-camera behavior. While I was restrained for me, I thought I got in a few zingers. I thought you did also.

Go us!ht

Anonymous said...


My organization -- the Center for Reproductive Rights -- was contacted about participating in a documentary film on abortion, directed by Bruce Isacson. I came across your blog on someone with this name, and was hoping to talk to you about the experience. Can you contact me at: ngoldfarb@reprorights.org


Anonymous said...

i worked on this "documentary" when we filmed in Iowa, and I am very sorry. The whole thing cheezed me off so bad, there were some days when I wanted to quit because of the message this a-hole was trying to send. Once again, I'm very sorry you had to go through it.