Added this morning: I forgot to mention that the show is on tomorrow, February 16th. Here’s a promo for the show – you can see me and lots of other people!! http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/tuesday-dr-oz
I returned from the trip to New York two days later than expected due to the huge blizzard in New York City. I got home at 2:20 on Friday morning exhausted but really happy I had the opportunity to go. The trip started out a day earlier than planned.
On Monday morning it began snowing at the airport I needed to fly out of. We live about 1 1/2 hours from there, so I began to get concerned about whether or not I’d be able to get to there on Tuesday morning, because believe it or not, there aren’t that many snow plows around here! So John and I drove to down there on Monday afternoon in some very scary weather conditions and I stayed in a hotel. The next morning I barely made my flight as the hotel shuttle was waaaay slow and late leaving the hotel. Lesson learned there.
I arrived in New York City at 12:30 and was met by a limo driver who was holding a sign with my name on it. My friend Evelyn met me there and took our picture!
We arrived at the hotel and unpacked. The Hilton was just a few blocks away from Times Square so after walking to the Dr. Oz studio for a voice-over and a coaching session from one of the producers, my friend and I went to Times Square, had dinner at a New York deli, and saw Phantom of the Opera. It was pretty fabulous.
The next morning, the show sent a bus to pick up all the show participants. There I got to meet Sarah, Lori, and Ann. I didn’t see Dawn until later, but never got a chance to meet her. I was sad. I also met Janelle. It was neat to meet people in real life that I already felt like I knew but hadn’t actually met! Once we arrived at the studio the whirlwind began.
I met Bill, Taisha, and Meryl – all of whom were going to featured on the show. Like Lori said in her post, they could have picked anyone of the “Oz 100” to feature because everyone had a fabulous story. Bill lost 175 pounds and has maintained for a year, Taisha lost 130 pounds and maintained a year, and of course me. Meryl lost 175 pounds and has maintained a little less than a year. It was amazing to meet all of them. Here’s a picture of Bill, Taisha, and me. Not the best picture I’ve ever taken. 🙂
After we met and were briefed by the producer, they took us onto the Dr. Oz set for a walk through. It was very exciting to be behind the scenes and then walk onto the stage. It was FREEZING in there! They told us what tape mark to land on, what camera to look at, and where to sit. I asked the camera guy, “What if we mess up – do we get a do-over?” He just looked at me like, “You will not mess up!” So I tried my best! We weren’t allowed to take pictures in the studio, but if you’ve seen the show it looks just like that – only smaller.
Once we knew what we were doing they took us to hair and makeup. I have never seen so much makeup in one place in my entire life. Melanie, in the first picture did my hair, and Gil, in the second picture, did my makeup. He said I was scheduled for the “full face.” I soon found out that that meant a LOT of makeup – false eyelashes and all. Here’s me getting my hair and makeup done. I felt like a movie star, but was glad I didn’t have to have that much makeup on every day! (That’s my friend Evelyn in the pink!)
After hair and makeup were complete we all got on our fancy clothes. The producers liked my dress and boots but I had forgotten a necklace. One magically appeared and here’s a funny thing. It was a beaded necklace, so the sound person pinned it right to my dress so it wouldn’t move and mess up the microphone that she had painstakingly taped on me! I think she used about 20 tiny pins. Tricks of the trade I suppose. Then, hair and makeup done, it was show time.
As we were standing backstage waiting to go on, we could see on the monitor what was happening on stage. We saw Dr. Oz give the welcome and for the first time I saw all the amazing people who, like myself, had lost 100 pounds or more. It was very moving. I thought, “Every one of these people has changed their life for the better.” I knew not to cry because I might have lost my eyelashes, but I had to fight back tears.
Finally, the stage director person said, “Diane – step up here. It’s almost your turn.” Then the doors opened and I went on the stage. It was an experience like I’ve never had. I felt a variety of emotions, from excitement to humbleness that I was there. Then I turned, shook Dr. Oz’s hand and sat down in the stool. Then Bill and Taisha came out. How fun! Dr. Oz asked each of us a few questions and then we got to share some of our favorite weight loss secrets. It went by so fast.
The next segments were Meryl, Richard Simmons (very fun), and the segment where he takes questions and has an audience volunteer. To see all the work that went into taping an hour show was amazing. But it seemed like everything just ran like clockwork. Then they had as many of us that could fit on the stage come back on and do a dance segment with Richard Simmons and Dr. Oz leading! It was a blast.
After the show, I got to meet Richard Simmons and have my picture taken with him. Here you can see how much makeup I had on. Richard in real life is exactly like you see him on television. He cries, he laughs, he sings! Dr. Oz was very nice and I liked that he is so sincere and caring. You can tell that helping people get healthy through maintaining a healthy body weight is a passion of his.
So there you have my New York experience. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and one I’ll never ever forget. If you want to see more pictures, you can check out the New York trip photo gallery. Thank you for all your well wishes and safe traveling thoughts. The whole time I was there I thought – “I can’t wait to tell my blogging friends about this experience!” Diane