I was scared to death. "What if I fumble or say the wrong thing? What if I'm not as funny as I am in my comedy videos? What if mean people make stupid comments and I can't figure out how to block them?"
I was thinking about doing a Facebook live video for my thousands of fans on my growing The Drunk Mom page but fear was holding me back.
I finally said "Fuck it", put my 13 year old daughter in charge of the littles for 5 minutes and locked myself in my bathroom for a moment of peace (like one does when they need a little silence).
I hit record on Facebook live and went for it because I thought it was thaaaat important that I share the message on my heart about the perception of perfection on social media and the time I shit my pants.
There were a lot more live viewers than I thought there would be. They were commenting and saying things like "thank you for being real". It doesn't get much more real than live streaming from your toilet when my toddler decided right then was a perfect time to try to bust in, throwing her signature fit right outside of the door.
And then the comments REALLY kept coming, even after I hit END. Positive comments and shares by the hundreds and views into the thousands in a matter of hours. It was absolutely amazing. My five minutes in the bathroom clearly resonated with people around the world who were sick of seeing the fake, staged lives and messages that we've grown accustomed to somehow.
Yeah, there were some dickbags who didn't have nice things to say "you're a poor excuse for a mother, this is stupid, don't you have anything better to do than make videos from the toilet?" But when you're reaching thousands and thousands of people that you don't know... yeah, I guess that happens.
Then I got the email (and a Facebook message) that changed the game.
Of course I called immediately and when she answered, I realized that I didn't know what I'd say since I'd never really made an official call as The Drunk Mom before. Do I say Amy? Or The Drunk Mom? Before I could decide fully I got her voicemail and left a message as "Amy The Drunk Mom". She called back immediately and we talked about the show and I shared my story, making her laugh... like I do in tense situations.
It was a new show with Bishop TD Jakes. I knew immediately who he was because I'm an avid Oprah-Lover.
She said the show was about perfectionism and when I shared my story with her, she wanted me to talk to the other producers a day or so later to see if they were as interested in my story as she was.
We had a video Skype call with another producer. He asked a ton of questions and had me repeat things much SLOWER (because I talk at the speed of light when I'm nervous/ pee-my-pants excited) and they recorded it (I learned later it was to be used in my show intro video).
The show was scheduled to film in just a few days so I had to plan a tentative sitter and make general life arrangements just in case we were a GO (like you have to do as a mom). In a matter of days we were confirmed and I was booked to fly to L.A. to appear on national T.V.
Me... the girl who freaks out in crowds at the grocery store. Yikes!
I spent the next couple of days flipping SHIT over what to wear, what to pack, writing out the kids' schedules for my mother-in-law and husband, going over my story 10,000 times in my own head and practicing what I would say in different Q&A scenarios.
My stomach was in knots. The day came for me to leave and I drove to Charlotte-Douglas airport and caught a flight to Atlanta, connecting on a long-assed journey to Los Angeles. No turning back now!
I got to Los Angeles and made my way to baggage claim where I was supposed to look for a driver holding a sign with my name. I found him and he grabbed my bag while I called home to let them know I made it. I climbed in the back of the Lexus and we were off, into Los Angeles rush hour traffic.
My hotel couldn't have been much more than 10 miles away from the airport but we couldn't go any faster than 20 miles an hour... for GOD sakes the traffic! It took forever to get there but once we did, I ordered room service and watched T.V. in my own bed, in perfect silence. It was dreamy. And of course, I made a video.
I didn't think I'd sleep that night with the big day starting bright and early in the morning, but I slept like a dead person with no little legs on top of me or crowding me. I woke up early and was ready to go an hour before my alarm even went off. I went down to the lobby and waited for another driver to pick me up with two other guests and off we went to the studio!
The studio grounds had a lot of trailers with fence all the way around, much like an Arkansas trailer park (just with fewer dogs). There was a gate that opened and as we drove through, I saw people already lined up in the front. I met the producers and then... off to hair and makeup!
So, basically... I looked like a fucking rockstar. And then I sat and sat and sat in my dressing room, which was just a wee bit bigger than my walk in closet at home. It felt like an eternity! No T.V. or radio or anything. Just me and my thoughts that were driving me cray-zee. The producer came back in to make sure I'd signed all of the release forms and let me know that my son would be Skyping in with us (a last minute addition that they had just planned the day before).
I could hear the audience clapping every once in awhile. I was one of the last guests to tape so I just sat a bit longer. Jesus, my eyelashes are going to fall off.
Then it was finally time. I could see the pictures of LL Cool J, Oprah and many others on the walls with the Bishop on my way out. Awesome.
Then I went behind the curtain and sat a bit longer. OMG! I watched the show as it was being taped backstage... kinda cool. Finally... FINALLY! It was time. I walked out and took my seat next to Bishop T.D. Jakes in front of the live studio audience. Surreal sitting next to a guy you've watched on T.V. so many times with one of your biggest idols.
I congratulated him on his show while we were waiting for the camera guys to do their thing. He said "thanks, I never thought this was something I'd have." with a huge smile on his face.
While I was disappointed that they cut so many pieces of the show out (I fist bumped the Bishop and had some pretty funny responses that they chose not to use), it was a huge experience for me and a great time in all. I mean, how many people can say that there were on a talk show on the Oprah Winfrey Network?! That's a pretty awesome story for the grand kids, right?!
So I basically sat alone in my hotel room and waxed this whole bottle of wine while watching Friends re-runs and eating room service. It was so awesome. I caught a ride to the airport for a red-eye flight that night and didn't get home until early morning the next day. I was emotionally and physically exhausted but whew!
What an awesome experience that started with a little bravery and 5 minutes in my bathroom.