So I’m trying to figure out where to begin. How did I get to this place in my life where I’ll be staring in a new television series on a major cable network? My new series, Monster In-Laws, premiere’s Monday, 10/24 at 10:00 p.m. on A&E. One thing is for sure, this opportunity didn’t just fall into my lap.
My media career began back in the Spring of 2007 after my first book, Losing Weight When Diets Fail, hit the shelves. I was fortunate that my publisher believed in me and dropped some cash to hire Booth Media to do the PR. I found myself doing countless radio interviews, magazine and newspaper interviews to promote the book. My first on-camera experience took place in NYC, as most do. My publicist called me and told me that Gary Null, a famous health guru was taping a segment for PBS and wanted to interview me. I trekked into the city and found myself in some small studio with a camera in my face. I spoke for about an hour and then did a hypnosis demonstration with this overweight guy. When I was done, the camera woman came over to me and asked me, “have you ever been on-camera before? Because you are a natural on camera. It’s a sort-of gift that some people have, so you better pursue TV.” Although the segment never aired, it was a very inspiring experience. I couldn’t get this TV stuff out of my head and I was praying like hell that my publicist was going to call me and tell me that they locked in and interview on Good Morning America or something.
Several days later I was giving a talk about childhood obesity and at the same time promoting my book. After the talk, this woman came up to me and said, “your going to be on Oprah.” I responded with, “yeah, wouldn’t that be nice.” She then said, “no, you’re supposed to say: YOUR DAMN RIGHT I’M GOING TO BE ON OPRAH.” She then went on to tell me about this new book, The Secret, which is about the law of attraction and that if you want something you’d better believe it, see it and feel it. I didn’t think much of it at the time. The next day I was doing a bunch of radio interviews and a couple of the radio hosts asked me if I had read this book, The Secret, because my book reminded them of it. This continued for about a week and it was very weird. So I went and picked-up a copy of The Secret and read it in one sitting. Let me tell you, I was blown away after reading this book because I had been living The Secret all along and didn’t know it. Everything I had accomplished at that point in my life was a result of The Secret. I was so excited!!!
I decided to take the strategies taught in The Secret to another level. I desperately wanted that phone to ring and hear my publicist tell me that they locked-down a spot on national TV to promote my book. So I visualized it intensely over and over again for a few days. And low and behold, the phone rang. My publicist told me to get ready because I was going on Fox & Friends the next morning. And it was the Saturday morning national segment. They sent a car to pick me up and everything. I showed-up at the Fox studio in Manhattan and nailed it. Even the host, Greg Kelly, told me that I was great on camera. The book sales sky-rocketed for a few days after that appearance. The weeks went on and not much was happening in TV land for me so I realized that I had better put the pedal to the medal and start pitching ideas to networks and producers myself. I pitched and pitched and pitched and was able to get myself on The Tyra Banks Show, in January of 2008 for their “Best Diets for the New Year” segment. I was in the green room (there’s about 5 of them there) and met Jorge Cruz, the Biggest Loser Twins, an American Gladiator woman and Bethanny Frankel (before she was famous). I remember Bethanny having a bit of an attitude. I realized later that she was pissed off because she didn’t have the green room with the personal bathroom. I had that room. She asked if she could use it and I let her. I’m a nice guy people.
I continued to get myself out there and did a lot more TV including The Maury Show, Good Day, Fox and many more. A colleague of mine set-up a meeting for me with Abrams Artists, a very reputable talent agency in the city. Basically, my agent would send me out on interviews with production companies and network people when show ideas would arise that seemed fitting. They felt I would be the perfect TV expert/host, with my credentials and camera presence. I went on a bunch of these things and even got chosen to host a couple of shows that some very well-known production company’s were developing. Unfortunately most of these shows never got green lit, except for one.
In April of 2009 I interviewed with a very small (at the time) production company called Leftfield Pictures, for a show idea they had about crazy mother-in-laws. I remember driving into the city at night and sitting down in an interview room with a camera in my face. A girl named Merideth asked me random questions related to the topic while the camera rolled. I remember, at the time, thinking that I was wasting my time. Exactly one year later in April of 2010 my phone rings and it’s Merideth. She goes on to tell me that they sold the pilot to A&E Network and that I was one of four finalist to be the expert of the show; two would be selected. A male and a female. I had a 50% chance. You better believe I wanted to get this spot so I practiced my visualization and meditation every morning on the treadmill. In my mind, I saw the phone ringing and Merideth telling me I got the gig. In my mind I felt it. Of course I had to wait in anticipation for 6 weeks before the phone rang. Talk about stress. When she told me that me and another woman were selected, I fist-pumped my way around the office. Both pilots were filmed in August of 2010 and A&E would determine, based on the pilots, whether or not they would buy the series. They bought the series.
But I wasn’t done yet. Just because I filmed one of the pilots didn’t mean that I would be selected as one of the hosts for the series. They had to re-cast for the experts for the series and naturally I was in the mix. Of course I had to wait in anticipation for like 6 more weeks (More Stress). And yes, I visualized, visualized, visualized. And yes, I attracted what I had been thinking. The phone rang from the people at Leftfield, A&E had seen my reel, and they love, love, loved it. I was chosen. Unfortunately the woman who did the other pilot was not chosen to do the series. Another woman, Mel Robbins, was and you will see her and I back to back each week.
So, here I am. It’s September 15th and my new show is premiering in 6 weeks. Wow, what a ride. It goes to show-if you put your mind to something (the right way) it will manifest.
I have to conclude by thanking my great friend, Mike Michels. Although I’m the therapist and coach, Mike has been my personal coach for the last couple of years. Trust me, this was a very stressful path and Mike was always there to pick me up when I doubt or discouragement was setting in. He’s a big part of why all of this has manifested for me and he has no idea how much I owe him for that.