Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Debra Kennedy's reminder: Longer view matters, too

Beauty queen and TV host Debra Kennedy is a triple crown winner. She's been a Mrs. North Carolina in the America, International and United States pageant systems. She's also host of The Debra Kennedy Show that airs at 9:30 p.m. Saturdays on Time Warner Cable channel 21. 

I first met Debra years ago when she was a volunteer at the Heart Ball and I liked her instantly because of her warmth, beauty and giving personality. She's become one of my favorite people that I run into on the social scene. 

I have tuned into her show many times because I like the way she uses her passion for positive living to help others be the best version of themselves possible. 

When she e-mailed me a few weeks ago to ask if I would be one of her guests, I was flattered and flustered at the same time. I'm very introverted, which surprises people because of my job as the social editor.  
I absolutely love  interviewing people and shining the spotlight on them, but when the roles are reversed I get uncomfortable.  

So I said yes, because as long as it's in the context of something positive, you should never let your doubts or fears hold you back. Afraid to walk down a dark alley at night? Don't do it. Afraid to speak in front of a group or go to that function or ask for something you want? Do it. 

My husband, who's an opera singer and thrives on performing in front of thousands, gave me the best advice: "Do your homework, then visualize greatness." 

So I did my homework. I went on www.debrakennedyshow.com and looked at past episodes. I learned that solid, bright colors work best on TV and that blue is the most universally flattering.  Debra told me she was going to ask about my job and how I balance life and work, so I thought of how I would answer those questions. 

Then any time I thought about being on the show, rather than worry about it I would visualize that I was going to do a great job. Did I succeed? I really won't know until the episode airs (they tape a month's worth of shows on one day so I'm not sure yet when it will be on TV).  But I do know that even though I was still nervous, my husband's advice helped me do a better job.

No matter what the end result is, I'm so glad I pushed myself to do something different because it was a fantastic experience and I learned so many new things. I got to see where the public access studios are, meet Debra's talented staff and hang out in "the green room" (it really was green). Kind staff members ran around with clipboards in their hands.  I got to know several super nice young beauty queens and their mothers (and one dear ol' dad) as the young women were waiting for their segment where they were going to model sundresses. It was all very exciting and fun. 

Once the cameras started rolling, Debra did ask me one question that I wasn't expecting: "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" 

I can't stop thinking about it, maybe because I used to be someone who knew the answer. But like many of us, my main goal over the past few years has been to stay out of the unemployment line, so I haven't allowed myself to think beyond that in a long time.

I encourage everyone who's reading this to ask themselves that question  because it helps you dream and use your imagination. And that helps you realize where your heart is. Then do your homework and visualize how great you're going to be.