Why do I fall for this every single time?
I received a call on Saturday from a producer with A&E. She said she was referred to me by someone at a vendor resource (where I’m a member). She mentioned that they were going to be filming for a new reality TV show and the main couple were going to be meeting with an event planner (who I know of but have not worked with before) and wanted to see if I was available for a cake sample platter for the taping. I told her that I usually charge $25 for a private consultation, would that be okay. She asked for double the amount of platters and I said “Sure.” I was thinking, ‘Cool, I’ll be on TV!’ But then I got this feeling like, hey wait a minute, I think they just want the platters, not me. I asked the producer to clarify this for me and she said that they would be taping the couple meeting with the event planner, not me.
Hmmm. That made me feel uneasy. I should have said no right then.
So I asked if they would be using one of my display cakes or my signage or anything else along with my cake so that I would get credit. She said they could use my business cards alongside the cake platters. I wasn’t exactly happy with that but I said ‘Okay’ and I told them where they could find my business cards in the studio (they’re in my display, right in plain sight).
I then asked what time I should deliver the platters to the studio. She told me taping would start at 2PM.
Then she asked for extra cake flavors. Ugh. Yep, should’ve said no.
I got a call on Monday from another A&E producer, calling to confirm exactly what I would be bringing with me. I confirmed the 2PM arrival time with her on the phone.
I baked six cake flavors, plated them, had to go to Party City for more cups for the filling samples, got those ready and labeled, and made the platters look really professional, just like I always do.
On Tuesday, my husband had to come home to look after our two kids while I went to deliver the platters. I didn’t think it would take me longer than 45 minutes.
I arrived a few minutes before 2PM. No one from A&E was there, nor was the event planner.
No one called me, no one emailed me.
I waited around for an hour.
I was angry & irritated so I called the producer.
She answered the phone all, “Oh Renay! Im so glad you called! I’m sooooo sorry! I can’t believe I forgot to call you! You are at the top of my list to call and I can’t believe I forgot! We’re on our way from City right now!”
I said, “I just wanted to check to see if there had been a change in plans regarding the taping. I’ve been here since 2:00PM. My husband had to leave work to come home and watch our kids, being that they’re on Spring Break this week.”
She was extremely apologetic but I knew it was just because she knew she had messed up royally.
I asked her if she could just leave payment with the planners at the studio and I could pick it up later. She said they had to pay by credit card and would need to get that information from another producer, could she call me back.
Yeah, sure. I’ve waited THIS long.
So, I wait around another five minutes and they call back with the CC info, again apologizing profusely. I process it and leave the studio, knowing that I had handled this badly. I should’ve asked for what I wanted, not made concessions to the producers. I was just a “widget” to them, a means to an end to make them look good. I was an unimportant afterthought. My time and product was worth almost nothing to them.
Later that evening, my hubby and I went out for dinner, leaving the kids at home. We needed a break. I told him that I had mulled it over and came to this conclusion: The producers where probably planning out their shots and thinking about how boring it would be with the couple and the planner at a table, doing nothing. So they were probably thinking, hmm what can we have them do? Oh yeah! Let’s do a cake tasting! But hey, we’d have to get all the waivers and background checks on this person… Naahh, let’s just get a cake person to sell some cake sample platters. We don’t need no cake artist! The event planner can handle it!
I think what I’m most irritated about is that I allowed someone else to take credit for my work. I don’t ever do that. But, when TV comes a callin’, I just jump & run, don’t I?
I’m sick and tired of it. I went through the same thing with my Next Great Baker audition.
Yeah, they flew me up to NJ and I sat in one room for over NINE hours with three other awesome bakers (one of which was Ashley Holt, who won NGB3 and I adore her), at the mercy of producers and film crews, whose sole objective is to get enough drama on-tape to make people want to watch their show. It’s ALL MADE UP. And I didn’t make the final cut which, to be quite honest, I’m really glad that I didn’t. They contacted me again for this new season and I said “No thank you.”
This A&E reality series is the very same – ALL MADE UP. Nothing is “real” about it. It’s a joke. I found out that A&E isn’t even using that event planner that they taped meeting with the couple.
So I’m mad at my stupid self that I let someone else take credit for my work but I’m also irritated that this event planner was okay with it. What does that say about her? And, of course, I’m irritated with stupid TV producers and networks.
Next time, (because this is the third time I’ve been contacted by them; they’ll come calling again) I’m going to ask for what I want. They can say no. And so can I.
Peace, love & cake!