Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mo (as in Mo Rocca) and Me

Janet here: So yesterday was the Big Day. It was time for my close-up at CBS studios to see whether I can make it on to Mo Rocca's new food show on the cooking channel called My Grandma's Ravioli. (Yes, that would be the Mo Rocca of The Daily Show fame and NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.)

It all started when my friend Michael sent me an email that started "Don't bop me in the nose but...." and then said, "but you are a grandmother and this is Mo Rocca." Then he included a link to an open casting for grandmothers and grandfathers who are great cooks to come on Mo's new show and teach him how to cook one of their favorite recipes. I thought about entering for about 2.5 seconds and then wrote Michael and said, "Are you kidding? I LOVE Mo Rocca!" We then exchanged a few emails about how he wants to marry Mo and I promised I would invite him to the taping if I get on etc. If that happens, trust me you will hear about it here.

Anyway, I found a photo, answered their questions (What is your favorite recipe? What recipe would you make for the show? Where did you learn to cook?), hit send and waited. Last week, they called me and asked me to come in for a camera interview.

I'm not gonna lie. I was jumping up and down. And then I freaked out and wondered how I could lose ten pounds in four days, prompting some conversations with Rachel about the possible benefits of investing in some Spanx.

I decided to go au naturel — and based on three of the competitors I saw in the waiting room, it was a good call. Let's just say, I was looking good.

The interview began with an assistant who is probably the age of at least two of my kids taking a few photos of me holding my questionnaire — I was number 36. Now those who know and love me know I HATE getting my photo taken. The reason is simple: the photos are rarely any good. In fact, if I didn't have decent self-esteem, I would get depressed over said photos. But I had figured this might be part of the deal and so this morning I actually practiced smiling in front of the mirror. I'm not sure the results were any different — they didn't show me the photos — but I at least felt as if I looked more normal.

But we weren't here for still photos. We were here for the camera interview. I went into the small office and met two other 20-somethings and sat down on the couch. A few more photos later, including one of each side of my head (obviously looking for my good side :)), and we were ready to roll.

One woman took the lead and started asking questions. What family memories do you have about cooking? Who taught you to cook? What's your favorite kind of cooking? Have you had any cooking disasters? What kind of cooking have you not mastered? What are your favorite cookbooks? Why do you want to be on this show? What do you like to do in your free time when you're not cooking?

The time flew by and I had them laughing for a lot of it (at least the two women laughed; the guy was a little harder to read and more aloof.) I left thinking it had gone pretty well.

Time will tell. I know enough to know that this might not be about me at all. They might already have a white woman with a touch of snark in their mix.

I should hear around Labor Day if I'm still in the running, with the taping to happen (in our kitchen!) later in September. Just enough time for me to lose those ten pounds ... or get me some Spanx :)


  1. You're looking great, Janet. I'm sure you rocked the interview. Good luck on a callback! You're star material! How exciting.

  2. Well, hey, even if you don't get chosen it sounds like a pretty neat adventure. Good for you, Jake!