This week I talked to a guest coordinator from a morning talk show on the Lifetime channel. She was interested in having me come on the show to talk about roleplaying games and DC Adventures in particular. How did this unlikely event transpire?
Somehow the talent coordinator had gotten a copy of DC Adventures: Heroes & Villains, Volume 1 and was intrigued. She looked at the author list and then went on Facebook and found Christopher McGlothlin. Chris, as many of you know, is a long time freelancer on our Mutants & Masterminds line and a regular at our GenCon booth as well. When he called me last weekend to tell me “a hilarious story,” I thought it was going to be some tale of crazy academia. Instead he wanted to put me in touch with this woman from Lifetime. Not what I was expecting, particularly from Chris!
Tuesday I talked on the phone with the guest coordinator. She was quite nice but knew nothing at all about gaming or the game industry. I had to explain what RPGs were and how they worked. She apparently had never heard of D&D or even HBO’s Game of Thrones show. Since Lifetime is oriented towards women, I talked about how things had changed since the 80s and a lot more women were gaming now. I pointed out how I was running a game for my wife and step daughter. I told her about Blue Rose and Faery’s Tale. She asked if we dressed up and I said (politely) hell no.
After a half hour of this, she said it sounded interesting and that she’d like to book me for the show. Great, I thought. Lifetime isn’t exactly our main demographic, but I’ll go almost anywhere and promote gaming if you give me a platform. So she’s running down the particulars, like where they tape and when it would happen. Then she tells me that the cost to us will be $5,900. I about choked.
“Is the money a problem?” she asked. I said, “Well, yes. We’re a small company. I could print a book for that money.” And this is where our real culture clash took place. This is apparently normal in her world, but it sure isn’t in mine. We give out review copies but that’s about as far it goes. We don’t pay for coverage.
We talked for a little while longer. She suggested that, since Heroes & Villains Volume 1 had so many authors, maybe they could kick in to get this great coverage for their work. I tried to imagine pitching that one to the freelancers. “How’d you guys like to pay for me to be on TV?”
We agreed to touch base the next day. I told the staff about it and I could hear the gales of laughter from the East Coast. I sent her an e-mail thanking her for the opportunity but telling her that we simply couldn’t afford it. I said I’d be happy to do the show if they waived the fee, but otherwise I’d have to decline. Fee waiving was a no go, so that’s where it ended.
Looks like TV isn’t ready for me yet. I’ll have to start with YouTube.