Saturday, July 29, 2006

Roadshow Rules!

Today Matt and I went to a taping of Antiques Roadshow in Milwaukee. I have been a huge fan of the show for years and when I found out it was coming somewhere close, I had to get tickets. The ticket-getting process was not easy, as it was only on entry per household and tickets were given by lottery. I entered my sister, my mom and myself. Only my sister actually got tickets, and thankfully she gave them to me.

Strangely, I didn't actually have anything I wanted to bring to Roadshow. I was really more interested in seeing all of my favorite appraisers (none of whom I know the names of, but all of whom I have nicknames for, such as "Provenance Lady," and "Gun Guy," and "Sparky"). My Aunt Gloria helped me out by giving me a vase that once belonged to my late Uncle Norm. It is tall and green and swirly and has three strange gem-like protrusions on the top. We knew nothing about it except that my uncle bought it in the sixties at an estate sale.

Roadshow was so fun! We arrived at our ticketed time of 9:30 am, and got into a long, snaky line. The line took an hour an a half to get through, but it went quickly as everyone talked about their items in line. People were very friendly. The next step was to show our items in order to get tickets for the appropriate lines, i.e. glassware, toys, etc. Next, we went into the appraisal area. It was strangely small and crowded compared to how it looks on TV. Perhaps it is because of the lighting issues; I don't know why they would use such a small space. The appraisers were at tables around the perimeter, and the filming set-ups were in the middle. Matt and I brought some of my grandpa's cufflinks, and first went to the jewelry area. They weren't worth anything. Next we waited for a while in the glass line for the vase. It was fun to watch other people's appraisals; we saw some interesting instrument appraisals as we waited in line. When we got to one of the glass guys and took out the vase, he looked at it and asked where I got it. The three glass people got into a huddle. They said they needed to talk to a producer, and would we mind going out to a waiting table. Out at the table, I got really nervous. I was happy enough being at the Roadshow, but I didn't want to go on air and look stupid. I don't know why I was so afraid of that. There were a father and son at the table with us, and they had a set of Tiffany desk items. They said they had been waiting for two hours (!!!) for a producer to say if they would be on the show or not. Soon, a producer apologized for their wait and said that they would not be featured on the show. Then an appraiser came out and appraised their items. We learned that if an item is to go on air, it will not be appraised until the cameras roll. For the natural surprise of it all, I suppose. We waited. A young couple joined us at our table with a piece of glassware. They were nice, but a tad cocky about their item. I still had my doubts that the producer would put us on TV. The producer came to our table (under a half hour later, thank you), and looked at out vase and the couple’s glass thingy. He asked us about the items, and then walked away. I was freaking out with nervousness. He soon came back and said that he could only put one of the items on the air, and he chose mine!!! Matt and I were sent to wait (and wait and wait) in the "green room." There I would have make-up applied (Matt was not going on camera), and I would wait until the appraiser and cameras were ready. During the wait, we met some nice people, got some free food (which I didn't eat because I was so nervous), and watched live feed of what went on on the Roadshow floor. It was all fascinating. THREE HOURS LATER... I went on air! People were so nice as I sat and waited for the appraiser. "That is beautiful!" "Is it Polish?" "What did they tell you about it?" My appraiser finally came over, a woman who I had seen on TV usually appraising Tiffany glass. They had to stick a wire mic up my shirt, and I had to take off my cute necklace. I hope I looked OK. I couldn't really hear her appraisal, and I was so scared and in awe that I hope I didn't look like one of those duds on the show when she told me the vase was worth quite a bit of money! In truth, I didn’t really care too much what the vase was worth. I was just happy to be on the show and amazed at my luck to go on tape. I don't know if the segment will air because it's not guaranteed, although they filmed only one day and it will air for three shows. Plus, I don't feel right keeping the vase now that we know what it's worth. Where would I even put it? Amongst our King of the Hill collectibles?

The show won’t air until at least January 2007 (how will I wait???), so stay tuned for a reminder. What a crazy, PBS kind of day! Mega thanks to Uncle Norm and Aunt Gloria and to Uncle Al for his enthusiasm when I called :)


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the Antiques Roadshow, one of my favorite shows. I wander around my house looking at everything "wondering", hmmmmmmm, it is worth anything.

Love project runway, and since this is anonymous I'll admit I'm a fan of most all the reality shows.

Your blog is not boring, not for those of us who are fans of Toby and the Snowflake and are awaiting the release of your novel. Don't worry, they'll be lots of folks that will read it!

Beyel Z. Bub said...

Congratulations, Julie!!! How exciting. I told you I could get you on. Now that I've fufilled my end of the bargain, it's your turn to do the same.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome. How exciting for you. I'll watch out for the show. I have not watched it for a long time so you will have to remind me when the time is near.

Now we just have to see who kicks the boot on Project Runway this week.

Anonymous said...

So you are going to make us all wait in suspense to find out how much the vase is appraised at?....biting my nails in anticipation. Come on 2007!