The first day on the job is always nerve-wracking. Whether you’re on a renovation site, a television show – or both!
First Day Jitters
My first day was like anyone’s first day on the job. I was nervous, unsure of myself, and didn’t know what was expected of me.
The show was Debbie Travis’s Facelift, and I came in to do the construction work. At that time, renovation shows weren’t nearly as common as they are now, and although I had been renovating my own properties for a while, the idea of doing it on camera was totally foreign.
On my own renovation sites, I was the boss. I did most of the work myself, and when I couldn’t, I hired trades. But no matter what, I was still in charge of the project. On the show it was very different. There were producers, executive producers, directors – the list went on and I didn’t know a single soul, or what they did.
Ready For My Close Up
Although I’m comfortable on camera now, I definitely wasn’t too sure of myself back then. I had done a couple of commercials (and even posed for a stock photo – which still pops up every now and then), but never having had worked on a set like that before, I was definitely taken aback by the number of cameras pointed at me.
What NOT to Do…
On that first morning I decided that I would quietly do my work and try to mind my own business. Like anyone on their first day of work, I wanted to make a good impression and didn’t want to get in anyone’s way.
Shortly after I arrived, as I was minding my own business and gathering my tools together, a woman approached me and said hello.
“And what do you do?” she asked.
“I’m here to do some construction,” I said.
“Great,” she said. “I’m here to do some design.”
This is where I should have stopped. But instead I said, “Well we should stick together because I heard the host is a real nightmare.”
She looked at me and said, “Nice to meet you, I’m Debbie Travis, the host of the show.”
If there’s anyone out there who’s nervous about starting a new job, let me assure you that whatever first impression you make, it probably can’t be worse than the first impression I made on my very first day filming for HGTV Canada.
Fortunately, Debbie was very forgiving. And now – 15 years later – I think I came out of it OK! I’ve been fortunate enough to appear on many shows, including 11 seasons of Income Property, Moving the McGillivrays, and now, Buyers Bootcamp, all of which I hosted and executive produced. I’ve worked with great people, and it’s led to many great opportunities.
The moral of this story is, if I can make as big a mistake on my first day as I did, and still go on to have the career that I’ve had, there’s hope for anyone!