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The Social’s Jess Allen: Six things I’ve learned being on TV

Season 3 of The Social returns to CTV next Monday, Aug. 31. Co-hosted by Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst, Lainey Lui and Traci Melchor, The Social also includes digital correspondent Jess Allen. We got the multi-tasking, multi-faceted dynamo to write a guest column about her experiences on the series so far. Take it away, Jess:

Right before The Social premiered two years ago, I remember my bosses asking me if I would be comfortable occasionally being on TV. “Sure,” I said. How hard can live television be?

I was fairly green—as in zero television experience. I’d done on-camera work in the form of videos. But the thing with that medium is something called “editing.” It’s a miracle thing, really, that can remove blunders, stutters, snorts and awkward pauses with a few swift keystrokes.

Here is what I’ve learned in the meantime:

  1. Don’t make fun of Liza Minnelli. Even if she shows up at the Golden Globes not wearing a bra. People will be angry with you and may even send the show emails about how insensitive you are towards a living legend.
  1. The things people love about you are the same things people hate about you. For example, people seem to enjoy me because I over share—except for people who think I share too much: like the sincere young woman who told me that I shouldn’t have talked about picking my nose on television. I reminded her that the story I told was of me picking my nose when I was four years old, thinking that might soften her disappointment. (It didn’t.)
  1. Don’t over-analyze the opinions you share on live TV because you can’t always predict with precision what will offend. I could say that I think Donald Trump has some pretty good ideas and there’d be the sound of crickets. In the next breath I could confess that I don’t believe in ghosts and people might gasp in horror. You will never please everyone, which I know seems so obvious but it’s still a difficult concept to accept when you’re a born people pleaser. Make a (terrible) joke about how I wish unicorns would go extinct already because duh, they’re racist, and a unicorn-truther would be upset. Just be true to you.
  1. I’ve also learned that I should dress sexy, even though I’m not comfortable wearing form-fitting outfits; that I should wear whatever makes me comfortable; that every person’s definition of what marmy-type clothing is different; that every person’s interpretation of fashion-forward is different; and that I should dress like a marm (and not sexy) if I like it. Confused yet? Me too. The lesson? A stylist is the best friend a girl on the tube can have.
  1. Remember in the HBO show The Newsroom how MacKenzie, the show’s executive producer, would be talking in the ear of anchor Will McAvoy via an IFB? Will is always so chill—even if MacKenzie is telling him that the world is about to end. He makes it look so easy. Well, it’s not easy to have someone talking in your ear while you’re trying to talk about how unicorns are racist and that’s why they should go extinct. It’s really, really hard. And I will never be as good as Will McAvoy. (Or Melissa Grelo.)
  1. An IFB is a little thing that goes into your ear and acts like an intercom between you and the control room. Also, it makes you feel like an FBI agent. And that is a beautiful thing.

The Social airs Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET on CTV.

 


Jessica Allen is excited to be returning this season as THE SOCIAL’s Digital Correspondent, and looks forward to writing more stories for the show’s website on everything from food, films, and books to science and history (You can read her latest pieces under The Jess Files). She will also appear as the fifth chair on Fridays with THE SOCIAL’s co-hosts, and whenever anyone tells her to.

Before joining the team at THE SOCIAL, Jessica was an assistant editor at Maclean’s where she wrote arts and culture-related stories for the website and magazine. After work, she maintains her personal food blog, Foodie and the Beast. It’s actually a relationship blog masquerading as a food blog, because really, when you get down to brass tacks, the good stuff happens – and will continue to happen – around the dinner table.

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