A most extraordinary day

What extraordinary event happened to me yesterday?

A – I got to finally meet James of Northern Attack in person
B – I was interviewed for a TV show about my love for The Office
C – I got to talk to everybody’s favorite head of accounting, Angela Martin

Oh yeah, there’s one more choice:

D – All of the above!

That’s right, yesterday was an extraordinary day for both me and James.

At around 9:35am, I arrived at James’ house. He graciously opened the door to me, even though 1) I was about 25 minutes early for our interview (I was afraid I was going to get lost, and didn’t want to be late), and 2) he’s usually still in REM sleep at 9:30 in the morning.

He lives with four other guys, an unbelievable number of computers, big screen monitors and TVs, and network cable running everywhere. It looks like NORAD in there.

James is just as serene and witty in person as he is online. Since I arrived early, we had a chance to chat a bit. Mainly about our sites, of course. We are both Mac fanatics, and so it was funny to acknowledge that we keep a token PC around, but only to check that our sites correctly format on one! (Don’t get me started on how many hours we spend tweaking our sites. It’s not pretty.)

Scott McGrew, producer and creator of TechNow, arrived right on the nose at 10am, along with his cameraman, Brad. Scott was affable and instantly comfortable to talk to. Brad set up the camera and lights in James’ living room for my interview. Scott miked me up, I took my position at Towel Guy’s desk (more on TG later), and away we went.

Scott asked me questions about fansites in general, why I loved The Office, and how OfficeTally came about. All really easy stuff for me talk about. :) At some point in the middle of the interview, Scott’s cell phone rang. He then handed the phone to me and said, “it’s for you.”

“Hello?” I say, instantly confused. And at the other end of the line, I hear a familiar and disapproving voice: “Jennie, are you doing something inappropriate?”

Huh? Omigod, is this Angela?! Like, Angela, the head of accounting? Like, Angela Kinsey…from THE OFFICE?!

I was completely flustered. James was also totally dumfounded. Scott just had this conspiratorial grin on his face.

I spent the next few minutes talking to Angela. I have to admit, I have little recollection over what was actually said, since I was screaming “Oh-my-god-I’m-talking-to-Angela!” most of the time. But what I do remember is that Angela was so lovely in thanking us for supporting the show with our websites. And she was clearly tickled in surprising us with the call! I then handed the phone over to James.

(At some point during all of this, Towel Guy makes his appearance — one of James’ housemates who saunters across the living room in nothing but a towel. While the camera is rolling. I’m sure there is actual footage of this somewhere. Read James’ post for more details.)

After James got off the phone with Angela, Scott put her on speakerphone and asked her a few questions for the interview. Again, she was sooo sweet in thanking the fans for supporting the show!

Scott, of course, intentionally set up this call with Angela in advance, and I recall he told her to call exactly at 10:20am, to make sure it would happen right in the middle of my interview. And the camera was rolling the entire time. Thereby capturing my entire flabbergasted reaction. Yikes!

After we said goodbye to Angela, my interview was essentially over. But Brad had to get some “filler” shots of me. So I sat at Towel Guy’s desk, typing gibberish characters on a keyboard that wasn’t even hooked up to a computer, looking at a monitor that wasn’t even turned on. Hey, I was…ACTING!

Now it was time to do James’ interview. We all headed upstairs to James’ bedroom.

And what a bedroom it is.

First of all, it’s enormous. I would say it’s the size of a small home theater. And for all intents and purposes, it could have been a theater, because James has an enormous flat-panel TV gracing one side of the room. I have never seen such a big TV in someone’s bedroom.

Second, there is not one patch of bare wall in James’ room — it’s all covered in giant movie posters. I recall “Firefly” and “Minority Report” being two.

As Scott and Brad both remarked, if they weren’t married, they would have a bedroom just like this!

And of course, James has an extensive collection of movies, all neatly organized in shelves. He promptly put in The Office Season 1 DVD and fired up “The Alliance” to run in the background.

Scott then interviewed James. James explained the origin of Northern Attack, and how the cast and crew knew about the site before he even had a chance to email them about it! He also talked about the significance of MySpace and some other web-related topics. All good stuff. Brad shot James’ filler scene in front of his computer, actually working on Northern Attack!

We were now all done. We took a quick group picture, and the TechNow crew was on their way to the next assignment. I gave James a hug goodbye and floated on Cloud 9 back home to Palo Alto.

As Pam says in Michael’s Birthday, it was a good day. :)

Thanks to Scott McGrew for agreeing to the interview and providing the extra-special treat of talking to Angela Kinsey! Angela, we love you!

And be sure to go read James’ account of the day. It’s laugh-out-loud funny!

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L-R: Scott McGrew, Flabbergasted Girl, Brad the cameraman, and Giddy Guy

Air times

For those of you in the SF Bay Area, the segment will run on NBC11 twice:

  • The morning show (5-7am) on Thursday, May 4
  • TechNow, 6:30pm on Saturday, May 6

Of course, I will add these to the OfficeTally Calendar. :)

7 comments

  1. Thanks, Amber! I’m kind of nervous to see the finished segment — hope I didn’t come off as a total blithering fan! ;)

  2. It was totally awesome, though I must admit that I share tanster’s concerns: I’m a little anxious to see how I turn out on the air. I’m used to embarrassing myself all the time, but to do it on television… that’s uncharted territory.

  3. From NBC11’s Breakfast Blog:

    Blogging at “The Office”
    Posted: April 06, 2006
    Scott McGrew

    It’s interesting to watch the television industry adopt blogging. I suspect there are a number of outfits that have jumped into the space because it’s “trendy”, but there are others that genuinely seem to be taking advantage of the medium. Our own blog here, it’s hoped, will give you a better idea of the people who bring you the news each morning. Other television blogs include Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore, who I mentioned in an earlier post. You can find his blog here . And then there’s “The Office”.

    I found this article in USA Today about actors on The Office:

    Just about all the actors are online at myspace.com as the show is being filmed. “We sit at our desks and do our comments and write blogs,” says Jenna Fischer, who plays receptionist Pam Beesley. She almost always is seen sitting behind her computer, which makes it easier to keep up with her weekly blog about what goes on at the set for TVGuide.com and her own personal blog at www. myspace.com/pambeesley.

    So, the next time you see one of the characters on the show typing on a computer, know it’s probably not fake — they’re updating their blogs!

    Recently I did an interview with some fansite authors — folks who maintain websites about their favorite TV shows. I interviewed the authors of The Office fansites Northern Attack and Office Tally . I’ll run the interview once we’re a bit closer to the Office season finale in May. I figure maybe Thursday, May 4th on the morning show.

    I could tell you more about this TV shoot — how it involved “punking” the interviewee, and even a brush with a partially naked man, but the guy we interviewed describes it much better

  4. From Angela’s MySpace blog, April 7:

    I pulled a little prank on two office fans. Jennie from Officetally.com and James from Northernattack.com were being interviewed on a local San Fran tv show and I called in and asked for Jennie. She was a little confused and I told her that her behavior was inappropriate and that I had sent a memo around the office about it. She started screaming, “Angela?!” It was awesome. ;) When NBC called and asked me to do this I didn’t hesitate for a second. Jennie and James run amazing sites and their support of our show is just awesome. If you haven’t checked out their sites. . . Do It Today!!!

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