I feel so blessed that I chose television as my career. It really happened by accident, or maybe it was just destiny. I always LOVED TV, so the best advice that I can give to anyone who is going into television, is, make sure you are PASSIONATE about it!
Thinking back I have met some pretty remarkable people over the past 30 plus years. My first memory was when I was with Pat Collins at the Academy Awards. I was all of 22 years old. Here we were standing in front of the Dorothy Pavillion Theatre in Los Angeles, when Cary Grant (yes, the REAL CARY GRANT) walked up the Pat to say hi. I remember this as clear as day. Pat turns to me (22 year old Amy from Long Island) and says without batting an eye, “Amy, this is Cary, Cary this is Amy, do you two know each other?????”) I mean, Helllllo???? How would I know Cary Grant?? Hilarious when you think back on it.
How about going with Diane Sawyer to Richard Nixon’s house?? (At the ripe old age of about 24). I was so scared. First to be the PA on such an important shoot with Diane. ( I was in awe of her) and then to be going to Richard Nixon’s house in Upper Saddle River NJ. I remember sitting at Diane’s feet, taking notes for the edit. (God knows what I wrote). I was so nervous to be there, I remember going into the bathroom to clean up cause I was so sweaty and hot (FROM NERVES!!). You are not gonna believe this, but I had to take my blouse off in Richard Nixon’s bathroom to cool down and I kept thinking, what if they have a camera??? Which now thinking back was so far fetched. Don’t worry, I put it back on! Anyway, after the shoot, Diane, Richard Nixon , the camera crew and I sat in his kitchen and had milk and homemade chocolate chip cookies!! I mean… that’s priceless. He couldn’t have been nicer!!
After the snack, The President gave us a tour of his home. It was a complete replica of the White House. Every room was a different color. What a once in a lifetime experience!
Now, here’s where I made one of my life’s mistakes, and I am still kicking myself over this one. As we were leaving, everyone pulled out their cameras (yep, cameras, remember them?) and took a picture with Richard Nixon. I thought it was in bad taste, so gauche, so I didn’t take a picture.MISTAKE!! I was SO WRONG! I will regret that the rest of my life!
How about schmoozing with Mickey Mantle? I remember the day at CBS THIS MORNING.. I was in the greenroom with Mickey Mantle. He wrote me a note, “You are very pretty Amy”. (he said it , i didn’t!) Okay, another BIG MISTAKE.. I SOME HOW LOST THAT PAPER!!!! (My kids are not happy about that today!) He was a bigger than life person, and could’t have been nicer.I am still hoping that note shows up in some old pocketbook tucked away in my closet one of these days!!
One day a few years ago, Jim Bell (Executive Producer of the Today Show) came to me and said, “I want you to put a very important man on in your hour, he may be the next President of the United States.” I was producing the 8 am hour, not the 7 am (where most news makers were booked) so I thought Okay, this is a favor, this guy, whatever his name is, will never be President, but I will book him as a favor for my boss!. I said to Jim, “What’s his name?” Jim said, “Barack Obama”. I said, Okay, never heard of him, but I will put him on.
I remember the day, he came into the studio, no one made a big deal. He was a good looking guy, very well spoken. I still didn’t think he would really be the President because he was in the 8am and not the 7am, but the segment was good. I shook his hand goodbye and of course DIDN’T TAKE A PICTURE!!! STOOOOOOOPID.. WHY DIDN’T I LISTEN TO JIM BELL?????? The rest, of course, is history!!!
I smartened up when Hillary Clinton came to the Today Show. I was in awe of her. She was so nice to everyone! I went right up to her and ASKED FOR A PICTURE. She was gracious, the picture came out well. That Christmas, my card was a picture of the two of us and it read.. “THE FIRST LADY AND HILARY CLINTON”. Perfect.