J: Oh fine. Uh–excuse me… do I know you from somewhere?
I: Sure, it’s me, Rick Ballestrina.
J: I’m sorry. I don’t think I know you.
I: Aren’t you Jose Cortes?
J: No, I’m afraid not.
I: Oh, forgive me. I thought you were someone else. I’m so sorry.
J: That’s all right.
LESSON 2: Is everything ready?
“This Is Your Life” used to be one of the most popular programs on American television. Recently one of the national networks started the program again, not reruns but all-new shows. Every week a well-known person is invited to a TV studio, without knowing that he or she will be the subject of the program. The host greets the person with “This Is Your Life!”. The person then meets friends and relatives from his or her past and present. The program is taped before a live audience. The taping begins at 8:00. It’s 6:45 now and the director is checking the preparations with her new production assistant. The subject of tonight’s show will be an actor, William Paine. The host, as usual, will be Joe Campanaro.
Director: Let’s check the arrangements. We’re bringing Bill Paine here in a rented limousine. He thinks he’s coming to tape a talk show appearance. The driver has been told to arrive at exactly 7:55. The program begins at 8:00.
At that time Bill will be walking to the studio. Joe will start his introduction at 8:01 and Bill will get here at 8:02. Joe will meet him at the door. Camera 4 will be there. Then he’ll take him to that sofa. It’ll be on Camera 3. Bill will be sitting there during the whole program. For most of the show Joe will be sitting next to the sofa or standing on that “X”. He’ll be on Camera 2. The guests will come through that door, talk to Bill and Joe, and then go backstage.
Director: Now, is that clear?
Production Assistant: Yes, but uh there is one thing.
Director: Well, what is it?
Production Assistant: Who’s going to take care of the guests before they come on?
Director: Stephanie is.
Production Assistant: And where will they be waiting?
Director: In Room 401, we have a guest lounge. Stephanie will be sitting there with them. They’ll be watching the show on a monitor. She’ll cue them two minutes before they come on.
Production Assistant: O.K. I think that covers everything.
LESSON 3: This is your life!
Campanaro: Good evening and welcome to “This Is Your Life”. I’m your host, Joe Campanaro. We’re waiting for the subject of tonight’s program. He’s one of the world’s leading actors, and he thinks he’s coming here for a talkshow. I think I hear him now… Yes, here he is! William Paine, this is your life!
Paine: Oh, no! I can’t believe it! Not me…
Campanaro: Yes, you! Come in with me now. Ladies and gentlemen, William Paine! (Applause) Sit right over here, Bill. Let’s begin at the beginning.
You were born in Providence, Rhode Island on July 2, 1942. You were the youngest of six children. Your mother was a model, and your father worked at a furniture store. Of course, your name was Herman Wartski then.
Campanaro: Do you recognize this voice?
Voice: I remember Herm-Bill when he was two. He used to cry and scream all day.
Campanaro: Yes, all the way from Tokyo–we flew her here to be with you tonight–your sister, Rosanne Wartski Tatsukawa.
Paine: Rosie, why didn’t you tell me?
Campanaro: Yes, you haven’t seen each other for 9 years. Take a seat next to him,
Rosanne. You went to school in Providence and got your diploma fromWhitney High School in 1960.
Campanaro: Do you remember this voice?
Voice: Herman! Stop daydreaming! I asked you a question!
Colon: Bill, darling! It’s so wonderful to see you. Hello, Joe darling. Bill and I were in a movie together in 1974. Bill had to learn to ride a horse, and… well, Bill doesn’t like horses very much.
Paine: Like them? I’m scared to death of them!
Colon: Anyway, poor Bill practiced for 2 weeks. Then he went to the director–it was John Galveston–and said, “What do you want me to do?” John said, “I want you to fall off the horse.” Bill was furious. He said “What? Fall off? I’ve been practicing for two weeks. I could fall off the first day without any practice!”