I got the final word that I would appear on The Today Show about 5 days before the live shoot. I talked with the producers, exchanged emails and all of the other stuff that goes along with being booked on The Today Show and I wasn't worried because I thought I would have about 2 weeks to prepare for the shoot.. Well think again Paulie! They asked for a confirmation 4 days before they needed me to shoot and there was nothing and no one that was going to stop me from being at 30 Rockefeller Center on Tuesday December 8, 2015!
I was working on creating content for a few Black History Month vignettes that I am working on for the CW. I contacted one of my PWM2 models Taiana Hale and we went to work on researching the subject matter "Holiday Gift Ideas: Gifts That Give Back". We had already come up with the list but that was before we knew that my first Today Show appearance would be about Gifts That Give Back. After many calls and a team's worth of effort, the gifts were on their way to the show and so was I!
The day before the show, I headed to Union Station to catch my Amtrak Acela train from DC. It seemed like there were a lot of forces in motion that were trying to block my flow out of town. No matter what came at me, I said, I'm going to put this little obstacle to the side and deal with you later! I called Omarosa (as many of you know she's one of my BFF's) and she said "Listen, all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other"... It seemed so simplistic but it turns out, she was right! I put one foot in front of the other and after running into my favorite Amtrak representative Lexi Pate in the Acela Lounge, I knew my day was headed in the right direction. Besides, I was headed to NYC to be on the Today Show, how could I complain?!
I arrived in NYC and instantly felt right at home. Before I moved to my current residence in DC, I lived in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. The bongos, honking horns and rapid shuffle of the people was a very welcomed and familiar sound to me. One of my other BFF's Sidra Smith knew that Tuesday was a big day for me so she put her Chef's hat on and prepared the most beautiful and delicious dinner for us. Sidra has a very unique way of cooking. She uses all organic ingredients and lots of fresh herbs and spices that seem to burst with exotic flavor. After dinner I prepped my skin for my "I woke up like this" morning glow by using my Micro Dermabrassion cream cleanser followed by my Conquer Beauty CoQ10 Ph balancing toner, Alpha Arubutin complexion balancing cream and Red Tea Serum (all of my skin care essentials to wake up looking about 10 years younger!).
Before I knew it, it was morning in NYC. I had said a special prayer with (Jae Je), my other Best Friend that I has been with me for 18 years. I went to sleep feeling loved, spiritually enlightened and professionally prepared and so when I woke up at 5am, I was ready to take New York baby! In no time I had showered, washed my hair and pulled out my custom Kas Collection suit. My hair stylist arrived at the apartment and we went to work on pulling my look together! When the Today Show driver arrived, Jemaja was there to greet me and we all jumped in the shiny black Cadillac XTS sedan and headed towards Midtown. I thought it was quite fortuitous that a Cadillac would be sent to pick me up. My Mom's car that she had throughout most of my childhood was a Cadillac Fleetwood (which I will never forget) and when I launched the Paul Wharton Style Show, The General Motors Corporation sponsored the show and sent me a brand new Cadillac to use on and off of the show. So, riding down to the my first Today Show shoot in a Cadillac felt all kinds of right to me!
When I arrived at the studio, my New York producer and friend of 16 years Rebecca James met us at the door with huge hugs and a complete debriefing of what I should expect. Oh, did I mention that Rebecca doesn't work for the Today Show, she produces all of the Paul Wharton Style shows that we shoot in NYC! She had been there about 45 minutes and already she knew everyone on staff and was fast friends with everyone we needed to know. She got me in the make up chair and the artist there freshened me up a bit while their dresser steamed my shirt and tie. I wasn't the only one that needed a steam that morning, the bubbly and quite beautiful Hoda Kotb came bopping into the make up room and asked the lovely ladies to knock the wrinkles out of her dress. She was absolutely delightful and so was everyone else. Finally, it was time to head to set to do my segment. I kissed Jemaja and my hair stylist gave me last looks. Rebecca and I headed to upstairs to set so that I could do what I was meant to do... Make my Mama proud y'all!!!
The set designer was waiting for me on set and she asked if everything was to my liking. It was better than to my liking, it was on the Today show and it was perfect! At about 2 minutes before we went live, my beautiful friend Tamron Hall glided in looking effortlessly chic and impossibly youthful. We chatted each other up about friend stuff until about 3 seconds before we went live and then it was time for action!
most successful sales ever! Which means, we helped a lot of people that day. And to put a cherry on top, as we made our way back down to the green room, I run smack dab into John Cena! What an awesome way to end a perfect morning an a show that I've been waiting many years to contribute to! It couldn't have gone better and yes y'all, I made my Mama proud.
Watch my Today Show appearance Gifts That Give Back HERE